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Summary for 912 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 3879900740 / Inv #

Historic Name: Ankeny House Common Name: Gowey House
Style: Queen Anne - Shingle Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1891
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Ankeny House was built about 1891. Rollin Ankeny (1865-1934) was born in Freeport Illinois and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. At the age of 16, he entered the banking industry which he stayed in for the rest of his life. He worked himself up from messenger to janitor to collection clerk to bookkeeper before heading west. In August 1888, after a brief stay in Fresno, California, Ankeny moved to Seattle and started working as bookkeeper for Puget Sound National Bank, at the time the city’s largest bank. In 1890 after the bank promoted Ankeny to teller he visited Des Moines, Iowa and married Eleanor Randolph (b. 1867). The next year he became Assistant Cashier and by that summer the Ankenys decide to construct a house. In late August 1891 they purchased some property on Queen Anne Hill located two blocks from a streetcar line on Roy Street that ran downtown. He then paid for the construction of a five or six room Queen Anne style house. Ankeny probably moved into the house by the end of 1891, although construction might have continued into early 1892. They were living in the house no later than spring 1892 just a few weeks before their son Irvine (b. June 1892) was born. For a number of years, gas and oil lamps were used to light the house because electricity was not available. The house also lacked central heating, so the only sources of heat on the first floor, were a kitchen range, round oak heater, and a fireplace in the living room. The second floor was heated with some airtight stoves for the bedrooms and a fireplace for the sitting room. In 1903 the Ankeny house was described as follows; “Their attractive home is situated at No. 812 Second avenue west and its characteristic hospitality is enjoyed by their large circle of friends.” (A volume of Memoirs 1903 p 74-75) The Post Office later changed the address to 912 2nd Avenue W. In 1892, the seventeen-year old Vulcan Iron Works reorganized and Ankeny became the firm’s treasurer. In 1900 the plant moved from the foot of Union to the recently reclaimed tideflats south of King Street. One of the largest iron works on the Pacific Coast the Vulcan Iron Works employed 100 to 125 men that produced mining machinery, logging tools and engines, air compressors, and saw mill machinery. After the Alaska gold rush started, Ankeny became an investor and officer of some Alaska transportation and improvement companies. (Seattle and the Orient 1900 pp. 103-105, 122) The Ankenys remained in the house until 1907 when they sold to Adolph Behrens. Later occupants. At the age of 10, Adolph Behrens’ (b. ca 1860) parents emigrated from Germany. By 1885 he lived in Washington and married his wife Hannah. Behrens arrived in Seattle sometime before 1901 and six years later moved into the Ankeny House. During the 20 years he lived there he ran Behrens Realty, dealing in real estate, timber lands, and insurance. In 1927, Adolph Behrens moved to south Seattle and son Jerry and Gina Behrens moved into the house for a few more years. In the 1930s, Clarence L. and Harriet E. Gowey moved in and still lived there in the early 1960s. Clarence Gowey worked for the Seattle Rubber Band Company before becoming a pipefitter and steamfitter during World War II. In the early 1960s, he worked for the Puget Sound Naval Station at Bremerton. The 1975 Historic Seattle Survey of the Queen Anne neighborhood listed the "Ankenny House" as Significant to the City. The 1979 Seattle Historic Reources Survey inventoried the house. Very few residences exist in Seattle that were built prior to 1899. The Queen Anne Shingle style residence appears to meet City of Seattle Landmark criteria due to he age of the structure (over 100 years old) and minimal alterations. Sources (see Reference below for complete citations): "R. V. Ankeny is Dead; Long a Banking Leader" Seattle Times October 31, 1934. Clipping file B4. Seattle Room, Seattle Public Library Downtown Branch. "Friends Say Last Farewell to R. V. Ankeny" Seattle Times November 3, 1934. Clipping file B4. Seattle Room, Seattle Public Library Downtown Branch. "Rollin Valentine Ankeny" Bagley, History of King County vol. 3 pp. 147-149. "Rollin Valentine Ankeny" Volume of Memoirs … Citizens of the City of Seattle … pp. 74-76. "Ankeny, Rollin V." Wolfe, Sketches of Washingtonians. p. 102 "Rollin Valentine Andeny" Bagley, History of Seattle. Vol. 3 pp. 502-503. "Ankeny, Rollin Valentine" Allen, Who's Who in Washington. p. 17. "R. V. Ankeny" Chadwick, Men Behind the Seattle Spirit. p. 56. "Puget Sound National Bank" and "R. V. Ankeny" Bowen, Seattle and the Orient. pp. 119-121, 122. Gowey, Lawton. "The House at 912 2nd West" Located at City of Seattle. Seattle Inventory Field Form. 1979 Woodbridge, Guide to Architecture in Washington… p. 197. Crowley, National Trust Guide: Seattle... p. 175
The shingle style Queen Anne Ankeny House was built about 1891. Large two story round tower with conical roof on southwest corner. Eyebrow dormer above recessed front porch. Large bay window on north elevation and three sided bay window on first story of south elevation. Round arched window on north elevation. Also has oval windows at peak of roof on north and south elevations. Some windows have stained and leaded glass. Heavy brackets support overhanging roof on principal north elevation. Tower and second floor has fish scale and patterned shingles.

Detail for 912 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 3879900740 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Brick
Roof Type(s): Gambrel Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Woodbridge, Sally and Roger Montgomery. A Guide to Architecture in Washington State. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1980.
Bagley, Clarence B. History of Seattle. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1916.
City of Seattle. Seattle Inventory Field Form. 1979.
Wolfe, Wellington C. Sketches of Washingtonians. Seattle, W. C. Wolfe & Co., 1906.
Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of the City of Seattle. NYC, Lewis Publishing Co., 1903.
Crowley, Walt. National Trust Guide: Seattle, America's Guide for Architecture and History. Travelers, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.
Allen, Arthur H. (ed) Who's Who in Washington State. Seattle, Arthur H. Allen, Publisher, 1927.
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.
Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority. “Queen Anne: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources.” Seattle: Historic Seattle, 1975.
Chadwick, H. A. Men Behind the Seattle Spirit. Seattle: Argus, 1906.
Bagley, Clarence B. History of King County, Washington. Seattle: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929.
Sanborn-Perris Map Company. Seattle, Washington [Maps]. (New York, Sanborn-Perris Map Co., Ltd., 1893) 2 volumes.
Bowen, Alfred D. Seattle and the Orient. Seattle: The Times Printing Co., 1900.

Photo collection for 912 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 3879900740 / Inv #

Photo taken May 09, 2003
App v2.0.1.0