When Al and Pat DeAtley built their jaw-dropping 27,000-square-foot house on Scenic Drive 13 years ago, they didn’t plan to hide away behind the mansion’s gates. Instead, the couple carved the Latin motto Non Nobis Solum (Not for ourselves alone) above the front door and have graciously opened their grand estate for many fundraisers benefiting the Yakima Valley.
Al, 79, is the former owner and chief executive officer of Superior Asphalt and has been active in many professional and community boards over the years. While Al has a wonderfully “bigger than life” presence, Pat, 78, complements that nature with a warm and welcoming personality.
Obviously grand, the home sits on top of Scenic with a large guest house to the east. The main house features two sides. Like the country estate Highclere on the popular PBS drama, Downton Abbey, the DeAtley home has both public rooms and more private areas reserved for family and close friends.
“One side of the house is formal and the other side is for fun,” Al explained with a chuckle. “We have eight or nine fundraisers a year, and it takes a lot to open your home. But when a charity comes knocking we always say yes. It’s our contribution to the community.”
In past summers their grand terrace and expansive manicured lawn have provided a popular venue for many large galas, including fundraisers benefiting Washington’s wine industry, an industry in which Al was involved for many years. Al and Pat have also personally invested in Eastern Washington wineries, so these events were especially dear to their hearts.
This past December, the couple hosted their 13th annual Christmas party with 180 guests, including Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital’s Florence Wight Guild, in the home’s luxurious living room. The grand scale of the space, with its 37-foot ceiling, make the room a perfect place for an elegant evening. The room is bookended with huge matching marble fireplaces, topped with pastoral murals by Hollywood artist Diane Mastel, along with six-foot classical statues of the Four Seasons and custom-made 18th century style Baker furnishings. Joe Simon and Ed Maske, former partners in Yakima’s Shopkeeper, helped the couple acquire the furnishings, the marble mantel pieces that came from China and the extensive original artwork that appears throughout the house. Joe continues to decorate the home’s public spaces for Christmas, which make the holiday even more magical.
The formal dining room next door appears much more intimate in comparison, even with a stunning custom-built, 14-foot-long Baker dining table as its centerpiece. But what truly captures diners’ attention are the room’s two muscular Greek statues that hold up the ceiling from their perch on the fireplace mantel.
When the incredibly heavy pieces of marble for the fireplace arrived from China, it became apparent to the builder that they would crash through the dining room floor if they weren’t reinforced. “Then Pat had an argument over the Greek guys (statues),” Al recalled. Their exposed private parts were on public display and Pat didn’t want to look at them while eating dinner. After much discussion the problem was settled: Today, Pat always sits on the other side of the table, facing away from the offending mythical men.
Occasionally for smaller events, the DeAtleys invite guests into their mini-movie palace. Complete with plush red velvet seats and gold-trimmed theater curtains, Pat and Al enjoy showing movies and often invite some of Yakima’s best local talent to perform on the stage as an after-dinner treat. Post show, guests can entertain themselves with a game of pool or mingle at the well-stocked bar.
But the house also has a fun side reserved just for family. Using an open-concept design, the large, modern kitchen and casual dining space flow easily into a family room with plush, overstuffed couches and an attractive bar. Decorated with comfortable, informal décor, it’s no wonder they spend hours of family time in this light-filled great room. In fact, Pat claims her favorite spot in the whole house is in the kitchen sitting on an old wooden stool next to a butcher block stand, while sipping her favorite beverage and watching television. Her sunny solarium, where she cultivates a veritable jungle of tropical plants, takes a close second. Both Pat and Al have their own private offices as well. It comes as no surprise that after a long business career, Al enjoys spending most of his time in this handsome, wood-paneled sanctuary.
An invitation to explore the DeAtleys’ 800-bottle wine cellar comes as a rare treat. Down a flight of stairs and through a worm-wood, castle-like door, guests can explore an amazing collection of wine, carefully stored in a temperature controlled, circular room with a hand-painted dome. Catalogued according to variety, the wine comes from around the world, but most is from Washington state. In spite of Al’s involvement in the wine industry over the years, when asked about his favorite, he replied with a twinkle in his eye, “I don’t drink wine … Beefeaters!”
Pat, though, is partial to Chateau St. Michelle’s Chardonnay. The oldest bottle they’ve had in their cellar was a 1904 port, gifted to them by their late neighbor, Dr. Michael Murphy, a wine aficionado. Ironically, the date of the bottle coincided with the year Al’s mother was born, so it was only fitting that they drank the port on her 90th birthday.
Happily married for 59 years, and living in their palatial mansion for 13, Al and Pat have invited the Yakima Valley to share their house, living up to their motto, “Not for Ourselves Alone.”