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Seattle Landmarks: Handschy/Kistler House (1909)
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Address: 2433 9th Avenue W, Seattle. Andrew Willatzen (Willatsen after 1920) (1876-1974) and Barry Byrne (b. 1883) both apprenticed under Architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959) at his Oak Park, Illinois studio. Wright developed the Prairie School of architecture which emphasized the integration of environment with the built form. "In this design, there is a weaving interplay between inside and outside - the form reaching out into nature and nature penetrating through the mass" (Anglin).
The home for brewery executive Frederick Handschy was built across the rear of two city lots and adapts Prairie School philosophy to Northwest topography with Northwest building materials. The main entrance is off W Wheeler Street "to preserve the front yard as an unbroken compliment to the long horizontal profile of the house ... . The result adds a welcome variety and relief to the tightly packed city blocks intersecting at the corner of 9th Avenue W and W Wheeler Streets" (Anglin).
Willatzen and Byrne introduced to Seattle Wright's uniquely American form of architecture. These designs are the only body of work in the Northwest from any of Wright's Oak Park apprentices.
The house was acquired by Greenwood Gallery founder Andrew Kistler in 1974. It was declared a Seattle Landmark on February 22, 1983, because it represented a specific architectural style.
Rob Anglin, "Landmark Nomination Form, Frederick Handschy Residence," September 18, 1978, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Landmarks Preservation Board, 700 Third Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, Washington; Lawrence Kreisman, Made to Last: Historic Preservation in Seattle and King County, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999), 55.
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