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Summary for 627 13th AVE / Parcel ID 1336300330 / Inv #

Historic Name: Ballinger, Marie, House Common Name: Japonesque bungalow
Style: Arts & Crafts Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1905
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This house is perhaps Seattle's best example of a "Japonesque" bungalow. The architect and original owner have not been identified; the only early owner who is known was Marie Leghorn Ballinger who owned the house from 1939 until 1950. Despite the fact that it has been altered with asbestos brick cladding on the sides (from the 1960s) and newer windows, its Japanese-inlfuenced features remain intact. It is currently used as a duplex. After the opening of Japan to the outside world in 1853, Japanese design was embraced by numerous architects and decorative artists in the West. The Japanese-influenced Aesthetic movement of the late 19th century evolved into Arts & Crafts design in the eary 20th century. Japanese influence was particularly profound in the decorative arts, but is also very apparent in the architecture of Greene and Greene, which influenced the development of the bungalow. Later, Frank Lloyd Wright became the most prominent Western proponent of Japanese design. This house reflects its Japanese influence fairly directly, with layers of upward-turned roofs giving it a pagoda-like appearance. The grade-level entry porch with a Japanese-style balustrade and square columns enhances the design. This narrow street curves with the topography, giving it a distinctly different feel from the rest of this part of the neighborhood. However, it is in one of the original Capitol Hill plats of James A. Moore, who gave the area its name. In 1900 Moore, who had already developed other Seattle neighborhoods, purchased and began platting 160 acres, roughly between 11th and 20th avenues, from Roy Street north to Galer. Before selling lots for construction, he graded and paved the streets (eliminating the dust that plagued many sections), installed sidewalks, water mains and sewer lines, and planned for street lights and telephone poles. Lots went on sale in 1901, heavily promoted to attract local business leaders as residents. This was the first part of Seattle developed in this way. Moore did not build houses for sale, but sold improved lots to builders or to people who then hired a builder to construct a home to their own taste. Covenants in most of the area required that homes cost at least $3,000 to build and be at least 24 feet from the sidewalk. The 800 lots sold quickly to company owners, managers, executives, bankers, doctors, and attorneys. The lots grew in value by 300% over the next 12 years.
This bungalow has a gable-front roof with a sweeping roof covering the full-width porch, which has a series of squaare columns. Between the porch roof and the gable end is another pent roof. Both of the lower roofs have deep bracketed eaves with corners that turn up at an angle, giving the house its distinctive Japanese appearance. The roof's rear corners also turn up at an angle. The porch is at grade level, with an Asian-influenced railing. The house is on a slope, with a second level below grade. It is currently clad with asbestos siding and has newer windows.

Detail for 627 13th AVE / Parcel ID 1336300330 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Hold
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle - Concrete/Asbestos, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
Williams, Jacqueline B. The Hill with a Future: Seattle's Capitol Hill 1900-1946. Seattle: CPK Ink, 2001.

Photo collection for 627 13th AVE / Parcel ID 1336300330 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 14, 2006
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