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Summary for 1915 E BLAINE ST E / Parcel ID 8722100805 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name: 43 O'Brien Residence
Style: Tudor Neighborhood: Montlake
Built By: Year Built: 1928
 The earliest known owners of this house were Philip E. (Helen) Renshaw in 1938, a salesman for the International Business Machines Corp. The home was owned by Donald N. and Marie Crew in 1948; he was a reporter for the Seattle Times Co. The owners in 1958 were Thorlid C. & Audrene Swanson, a music teacher.

This is an intact example of the Tudor Revival style, and is a contributing element to the Montlake Historic District.

Montlake is generally described as extending from the Washington Park Arboretum west to Portage Bay/15th Avenue E., and from the Montlake Cut on the north to Interlaken Park. The area is a significant and cohesive collection of residential architecture typical of early 20th century Seattle and is eligible as a NRHP historic district under Criterion C.  Construction occurred primarily between 1910 and 1940, with a variety of Craftsman and  revival styles ranging from modest cottages and builder's houses to high-style architect-designed residences, impressive institutional buildings, and notable parks and natural features.  There are few intrusions of newer buildings.  In the early 1960s, construction of SR 520 and the unfinished R.H. Thomson Expressway bisected Montlake, but the neighborhood retains its basic integrity as a pre-World War II Seattle neighborhood.  

Montlake was incorporated into the City of Seattle in 1891.  Although the first  plats (Union City 1st and 2nd additions) were filed by Harvey Pike in 1869-1871, development did not really begin until plats were filed by John Boyer (Interlaken, 1905) and H. S. Turner (1907). Montlake Park (north of SR 520) was platted in 1909 by the developers James Corner and Calvin and William Hagan.  With the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition came a streetcar line on 24th Avenue E. and an impetus for development. In 1916, the Lake Washington Ship Canal was completed and the Montlake Bridge linked the neighborhood to the university area in 1925. A small commercial district grew along the car line.

The 1903 Olmsted Parks and Boulevards Plan of 1903 surrounded Montlake with parks.  Montlake Boulevard (then call University Boulevard) connected Lake Washington Boulevard to the A-Y-P grounds.  Washington Park, the eastern boundary, was acquired by the City in 1900 and developed as an arboretum in 1936-41. At the southern edge is steep, forested Interlaken Park and boulevard.

By 1915, the neighborhood had developed enough to require a temporary school building; the permanent structure opened in 1924.Soon afterwards came a playfield and shelter house (1933-36) and a library (1944, replaced 2006). Other noteworthy structures include the Seattle Yacht Club (1920), the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Center (1931), the Museum of History and Industry (1952) and St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church (1962).

Major Bibliographic References:

King County Tax Assessor Records, 1937-2014.  

Becker, Paula.  Seattle Neighborhoods: Montlake--Thumbnail History.  HistoryLink File # 10170, accessed 12/2/2013.

Gould, James W. Montlake History.

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

This 1.5 story house is rectangular in plan, is clad with brick veneer and combed shingles, and has a side-gabled roof with a nearly centered front gable. The roof has returned eaves. The front (north) façade includes an entry that is nearly centered beneath the front gable. It has an arched wood door with a rounded roof projecting from the wall. Arched brickwork demarcates the entry area. Beneath the front gabled roof is brickwork designed to look like an arched window, but with no window. A pair of 8-light wood casement windows are to the right of the front gable, and a two-light replacement window is to the left. They are situated on the shingle-clad main unit of the house. Secondary facades include similar materials and windows as the front façade, but some of the original windows have been replaced. An interior brick chimney projects from the front gable unit.

Detail for 1915 E BLAINE ST E / Parcel ID 8722100805 / Inv # 0

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

Photo collection for 1915 E BLAINE ST E / Parcel ID 8722100805 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 31, 2015
App v2.0.1.0