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Summary for 6507 12TH AVE / Parcel ID 5200100020 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: American Foursquare - Craftsman Neighborhood: Crown Hill/Ballard
Built By: Year Built: 1910

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 original owner and likely builder of 6507 12th Avenue NW was Howard D. Masterson who was born in Silver City, Idaho in 1865. A Seattle sewer card lists the house as located on “H.D. Masterson’s Replat of Block B; Hamblett’s Acre Gardens” suggesting perhaps that Mr. Masterson owned some or all of the entire block, building his own home there first and later selling off parcels to others starting in 1922 (possibly also an explanation for his retirement at that time).

A 1913 obituary for Howard’s father, James Masterson, notes that the latter was born in Ohio, moved to Seattle in 1873 and, in addition to Howard, was father to a daughter, Hattie, and son, Harry. Presumably Howard was living in Seattle with his father in 1873 when he was 8 years old, although by 1900, census records indicate Howard was living had moved to Kittitas County, Washington, and was working as a farmer, living with his wife Margaret (born 1875 in Kittitas County) and three children (James, Dorothy, and Donald). By 1910, the Howard and Margaret had moved to Ballard and were living at 1138 West 65th Street, having also added three more children to the family (Pierpont, Marjori, and Viola). Later that year, they moved into the newly build home on 12th Avenue.

Over the years 1910 to 1943, Howard was listed in the Seattle City Directories variously as a grading contractor, carpenter, general contractor, and teamster. In 1924, Howard was a political delegate for the GOP. As the children grew, several remained in (or returned to) the family home as adults, including son Pierpont (also known as Pierre) who worked as a groundskeeper at the Jefferson Golf Course for the City of Seattle and daughter Virginia who moved back home in 1931.

In 1930, neighbors on the block included people with occupations as a salesman, brakeman, teller, speeder man for a lumber company, airplane mechanic, boilermaker, commercial trawler, fisherman, engineer, tabulator, receiving clerk, dry battery maker, fountain girl at a department store, chauffeur, and a foreman; and they hailed from places as diverse as Texas, Canada, California, New York Oregon, North Dakota, Iowa, Norway, Denmark, Minnesota, Alaska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming, in addition to Washington. By 1940, Howard was retired and he and Margaret were renting the upstairs to a widow named Maude Kaegley (age 64). In 1948, their son James passed away, leaving his wife Anna, five children, and ten grandchildren. Just three years later on December 22, 1951, Howard Masterson passed away at age 86; his obituary noted that he had been a building contractor and resident of Seattle for fifty years, although retired for the last thirty years. Margaret Masterson died November 26, 1956 in Monroe, Washington.


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.

When it was built in 1910, the house was the only one on 12th Avenue between 65th and 67th—the next houses were not built until 1922. It is a two story structure with a shallow-pitched pyramidal hipped-roof accented with smaller hipped roofs on the front two corners capping bay windows that extend two stories tall. Another hipped roof extends over a centrally located front entry supported by three square columns. As is common in the Seattle Box style, the front door is placed just off center under the covered porch. The exterior is clad in narrow wood lap siding and the fixed single-pane bay windows are symmetrically located on the front façade. While the window openings appear to be original, the windows themselves are likely later replacements; typically the Seattle Box house would have had a two-light window with decorative, multi-paned and/or leaded glass in the smaller, upper sash.

Detail for 6507 12TH AVE / Parcel ID 5200100020 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Pyramidal Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan:
Structural System: No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for 6507 12TH AVE / Parcel ID 5200100020 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 01, 2016

Photo taken Feb 01, 2016
App v2.0.1.0