Based on field work conducted in September 2014, this historic property retains its relationship to the streetscape, historic building form and a sufficient amount of exterior historic building fabric (design features, cladding and/or window sash/openings) to contribute to the distinct character of the Georgetown neighborhood. This is a well preserved but historically altered property that may possess some limited architectural and/or historic significance. Constructed ca.1900 as a small one-story, 4-room family dwelling, this house type/form (front gable with full width front porch) appears to have been a particularly common/popular early house type built in Georgetown. According to King County tax records it was originally clad with typical rustic siding, included a full width front porch, exhibited decorative porch brackets, a corbelled chimney cap and tall narrow double-hung wooden window sash. Earliest ownership has not been determined. Owned by Horace G. Lane, ca. 1937 and Joseph C. Blais (7-23-49). Appears to have been heavily remodeled ca. 1957 with porch removed and new entry vestibule added, machined shingle cladding added, large new windows installed and attic level made habitable. Now exhibits Minimal Tradition design character typical of that era.
This property is directly associated with the crucial years of early Georgetown history between 1890 and 1916 when the community was fully established, as transportation links were created and local industrial operations provided employment opportunities. As land claims were formally platted and family homes constructed, residential real estate development transformed Georgetown from a rough pioneer settlement to a formally chartered city. The most significant residential and commercial construction boom occurred in the first years of the twentieth century with the consolidation of the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company’s operations in Georgetown and the construction of the new brewing facility. With the increase of industry and local commerce, Georgetown grew from a population of 1,913 in 1900 to approximately 7,000 by 1910. The community was characterized by a mixture of modest working class housing and some high-style architecture and a population made up of many newly immigrated people, especially German and Italian immigrants. Although Georgetown came to rely much more on a commercial and industrial economic base rather than agricultural, farming activities did continue to flourish in the area. However, during the latter years of this era the initial construction of the Duwamish Waterway - and the elimination of the Georgetown oxbow segment of the river - created new industrial opportunities and ensured the future role of modern industrial development.
This property was heavily remodeled during the historic era between 1942 and 1975 when portions of the established residential portions of Georgetown began to be eliminated due to the phenomenal growth of industrial operations throughout much of the greater Duwamish Valley. Fueled by WWII, commercial and industrial enterprises - especially Boeing - brought thousands more workers to the area as production activities and employment opportunities increased exponentially. At peak of WWII Boeing production, the facility operated three shifts, seven days a week and employed thousands of workers. This pattern did not change with the end of the war and continued to transform the geographic area. While fewer new families found the increasingly industrialized area a desirable place to live, the availability of inexpensive land and surplus housing spurred new home construction and business activity. In 1943, the Duwamish Bend housing project was completed in order to provide emergency housing for defense workers and their families and then housed veterans’ families after the war. By December 1947, 1,044 families lived in one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. These pre-fabricated buildings were intended to be temporary and the complex had been entirely dismantled by 1954. The 1956 Seattle Comprehensive Plan called for the old residential areas to be phased out in order to provide additional industrial lands. The construction of Interstate-5 in 1962 cut through the center of Georgetown, which isolated and altered the historic commercial core and residential areas, as new transportation routes attracted industrial and commercial businesses. With a decreasing neighborhood population, the Georgetown Elementary School was closed in 1970 and then demolished for the construction of an office park. Despite these destructive factors, a core of residents remained dedicated to preserving the neighborhood and began a successful fight for its survival.
Sources of Information:
Baist’s Real Estate Survey 1912, pl. 22 & 29
“Historic Property Survey Report: Georgetown (Seattle, WA)” City of Seattle 1997
Property Record Cards 1937-1972, Puget Sound Regional Archives
Sanborn Insurance Maps: 1904-05 (Vol.1 pl.89-98), 1917 (Vol.3 pl. 353-54 & 357-59), 1929-1949 (Vol.8 pl. 869-72 & 1301-1317).