AKA: Nelson-Steinbrueck House, Eastlake, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Steinbrueck, Victor, Architect (firm); Peter Steinbrueck (architect/urban planner); Victor Eugene Steinbrueck (architect)

Dates: [unspecified]

2 stories, total floor area: 1,720 sq. ft.

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2622 Franklin Avenue East
Eastlake, Seattle, WA 98102

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This wood-framed, late Queen Anne style house was owned by Marjorie Nelson and, later, Victor Steinbrueck, the latter being an influential Seattle architect and University of Washington (UW) professor. The Seattle City Council designated the Nelson-Steinbrueck House a Seattle Historic Landmark on 02/22/1983.

Building History

Conflicting dates of construction have been proposed for this house. The City of Seattle Historic Landmarks nomination of 04/20/1982 listed its date as c. 1891, but the King County Department of Assessments' iMap database gave its date of completion as 1901. (See City of Seattle, Department of Community Development / Office of Urban Conservation "Landmark Nomination for the Steinbrueck Residence," Form, 04/20/1982, accessed 07/14/2023 and King County, Department of Assessments, Parcel Data for Parcel No. 195970-0205, accessed 07/14/2023.) Looking at the house's stylistic character, one might be tempted to assign a later date than 1891.

Additionally, this area was very sparsely developed by 1893. Sanborn maps of the period show Roanoke and Edgar Streets, and a block was platted by this time, but the area still lacked enough buildings for the mapmakers to include coverage of it. The house is clearly visible in the Baist map of 1905, but at this time, too, houses were widely scattered. The dwelling at 2622 Franklin was there, but only three houses appeared in the tract bounded by Roanoke on the south, Fallake (later renamed "Eastlake") on the west, Edgar on the north and Boylston on the east. This was one of three houses out of thirty-two rectangular parcels. (See Fire Insurance Maps Online, Baist's Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Seattle, Wash. 1905, [Philadelphia: George William Baist, 1905], Map #14L, accessed 07/14/2023.)

This dwelling still retained aspects of the Queen Anne style but also had greater volumetric simplification typical of Colonial Revival and Arts and Crafts designs after 1900. Its high foundations and verticality, large, curving, front porch with spindle work ornamentation, fish-scale shingles, decorative details around the dormer and its sculpted brick chimney hearkened back to more ornamentally and volumetrically complex Queen Anne houses. It was not as flamboyantly ornamented or volumetrically complicated as Queen Anne designs of the 1880s.

During the 1960s through the mid-1980s, Prof. Victor Steinbrueck (1911-1985) and his wife Marjorie Nelson (-2010) owned the residence. According to UW Prof. Jeffrey Ochsner, who obtained the information from Victor's son Peter Steinbrueck: "Marjorie first lived in the house along with her mother. My dad (Victor) moved in about 1964 after his divorce from my mom. He lived there until he died in 1985. Marjorie lived there until she died in 2010. I stayed there off and on during my college years. I did a lot of repair work on the house over the years and know it well. It is a true balloon frame construction (full length rough cut 2x4s from bottom plate to roof plate) as opposed to Western framing." (See email from Prof. Jeffrey Ochsner to the author on 07/12/2023.)

As per the King County iMap, Marjorie Marie Nelson transferred title to Judith and Rachel Da Silva on 08/10/2010. They created an LLC on 02/24/2016, known as "Frankin Avenue House, LLC." On 07/09/2020, this LLC sold the property ot Alexander Kummerow and Julia Wills for $1,299,000. (See King County, Department of Assessments, Parcel Data for Parcel No. 195970-0205, accessed 07/14/2023.)

Building Notes

In 1984, The Committee for Alternatives at Westlake, chaired by Profs. Folke Nyberg and Victor Steinbrueck, was headquartered at 2622 Franklin Avenue East. (See "Letter to the Editor: Land condemned for park shouldn't go to developer," Seattle Times, 04/27/1984, p. A 17.) Friends of the Market also used 2622 Franklin Avenue East as its headquarters. (See "Letter to the Editor: Pike Place Market: Higher rents threaten quality we've fought for," Seattle Sunday Times, 03/25/1984, p. A23.)

In 2023, the house's first floor contained 990 square feet, the second, 730. It also had a 310-square-foot basement, 130-square-foot deck, 250-square-foot, covered, front porch, and a 100-square-foot, enclosed porch. The residence possessed three bedrooms, one full bathroom and one half bath and occupied a 5,500-square-foot (0.13-acre) lot. (See King County, Department of Assessments, Parcel Data for Parcel No. 195970-0205, accessed 07/14/2023.)

PCAD id: 24713