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Summary for 1339 Sturgus AVE / Parcel ID 7133300270 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Beacon Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1910
Built in 1910, this building was occupied by 1938 by Kazui and Fusao Okita, according to Polk directories. Mr. Okita ran a shoe repair business at 319 West Galer. In March of 1945, Robert M. Benton purchased the residence for $2000. In June of 1946, Eber J. Smith purchased the building and constructed a terrace garage. Mr. Smith resided in the building through 1950. By 1953, Michael Carnaje lived the building, remaining through 1962. Charles E. Georgia purchased the building in August of 1962 for $8950. By 1964 the building was vacant. Then ca 1966, Savanah Hunt moved into the building. The building was vacant again by 1968, before Mrs. Francis Turner moved into the building in 1970. Many Japanese came to Seattle as part of the second wave of Asian immigration to Washington State starting in the 1880s. The Japanese immigrants came to work on farms, in logging operations, and in canneries. In about 1920, Japanese-Americans began to move to areas like Beacon Hill from their initial settlement of Japantown. Beacon Hill was affordable and close to their core area on the southeast edge of downtown. Beacon Hill did not have restrictive covenants found in more exclusive neighborhoods like Mount Baker, which precluded Japanese-Americans and other minorities from purchasing homes in the area. The Japanese Language School (Kokugo Gakko) was located at 1414 South Weller Street just north of Beacon Hill and was a central cultural institution for Seattle’s Japanese community. The proximity of the language school to Beacon Hill was also a factor in attracting Japanese-Americans to the neighborhood. Only three Japanese families, including Frank Miyamoto’s family, lived on Beacon Hill around 1920. During the 1930s, there were quite a few Japanese businesses on Beacon Hill, including several Japanese grocery stores, such as Toyo Grocery at Fourteenth Avenue South and South Walker Street. Following the internment of the Japanese during World War II, many Japanese-Americans moved back to the Beacon Hill area. The Asian population and the number of Asian-owned businesses on the hill have continued to grow during the last fifty years. Today, there are more Asian Americans than any other single racial/ethnic group on Beacon Hill. The percentage of Japanese students at Beacon Hill Elementary increased from less than 1% in 1910 to 22.2% in 1964. Today the combined Asian percentage of students at Beacon Hill Elementary is 50.2%. 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 1910, this compact, Vernacular style, single-family dwelling stands on an irregular-shaped lot. The lot’s shape conforms to a shift in the street grid at the north end of Beacon Hill. The building is oriented to Sturgus Avenue South with a back alley. The flat site is elevated approximately 6’ above street level. This 792 square foot, one-and-a-half story house with a partial basement features a rectangular plan, measuring 22’ by 36’, with a 7’ by 5’ front porch. A poured concrete foundation supports the wood frame, shiplap-clad superstructure. A vertical wood apron wraps the building foundation. Corner boards define the building corners. Asphalt composition roofing covers the front gable roof. Modest eave and gable overhangs with fascia boards define the roofline character. Prominent window surrounds define the first and half story windows with an oriel window projecting from the front facade adjacent the front porch. Vinyl windows replace the original wood windows. A pair of chamfered posts supports the low-pitched front porch roof. A single flight of stairs leads off the side of the entrance porch. A single brick interior chimney services the building.

Detail for 1339 Sturgus AVE / Parcel ID 7133300270 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Vertical - Boards, Wood - Shiplap Foundation(s): Concrete - Block
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s):
Changes to Windows: Moderate
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.
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."
Dubrow, Gail with Donna Graves. Sento at Sixth and Main: Preserving Landmarks of Japanese American Heritage. Seattle: Seattle Arts Commission, 2002.
Miyamota, Shorato Frank. “Social Solidarity among the Japanese in Seattle.” University of Washington Publications in the Social Sciences, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 57-130, December 1939. Seattle: University of Washington, 1939.

Photo collection for 1339 Sturgus AVE / Parcel ID 7133300270 / Inv #

Photo taken

Photo taken Sep 11, 2003

Photo taken Sep 11, 2003
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