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Summary for 952 NW Carkeek Park RD NW / Parcel ID 2526039009 / Inv # DPR012

Historic Name: Carkeek Park Residence Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Broadview-Bitter Lake-Haller Lake
Built By: Year Built: 1955
This modern one-story wood frame residence was constructed in 1953-55 as a caretaker’s residence for Carkeek Park in the far northwest corner of Seattle. The original Carkeek Park had been located on Lake Washington’s Pontiac Bay on the north side of the Sand Point peninsula. In 1918, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan J. Carkeek had donated the 23-acre park as an overnight camp facility. In 1889, Carkeek, a prominent builder and contractor, had established a brick and tile mill on the Pontiac Bay site, which remained in almost continuous operation until its closure in 1914. In 1926, the Federal government acquired the entire Sand Point peninsula as the site for a Naval Air Station. As the original donor of the park property, Mr. Carkeek offered to give his sale proceeds of $25,000 towards the purchase of another park site. Neighborhood groups in the north end petitioned the City Council for the acquisition of Piper’s Canyon, then located outside the city limits and accessible only by a dusty county road. Once inside the property, the road continued along the winding ravine until it terminated at the site of a former sawmill on the beach after crossing the Great Northern railroad tracks. While the Park Board was vigorously opposed this site due to its distant location and difficult topography, the City Council proceeded and acquired Piper’s Canyon in 1928. Led by the Greenwood-Phinney Commercial Club, the new Carkeek Park was dedicated the following year on August 24, 1929, however no permanent improvements were made until the early 1930s. The work crews of several federal relief programs, including the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, built trails and a stove shelter. Carkeek Park remained largely undeveloped until a sewage treatment plant was established in the park in 1949. Four years later, the Parks Department decided to use bond funds issued in 1948 to develop and pave a loop road, and to construct a caretaker's residence and service building at the entrance, a picnic area with a second stove shelter, and a footbridge over the railroad tracks. By this time, Seattle was finalizing plans to annex all of the territory north of the city to 145th Street. Seattle had annexed the independent City of Ballard in 1907, but the area north of NW 85th Street remained part of unincorporated King County until 1954. In the intervening forty years, the city’s population had shifted further to the north, pushing into the unincorporated areas. In 1954, architect Robert H. Ross prepared plans for a large caretaker’s residence with a separate service building. However, budget restraints forced the abandonment of these ambitious plans, and the architecture firm of Durham, Anderson & Freed was hired to prepare revised plans for a more modest residence. The Parks Department also decided to build a smaller service building using their own plans. After a ten-year partnership with noted Seattle architect Bertram Dudley Stuart from 1941 to 1951, Robert Durham had practiced on his own for a brief period before joining with David R. Anderson and Aaron Freed to form their firm. Best known for the design of churches, for which they received considerable local and national attention, the partnership’s projects also included schools, banks, residences, and master plans. They also designed public buildings, such as the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library in 1961 and Fire Station No. 5 in 1963. Designed with Northwest Regional stylistic features, this modest residence is significant for its design and for its association with the development of Carkeek Park.
Completed in 1955, this one-story wood frame dwelling occupies the eastern end of a service area just inside the entrance to Carkeek Park. A shop building is located across a grassy lawn to the west. A more recent building across the road houses the Carkeek Park Environmental Education Center. This Modern residence faces north and displays many typical Ranch-style design features. The side gable building has a rectangular plan, which measures 38 feet by 23 feet. The low-pitch gable roof has exposed rafters on the north and south elevations and overhangs the exterior walls clad with vertical board siding. The principal north elevation has a small window opening adjoining the center entrance door and a large window opening at the western end. Originally, an additional small window opening flanked the center entrance on the west. The openings contain aluminum sash windows with sliders. The west elevation presents a blank wall while the east elevation has a full-height window wall at the center with large panes of glass separated by wide wood mullions. The rear south elevation has a large window opening at the western end with aluminum sliders. A full-height window wall covers the eastern end of the elevation and contains a single entrance door. A large low brick chimney pierces the center of the southern slope of the gable roof where a fireplace is located. This modest building retains good physical integrity despite the window alterations.

Detail for 952 NW Carkeek Park RD NW / Parcel ID 2526039009 / Inv # DPR012

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Vertical - Boards Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Other
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Conservation
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
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.
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
HistoryLink Website (

Photo collection for 952 NW Carkeek Park RD NW / Parcel ID 2526039009 / Inv # DPR012

Photo taken Nov 01, 2000
App v2.0.1.0