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Summary for 4203 Woodlawn AVE / Parcel ID 4083301440 / Inv #

Historic Name: Stapp Residence / North Central Outlook Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1916
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
Local developer Henry Brice hired Fred Berg Building Company to build this house in 1914 (permit #133684). It was one of five residences (including the structures at 4203, 4207, 4211, 4215 and 4219 Woodlawn Ave. N.) built for Brice that were all begun at the same time. Berg, either by prearrangement or default -- it is not known which -- did not complete the work and a different contractor, P. J. Horver, was hired to finish all five houses under a single permit (#146683). The buildings all appear to have been completed in 1916; however, some additional interior work was undertaken in 1918-19 (permit #171466) for a new owner identified as Seattle Land & Improvement by contractor F. H. Winkler. (The King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, accessed in 2005, indicates that the house was built in 1914; the king County Property Record Card, prepared in 1937, indicates that the house was erected in 1914-18.) Owner Orrill V. Stapp, a pianist and music teacher, was living with his family at 4203 Woodlawn Avenue N. by late 1922. Stapp hired J. B. Williams to cut an entrance into the basement and lay a new basement floor in 1925 (permit #244291). The following year, Williams was again hired, this time to build a new foundation under a portion of the existing structure (permit # 260754). The building inspector noted on his initial visit that the basement was being used “as a printing establishment where several persons are employed,” that this use did not conform to the zoning code, and that the addition to the basement was being made “in all probability, to extend the business.” It does not appear that any steps were taken to put an end to the nonconforming use. In fact, Orrill Stapp’s son, Milton Stapp, began publishing a weekly paper from the house in 1922 that would become the Wallingford Outlook, and later the North Central Outlook. O. V. Stapp still owned the house when it was surveyed by the Assessor in 1937, although the Property Record Card prepared at that time suggests that Stapp only acquired the house in 1933. By 1938, the house was listed in Polk’s Seattle Directory as the home of Outlook Printing Company, Inc. and of North Central Outlook Publications as well as the home of Orrill V. Stapp. Stan Stapp became sole publisher and editor-in-chief of the paper in 1954. The following year, Mrs. E. Francis Stapp and the North Central Outlook Newspaper were the residents of the property listed in Polk’s Seattle Directory, although other members of the Stapp family may have lived there as well. The permit record indicates that an electric meter was moved in 1962; the owner listed on the permit was Outlook Printing. Bill Sellars was identified as the owner of the property on the permit when a washer-dryer circuit and some additional electrical outlets were added to the structure in 1965, although Sellars was not listed as a resident of the house in city directories until 1967. Sellars apparently continued to share the house with the newspaper operation, the North Central Chamber of Commerce, and other residents until late July 1970, when the paper moved to 4273 Woodland Park Avenue N. Rodney Thomas was the house occupant most often identified in city directories from 1970 until the late 1980s, although it is not clear if he ever had an ownership interest in the structure. The current property owner, K. Garnett Hundley, purchased the house from Mark G. Brown in 1989. It is not been determined when Brown acquired the property. Hundley established an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) at the site in 1997. The ADU parking requirement was waived. Hundley upgraded the electrical service in 2001. This structure is significant for a number of reasons. The house itself is an interesting example of the Craftsman bungalow style and of the stage that had been reached in the evolution of that style by the end of Seattle’s first north end building boom. Although modified on a number of occasions, the house retains a substantial degree of integrity, and some of the modifications, such as he enclosure of the front porch and construction of basement access for the press are, themselves, of historical interest. The history of the structure’s initial construction is also interesting. Developer Henry Brice, unlike many of his competitors in Wallingford, often hired out the design and construction of houses on his properties. Merchant builders, such as P. E. Wentworth and Stephen Berg generally bought the land and designed, built and sold the houses themselves. The similarities between the four houses built at the same time as the Stapp residence allow the structures to form a physically identifiable subset of all the houses being built at the time. Finally, the house was owned for many year by the Stapp family and served as the editorial offices and printing plant for the North Central Outlook, a north end newspaper organized and operated for half a century by Milton Stapp and his brothers, especially Stan Stapp. The latter Stapp was active in local community organizations and, until his death on May 5, 2006, remained a popular columnist and valuable source of information about the Wallingford neighborhood’s history.
This is a 1-1/2 story, clapboard and shingle clad frame residence built over a full basement on a concrete foundation. The moderate roof pitch, the wide bargeboards with figured ends supported by triangular knee braces, the open soffits and exposed rafter tails, the mix of simple double-hung and more elaborate bungalow style windows, and the detailing of the entry porch are all elements of the structure’s design that are commonly associated with the craftsman style. Although it is unlikely that the porch was originally enclosed, the style of the windows installed to accomplish the enclosure is typical of craftsman and prairie style fenestration, which suggests that this work was completed fairly early in the life o the structure and does not significantly detract from the structure’s historic integrity. The siding appears to be original but some portions may have been replaced in kind. A few of the windows have been replaced with aluminum sash and storm windows have been added to some of the openings. A door and window assembly at basement level along the south elevation appear to mark the point where openings were cu into the basement for installation, and later for removal, of the printing press which operated in the basement of this structure for many years. No other significant modifications are apparent.

Detail for 4203 Woodlawn AVE / Parcel ID 4083301440 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Moderate
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.

Photo collection for 4203 Woodlawn AVE / Parcel ID 4083301440 / Inv #

Photo taken Feb 10, 2005
App v2.0.1.0