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.
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.
The Glen Ellyn Apartments, an 11-unit apartment building, was built in 1959 by Gunnar Langaker. He was a building contractor who was extremely active in Ballard, Queen Anne and Wallingford. Various projects list him as “Swanson & Langaker” and sometimes the other way around. The apartments on 24th NW were designed by an architect (name illegible on property card), with Star Construction listed as contractor. Other apartments included 2034 NW 58th, 6515 24th NW and units at 22nd & 59th.
Langaker was married to Gladys and had a son Stanley. Gladys died in 1973 and her address was listed as 6538 24th NW. This apartment building just north of the Glen Ellyn was probably also constructed by Langaker as well as 6515 to the south as its address was listed in son and wife (Stanley and Yvonne) In birth announcements for their daughters born in 1969 and 1971.
A year after his wife’s death Gunnar remarried (in 1974) to Willa of Bothell. Langaker was also a member of New Evangel Temple and donated his services as construction manager for their new church at 8th & NW 81st.
Classifieds appear throughout the 70s and 80s for vacancies at 6520 24th Avenue NW. Based on a number of death notices (also in the Seattle Daily Times) the building was attractive to older women such as Lulu May Marks, Ruth Berg and Rose Parish all listed at that address at the time of their death.