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Summary for 7701 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID / Inv # DPR028

Historic Name: Green Lake Park Caretaker's Tool House Common Name:
Style: Ranch - Minimal Traditional Neighborhood: Green Lake
Built By: Year Built: 1934
The Civil Works Administration constructed this small brick and frame building on the north shore of Green Lake in 1933-34 to serve as a tool house for the park’s caretaker. Within thirty years of the first settlement at Green Lake in 1869, the area had been transformed from dense forests to an attractive residential neighborhood served by a streetcar line, which connected it with downtown Seattle. In the late 1880s, entrepreneur William D. Wood acquired more than 600 acres of real estate around Green Lake and then platted and promoted his holdings. In order to stimulate development, Wood convinced Dr. Edward C. Kilbourne, one of the founders of Fremont, to extend his streetcar line from Fremont to Green Lake in 1891. Together, they organized the Green Lake Electric Railway, which Wood managed, and developed a ten-acre amusement park at its terminus on the northwestern corner of Green Lake. The same year, the City of Seattle annexed the Green Lake area along with other northern suburbs. In 1903, the city hired the Olmsted Brothers landscape firm to prepare plans for a comprehensive park and boulevard system, including suggestions for improvements to existing parks. This move was largely brought on by the public interest generated for the planned Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and through the purchase of Woodland Park and the acquisition of Washington Park, two large tracts of mostly undeveloped land. The Olmsted Brothers recommended the acquisition of Green Lake and the creation of a park and boulevard surrounding the lake. Unfortunately, settlement had reached to the shoreline by this time, providing little opportunity to create the park economically. As a solution, the Olmsted Brothers recommended lowering the level of the lake and filling in the wetlands to create more usable parkland. In 1905, the State of Washington deeded ownership of the lake bottom to the city, which proceeded to acquire the remainder of the shoreline through purchase and condemnation, including the former amusement park site. Beginning in 1911, the level of the lake was lowered seven feet, which added 100 acres of dry land once it had been graded and filled. This process was completed by the early 1930s with the filling of the southern end of the lake using material excavated from Woodland Park during the construction of Aurora Avenue in 1932. Due to the financial difficulties of the depression in the early 1930s, the city turned to the federal Civil Works Administration (CWA) to construct new park facilities. Established in November 1933 to provide relief work for unemployed persons through public work projects, the CWA functioned simultaneously with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and to some extent with the same personnel. In March 1934, the CWA was liquidated, and its functions and records were transferred to the Emergency Relief Program of FERA. In 1935, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) consolidated and superseded several earlier programs, including the CWA and the FERA. At Green Lake, the CWA constructed this small tool house on the northern shore of the lake. Its prominent location along the lakeshore boulevard across from the adjacent residential neighborhood may have influenced its attractive design, which resembles a small single family dwelling of that era. Later projects of the WPA included the construction of "Duck Island" off the western shore of Green Lake. This building is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of Green Lake Park and with the CWA, a 1930s Depression-era federal relief program.
Completed in 1934, this one-story wood frame building occupies a site along the northern shoreline of Green Lake at the foot of North 77th Street. The side gable building faces north and has a rectangular plan. The modest building displays stylistic details, which are typical of Minimal Traditional residential architecture of the 1930s. These include a traditional form but a lack of decorative detailing and tight eaves and rakes, as well as a mixture of exterior wall finishes. Wide cedar siding clads the upper walls and the gable ends above lower walls covered with brick veneer. On the principal north elevation, two window openings within the upper wall flank wide double doors at the center. Each opening contains a pair of multi-paned wood casement windows separated by a wood mullion and covered by a metal screen. The west elevation also contains a set of narrower double doors within a recessed center opening, while the east elevation presents a blank wall. The rear south elevation facing the lake has five sets of the paired multi-paned casement windows between wood piers within the upper wall. A brick chimney pierces the ridge near the eastern end of the roof. This modest building is well maintained and retains excellent physical integrity.

Detail for 7701 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID / Inv # DPR028

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Metal - Standing Seam
Building Type: Other Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Conservation, Other
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
Seattle Department of Parks. Annual report/Department of Parks. Seattle, WA: 1909-1955.
Fiset, Louis. "Green Lake -- Thumbnail History," The Green Lake News, July-August 2000, p. 4-5.

Photo collection for 7701 E Green Lake DR E / Parcel ID / Inv # DPR028

Photo taken Jul 18, 2000
App v2.0.1.0