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Summary for 5004 17TH AVE / Parcel ID 8823901210 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Kappa Sigma Fraternity Common Name: 17th Avenue House
Style: Arts & Crafts, Tudor Neighborhood: University
Built By: Year Built: 1914
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This building was constructed in 1914 and remodeled to serve as the Kappa Sigma fraternity house in 1926. Minor alterations were made in the 1940s and in the 1980s. In the 1950s, this was the Acacia Fraternity. The building occupies a prominent site at the corner of 17th Avenue NE and NE 50th Street. It is noteworthy for its unusual English Arts & Crafts style design, including castle-like elements, by Seattle architect Charles Haynes. Kappa Sigma is one of the oldest fraternities at the University of Washington, and the University of Washington chapter was founded in 1903. In 1909 Kappa Sigma moved from Brooklyn and NE 46th Street to 18th Avenue north of 50th Street. They moved to this building in 1925 or 1926. Kappa Sigma remained in this location until the 1940s, when it became the home of the Acacia Fraternity. Acacia Fraternity remained here until at least he late 1960s. This was the location of Varsity house in the late 1970s and Sigma Pi Fraternity in the 1980s. Architect Charles Haynes established a Seattle office in 1907 and worked in partnership with several other architects over the years. He designed Butterworth Mortuary in Seattle and many revival style houses, apartment houses and commercial projects in Seattle and Aberdeen. He died in Seattle in 1940.

Based on field work conducted in October 2014, this historic property retains its relationship to the streetscape, historic building form and a sufficient amount of exterior historic building fabric (design features, cladding and/or window sash/openings) to contribute to the distinct character of the University Park neighborhood.

This unusual brick and stucco and half-timbered fraternity house has an English Arts & Crafts style, as well as Tudor Revival elements. It is noteworthy for its castle-like elements, including its form and towers with crenellations. The most significant alterations include the enclosure of the front porch and a substantial rear addition. Other distinctive features include the use of clinker brick, particularly at the basement level and on the chimneys. The building has leaded glass windows, including an ornate stained glass window next to the front door. The building has an attractive mahogany fireplace. There are some new windows on the south and east elevations. The three-story tower-like addition on the east elevation detracts from the building's architectural integrity.

Detail for 5004 17TH AVE / Parcel ID 8823901210 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Institutional Housing Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Social Movements & Organizations
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.

Photo collection for 5004 17TH AVE / Parcel ID 8823901210 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 08, 2002

Photo taken Oct 01, 2014

Photo taken Oct 01, 2014
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