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Historic Name: Cummings House Common Name: Billodue House
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1906
 
Significance

Historic Context

The following historic context includes content summarized from the SR 520, I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and HOV Project Cultural Resources Assessment Discipline Report included in attachment 7 of the SR 520, I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and HOV Project Final Environmental Impact Statement and Final Section 4(f) and 6(f) Evaluations (Federal Highway Administration and Washington State Department of Transportation 2011), (1 Seattle Neighborhoods: Portage Bay – Roanoke – North Capitol Hill – Thumbnail History (Becker 2012), along with supplementary research.

Development of the North Capitol Hill Neighborhood

Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is located on a long ridge overlooking downtown. The landform is bounded by Fuhrman Avenue East on the north, I-5 on the west, East Pike Street on the south, and 24th Avenue East and Boyer Avenue East on the east. It was named by the neighborhood’s primary developer, James Moore, in 1901. Prior to this, the area had been known as Broadway Hill and was positioned around a wagon road cut through the forest to a cemetery, later named Lake View Cemetery, situated on the hilltop (Williams 2001). To attract Seattle’s elite to the development, Moore marketed the neighborhood as being exclusive, but within convenient proximity to the growing city. By 1908, Capitol Hill was an expensive and fashionable district and by 1913, enough mansions lined 14th Avenue North to earn it the nickname “Millionaire’s Row” (Williams 2001; Nyberg and Steinbrueck 1975). Each estate was individually designed, primarily by well-known architects, in lavish grandeur and in a wide range of architectural styles, including Tudor Revival, Georgian Revival, Classic Revival, Queen Anne, English Cottage, Classic Box, and Craftsman (Williams 2001). Volunteer Park has been a focal point for the neighborhood since it was purchased by the Seattle Park Department in 1876.

The property at 2333 Broadway Ave E is located within the northern section of the Capitol Hill neighborhood (north of Volunteer Park), in what is referred to as North Capitol Hill. Geographically, North Capitol Hill is located on the peninsula of land between Lake Union and Portage Bay and is characterized by canyons and ravines (Becker 2012).

The subject property was built in 1906, a time when streetcar infrastructure was expanded to connect North Capitol Hill and other early neighborhoods with downtown Seattle. This investment encouraged development of “streetcar suburbs” along the streetcar routes. These streetcar suburbs were residential communities where development was shaped by the use of streetcar lines as a primary means of transportation. Common features of early twentieth century streetcar suburbs included the grid street plan and narrow lots situated perpendicular to the streetcar line, with an emphasis on the linkage between the pedestrian on the public sidewalk and the buildings’ front door, porch, and large building setbacks (Howard 1979).

By 1906, the privately-owned Union Trunk Line had been extended from E Lynn Street to the Roanoke Park neighborhood, connecting North Capitol Hill with downtown and providing residents access without the need to walk the steep grades up and down the ridge to catch a trolley. The Roanoke Park neighborhood, which was developed approximately one block north of the 2333 Broadway Ave E property (now separated from Roanoke Park by SR 520), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and considered historically significant under Criterion A, in part, for its contribution to the broad patterns of history as an early streetcar suburb (United States Department of the Interior 2009). In 1919, the City of Seattle purchased the streetcar lines, including one which ran north along 10th Avenue N (now E) one block east of the subject property (Becker 2012). The route along Broadway and 10th Avenue E was abandoned on May 12, 1940, and replaced with a trackless trolley service.

The North Capitol Hill neighborhood was mostly developed by the early twentieth century, and was comprised of single-family residences, multi-family residences along arterial streets largely built between the 1920s and 1940s, and small pockets of commercial businesses along main arterial streets (Becker 2012). As one of Seattle’s oldest and most distinguished residential areas, the high-quality architecture and residential landscaping with large canopy street trees, such as along Federal Avenue North (two blocks east of subject property), contribute to its ambience and quality (Nyberg and Steinbrueck 1975). However, the neighborhood would see drastic changes with the onset of freeway construction.

Construction of the Seattle Freeway, which would become part of I-5, began in 1958. Its introduction had particular impact on the Roanoke and North Capitol Hill neighborhoods. Freeway work commenced with the construction of the Ship Canal Bridge and continued northward and southward from the bridge approaches, opening in 1962. Since the North Capitol Hill neighborhood lies immediately south of the bridge, it was among the first in Seattle to experience route clearing: purchase or condemnation of private property by the State Highway Department (now WSDOT), front yard auctions of homes, grading, and freeway construction (Becker 2012). The completion of I-5 separated Capitol Hill and First Hill from downtown Seattle. During the same time, the North Capitol Hill neighborhood was further divided by the original 1960s SR 520 project construction, which separated the northern section south of Roanoke Park from the rest of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The construction included major areas of cutting on North Capitol Hill, and on the Roanoke Park plateau, as well as throughout the nearby Montlake neighborhood.

