Deette McAuslan Smith (1892-1979) built the imposing brick residence on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill in 1926. She was the widow of contractor Grant Smith (d. 1923) who built the Olympic Hotel and the White-Henry-Stuart Building. He died four months after their marriage in 1923. Mrs. Smith grew up on Queen Anne Hill and wanted a home for herself, her mother, her older sister, and for two children whom she planned to adopt (but never did). Her late husband’s firm handled construction.
The English Georgian style brick building was designed by Abraham H. Albertson (1872-1964), who had worked on the White-Henry-Stuart Building and other downtown projects. The home is on three levels and has a large garden on the south side. A large ballroom opens onto the garden level. The home features a library, living room, dining room, a large nursery, four bedrooms, and staff quarters.
Mrs. Smith married Charles E. Stuart in 1931. She was a patron of the arts and donated the statue The Dance for the front of the Seattle Opera House. She was active in charities such as Children’s Orthopedic Hospital. In 1975, she donated the house to the Seattle Opera Association. Maurice C. Balcom acquired the home in 1975.
The Stuart-Balcom House and Gardens was declared a Seattle Landmark on September 10, 1984.
Source: The Stuart / Balcom House Essay at HistoryLink.org.
For Further Reading
View the National Register for Historic Places Nomination Form for the Stuart-Balcom house.