Albert S Kerry House – 421 W Highland Dr

Kerry House, 1913
Kerry House, 1913

This home was designed for the lumberman and Seattle civic leader Albert S. Kerry, Sr. (1866-1939) by the Bebb and Mendel architectural firm.  The house, in altered form, stands on the southeast corner of Highland Drive and 5th Avenue West.Charles Bebb and Louis Mendel were the most prominent architects of their period, specializing in mansions for Seattle business leaders.  Bebb was educated in private schools in England and Switzerland, and studied civil engineering in London.  He came to Seattle to oversee the construction of the Seattle Opera House (Adler & Sullivan), which was never completed due to the 1893 Financial Panic.  Louis Mendel came to the United States from Germany in 1882, working in Cleveland and in several west Coast cities before settling in Seattle in 1899.  He initially worked as a draftsman for Bebb, but quickly formed a partnership that lasted until 1914.

Their heavily corbeled design for the Kerry residence is strikingly different from the Willatsen and Byrne design for the 1910 Kerry “country” house in the Highlands, less than a decade later.  Bebb & Mendel’s design was featured in the 1913 book Homes and Gardens of the Pacific Coast which noted the home’s “comfort and convenience” and beautiful interior.

The house was significantly remodeled after the third story was destroyed by fire in 1938.

Kerry House, 1975 (courtesy of Paul Dorpat)

New owners in 2016 restored the gables on the third floor.

Read about Kerry Park, a gift to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sperry Kerry, Sr. and other donors who lived in the area.

Source: UW Special Collections (image ARC0043).