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Summary for 5200 35th AVE / Parcel ID 2424039007 / Inv # DPR011

Historic Name: Camp Long Office/Clubhouse Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts - Rustic Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1941
 
Significance
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.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) completed this architecturally distinctive cobblestone clubhouse in 1941 to serve the recreation area at Camp Long. Camp Long was developed by the WPA in conjunction with the West Seattle Golf Course and the West Seattle Stadium. The city had acquired the site for the golf course in 1935 from the Puget Mill Company, which had owned the land for more than half a century. After its establishment in 1853, the Puget Mill Company had constructed four major sawmills by 1880 and had acquired over 100,000 acres of timberland in the Puget Sound area, including much of West Seattle. West Seattle first gained fame as the landing point of the Denny Party in 1851, however residential and commercial development was slow to come to the area due to its topography and geographic isolation. This problem was partially solved with the establishment of ferry service from Seattle to the east shore of Duwamish Head in 1888. A trolley car line built on trestles replaced the ferry in 1902, and connected with several streetcar lines, which eventually extended service throughout West Seattle. With improved access, West Seattle developed rapidly and was eventually annexed in 1907. However, the Puget Mill Company continued to retain ownership of this large parcel well after the surrounding areas were platted into homesites. In the summer of 1930, the West Seattle Commercial Club petitioned the City Council for a new municipal golf course in West Seattle, together with an offer of a site at 26th Avenue SW and SW Roxbury Street. Two months earlier, a second municipal golf course had opened for play beyond the northern limits of the city. Jackson Park Golf course opened on May 12, 1930 exactly fifteen years to the day after the first municipal golf course had opened at Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill. Residents of the north end had petitioned the Parks Board to develop a second facility due to the increasing popularity of the game. By the mid-1920s, there were twelve private golf courses in King County but only the one public course at Jefferson Park. The Parks Board initially rejected the idea of a third municipal course, partly due to the opposition from private golf clubs, which were beginning to experience financial difficulties as a result of the Depression. By 1935, all disputes had been resolved, and the City Council had appropriated $44,100 from the general fund to buy 207 acres from the Puget Mill Company. Conditions on the deed required that the city procure the assistance of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to develop a municipal golf course. Created in 1935, the WPA consolidated and superseded several earlier programs, including the Civil Works Administration (CWA) and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), both of which were established in 1933. In its first six years of existence, the WPA allocated 78% of available funds for projects involved with public works, construction and conservation of natural resources. The remaining 22% of the funds were used for a wide range of community services, including education, recreation and the arts. This was one of the largest projects completed by the WPA for the Parks Department, comprising approximately one-third of the $1.1 million allotted. In October of 1935, H. Chandler Egan of Pebble Beach, California was hired to design the course, a year before he died. The plan developed by January 1936 called for an 18-hole golf course in the level valley area and a recreation area on the wooded slope west of the fairways. This area would feature field archery, horseshoes, softball fields, tennis courts, roller hockey, a pistol range, fish ponds, a swimming pool and field house, a 3,500-seat covered grandstand on each side of a football field, a track, and a parking lot for cars. This overly ambitious scheme was well beyond the amount budgeted for golf purposes. However, WPA workers began clearing and grading land for the recreation area once they were done with the fairways. By this time, Parks Board Commissioner Archie Phelps had envisioned a different use for the wooded slope in its natural condition. He thought it would make an excellent camp for the Boy Scouts of West Seattle. Phelps stopped the development of the recreation area and enlisted the support of Superior Court Judge William G. Long in realizing this vision. In 1937, the Parks Board authorized a change in the name to the "West Seattle Golf Course and Recreation Area," and Clark Schurman, a chief guide at Mt. Rainier and Scoutmaster, was chosen to design the camp, including construction of a climbing rock. Initially, there were efforts to include the athletic field facilities as part of the development of Camp Long, however Mr. Schurman and Judge Long successfully opposed these efforts. The planned stadium was then relocated to the northwest corner of the site, where a garbage dump was located. With the assistance of Recreation Director Ben Evans, Clark Schurman designed the 68-acre site for camping and climbing. Prominent landscape features included eight trails through the wooded slope, Polliwog Lake, a play field for camper games, and a large campfire site. The centerpiece of the site was Monitor Rock, a climbing rock designed to incorporate every mountaineering problem a rock climber could encounter. The climbing rock was located on a hilltop with an unobstructed view of Mt. Rainier. Once a young climber mastered the problems of the rock, the ultimate goal, the summit of Mt. Rainier, would be visible from the rock’s crest. A simulated glacier and a rock fall were also constructed near the climbing rock as part of the total mountaineering experience. In 1955, the climbing rock was renamed Schurman Rock in memory of Clark Schurman, who died that year. In addition to designing Camp Long, Clark Schurman also served as the first camp director from 1942 to 1950. Work on clearing the trails and grading the cabin sites was well under way in 1937. The following year, most of the landscape features, including Monitor Rock, had been completed, and ten cabins were constructed on either side of the playfield at the center. Schurman apparently designed the small buildings to resemble the log cabins of the early Euro-American settlers. By 1940, most of the remaining features were completed, and by 1941, the headhouse or clubhouse was finished. Built with classic WPA stylistic detailing, this architecturally distinctive building was constructed with cobblestones salvaged from the repaving of Madison Street. The WPA also used cobblestones to construct a small comfort station at Atlantic City/Beer Sheva Park the previous year. The building’s intricate stonework is representative of the craftsmanship, which was a hallmark of WPA construction. A house at the Seward Park Fish Hatchery is the only other Seattle area project, which features this high level of craftsmanship. Camp Long was officially dedicated in November 1941 with Eleanor Roosevelt in attendance with her daughter, Mrs. Anna R. Boettiger, a resident of Seattle. Since its construction, sympathetic additions and alterations have been made to the building. With its distinctive stonework, the clubhouse is significant for its design and for its associations with the Works Progress Administration and with the development of Camp Long.
 
