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Summary for 161 Lee ST / Parcel ID 715920-0010 / Inv #

Historic Name: Cowlyn-McKenna House Common Name:
Style: Tudor - Cottage 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 distinctive house is a good example of a "builder's Tudor," one of the most popular housing styles in Seattle in the 1920s. They featured Tudor details such as steep gable roofs, leaded windows and half-timbering, but on a modest scale. This house was designed in 1930 by Albert Geiser, a local architect who designed a number of houses in the vicinity, including the one next door at 165 Lee Street. The owner on the building permit is given as Robert P. Hemmingsen, a local contractor, so it may have been built on speculation. The first owners, from 1931 until 1954, were John A. Cowlyn, the president of the A. Lundberg Company, and his wife Louise. The second owner was Duncan McKenna, an engineer at KOMO-TV, and his wife Barbara, who lived here from 1954 until the 1970s. The house is very intact, with the only change being a rear dormer added in 1959.
This 1-1/2 story house is a variant of the Tudor English Cottage style, with a steep hip roof and red brick cladding. The roof extends down to form a gateway over the walkway on the west side. There is a shallow gabled wing on the west end, with a garage on the lower level. The wood garage doors are original, with vertical boards and two small six-light windows. Above the garage is a grouping of five eight-light leaded glass casement windows. Above these is a small gabled wall dormer with a pair of smaller bottle glass windows. The entry is to the east of these windows, with an eight-light Dutch door sheltered by a shed roof with pendants and other ornament. The house’s most distinguishing feature is a truncated flat-roofed tower that fills most of the east end of the main facade. It is hexagonal in form, with tall narrow leaded glass casement windows on both floors. The second story has a lattice balustrade. Another pair of casement windows is to the east, where the roofline extends down over a walkway with a round arched opening.

Detail for 161 Lee ST / Parcel ID 715920-0010 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick 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: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: 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 161 Lee ST / Parcel ID 715920-0010 / Inv #

Photo taken Feb 13, 2003
App v2.0.1.0