Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WWII Era Cottages - Just Like Ridgecrest Neighborhood!

This article from State DAHP (Department of Architecture and Historic Preservation) Blog features
a familiar style of architecture for folks who know the east side of Shoreline. Both Ridgecrest and Briarcrest have thousands of small homes built during this era.

The Ridgecrest Neighborhood has even been considered for recognition as a neighborhood by historic organizations, because of the unique preservation of these homes, which has stayed nearly the same as when they were built in the 1940-s and 50's.

These homes have become highly desirable for younger buyers, because they are relatively affordable,
have simple classic styling, and small yards for gardening buffs and are big enough for a small family.

After WW II, many veterans moved in to the Shoreline area, into these small homes with help from the G I Bill.  So Ridgecrest is apparently at the height of preservation style! Who knew?

Washington State Dept. of Archaeology & Historic Preservation

Protect the Past, Shape the Future


WWII Era Cottage: 1935 – 1950
WWI Era Cottage AdThe WWII Era Cottage resembles the Workingman’s Foursquare of the proceeding decade but utilized the latest advancements in spatial planning and building materials. The style serves as a transitional style bridging the gap between the Revival movement of the 1920s and the modern period leading up to and proceeding WWII.
After WWII, with the peacetime economy just beginning to start up, materials were still in short supply.  However the demand for housing was great, exacerbated by returning GI’s and their new families.  As a response to the situation, new homes like the WWII Era Cottage were built in large quantities and featured little ornamentation.  WWII Era Cottages are generally small (some less than 1,000 sq ft), and correspond to the small size of young families. 
Most were built by speculative builders and purchased by families who took advantage of a variety of government incentive programs which were offered through the Federal Housing Administration.  Because of their simplicity and low cost, WWII Era Cottages made the dream of home ownership possible for an unprecedented number of people.
Seattle Times, WWII Era Cottage WWII Era Cottages, sometimes referred to as “Roosevelt Cottages”, are one-story structures covered by a hipped roof with minimal eave overhangs.  The overall shape is typically square or rectangular in plan, although many boast more complex footprints that incorporate attached garages and shallow room projections.  These projections can have hip or gable roofs. Large porches are generally absent; although a small covering or hood may be found over the front door, and/or a shallow stoop can be inserted into a projecting wing.  The exteriors of these wood-framed buildings are sheathed with a wide range of materials from horizontal wood siding, wood shingles, stucco or brick, to asbestos ceramic shingles.  Some concrete block and clay tile examples can be found. Higher end examples utilize a change in exterior material using the window sill as a breaking point.
WWII Era Cottages have a noticeable absence of stylistic ornamentation.  However, early examples often have Art Deco or Streamlined Moderne elements such as glass block and rounded porch features.  Wide frieze boards and vertical siding in gable ends might add a playful detail.  Towards the late 1940s, brick and stone became common as decorative accents, particularly in the form of water tables and raised flower planters.  Many have a single octagonal window on the main fa├žade near the front entry door.  Other windows are tall and wide, many retaining just horizontal muntin bars.  Often windows are placed at the corners of the house and wrap around a side elevation.
  House, Seattle  House, Vancouver  House, Seattle  House, Bremerton  Apartment, Pullman  House, Seattle  House, Spokane  House, Aberdeen
From top: Seattle, Vancouver, Seattle, Bremerton, Pullman, Seattle, Spokane, Aberdeen  

For More Information:
  • Rifkind, Carole. A Field Guide to Contemporary American Architecture. A Dutton Book. New York, NY, 1998. pg 270-277.
  • “A Puget Sound Home” Seattle Times, September 28, 1947. pg 18.
  • “Small Homes Year Book” 1941  Show Edition.
  • “Model Home in Modern” Pamphlet, 3rd Annual National Housing Exposition, Seattle, Febuary 1-9, 1941.
  • Universal Small Homes: Book 21. Universal Plan Service, Portland, OR. 1950.
  • Whiffen, Marcus. American Architecture Since 1780: A Guide to the Styles. 4th ed.   MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 1996.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Now That's Some Real Snow!

