James A Gibbs House – 1000 Warren Ave N



Gibbs House, 2008
Gibbs House, 2008
photo by the author


Taking up the northeast corner of Warren and Ward Streets, the home was built for James A. and Vera Gibbs, who moved in around 1931. Mr. Gibbs was President of Gibbs & Hudson Inc. Securities at the time, having previously been employed as President of Enterprise Securities. They moved into the home from another Queen Anne location farther back on the hill, but still on Warren Avenue North (2445). They remained there at least through 1939. …Continue reading “James A Gibbs House – 1000 Warren Ave N”

John Lorentz & Lorentz Pl

Wedding photo, John and Bena Lorentz, 1905

From 1868 to 1914, more than a million Swedes immigrated to the United States. Among them was John A. Lorentz, who was to become one of Queen Anne’s most prolific builders.

John A. Lorentz was born Johan Amandus Lorentzson in Ulvhult, Sweden, in October 1879. His family owned a farm, but the soil was poor and rocky. Like many Scandinavian immigrants, he left his native land because dividing the family farm with his brother would not have provided a viable living. Being adventurous,1 in 1903 he boarded a ship to the United States to seek a better life. He found work first as a blacksmith at the Old Star Carriage Company, and later as a carpenter, living on Garfield Street on Queen Anne. At that time, he was one of many newly-arrived immigrants from Scandinavia working in the building trades.

In 1905, he married his wife Bena, also a Swedish immigrant, who became not only his life-long companion but also a partner in his business. With her assistance, in 1910, Lorentz began a career as a building contractor. During his career, he built an estimated 200 single family homes on Queen Anne,2 many of which still exist with minimal exterior alterations, as well as apartment buildings in the Denny Regrade and on First Hill. …Continue reading “John Lorentz & Lorentz Pl”