14th Ave W Houses

Gilman House
Gilman House

In August 2013, we almost lost the Gilman House to a menacing developer. Just as soon as the Queen Anne Historical Society learned that an offer had been accepted on the Gilman House, the oldest building of the historic Fourteenth Avenue West Group, and that demolition (probably in the middle of the night) was likely, it moved swiftly. Although alarmed by the idea of demolition, the society was even more distressed to learn that the bank foreclosing on the house and the realtor selling it both knew about the building’s landmark designation and had suggested that it could be ‘delisted.’

Notifying the Department of Neighborhood’s Historic Preservation section and Historic Seattle’s Director of Preservation Advocacy, the Queen Anne Historical Society put into motion the legal tools that protect the building and which eventually encouraged the potential buyer to withdraw the purchase offer in the third week of August. It was bad and probably unethical for the bank and the realtor to suggest that the house could be removed from the city’s list of designated buildings or that Historic Seattle would abrogate its easement responsibilities. The city just doesn’t remove historic designation from a building, and Historic Seattle simply opens itself up to lawsuits if it doesn’t enforce its obligations. …Continue reading “14th Ave W Houses”

Elfrieda Apartments – 1932 Queen Anne Ave N

Many Queen Anne residents mourn the loss of this neighborhood landmark that has quietly sat on the southeast corner of Crockett and Queen Anne Avenue since its completion 100 years ago.

Elfrieda Apartments, 1937
Elfrieda Apartments, 1937

In 1910, the city issued the building permit for the Elfrieda, and it first appears in city directories in 1913. The permit was issued to Louis S. Nunnemacher who with his wife Elfrieda lived in and managed the building from at least 1915 until 1922. It doesn’t take much to guess for whom the building is named, but there is no record of the Elfrieda’s designer. Mr. Nunnemacher is listed in the city directories of the time as a builder and contractor, so we can assume that he was the building’s contractor and may have been personally responsible for much of the finish work. It was not uncommon at this time for developers to actually live in the buildings they constructed. One might wonder if this were still a common practice, whether the design of contemporary apartments and condominiums might be greatly improved. …Continue reading “Elfrieda Apartments – 1932 Queen Anne Ave N”

Historic Residences

Some of the old houses in this selection of historic photos survive. A walk around the neighborhood is a great way to discover them. As you go on your walk or flip through this collection, see how very many of the buildings have turrets, towers or other distinctive features on one corner. It is up to you now to decide if the playful treatment of corners is characteristic of Queen Anne house, if they show us to be a particular nosy bunch of neighbors who want to look around corners without anyone knowing, or if the Queen Anne historian who put together this collection, just happened to like buildings with fanciful corner features. …Continue reading “Historic Residences”