Despite disruptions and intrusions from transportation projects, the Roanoke and North Capitol Hill neighborhoods retain their popularity and real estate values. Charming older housing stock, parks and open space, access to water, proximity to the freeway and to both the vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood and downtown, and good bus service attract residents seeking a dense and busy, but still charming, intensely urban environment. The construction of I-5 encouraged the building of more multi-unit apartments to take advantage of the expansive views offered from Capitol Hill’s ridge. Victor Steinbrueck wrote of the numerous properties that had been redeveloped as apartment buildings along the Capitol Hill slope, “The architecture of the various apartments is neither generally harmonious or of high quality, but these do form an interesting, variegated, architectural wall above the roadways,” (Steinbrueck 1973).

 

Property Development

Located in the approximate center of Seattle in the North Capitol Hill neighborhood, the property at 2333 Broadway E was built in 1906. No architect or builder is recorded in the King County Assessor’s records for this property (King County Assessor 1936-1966). It was constructed in the Craftsman architectural style, which was popular from approximately 1905 to 1930. Character-defining features of this style include: low-pitched roofs with wide (often unenclosed) eave overhangs; exposed rafters; decorative beams or braces added under gables; large front porches (either full- or partial-width) with roof supported by tapered or square columns; gabled dormers with exposed rafter ends; wood clapboard or shingle cladding (McAlester and McAlester 2005: 453-4). When constructed, the residence at 2333 Broadway E included features that embodied the Craftsman style of architecture including: windows with wooden casing, a triple front window with a planter box, a 78 square foot recessed partial width front porch with decorative braces and a square wooden detailed column with matching balustrade and central front steps, a 24 square foot side porch on north side of house with extended roof and wooden steps, a low-pitched shingle clad hipped roof with four gable dormers facing each cardinal direction with broad overhangs and exposed rafter detailing, the dormers embodied fine detailing including decorative stickwork, and cedar siding exterior walls (King County Assessor 1936-1966). The undated property photo attached to the 1936-1966 King County Assessor property card shows a well-maintained front landscape with mown lawn, a northeast corner grouping of small boulders and shrubs that transitions into an ornamental flower border along the north property border, and a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees and shrubs flanking the front steps along the length of the front, east façade, and shrubs along the northern façade (King County Assessor 1936-1966).

The property has undergone modifications over time with changes in ownership. Caroline V. Cummings is the first owner on record in 1910 and during a remodel in 1923 according to the King County Assessor property card, until J L Bloomquist purchased the property circa. 1930 (King County Assessor 1936-1966). Thomas M. Rupert purchased the property in 1936 and built a detached garage in 1944. William Harris was the owner when the detached garage was demolished, and a carport built in its place ca. 1958 (King County Assessor 1937-1966). Edward and Marjorie Billodue purchased the property at an unknown date and remain the current owners (King County Assessor 2019). Changes to the property over time include:  a railing, designed with a style that is compatible with the original balustrade, has been added on either side of the front central steps, the depth of the broad roof overhangs were reduced and the exposed rafters on the roof were removed, the decorative stickwork in the gables of the dormers has been removed, original wooden windows have been replaced by new vinyl windows, the building exterior was painted green which has since started peeling, a dog-eared wooden picket fence with central entrance arbor and two mature camellia flanking the northeast and southeast boundary of the front yard have been added which block the full view of the building. 

Although several features of the building remain intact, the neighborhood context has undergone drastic changes since the residence was built in 1906. While the property at 2333 Broadway E had been established for a decade, the 1917 Sanborn map of Seattle shows the area during its developing years with several vacant lots remaining in the neighborhood (Sanborn Fire Insurance Company 1917: Sheet 446). By 1950, the neighborhood had largely filled in, the property was one house among many in a spatial arrangement of long rectangular blocks extending row after row in each direction (Sanborn Fire Insurance Company 1950: Sheet 446). The early 1960s freeway construction changed the neighborhood and site context. A comparison of the 1969 historic aerial with the 1950 Sanborn map shows the contrast, as Interstate 5 had been constructed immediately west and SR 520 immediately north of the property, inherently cutting off the site from the western and northern part of the city (NETRonline 1969). The long rectangular block was transformed into a curved arch by the on and off ramps of the freeway. The property that resided west of 2333 Broadway E was demolished, and the land taken by the State of Washington. Billodue purchased the vacant parcel (parcel 6699500075) in 1990 (King County Assessor 2019). Fruit trees were planted on the vacant parcel, and the land offers expanded views of Lake Union and the Olympic Mountains. The vacant lot is landscaped and acts as an extension of the backyard to the property at 2333 Broadway E.

