The Queen Anne Style – Our Neighborhood Namesake

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Ankeny House, 2003

Our Society is frequently asked, “why is our community called Queen Anne?” It does seem strange for a pioneer western city to name its most prominent geographical feature after a relatively obscure 18th century British monarch. The short answer is that we are not named after the Queen, but are in fact named for the architectural style of the first houses built up the south slope of our hill. The longer answer shows how centennials can shape our view of the world.

In the 1870s, in England, architect Richard Norman Shaw introduced the Queen Anne or Free Classic residential design. It was intended to evoke domestic architecture of some 200 years earlier. The British public loved it, perhaps tiring of the demands of empire and nostalgic for a simpler past. …Continue reading “The Queen Anne Style – Our Neighborhood Namesake”

The Yukevich House – 1811 8th Ave W

1811 8th Ave W, 2016This wasn’t their first new home project together, however they were expecting it to be their last. Mike and Kelly Yukevich broke ground on 1811 8th Ave W in 2009 while living in North Queen Anne.

As a Co-Founder of Shilshole Development, 2009 was also the year that Mike’s company completed The Residences at Nob Hill in Queen Anne at 2209 Nob Hill Ave N. With a goal to harmonize with the neighboring homes, Architect Michael G. Dooley (1962-2014) designed the Yukevich’s personal residence on 8th Ave W with a similar intention. Box beam ceilings, division of space by column topped half-walls, white trim work, bay windows, and subterranean garages are found at both Nob Hill and 8th Ave W. …Continue reading “The Yukevich House – 1811 8th Ave W”

Emily Inez Denny — Seattle Pioneer

Emily Inez Denny was born in Seattle in 1853. She was the first white child born in Seattle and the oldest child of pioneers David and Louisa Boren Denny.

Louisa, Madge, David, and Emily Denny ca. 1861

Inez and her sister Madge took classes at the Territorial University when it opened in 1860. Inez later recounted that each pupil had a small slate on which lessons were written, as paper was expensive and in short supply on the frontier. The girls cleaned their slates with a sponge attached to the slate by a string and water kept in a little bottle in their pockets. The boys, on the other hand, often didn’t bother with the sponge and water, but would spit on the slate or lick it off and dry it with a sleeve. …Continue reading “Emily Inez Denny — Seattle Pioneer”

Huh? My mother-in-law’s an ADU?

There was a lot of chatter this summer of 2016 over the proposal to allow the construction of three-story Detached Alternative Dwelling Units (DADUs) on modest sized lots now hosting single family homes. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) tend to be independent dwelling units in an attic or a basement with separate doors and appropriate emergency exits. Realtors call an ADU a mother-in-law.

Some people fear that these new dwelling units will change our neighborhoods by increasing density and expediting the loss of the neighborhood’s historic character. Interestingly, the historic character of Upper Queen Anne especially the area west of Queen Anne Ave. with alleys includes a large number of alley houses. A brief tour of the area north of Smith between First and Third Avenues revealed at least 15 alley houses, all of which add to the historic character of Upper queen Anne. At least two of these alley houses are brand new, and three of them on Galer between 1st and 2nd West are really for the birds.

These Alley Houses are for the birds.
These alley houses are for the birds

It may turn out though that the increase in DADUs (Detached ADU) and ADUs has an effect not unlike what happened in response to the Urban Villages created as part of the 1993 Comp Plan. Although written primarily to prevent urban sprawl in rural King County, the plan forced multi-family apartment buildings and condos into the Urban Villages and successfully protected single family homes and the historic neighborhoods in which they are located. Upper Queen Anne and Uptown were both designated villages with the Uptown village encouraging more commercial development than Upper Queen Anne’s.

I am particularly interested in the DADUs constructed long ago in our neighborhood and which now in their own right add its historic character. In many cases, the DADUs are located along the alley edge of simple single family homes and may have replaced early garages. Of course, that conclusion may indeed be speculative, for many of the houses in the neighborhood were constructed before cars were the prevalent way to get around. As is more likely, the alley houses expanded the main home on the lot making room for growing families or newlyweds. The house at 2004 First Avenue N. is said to have been a wedding gift for a newlywed child.  Even if it isn’t an alley house, the gift idea lends credence to my guess. …Continue reading “Huh? My mother-in-law’s an ADU?”