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Summary for 2720 17th AVE / Parcel ID 7319900105 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Beacon Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1905
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
Built in 1905, this building was occupied by Christian A. and Alvina C. Carstensen. Mrs. Carstensen worked as a bookkeeper. Mr. Carstensen was a manager with the city light department. In 1914, the building was owned by Arthur J. and Alvena C. Baker, who added a garage to the lot. Alvena Baker worked as a bookkeeper for Puget Sound Fish Company. Mr. Baker was a master mariner. By 1938 through 1968, George H. Grimes resided in the building. Beacon Hill is a long north-south tending ridge located southeast of downtown Seattle and stands 350 feet at its highest point. The hill’s steep topography deterred substantial Euro-American settlement through the early 1880s. Then, development of the area was stimulated by the introduction of streetcar lines in the 1890s, its proximity to Seattle’s main industrial area to the west, and the regrading of the hill’s north end in the early 1900s. Originally acquired by the City in 1898, Jefferson Park was integrated into Seattle’s Olmsted system of parks, and the Olmsted Brothers prepared a plan for the park in 1912. The first public golf course west of the Mississippi opened at Jefferson Park in 1915. Jefferson Park has exerted a profound positive influence on the development of the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Because of its proximity to the International District, Japanese and Chinese families moved to Beacon Hill starting in the 1920s. World War I and II stimulated a surge in housing development associated with wartime industry. The construction of Interstate 5 in the 1960s and Interstate 90 in the 1980s sliced through the neighborhoods and contributed to Beacon Hill’s relative isolation. Today, Beacon Hill is an ethnically diverse working class community, which has a mixed Asian, Chicano, African American, and Caucasian population.
Built in 1905, this substantial, vernacular style, single-family dwelling stands on a rectangular corner lot. The building is oriented to Fifteenth Avenue South on a flat site at street level. This 988 square foot, two-story house with a full daylight basement features a rectangular plan, measuring approximately 26’ by 38’, with a 16’ by 6’ front porch. A poured concrete foundation supports the wood frame, shingle- and clapboard-clad superstructure. Asphalt composition roofing covers the hip roof and front-facing cross gable. Broad closed eaves with a pronounced fascia define the roofline. Wood sash 1:1 double hung windows with painted wood casings provide day lighting. A short flight of stairs leads to the front porch. Classically-influenced columns support the upper balcony. Two internal brick chimneys service the building. This building is an interesting variation on the American Foursquare style within the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

Detail for 2720 17th AVE / Parcel ID 7319900105 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s):
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
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.
City of Seattle. Survey of City-Owned Historic Resources. Prepared by Cathy Wickwire, Seattle, 2001. Forms for Ravenna Park structures.
Tobin, Caroline. (2004) "Beacon Hill Historic Context Statement."

Photo collection for 2720 17th AVE / Parcel ID 7319900105 / Inv #

Photo taken

Photo taken Nov 06, 2003

Photo taken Nov 06, 2003
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