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Frame 10 of 11


The architectural pot in Seattle began to bubble anew in the first decades of the twentieth century. The 1909 Alaska-Yukon- Pacific Exposition put the Puget Sound region on display to the world. Academically trained architects began arriving in numbers; the outskirts of Seattle and Everett continued the outward creep that would eventually populate the eastern shores of Puget Sound from Everett to Tacoma; and the rise of industry and organized labor led to higher wages and increased home ownership. Many factors facilitated wider architectural choice: new building methods and materials; electricity, central heating, and indoor plumbing; widespread use of concrete for foundations and basements -- all contributed to an expansion of the region's architectural vocabulary.

Although the foursquare Seattle Box and the Craftsman bungalow represented new styles and a degree of separation from the past, there was also a return of pre-Victorian forms. Three common types were Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and Classical Revival. Modern influences also made their way to the Northwest, with the Prairie Style of Frank Lloyd Wright and his acolytes appearing with increasing frequency. As in earlier years, many dwellings embodied a mix of styles, making them impossible to place into a single, discrete category. Some of the best examples of all these styles and mixes of styles were to be found on Seattle's Capitol Hill and several homes pictured in this frame are from there.

A fine example of the Neoclassical is the mansion of entrepreneur Sam Hill, designed by the Washington D.C., architectural firm of Hornblower & Marshall and still standing at 814 E Highland Drive in Seattle's Harvard-Belmont Landmark District. Built in 1909, it was made of concrete block, a relatively new material that was rapidly gaining acceptance. In 1899, the Polk City Directory for Seattle listed only four companies specializing in cement or concrete, but by 1909 when this mansion was built, there were 54 such companies. Hill was clearly enamored of it; a few years later he started construction on a larger neo-classical mansion (nearly identical in style to this one and also designed by Hornblower & Marshall) in Klickitat County, overlooking the Columbia River. It sat unfinished for years until 1926, when it was repurposed to become the Maryhill Museum of Art. At his own expense, Hill built a reinforced-concrete war memorial fashioned after Stonehenge in Klickitat County (started in 1918 but not completed until 1930). And in 1921 he funded construction of the Peace Arch that marks the American-Canadian border at Blaine in Whatcom County, which was also built using reinforced concrete.

The large mansion of Seattle banker Charles J. Smith, located at 803 Summit and dating to approximately 1902, has clear Colonial Revival origins, but also bears a strong if somewhat oversized resemblance to the foursquare, Seattle-Box style that was becoming popular at around the same time. The columned porches and the second-floor balconies with their heavy balustrades are clear marks of the Colonial style, while the hipped roof and relatively wide dormers are more typical features of the foursquare. In about 1911, Dr. Edmund M. Rininger purchased this home and began converting it to hospital use. After his death in an automobile accident in 1912, the newly formed Swedish Hospital took it over.

A more pure example of Colonial Revival architecture was built for sale by Seattle developer Charles P. Dose, his son and business partner, architect Charles C. Dose, in the Mount Baker district in 1912. This fine house is still in place, well-maintained and substantially unchanged. An advertisement of the day touted its features, including a built-in vacuum system: "Lot 70 x 85. Street Paved with brick. Colonial Residence, 12 rooms, including Billiard and chauffeurs rooms in basement and servants room with bath in attic and garage to match-also electric fixtures and stationary vacum (sic) cleaner. Price $15,000. Will take $12,500 without above mentioned additional improvements, having 9 rooms completed."

A quite striking example of Tudor Revival architecture was the William Hainsworth residence, built in West Seattle on 37th Street SW in 1901 and still standing today. It featured a clinker-brick first floor and the typical stucco-and-beam half-timbering on the second. The large cross-gabled extension on the far end was apparently added later, and although it features large, multi-paned windows that carry on the Tudor style, it appears to be constructed either from a lighter-colored brick or to have been shingle-clad. Architect John Graham Sr., who designed the home with David Myers, went on to establish a two-generation architectural dynasty in Seattle that was to be responsible for many fine homes and commercial buildings.

Another house designed by Charles C. Dose, also located in Mount Baker in what was one of Seattle's first planned developments, is an example of a primarily Tudor Revival residence mixed with borrowings from other styles. The second-floor half-timbering is pure Tudor, and the multi-paned upper lights of the windows are also common to that style. However, the square pillars of the front porch and on the gabled and open dormer balcony are very typical of the Craftsman style, which was also coming into vogue. This house was built in 1909, when the Tudor Revival vogue was already well under way.

Another style of Tudor became popular in Seattle in the 1920s, featuring steep and swooping roof-lines, arched doorways, and, often, ribbon-style windows. A lovely example is the house located on a bluff on Sunset Avenue in West Seattle and built in the mid-1920s.

The new twentieth-century architecture was not limited to Seattle. To the north in Everett, one neighborhood had, side by side, examples of three of the new or revived styles that were gaining favor. At far left in the last picture in this frame is a Colonial Revival home, with its porch columns, single gabled roof, and exterior chimney. Next to that is a very pure Arts and Crafts Bungalow. Its gently sloping roofs end in deep overhangs, and a wide shed-roofed dormer provides light to the partial second floor. Last in the line are two very good examples of the foursquare Seattle-Box design, with their moderately sloped, hipped pyramidal roofs and perfectly square footprints. The mix of houses along this street would indicate that this was a neighborhood that was growing organically, and not with the higher degree of regimentation common to planned developments.

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Sam Hill Mansion (Hornblower & Marshall, 1909) 814 E Highland Drive, Seattle, 1910
Courtesy UW Special Collections (Image No. A. Curtis 17656)

C. J. Smith residence, later part of Swedish Hospital, 803 Summit, Seattle, 1902
Courtesy UW Special Collections (Image No. UW13776)

Colonial-Revival home, 3211 S Dose Terrace, Seattle, 1912
Courtesy UW Special Collections (Image No. SEA2780)

J. Walton Hainsworth residence (John Graham Sr. and David Myers, 1901), 2657 37th Street SW, Seattle, 1907
Courtesy UW Special Collections (Image No. UW2971)

Tudor home (Charles C. Dose, 1909), Mt. Baker district, Seattle, 1909
Courtesy UW Special Collections (Image No. SEA2782)

Tudor-style residence, Sunset Avenue, West Seattle, May 1926
Courtesy MOHAI (Image No. 1983.10.3216.5)

Row of houses in varying styles (from left) Colonial Revival, Arts and Crafts bungalow, two foursquare Seattle Boxes, Everett, 1910
Photo by Asahel Curtis, Courtesy UW Special Collections (Image No. CUR780)

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