Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 133 N 50TH ST N / Parcel ID 7986400090 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Frederick A. Poitras House Common Name:
Style: American Foursquare - Craftsman Neighborhood: Fremont
Built By: Year Built: 1910
This house is a distinctive and noteworthy example of popular turn-of –the–century residential design (known as the American Four Square house type) and appears to have been constructed according to a planbook source. The popular late 19th C. stock plan known as the “four-square” house type [a.k.a. American Four Square] was a simple square, two-story, hipped roof form with interior spaces divided into four equal size rooms at both floor levels. Variations of the four-square house type are found throughout Seattle, including Fremont, often embellished with ornamental windows, they are also commonly referred to as a "Seattle Box" or "Classic Box." Architect or builders planbooks were typically distributed through lumber and building supply businesses. The design of the subject house is similar to popular plans known to have been promoted by local planbook purveyors Fred Fehren and Victor Voorhees during this period; however, the design source has not been identified. It is located in Steel Works Addition (platted September 1889 by Anna and J.W. Clise) and was constructed in 1910 during an intense period of historic residential development in the district. The original building permit (#89985) indicates that the permit for construction of a “2 story frame residence 26 x 36” costing $2,000.00 was issued to Frederick Poitras on May 4, 1910. Frederick A. Poitras was identified as the owner, builder and architect. He was the 18-year old son of John M. Poitras, who was in the “lumber business.” From 1908 until c.1911, Frederick Poitras lived at 3643 Greenwood Avenue N. and worked nearby for the Fremont & Ballard Gravel Co. In 1910, Frederick Poitras was an apprentice telephone electrician and his brother John was in the plumbing supply business. No members of the Poitras family ever resided at the subject house and given their work experience it seems clear that the house was developed for speculative real estate investment purposes and constructed following a standard house plan obtained most likely from Mr. Poitras lumber business. It is not known if Frederick Poitras (or his father and brother) was involved in the development of other residential properties. He is known to have worked as a switchman – possibly for a telephone company – and as a salesman for Crane Co., a plumbing firm. The earliest known owners of the house were Carl H. and Jennie Thornblade, who appear to have owned it from at least c.1926 until c.1958.
[Steel Works Add to Seattle] Prominently located on the SW corner of the intersection of N. 50th St. and greenwood Avenue N. with front elevation oriented to the north. Two story, wood-frame, single family residence. Distinctive example of American Four-Square house type. Generally very well-preserved. Measures approx. 26’ x 36’ w/concrete foundation and full basement level. Prototypical low-pitched hipped roof form with wide overhangs. Projecting hipped roof porch at west side of façade. Hipped dormer with multi-pane windows at north elevation. Clad with narrow horizontal cedar siding w/ corner boards that appears to be original cladding material. Square corner bay windows with hipped roofs and bracketed soffits at second floor. Square bay window at first floor east elevation. Original double-hung wooden windows appear to remain in place. Original exposed rafter ends visible. Original glazed entry door appears to remain in place. Original brick chimney at east elevation. Distinctive square-fluted porch columns with ornate brackets and low guardrail; guardrail elements appear to match historic design. Roof non-historic composition shingle. The character and condition of the interior is not known.

Detail for 133 N 50TH ST N / Parcel ID 7986400090 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): 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
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Major Bibliographic References
U.S. Census Records (1880-1920)
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1910-1940.

Photo collection for 133 N 50TH ST N / Parcel ID 7986400090 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Apr 28, 2009
App v2.0.1.0