Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Thiry and Shay, Architects (firm); Alban Aurelius Shay (architect); Paul Albert Thiry Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1936-1937

2 stories, total floor area: 3,090 sq. ft.

4350 53rd Avenue NE
Laurelhurst, Seattle, WA 98105-4939

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Building History

Architects Paul Thiry, Sr., (1904-1993) and Alban Shay (1899-1984) designed this hillside house for Frank Barrett, the local manager of the Portland Cement Association, his wife, their daughter, 2 sons and a live-in servant. The architects oriented the dwelling to take advantage of panoramic views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. Because of his connection to the cement manufacturer's association, the house was viewed as something of a model home for the industry. Thiry took advantage of his client's connections to design the house with more reinforced concrete than ever before in his work. The Barrett House was widely illustrated in periodicals of the late 1930s, one of the best-illustrated Seattle houses of the time.

Building Notes

Thiry designed the basement to have concrete walls and floor; the first floor was supported by prefabricated concrete beams and a concrete slab. The second floor walls, floor and ceiling were all constructed of timber framing. Plaster covered interior walls. As was typical of many 1930s houses, concrete block was used extensively, particularly around the front door. Thiry and Shay designed a copper front door which patinated to a blue-green. Stucco clad the exterior walls, with trim painted a blue-green to complement the front door. The house contained 3 bedrooms plus maid's quarters and occupied a 7,575 sq. ft. (0.17 acres) lot. The Barrett House contained, in 2009, 3,090 square feet.


Outdoor rooftop decks were enclosed at some point.