Residential Ballard is generally described as extending from the 8th Avenue NW to the east and the bluff to the west, and from NW 85th Street on the north to NW 65th Street to the south. The area primarily contains single family houses, but also includes a collection of mutli-family dwellings, commercial buildings, schools, churches, and other buildings. Most of the historic buildings in Ballard are modest cottages and builder's houses, and were not architect-designed. Building styles include, but are not limited to, Victorian (primarily Queen Anne), vernacular, Craftsman, American Foursquare, Colonial Revival (including variations), Tudor Revival, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch. The historic building fabric of Ballard is threatened by a rapid pace of development.
The City of Ballard was incorporated in 1890. It was the first community to incorporate after Washington achieved statehood in 1889. Although population increased rapidly, north Ballard was still relatively rural. In 1907, primarily due to lack of adequate water for its population of 15,000, Ballard citizens voted to be annexed to Seattle to ensure a good water supply for the area.
After annexation Ballard’s street names were changed to conform to Seattle’s: Ship Street turned into 65th Street, Main Street became 15th Avenue. During the Great Depression and World War II, construction in Ballard nearly ground to a halt, with the exception of some houses built by Earl F. Mench. However, following World War II, fueled by the G.I. bill and the rise of the automobile, Ballard boomed again, and new housing followed. In recent years, the demand for new housing has spurred a tremendous amount of change in Ballard, with old, modest houses being replaced by large box houses and multi-family units. These changes threaten to alter the character and feeling of this historic neighborhood.
Ballard Historical Society Classic Home Tour guides.
Crowley, Walt. Seattle Neighborhoods: Ballard--Thumbnail History. HistoryLink File # 983, accessed 6/1/16.
King County Tax Assessor Records, 1937-2014.
McAlester, Virginia Savage.
A Field Guide to American Houses (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Alfred A> Knopf Press, 2013.
Oschsner, Jeffrey Karl
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle, WA: University of
Washington Press, 1994.
Passport to Ballard: The Centennial Story. Seattle, WA: Ballard News Tribune, 1988.
Hans Floathe, a Carpenter from Norway, built 7558 32nd Ave NW in 1929-1930. The contractor, M. Pederson, was a popular choice on the block, per the Side Sewer Cards. The 1.5 story brick tudor was listed for sale by owner in 1931.
Henry N Potter, retired Detective Sergeant and founder of the Missing Persons Bureau, moved in with his wife, Rose, and children Barbara and William around 1934. Mr. Potter passed away in 1936.
The home was sold in 1937 to Otto H Mittelstadt, the King County Coroner (D) from 1934-1942. He ran for County Commissioner in 1942 but was unsuccessful in his bid. He had a son, Eugene, with ex-wife Dorothy.
By 1943, William H and Ora M Cook and called 7558 32nd Ave NW home. Mr. Cook was a lawyer. A son, William W, was listed in the Seattle Daily Times as a Seattle Blue Jacket sent to the Idaho Naval Training Station that same year. They lived there at least through 1955.
Donald H and Louis B Rutt were living in the house by 1956 and remained there through Mr. Rutt’s death in 1995. Mrs. Rutt sold the home in 2002 to Robert Williams.
Side Sewer Cards
Seattle Daily Times
Seattle City Directories 1934, 1938, 1940, 1955 and 1964
King County Assessor’s Database