Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

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

Dates: constructed 1902-1903

2 stories, total floor area: 7,900 sq. ft.

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421 West Highland Drive
Queen Anne, Seattle, WA 98119-3531

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Albert Sperry Kerry, Sr., in 1901, the President of the Kerry Mill Company in Seattle, WA, commissioned the architects Bebb and Mendel to design this notable residence in the city's Queen Anne neighborhood. The dwelling's front facade faced north on West Highland Drive, while its southern facade overlooked a panoramic view of the Elliott Bay.

Building History

Lumberman A.S. Kerry, Sr., (born 04/14/1866 in ON, Canada-d. 04/27/1939 in Portland, OR) wed Mary E. Monroe (born c. 1870 in MI-d. 02/07/1901 in Seattle, WA) on 05/02/1890 in Seattle. (See, Source Information Washington, U.S., County Marriages, 1855-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014, accessed 05/11/2021.) The following year, he worked as the Manager for the Hart Lumber Company in Seattle, and lived at 818 King Street. (See Polk's Seattle Directory Company's Seattle City Directory, 1891, p. 467.) He and Mary had one daughter, Olive Kerry, born in 01/1891. The three lived at 512 Melrose Avenue North in 1900, along with a household servant, Goshuaka Motota, (born c. 10/1881 in Japan). (See, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Seattle Ward 7, King, Washington; Page: 16; Enumeration District: 0111; FHL microfilm: 1241745, accessed 05/11/2021.)

Following Mary's premature death at 31, Albert married Katherine Amelie Glen (born 09/1874 in Philadelphia, PA-died 06/25/1938 in Seattle, WA) on 03/18/1902 in Yamhill County, OR. Kerry likely intended this new house to be a splendid wedding gift to his new bride.

The Seattle architectural firm of Bebb and Mendel, formed in 1901, produced plans for the couple by 06/1902. Bebb and Mendel planned the dwelling for a site on the SE corner of Highland Drive and 5th Avenue West, a piece of prime real estate with sweeping views of Elliott Bay. Construction probably took the balance of the year.

A watercolor presentation drawing was illustrated in the book, Seattle Architecturally 1902, (Seattle: Dearborn Printing Company, 1902). (See M. Hume, "Residence of Mr. Albert S. Kerry," Seattle Architecturally 1902, [Seattle: Dearborn Printing Company, 1902], np.) As shown in the watercolor, Bebb and Mendel produced a very modern, horizontal design, one that had a much more regular rectangular form than the wildly varied massing of Queen Anne Style houses popular during the 1880s-1890s. Cladding materials were also simplified. The first floor was clad in ashlar masonry, the second in shingles. A shallowly-pitched hipped roof covered the dwelling, its rafters left exposed like a bungalow of the era. Second floor windows had English diamond-paned glass. Extensive porches were planned outside the main entry and in the rear.

The 1910 US Census indicated that ten people resideded at 421 West Highland Drive. They included A.S. and Katherine Kerry, as well his daughter with Mary Monroe, Olive, and two children he had had with Katherine: A.S. Kerry, Jr., (born c. 1904 in Seattle, WA) and Lucy Glen Kerry Trimble (born 12/29/1906 in Seattle, WA-d. 07/13/1990 in Seattle, WA). Additionally, the Kerrys employed a staff of five servants: Alfreda Carlson (born c. 1882 in Sweden), Maud Miller (born c. 1883 in IN), a cook, Mary Johnson, (born 1878 in Sweden), Matilda Johnson (born 1880 in Sweden) and R. Arimoto (born c. 1887 in Japan). (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Seattle Ward 3, King, Washington; Roll: T624_1659; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0150; FHL microfilm: 1375672, accessed 05/11/2021.)

Albert and Katherine continued to reside at this address in 1915. At this time, he acted as Secretary for the Central Coal Company. Both A.S. and Lucy lived here at that time. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Seattle City Directory, 1915, p. 946.)

Seattle Symphony Musical Director Gerard Schwarz (born 08/19/1947 in Weehawken, NJ) and his wife, the flutist, Jody Greitzer Schwarz (born c. 1960), resided in the house between 1995-2012. Before Schwarz, the Burke Family owned the property.

Kerry also commissioned a notable residence in the Highlands neighborhood undertaken by the Seattle architectural firm of Andrew Willatsen (1876-1974) and Barry Byrne (1883-1967), c. 1911. Kerry, along with fellow lumbermen Charles D. Stimson (1857-1929) and William E. Boeing (1881-1956), and others, were the founders of the Highlands residential tract, an exclusive housing sub-division formed around a golf course, now in the city of Shoreline, WA.

Building Notes

The UW Library Department of Special Collections has plans, elevations and detail drawings for the Kerry House. accessed 08/14/2009. The floor plan was dated 06/1902. In 2012, the five-bedroom, 6-bath Kerry House occupied a 22, 500-square-foot lot and contained 7,900 square feet of living space. The house also included a huge 2,720-square-foot garage.

House and land had an assessed value of $2,708,000 in 2012.

When President William Howard Taft came to Seattle's Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909, Albert S. Kerry, along withH.C. Henry, C.J. Smith, and W.A. Peters, were selected to play two rounds of golf with the visiting dignitary. (See"Golfers chosen for games with President Taft. H.C. Henry, C.J. Smith, A.S. Kerry and W.A. Peters to have honor. Two contests are set," University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Scrapbook No. 14-SP: Sept. 17--Oct. 16, 1909, p. 57.)


A 520-square-foot, concrete pool was added to the grounds in 1930.

A fire in 1938 destroyed the house's attic and necessitated a large-scale remodeling. The third floor was never rebuilt. (See Barbara Huston, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Queen Anne tour finds charm--circa 1969," 09/19/1983, p. D1.)