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Summary for 5332 S KENYON ST S / Parcel ID 9412400206 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts Neighborhood: Seward Park
Built By: Year Built: 1907

This house is significant due to its architectural merit and intactness, as well as its association with Warren Chan. It reflects the eventual strength, economic success, and social engagement of Seattle’s Chinese American community after the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943.

This single-family residence is located in the Dunlap neighborhood towards the southern end of South Seattle. The house was constructed in 1907. From 1967 through 1969, Warren and Nobie Chan occupy the house. The Chans are Chinese American, and Warren worked as a judge in the County Superior Court during this time period.

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. 

While there was a significant influx of Chinese migrant workers into the US during the middle of the nineteenth century, immigration laws for the Chinese became more restrictive after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This, combined with the 1889 Alien Land Laws, thwarted the growth of Seattle’s Chinese population and restricted their residences to Chinatown. Despite this, Chinese American families grew and a second generation of Chinese Americans was born. By the 1930s, Chinese American families gradually began moving to the Beacon Hill area. With the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, the Chinese Exclusion Act was lifted in 1943, opening the way for immigration by the Chinese, who then began moving to South Seattle in large numbers. However, it was not until the passage of the Open Housing Ordinance by the Seattle City Council in 1968 that the ability of Asians, African Americans, Filipinos, and Hispanics to relocate to the Rainier Valley substantially increased. After this significant legislative act, racial diversity in Rainier Valley and South Seattle increased dramatically.

The lot for this single-family residence is located near the intersection of Seward Park Avenue South and South Kenyon Street and was platted for the Wildwood Addition. Constructed in 1907, the Arts and Crafts –style house faces south onto South Kenyon and is set back from the street. A large, landscaped front yard shields the house from street view, and a driveway leads to the house. It is two-and-a-half stories with 5,150 square feet of living space, an irregular floor plan, and a balloon-framed superstructure. The roof has varied rooflines; however, the dominant, side-gabled roof has a slightly flared, open-eaves overhang. It is punctuated by shed-shaped roof dormers and is covered by asphalt composition shingles. The house is primarily clad in stucco with river rock covering the front chimney, entryway, and landscape walls. The window casings with architrave surrounds are generally intact, including lattice hung-sash. This house is an excellent example of the Arts and Crafts style. It retains many of its historical features, including its setback, landscape, roof features, windows, and cladding. It, therefore, remains a significant architectural resource in the Dunlap neighborhood.

Detail for 5332 S KENYON ST S / Parcel ID 9412400206 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stone, Stucco Foundation(s): Unknown
Roof Type(s): Gable, Varied roof lines 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
Changes to Plan: Unknown
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
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 5332 S KENYON ST S / Parcel ID 9412400206 / 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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