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Summary for 4117 Whitman AVE / Parcel ID 1931300665 / Inv #

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Queen Anne Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1900
This structure may have been built earlier than 1900, the date of construction indicated in the King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report; however, the King County Property Record Car also gives 1900 as the year of construction. The house was assigned a construction date of 1899 by Nyberg and Steinbrueck, who described it in the late 1970s as “a flamboyant and original Victorian house” that “recalls early settlement in this area by upper middle income families." It has not been possible to locate a building permit for the construction of the building, and for this reason, the original owner, builder and designer remain unknown at the present time The King County Property Record Card records that A. J. Underhill purchased the property in 1936. However, it appears that Underhill and his wife Ellie lived at 3835 Whitman in 1936 and 1937, and the house at 4117 Whitman was occupied by Fred R. and Alice Fletcher from 1937 until 1970 according to Polk’s Seattle Directory. It is not clear if the Fletchers ever owned the property. The property was sold to Clayton R. Bowman in 1970; however, Bowman appears to have been another absentee landlord; several residents are listed in city directories for the years from 1971 to 1984 and the property was vacant in 1985. Bowman was issued a permit (#574224) in 1978 to establish that an accessory building on the site could be used as a single-family residence, although the process of establishing the use was apparently not completed until 1979. Changes to the electrical service were made about the same time. The accessory structure may have been in residential use for some time prior to the filing of the permit application; the King County Property Record Cards suggests that a small cabin existed on the site by 1937. Virginia Gilder and George Keller acquired the property no later than 1985. The electrical service was upgraded by the new owners that year. The Assessor indicates that the main building was renovated in 1991. Repairs to the roof and porch foundation (permit #653633) as well as some electrical modifications were made late in late November 1990 by owner Virginia Gilder. The cabin mentioned above does not appear to be visible from the street. However, Kirk Jolley was issued a permit for work at 4117-1/2 Whitman (presumably the address of the smaller building) in early November 1990. Owner Virginia Gilder appears to have added a porch and second floor addition to this structure in 1991-92. Whitney McCleary bought the house from Gilder and Kellor in 1993. Water damage to the main structure was corrected by McCleary in 2001 (permit #721408) and some furnace and electrical work was apparently completed about the same time (although Dave Bourg is listed as the owner on the electrical permit (#010820-060). Despite the extent of relatively recent building and electrical permit activity, comparison of the present structure with the photograph made by Nyberg and Steinbrueck in the late 1970s suggests that no obvious aesthetic modifications have been made since that time; however, the “gingerbread” elements presently extant at the base of the bargeboards of the east elevation are apparently not original components of the design – they are not visible in the photograph made in 1937 during the Assessor’s survey of the structure that year. Nyberg and Steinbrueck identified this structure as a building of significance to the city as a whole warranting further consideration as an historic landmark. Nyberg and Steinbrueck noted that "as a flamboyant and original Victorian house, it recalls early settlement in this area by upper middle income families." As noted above many of the more flamboyant features of he structure appear to have been added since 1937.
This is a 1-1/2 story, clapboard and shingle clad residence, built over a half basement on a concrete foundation. The slope of the roof, the octagonal corner tower with its eight sided pyramidal roof, the wrap-around balcony at the second story, and the detailing and style of the windows are all elements typical of late Queen Anne period “Victorian” design. The 60’ long ornamental iron railing at the second story balcony was in place when the structure was surveyed in 1937. The “gingerbread” elements presently extant at the base of the bargeboards of the east elevation are apparently not original components of the building – they are not visible in the photograph made during the Assessor’s 1937 survey of the structure. The building is difficult to see due to mature landscaping; however, no significant modifications other than those noted above are apparent.

Detail for 4117 Whitman AVE / Parcel ID 1931300665 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Hold
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Block
Roof Type(s): Gable, Hip, Pyramidal Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: 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 4117 Whitman AVE / Parcel ID 1931300665 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 10, 2004
App v2.0.1.0