House no more

For more information about this house, see our latest post: The Straight Skinny About the Big White House.

David wrote to tell us that the big white house in lower Wallingford (3519 Wallingford Avenue N.) has been demolished:

Lots of changes going on in lower Wallingford.  I came home today to find the big house (I think actually a triplex) at 35th and Wallingford demolished!  Always stood out to me as such a big residence with a nice view.  Nothing but smashed timbers now.

Built in 1911, the house was over 3,200 square feet on an enviable 4,560 square foot lot. The last time it had been purchased was in 2000, but I wasn’t able to find any more information beyond that. I contacted our cherished local historian, Paul Dorpat, who replied, “I too have often wondered about that big place but I’ve not investigated. Now I’ll miss it. Wallingford Ave’s arterial zoning probably doomed it for ‘higher and better.'”

That house always intrigued me, too, as it always reminded me of the creepy house in that really bad 70s horror movie, “Burnt Offerings”, with Bette Davis. I’ve spun some pretty macabre fantasies about the house on Wallingford because it was so big and it sat way up high on its very own hill. I’ll miss it, too.

Here are “before” and “after” images. A sad sight, indeed:

GoogleEarth_Image (1)



  1. COtransplant said,

    They also demolished a small multiunit (a duplex?) to the south of the house. We’re nearby neighbors, and we received a flyer a few months ago saying it’s being turned into the usual townhouse quadplex. Sad to see the house on the hill go. :(

    Sun, April 21 at 9:37 am
  2. maria said,

    I just returned from a 5 month sun-break and am shocked to see all the demolition in our beloved Wallingford. I also note that the architect spot at 37th and Wallingford is being sold and potentially developed as a multi-unit. My heart broke yesterday when I drove down Woodland Park Ave North (in Wallymont). I fear our quaint
    “character” is being redefined by developers and I am sad. And mad. What can we do? Change comes hard to we who have loved in this hood for 30 years!

    Sun, April 21 at 6:25 pm
  3. Donn said,

    What can you do? Grit your teeth. I bet you’d see us mentioned on the bathroom wall at Planning and Development. “For a good time, head on down to Stone Way. We’ll hold their arms while you have your way with them.”

    Sun, April 21 at 8:28 pm
  4. walkinroun said,

    Just this evening someone who lives in a big old turn of the last century house in nearby Fremont mentioned that she gets AT LEAST one solicitation every week from developers who want to buy her house and create more pigpiles. Shove em in and pile em on top. Oh yeah, the new urban density – it’s good for us! It brings in lots of money, it pushes poor people out to the burbs (what a hoot!) where the middle class is tumbling down and monotonizes/lobotomizes our urban neighborhoods. Maybe we could try to pass some legislation that the developers and owners have to live in the complexes they build.

    Sun, April 21 at 9:31 pm
  5. Sharon said,

    Here is the Dept of Neighborhoods Historic Resource Survey record

    Summary for 3519 Wallingford AVE / Parcel ID 4083306205 / Inv #
    Historic Name: North House Common Name: North House
    Style: Queen Anne Neighborhood: Wallingford
    Built By: Year Built: 1901

    In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.

    The North House was constructed in 1901. Edward E. North (b. 1870), the first house owner, had lived in Seattle for ten years, originally employed as a barber. In 1898, the Union Electric Company, one of the city’s numerous street car and electric companies, hired North as a lineman. In June 1901 North, listed as the builder, obtained a building permit for a 1 ½ story 36 x 20 foot house. The property was about five blocks away from the Green Lake street car line that ran down Woodland Park Ave N. By the end of 1901, North, his wife Mabel (b. 1873), and their children; a son, age 5, and a daughter, age 2, moved from Green Lake to their new house in Edgewater. By that time the Seattle Electric Company had hired North as Superintendent of Construction. Seattle Electric was in the process of buying out all 13 Seattle streetcar and electric companies. After just a year North left Seattle Electric to work as Assistant Superintendent for the Independent Telephone Company. Telephones were slowly becoming widely used in the city, increasing from just 1,500 telephones at the beginning of 1898 to just over 6,000 phones distributed amongst the city’s businesses and 100,000 residents by early 1902. In the next two years, the number of telephones in Seattle tripled. North continued to live in the house and work for the telephone company until 1908 when he left town seeking employment elsewhere. Later occupants. Arthur B. and wife Carolyn A. Hornbeck purchased the house in 1919, converted it into a duplex, and for about 20 years lived in one unit and rented the other. Arthur Hornbeck worked at Hamilton Junior High School as a janitor. During World War II Leon F. and Carolyn I. Miller and Lewis C. and Minnie Ackles occupied the house. By the late 1940s, there were four apartments in the building occupied by Boeing employee Robert G. and Betty J. Paulos, painter Frank and Mary Lista, American Mail Line employee Mrs Hazel R. Durant, and machine operator Edward A. and Edith A. Warwick who lived there to at least 1954. Also in 1954 serviceman Lewis A. and Lois J. Boyd and David W. and Zina Ristig rented apartments. David Ristig was a cutter at Northwest Envelope Manufacturing Company. During the 1962 Worlds Fair, two of the apartments were occupied by Safeway grocery store butcher Henry and Mary M. Dunn and Mrs. Alice M. Sloniker. In 1975 Historic Seattle conducted a survey of the Wallingford neighborhood and listed the residence as Significant to the Community. A field survey of the residence was conducted by the 1979 Seattle Survey. The residence appears to meet City of Seattle Landmark criteria due to the age of the structure (over 100 years old) and minimal alterations.

