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Summary for 309 NE 52nd ST NE / Parcel ID 9550204360 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: American Foursquare - Craftsman, American Foursquare - Prairie Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1920
 
Significance
This elegant structure was erected in 1920 by owner and builder J. W. Miles. The name of the designer is not indicated on the building permit application. However, the fact that F. C. Nelson designed and built a garage at the northeast corner of the site the following year -- listing himself as owner on the permit application -- suggests that the original owner, Miles, was a developer or merchant builder and that the design of the house was probably provided by Miles’s office in the form of a modified pattern book plan or a stock set of drawings. The building is significant as a nearly intact example of a typical approach to housing in Wallingford following World War I, a period when the North End of Seattle was experiencing its second building boom and residential building styles were evolving from the late Queen Anne foursquare structures and early craftsman bungalows popular in the years before the war to the more eclectic work of the 1920s.
 
Appearance
The house is a two-story wood and shingle clad frame residence on a concrete foundation over a full basement. At first glance, its street elevation is suggestive of a building in the American foursquare tradition; the centered, hip-roofed attic dormer, the straightforward box-like massing and the simple rectangular footprint are typical features of the foursquare residence. However, the low slope hipped roof, the enclosed soffits, and the strong horizontal lines delineated by the gutter/fascia and the frieze are all elements associated with the prairie style. The hipped roof of the porch, which projects towards the street at the north elevation, is another element commonly found in prairie work, although the battered, built-up wood piers supporting the roof, and the square brick pedestals on which the piers bear are more often considered craftsman features. Two curious “engaged” pier/pedestal components flank the sidelighted entry door at the back wall of the porch (which corresponds with the north wall of the house). The upper floor windows appear to be “hung” from a horizontal trim band which wraps the house and functions simultaneously as window head casing and frieze board. The windows at this level appear in two heights. The taller openings utilize single double-hung units, each with an undivided upper sash over a similarly sized undivided lower sash. Most of the double-hung units are of about the same width. The shorter openings are furnished with similarly proportioned but smaller double-hung units. Because all of the windows are “hung” from the same horizontal band, the sills of the shorter windows are higher in the wall, allowing for wall mounted cabinets or fixtures in the interior spaces. The two upper floor windows at the north (street) elevation are of the larger variety. They initially appear to be symmetrically placed; however, they are actually both shifted slightly to the west, perhaps in order to center them over the openings at the main level below. At the main level, an assembly of three windows consisting of a wide double-hung unit flanked by two narrower double hung units illuminate the front room at the eastern end of the north elevation. The upper sash of each of these units is smaller than the lower sash. To the west of this window assembly is the entry porch discussed earlier. A two story bay projects from the house near the north end of the east elevation, making it difficult to see the remainder of this façade from the street A second horizontal band wraps the house at the main floor level. This drip mould becomes part of the sill at each of the main floor windows. The drip mould also separates the clapboard siding at the body of the house above from the shingles that skirts the building between the main floor windows and the foundation. The basement windows appear to be “hung” from a line formed by an additional course of shingles at window head level.. The porch at the south (rear) elevation is almost impossible to see from the street. The footprint of the building drawn by the Assessor in 1937, which shows a one-story porch extending along the entire south elevation of the house and projecting into the side yard at the west elevation; however, this depiction does not appear to match the two story porch projection shown in the photograph of the structure made by the Assessor that same year. In fact, it is unlikely that either the footprint drawing or the photograph provides an accurate description of the existing condition; a permit was issued for an addition to the house in 1995, and it is likely that the back (south) end of the building was modified at that time. A terrace garage, built very shortly after the house was completed, is located on the sidewalk at the northeast corner of the property. Although the garage initially appears to be entered through a pair of swinging style and rail doors (each having a multi-pane window) of a design typically employed in the years when the structure was first built, the regular horizontal joints and lack of visible door hardware suggest that an overhead replacement door built to mimic the original garage door has been installed. Although it is likely that the back of the house has been significantly altered, the front elevation appears to have changed very little in the last 80 years. No significant modifications other than those mentioned above are apparent from the street.

Detail for 309 NE 52nd ST NE / Parcel ID 9550204360 / Inv #

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

Photo collection for 309 NE 52nd ST NE / Parcel ID 9550204360 / Inv #


Photo taken Sep 25, 2004
App v2.0.1.0