AKA: Rust Mansion, Tacoma, WA; Billings House, Tacoma, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Russell and Babcock, Architects (firm); Everett Phipps Babcock (architect); Ambrose J. Russell (architect)

Dates: constructed 1904-1905

3 stories

1001 North I Street
North Slope, Tacoma, WA 98403

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North Slope National Historic District

William Ross Rust (born 08/01/1852 in Philadelphia, PA), who owned the Tacoma Smelter and Refining Company, Tacoma, WA, lived in this extravagant house between 1905-1912. The mansion, whose exterior walls were composed of local Wilkeson Sandstone, had a fireproof roof composed of terra cotta tiles, 18 rooms (8 of which contained fireplaces) and 4 bathrooms. Wilkeson Sandstone, from the nearby coal-mining community in Pierce County, also faced the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, WA. (As owner of smelting company, Rust probably had mining interests in the Wilkeson area.) Rust and his wife, Helen (born 12/1864 in CO), whom he married on 08/28/1884, left the dwelling following the death of their eldest son, Howard L. Rust (born 04/1886 in CO). The Rusts, their surviving son, H. Arthur (born c. 1901 in WA), and a governess left on a 6-month tour of Europe in 1911; William and Helen traveled extensively after this time. The residence was compartmentalized into apartments during the 1920s. In 1920, the Rusts lived at 521 North Yakima Avenue.

According to the Tacoma Public Library, William R. Rust directed architects Russell and Babcock to pattern this grandiose Colonial Revival house after the John A. McCall Residence, "Shadow Lawn," on Long Island, NY. (The 1902 house for the New York Life Insurance Company magnate McCall, was actually located in Long Branch, NJ, and after 1915, served as a summer White House for President Woodrow Wilson. The NJ residence was designed by the Chicago architect Henry Edward Cregier [born c. 03/1868 in IL]). It differed significantly from the McCall House in its smaller scale and lack of cupolas. Like the McCall House (and many Colonial Revival souses of the day), it had an exaggerated double-height portico. Its Colonial Revival features were also exaggerated in scale, seen particularly in the extensively balustrading and the swan's neck pediment on the central dormer. Comparable to the McCall House, however, was the long covered porch that lined the front facade. In both buildings, the columns of the front portico extended beyond the long porch, sheltering it in the center. (See "Image Archives: The Rust Mansion, 1001 No. I St., circa 1907," General Photograph Collection Series: CNC-14 Unique: 36365,Accessed 01/30/2012.) Prior to living at this house at 1001 North I Street, they resided (in 1900) three blocks away at 723 North I Street.

Tacoma Register of Historic Places: ID n/a

National Register of Historic Places (August 23, 1985): 85001806 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 17476