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Summary for 1516 Federal AVE / Parcel ID 3398800015 / Inv #

Historic Name: Gilmour, Ethel, House Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts, Colonial - Dutch Colonial Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1909
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This house, with its prominent shingle-clad gambrel roof, was designed in 1909 by Victor Voorhees for George B. McCulloch, a physician (permit # 85198). The builder was E. L. Rasmussen. Although its gambrel roof is typical of the Dutch Colonial Revival style, the shingle cladding and detailing reflect an Arts and Crafts influence. It is not known how long McCulloch lived there, but in in 1936 it was purchased by Maxwell Gilmour, a superintendent for Royal Mail Lines, and his wife, Ethel. The Gilmour family lived here more than twenty years, until G. R. Curry bought the house in 1960. Like many large houses, it had several owners over the following years, but the current owner has been there since 1985. Voorhees was one of Seattle’s most prolific architects, working from 1904 until at least 1957. He is credited with more than 100 local buildings, ranging from cottages and large residences to apartment and office buildings, auto dealerships, industrial buildings, fraternal halls and commercial structures such as Washington Hall and the Vance Hotel. However, he has become best known for a popular book of house plans, Western Home Builder, first published in 1907. This section of Federal Avenue is a tree-lined avenue with a fine collection of large homes, many designed by prominent architects for some of Seattle’s leading families. The street was well located for development, as it is only one block from the Broadway/10th Avenue streetcar line and abuts the open spaces of Volunteer Park and Lake View Cemetery to the east. Although the southern two blocks were platted s part of the 1883 Phinney’s Addition, little development occurred until the first decade of the 20th century, about the time that Volunteer Park was redesigned by the Olmsted Brothers. The landscape architecture firm continually encouraged the city to purchase the property on the west side of the park, so that it would extend all the way to the street; obviously, this was never done, allowing these houses to be built adjacent to the park.
This Dutch Colonial house rises three stories and has a complex plan, with intersecting gambrel roofs, shed dormers and a large gambrel bay. The entry is approached through a walkway covered with a gabled roof, at the southwest corner. The house is clad with wood shingles, stained dark brown. Windows are predominantly six-over-one wood sash, in groups of two or three, with six-light casement windows in the gable ends. There is a glassed-in porch on the east side with eight-over-one windows and French doors.

Detail for 1516 Federal AVE / Parcel ID 3398800015 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gambrel Roof Material(s): Wood - Shake
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.
Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority. "Capitol Hill: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources."

Photo collection for 1516 Federal AVE / Parcel ID 3398800015 / Inv #

Photo taken Nov 26, 2005
App v2.0.1.0