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Summary for 2815 MOUNT RAINIER DR / Parcel ID 5700002390 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name: Mt. Baker Clubhouse
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman Neighborhood: Mount Baker
Built By: Year Built: 1914
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The local residents and the developers of the Mount Baker Park Addition organized the Mount Baker Park Improvement Club in 1909. Since the construction of The Mount Baker Clubhouse in 1914, the building has been significant as the home of the Mount Baker Park Improvement Club and its successor, the Mount Baker Community Club. One of the club’s initial objectives was to build, own and operate a community clubhouse. Initially the club used the second floor of the commercial building at the southwest corner of Mt. Baker Boulevard and Mt. Rainier Drive. The current clubhouse building, designed by Mt. Baker resident and architect Charles C. Dose, was constructed in 1914 on land donated by the Hunter Tract Improvement Company. Funding for the building was provided by both the Hunter Tract Improvement Company ($6,500) and the Improvement Club ($3000). Although Ellsworth Storey proposed plans for a building, and the club hired architects Haynes and Catin to prepare preliminary plans, Charles C. Dose is responsible for the final design. (Rash interview, 4/25/03) The builder was Hamilton & Friend. This Craftsman style building blends well with the overall residential character of Mount Baker Park. In March 1992, the clubhouse suffered an arson fire that caused $600,000 worth of damage. (Seattle Times, 3/31/1992) It was subsequently renovated based on designs by Kovalenko Architects in association with Kubota-Kato, Inc. and it reopened in January 1993. Some of the improvements included an elevator, restroom improvements, a new kitchen downstairs, and interior changes to the upstairs office and meeting room. The exterior remains substantially intact. The club’s original purposes were to promote the physical development of Mount Baker Park in its entirety, encourage homeowners to develop and improve their properties, and to organize and aid neighborhood clubs to benefit the community. Among the club’s concerns were lighting, schools, police protection, beautification and social life. By 1914, the club had about 100 members. (Mount Baker Park Improvement Club, 1914, n.p.) The club’s motto was “get together: get busy: boost!” Starting in 1912, the club sponsored an annual rose show. The Mount Baker Community Club is one of the oldest continuously active community clubs in the United States. The Hunter Tract Improvement Company and R.V. and Nellie R. Ankeny filed the plat of the Mount Baker Park Addition in June 1907, and it was recorded by the County on July 15, 1907. The plat covered a seventy-block area, a total of about 200 acres. The Hunter Tract Improvement Company, formed by developer J.C. Hunter in 1905, purchased property formerly owned by David Denny from Daniel Jones, developer. By this time, the Olmsted Brothers had completed their 1903 plan for Seattle’s parks and boulevards system and recommended a “Mount Baker Park” on the proposed parkway along Lake Washington. For the initial layout and planning of the area, the Hunter Tract Improvement Company considered hiring the Olmsted Brothers in 1906, but selected George F. Cotterill of the engineering firm, Cotterill and Whitworth. Cotterill's plan was based on the early bicycle trails he designed, which were also a basis for the Olmsted plan. Landscape architect Edward O. Schwagerl, who served as Seattle’s Parks Superintendent from 1892-1895, was responsible for the landscape design. Another partner in the plat design was the Sawyer Brothers, an engineering firm. The Hunter Tract Improvement Company intended to create an exclusive upper-income community, and deeds of sale contained restrictive covenants relating to minimum setbacks and the value of structures on the lots. (No house costing less than $2,000 to $5,000 per lot, depending on location, was permitted in the subdivision.) The Mount Baker Park subdivision was restricted to single family residences only, except for a single commercial building at Thirty-Fifth Avenue South and South McClellan Street. The Mount Baker plat has a rich array of residential buildings, which include many Craftsman style houses and a variety of eclectic styles. A substantial number of the houses are designs by Seattle’s most prominent architects of their time, including Ellsworth Storey, Bebb & Mendel, Saunders & Lawton, Graham & Myers, Charles Haynes, Andrew Willatzen, Arthur Loveless, and Edwin Ivey. Charles Haynes was the corporate architect for the Hunter Improvement Company and designed many of the early houses in the subdivision. The area also includes many builder-designed Craftsman style houses, several of which were featured in Bungalow Magazine. The majority of the older houses in the neighborhood were built in two general time periods: an early phase from 1905 to about 1915 or 1920, and a second phase from 1920 to 1929. Mount Baker Park was one of the largest planned communities in Seattle at the time of its platting. It was the first subdivision to be incorporated into larger city planning efforts and included in the Olmsted Brothers’ plans for the city’s system of parks and boulevards. Public dedication of Mount Baker Park, the small parks and the boulevards was an important design feature of the Mount Baker Park subdivision. The plat layout reflects a combination of the gridiron street layout that connects with the Seattle street network and curvilinear streets and boulevards that take advantage of the natural topography of the area, including the two main boulevards, Mount Baker Boulevard and Hunter Boulevard. The layout of the north-south streets south of Mount Baker Park, in particular, takes advantage of the views from the ridge that slopes down to the lake. The Mount Baker Park Addition appealed to a wealthy clientele who were attracted to life in an exclusive planned “suburban” community. Many of Seattle’s leading citizens have resided in the area over the years. The residences flanking Mount Baker Boulevard South provide integral character-defining elements to the overall boulevard composition through their purposeful orientation towards the curvilinear boulevard, their general massing, heights, setbacks, dates of construction, and well-preserved set of architectural style variations. The modest-sized building lots are configured as part of the overall boulevard design to create an architectural edge to the linear open space that includes the landscaped median between the divided roadways, the hard surfaced roadways, curbs and sidewalks and the front yards and lawns. The bordering residences and their individual building elements remain largely intact from the 1920’s, conveying the original well-to-do middle class composition of the neighborhood. The Mount Baker neighborhood comprises two north-south tending ridges located southeast of downtown Seattle along Lake Washington. Initial development of the area occurred relatively late, post-1900, following the construction of the Rainier Avenue Electric Street Railway in the 1890s. York Station on Rainier Avenue and the Dose Addition were developed earlier than the Mount Baker Park Addition, platted in 1907 by the Hunter Tract Improvement Company. The Mount Baker Park Addition represents the core of the neighborhood and is its primary character-defining feature. Mount Baker Park is one of Seattle’s earliest planned residential communities that successfully integrated the natural environment and a relatively exclusive residential neighborhood in its layout of lots, streets, boulevards, and parks. The houses, primarily built between 1905 and 1929, reflect a variety of eclectic and Northwest-based architectural styles, and include designs by many prominent local architects. Other important influences were the streetcar connection with downtown Seattle, the integration of local parks and boulevards into the Olmsted system, the construction of Franklin High School in 1912, and the building of the Mount Baker tunnel and Lacey V. Murrow Floating Bridge to Mercer Island in 1940. Today this middle-to-upper income neighborhood remains predominantly residential, is home to an ethnically diverse population, and retains much of its planned character.
 
