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Summary for 4627 43RD AVE / Parcel ID 4154300385 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Ranch - Split Level Neighborhood: Columbia City
Built By: Year Built: 1959

This residence is significant due to its association with H. Dolores Dasalla Sibonga and illustrates the strength and cohesion of the Filipino community during the middle of the twentieth century.

This single-family residence is located in Columbia City. The house was constructed in 1959 at an estimated cost of $12,500. It was first occupied by Martin J. and Dolores Sibonga, who lived in the house through 1969. The Sibongas were extremely active in Seattle’s Civil Rights Movement and the Filipino community. In the late 1960s or early 1970s, they purchased Filipino Forum, which is not in print. Dolores Sibonga (b. 1931) began her career in journalism; but, in 1973, she became the first Filipina lawyer in the United States. In 1979, she became the first minority woman to serve on the Seattle City Council, and she remained there for twelve years. Mrs. Sibonga remains an active figure in public affairs in Seattle.

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. 

While relatively few ethnic minorities lived outside of the Central District during the early twentieth century, Japanese Americans and Italian Americans successfully developed strong communities in Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley. In addition to the Japanese and Italians, Filipino immigrants began moving to South Seattle through immigration privileges resulting from the special political relationship between the United States and the Philippines after the 1898 Spanish-American War. Filipinos tended to fall outside of immigration, housing, and work exclusion laws, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and Executive Order 9066. Filipino migrant workers were also needed to fill a labor shortage caused by such exclusion acts. For these reasons, their communities increased in numbers, social cohesion, and economic success. This trend continued through World War II, when many Filipino men enlisted and brought back War Brides. While Filipino families lived in South Seattle prior the 1960s, it was not until the passage of the Open Housing Ordinance by the Seattle City Council in 1968 that housing covenants and severely restricted neighborhoods became legally open to non-whites. Only after passage of this ordinance did significant numbers of Asians, Filipinos, African Americans, Latinos, and others move to South Seattle. The Rainier Valley exhibits the cultural diversity that the Open Housing Ordinance facilitated.


The rectangular lot for this single-family residence is located north of the South Alaska Street and 43rd Avenue South intersection and faces eastwards onto 43rd Avenue South. Constructed in 1959, this ranch house has 1,750 square feet of living space. It is built on a declining slope and, therefore, has one story at street level and two stories at the rear of the house. The irregular floor plan and poured concrete foundation support a platform-framed superstructure. The flat roof has slightly overhanging eaves while a flat-roofed carport is supported by a post-and-beam system. The house is clad in vertical wood board siding and is punctuated by aluminum windows. This house is a typical, mid-twentieth century ranch style house that reflects the changing American Landscape during this time period. The prominence of the carport demonstrates the growing reliance on automobiles and their inclusion into everyday life. The construction date of the house is also reflective of the increased development of South Seattle during the 1950s and 1960s and is, therefore, a character-defining house for Columbia City.


Detail for 4627 43RD AVE / Parcel ID 4154300385 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Eaves Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Unknown
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
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 4627 43RD AVE / Parcel ID 4154300385 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 20, 2010

Photo taken Jan 20, 2010
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