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Summary for 321 W Highland DR W / Parcel ID 173280-0350 / Inv #

Historic Name: Abrams-Peasley House Common Name:
Style: French - French Eclectic Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1930
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This unusual house was built in 1930 by contractor Clyde Reese for real estate developer Norman B. Abrams. It was designed by the partnership of Bain and Pries, as was the house to the east at 417 W. Highland Dr. Although no architect is listed on the permit, the firm's records show it as project #317. It is French Eclectic in style, showing a Modernistic influence in the dormers and its use of steel sash. It is notable as one of the few houses in this style on Queen Anne. Abrams does not appear to have lived here very long, as in 1938 it was owned by Mrs. Grace Bowman. It has had two subsequent owners, Mrs. Laura McEwen (1940s-60s) and E. Dickinson Peasley, a partner in Frol and Peasley, a Queen Anne accounting firm. Peasley purchased the house in 1967 and the family still owns it today. This house was designed by the partnership of Bain and Pries, as was the house to the west at 321 W. Highland Drive. William Bain, Sr. (1896-1975) was one of the city's best-known and most prolific architects for much of the 20th Century. He came to Seattle in 1915, apprenticing with W. R. B. Willcox and Arthur Loveless before serving in the U. S. Army in World War I. In 1921 he received a degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, which provided him with further training in the Beaux-Arts tradition that is apparent in this house. After further work with Willcox and Loveless, he opened his own practice in 1924, specializing in houses French and English Revival styles. From 1928 until 1932 he was in partnership with Lionel Pries; this house dates from that period. The partners designed a number of apartments and sorority houses, showing both Revival and Moderne influences. Following the partnership's dissolution, Bain continued with residential and apartment commissions, and added commercial and insitutional work. During World War II he was the state's camouflage director, responsible for camouflaging the Boeing aircraft plant. In 1943 he joined with three other people to form the company now known as NBBJ, one of the largest architectural firms in the world. He also continued with residential designs with another partner, Harrison Overturf. These designs combined traditional and modern idioms. Bain continued to work until his death in 1985. Lionel Pries was at the University of Pennsylvania at the same time as Bain, receiving a master's of architecture in 1921. He had previously studied at the University of California. Following graduation, he studied in Europe and later opened a private practice in San Francisco. He came to Seattle in 1928, entering into partnership with Bain. The buildings done in this period often combine eclectic Revival styles with touches of Modernism, as seen in this house. Following the partnership with Bain, Pries became a full-time teacher at the University of Washington School of Architecture, rising to full professor in 1948. He remained there until 1958, and is known for his brilliant teaching and lasting influence on his students.
This house is sited on a flat site on the west side of West Highland Drive. The formal landscaping matches the house's formality, with a straight walkway, low shrubs at the edge of the lawn, and a very large evergreen tree to the west. The house has a tall hipped roof with a hipped wing projecting on the west half of the main (north) facade. The entry is at the interior angle of the ell, with a doorway off a small courtyard. Cladding is stucco with quoins and a belt course between the stories; the trim, probably of cast stone, is currently painted the same color as the house and is not very noticeable. The roof is clad with wood shingles. There are relatively few windows, primarily steel casements. The north elevation has an arched six-light casement dormer set into the eave on the west side, with a pair of large windows below. To the east is a tall narrow window, reaching to the eave. The west side has similar windows, with a small arched one in the roof toward the west and another in the eave. Each floor has two pairs of six-light casement windows, with a small enclosed arched porch and entry. The original basement garage is on the west side, below grade; a deck and a third garage have been added at this level, at the southwest corner.

Detail for 321 W Highland DR W / Parcel ID 173280-0350 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Wood - Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.

Photo collection for 321 W Highland DR W / Parcel ID 173280-0350 / Inv #

Photo taken Sep 29, 2004
App v2.0.1.0