Local History

Local History Features

Contents
1. Relocated Bassett House has Colorful History
2. Street Renaming in Wallingford, Fremont, & U District
3. Willis & Alice Batcheller House – 1848 N 51st Street
4. Swanson’s Shoe Repair: A Fixture of Wallingford
5. Wallingford and Jud Yoho’s Bungalow Magazine
6. Interlake Public School & Wallingford Center


Relocated Bassett House has Colorful History
Posted October 13, 2019

At a recent Historic Wallingford event, historian and designer Thomas Veith discussed the residential architecture of our neighborhood, showing dozens of images to illustrate building trends and fashions.

One person in the audience, Lee Bassett, noticed his house, 1603 N. 48th Street, among the many photographs. Tom said that Seattle architects Folke Nyberg and Victor Steinbrueck had identified the house as “significant to the Wallingford community” in the mid-1970s when they surveyed Wallingford for surviving historic architecture. Long intrigued by the old house, Tom called it an “interesting mishmash of styles,” suggesting it has changed over time.

We were delighted when Lee agreed to share old photos and stories of the house, which coupled with additional research, reveal clues about the building’s evolution and a rather colorful story.

Early History
The house was built in 1901 on a large corner lot at 46th and Stone Way, where Bizzarro Italian Café and Blue Star Pub & Café now stand. Its address was 1307 N. 46th, according to some sources, and 4512 Stone Way according to others.

The home’s early history is connected to some interesting Seattle characters. One connection came to light when, during a home renovation, Lee found an old postcard from 1908 that was addressed to [George] Elwood Hunt, whose family lived at 1307 N. 46th (see image below). At the time, Elwood was about 17 years old and a student at Broadway High School who would soon enter the University of Washington. His parents were George W. and Mary Emma (Carkeek) Hunt. Elwood used this Wallingford address as late as 1916 when his son, George E. Hunt, Jr., was born (see image). By 1920, the young family lived at 5315 Latona Avenue before relocating to Puyallup. If you recognize George, Jr.’s name it’s because he was one of the “Boys in the Boat” – a rower on the UW’s 1936 Olympic rowing team that took gold. 

Another interesting connection to this house comes a few years later – in the 1920s – with owner Joe (Giuseppe) Mangini, who emigrated from Italy in about 1902. Joe was well-known in 1920s Seattle. He and his brother Jack (Giacomo) Mangini were principals in the Seattle Garbage Co., sometimes called Seattle Hauling Co. or Seattle Garbage and Hauling Co., which contracted with the City of Seattle for many years. In 1925, Joe applied for a city permit to excavate a basement at 1603 N. 48th Street, where he would later move the house. Lee recently spoke with Joe’s great-grandnephew, John Mangini, who confirmed our hunch that Joe moved the house to clear the lot at 46th and Stone Way and redevelop it with a more lucrative mixed-use commercial and residential building – today’s Blue Star building. Joe and his wife Mary then resided in the new building.

The ownership of the house in the late 1920s and 1930s has not been researched. Lawrence Westerman purchased the house in 1942, at which point Lee thinks the structure had changed little from when it was moved. One possible exception is the basement. Physical and documentary evidence suggest the house did not sit on a similar basement at its original location. For instance, the extant header for the back door, which is no longer used, suggests that the door would have opened directly over a staircase leading to the basement. The pre-move 1919 Sanborn map (see image below) supports this hunch about the basement. It shows a porch wrapping around the north, west, and south sides of the house, but part of the west porch was removed when the house was moved to accommodate a stairwell to the basement. The post-move 1950 Sanborn map (see image below) illustrates this and the addition of a garage, presumably added when the house was moved, that opened into the basement.

Since 1950
Lee said the house functioned as a rental from the mid-1960s until he and his wife Carol purchased it in 1974. A 1965 photo shows the house prior to changes made for its use as a rental, which included windows, wiring, interior walls, and plumbing. The result was a significant departure from its appearance of the previous 40 years.

When they purchased the house, Lee and Carol were aware that it had once looked different and wanted to return it to an appearance that they imagined it once have had. They were without the benefit of historic photographs to guide their work. The two most striking exterior features that seemed out of place were the porch with its altered gable roof and the replacement aluminum windows. They pieced together what they believed would have been the shape of the wrap-around porch, and, as the demolition progressed, they found physical evidence to guide their decisions. Lee built the wood sash windows and front door that replaced the aluminum windows and solid core door installed a decade earlier. Other projects followed on the interior with an eye toward restoring the home’s turn-of-the-century character.

The Bassetts have owned the house for 45 years, but Lee sees it with fresh eyes: “I’ve been thinking about how the house would have been supported in its move and how that support would be extricated once the move had been completed. It turns out that there are cutouts in the foundation which I had formerly just thought of as windows and ventilation. These cutouts are on the north and south sides and correspond to each other in a way that girders could span the house while being transported. It was kind of fun to have that light bulb come on for me!”

