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Summary for 3980 MADRONA DR / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Denny Blaine Lake Park Realty Office Common Name: Denny Blaine Lake Park Shelter
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman, Arts & Crafts - Rustic Neighborhood: Madrona
Built By: Year Built: 1901
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This architecturally distinctive structure was initially constructed about 1901 to serve as an office for the Denny-Blaine Land Company. In 1901, real estate developers Charles L. Denny and Elbert F. Blaine filed a plat for their Denny-Blaine Lake Park subdivision and constructed this building along the route of the streetcar line. Some ten years earlier, a company headed by J.D. Lowman had established an electric trolley line, first called the Union Trunk Line, and had developed Madrona Park along the shores of Lake Washington at its terminus. At that time, streetcar lines often terminated at a popular attraction so as to encourage real estate development along the length of the line and to increase ridership outside of regular commuting hours, especially on weekends. Denny and Blaine owned a large parcel of land at the top of the ravine through which the streetcar ran on its way down to the lake. Once they filed their plat, they constructed this building as an office from which to conduct real estate sales. The building also featured a waiting room for passengers of the streetcar line. Denny and Blaine apparently constructed the building so that it could be converted for use as a waiting and picnic shelter after it was no longer necessary to use it as a real estate office. For many years, the design of the Craftsman-style building has been incorrectly attributed to the prominent architect Ellsworth Storey. The structure shared an irregular parcel of land with a small park containing a pool and the Minerva Fountain named to honor the wife of Elbert Blaine. Denny and Blaine had dedicated and developed the park as part of their plat. Viretta Park, another small park in the plat, was named in honor of the wife of Charles Denny. Charles L. Denny, the son of pioneers Arthur A. and Mary Boren Denny, pursued various business interests during his life, including real estate development. Elbert F. Blaine, a lawyer originally from New York, moved west in the 1880s and served as a Commissioner on the Parks Board from 1902 to 1908. Blaine’s efforts to implement the Olmsted Brothers plan for the Seattle park system later earned him the title of "Father of the Seattle Park System." After the realty office had ceased to function as such, it reverted to its intended use as a waiting shelter. Initially, the windows, doors and interior walls remained. However, by 1924, problems with vandalism made it necessary to remove all of these features, leaving an open, roofed shelter with the DENNY BLAINE LAKE PARK sign still on the roof. This structure is significant for its design and for its associations with one of Seattle’s earliest modes of mass public transportation, the streetcar lines, and with the development of the Madrona/Denny Blaine neighborhood.
 
Appearance
Originally constructed as a real estate office in 1901, this one-story log frame structure was later converted for use as a waiting shelter, first for streetcars and then for buses. On the ground floor level, this conversion eventually resulted in the removal of the original casement windows set with diamond panes as well as the exterior cladding and the interior walls. With its distinctive Craftsman design, the rectangular plan building features a side gable roof with wide overhanging eaves and log roof trusses. A high river rock foundation set in concrete terminates at concrete window sills and supports the building’s thick log posts located at varying intervals around the perimeter of the structure. The wooden pegs in these posts may be decorative rather than structural. On the north and south elevations, diagonal log braces extend from the posts and support the roof trusses. Double log braces also frame the entrances at the center of these elevations. Log knee braces support the gable ends on the east and west elevations. Wood shingles with alternating sawtooth courses cover these gable ends as well as the upper part of the walls under the eaves. The gable ends also contain louvered window openings. On the interior, the logs have been cased, and the upper walls have been clad with tongue and groove boards. A bench extends along the rear north wall. On the south slope of the gable roof, a "DENNY BLAINE LAKE PARK" sign remains from the original real estate office. The sign’s metal letters are pin-mounted on a wood band. A concrete sidewalk surrounds the building, which is located adjacent to the small park’s lily pond. The building retains good physical integrity although the concrete is wearing away in places, and there is some checking to the logs, which are in need of painting.

Detail for 3980 MADRONA DR / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Log, Shingle, Stone - River Rock, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Wood - Shingle
Building Type: Other Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Other No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Transportation
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.

Photo collection for 3980 MADRONA DR / Parcel ID / Inv # 0


Photo taken Aug 23, 2000
App v2.0.1.0