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Summary for 1617 BOYER AVE / Parcel ID 359250-0285 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Colonel John Boyer Residence Common Name: 50 Benson Residence
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman Neighborhood: Montlake
Built By: Year Built: 1907
This unique house is an excellent and intact example of the Craftsman style. Built in 1907, it was one of the first houses in the vicinity. It is associated with the early development of Montlake and is a contributing resource to the Montlake NRHP Historic District.

This house was built in 1907 for lawyer and real estate developer John E. Boyer (1866-1961), who developed the Interlaken Plat. It is an early expression of the Craftsman style, with  extensive use of granite and timber that prefigures the lodges and park buildings of Ellsworth Storey and Robert Reamer. The home was named a Seattle Landmark on February 22, 1983, because of its distinctive architectural style.

The architect, Eben W. Sankey, grew up in the Midwest, moving to Seattle with his family in 1901. He primarily designed residences in various Revival styles, but also did a number of larger buildings in Victoria with William Rochfort, including the Royal Theatre.  He was in partnership with Gustav Edelsvard from 1908 to 1930, working on schools, colleges and some buildings at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.

Major Bibliographic References:

King County Tax Assessor Records, 1937-2014.  

Kreisman, Larry, Seattle Landmark Nomination, Colonel John F. Boyer House, 1983.

Smith, Eugene. Montlake: An Urban Eden, A History of the Montlake Community in Seattle. La Grande OR: Oak Street Press, 2004.

This distinctive house sits on a knoll on a large trapezoidal lot, surrounded by fences, walls, hedges, extensive landscaping and large trees and shrubs.  It has an irregular plan with cross-hipped roofs on the two-story section. A hipped roof projects out to cover a one-story living room and a  large open porch, which has granite columns and  timber brackets. The foundation and first floor are of rough-hewn granite; there is also a granite chimney in the one-story section. The second story has gray stucco and half timbering. A stone tower is at the northeast corner. Wide, overhanging roofs emphasize the home's connection with the granite base and with the ground. Windows throughout have leaded glass. The garage/carriage house southwest of the house  features granite columns, stucco and half-timbering and divided light windows. Several other accessory buildings have been added in recent years.

Detail for 1617 BOYER AVE / Parcel ID 359250-0285 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stone, Stucco, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Stone
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Wood - Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 1617 BOYER AVE / Parcel ID 359250-0285 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 13, 1999
App v2.0.1.0