Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 3208 NW 59TH ST NW / Parcel ID 1176000305 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman, Queen Anne Neighborhood: Crown Hill/Ballard
Built By: Year Built: 1905

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.

Alternate Addresses:

3208 (E) CRAWFORD (ST) (property possibly renumbered at one point?)

3204 W 59TH ST (property possibly renumbered at one point?)

3208 NW 59TH ST

Sobey Manufacturing Company

James and Besse Sobey built and occupied the home for a long period of time before being sold to the Johnson family. Mr. Sobey was born in England and Mrs. Besse Sobey was born in Michigan. James Sobey was a prominent figure in the community. He was the owner of the one of the local shingle mills in Ballard, the Sobey Manufacturing Company. Throughout his tenure as owner the mill he influenced industry policy, encountered a fire at his mill in 1924, and was the victim of a burglary in 1902. According to multiple articles in the Seattle Times, the wedding of their daughter, Besse Sobey was a grand event with some of the themes referencing a recent trip a the bride-to-be took with her mother and some of her sisters. The wedding took place at St. Mark’s Cathedral with the reception taking place at the Seattle Golf and Country Club.

In 1930, near the time Mr. Sobey passed away, it was determined that his estate was worth $650,000. If that value is converted to current value, the estate would be worth in excess of $9,000,000.

Polk Directory Excerpts:

1928 POLK: (3208 W 59TH) Sobey James Su 0455

1940 POLK: Johnson Ingolf jwlr Peter E Davidsen r 3208 W 59th

Property Card Excerpts:

PC: Harold B. Johnson owned home (~1937)

PC: Jokobina Johnson owned home 08/22/50

King County Parcel Viewer: Ingolf Johnson sold to Douglas M + Francia K Johnson (02/01/1982) (currently in Francia K’s name)

This ca. 1905 Queen Anne/Craftsman house is 2 stories and appears to have a hip roof with square dormers. The house is largely obscured from the street by dense foliage. An enclosed porch surrounded by multi-pane windows extends along a full side of the house and appears to wrap around the front of the house. The porch may wrap around both sides. The porch windows feature nine panes between each square post. The porch roof is flat along the side façade and features a balcony reached from the second floor with low walls. The walls of the house and balcony are covered in horizontal board. The porch, house, and visible dormer all have deep eaves with evenly spaced brackets. Several windows are visible on the second floor including two windows with decorative panes on the top half and fixed single panes on the lower half.

Detail for 3208 NW 59TH ST NW / Parcel ID 1176000305 / Inv # 0

Classication: District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat, Hip Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Square
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
: Slight
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for 3208 NW 59TH ST NW / Parcel ID 1176000305 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 01, 2016

Photo taken Feb 01, 2016

Photo taken Jan 01, 1900
App v2.0.1.0