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Summary for 5609 CORSON AVE / Parcel ID 3868400205 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Bernardo and Rose Germani House Common Name: The Corson Building
Style: Spanish - Eclectic Neighborhood: Georgetown
Built By: Year Built: 1910
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.

Based on field work conducted in September 2014, this historic property retains its relationship to the streetscape, historic building form and a sufficient amount of exterior historic building fabric (design features, cladding and/or window sash/openings) to contribute to the distinct historic character of the Georgetown neighborhood. This is a particularly well-preserved and distinctive historic property that appears to possess architectural and/or historic significance. This property has been rehabilitated and adapted to serve an active commercial/restaurant use. It exhibits no substantive changes to its distinctive historic buiolding form, building fabric/features since it was identified in the 1997 HRI project.

(1997) Believed to have built c. 1910, this property is associated with the residential and commercial building boom in Georgetown which occurred between 1890 and 1916. Fueled by the construction of the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company’s new brewing facility after the turn of the century and the arrival of foreign immigrants, especially German and Italian, Georgetown came to rely more on its commercial and industrial bases rather than agricultural. With the increase of industry and business, Georgetown had grown in population from 1,913 in 1900 to approximately 7,000 by 1910 as families located themselves near its factories and other places of employment. Extensively remodeled c. 1925 and again c. 1939-1940, this property is also associated with an era of residential and commercial building between 1916 and 1942 which continued in Georgetown despite an acceleration of the trends toward the industrialization of the area. Significant changes came with prohibition and the closure of the brewery in 1916, the completion of the Duwamish Waterway in 1917, and the arrival of new businesses, such as the Boeing Airplane Company in 1916. In spite of the increasingly industrial nature of the area which had been zoned as such in 1923, residents of Georgetown continued to build new homes and businesses and to plan for a future in the neighborhood. The original owner/ builder of this residence has not been determined. It is known that the house and grounds were the site of the Italian Architectural Art Company, a manufacturer of ornamental cast stone work owned and operated by Bernardo Germani. The property exhibits cast stone ornament indicative of this use which is assumed to have been added c. 1925 when the property was purchased and remodeled by Bernardo Germani. A manufacturing workshop was previously located at the northern corner of the site. During the 1920s, Spanish and Mediterranean revival style architecture designs were particularly popular, creating a market for cast stone ornament. This property is believed to pre-date the construction date identified on assessor’s records (c. 1926-27) and is worthy of additional research to determine a more accurate date of construction and original ownership.
A highly unusual residential design that reflects obvious Spanish Eclectic stylistic and design influences. This residence is known to have been remodeled on several occasions and may have been constructed prior to the introduction of the extant and highly stylized window and entry ornament. The original basic form of the residence was a one story masonry building with (most likely) a hipped roof. This was a common house/building type constructed throughout the American West during the later half of the 19th C and the early 20th C. However, the execution in brick masonry is not common to the Puget Sound area where timber construction was the most economical and practical for residential purposes. While this residence exhibits design features and historic building fabric that reflect popular early 20th C revival style design modes, it also includes some peculiar features that reflect changes to the plan and design; above the first floor level (and the rear 10 ft of the building), there is a distinct change in the masonry pattern and finish and in the manner in which the arched window openings are executed. It is known that the house was remodeled c 1925 at which time the brick additions were most likely made and the distinctive (Spanish Eclectic style) cast stone ornament was added. An historic photograph shows the house with a flat roof with wide narrow overhangs c.1937. Permit records indicate that the current hipped roof was constructed c.1939 and the second floor (prior attic level) finished c.1940. In addition to the cast stone ornament and fenestration pattern, the house is distinguished by ornate iron grillwork placed within the arched window openings. A combination large multi-pane and small double hung windows are in place elsewhere on the minor elevations. The interior is known to include an ornamental cast stone fireplace surround. The current design character of this residence is indicative of the craftsmanship of Bernardo F. Germani, a manufacturer of ornamental cast stone work (Italian Architectural Art Company), who owned, remodeled and used the building after 1923. A storehouse & cast stone manufacturing building (18’x44’) and a shed (10’x32’) were previously situated on the site. The site currently includes historic brick masonry paving and planter features and landscape elements.

Detail for 5609 CORSON AVE / Parcel ID 3868400205 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Unknown
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Ethnic Heritage, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Interior: 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.
O'Brian, Tim. "Georgetown Historical Places" Construction Chronology.

Photo collection for 5609 CORSON AVE / Parcel ID 3868400205 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Mar 17, 1997

Photo taken Mar 17, 1997

Photo taken Mar 17, 1997

Photo taken Sep 12, 2014

Photo taken Sep 12, 2014
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