Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 1920 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 0809001845 / Inv #

Historic Name: Wilke House Common Name: Wilke House
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1898
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Wilke House was constructed about 1898. In 1890, Wisconsin neighbors Charles Wilke (b. ca 1863) married Wilkelmina 'Minnie' Wilke (b. ca 1869). They were both born to German parents and raised in Wisconsin. After about seven years of married life, the family, which had grown to five, moved to Seattle. In February 1898, soon after their Seattle arrival, Charles Wilke purchased two platted lots on Queen Anne hill. Being a carpenter by trade, Charles Wilke likely built the house, probably completing it before the end of the year. The earliest Polk Seattle directory entry for the Wilkes was in 1899. The Wilkes moved in with three children; son Laudeus, age 7, and daughters Amanda and Helen, ages 6 and 3. Charles Wilke lived in the house until about 1910 and Wilhelmina remained there until the mid 1940s. Laudeus (b. ca 1891), who grew to be a shingler of roofs, lived in the house into the early 1960s. Amanda (b. ca 1892), a tailor, moved out of the house in 1918. Helen (b. ca 1895), lived in the house until 1969, the longest of the Wilke family. Helen's first job was as a stenographer and then she became an accountant. She had a easy commute to work walking just two blocks to 2nd and Blaine for the streetcar to downtown. The Wilkes family remained in the house for 70 years. In January 1970, Forrest O. Smith acquired the house. Some sources refer to the residence as the Wilke Farmhouse. It is unlikely that the surrounding land was ever used as a farm. The house is located in the Bigelows Addition, which was platted in 1883. In 1898 Charles Wilke purchased two lots in this subdivision, each lot measuring 50 x 120 feet. The house and a carpenter shop in the rear of the lot left little room to grow much of anything except for a few vegetables for family meals. The 1975 Historic Seattle Queen Anne Survey listed the Wilke House as significant to the city. The residence is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Few intact residences constructed prior to 1900 exist in Seattle. The Wilke House appears to meet City of Seattle Landmark criteria due to architectural style, age (over 100 years old) and minimal alterations.
The Victorian style vernacular Wilke House is a T form. Apparently the side gable west portion of the residence was constructed by Charles Wilke in 1898. The two story end gable with recessed porches on north and south elevations was added in 1900 by Charles Wilke (permit # 3872 issued May 3, 1900). A one story gable addition was added in the 1980s. West elevation has a full width porch with hip roof and spindlework detailing. South elevation of side gable has a three sided bay window on first floor.

Detail for 1920 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 0809001845 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Brick
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: T-Shape
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Woodbridge, Sally and Roger Montgomery. A Guide to Architecture in Washington State. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1980.
Crowley, Walt. National Trust Guide: Seattle, America's Guide for Architecture and History. Travelers, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.
Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority. “Queen Anne: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources.” Seattle: Historic Seattle, 1975.

Photo collection for 1920 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 0809001845 / Inv #

Photo taken
App v2.0.1.0