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Summary for 10824 53RD AVE / Parcel ID 3352400595 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood:
Built By: Year Built: 1912

This house is significant due to  its architectural style and intactness, as well as its occupancy history. This house reflects the Rainier Valley’s agricultural origins, as well as its historical role as a transportation and commercial corridor connecting South Seattle to downtown and Seattle’s industrial districts.

This single-family residence is located in the Rainier View neighborhood at the southern end of Rainier Valley. The house was constructed in 1910. The Polk directories record the Robson family as the primary residents from 1927 through 1941. William Robson was a poultry breeder and added a chicken house to the property in 1930. In 1942, Berton H. Moore lived in the house, but the occupancy had changed by 1943 when Charles E. Kensey moved into the residence. By 1948, John F. and Bertha Valentine were the principal residents, and John worked as a grocery store salesman. The 1954, 1955, and 1956 Polk Directories do not list this residence. However, by 1957, Dale C. and Joan D. Gough were the primary residents. Dale Gough worked as a buyer at Sears and Mrs. Gough continued to live in the house after Dale’s death. Around 1963 or 1964, Mrs. Gough remarried and Duane S. Witters, a roofer at Interbay Roofing, is listed as the head of household in the Polk Directories. The Witters remained in the house through 1969.

Substantial residential and commercial development in South Seattle and the Rainier Valley occurred when a transportation corridor connecting the Rainier Valley to downtown and Seattle’s industrial district was constructed along Rainier Avenue during the late nineteenth century. Development in the valley was facilitated by logging during the 1880s, the operation of the Rainier Valley Electric Railway in the 1890s, and the Jackson and Dearborn Street re-grades in the 1900s. Milling was the primary commercial industry during the last part of the nineteenth century although some agricultural activity existed. As residential development increased, Rainier Avenue gradually became the principal commercial corridor connecting the residential neighborhoods of South Seattle to downtown, the International District, and Seattle’s industrial districts. World War II brought additional building growth related to the wartime industry, as well as the influx of defense workers to nearby Boeing and the Duwamish shipyards. 

The Rainier Valley remains a crucial corridor uniting the neighborhoods of South Seattle and connecting them to downtown, Seattle’s industrial districts, and the International District.

The lot for this single-family residence was originally platted for Hillman’s CD Meadow Gardens Division No.4 and is located between South Fountain and South Leo Street. This vernacular house was constructed around 1910 and faces westwards onto 53rd Avenue South. It is one-and-a-half stories with a 1,340 square foot first floor. The T-shaped floor plan and poured concrete foundation support a platform-framed superstructure. A full-width porch spans the front of the house. The steeply pitched cross-gabled roof is punctuated by a shed-shaped roof dormer on the north slope and a brick chimney at the ridgeline. A hipped roof extends over the porch while a moderate eaves overhanging is supported by knee-braces in the gable ends, and the entire roof system is covered in asphalt composition shingles. The wall elevations, porch railing, and porch supports are clad in wood board siding with architrave trim surrounding windows and doors. Windows are generally one-over-one hung-sash. Hung-sash windows flanked by square fixed windows are located in the front gable end while the first story has large hung-sash flanking the front door and punctuating the south wing. This house retains most of its historical architectural elements, including its one-and-a-half story scale, wood siding, windows, and porch. It continues to contribute to the architectural makeup of Rainier View and is, therefore, a character-defining house in the neighborhood.

Detail for 10824 53RD AVE / Parcel ID 3352400595 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: T-Shape
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
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 10824 53RD AVE / Parcel ID 3352400595 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 07, 2010

Photo taken Jan 07, 2010

Photo taken Jan 07, 2010

Photo taken Jan 07, 2010

Photo taken Jan 07, 2010
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