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Summary for 1158 17th AVE / Parcel ID 1337800395 / Inv #

Historic Name: Calvert, William, Jr., House Common Name:
Style: American Foursquare Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1906
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This large house, similar to a Foursquare, was featured in the 1913 pictorial book, Homes and Gardens of the Pacific Coast, 1913 (p.37), edited by Frank Calvert. It is described as being “a very well built house…with interior woodwork of Peruvian mahogany especially beautiful in workmanship and color….The vine-covered entrance is an especially well designed feature. The garden has been well arranged and well kept so that there is a mass of flowers and a beautiful variety of shrubbery (and)…a stone retaining wall at the rear.” Today, the garden is considerably tamed and the vine around the entry has been removed. William Calvert, the original owner, appears to have kept this as a town house, because he and his wife Edna were among the first residents of Medina Heights, an enclave on the east side of Lake Washington, platted in 1914. Calvert was the new town’s first real estate salesman, attracting such wealthy owners as lumbermen James Clapp and James G. Eddy to what is now one of the most exclusive towns in the nation.(, Medina—Thumbnail History) This part of Capitol Hill has the city’s greatest concentration of American Foursquare houses—often called the Classic Box or Seattle Box, because of its local popularity. They were built primarily between 1905 and 1910. Most of these houses were not designed by an architect, but were built by local builders from patterns purchased from magazines. Most have a wide front porch with heavy posts or columns and a hip roof, often with dormers. There are typically eight main rooms on two floors--living room, hall, dining room and kitchen downstairs and four bedrooms upstairs. Two reasons for their popularity were that they provided a large amount of space for reasonable cost, and that they could be personalized depending on an owners taste and budget. This neighborhood has numerous variations, from simple unornamented versions to elaborately detailed ones with multiple columns, beveled leaded glass windows and exotic accent windows. This is one of the original Capitol Hill plats of James A. Moore, who gave the area its name. In 1900 Moore, who had already developed other Seattle neighborhoods, purchased and began platting 160 acres, roughly between 11th and 20th avenues, from Roy Street north to Galer. Before selling lots for construction, he graded and paved the streets (eliminating the dust that plagued many sections), installed sidewalks, water mains and sewer lines, and planned for street lights and telephone poles. Lots went on sale in 1901, heavily promoted to attract local business leaders as residents. This was the first part of Seattle developed in this way. Moore did not build houses for sale, but sold improved lots to builders or to people who then hired a builder to construct a home to their own taste. Covenants required that homes cost at least $3,000 to build and be at least 24 feet from the sidewalk. The 800 lots sold quickly to company owners, managers, executives, bankers, doctors, and attorneys. The lots grew in value by 300% over the next 12 years.
This large house of nearly 5,000 sqaure feet sits on a triple lot almost one-third of an acre in size. The most distinctive feature of this house is its wide recessed porch with a graceful arched opening and turned balustrade. The door (perhaps mahogany) is also notable, with leaded glass and sidelights. The house has a hipped roof with hipped dormers on the sides and a rather small gabled dormer in the front. In addition, a very shallow hipped dormer pierces the eaves near the southeast corner. The cladding is clapboard on the first story and stucco on the second, seprated by a wide belt course. The first floor has a three-part window on the porch and two horizontal windows, all with elaborately patterned leaded glass. The second story has a three-part window and a one-over-one window, both with window boxes. There is a three-sided hanging bay window on the second floor at the northeast corner, which is recessed from the rest of the façade. The second story at this point projects over the first, and both this projection and the bay window are supported by large curved brackets. A second three-sided bay is nearby on the north façade. The bay windows also have leaded glass. There appears to be a rear addition.

Detail for 1158 17th AVE / Parcel ID 1337800395 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stucco, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Williams, Jacqueline B. The Hill with a Future: Seattle's Capitol Hill 1900-1946. Seattle: CPK Ink, 2001.
Calvert, Frank. Homes and Gardens of the Pacific Coast. Vol. 1, Seattle. Beaux Arts Village: Beaux Arts Society Publishers, 1913.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.

Photo collection for 1158 17th AVE / Parcel ID 1337800395 / Inv #

Photo taken Dec 05, 2006
App v2.0.1.0