This simple cottage appears to be generally intact and shows the influence of the Craftsman style. Built in 1913, it is associated with the early development of the Montlake area and is a contributing resource to the Montlake NRHP Historic District.
The earliest known owners of this house, in 1938, were William J. O'Connor, a district manager at The Sperry & Hutchinson Company, and his wife, Mary. From 1948 through 1958, the home was owned by Harold J. Shea, a lawyer, and his wife, Hazel.
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. http://www.scn.org/neighbors/montlake/mcc_history.Jim_Gould.html
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.