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Summary for 3408 WOODLAND PARK AVE / Parcel ID 1825049069 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: B.K. Maybee/John Braida House Common Name: Braida House
Style: Queen Anne - Cottage Neighborhood: Fremont
Built By: Year Built: 1901/1915
The original portion of this property – a modest one-story wood frame residence with a projecting entry porch and a central chimney – appears to have been constructed in 1901 by Andrew H. Stay for Benjamin K. Maybee. A building permit (#37741) was issued to B.K. Maby (sic) and A.H. Stay on April 19, 1901 to build a “1-story frame Building” at a cost of $100.00. Mr. Stay also obtained a permit (#37742) for himself to build a nearby “2 story frame building” (located at 3434 Woodland Park Ave.) at a cost of $500.00. Benjamin K. Maybee was a Canadian-born (c.1843) immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1880. According to US Census records (1900) he and his wife Amanda H. were residing in Hennepin, Minnesota and he was a day laborer. The Polk’s Seattle City Directory (1901) listed him as a laborer residing at this address. Andrew H. Stay was a Norwegian-born (1858) carpenter who immigrated to the US c.1867 and resided for a period in North Dakota prior to arriving in Seattle in prior to 1892. He may have resided nearby on Kilbourne St. (N. 36th St.) prior to moving to the residence he built at 3434 Woodland Park Ave. Mr. Stay appears to have continued to work as a carpenter, operate a fuel business and reside nearby until c.1920. It is unclear how long Mr. and Mrs. Maybee may have resided at or owned 3408 Woodland Park Ave. The 1905 Sanborn Insurance Map clearly shows the footprint of the original house as well as a 2-story stable and one-story shed at the SE corner of the parcel. Harriet A. Maybee was identified as the owner in 1910 King County tax rolls that list the value of the improvement (house) as $220.00. However, by March 1907 Robert Heaton – a Whatcom County resident and a Canadian immigrant – appears to have been involved with the property. He applied for a permit (#48525) to make a 16’ x 20’ addition to the house to be constructed by Samuel J. Howell a carpenter living in Fremont. By 1908, William J. Lee – a meat cutter who worked at a grocery store located at 1100 Kilbourne – applied to build a wood shed on the site; thus, the property appears to have been rented out to lee who was residing there at the time that the 1910 US census was taken. A warranty deed dated October 13. 1915 [that remains with the current owner] clearly identifies Susan E. and Robert Heaton as executrix and executor of the will of Harriet A. Maybee, who was deceased. At the time the property was sold to Giovanni John Braida a legal document was attached to the deed indicating that the Heatons had satisfied a prior mortgage agreement dated October 29, 1909 and related to the subject property with S. Eunice Chick of Worthington, Minnesota. It is unclear what relationship the Heatons or Miss Sophia E. Chick had with Mrs. or Mrs. Maybee. Miss Chick was not a daughter and was not a Canadian immigrant; the Heatons and the Maybees were all Canadian immigrants, thus there may have been a familial relationship. Giovanni (John) Braida bought this house in 1915 and it has remained in the Braida family since then. [Gil Braida, a grandson, was interviewed and has provided much of the property history.] John Braida was an Italian born (c.1873) marble and terrazzo artisan. He immigrated to the US in 1886 and was residing in San Francisco in 1900 with his wife Asunta and son Hector. The family moved his family from San Francisco to Seattle so that John could take advantage of the commercial boom that was occurring during this era. He created the inset tile entryways for numerous storefronts for commercial buildings constructed in downtown Seattle. He was also responsible for the Great Seal of the State of California laid in the marble mosaic floor in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Immediately after purchasing the property, Mr. Braida obtained a permit (dated November 11, 1915) to raise the subject house 8’ to order to establish his marble-working shop into the new lower level structure. An addition (resembling a sun room) was also made to the south side of the house at that time. Some other additional alterations were made to the house to continue its adaptation to the family’s needs, but the structure looks much as it did in 1916. The 1919 Sanborn Insurance Map clearly shows the footprint of the expanded house as well as a 1-story plaster storage building, an expanded stable/garage and other office/storage buildings on the entire original Braida-owned parcel. Over time, the family purchased adjacent properties and constructed additional commercial buildings and workshops on the property. An interesting story about the site is related to a missing historic object. The yard to the north of the house was used as a display area for the mosaic and concrete garden ornaments that manufactured on the property by Braida’s Art Mosaic & Terrazzo Co. A “wishing well” (decorative only) remains in the yard. However, there used to be an almost life-sized elephant in the yard, created over a period of ten years in the 20s and 30s by Mr. Braida and his employees to showcase his tile work (a decorative element on the elephant’s howdah, or seat). The elephant became a landmark for people riding the streetcar that ran along Woodland Park Avenue N. Hector Braida, John Braida’s son, sold the elephant in 1946 to a local florist with a shop on Aurora Avenue. According to Gil Braida, his father sold it for a variety of reasons: he specialized in garden ornaments rather than tile work, the merchant offered him $300 for it, and because his wife had complained about hitting herself on its trunk repeatedly while gardening around it. Hector Braida saw it as an opportunity, unfortunately for Gil (age 11 at the time) “It was like “losing a member of the family.” The elephant became part of the Aurora Flower Shop sign, at 8808 Aurora Avenue North (the flower shop has since closed and the business at this location is Aurora Rents). The owner of the rental business recently had the elephant, which was very deteriorated, removed, restored and reinstalled at the prior Aurora Avenue location (Seattle Times Nov. 3, 2009, pg.B1& B4). Sources of Information: Gil Braida – family records/oral history; City of Seattle Microfilm Library (building permit records), PSRA King County Tax Rolls (1905-1910), U.S. Census Records, Sanborn Insurance Map (1905 & 1919), Polk’s Seattle City Directories.
Prominently located at the east side of Woodland Park Ave. N near the intersection of N. 34th St. (historic name Ewing St.) with tall front gable façade oriented to the west. This is a historically altered property with an interesting history of ownership, use and change. 2-1/2 story, wood-frame, single family residence that was used historically as a store and terrazzo and marble-working workshop. The original 1-1/2 story house (constructed 1901) was raised 8’ in 1915; south dormer and south side wings were also additions. Has an irregular footprint; main front gable wing measures approx. 20’ x 40’ and projecting wing at south side measures approx. 10’ x 32’ with a concrete foundation and basement level. Main raised original front gable form with prominent south projecting gable dormer, original gable wing addition to west, addition to east side of original footprint; additional of double gable roofed addition to SE side. Projecting second floor level front porch with pedimented gable form was part of original construction; all upper floor level window openings and door opening and variegated shingle siding on west elevation original. Original siding was narrow horizontal cedar; stucco siding dates from 1915-20 remodeling era. Fenestration and windows at additions vary from historic design. Columns at main entry porch were added during 1915-1920 remodeling era. There are two large column capitals in front of the house; they were moved there from the demolition of the First Presbyterian Church in Seattle in 1968.

Detail for 3408 WOODLAND PARK AVE / Parcel ID 1825049069 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Stucco, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Arts
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Major Bibliographic References
U.S. Census Records (1880-1920)
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Sanborn (Insurance) Map Company, Seattle, Washington.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 3408 WOODLAND PARK AVE / Parcel ID 1825049069 / Inv # 0

Photo taken May 09, 2009
App v2.0.1.0