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Summary for 8323 15TH AVE / Parcel ID 758870-0214 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman Neighborhood: Crown Hill/Ballard
Built By: Year Built: 1924

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.

According to King County Assessor information this craftsman style house was built in

1924.  No known architect.  However, Seattle Side Sewer card information and Polk City

Directory indicate Charles W. Dane lived at the address in 1921. A pipe fitter/steamfitter

from Minnesota, Charles Dane and his wife Anna were the first residents and they

stayed five years until George W. Harlow bought the house in 1926.  At the time, 15th

Ave W was just a gravel road. George Harlow moved in with his wife (also Anna) and

their three children Robert, Elise, and Charles.  Prior to Seattle they lived in Idaho

where they tried farming but didn’t like the winters.  They had chickens and the large

property came with a number of apple trees (gravensteins and yellow transparent) and

a few cherry trees (bing and black cherry). Elsie was known to go out her bedroom

window to sit in the tree branches.  

In Seattle George Harlow became an agent for U.S. Customs inspecting Princess Line

passenger boats arriving in Seattle from Canada.  From their Ballard home Charles

remembers his mother walking all the kids together to Golden Gardens for warm

weather outings.  In middle and high school, during the depression, Charles shoveled

coal into gunny sacks for the fuel business across the street.  He graduated from

Ballard High School in 1928 and went on to serve in the Navy during WWII. Older

brother Robert drove delivery trucks for the coal company across the street, then

became a trolley driver for the City of Seattle.  Elsie attended Western Washington

College of Education in Bellingham to earn a teaching degree.  

After George died in 1945 Anna Harlow continued to live in the house.  In the mid-1950s

she worked as a saleswoman, first at Textile House and then at Powers Gifts in

Northgate.  In 1994 Anna passed away; the house remains with the Harlow family,

going on 90 years.  Today the Harlow family still owns the property, although the house

has been rented out for at the last decade or more.


Polk City Directories

Seattle City Permits

King County Department of Assessments

Puget Sound Regional Archives

Seattle Times (3/25/1938, 2/10/1953, 2/21/1960, 8/22/1983)

US Census 1920, 1930, 1940

Conversation with Charles Harlow (96 years old) 5/26/2016 and 5/29/2016


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.


Constructed in 1924, this single story single-family Craftsman-style house is rectangular in plan, sits on a

concrete foundation, is clad with horizontal wood siding and wood shingles beneath the gable peaks,

and has an asphalt clad side-gabled roof with overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, knee braces, and

verge boards. The front façade includes an expansive projecting gabled entry vestibule and porch with

wood piers above brick pedestals, closed rail, and decorative dentillated trim. The symmetrically placed

front door is flanked by triads of 14-over-1 windows, and a small, rectangular 8-light fixed sash window

is placed beneath the gable peak. This house has been minimally altered, and still retains all aspects of


Detail for 8323 15TH AVE / Parcel ID 758870-0214 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood - Clapboard 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: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for 8323 15TH AVE / Parcel ID 758870-0214 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 01, 2016

Photo taken Feb 01, 2016

Photo taken Jan 01, 1900
App v2.0.1.0