AKA: Griffiths, Captain James, House, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA; Stimson-Griffiths House, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Bebb and Mendel, Architects (firm); Charles Herbert Bebb ; Louis Leonard Mendel Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1903-1905

2 stories, total floor area: 11,210 sq. ft.

415 West Highland Drive
Seattle, WA 98119-3531

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This Swiss Chalet house had the size, decorative detail and location (with its sweeping views) appropriate to the tastes and aspirations of a multi-millionaire. Frederick Spencer Stimson, a sibling of the West Coast lumber tycoon, C.D. Stimson, developed wealth in lumber but divested himself of that and became a diversified investor, with holdings in real estate, banking, fish canneries and Holstein cattle ranching. He took his place in Seattle society as a member of the Rainier, Arctic and Seattle Golf and Country Clubs and became an authoritative figure in Washington cattle-ranching and agricultural circles, at one time serving as a Regent of the land-grant Washington State College. Captain James Griffiths purchased the house in 1928; Griffiths grew rich from his interests in import/export shipping to Japan and the rest of Asia. He also operated the Coastwise Steamship and Barge Company and became a leading figure in local yachting circles.

The two-story, cross-gabled Stimson-Griffiths House had a large 16,987 sq. ft. (0.39 acre) lot, on which the 11,210-square-foot residence sprawled. The house had 3,730 square feet on the first floor, 3,770 on the second and 2,890 in a finished basement. The house had a number of stylistic details of a Swiss chalet, including an ornamented course just below the gabled dormers, corbeled bay windows, decorative half-timbering, and its gabled roof with long, overhanging eaves; the gable ends were also highlighted by decorative stickwork. It was listed on the Washington Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places. The 1980 A Guide to Architecture in Washington State, ([Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1980], p. 198), indicated that the address was 415 West Highland Drive; in 2010, various sources have it as 405 West Highland Drive.