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Summary for 620 W Lee ST W / Parcel ID 1732801325 / Inv #

Historic Name: Nettleton, Walter B. House Common Name: Nettleton House
Style: Colonial - Colonial Revival Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1904
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
Nettleton House was constructed in 1904. Walter Nettleton (1878-1969), born and raised in Minnesota, moved to Seattle after serving in the Spanish American War. In May 1900 Nettleton got his first job with Stetson Post Lumber Company as a clerk working ten to eleven hour shifts, six days a week, for $50 per month. Just over a year later, he formed a wholesale lumber company with Lewis Schwager, a former University of Minnesota classmate. They purchased lumber and shingles from most of the western Washington sawmills and wholesaled them worldwide. Their business in booming Seattle increased quickly and in early 1904 Nettleton returned to his native Minnesota and married New York born Emma Carpenter (1878-1947). The couple returned to Seattle and took up residency at The Summit Hotel at Summit and Minor. Walter Nettleton immediately started making arrangements to build a house for the newlyweds. He hired architect Albert Walter Spalding to design and build what the Pacific Record described as a “splendid residence” at the northwest corner of Comstock and Queen Anne streets. Spalding supervised construction that lasted from late July to December 1904. The Nettletons moved into the house as soon as it was completed. To commute to downtown Seattle the Nettletons walked five blocks downhill to Olympic Place and caught the Kinnear Park street car. By 1910 the population of the house had increased to eight. Besides the married couple, there were two daughters ages 4 and 2, Emma’s 60 year old mother, and three servants; Swedish native Anna Peterson (age 28), nurse Nellie Belkins (age 36), and a chauffeur William Josephs (age 43). The Nettletons would add three more children to their family. In 1910, Schwager & Nettleton closed the Minnesota Sawmill they had operated in Skagit County and then opened Puget Sound’s first all electric sawmill in West Seattle. By 1927 the West Seattle sawmill employed 350 men and from 1910 until 1927 produced one billion board feet of lumber. By then, Nettleton was the sole owner and he ran the mill until it closed in 1965. At the time it closed, the sawmill was the first or second oldest operating mill in Seattle. Emma Nettleton was one of the original 24 incorporators of the Children’s Orthopedic Hospital and both Nettletons were involved in the hospital for the rest of their lives. The Nettleton family lived in 620 W Lee Street until 1969 a total of 65 years. The 1975 Historic Seattle Survey of the Queen Anne listed the house as Significant to the Community. The 1979 Seattle Historic Resources Survey inventoried the house. The Colonial Revival residence appears to meet City of Seattle Landmark criteria due to the significance ot the architect Albert Walter Spalding, age of the structure (over 100 years old) and minimal alterations. Sources (for complete citation see Reference below): Pacific Record. May 7, 1904 p. 6 col. 2. Permit # 28647 Seattle Daily Bulletin July 18, 1904 p. 2 "Mrs. Nettleton, Wife of Timber Firm Head, Dies" Seattle Post-Intelligencer October 5(?), 1947. Clipping file. Special Collections, University of Washington Library. "Pillars of Our Business Structure" (Walter B. Nettleton) (newspaper not named) March 20, 1927 Section 4 p. 16. Clipping file. Special Collections, University of Washington Library. "Death Takes Walter B. Nettleton, 91" Seattle Times July 1, 1969 p. 53 col. 1. Clipping files. Special Collections, University of Washington Library. "Walter Birney Nettleton" Hanford, Seattle and Environs. Vol. 3 pp.142-145. "Nettleton, Walter Birney" Allen, Who's Who in Washington. p. 174. "Nettleton, Walter B." Capitol's Who's Who for Washington. p. 456. "Walter Birney Nettleton" Bagley, History of Seattle. Vol. 3, p. 1043. Bagley, History of Seattle. vol. 1 p. 334. "Walter Birney Nettleton" Washington Northwest Frontier. Vol. 4, pp. 471-472. "Schwager & Nettleton, Inc." Greater Seattle Illustrated. p. 112. Ochsner, Shaping Seattle Architecture. p. 351.
On July 16, 1904 owner Walter Nettleton acquired a building permit (#28647) to build the Nettleton House. Albert W. Spalding designed the Colonial Revival residence. Seattle Building Department gave builder four months to complete residence. A shed dormer that is nearly the full width of the building has a band of double hung windows. The main porch extends from the center of south elevation. The porch has Ionic columns supporting a flat roof with a balcony. Four three-sided bay windows (one to each side of main porch and one on the west and east elevations). Round arched windows near peak on both east and west elevations. Bracketed eaves. Sometime between 1905 and 1917 a rear addition was built to northeast corner of building. A sleeping porch was added in 1915 (permit # 143663) which may be part of the rear addition.

Detail for 620 W Lee ST W / Parcel ID 1732801325 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gambrel Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: 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.
Bagley, Clarence B. History of Seattle. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1916.
City of Seattle. Seattle Inventory Field Form. 1979.
Stewart, Edgar I. Washington: Northwest Frontier. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1957. 4 volumes.
Allen, Arthur H. (ed) Who's Who in Washington State. Seattle, Arthur H. Allen, Publisher, 1927.
Greater Seattle Illustrated. (Seattle, National Publishing Company, ca 1906)
Sanborn Map Company. Insurance Maps of Seattle, Washington. (New York, Sanborn Map Company, 1904-1905) 4 volumes.
Sanborn Map Company. Insurance Maps of Seattle, Washington. (New York, Sanborn Map Company, 1916-1919) volumes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Sanborn Map Company. Insurance Maps of Seattle, Washington. (New York, Sanborn Map Company, 1949-1950 update) 11 volumes.
Seattle Daily Bulletin
Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority. “Queen Anne: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources.” Seattle: Historic Seattle, 1975.
Pacific Record
Hanford, Cornelius H. (ed.) Seattle and Environs, 1852-1924. Chicago: Pioneer Historical Publishing Co., 1924.
Capitol's Who's Who for Washington, The State Encyclopedia. Portland, OR: Capitol Publishing Company, 1949.

Photo collection for 620 W Lee ST W / Parcel ID 1732801325 / Inv #

Photo taken May 09, 2003
App v2.0.1.0