Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 5216 13th AVE / Parcel ID 7925100345 / Inv #

Historic Name: Helber/Snyder House Common Name: Helber/Snyder House
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Beacon Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1902
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Helber/Snyder House was constructed about 1902. John Helber, a dairyman, moved to Seattle in 1901. Seattle directories list him living in Georgetown in 1903 and 1904, which was the nearest town to the house. John Helber and family do not list in the 1905 directory so they apparently left the greater Seattle area at that time. In early March 1906, Elizabeth Helber,apparently John Helber's wife, sold the house to John Snyder. Soon after arriving in Seattle, John Snyder (ca 1861-ca 1919) and his recent bride Martha bought the house and moved in. The couple had two sons from previous marriages, four year old Randall and seven year old Arthur. John earned income as a farmer, working odd jobs, and renting out rooms in the house. In 1910, one of the renters was 18 year old teamster Raymond Broom. A year after John Snyder's 1918 death, widow Martha moved from the house but continued to rent the house through the 1930s. By 1930, four year old Seattle residents, Lester and Ruth Byrd, moved into the Helber/Snyder House, for a residency that would last over 40 years. Lester worked as a laundryman through most of the 1930s. Five Byrd sons, Arthur, Floyd, Wilbur, John, and Robert, also lived in the house. Arthur, the eldest, and his recent bride Vivian, lived in the house from 1933 until 1935 before moving. Towards the end of 1930, E. A. Pierce and Company, a brokerage firm for the New York Stock Exchange, hired Floyd. Within a year, Floyd became unemployed after the New York Stock Exchange crashed. Wilbur lived in the house and worked in the grocery business until the Second World War. During WWII,Floyd and John served in the Army. Robert contributed to the war effort by building Boeing airplanes. After the war John, Floyd, and Robert opened Bryd's Green Grocer, a produce store in the University District. During the late 1940s, John and Robert married and left the house and by the early 1950s Floyd moved away. After the 1957 death of her husband, Ruth Byrd continued to live in the house until about 1970. The King County Assessor Property Record Record card states the house was constructed in 1902. The available evidence, although incomplete, tends to support this date. John Helber, a dairyman, moved to the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle in 1901. Between the summer of 1902 and early 1903, Helber lived at or near Georgetown, the nearest town to the lot. This is probably when he purchased seven adjoining lots in the Spragues subdivision and hired the house built. The King County Assessment Rolls state that the house was built between 1900 and 1905. The Heber/Snyder House appears to meet City of Seattle Landmark criteria due to the age of the structure (over 100 years old) and minimal alterations.
The Helber/Snyder House is a vernacular style. The east elevation of the house has a two story porch with a gable roof. West elevation is a glass enclosed single story porch. Clapboard cladding. This intact house is sited on a corner lot.

Detail for 5216 13th AVE / Parcel ID 7925100345 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Post & Pier
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: 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 5216 13th AVE / Parcel ID 7925100345 / Inv #

Photo taken Jun 05, 2005
App v2.0.1.0