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Summary for 1956 26TH AVE / Parcel ID 8712100435 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Watkins Residence Common Name: 47 Rooney residence
Style: Modern - Contemporary, Vernacular Neighborhood: Montlake
Built By: Year Built: 1921
This former one-story clipped-gable cottage was renovated in 2007 with a second story addition, a new porch, and windows in a contemporary style and it is not a contributing resource to the Montlake Historic District.  The earliest known owner was Clayton K. Watkins, a student, in the 1920s-1930s. Julia M. Bringloe, a widow, owned the home in 1948. Eugene C. Elliott and his wife, Dorothy, were the owners in the late 1950s. He served as special assistant to the UW president in the 1960s, and was vice provost for academic services in the 1970s.  

Montlake is generally described as extending from the Washington Park Arboretum west to Portage Bay/15th Avenue E., and from the Montlake Cut on the north to Interlaken Park. The area is a significant and cohesive collection of residential architecture typical of early 20th century Seattle and is eligible as a NRHP historic district under Criterion C.  Construction occurred primarily between 1910 and 1940, with a variety of Craftsman and  revival styles ranging from modest cottages and builder's houses to high-style architect-designed residences, impressive institutional buildings, and notable parks and natural features.  There are few intrusions of newer buildings.  In the early 1960s, construction of SR 520 and the unfinished R.H. Thomson Expressway bisected Montlake, but the neighborhood retains its basic integrity as a pre-World War II Seattle neighborhood.  

Montlake was incorporated into the City of Seattle in 1891.  Although the first  plats (Union City 1st and 2nd additions) were filed by Harvey Pike in 1869-1871, development did not really begin until plats were filed by John Boyer (Interlaken, 1905) and H. S. Turner (1907). Montlake Park (north of SR 520) was platted in 1909 by the developers James Corner and Calvin and William Hagan.  With the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition came a streetcar line on 24th Avenue E. and an impetus for development. In 1916, the Lake Washington Ship Canal was completed and the Montlake Bridge linked the neighborhood to the university area in 1925. A small commercial district grew along the car line.

The 1903 Olmsted Parks and Boulevards Plan of 1903 surrounded Montlake with parks.  Montlake Boulevard (then call University Boulevard) connected Lake Washington Boulevard to the A-Y-P grounds.  Washington Park, the eastern boundary, was acquired by the City in 1900 and developed as an arboretum in 1936-41. At the southern edge is steep, forested Interlaken Park and boulevard.

By 1915, the neighborhood had developed enough to require a temporary school building; the permanent structure opened in 1924.Soon afterwards came a playfield and shelter house (1933-36) and a library (1944, replaced 2006). Other noteworthy structures include the Seattle Yacht Club (1920), the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Center (1931), the Museum of History and Industry (1952) and St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church (1962).

Major Bibliographic References:

King County Tax Assessor Records, 1937-2014.  

Becker, Paula.  Seattle Neighborhoods: Montlake--Thumbnail History.  HistoryLink File # 10170, accessed 12/2/2013.

Gould, James W. Montlake History.

Polk Directory of Seattle, 1938-1958.

Smith, Eugene. Montlake: An Urban Eden, A History of the Montlake Community in Seattle. La Grande OR: Oak Street Press, 2004.


This two-story house sits on a relatively flat lot with shrubs and small trees. It has a front-gable roof, exposed rafters, shingle cladding on the first story and hardieplank on the second story.  The entry on the north end of the façade has a concrete porch with concrete planters, post and beam roof supporting a second-story porch , newer horizontal wood panel entry door with sidelight, horizontal wood balustrade and sliding sash doors on the second story porch. The focal windows are three-part grouped sash with transoms above fixed sash and horizontal casements. Side elevations have similar grouped windows and varied single windows. 

Detail for 1956 26TH AVE / Parcel ID 8712100435 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Extensive
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Changes to Original Cladding: Extensive
Other: Extensive
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 1956 26TH AVE / Parcel ID 8712100435 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Dec 31, 2014

Photo taken Jan 31, 2015
App v2.0.1.0