We’ve searched and searched for a photo of the house in-transit to its current lot at 48th and Woodlawn with no luck. We and the Bassetts are hoping one turns up!

Sources
Bassett, Lee and Carol. Personal photograph collection.
City of Seattle. Building Permit for 1603 N. 48th Street. May 1, 1925.
Sanborn Company Fire Insurance Maps, 1919 and 1950.  Seattle Public Library digital portal.
The Seattle Times. Seattle Public Library digital portal.

Street Renaming in Wallingford, Fremont & U District
Posted September 15, 2019

If you’ve done any historical research on Wallingford-related topics, you’re well aware that the street names have changed over time. Wallyhood and various local history blogs recently shared an interesting piece by Rob Ketcherside about street names in Fremont, Wallingford, and the U-district. Here it is again – it’s a great read! 

Willis & Alice Batcheller House – 1848 N 51st Street
Posted June 15, 2019

We were delighted to hear from Janis Levine about her house at 1848 N. 51st Street, situated mid-block between Meridian and Wallingford avenues. She shared with us a few photos, which led us to discovering her house in one of builder Jud Yoho’s house catalogs. A brief synopsis of the house and its original owner follows:  

Newlyweds Willis T. and Alice Batcheller were the first owners of the bungalow at 1848 N. 51st Street. They purchased it for $1,600 in 1914 from Yoho’s Craftsman Bungalow Co. Prior to the purchase, in 1912, Margureite Hieber, a widow who inherited five consecutive lots (including Levine’s), sold the lots to Jud Yoho’s company for development. The company subsequently built this modest “attractive bungalow” that it advertised as plan number 325 in its 1913 catalog, pictured below. (We haven’t yet studied the adjacent lots.)  

The original floor plan, also pictured below, exhibits a typical small Craftsman bungalow plan. Its long, narrow arrangement with private bedroom spaces clustered on the right and the interconnected common-space living and dining rooms and kitchen at right is a typical plan that Yoho advertised as utilizing “every available bit of space.”

Levine purchased the house in 1989 from the Batchellers niece, who gave her old photographs of the home and information about the longtime owners. Willis T. Batcheller (1889-1975) was a consulting engineer who specialized in electric and hydraulic projects. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1911 and a master’s degree in 1915 – both from the University of Washington. During his career, he was associated with some of the largest and most important electrical power projects in the Northwest.

  • He worked for Seattle Light and Power System from 1912 to 1921, including designing turbines at the Lake Union steam-electric plant and planning for the Skagit River power project. 
  • He then produced the original survey and report on the Columbia Basin Reclamation Project for the State of Washington and prepared the original designs for the Grand Coulee dam and power house.
  • He served as chief engineer for the Quincy Valley Irrigation District for 14 years.
  • He was president and chief engineer of the Canadian-Alaska Railway company that proposed building a railway from Seattle to Vancouver, BC, to Fairbanks, Alaska. 

The Batchellers lived in the house at 1848 N. 51st Street their entire lives together.

We thank Janis Levine for sharing the story of her house!

Further Reading:

Batcheller, Willis Tryon, Papers. University of Washington Special Collections. Accession No. 247-001. Overview of the collection: http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv25833

Yoho, Jud. Craftsman Bungalows, 1913 Edition. Seattle, WA: Craftsman Bungalow Co., 1913. [The house at 1848 N. 51st Street is plan no. 325, featured on pages 56-57.]

Swanson’s Shoe Repair a Fixture of Wallingford
Posted May 18, 2019

Many thanks to the Swanson family for sharing their old photos with Historic Wallingford. We’ve included several in the gallery below.

Swanson’s Shoe Repair, 2305 N. 45th Street, traces its roots to 1928 when Swedish immigrant George Swanson, Sr., opened Progressive Shoe Renewing at 612 Union Street in downtown Seattle. The business moved to Wallingford in 1946 where the Swansons — George, his wife Hannah and their two sons George Jr. and Raymond — lived. George Sr. and his sons were active in the Wallingford Boys Club and its soccer team (pictured below). George Jr. took over the business when his father retired in 1959, and he ran the business until his retirement in 1990. Today, Swanson’s Shoe Repair is run by George Jr.’s son Daniel and daughter Patty and is one of only a few shoe repair businesses in Seattle.

Click on the icons below to see full images.

Further Reading

Dorpat, Paul. “The Shoes Fit.” The Seattle Times / Pacific NW Magazine. November 4, 2007.

Leach-Kemon, Erin. “Siblings Team Up to Help Family Business Hit 100-Year Mark.” Wallyhood. March 2, 2010.

