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Summary for 1920 4th AVE / Parcel ID 0809002160 / Inv #

Historic Name: Bakenhus/Bowen House Common Name: Bakenhus/Bowen House
Style: American Foursquare Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1906
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Bakenhus/Bowen House was constructed in 1906. German born Dietrich Bakenhus (b. ca 1846) immigrated to the United States in 1870. In 1892, 46 year old Dietrich married 19 year old Johanna (1873-1966) either in Illinois or he might have visited Germany and married her before returning to the United States. In 1901, hearing about fast growing Seattle, the Bakenhus family moved west and resided along Eastlake. Dietrich started as a wagon maker, but after about a year witnessing the influx of newcomers he switched to the real estate business. He purchased and built houses on ‘spec’. For most of the decade, he purchased Queen Anne property in large enough parcels so that he could build houses in groups of two to six and then offer them to the influx of home seekers. By the spring of 1903, local publications called Bakenhus a “well-known local investor,” who was building a number of cottages along Bigelow between Newton and Crockett streets. The following year he built six residences in the 2400 block of 5th Avenue W. On November 15, 1905, the building department issued permits for two residences next door to one another at 1920 4th Avenue N and 409 Newton Street. The permit listed Dietrich Bakenhus as the owner, architect, and builder. Unknown if he designed the residences. The Polk directory did not list Bakenhus as an architect and both the Seattle Daily Bulletin and the Pacific Engineer described Bakenhus as a builder. Although he might have designed the Bakenhus/Bowen House, it is likely that Bakenhus used building plans procured from house catalogs or plan books. Since the building permit allowed Bakenhus 90 days to complete the 4th Avenue residence, it was probably finished by February 1906. Five months later Bakenhus sold the house to Frederick Bowen, manager of Superior Candy and Cracker Company. Bowen never lived in the house but owned it until the mid 1930s and rented it out. Dietrich apparently made some bad real estate investments because in 1910 he was listed as an apartment house landlord and two years later as janitor of The Oldenburg hotel. Johanna Bakenhus who lived to the age of 93 was an active member of the Children’s Orthopedic Hospital Guild. To commute to downtown Seattle, renters of the house would walk four to five blocks to 2nd and Blaine and catch the streetcar that would run west on Blaine and then turn south on Queen Anne Avenue towards downtown. Later occupants. In 1938 Mrs. Foy Matilda resided in the house. During World War II Walter S. and Ula C. Gibbs lived there. Walter Gibbs worked as an instructor for Associated Shipbuilders. By the late 1940s Joseph Daniels and his wife Marjorie M. moved in and occupied the house into the 1960s. Joseph Daniels employed as a mechanic and as Seattle Transit bus system foreman. The residence apears to meet City of Seatte Landmark criteria due to the age of the structure (over 100 years old) and minimal alterations. Sources: [Johanna Bakenhus Obituary] Seattle Times June 12, 1966. Clipping file, Seattle Public Library
On November 15, 1905 the Seattle Building Department issued a permit to building contractor D. Bakenhus for a Classic Box foursquare residence that measured 26 x 34 feet. Bakenhus procured two permits that day to build houses that were located next door to one another. Both permits gave 90 days to complete the buildings so it is likely that both buildings were completed in January or February of 1906. The Bakenhus/Bowen House has many Classic Box features. Hip dormers (located on west and north elevations), eave brackets, corner box windows with brackets along bottom edge (located on southwest, northwest, and northeast corners), a small window in center of second floor front (west elevation), recessed porch with square columns (west elevation). The upper sash of many of the double hung windows are leaded glass which is another Classic Box element. The residence also has a three sided bay window on the first floor of the north elevation. There is a small rear addition that was constructed prior to 1917. Building is sited on a corner lot.

Detail for 1920 4th AVE / Parcel ID 0809002160 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
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
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
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

Photo collection for 1920 4th AVE / Parcel ID 0809002160 / Inv #

Photo taken Dec 23, 2004
App v2.0.1.0