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Summary 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

Historic Name: Jennings, Judson H., House Common Name: Rader, Melvin and Virginia, House
Style: Arts & Crafts - Craftsman Neighborhood: University
Built By: Year Built: 1907
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

Based on field work conducted in October 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 University Park neighborhood.

This Shingle style residence was the home of librarian Judson Jennings for many years and has been owned by University professor Melvin Rader and his family since 1956. It occupies a desirable, secluded site on the south side of NE Ravenna Boulevard. Some modifications were made to the house in 1924. Judson J. Jennings was a notable librarian at the Seattle Public Library and lived in this house from 1913 until 1939. Mr. Jennings is the author of "Volunteer Education through the Public Library." Later residents included Clare Marple and Reverend P.E. Freligh of the Gospel Tabernacle Missionary Alliance Church. Melvin Rader, University of Washington professor of philosophy purchased the house in 1956 and his family still lives there. Although Melvin Rader did not live at 1719 NE Ravenna Boulevard during the Canwell trials, his activism and idealism make him one of the great heroes of the University District. In the late 1940s Rader was a principal target of the Washington State Legislature's Committee on Un-American Activities, also known as the Canwell Committee. (It was chaired by Representative Albert Canwell of Spokane.) In 1948, the Canwell Committee charged that Rader and several other professors were Communists. Rader refused to provide names and spent many months trying to clear his name. With the assistance of Seattle Times journalist Ed Guthman, Rader managed to clear the charges and keep his position. After his retirement from the University, Rader's book "False Witness" was published in 1969, which chronicles his experience. Melvin Rader died in 1981. Additional Reference: "Fair Play and a Free Press: The Triumph of Melvin Rader," University of Washington Office of Research, UW Showcase, published 1997. Web site
This Shingle style house on Northeast Ravenna Boulevard is difficult to see from the street, surrounded by trees and shrubs. It has a prominent porch on its main (north) elevation, with wide unfluted columns. It has a steeply pitched side gable roof. There is a two-windowed dormer on the north elevation with connected hipped roofs. The house is clad in wood shingles. It has double-hung wood windows with multi-paned sash above. Three windows on the rear (south) elevation were installed in 1967, and a second story rear porch was enclosed at the same time. Otherwise the house is relatively unchanged except for a large plate glass window on the north elevation. A small balcony above the front porch has been removed. It has an attached garage at the basement level on the east elevation, which is old but probably not original.

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: Yes - Hold
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Unknown
Changes to Windows: Moderate
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.

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 30, 2002

Photo taken Oct 01, 2014
App v2.0.1.0