Residential Ballard is generally described as extending from the 8th Avenue NW to the east and the bluff to the west, and from NW 85th Street on the north to NW 65th Street to the south. The area primarily contains single family houses, but also includes a collection of mutli-family dwellings, commercial buildings, schools, churches, and other buildings. Most of the historic buildings in Ballard are modest cottages and builder's houses, and were not architect-designed. Building styles include, but are not limited to, Victorian (primarily Queen Anne), vernacular, Craftsman, American Foursquare, Colonial Revival (including variations), Tudor Revival, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch. The historic building fabric of Ballard is threatened by a rapid pace of development.
The City of Ballard was incorporated in 1890. It was the first community to incorporate after Washington achieved statehood in 1889. Although population increased rapidly, north Ballard was still relatively rural. In 1907, primarily due to lack of adequate water for its population of 15,000, Ballard citizens voted to be annexed to Seattle to ensure a good water supply for the area.
After annexation Ballard’s street names were changed to conform to Seattle’s: Ship Street turned into 65th Street, Main Street became 15th Avenue. During the Great Depression and World War II, construction in Ballard nearly ground to a halt, with the exception of some houses built by Earl F. Mench. However, following World War II, fueled by the G.I. bill and the rise of the automobile, Ballard boomed again, and new housing followed. In recent years, the demand for new housing has spurred a tremendous amount of change in Ballard, with old, modest houses being replaced by large box houses and multi-family units. These changes threaten to alter the character and feeling of this historic neighborhood.
Earliest records date from 1891 and indicate that Dighton H. Blackmore owned two full blocks
of land in the Salmon Bay Addition, including the two lots that comprise this address. However,
it was the Sisters of Charity (now Providence Hospital) that held the immediate block in their
trust through the turn of the century. Anton Sather, a Watchman at Murphy Shipyards, and his
wife Mary, who emigrated from Norway by way of Wisconsin, built the existing Craftsman
bungalow in 1913 and resided here for 40 years, raising four children.
For the next 40 years, the house was host to four different families. In 1991 this home
came into the hands of current owners, Andy Lyle and Mary Kennedy. Mary and Andy have
spent 21 years slowly restoring this Craftsman home by replacing what was 'muddled' over the
years with original period details and bathing them in light. Architect, Tim Anderson, guided
them through the process of restoring the living and dining rooms and master bedroom. The
original box beams preside over the dining room. A plate rail with board and batten wainscoting
and a colonnade combine to add distinction between the living room and formal dining room.
While not original, the custom floral stained glass windows by local artist, James McKeown, are
true to the period. The home's footprint was expanded by bumping out the kitchen to add 114
feet. The kitchen was rebuilt to showcase the refurbished 1950s Wedgwood stove that Mary
found in Portland. A new, spacious breakfast nook added to the charm. The original fir flooring
combined with the bed-board walls, a farmhouse sink and period lighting, complete the vintage
A door and decorative period-appropriate slatted deck rails were added to the upper story deck t
hat is accessed off of the master bedroom. Andy and Mary acknowledge some of their own 're-
muddling' missteps. Their first was to add a fireplace not consistent with the home's overall style.
Another was the weekend while Mary was away, when Andy began to convert a master bedroom
closet to a bathroom. The resulting master bath, which eventually emerged from that former
closet, is a lovely combination of old and new.
But, that was not before the couple spent years sleeping in the guest bedroom!
With an expert's guidance, Mary and Andy have truly enjoyed restoring and enhancing their
light-filled Ballard charmer, room by room. Many thanks to Renee Martin for her research on
Ballard Historical Society Classic Home Tour guides.
Crowley, Walt. Seattle Neighborhoods: Ballard--Thumbnail History. HistoryLink File # 983, accessed 6/1/16.
King County Tax Assessor Records, 1937-2014.
McAlester, Virginia Savage.
A Field Guide to American Houses (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Alfred A> Knopf Press, 2013.
Oschsner, Jeffrey Karl
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle, WA: University of
Washington Press, 1994.
Passport to Ballard: The Centennial Story. Seattle, WA: Ballard News Tribune, 1988.