AKA: Ballard-Howe House, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA; Ballard Mansion, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: de Neuf and Heide, Architects (firm); Moldenhour, Herman A., Architect (firm); Emil August de Neuf Sr. (architect); August Franklin Heide (architect); Herman Alfred Moldenhour (architect)

Dates: constructed 1900-1901

3 stories, total floor area: 9,148 sq. ft.

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22 West Highland Drive
Queen Anne, Seattle , WA 98119-3550

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Seattle architects Emil DeNeuf (d. 1915) and August Heide (1862-1943) designed this grand, 60-foot by 55-foot, Colonial Revival Style house for Martin D. Ballard (1832-04/1907), an early pioneer in the Northwest who came to Seattle in 1882. He began the Seattle Hardware Company and served as a founder of the National Bank of Commerce, thereafter. Construction of the dwelling occurred between 08/1900 and early 1901, and was undertaken by Tomlinson and Windsor, Building Contractors. Its original cost was estimated in 1979 to have been between $8,000-$10,000, although this figure seems a bit low. Martin Ballard died in 04/1907 but his widow continued to live there for over three more years. The U.S. District Court Judge George Donworth (1861-1947) purchased the 15-room house for $20,000 from Ballard's widow in 02/1911, but became ill before he could occupy it; he was instructed by doctors to rest and scale back his activities, and because he owned several houses, he decided to sell this one. James Blake Howe (1861-1930), a friend and former legal associate of Donworth's, bought the residence in the same year for $25,000. Howe, his wife, Rose, and their six children lived here until the Depression era, when the real estate had lost much of its value. Howe died in 03/03/1930, and, by 05/1930, Rose had put the residence, then viewed as a white elephant, on the market. She managed to sell it at a significant loss ($5,000) to I.J. Trahan. Trahan had had experience developing apartments in Seattle, decided to remodel the house into rental units rather than demolish it. He and his wife resided in one of the new apartments until her death in 1936. Trahan then sold the property to Dr. Richard Perry and his wife, who moved into the third floor apartment, what had been originally a ball room. The Perrys made alterations in the 1940s, adding wings on the east and west facades, and lived here until 1950. They sold it in 04/1950 to an AK resident, C.B. Williams, for the appreciated price of $45,000; Williams held it for eight years, before selling it to James H. and Alvina J. LaRue, who resided here until 03/1965. Following the death of her husbandm Mrs. Larue then sold the apartment house to Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Austin for $75,000. The Austins lived here until 04/1974, when Steven Sarich bought it and allowed it to be landmarked a few years later; it has stayed in the Sarich-Lotto Families since that time. Ray W. Lotto has owned the building since 11/01/2005.

This Neo-Classical Revival Style mansion highlighted its owner's wealth and sophistication with its grandly-scaled portico and refined ornamental details. Its form, color and textures were much simpler and less encumbered than Queen Anne Style houses of the 1890s; built at the start of a new century, it would have been seen as a fresh new direction in residential design. The National Register of Places Inventory Nomination form stated of the Ballard House #2: "The original, fifteen room plan of the residence was typically colonial. Major rooms were located at each corner with the front rooms (living room and parlor) opening out onto a large central hallway and elegant staircase. A dining room and kitchen were located in the left and right rear respectively. A library and two porches projected from the eastern parlor. The second floor consisted of four bedrooms, a sewing room and bathrooms. The principal room of the third floor was termed a 'ballroom' but was rarely, if ever, used in that capacity. Through his business interests, Mr. Ballard was able to obtain high quality teak and ironwood as well as local Port Orford cedar for use on the interior. The former living and dining rooms still display some of these fine woods as trim and inlaid floor decoration." (See Gwendolyn A. Lee and Stephen A. Mathison, "Ballard/Howe House," National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 01/08/1979, p. 2.Accessed 01/16/2014.) This house, with its traditional hall-parlor floor plan echoing New England Colonial precedents, was at the forefront of a new wave of revivalism that would dominate American residential design until 1930. In 2014, the residence contained 9,148 gross square feet and 7,211 net; it occupied a 13,780 square-foot (0.32 acre) lot. This residential acreage was some of the most desirable in Seattle with expansive views of Seattle's Downtown and Elliott Bay to the south. In tax year 2014, it had a taxable value of $1.6 million, down from its peak of $2,343,600 in tax year 2011.

Seattle architect, Herman A. Moldenhour (1880-1976) supervised the division of the house into five apartment units in 1932. Moldenhour managed to carve up the house without altering the original plan, save for changes to the kitchen and entry hall. Two units occupied the first two floors and one on the third. The original carriage house was renovated to form a fourth unit. Moldenhour also added an new two-car garage on the lot's northeast corner. The noted revivalist architect Joseph Simon Cote (1874-1957) designed the addition of two wings to the house on its east and west facades in the 1940s. According to Lee and Mathison's National Register Nomination: "Dr. Perry, a later owner of the converted apartment house, commissioned additions to the building in the 1940's to provide more sleeping space in the apartments. The new two story west wing consisted of one additional bedroom for the first and second floor units. The eastern additions involved filling in and extending the original porches, also to provide more bedrooms. A portion of the third floor balcony was glassed in, providing a "solarium" and viewing room. This room was removed when the Austin's owned the building in the 1950's. An aluminum sliding glass door replaced the original double French doors which led from the "ballroom" to the balcony. A wrought iron railing replaced the ornate balustrade around the balcony, these being the only truly incompatible additions to the original structure." (See Gwendolyn A. Lee and Stephen A. Mathison, "Ballard/Howe House," National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 01/08/1979, p. 2.Accessed 01/16/2014.)

Seattle Historic Landmark (1978-02-10): 108226

King County Assessor Number: 1731800590 Department of Assessments eReal Property GIS Center parcel report GIS Center parcel viewer GIS Center iMap viewer

PCAD id: 11069