NRHP and Eligibility Evaluation

The property at 2333 Broadway E was evaluated for NRHP and WHR eligibility under criteria A, B, C, and D, with recommendations as follows:

NRHP Criterion A

Properties can be eligible for listing in the NRHP under Criterion A if they are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history and retain sufficient integrity to convey that significance. The property at 2333 Broadway E is historically significant as an example of an early 20th century residence associated with the “streetcar suburb” development trend in Seattle. Streetcar suburb development was a trend across the country and manifested in Seattle in the Roanoke Park neighborhood and nearby parcels, including the property at 2333 Broadway E. The property is adjacent to the Roanoke Park Historic District, but outside its suggested NRHP-listed boundary. The period of significance for this association is 1906, which corresponds with the build date of the residence at 2333 Broadway E and the year the streetcar lines were established in North Capitol Hill. Character defining features that convey the building’s historic association include the large setback, the hipped roof with four gable dormers, the horizontally hung wood siding with decorative dentil molding, the coursed wooden shingle cladding on the dormers, and the recessed partial width front porch with wooden square column. The eligible historic property boundary is restricted to the historic site boundary which is equivalent to the parcel boundary for 6699500030. While some of the original features have been lost, the property at 2333 Broadway E retains sufficient integrity to convey the significance of an early twentieth century residence developed along a streetcar line. Thus, the property at 2333 Broadway E is recommended eligible for individual listing in the NRHP under Criterion A, but is not considered to be among the properties that contribute to conveying the significance of the Roanoke Park Historic District under Criterion A.

NRHP Criterion B

Properties may be eligible for listing in the NRHP under Criterion B if they are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past and retain sufficient integrity to convey that significance. The first records of the property at 2333 Broadway E record Caroline V. Cummings as the owner (King County Assessor 1936-1966). Cummings was the owner during a 1923 remodel. Thomas M. Rupert was the owner of the property when a detached garage was built in 1944. Unknown alterations of $14,000 were undertaken by owner Edward R. Billodue in 1966 (King County Assessor 1936-1966). The architect associated with the design of the property is unknown. Research did not yield information that indicated the property to be associated with the lives of persons significant in our past. As such, regardless of its physical condition, the property cannot be said to convey historic significance. Without a documented historic significance, analysis of integrity (the ability to convey historic significance), is not merited.  Therefore, the property at 2333 Broadway E is recommended not eligible for listing in the NRHP under Criterion B. NRHP Criterion C

Properties may be eligible for listing in the NRHP under Criterion C if they embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction, or if they represent the work of a master, or possess high artistic value, or represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction, and retain sufficient integrity to convey that significance. The property at 2333 Broadway E is adjacent to the Roanoke Park Historic District, but outside its suggested NRHP-listed boundary. When it was first built, the property was an excellent example of an early twentieth century Craftsman style house. However, many of the character-defining features that conveyed the Craftsman style for this residence have been altered. While the property retains enough of its original character to represent an early twentieth century residence, it has lost distinctive character defining features such as the stickwork of the dormers, the depth of the roof overhangs and exposed rafters, and original windows such that it no longer retains sufficient integrity to convey architectural significance as an example of Craftsman style. Thus, the property at 2333 Broadway E is recommended not eligible for individual listing in the NRHP under Criterion C, and is not considered to be among the properties that contribute to conveying the significance of the Roanoke Park Historic District under Criterion C.

NRHP Criterion D

Properties may be eligible for listing in the NRHP under criterion D if they have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history. The property does not provide information that cannot be obtained through historic research and aerial photograph analysis. Therefore, the property at 2333 Broadway E is recommended not eligible for listing in the NRHP under Criterion D

Major Bibliographic References

Becker, Paula. 2012. Seattle Neighborhoods: Portage Bay – Roanoke – North Capitol Hill – Thumbnail History, HistoryLink Essay 10180. Available: http://www.historylink.org/File/10180. Accessed: December 26, 2018.

Federal Highway Administration and Washington State Department of Transportation. 2011. Final Environmental Impact Statement and Section 4(f) and 6(f) Evaluations, SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program, SR 520, I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and HOV Project. June 2011. Seattle, Washington.

Google Earth. 2019. Google Earth Pro, Version 7.3.2.5776. Mountain View, CA. Accessed: April 16, 2019.

Howard, Cynthia A.I.A. 1979. Your House in the Streetcar Suburb. Prepared for The City of Medford, Massachusetts Department of Community Development. September 1979. Medford, Massachusetts.