Appearance
Completed in 1941, this cobblestone building occupies a prominently situated site along the western margin of Camp Long near the entrance at the end of SW Dawson Street east of 35th Avenue SW. Cobblestone columns frame the wide vehicular entrance and support the elaborate wrought iron gates. The 68-acre site also contains ten small cabins lining the gently sloping sides of the shallow valley, which runs through the center. In contrast to the wooded slopes, the valley floor contains an open grassy meadow with a small man-made lake or pond at the northern end and a large campfire site at the southern end. Another major feature of the site is the Schurman Climbing Rock and the simulated glacier and a rock fall on the eastern side of the valley. Set into the hillside, the 1½-story stone masonry structure has a lower level, which opens onto a wide concrete patio at the rear. The side gable main block has a large shed roof wing on the rear east elevation, a smaller flat roof wing on the north elevation, and a gable roof wing on the south elevation, creating an irregular but roughly L-shaped footprint. Typical of the WPA/Rustic Style, the overhanging eaves have exposed rafters with decorative sawn ends, and the north and south elevations of the main block have large stone chimneys at the center. Heavy beams serve as lintels above all window and door openings, and all of the window openings have stone sills. On the principal west elevation, a wide cross gable covers the southern half and contains a recessed center entrance under a shallow shed roof. Sidelights frame the wide door centered below a large window opening within the gable end at the upper story level. The opening contains three multi-paned casement windows separated by wide wood mullions. Vertical boards set in two layers with scalloped lower edges cover the upper portion of the gable end above the window opening. Decorative-cut bargeboards also cover the overhanging rakes of the gable ends. All of the other gable ends feature these same embellishments. Three large window openings line the ground floor level of the west elevation north of the center entrance. Vertical boards fill the upper and lower portions of the openings, containing three tall narrow multi-paned casement windows below a multi-paned transom. At the southern end of the elevation, three small single casement windows light an interior stairwell. On the southern end wall of the main block, the chimney at the center is partially covered by the one-story gabled wing aligned along the west elevation. East of the chimney, the south elevation contains a pair of casement windows at the lower, main, and upper floor levels. The sizes of the windows vary between floors. The south elevation of the wing has a band of three multi-paned windows at the center of the first story. The east elevation of the lower level has an opening with two small casement windows. On the northern end wall of the main block, the large window openings flanking the center chimney have multi-paned transoms above multi-paned casement widows. Aligned along the east elevation, the one-story flat roof addition extends from the lower floor level of the north elevation and serves as a patio for the main upper floor level. The north elevation of the wing has a solid wood door embellished with a diamond window and incised patterned lines. A horizontal opening on the east elevation contains a pair of multi-paned casement windows. Stairs lead down the side of the wing and continue down the hillside. On the rear east elevation, the shed roof wing covers the northern two thirds. A band of multi-paned casement windows in a single large opening lines the main upper floor level of the east elevation of the wing. Vertical boards with scalloped lower edges fill the upper wall above the windows and below the roofline. The lower level has three large evenly spaced openings, each with three multi-paned casement windows. The north elevation of the wing has an entrance, which opens onto the rooftop patio. This entrance has a multi-paned transom over the multi-paned door and sidelights. The south elevation of the wing has a large opening with a multi-paned transom over three multi-paned casement windows at the upper floor level above a smaller opening with a pair of casement windows at the lower level. A narrower cross gable projects over the southern third of the east elevation and contains a large opening with three multi-paned casement windows. The main floor level has a similar window configuration at the southern end and a smaller pair of casement windows at the northern end. The lower level has double wood doors embellished with small diamond windows and incised patterned lines within an opening at the northern end adjacent to a pair of casement windows at the southern end. Well maintained, this architecturally distinctive building retains excellent physical integrity.

Detail for 5200 35th AVE / Parcel ID 2424039007 / Inv # DPR011

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stucco, Vertical - Boards Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Recreation and Culture - Auditorium Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Stone - Cut No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation, Other
Integrity
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
Camp Long Historical Information Brochure.

Photo collection for 5200 35th AVE / Parcel ID 2424039007 / Inv # DPR011


Photo taken Nov 17, 2000

Photo taken Nov 17, 2000
App v2.0.1.0