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Summary for 111 TOWER PL / Parcel ID 887300-0015 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Griffin, Arthur E., House Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman, Tudor Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1905
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.
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This notable Tudor-inspired Arts and Crafts house was particularly noted in the 1979 city-wide survey as being of landmark significance; its original address was 1224 1st Avenue North. It has had only three owners. It was designed in 1905 for Superior Court Judge Arthur E. Griffin. Griffin practiced as an attorney in Seattle for 57 years before his death in 1947 at the age of 85. He was born in Minnesota in 1862 and came to Washington in 1884. He taught school and operated a grocery store while studying law at night. He was admitted to the bar in 1890 and served as a superior court judge from 1901 until 1907. Griffin and his wife Gabrielle remained in the house until the 1940s.  In the late 1940s Robert Wallace, a dentist, and his wife Margaret, bought the house, remaining until the 1970s. Bruce Densmore, research director for the Quinton Instrument Company (medical devices), and his wife Ellie purchased the house in 1973. They have made minor changes, including glassing in the front porch; this was done in a compatible manner and is not noticeable. The architect, A. Walter Spalding, was born in Massachusetts and practiced in St. Louis, Minneapolis and Idaho before arriving in Seattle in 1901. This house was designed after he completed the Hofius House (now the residence of the Catholic Archbishop) and shortly before his work on the Robert Moran House (now Rosario Resort). He later entered a partnership with Max Umbrecht (1908-11), and became a contractor in 1912.
This house is typical of many mansions of the period, with granite on the first floor, clapboard on the second floor and stucco half-timbering on the large third-floor gable ends. It sits high above the street, atop a very long stairway on the east side; the house is oriented toward the west. The entry on the east elevation has an arched doorway to a small enclosed porch; a wood balustrade is above the entry. The form is basically side gabled, but with large gabled wings on the front and rear. The second floor overhangs slightly, with brackets beneath the projection. The roof ends are slightly curved with prominent bargeboards. Windows are primarily one-over-one double-hung sash with wide wood surrounds. The prominent windows in the gable ends have diamond-paned upper sash. The east elevation has five diamond-paned casement windows toward the center, with three tall narrow windows, in a stepped arrangement, toward the south.

Detail for 111 TOWER PL / Parcel ID 887300-0015 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stone, Stucco, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Politics/Government/Law
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.

Photo collection for 111 TOWER PL / Parcel ID 887300-0015 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Apr 06, 2003
App v2.0.1.0