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Summary for 425 Eastlake AVE / Parcel ID 6847700055 / Inv #

Historic Name: 425 Eastlake Avenue Common Name: Sommerfeld & Co.
Style: Queen Anne Neighborhood: Cascade
Built By: Year Built: 1910
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This building, which is now operated as an office building, was originally an apartment building. It dates from 1910 and is typical of a series of Queen Anne wood residences, multi and single family as well as small businesses, that partially lined both sides of Eastlake, particularly in the 600, 500 and 400 blocks of Eastlake, beginning at least in 1906 and into the 1930s. Historic photographs from the 1930s show that there were several buildings, with similar detailing and built in wood, and mostly dating from the same period as this one. This is the last remnant of this kind of building, as well as one of the last of the wood clad apartment buildings in Cascade. Of all of these, it is by far, the most striking. Aside from changes to the windows of the bays, the façade is surprisingly intact. At the same time, many buildings from an important group of buildings that were part of this business/ residential district are still standing. The important and extant buildings in this very prominently placed ensemble of buildings include the Jensen Block, Carolina Court, 429 Eastlake Avenue East, now a tavern and glass studio, all brick clad as well as 421 Eastlake, a Mission style garage designed by William Bain, Sr. and the Grandview Apartments. (See Entries for 056, 057, 058, 060 and 061). Around the 1940s, St. Spiridon Orthodox Cathedral used the back half of the first floor as a kitchen to prepare food for celebrations. Handwritten notes on the Assessor's record cards, probably from the 1930s, suggest that while the building had two apartments, it also housed a brush warehouse and sales office. Earl Sommerfeld, who has owned the building since 1940, describes the building as having housed a broom factory. He also alluded to a rumor that the building may once have been a brothel.
This former two-story apartment building is distinguished by its main Queen Anne/ Eastlake Style elevation, which faces Eastlake Avenue East. The basic plan is rectangular. Its structure and cladding are of wood. The main façade has a false front that looks like a modified and shallow version of a Mansard roof. The basic composition is symmetrical with two gabled bays flanking a low hipped porch on the ground level and, two windows at the second level, topped by tiny versions of the gables over the bays. For an early Seattle building, this façade is profusely decorated. There is a lot of decorative shingle work: a modified fish scale shingle, which alternates between round “scales” and polygonally shaped ones. These shingles occur in a wide band at the level of the hipped roof of the porch, at the top of the first floor, and in the gable ends of the big and small gables. Also typical of the decorative elements are the spindle posts that hold up the porch, various types of repeated brackets, which alternate with circular medallions, under the eaves of the false “Mansard,” the tiny brackets with pendills of the small gables over the central second floor windows, and the inset rectangles decorated with pairs of circular medallions. The building’s side and back elevations are more utilitarian. The rectangular main plan has two small rectangular additions with pyramidal roofs to the back, attached by a flat roofed area. This portion of the building is two stories high, but because the grade moves down from east to west, this part of the building is a story below the Eastlake elevation. Behind this and one story higher is the hipped roof of the main part of the building, which is hidden by the false front facing Eastlake. These west facing portions of the building as well as the side elevations are clad in simple wood flush siding. Each of the pyramidal roof elevations has two well spaced windows at its top level. On the higher hipped roof elevation is a pair of windows, closely spaced, and placed symmetrically at the top and center of the elevation.

Detail for 425 Eastlake AVE / Parcel ID 6847700055 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable, Hip, Varied roof lines Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition, Other, Wood - Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Community Planning/Development, Ethnic Heritage, Manufacturing/Industry, Religion
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Lea, Christine, Notes from interview with Earl Sommerfeld on November 20, 2003, Seattle, Washington.

Photo collection for 425 Eastlake AVE / Parcel ID 6847700055 / Inv #

Photo taken Sep 30, 2003

Photo taken Sep 30, 2003
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