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Summary for 311 NE 53rd ST NE / Parcel ID 9550203870 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts - Prairie Style Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1921
This house was built for Ray L. Wentworth (1722 N. 46th Street) in 1921, probably by P. E. Wentworth, to whom the approved plans were released by Seattle’s building department. Although the name of the architect is not indicated on the permit application, the project’s association with merchant builder P. E. Wentworth suggests that his firm may have been responsible for the design. A separate permit was issued for construction of a detached garage at the site just a few weeks before the house was finished; work on the garage was completed in late 1921. The building is well maintained and essentially unchanged from its original appearance. It is significant as an intact example of bungalow design incorporating Prairie style elements. Its association with one of several prolific local merchant builders whose work helped define the character of the neighborhood is another significant factor in the structure’s history.
This is a one story, wood clad frame residence built on a concrete foundation over a 1/2 basement. The rectangular plan is capped by a hipped, low-slope, overhanging roof with enclosed soffits. This is the feature of the house most strongly associated with the prairie style. The strong horizontal emphasis established by the continuous line of the fascia and gutter at the edge of the roof is echoed by a simple frieze board that wraps the house just below the overhang, and by a drip mould that wraps the building at the waist of the main floor level. The head casings of the main floor windows abut the bottom edge of the frieze, and the sills of the windows coincide with the drip mould. The porch railing caps appear to be integrated with this important trim piece well. In fact, the waistband coordinates several details of the façade while separating the shingle siding in the upper portion of the wall from the clapboard siding below. The three-unit window assembly at the street (north) elevation features a nearly square double-hung window flanked by two rectangular units of equal height. Each unit has a small divided upper sash over a larger undivided lower sash. Individual windows of similar configuration are located either side of the chimney at the north end of the east elevation, and a group of four are ganged together further to the south. Because all of the double-hung windows at the main level are coordinated with the frieze and drip mould, they take on the character of banded windows, an approach to fenestration that is closely associated with the prairie style. The entry porch is inset at the north west corner of the house but its roof and deck extend beyond the front (north) elevation toward the street. The porch roof is supported by two, square, shingle-clad piers that appear to bear on the solid porch rail. The chimney is located at the east side elevation where it penetrates the eave. It appears to have been reduced in height at some point since 1937 and two meal stovepipes now extend a few feet skyward form the top of the remaining masonry. Wood steps at the entry appear to have been replaced; metal handrails have been added there as well.

Detail for 311 NE 53rd ST NE / Parcel ID 9550203870 / Inv #

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

Photo collection for 311 NE 53rd ST NE / Parcel ID 9550203870 / Inv #

Photo taken Sep 24, 2004
App v2.0.1.0