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Summary for 4470 35th AVE / Parcel ID 1324039013 / Inv # DPR101

Historic Name: West Seattle Golf Course Clubhouse Common Name:
Style: Colonial, Colonial - Colonial Revival Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1942
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
Designed by architects Young & Richardson, this rambling wood frame structure was originally constructed in 1941-42 to serve as a clubhouse for the West Seattle Golf Course and a community hall for neighborhood residents. The city had acquired the site for the golf course in 1935 from the Puget Mill Company, which had owned the land for more than half a century. After its establishment in 1853, the Puget Mill Company had constructed four major sawmills by 1880 and had acquired over 100,000 acres of timberland in the Puget Sound area, including much of West Seattle. West Seattle first gained fame as the landing point of the Denny Party in 1851, however residential and commercial development was slow to come to the area due to its topography and geographic isolation. This problem was partially solved with the establishment of ferry service from Seattle to the east shore of Duwamish Head in 1888. A trolley car line built on trestles replaced the ferry in 1902, and connected with several streetcar lines, which eventually extended service throughout West Seattle. With improved access, West Seattle developed rapidly and was eventually annexed in 1907. However, the Puget Mill Company continued to retain ownership of this large parcel well after the surrounding areas were platted into homesites. In the summer of 1930, the West Seattle Commercial Club petitioned the City Council for a new municipal golf course in West Seattle, together with an offer of a site at 26th Avenue SW and SW Roxbury Street. Two months earlier, a second municipal golf course had opened for play beyond the northern limits of the city. Jackson Park Golf course opened on May 12, 1930 exactly fifteen years to the day after the first municipal golf course had opened at Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill. Residents of the north end had petitioned the Parks Board to develop a second facility due to the increasing popularity of the game. By the mid-1920s, there were twelve private golf courses in King County but only the one public course at Jefferson Park. The Parks Board initially rejected the idea of a third municipal course, partly due to the opposition from private golf clubs, which were beginning to experience financial difficulties due to the Depression. By 1935, all disputes had been resolved, and the City Council had appropriated $44,100 from the general fund to buy 207 acres from the Puget Mill Company. Conditions on the deed required that the city procure the assistance of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to develop a municipal golf course. Created in 1935, the WPA consolidated and superseded several earlier programs, including the Civil Works Administration (CWA) and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), both of which were established in 1933. In its first six years of existence, the WPA allocated 78% of available funds for projects involved with public works, construction and conservation of natural resources. The remaining 22% of the funds were used for a wide range of community services, including education, recreation and the arts. This was one of the largest projects completed by the WPA for the Parks Department, comprising approximately one-third of the $1.1 million allotted. In October of 1935, H. Chandler Egan of Pebble Beach, California was hired to design the course, a year before he died. The plan developed by January 1936 called for an 18-hole golf course in the level valley area and a recreation area on the wooded slope west of the fairways. This area would feature field archery, horseshoes, softball fields, tennis courts, roller hockey, a pistol range, fish ponds, a swimming pool and field house, a 3,500-seat covered grandstand on each side of a football field, a track, and a parking lot for cars. This overly ambitious scheme was well beyond the amount budgeted for golf purposes. However, WPA workers began clearing and grading land for the recreation area once they were done with the fairways. By this time, Parks Board Commissioner Archie Phelps had envisioned a different use for the wooded slope in its natural condition. He thought it would make an excellent camp for the Boy Scouts of West Seattle. Phelps stopped the development of the recreation area and enlisted the support of Superior Court Judge William G. Long in realizing this vision. In 1937, the Parks Board authorized a change in the name to the "West Seattle Golf Course and Recreation Area," and Clark Schurman, a chief guide at Mt. Rainier and Scoutmaster, was chosen to design the camp, including construction of a climbing rock. The planned stadium was relocated to the northwest corner of the site, where a garbage dump was located. The West Seattle Golf Course was officially dedicated on May 16, 1940, and was opened to the public two days later. A maintenance, shop and storage building had been constructed, however no clubhouse had been built because it had not been initially funded. Also, the WPA could not accept additional projects. Eventually, the Parks Board hired the architecture firm of Young & Richardson to design the building and accepted donations totaling $5,500 from 21 civic and community clubs. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the combination clubhouse and community hall took place in November 1941, and the building was completed the following year. Since its completion, there have been several additions and alterations, resulting in its current configuration. The architecture firm of Young, & Richardson was a successor firm to the Schack, Young and Myers partnership (1920-1929), one of Seattle’s most successful design firms of the 1920s. After David J. Myers departure in 1929, James H. Schack and Arrigo M. Young continued the practice until Schack’s untimely death in 1933. Originally educated as a structural engineer, Young later obtained an architectural license and practiced architecture and engineering independently before forming a partnership with Stephen H. Richardson in 1941. At the time of Young’s death in 1954, it was known as Young, Richardson, Carleton and Detlie and later as The Richardson Associates, and then simply TRA. This project was one of the first commissions for the new firm, which later designed several other buildings for the city, including the 1948-49 Administration Building for the Parks Department and the 1956-58 North Service Center for City Light. With its restrained Colonial Revival stylistic features, this building is significant for its design and for its associations with the Works Progress Administration and the development of the West Seattle Golf Course.
 