Appearance
Built in 1914, this substantial Arts and Crafts style neighborhood clubhouse stands on an irregular shaped lot with frontage on both Mount Rainier Drive South and South Mount Baker Boulevard. The main building facade is oriented to Mount Rainier Drive South and the site sloped downward from Mount Rainier Drive South. This approximately 4452 square foot, two-story commercial building features a rectangular plan, measuring approximately 45’ by 101’, with a small front stoop. A poured concrete foundation supports the wood frame, clapboard (first and lower half of upper story) and shingle (remainder of upper story) clad superstructure. A well-defined belt course aligns with the upper meeting rail in the second story triple windows. The trim then continues over the window heads forming a decorative hood molding. Asphalt composition roofing covers the gable front roof. Broad open overhanging eaves with exposed decoratively cut rafters, exposed purlins, bracing, and slightly flared bargeboard ends define the roofline. Wood sash 1:1 double hung first-story, and single-pane, grouped second-story triple windows placed at regular intervals provide day lighting for interior spaces. All windows feature painted wood casings with trim below the nearly flush sills. The rear, more informal, street level entrance off South Mount Baker Boulevard provides regular access for community functions and the day care center. A short flight of stairs leads from Mount Rainier Drive South to the front stoop. A contemporary set of stairs and landings provides access to the secondary first and upper story northeast side entrances. An exterior brick chimney located on the northeast side wall services the building.

Detail for 2815 MOUNT RAINIER DR / Parcel ID 5700002390 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gambrel Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Social - Clubhouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two & ½
Unit Theme(s):
Integrity
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: 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.
City of Seattle. Survey of City-Owned Historic Resources. Prepared by Cathy Wickwire, Seattle, 2001. Forms for Ravenna Park structures.
Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority. "Mount Baker: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources."
Mount Baker Community Club. Flowers We All Love Best in Mount Baker Park, (reprint of 1915 ed.)
Tobin, Caroline. (2004) "Mount Baker Historic Context Statement."
Mount Baker Community Club Scrapbooks (1907 - ). Minutes of Mount Baker Club.
"Clubhouse arises from ashes left by arsonists," Seattle Times, January 23, 1993.
"Mount Baker Center is hit by big blaze," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tuesday, March 31, 1992.
"Mount Baker fire called arson," The Seattle Times, Tuesday, March 31, 1992.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
De Freece, Helen N, “Reminiscences of Early Years in Mount Baker Park,” Seattle Times, August 16, 1959.
Mount Baker: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources. Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority. Consultants: Folke Nyberg, Victor Steinbrueck. 1976.
Mount Baker Park Improvement Club, “Flowers We All Love Best in Mount Baker Park.” Seattle, 1914. Reprinted 1987. Gerrard Beattie and Knapp Realtors.

Photo collection for 2815 MOUNT RAINIER DR / Parcel ID 5700002390 / Inv #


Photo taken Aug 20, 2003

Photo taken

Photo taken Mar 10, 2004

Photo taken Mar 10, 2004
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