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Summary for 633 14TH AVE / Parcel ID 1346300115 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Whitcomb, David, Residence Common Name:
Style: Colonial - Colonial Revival Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1907
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

This is an unusual example of an American Foursquare house with Colonial Revival elements.  It is clad with light grey brick with an elaborate frieze. The main entry is on the side (north) façade, with an Ionic portico. This house was built in 1907 (permit 48094), and was identified in the city’s 1979 historic resources survey.  It was designed by Henry Dozier, and built by Layton and White for Robert A. Tripple, who had previously lived across the street (#626).  The first several owners of the house were all prominent real estate businessmen.  Robert A. Tripple was a colleague of James A. Moore as he developed much of Capitol Hill.  Later Tripple started an independent real estate firm, was president of Skagit Queen Consolidated Mining,  and was elected to the State Legislature four times.  David Whitcomb, who bought the house in 1912, was president of the Arcade Building and Realty Company, which built many of the city’s major business buildings. During World War I, Whitcomb served as Executive Secretary of U.S. Fuel Administration in Woodrow Wilson’s Administration, and later became Chairman of Seattle’s Chamber of Commerce.  According to Bagley’s History of Seattle, Whitcomb’s father made his fortune being the first in America to manufacture envelopes by machine, came to Seattle at the behest of James A. Moore, and “In 1901 he purchased practically all of what is now Capitol Hill, cleared it, paved it and placed in on the market through the office of James A. Moore.”  In 1920 Whitcomb sold the house to William T. Burwell, who founded and was president of the Massachusetts Mortgage Company, which at the time was one of the largest such corporations in this region.  A lawyer, Horton Force, and his wife Anna, purchased the house in 1940.   Woolvin Patten, an attorney with LeSourd Patten, and his wife Katherine, purchased it in 1949. They added a garage and terrace in the early 1960s.  In 1964, the house was chosen as one of eight for inclusion in the Seattle Art Museum’s 15th annual Exhibition of Residential Architecture, “Capitol Hill Classics”, and the Seattle Post Intelligencer referred to it as “one of the loveliest in the city”.

The architect, Henry Dozier (b. 1855), was a Mississippi native, and first practiced architecture in Denver, where he designed residences and commercial buildings, including the White Pass & Yukon Railroad depot (1900) in Skagway, AK. He practiced in Seattle from 1901 to 1909. His designs include the Pacific Hospital (1904) and the H. H. Dearborn house, a city landmark.  The builder, Layton and White, constructed many of Seattle’s prominent buildings including the First Methodist Protestant Church of Seattle, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This street, 14th Avenue East, was known as Millionaires' Row, an “Avenue of Mansions” with the homes of many of Seattle's early business leaders. At that time, the street had a spectacular view, thanks to clearcutting, and it was a logical place to build after the west slope and First Hill were developed. The Olmsted Plan recommended that this be a parkway, forming a grand entrance to Volunteer Park. However, the property owners were given control of the street between Prospect and Roy streets. A median strip in the center was planted with shrubs, and each owner added street trees, creating the appearance of an avenue. It became a showplace, attracting dignitaries such as President Harding and busloads of tourists en route to the park. It was the main route for funeral processions going through the park to Lakeview Cemetery, north of the park. To deter the stream of traffic, an ornate gateway was built at Roy Street. But by 1924 traffic had become so bad that property owners petitioned the Park Department to take back control of the street. The gate and the median plantings were removed as a traffic hazard.

Additional bibliographic references:

Eight Capitol Hill Homes on Tour, Seattle Post Intelligencer, April 26, 1964.

City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records (permit 48094)

This house has the typical Foursquare form, with a hipped roof, hipped dormers and deep eaves with shaped brackets in groups of three. It is clad with light grey brick, with a wide frieze with an acanthus leaf motif separating the two stories on the east façade. This façade is symmetrical, with two large windows on each floor, with leaded glass in the upper sections. The dormer windows also have leaded glass. The windows have had shutters since at least the 1960s, but they are probably not original. The main entry is on the north, where a portico with Ionic columns and turned balusters extends most of the width. The portico roof is an open deck with a similar balustrade and French doors. A columned secondary entry is on the south side.  There is a two-story addition built over an originally open porch, in the rear (west) of the house.

Detail for 633 14TH AVE / Parcel ID 1346300115 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
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 Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Williams, Jacqueline B. The Hill with a Future: Seattle's Capitol Hill 1900-1946. Seattle: CPK Ink, 2001.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
Bagley, Clarence. History of Seattle from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. 3 vols. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1916.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.
Seattle Daily Bulletin

Photo collection for 633 14TH AVE / Parcel ID 1346300115 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Mar 07, 2006
App v2.0.1.0