Appearance
Initially completed in 1942, this rambling one-story building occupies a site along the northwest margin of the West Seattle Golf Course. Three major phases of construction created the current wood frame structure. Originally, the side gable building had an irregular but roughly L-shaped footprint, comprising the western two thirds of the present structure. The western half of the building contained a large auditorium while the eastern half contained a lobby and pro shop and featured a locker room wing on the north elevation and a kitchen and restaurant wing on the south elevation. In the early 1960s, a side gable addition with an irregular plan was constructed at an angle off the east elevation in order to house a larger men’s locker room. Subsequently, this addition was enlarged with the construction of another gabled wing off the northern end of the west elevation. The interior has been reconfigured substantially as a result of these and later additions and alterations. Horizontal cedar siding clads all elevations of the building and helps to unite the disparate elements. The higher side gable roof over the large auditorium contrasts with the lower side gable roofs of the adjoining sections. On the north elevation facing the parking lot, the auditorium has wood panels outlined with decorative trim lining the upper wall above and between four large multi-paned windows. The south elevation facing the golf course has an identical window configuration embellished with the same decorative treatment. The lower wing at the western end of the building has french doors centered on the north elevation and a large multi-paned window centered on the south elevation. The west elevation of the wing presents a blank wall. The lower section adjoining the eastern end of the auditorium contains the main entrance to the clubhouse within a recessed area on the north elevation. This elevation also features a multi-paned bay window on the wall west of the entrance. On the south elevation of this section, the side gable roof extends over the kitchen and restaurant wing. Situated at the western end of the wing, the kitchen has an entrance door on the west elevation and a single multi-paned window set high on the wall on the south elevation. The restaurant at the eastern end also has an entrance door on the projecting west elevation and a band of large plate glass windows lining the south elevation. The adjoining section to the east has an L-plan with a side gable wing on axis with the rest of the building and a gable front wing set perpendicular. A small wooden cupola straddles the roof ridges at the juncture of the two wings. The south elevation of this section has a long recessed area with a center entrance between a glassed in porch covering the western half and a band of full-height windows covering the eastern half. The gable front wing projects from the western half of the north elevation and has a narrower section at the northern end, creating an L-shaped footprint. The west elevation of the wider southern end of the wing has a band of three multi-paned windows. Identical bands wrap the northwest corner of the narrower northern end. The east elevation of the wing has a row of small windows along the upper wall below the roofline. Identical windows line the north elevation of this section beyond the gable front wing and continue across the angled west elevation of the adjacent side gable addition. The east elevation of the addition also features these windows as well as a vehicle entrance to a garage at the northern end. The north elevation of the addition’s gabled wing has a single door entrance adjacent to a garage door set within a recessed area at the western end. Despite the numerous additions and alterations, most of the original windows remain extant, and the building retains fairly good physical integrity.

Detail for 4470 35th AVE / Parcel ID 1324039013 / Inv # DPR101

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard, Plywood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Other Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation, Social Movements & Organizations, Other
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
Seattle Department of Parks. Annual report/Department of Parks. Seattle, WA: 1909-1955.

Photo collection for 4470 35th AVE / Parcel ID 1324039013 / Inv # DPR101


Photo taken Nov 13, 2000

Photo taken Nov 13, 2000

Photo taken Nov 13, 2000

Photo taken Nov 13, 2000
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