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Summary for 4233 Burke AVE / Parcel ID 4083301055 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Colonial - Dutch Colonial Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1921
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This relatively large Dutch colonial house, designed by Edward L. Merritt, was erected in 1920-21. According to the building permit, it was built by A. E. Thornberg for owner Charles Arensberg, who apparently resided next door at 4227 Burke Avenue when the permit was acquired. However, directories from this period suggest that A. E. Thornberg was a house painter and that Arensberg was a general contractor. In fact, it appears that Arensberg may have been associated with the construction of several of the houses near the intersection of Burke Avenue and North 43rd Street; at various times he listed his home address as 1815 N. 43rd Street (the house immediately to the west of 4233 Burke), 4120 Burke Avenue N., and 4317 Burke Avenue N., and was earlier associated with additions to the property at 4328 Burke Avenue N. It appears that Walter A. McDonald acquired the house in 1960. The property is still owned by the McDonald family. The house is significant because it is a fine, large, intact and well-maintained example of the Dutch colonial style built at the beginning of a period in the neighborhood’s history when houses of this type were becoming especially popular. The structure is a particularly good example of the work in this style designed by Merritt, whose Craftsman Bungalow Company became more and more involved with the production of Dutch colonial cottages following the departure of the firm’s founder, Jud Yoho, and a decline in the popularity of the craftsman style. An example of Merritt’s arts & crafts work may be found two blocks south at 4037 Burke Avenue N. The house at 4233 Burke Avenue N. is also significant because of its association with Clarence F. Massart, a local community leader who built a successful plumbing business during the Depression (headquartered for many years at the northwest corner of Wallingford Avenue N. and N, 44th Street) and was later elected to public office, serving on the Seattle City Council from 1950 to 1967.
This is a two-story, frame residence with a brick veneer at the main level and a shingle-clad upper floor built on a concrete foundation over a full basement. The gambrel roof immediately identifies the structure as a Dutch colonial house. Other elements of the style include the symmetrical arrangement of the east (front) façade, the central position of the entry door and arched portico, the Tuscan columns, and the single story extension of the main floor at the south end of the structure. The placement of the chimney at the north end of the west (rear) façade suggests that the living room is located at the north end of the structure. This represents a departure from the usual typology associated with houses built in the Dutch colonial style. The main reception room of such a structure is more typically situated at the sunniest end of the house and is usually associated with a single story extension of the main floor housing a sunroom. The structure is entered at the center of the two-story portion of the east elevation. An arched portico roof, springing from platforms hovering at each side of the porch, protects the entry. The platforms are formed by extensions of the cornice detail at the eave of the gambrel roof. A built up classical entablature extends from the face of the house either side of the entry to support each hovering platform, and a single Tuscan column supports the outside end of each entablature. The entablature dos not extend across the face of the portico and, for this reason, the portico roof interrupts the line of the eave over the entry door. The segmented vault at the underside of the portico roof is echoed in the segmented head of the window surmounting the group of elements that includes the entry door and its two flanking sidelights. Centered in the masonry-veneered wall to either side of the entry is a window assembly. Each of these consists of a large fixed (or casement) window flanked by two smaller fixed (or casement) units. The sash of the central unit consists of a single row of six tall rectangular lights over a much larger single light; the sash of each the narrower flanking units is divided into two tall rectangular lights over a much larger single light. A long shingle-clad, shed-roofed dormer is centered in the east-facing slope of the gambrel roof. At each end is a pair of double hung windows, each with an upper sash divided into a single row of four tall lights over much larger lower sash. Each pair is flanked either side by a decorative shutter. A pair of smaller double hung units is situated at the middle of the dormer over the entry portico. Each of these units has an upper sash divided into three lights over a larger undivided lower sash. A much smaller window, divided into four lights, is centered high in the section of wall to either side of the central pair. The heads of all these windows are aligned. The cornice at the eave of the shed-roofed dormer returns to the face of the roof at each end. A pent stretches across the north end of the structure. This elevation faces onto N. 43rd Street. Above the pent are two double-hung windows separated by a few feet and placed symmetrically either side of the elevation’s centerline. Each is similar in configuration and size to the units at either end of the east-facing shed dormer, and each is flanked by decorative shutters. Lighting the attic above, in the center of the gambrel end, is a semicircular window with eight lights in a fan pattern. Below the pent a group of three windows is situated in the middle of the brick faced façade. These units are of the same height as those illuminating the main level at the east elevation. The central unit has a sash with eight lights in a single row over a large lower light; the flanking units have three lights in a single row over a much larger lower light. A large planter box, slightly longer than the sill of the group of three windows, is placed just below the masonry opening. Two three-light basement windows are located in masonry openings just above the concrete foundation at the third points of the façade. The west façade is the back of the house. A large chimney is situated near the north end of this elevation. At the main level, the section of brick veneered wall either side of the mass of the chimney is punctured by two, small windows, each divided into a single row of three lights. The width of the chimney is reduced as it rises through the eave of the gambrel roof and up the face of the shingle-clad, shed-roofed dormer above. The long dormer is centered but its fenestration is not symmetrically organized. At dormer level, the chimney is flanked by a double-hung window to either side, each with an upper sash divided into three lights over an undivided lower sash. A similar window is located at the south end of the dormer; in between are two single sash windows with opaque glass, as well as a small vent size unit. At the main level south of the chimney, a clapboard-clad bay projects from the west elevation. Two relatively large double-hung windows, similar to those on the dormer above, are located at the north end and center of the bay’s west façade. A much smaller single sash unit is located at the south end. In the brick veneered wall south of the bay is a pair of small double-hung units configured to resemble the units in the dormer above, and south of those windows a small enclosed porch projects into the back yard. The west elevation of the house south of the enclosed porch is not visible from the street. A single story, flat-roofed, brick clad appendage projects from the south elevation of the house. Although plan elements of this kind are often found at houses designed in the Dutch colonial style, such elements typically contain a sunroom and are attached at the end of the house containing the living room. As noted earlier, this house appears to depart from the usual pattern. Three fixed, or perhaps casement type windows are banded together and centered in the brick clad east wall of the appendage. The sash of each unit consists of a single row of three tall rectangular lights over a much larger single light. A band of four identical units is situated in the eastern two thirds of the south elevation. A single double-hung window with an upper sash divided into a single row of six lights over an undivided lower sash is located at the west end of the south elevation. The back of the appendage cannot be observed from the street. An overhead garage door provides access to the south end extension from Burke Avenue at the basement level. The garage door is not original. A deck rail that once stood atop the one-story appendage has been removed. The south end of the main house has also been modified. Tall, slender, aluminum windows now stand either side of the gambrel end’s central axis. These may have replaced windows similar to those at the north end of the house; however, the fact that a railing once wrapped the top of the one story appendage projecting to the south suggests that the aluminum windows may have, in fact, replaced doors The retaining wall that marks the east and north property lines was faced with brick at some point in the years after 1937.

Detail for 4233 Burke AVE / Parcel ID 4083301055 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Shingle, Wood, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat, Gambrel Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition, Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Slight
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.

Photo collection for 4233 Burke AVE / Parcel ID 4083301055 / Inv #

Photo taken Oct 01, 2004
App v2.0.1.0