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Summary for 6261 LAKESHORE DR / Parcel ID 8835400580 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Seward Park
Built By: Year Built: 1960

 This house is significant due to its association with the architect Benjamin McAdoo and the house’s first occupants, the Henry family. Not only did it play an historical role in the movement towards racial integration in South Seattle, but it also reflects the both the Henrys’ and McAdoo’s incorporation of civil liberties into their professional practices and private lives.

This residence is located in the Uplands area of the Seward Park neighborhood in South Seattle. It was commissioned by Dr. John R. and Mary Turner Henry. The house was designed by Benjamin McAdoo, and construction was completed by 1960.

The Henry family has historically incorporated civic engagement into their professions and their private lives. Dr. Henry was a prominent general surgeon and was one of the first two African American surgeons in Seattle. His wife, Mary Turner Henry, was an award-winning Seattle librarian. Their son, Neil Henry, is an author and Associate Professor of Journalism at University of California, Berkeley. Neil has spent time as a Washington Post reporter and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee. The Henrys moved to the Uplands in 1960 and were the first African Americans to live in this neighborhood. They initially encountered strong opposition from the neighbors, including petitions and bribes for their departure; however, the Henrys persevered and remained in the house for approximately twenty years.

Benjamin McAdoo (b. September 29, 1920 – d. June 18, 1981) was the first African American architect in Washington State to maintain a professional practice. He designed churches, single- and multi-family residences, commercial buildings, and institutional buildings. McAdoo’s design process modified the popular mid-twentieth century Modern style in order to accommodate regional landscape features, as well as the socio-economic needs of his clients. As with the Henrys, he incorporated civic engagement and social justice in his private life and professional practice. In the early 1960s, he accepted an administrative position with the United States Agency on International Development and directed housing programs in Jamaica and Washington, D.C. After he returned to Seattle in 1964, McAdoo became president of the Seattle chapter of the NAACP and began broadcasting a weekly radio show focusing on social issues. He maintained his architectural practice from 1947 until his death in 1981, after which the firm continued as McAdoo, Malcolm and Youel, Architects, in Seattle.


The lot for this single-family residence was platted for the Uplands and is located between Hampton Road South and South Eddy Street. The house is oriented eastwards onto Lake Shore Drive South. It was designed by Benjamin McAdoo, and construction was completed by 1960. The one-and-a-half story Modern-style house has 4,340 square feet of living space with a walkup driveway and a daylight basement. Its irregular floor plan and poured concrete foundation support a platform-framed superstructure. A one-story side wing extends off the rear of the house, and a walkway with shallow concrete steps leads to the front entrance. The upper half-story is comprised of a verandah and a large, recessed, front-facing roof dormer projecting above the primary roofline. While the house has multi-level ridgelines, a low-pitched side-gabled roof defines the primary roof shape while the rear wing has a gable-front roof. The entire roof system has a wide eaves overhang and is covered by asphalt composition shingles. A brick chimney punctuates the front slope on the north end of the house, and the roof’s multi-level ridgelines create the general appearance of broken geometric planes. The house is clad in brick and wood siding, and large vinyl windows punctuate the front elevation. The slightly recessed entryway has a transept window and an adjacent vertical light. While elements of this house are altered, it retains the geometric characteristics of its original Modern design by Benjamin McAdoo, therefore making it a significant structure in the Seward Park neighborhood. 


Detail for 6261 LAKESHORE DR / Parcel ID 8835400580 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
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: Unknown
Changes to Windows: Unknown
Changes to Original Cladding: Unknown
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Other: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Dorpat, Paul, “101 The Railroad Avenue Elevated,” Seattle, Now and Then, Seattle: Tartu Publications, 1984.
Bagley, Clarence B. History of Seattle, Washington. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1916.
Berner, Richard. Seattle 1921-1940: From Boom to Bust. Seattle: Charles Press, 1992.

Photo collection for 6261 LAKESHORE DR / Parcel ID 8835400580 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 04, 2010

Photo taken Feb 04, 2010

Photo taken Feb 04, 2010

Photo taken Feb 04, 2010

Photo taken Feb 04, 2010
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