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Summary for 4233 Meridian AVE / Parcel ID 4083300955 / Inv #

Historic Name: Whitham Residence Common Name:
Style: American Foursquare, American Foursquare - Craftsman Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1909
This house was erected as a 2-story frame residence in 1908-09 for permit applicant Hannibal H. Whitham, who operated a real estate office and law practice known as Whitham Brothers with John W. Whitham at 310 Central Building. The names of the designer and builder are not indicated on the building permit. The half story above the second floor was at least partially finished when the Assessor surveyed the property in 1937. Owner Hermann Neubert, a contractor, designed and built a garage in the basement in 1923-24. Information recorded on the King County Property Record Card suggests that the Woman’s Home Missionary Society owned the property after 1931. The Record Card also indicates that a tenant occupied the building when it was surveyed in 1937; Ralph E. Downie is listed in city directories as the individual living at 4233 Meridian in 1938. Prudential Insurance Company of America appears to have come into possession of the property in 1941 and the King County Property Record Card suggests that Leo J. Krautz acquired the property in 1966. One of the current residents, Robert Boggess, purchased the house in 1990 and together with owner Lorna Jorda, undertook third floor deck and interior alterations in that year. This structure is significant as a classic “Seattle box” built in the early years of Wallingford’s first building boom. Although renovated, the present appearance of the house is very close to that of the structure when surveyed by the Assessor in 1937.The first decade of the twentieth century saw the construction of many fine eclectically styled houses of this type, known outside the Seattle area as the American foursquare. Folke Nyberg and Victor Steinbrueck, identified this building as a structure of significance to the Wallingford community in "Wallingford: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources."
This is a 2-1/2 story, clapboard clad frame residence on a concrete foundation over a full basement. The concrete foundation is scored to resemble block or stone. The basic boxlike form, hipped roof, and second floor corner bays at the front (in this case east) elevation identify the building as an elaboration of the American foursquare house type known locally as the classic box or “Seattle box.” The extended overhang and the extensive use of decorative bracketing at the underside of the enclosed soffits are suggestive of Italianate design; however the wide double hung windows with their straightforward casings are quite unlike the tall, narrow windows with arched or curved heads and elaborated crowns typically associated with Italianate work. Massive built-up wood piers with elaborated capitals and decorative corbels bear on a solid, clapboard clad guard rail at the front porch, imparting a craftsman character to the façade, while the horizontal trim bands wrapping the house and the hipped roof standing just outside the classical second floor balcony rail are suggestive of the prairie style. The porch cover and associated upper level deck run across the entire front of the house. The deck and the second floor door that opens onto it appear to be original features. The piers supporting the porch roof divide the porch into two large structural bays. The entry stairs ascend to the porch through a gap in the porch rail at the northernmost bay. An entry door, flanked by sidelights, is placed on axis with the stairs. To the south of the entry, a large, double-hung window lights the front room of the structure. Its upper sash appears to feature leaded and beveled glass in non-rectilinear pattern and is smaller than the lower sash. Bevel glass also characterizes the sidelights flanking the entry door. At the upper level, large double hung windows are centered in the faces of each of the two corner bays. The smaller upper sash of each unit at the northeast corner of the house is divided by metal muntins into twenty-seven square lights arranged in a in a 3 x 9 pattern. The nearly identical windows at the southeast corner appear to have had their upper sash replaced by undivided sash. The north elevation faces onto N. 43rd Street and is dominated by a large hip roofed bay that appears to be supported at its base by three large brackets. The base itself is delineated by the water table that wraps the house at the top of the foundation. Four double-hung windows are ganged and centered in the face of the bay. The upper sash of each of these units is smaller than the lower sash; both sash are undivided. The water table is not the only horizontal molding assembly. Another trim band wraps that house at the base of the corner window bays. This band functions at a frieze at the hip roofed main level bay and at the front porch. A third band at the top of the walls doubles as a frieze for the main roof. A garage door allows vehicle access to the basement at the east end of the north elevation. The door itself appears to have been replaced. Old window openings in the concrete to either size of the garage door have been closed off with framed elements. To the west are three basement windows, each divided into four lights. There are nine additional, pragmatically placed windows in the north elevation (three east of the bay, two above the bay and four to the west); they vary in size and configuration. A back door is located at the west end of the façade at the half level between the basement and the first floor. This door appears to be at the base of a two-story, flat roofed addition to the northern half of the west elevation. Only the upper floor of the addition’s west façade is visible from the street. It features three groups of two double-hung windows organized in a symmetrical pattern. The upper sash of each of the windows in the two outside pairs is divided into three vertical lights; the corresponding sash of the two interior units is divided into five vertical lights. The façade south of the addition is not visible. Landscaping also makes it impossible to see the west end of the south elevation. There appears to be a hip roofed bay near the middle of the façade. A large fixed window is located east of this bay at the main level. West of the corner bay at the front end of the upper level above are a small fixed window and at least three separate double-hung units. Three casements that appear to be relatively new are ganged together and centered in the east facing, hip roofed dormer in the middle of the roof. Similar dormers with similar windows open to the north and west. At the south-facing slope of the roof, a roof deck is situated in the area where one might expect to find a fourth, south-facing dormer. It is not clear if this deck was an original feature of the design or a recent addition. The roof is partially obscured by vegetations and is difficult to see from the street. Minor stair modifications have been made at the front entry. No other significant modifications are apparent.

Detail for 4233 Meridian AVE / Parcel ID 4083300955 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): 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 & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: 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.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.

Photo collection for 4233 Meridian AVE / Parcel ID 4083300955 / Inv #

Photo taken Oct 01, 2004
App v2.0.1.0