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Summary for 4214 Burke AVE / Parcel ID 4083301030 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Colonial, Tudor Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1923
P. E. Wentworth, a merchant builder operating in the North End during the district’s second building boom in years after the First World War, erected this house in 1923. It was designed by registered architect R. C. Stanley and built for owner Larry W. Long, a lawyer who listed his address as 510 New York Building on the permit application. Long appears to have owned the property until about 1940. The detached garage was built about the same time as the house. It is presently located at the northeast corner of the property but appears to have been significantly altered. The house is significant as an intact and well-maintained example of eclectic transitional or mixed styling. Although the design of the building initially appears to be based on colonial models (an approach to housing that enjoyed great popularity in the Seattle’s north end after the First World War), the structure also exhibits organizational strategies more often associate with bungalow design, and massing and roof forms characteristic of Tudor work. The house is also significant because it demonstrates the ability of P. E. Wentworth, a builder who seems more often to have worked from his own designs or from stock plans, to work effectively with a professional designer on a project that appears to have been customized for a particular client.
This is a 1-1/2 story, clapboard clad frame residence on a concrete foundation over a full basement. The attic appears to have been in residential use from the early years of the building’s life. The 45 degree slope of the front gabled roof, the symmetrical organization of the street façade, the centrally located front door, the entry porch with its entablature and Tuscan columns, the moderate roof overhangs, the enclosed soffits at the eaves, and the cornice returns at each of the visible gables are all elements associated with colonial style residences. The clipped gables found at the north and east elevations are more typical of Tudor cottages; they seem to be used in the design of this house to minimize the side gables and emphasize the colonial character of the front-facing gable. The west elevation of this house faces the street. The roof over the centered porch is so shallow that it is not readily apparent if it is configured as a hipped roof or flat roof. The built-up wood entablature that wraps the porch at the base of the roof is supported by a group of three Tuscan columns at each of the two outside corners. Three double-hung windows are ganged together and centered in the gable over the porch. These three units illuminate the street end of the upper half story. The central unit is somewhat wider than the two flanking units, but all three windows feature a small upper sash divided into six equal lights in a 2 x 3 pattern over a larger undivided lower sash. Two larger double-hung units are symmetrically placed either side of the entry at the main level. Each has an upper sash divided into ten lights (2 x 5) over a larger undivided lower sash. A wing extends into the side yard from the north wall of the house. It is located nearer the back end of the structure than the front (its axis is located several feet to the east of the centerline of the main house). The gable at the north elevation of the wing is clipped, an unusual feature in the design of colonial style structures generally, although not at this particular example. A slider type window appears to have replaced a smaller unit that was originally centered in the gable at the upper level (the new window is wider than it is tall and is shifted somewhat off axis to the east). At the main level, a double-hung window, consisting of a small sash with six lights in a 2 x 3 pattern over a larger undivided lower sash, is situated west of center. A much smaller but similarly configured window is located near the wing’s northeast corner. Below the eave at the west side of the wing, two double-hung units are ganged together. Each unit in this group is configured to resemble the windows in the front gable. A group of three similar windows are grouped together in the center of the north wall of the main house to the west of the north wing. The wall of the main house east of the wing cannot be observed from the street; however, there is evidence to suggest that two similar windows are paired and centered in this piece of wall as well A dormer is situated in the north-facing slope of the main roof. Although its west wall appears to align with that of the north wing, the dormer is less than half the width of the wing and, for this reason, appears to cling somewhat precariously to the west-facing slope of the wing’s roof. Like the gable of the main level wing below, the dormer gable is clipped. It appears that a new casement window has replaced the unit originally centered in the face of the dormer. A large chimney, probably serving the living room, rises near the westernmost quarter point of the south elevation. This chimney is centered in a relatively small south-facing gable (the chimney penetrates the overhang just behind two slender fascia boards that come together in a peak at the center the gable). The chimney is flanked either side by a single double-hung window consisting of an upper sash divided into six lights in a 2 x 3 pattern over a larger undivided lower sash. All the windows at the south elevation of the house share this configuration. To the east of this small gable (with its centered chimney and flanking windows) is a much larger clipped gable. Two double-hung windows are paired and centered at the upper level of this gable. A group of three double-hung units are situated off center at the main level where they probably illuminate the dining room; only the westernmost of these three units extends to the west of the centerline of the gable. To the east of this group, two smaller but similarly configured units are placed together with their heads at the same height as the larger group. A multi-part wood horizontal trim band wraps the house a little below main floor level, separating the wood clapboard siding from the stone-faced concrete foundation. It is not clear if this stone facing is an original feature of the design; it is not mentioned in the Assessor’s survey of 1937 and is not apparent in the photograph of the house made at that time The back (east) end of the house cannot be observed from the street. However, there is a unique record of the building’s east elevation. The house was featured as the home of the Henderson family in the movie “Harry and the Hendersons,” released by Universal in 1987. In the movie, it appears that three double-hung windows, similar to the two smaller units at the east end of the south elevation, are ganged together at the main level near the south end of the east facade. To the north, a half glazed door opens onto a main level wood deck. Between the door and the windows at the southeast corner, near the middle of the elevation, two small, undivided double-hung units illuminate what appears to be the kitchen. The upper level of the east-facing gable appears similar to that facing the street. A group of openings, consisting of a fully glazed, fifteen light door flanked by two double-hung windows similar to the larger units at the south elevation, is centered in the gable and opens onto a small upper level deck. The two decks depicted in the film appeared to be relatively recent additions to the house. Decorative shutters have been added to the group of three windows over the porch in the west elevation, and to the group of openings at the upper level of the east elevation. The half-round window that originally surmounted the central unit of the street side window group has been removed. The porch cover at the west elevation once featured a paneled railing, implying the existence of a roof deck over the entry; however, the railing is no longer extant and, even in 1937, the top of the porch cover was only accessible to those willing to climb through one of the street side gable windows. While it is possible that some of the modifications noted -- or implied -- above were undertaken in an attempt to make the building more photogenic for the movie, or to improve its functionality as a stage set, there is no evidence in the official public record to demonstrate that this was the case. As noted above, at least two windows have been replaced at the north elevation. The appearance of these units suggests that they were installed fairly recently; however, it has not been possible to determine precisely when the work was completed. No other significant modifications are apparent.

Detail for 4214 Burke AVE / Parcel ID 4083301030 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable, Gable - Clipped Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Slight
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.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.

Photo collection for 4214 Burke AVE / Parcel ID 4083301030 / Inv #

Photo taken Oct 27, 2004
App v2.0.1.0