Compare this snow with a storm that happened in 1927!

courtesy of Shoreline Historical Museum
"Meadow" at Paramount Park with about 1" of snow
Real Snowfall in Paramount Park on Hemlock Grove

Reflections in "Upper Pond" are
especially beautiful in the snow
Upper Pond at Paramount Park is a restored
wetland with "Large Woody Debris"
placed as wildlife habitat. Sure makes a
pretty scene too!
Paramount Park is a "Headwaters Wetland" and contains one of the largest wetlands in Shoreline at over 6.5 acres. PPNG
did the restoration and "preservation" project over 10 years ago and created two wetland ponds and replanted nearly 3 acres with native plants.
Littles Creek doesn't mind the snow a bit!
It is a tributary and headwaters of Thornton Creek, the largest watershed
in Shoreline and Seattle

NW Native Plants don't mind the snow at all.
Sword fern gully makes a nice image.
Went for a nice walk and Paramount Park is a real star in the snow. 
Couple enjoys the view at the "lower pond" in the pre-Thanksgiving Snowfall

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Richmond Beach School - Now a Park

A long flight of steps leads up the hill to the site of Richmond Beach School
photo credits-Janet Way
The Richmond Beach School Was the First School in Shoreline. 

Richmond Beach Elementary School
circa 1909-10
courtesy of Shoreline Historical Museum

But what is on that site now?  

Of course the Richmond Beach Library and Park occupy much of the site and are popular with the community.  But a recent visit on a spectacularly sunny fall day reveals an area that many may have overlooked.

 An amazing grove of trees surrounds the west and north sides of the park.  Here is a photo essay celebrating those remarkable trees. 
As you drive down Richmond Beach Road, you may or may not
notice the spectacular trees that are sentinels of the park
photo credits-Janet Way
Half-way up the steps, turn round and
see the spectacular view framed by the
photo credit-Janet Way
Now an enormous Madrone trunk holds court
at the crest of the hill nearby the location of
the old school. Wonderful texture
of the bark is a testimony to the many decades
this trees has watched over this place.
photo credits-Janet Way

Halfway up the steps you enter the Madrone Grove that engulfs the corner
photo credits-Janet Way

Crowning the top of this hill is a huge and magnificent Madrone
photo credits-Janet Way
Late afternoon shadows fall across the site of the old school
overlooking Puget Sound

Go for a Visit today and send me some photos (especially in the snow!). 

Many things worth saving in Shoreline need watchdogs and stewards. Will you be one?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inside and Outside of Ronald School

Did you know that the plans for Shorewood rebuild include "gutting" the interior of the century old Ronald School? 

The plans include removing the third floor, but these plans seem to change frequently. 
Interior staircase of Ronald School and arched window.

It also is likely to include destroying the unique "stand alone" nature of the building because, the plans include "encasing" the entire rear wall. The Ronald School is a Landmarked Historic building in Shoreline that has housed the Shoreline Historical Museum since 1976.

The rear of the building was traditionally used by students, as a playground, gathering place and where they "lined up" to go back in the building after recess, lunch or at the beginning or end of the day.

The exterior grounds of the building are "landmarked" along with the building itself.

Rear of Ronald School
SSD/Basetti plans to encase and block this side
of the Landmarked Building
with the new structure. The Windows will be blacked out.
The Shoreline/KC Landmarks Commission Hearing on Certificate of Appropriateness for these plans is scheduled for next Wednesday, Nov. 17th, 7pm at the Richmond Masonic Temple, 
N185th and Linden Ave N.

YOU are invited to attend and testify in this ONLY public hearing to be held on the matter of
the proposed alterations to this historic Landmarked Building.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Patterns of History - The Bricks

Shoreline's Unique Historical Asset -
The Red Brick Road - Built in 1909

"Aluminum Specialties" now called Skyline Windows
is located on Ronald Place

Images of things that matter in Shoreline. The Red Brick Road (aka Ronald Place or North Trunk Road)
has the messages of time written all over it.

The Unique Patterns of Shoreline's Red Brick Road have carried 
automobile traffic for over 90 years.
This section is just south of N175th St and has been nominated 
and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
because of its unique relationship to the commercial district surrounding it.
Skyline Windows has a shared history with Ronald Place
It is a Family business that honors the road along with their own history.

Judge JT Ronald was a major advocate for building Highway 99. He owned the property now in the center of Aurora at N175th and had a summer cottage there. He sold the property where Ronald Place now curves away from the Aurora Ave N in order to encourage the development of the highway. 

Judge Ronald also donated the land where the Ronald School now exists and is home to the Shoreline Historical Museum, because he believed in education. He served as a KC Superior Court Judge until 1949 and had also served as Mayor of Seattle 1892 and 1893. Want to read more about Judge Ronald? Interesting article about how his Seattle House was preserved in Seattle Times,

Old memories, new friendship guide restoration of 1880s Leschi house.

We wonder where the Red Brick Road will lead in the 21st Century with all the changes taking place in Shoreline?