    The Queen Anne vernacular style North House was built in 1901 (permit # 8404). During the winter of 1903-1904 a 14 x 16 foot rear (west) addition for a kitchen and bathroom was constructed (permit # 24448). In 1920 the rear addition was extended along the west elevation. At this time the building was converted into a duplex (permit # 189692). In 1939 it was converted into three living units and 17 years later one more unit was added (permits #s 332296 and 444899). The east elevation of the side gable residence has a full width porch with a large three sided bay window that extends above the shed porch roof as a gable wing. The porch roof is supported by circular columns. The south elevation has a two story three sided bay window with a hip roof. The second story has fishscale and diamond shingles. Nearly all doublehung windows are single sash.

    Detail for 3519 Wallingford AVE / Parcel ID 4083306205 / Inv #
    Status: Yes – Inventory
    Classication: District Status:
    Cladding(s): Wood – Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete – Poured
    Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
    Building Type: Domestic – Single Family Plan: Rectangular
    Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
    Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
    Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
    Changes to Windows: Moderate
    Changes to Plan: Slight

    Major Bibliographic References
    City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
    King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
    Polk’s Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
    Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority. “Wallingford: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources.” Seattle: Historic Seattle, 1975.

    Photo collection for 3519 Wallingford AVE / Parcel ID 4083306205 / Inv #

    Photo taken Nov 23, 2004 Services | Departments | Staff Directory | Mayor | City Council

    Copyright © 1995-2005 City of Seattle Questions/Complaints | Privacy & Security Policy

    Mon, April 22 at 12:55 am
  6. yoyo said,

    the block apt building at 46 and woodland park is being constructed quickly, filling the lot space, little yard, concrete or open land to be left.. and few windows. just what we need dense housing?? of concrete with no parking or windows.. Built for robots?

    walkinroun and Donn, plz remember that in writings re Skanska and other big tear down build concrete debates on here.. those against this lovely progress have been told to get out.

    Mon, April 22 at 7:00 am
  7. wallyneighbor said,

    What is Wallingford Ave’s “arterial zoning”? We are actually wondering this in light of an upcoming remodel to improve our view and have wondered how likely it would be that the house next door (which is owned by an elderly couple) could be sold and become a tall skinny apartment, thus removing our desire to remodel and improve the view. Any Wallingford experts know where I could find this out? My husband seemed to think there would be some sort of grandfathering rule, but I see so many houses on this street becoming apartments.

    Mon, April 22 at 7:54 am
  8. wallyneighbor said,

    I was sort of able to answer my own question. But does anyone know how east it is to change the zoning/how that happens? I see the whole block for the 3522 house is Lowrise, multifamily, whereas other blocks are Single Family.

    Here is a map of the street with the zoning: (and the key

    Mon, April 22 at 8:02 am
  9. Donn said,

    I believe the general outline is, someone comes up with a reason why in principle your zoning should be revised, they take it to Conlin and the council votes unanimously to enact the ordinance. (Unanimity isn’t a requirement, it’s just what I would expect from the current council.) The key question is what kind of principle they can find. It could be a narrowly tailored special case thing if some local tycoon owns property in your zone and there’s a lot of money to be made, but more typical example I think would be like the overlays that went in around the light rail stations. I’ve heard a rumor that they have ideas about doing something like that for practically any area served by a bus route, but people are starting to notice that new construction is already arguably well in excess of any conceivable demand, so it will hopefully remain just an idea.

    Mon, April 22 at 8:36 am
  10. Junipero said,

    We live in a city, not a suburb. If people want to be surrounded by single-family homes then you ought to be considering a move to Issaquah or Mill Creek.

    I live half a block away from this project and look forward to seeing some more density in our neighborhood. Maybe it’ll help get some more shops and restaurants along 34th near Wallingford.

    Mon, April 22 at 3:20 pm
  11. Chris W. said,

    And they took the hill, too? Damn.

    Mon, April 22 at 4:47 pm
  12. Donn said,

    Yeah, could be a Paradise, if only we had more density. We’ll see. Maybe we’ll get one of those Subways back. In Seattle, it doesn’t really matter whether we drink the Kool-Ade, our leaders know best and they’ll give it to us whether we like it or not.

    Mon, April 22 at 5:25 pm
  13. Barb said,

    I remember when the University District was full of early 20th century houses, cheap rentals for students. Been there lately? Like that look? I’d hope Wallingford could be more like Queen Anne, which shows some respect for old homes. But maybe not.

    Mon, April 22 at 5:27 pm
  14. Laura said,

    What is devastating about this to me is that the owner sold the white house with the stipulation that it had to be sold with the neighboring property (which he had bought to preserve his views) and marketed it as a ” developers dream”. While it was in his rights to do so, it seems so sad to essentially doom such a beautiful house (that he has taken care of for years)to certain demise.

    We will certainly miss that house.

    Tue, April 23 at 9:18 pm
  15. David said,

    If higher denisty buildings need to be built, build DOWNTOWN, not in single family neighborhoods.

    Fri, April 26 at 9:52 pm
  16. maria said,

    Please consider attending the Mayoral candidates forum on Thursday, 5/2, 6:30- 9PM at Hamilton and get their thoughts (and give them ours) on Wallingford land use issues. Topic isn’t on agenda for tonight’s WCC mtg (land use chair is out of
    town), but WCC is always interested in hearing the community’s concerns.

    Wed, May 1 at 5:49 am
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