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.
The brick retail building on the pointy corner at NW 85th and 32nd NW was built in 1928.
A list of building owners since 1996 is available from King County. Kess E. Blaswich (also known
as Blaswich Trust and Kesco LLC) was the owner 1996-2004. Don E. Hines & Kathleen Moeller
(building tenants) acquired the property in 2003. It is currently owned by Kathy M. Moeller
operating as Vintage Enterprises LLC.
The commercial tenants between 1928-38 are not known. For 34 years from 1939-1973 the
space housed neighborhood grocers or druggist. The first tenant to appear in the 1939 Seattle
Polks Directory was Lee Quality Food, grocery & meats, owned and operated by Louis & Anna
Mattson (residence 2204 W. 65th) from 1939-44. Hoefers Market, grocery and meats, occupied
the corner spot from 1951-67. Smitty's Sunset Beverage & Sundries Druggist (1969-73) was
operated by Corydon D. Smith at the address 3125 NW 85th. In 1975 the Gob Shoppe moved
from its University Avenue location to this quiet residential neighborhood to continue the sale
of rock & roll records & tapes ... and marijuana pipes and accessories. It remained for ten years
or more. The current tenant is Caffe Flore coffee shop and a restaurant.
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.