Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

This application will be offline for Maintenance Saturday Feb 4th from 6am to noon

New Search

Summary for 1203 N Allen PL N / Parcel ID 7821200520 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1911
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This house was built between 1911 and 1918 (the Assessor’s Property Characteristics Report gives 1911 as the date of completion, the Assessor’s survey of the property completed in 1937 gives 1918 as the date built). A copy of the building permit for this structure cannot be located. (Although the City indexed all permits issued before 1950 by street, the index sheet for properties on Allen Place built prior to 1931 is no longer extant). The designer, builder and original owner of the house are not known. A detached, one car garage was built a few feet from the sidewalk at the southwest corner of the property at some point prior to 1937. It is not known if this structure was erected at the same time as the house. The house is significant as an excellent example of the “California bungalow,” a style of housing that served as a model for bungalow builders all along the west coast. The structure’s exceptionally low sloped roof, wrap-around porch, and in recent years, the addition of a lush garden are all emblematic features of the relaxed, indoor/outdoor lifestyle that promoters of the craftsman bungalow style used as a selling point for their work.
The house is a one story, shingle clad frame residence on a concrete foundation over a half basement. The exceptionally low slope of the roof, the broad overhangs with exposed framing, the wide bargeboards supported by triangular timber knee braces, the massive chimney, and the detailing of the wrap-around porch are all typical features of the craftsman bungalow style. The structure is front gabled. The porch wraps around the house at its northwest corner. A symmetrical north-facing gable, similar to but smaller than that of the main roof, projects north toward N. Allen Place. Its west-facing slope is an extension of the main roof. The eave of the man roof is extended to cover the porch to the west side of the house and, as a result, the eaves of the porch are lower than those of the main structure. The porch roof is supported by built up wood piers at its three outside corners, and each pier is borne by a square masonry pedestal capped at just over porch rail height. Solid shingle clad railings stretch between the masonry pedestals; an opening in this railing is centered under the porch roof at the north elevation. The right angle extensions of the railing that once framed the entry stairs are no longer extant. A craftsman style, partially glazed style and rail door, featuring a heavy, bracket supported sill under the six light window in its upper quarter, enters near the center of the body of the house but at the east end of the wrap-around porch. West of the entry, a large double-hung window, flanked by two narrower fixed units, opens onto the porch. The central window has an upper sash divided into six tall rectangular lights and a much larger, undivided lower sash. The fixed sash of each of the flanking units is divided into three tall rectangular lights at its upper edge and a much larger tall rectangular light below. These fixed sash may have replaced similarly configured double-hung windows at some point in the relatively recent past. To the east of the entry (and of the porch), three tall windows are ganged together. The single sash of each of these units is configured to match that of the flanking units in the three-part assembly to the west. As with the latter units, the fixed sash to the east of the entry may have replaced similarly configured double-hung windows. A small, undivided double-hung window is situated on the east elevation at about a third of its length from the northeast corner of the structure. Further to the south, a larger double-hung unit is located. This window has a small upper sash divided into three tall vertical lights and a much larger, undivided lower sash. This is probably one of the original windows and appears to have served as the pattern for the fixed wood replacement windows at the north elevation (and elsewhere). At the south end of the east elevation, two of the replacement windows are ganged together. The portion of the west elevation wrapped by the porch features a massive battered brick chimney flanked by two small fixed windows configured to resemble the much larger flanking windows at the north elevation. To the south of the porch, a gabled wing projects west toward Midvale Avenue N. Although this wing does not extend further into the side yard than the porch, it is a prominent feature of the façade. An assembly of three windows, including a large double-hung unit very similar to the central unit west of the entry, is situated off-axis toward the northwest corner of the wing’s west elevation. The flanking units consist of paired casements. Each leaf of each pair has two tall rectangular lights over a much larger rectangular light. High in the wall at the southwest corner of the wing is a 14 light (2 x 7) fixed window. The back end of the house has been significantly modified. A notch at the southwest corner of the structure that once served as the back porch has been enclosed and the interior of the back end appears to have been remodeled. The old window openings seem to have been relocated and new openings have been provided at the enclosure. Two small casements have been paired at the west elevation just south of the west-facing wing. Below this window, a door opens into the basement. At the south end of the west elevation, a new fixed window illuminates the back end of the structure. Around the corner another fixed window and the back doors open to the south. A second fixed south facing window is located in a notch at the building’s southeast corner. All of these back end windows are configured to resemble the fixed windows elsewhere. Although the heights of all the fixed units are held constant, the widths (and the number of small lights along the upper edge) vary. The character of the property benefits greatly from the garden that nearly engulfs the house at the north and west facades. Despite the small depths of the front and side yards, the garden appears dense and extensive, an illusion furthered by the planting of the parking strip along Midvale Avenue N. to the west of the structure. The low slope of the roof, together with the massive chimney and the extensive planting, give the property the appearance of the proto-typical California bungalow. The garden appears to have been developed in the latter half of the building’s life. The original back porch was enclosed and a new porch added to the structure by the current owner in 2002. The basement stairs were relocated at the same time. It appears that some windows were replaced about the same time. The new windows appear to have casement or fixed sash that have been configured to resemble the double-hung windows that are likely to have been originally installed at the north and west elevations. The height of chimney appears to have been increased. A second chimney appears to have been added. Despite numerous adjustments to the details of the house, the character of the building remains close to what is was in the early years of its life.

Detail for 1203 N Allen PL N / Parcel ID 7821200520 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood 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
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.

Photo collection for 1203 N Allen PL N / Parcel ID 7821200520 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 22, 2004
App v2.0.1.0