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Summary for 4005 RAINIER AVE / Parcel ID 1604602195 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts Neighborhood:
Built By: Year Built: 1913

This house is significant due to its association with the Italian American community in South Seattle and was characteristic of the social and ethnic diversity that gradually predominated in the Rainier Valley.

This single-family residence is located on Rainier Avenue between Mount Baker, Columbia City, and Beacon Hill. The house was constructed in 1913; and, from 1937 through 1966, it was occupied by Carmino, Adelina, and Tony M. Foglia. The Foglias were Italian immigrants, and Tony M. Foglia remained in the house through 1969.

Substantial residential and commercial development in South Seattle and the Rainier Valley occurred when a transportation corridor connecting the Rainier Valley to downtown and Seattle’s industrial district was constructed along Rainier Avenue during the late nineteenth century. Development in the valley was facilitated by logging during the 1880s, the operation of the Rainier Valley Electric Railway in the 1890s, and the Jackson and Dearborn Street re-grades in the 1900s. Milling was the primary commercial industry during the last part of the nineteenth century although some agricultural activity existed. As residential development increased, Rainier Avenue gradually became the principal commercial corridor connecting the residential neighborhoods of South Seattle to downtown, the International District, and Seattle’s industrial districts. World War II brought additional building growth related to the wartime industry, as well as the influx of defense workers to nearby Boeing and the Duwamish shipyards. 

Early Italian migrants moved to the Pacific Northwest to work at the coal mines in Renton, Newcastle, and Black Diamond. Once settled, Italian Americans began operating farms, including Fred Marino and Joe Desimone, who were involved in organizing the Pike Place Market. During the growth period from 1900 to 1910, additional Italian migrants moved to Seattle for jobs in building and road construction as well as the city’s re-grading activities. During this period, the Italian American population grew, and the 1910 census documented approximately 45 percent of Italian Seattleites who lived in south downtown and north Rainer Valley. North Rainer Valley and north Beacon Hill became known as “Garlic Gulch,” and the community was centered on Rainier Avenue, between Massachusetts and Atlantic Streets. This block was the principal commercial area, while residences and institutional buildings, such as Colman School, Mount Virgin Roman Catholic Church, and St. Peter’s Catholic Church, were located southward on Rainier Avenue, as well as in the nearby Beacon Hill and Mount Baker neighborhoods. The presence of the Italian Americans in South Seattle contributed to the ethnic diversity that exists in the Rainer Valley today.

The rectangular, sloping lot for this single-family residence is located at the intersection of South Andover Street and Rainier Avenue South and was originally platted for the Claremont Addition. The Arts and Crafts–influenced vernacular house was constructed in 1913. It is built into the hill and faces eastwards onto Rainier Avenue South. It is two stories with 1,390 square feet of living space. A rectangular floor plan and poured concrete foundation support the platform-framed superstructure. The gable-front roof has overhanging eaves supported by decorative knee-braces. A brick chimney punctuates the north slope of the gabled roof. The covered front porch on the ground floor supports the second-story verandah and terminates in an extended gabled roof. Both the primary roof and the extended verandah roof are covered by asphalt composition shingles. The house is clad in wood board siding, and most wooden casings are extant. The front entrance at the porch mirrors the door to the second-story verandah. Both are flanked by hung-sash windows, and those on the upper story are six-over-one hung-sash. Two more six-over-one hung-sash windows are present on the north elevation while most others are one-over-one hung-sash. Several of the original architectural features of this house remain intact, including its roofline, massing, and porch area. It remains one of the last historical residences on this section of Rainier Avenue, which is dominated by commercial use properties. The house functions as a reminder of the historical use of Rainier Avenue as a transportation corridor for both residential and commercial uses and remains integral to the character of the Rainier Valley.

Detail for 4005 RAINIER AVE / Parcel ID 1604602195 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable 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 Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Other: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Dorpat, Paul, “101 The Railroad Avenue Elevated,” Seattle, Now and Then, Seattle: Tartu Publications, 1984.
Bagley, Clarence B. History of Seattle, Washington. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1916.
Berner, Richard. Seattle 1921-1940: From Boom to Bust. Seattle: Charles Press, 1992.

Photo collection for 4005 RAINIER AVE / Parcel ID 1604602195 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 06, 2010

Photo taken Jan 06, 2010

Photo taken Jan 06, 2010

Photo taken Jan 06, 2010

Photo taken Jan 06, 2010
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