Wallingford and Jud Yoho’s Bungalow Magazine
Posted April 21, 2019
Jud Yoho’s Wallingford house, featured on the cover of Bungalow Magazine, July 1913.

The Seattle Public Library has a near-complete run of Bungalow Magazine, which was published in Seattle between 1912 and 1918. The publication’s founder and early editor was Jud Yoho, an all-in-one real estate broker, designer, and contractor, who was known in Seattle for his bungalows. To promote his business, Yoho built and moved his family into a showhouse in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood in 1911 (pictured at right). He featured this and a handful of other Wallingford bungalows in his magazine. Most of the homes are still standing, and they are described below.

Yoho showcased his own house at 4718 2nd Avenue NE in the July 1913 issue (p. 7-12) “because of the favorable comment it had elicited from everybody who has seen it.” He described the house as “neat and distinctive,” with “an air about it which makes it stand out among its neighbors as just a little more artistic and cozy looking.” The house could be built for just $2,900, and Yoho included in the magazine several pages of building specifications.

The magazine featured several houses along Wallingford Avenue. The April 1915 issue (p. 210-20) included the residence of Minta Lulu Smith at 4334 Wallingford Avenue N (pictured below). Architect Stephen Berg designed the house, and Smith purchased it in 1914 for $4,250 through the real estate firm Metcalf & Metcalf. In his colorful write-up, Berg called Smith’s house “one of the most attractive local productions.” He highlighted its “simplicity of design, the happy arrangement of the rooms and the splendid provision made in modern conveniences to guarantee a comfortable and workable home.” And, he called out one striking feature on the home’s north side: the rustic brick chimney that rises through the roof to a height of fifteen feet.

(4334 Wallingford Avenue N, shown in 2019 and 1915)

The same April 1915 issue featured another Wallingford house, this one at 4115 Wallingford Avenue N (pictured below). Built by Jud Yoho’s Craftsman Bungalow Company for just under $3,000, it was home to Lulu E. Thomas. In describing the house, Yoho noted the distinctive “semi-octagonal bay window” behind which is a “roomy” living room with a “cheerful” fireplace. He summarized it as “an exceptionally serviceable and satisfactory house.”

(4115 Wallingford Avenue N, in 1915 and 2019)

The June 1915 issue (p. 346-53) featured a row of three houses in the 3700 block of Wallingford Avenue N that were designed by architect William Barr and built by the Puget Sound Building Company. The houses were advertised as “good examples of the versatility possible in designing moderate priced bungalows.” Each house design “has an individuality, which stamps it as distinctly different from the other two,” but in “perfect harmony with each other.”

(3701, 3705, and 3709 Wallingford Avenue N, shown in 2019 and 2015)

Bungalow Magazine offers a fascinating window into the frenzy and competition of home building in early twentieth-century Wallingford. Many architects, builders, and real estate firms were busy in Wallingford, including architects Ellsworth Storey, Edward L. Merritt, and Charles Haynes, and builders William J. Henry, P. E. Wentworth, and Charles Arnsberg, to name a few. This brief summary only scratches the surface of Wallingford’s rich architectural story.

Further Reading

Doherty, Erin M. Jud Yoho and the Craftsman Bungalow Company: Assessing the Value of the Common House. Master’s thesis; University of Washington, 1997.

Houser, Michael. “Edward L. Merritt.” Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, 2018. [A biography of Jud Yoho’s business partner.]

Ore, Janet. “Jud Yoho, ‘The Bungalow Craftsman,’ and the Development of Seattle Suburbs.” Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture 6 (1997): 231-43.

Ore, Janet. The Seattle Bungalow: People and Houses, 1900-1940. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007.

Interlake Public School & Wallingford Center
Posted April 12, 2019

The Interlake Public School is located in the heart of Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. It served as a public elementary school for nearly 70 years and is one of the neighborhood’s oldest remaining buildings. Designed by architect James Stephen, the wood-frame building closely follows his “Model School Plan,” a flexible and economical method of constructing schools that allowed for phased expansion. This Neoclassical-style building was constructed in two phases, in 1904 and 1908, resulting in a I-shaped plan. The style is evident in the one-story portico, the Ionic columns, dentils, and the central keystone arch supported by pilasters.

Interlake Public School, circa 1904. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The building served as an elementary school until 1971 and then as an annex to nearby Lincoln High School until 1975. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and was developed into shops and apartments, today known as Wallingford Center.

Further Reading

Krafft, Katheryn H. Interlake Public School National Register of Historic Places nomination form, 1983. Source: Washington Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, WISAARD.

Ochsner, Jeffrey K. (editor).  Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects.  Second ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014.

Thompson, Nile, and Carolyn J. Marr. “Interlake.” Building for Learning: Seattle Public School Histories, 1862-2000. Seattle, WA: Seattle Public Schools, 2002.