Queen Anne, Yesterday & Today — The Willcox Walls

May 8, 2020

The forms for the West Queen Anne retaining walls and staircases along 8th Ave. W. are being put in place in this image dated April 17, 1914.  Known as the Willcox Walls for their designer, Walter Willcox, the West Queen Anne Retaining Walls were designated Seattle historic landmarks in 1976.

Willcox Walls under construction, April 17, 1914. Seattle Municipal Archives Image #156.

The Spanish Mission style home of renowned Seattle architect Harlan Thomas can be seen at the east end of the framework in the historic image. The house, built in 1909, is visible in today’s image but its arched doorway is blocked by the balustrade that tops the walls. The roof line and dormer window of the neighboring American Foursquare home peeks up from behind the Thomas house in both images. The roof line of a house that was built in between them appears in today’s image. The Dutch Colonial style home on the north side of the framework is visible in today’s image as well, but it is obscured by the mature vegetation.

8th Ave W. Section of Willcox Walls, May 7, 2020