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.
This residence first appears on record as the family home of Charles W. McPherron and later his oldest son Cecil W. McPherron. Brothers Charles & David McPherron came from August, Kansas and set down roots in Ballard. Charles McPherron was a mechanic at an auto plant. His wife Daisy was an invalid for 11 years before her death in 1939. Probably because of her invalidism there was always domestic help living in with the family of three sons who all attended James Monroe and Ballard High School. The senior McPherron is shown on the U.S. Census as still in the residence as of 1940 but as of 1943 the primary in the household is the oldest son Cecil however as of his death at in 1959 the family had relocated to 7534 31st NW. Cecil’s obituary cited him as almost lifelong resident of Ballard, car salesman for 40 years, Ballard Elks and Sur-Luster Bowling League Member. The residence had been
sold to the nearby Free Methodist Church on Mary Avenue NW to be their parsonage. Per King County property records the sale to the church on 6.21.56 was for $12,500. It was occupied for the Reverend Forest Bush and his wife Ida. On 10.29.62 it was purchased by Lawrence R. Hilden and the following December they entered the “Christmas Trail” contest for judging as one of 300 homes in the Seattle Times’ city-wide Christmas lighting contest. Current owners are Virginia and Forester Lawrence.