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Summary for 3009 S BYRON ST S / Parcel ID 1282300880 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Tudor Neighborhood: North Rainier Valley
Built By: Year Built: 1929
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
Built in 1929, the building was occupied by Harry L. Baller from ca 1938 through 1941, according to Polk directories. By 1949, R. E. Jones lived in the building. Delbert Morgan occupied the residence from 1953 through 1970. The electric trolley line through the North Rainier Valley only existed for 48 years, from 1889 to1937, but it had tremendous impact on the area. The line spurred residential and commercial development in the valley due to easier and more direct access to downtown Seattle. Development radiated from stops along the trolley line. When the trolley tracks were removed in 1937, Rainier Avenue had been designated a state highway (1913) and had already made the transition to an automobile arterial. Banker J.K. Edmiston began construction on the Rainier Avenue Electric Railway in 1889, starting downtown at Washington Street and Alaska Way and following Jackson Street east. The route then headed south, through dense woods, along privately donated right-of-way, which later became Rainier Avenue. By 1891, service began to the tiny settlement of Columbia, approximately four miles south of downtown. Edmiston and partners owned forty acres at what is now Columbia City, which they platted in 1891, and they wished the trolley line to spur development there. The trolley line was a real estate development tool as well as a direct means of communication with the city for the isolated early settlers in the North Rainier Valley. The Rainier Avenue Electric Railway was heavily used for both passengers and freight. By the time the line was completed to Renton in 1896, cars ran every forty-five minutes and were averaging over 144 miles per day. Fares were five cents from Seattle to Columbia and five cents additional from Columbia to Rainier Beach. The trip from Seattle to Rainier Beach was seven miles and took approximately one half hour. Freight was shipped at night, and included lumber from sawmills at Columbia and Rainier Beach and coal shipped from Renton to fuel yards scattered north along the right of way. The Rainier Valley saw rapid growth in the first decade of the twentieth century, changing from a sparsely settled wilderness to a series of communities clustered along the trolley line. Seattle experienced a tripling of its population in the period 1890-1910, and the North Rainier Valley was accessible and attractive to both real estate developers and would-be homeowners. The trolley line itself provided jobs, as did the businesses that sprang up at the trolley stops to serve residents in the area. Downtown Seattle was an easy commute and some residents of the North Rainier Valley worked downtown. Major stops along the line included Atlantic Street, where there was a growing Italian immigrant community, York Station, at Rainier and South Walden Streets, Southeast Station, at Andover and Rainier, and Columbia. A stop at McClellan Street at the planned community of Mt. Baker Park was added, as well as a stop at Genesee and Rainier to serve the residents of Lakewood, bordering Lake Washington just east of Columbia. Financial problems and changes of ownership plagued the electric trolley line throughout its short life. By 1907, it had changed ownership twice and had undergone three name changes, becoming the Seattle, Renton and Southern Railway. The tumultuous relationship between the ownership of the line, its riders and the city ended in the city council denying the company’s request for renewal of its franchise in 1934. In February 1936, the Seattle City Council ordered that service by the Rainier Valley Lines be suspended by the end of 1936 and that the tracks be removed as quickly as possible. The firm was the North Rainier Valley’s largest employer, and its demise, on top of the Great Depression, hurt the economy of the area. However, there were two days of celebration, including a parade from 6th and Dearborn south to Rainier Beach and back to Columbia City, to celebrate the paving over of the center strip of Rainier Avenue in June, 1937. The North Rainier Valley consists of a depression created by glaciation between the ridges of Beacon Hill and Mount Baker. The valley derives its name from Mount Rainier because of stunning views of the mountain. The area’s growth followed the early streetcar line, which was completed to Columbia City in 1890. The North Rainier Valley includes the area north of Columbia City and contained many early vegetable farms. Commercial development followed along the streetcar line, with housing built nearby. During the first decades of the 20th century, the area between Massachusetts and Atlantic Streets was home to Seattle’s largest Italian enclave, “Garlic Gulch.” Dugdale Ball Park opened on the corner of Rainier Avenue and McClellan Street in 1913, and was succeeded by Sick’s Stadium in 1938. World War II precipitated a surge in housing development, including the public housing project, Rainier Vista, in 1943. Following the war, the area attracted a mix of African-Americans, Asians, and Filipinos. Today this diverse, low-to-middle income neighborhood is unique within Seattle with its long narrow form focused on the Rainier Avenue transportation corridor.
Built in 1929, this substantial, Tudor-Revival-influenced, single-family dwelling stands on a rectangular lot. The building is oriented to South Byron Street on a flat site at street level. This 864 square foot, one-and-a-half story house with a full daylight basement features a rectangular plan, measuring approximately 36’ by 24’, with a 6’ by 6’ front stoop. A poured concrete foundation supports the wood frame, clapboard-clad superstructure. Asphalt composition roofing covers the side gable roof. A steeply pitched double front gable (consisting of the cross gable and gabled stoop roof) highlights the front facade. Minimal fascia trimmed gable overhangs and boxed soffits under the eaves define the roofline. Decoratively curved brackets carry the stoop roof. Wood 1:1 windows punctuate the building with paired 1:1 windows on the front facade. The original direct flight of stairs leads to the front stoop. The stoop railings feature metal poles with wire or rope suspended between. A prominent brick, gable end chimney services the building. An integrated, below-grade garage with original paneled wood garage doors having glass upper lites services the building.

Detail for 3009 S BYRON ST S / Parcel ID 1282300880 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
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):
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: 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.
Tobin, Caroline. (2004) "North Rainier Valley Historic Context Statement."
Blanchard, Leslie. Trolley Days in Seattle. Trans-Anglo Books, Los Angeles, 90053, May 1965.
Centennial History, Columbia City, Rainier Valley, 1853-1991. Pioneers of Columbia City, 1992. Carey Summers, contributing author.

Photo collection for 3009 S BYRON ST S / Parcel ID 1282300880 / Inv #

Photo taken Sep 29, 2003
App v2.0.1.0