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Summary for 811 N 36TH ST N / Parcel ID 1972203000 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Mary L. Downie House Common Name:
Style: Queen Anne Neighborhood: Fremont
Built By: Year Built: 1901
This is a distinctive, however altered, example of late Queen Anne design. This large house was constructed ca. 1901 and is located in the replatted Denny & Hoyt’s Addition, one of the earliest platted and developed residential areas in Fremont. Edward Blewett was a wealthy businessman from Fremont, Nebraska who decided to invest in undeveloped land at the northwest corner of Lake Union. On March 20, 1888, Blewett and his wife Carrie purchased the town site for $55,000 under a mortgage held by John P. Hoyt. With the help of their agent, Luther H. Griffith (also of Fremont, Nebraska) and their attorney Edward C. Kilbourne, the Blewetts prepared a plat for the area. This plat, known as Denny & Hoyt's Addition, was approved by King County on May 8, 1888. According to King County property tax assessment rolls by 1895, a small front-gable & wing cottage valued at $200.00 was located on this site (Block 36, Lots 14 & 15). It was owned by George E. Grow. By 1900, the property was clearly owned by Mary L. Downie, a teacher at B.F. Day School. Mary Downie appears to have moved to Fremont and this location in c.1895, probably purchasing it then. Polk’s Seattle City Directory indicates that she began to reside at this address along with her father (Henry Downie, a grocer at a store located on Lake Ave. and Dravus St. on Lake Union side of Queen Anne Hill) and her younger brother (Ralph E. Downie who worked as a stenographer) after 1895. The Downie family appears to have migrated to Seattle from Pennsylvania via Kansas, where Mary (born 1857) initially taught public school and her father was a farmer (per U.S. Census 1880). Mary Downie appears to have settled in Seattle prior to her brother and father, as she was individually listed in the 1893 Polk’s Seattle City Directory as a teacher at T.T. Minor School and listed in the 1894-95 Polk’s Seattle City Directory as a teacher at Olympic School and boarding at 817 8th Avenue. On April 27, 1901 permit #7899 was issued to Mary L. Downie (and R.E. Downie, her brother) to move the existing house at 811 N. 36th (Kilbourne) a short distance to the adjacent Lot 16 (815 N. 36th). It is assumed the small house was relocated in order to construct the subject house. While there is no permit record for the construction of the subject house, Sanborn Insurance maps (1905) and PRC photos (1937) show both houses on their respective lots. The 1901 Polk’s Seattle City Directory identified Henry Downie (age 67) as a “contractor”; thus, it seems very likely that he was responsible for the construction of the house. It is unclear how long Mary Downie taught at B.F. Day School or how long members of the Downie family continued to reside here. King County PRC indicates that it was used as a two-family residence by 1937 and may have remained in that use for several decades. Subsequent owners included: Lloyd B. Coen (1940); Mike Caloger (1941); Gilbert Craig (1957); and Robert Foote (1969).
Located mid-block toward the east end of the block with front elevation oriented to the north. Prominent two and one-half story, wood-frame, single family residence. Late Queen Anne with asymmetrical form and façade composition. Main core of house measures approx. 24’ x 40’ w/ a westerly projecting wing measuring 7’ x 20 ft. Brick masonry foundation and basement level. Main hipped roof form with prominent projecting front gable at east side of facade. Hipped roof wing at west elevation. Gable dormer at east elevation. Projecting hipped roof porch at west side of façade. Original narrow horizontal cedar siding appears to have been removed and replaced with a modern narrow horizontal cladding with corner boards. Some original double-hung wooden windows appear to remain in place including a cottage window with ornate diamond pattern upper sash at the first floor facade. Original ornate window at upper front gable, heavy window and roof trim and original porch columns are no longer in place. Historic glazed upper panel door remains in place.

Detail for 811 N 36TH ST N / Parcel ID 1972203000 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Unknown Foundation(s): Brick, Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Major Bibliographic References
U.S. Census Records (1880-1920)
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
King County Tax Assessment Rolls, Washington State Archives.
Sanborn (Insurance) Map Company, Seattle, Washington, 1904.
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 811 N 36TH ST N / Parcel ID 1972203000 / Inv # 0

Photo taken May 07, 2009

Photo taken Apr 13, 2009

Photo taken Apr 13, 2009
App v2.0.1.0