King County Assessor. 2019. King County Parcel Viewer. Available at https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/gis/Maps/parcel-viewer.aspx. Accessed March 25, 2019.

King County Assessor, Real Property Record Cards, 1936-1966, Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue, Washington.

King County Assessor, Real Property Record Cards, 1971-1991, Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue, Washington.

McAlester, V. and McAlester, L. 2005. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

NETRonline. 1969. Historic Aerials Viewer. Available: https://www.historicaerials.com/viewer. Accessed: January 18, 2019.

Nyberg, Folke and Victor Steinbrueck. 1975. Historic Seattle Neighborhood Inventories: Capitol Hill. Available: https://historicseattle.org/neighborhood-inventories/. Accessed: March 27, 2019.

Sanborn Insurance Company. 1917. Fire Insurance Map of Seattle. Volume 4, Sheet 446. Sanborn Insurance Company, Chicago, IL. Digital database, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA.

Sanborn Insurance Company. 1950. Fire Insurance Map of Seattle. Volume 4, Sheet 446. Sanborn Insurance Company, Chicago, IL. Digital database, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA.

Steinbrueck, Victor. 1973. Seattle Cityscape #2. University of Washington Press, Seattle, Washington. Pp 80-81.

United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 2009. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Roanoke Park Historic District.

Williams, Jacqueline B. 2001. The Hill with a Future: Seattle’s Capitol Hill 1900-1946. CPK Ink, Seattle, Washington.

 

 
Appearance

The property located at 2333 Broadway E, Seattle, in King County, Washington, consists of a 1.5-story house with a detached carport. Maintenance appears to be neglected; both buildings are in deteriorated condition. The 3-bedroom and 1.5-bath dwelling includes a finished basement, an open, recessed partial-width porch, a side entryway porch with wooden stairs, and one multi-story fireplace. Sited on an approximately 5,000 square foot lot, the 2,800-square foot single-family residence has undergoing modifications over time but retains many of its original Craftsman style features and character.

There has been a loss of features through the removal or addition of architectural elements. The depth of the broad roof overhangs has been reduced and the exposed rafters on the roof have been removed. The dormers originally embodied fine Craftsman style detailing. While exposed rafters on the dormers remain intact, the decorative stickwork in the gables of the dormers has been removed. Original wooden windows have been replaced by new vinyl windows. The number and size of windows have not changed, but the three one-over-one single-hung windows on the first floor of the primary façade have been replaced by fixed sash windows and the single-hung porch window has been replaced by a horizontal sliding window. Shutters on the windows of primary (east) façade and east dormer have been removed. While the original square wooden balustrade on the porch remains intact, a railing, designed with a style that is compatible with the original balustrade, has been added to the front steps. A dog-eared wooden picket fence and two camellia have been added to the front landscape, blocking the open view of the structure. A garage was added in 1944 and later removed when a carport was constructed. The surrounding character of the neighborhood has also dramatically changed since the property was built in 1906, due to the construction of Interstate 5 and SR 520, essentially cutting off the property from nearby Eastlake and Roanoke Park neighborhoods.

Despite the alterations of some features, many character defining features are extant, including the highly distinctive feature of the low sloped hipped roof with large gable dormers facing each of the cardinal directions. The residence’s horizontally hung wood siding with decorative dentil molding remains intact, as does the coursed wooden shingle cladding on the dormers. The front door has a decorative crown similar to the adjacent window with matching green trim and decorative casing. The recessed partial width front porch on the northeast corner of the house has a wooden detailed column with a matching balustrade and decorative brackets. Ornamental plantings including rose and rhododendron line the north property boundary. Although there have been changes to roof overhangs, removal of the dormer stickwork, replacement of the wooden windows, and new railings added to the porch, the property at 2333 Broadway E has integrity in proportion, pattern of windows, massing, and much of the wooden ornamentation consistent with early twentieth century Craftsman style residential buildings.

Detail for this site is under review and the displayed data may not be fully up to date. If you need additional info, please call (206) 684-0464

Status:
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable, Hip Roof Material(s): Wood - Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Timber Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Politics/Government/Law
Integrity
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for this site is under review and the displayed data may not be fully up to date. If you need additional info, please call (206) 684-0464


Photo taken Jan 01, 1900

Photo taken Jan 01, 2019

Photo taken Jan 01, 2019

Photo taken Jan 01, 2019

Photo taken Jan 01, 2019

Photo taken Jan 01, 2019

Photo taken Jan 01, 2019

Photo taken Jan 01, 2019

Photo taken Jan 01, 2019
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