Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Hull and Anderson, Building Contractors (firm); Rohrer, John, AIA, Architect (firm); Anderson (building contractor); Hull (building contractor); John Abram Rohrer (architect)

Dates: constructed 1948-1949

1 story, total floor area: 2,350 sq. ft.

122 37th Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98112-4932

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John A. Rohrer (1914-2004) was a Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington (UW). Hull and Anderson served as building contractors for the dwelling.

Architect's own house; the Rohrer House became a "Home of the Month," in McCall's Magazine, 1954. The house occupied a hilly site, with a significant slope rising up from 37th Avenue on the west toward the east. Rohrer designed his house in a canted L-shape, locating the long dimension, containing living/dining/kitchen, on the east-west axis, and a bedroom wing on an angle north-south. Rohrer's plan prominently featured a primary outdoor living space, a south-facing paved patio that looked down on 37th Avenue. The patio's southern exposure provided optimal solar heating and improved useability in most seasons of the year. In various ways, the architect maximized privacy for this sizable patio. The site's slope placed the patio well above the automobile noise and peering eyes of the street. Additionally, Rohrer used landscaping to provide further seclusion; hedges, walls, and an existing stand of trees all insulated the patio further. A staggered fence on the south property line controlled winds affecting patio activities. Like many houses of the mid-century, the Rohrer house demonstrated few windows close to the street, in large part to provide internal privacy and noise abatement. The living room's windowless west wall projected out over a sunken carport, which also had no openings. The plan's parti emphasized the connection of interior living rooms and the expansive patio. In small suburban houses of the period, outdoor living areas were often employed to provide additional room for family activities and to draw family members into the salubrious outdoors.

Rohrer designed a bathroom added to the master bedroom in 1969-1970. In 2011, the residence occupied a 7,672-square-foot lot; it contained 2,350 square feet, 1,600 on the main floor, 750 in the basement. As built in 1949, the main living rooms contained 1,250 square feet.

PCAD id: 2949