Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Thiry, Paul, AIA, Architect (firm); Paul Albert Thiry Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1939

1 story

Beaconsfield on Sound, Normandy Park, WA

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This house had an indoor-outdoor character comparable to progressive California houses of the time. A.S. Kerry's father was the A.S. Kerry, Sr., (1866-1939), a lumber tycoon, who was the Vice-President of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and was involved in the financing of the Olympic Hotel on University Street in Downtown, Seattle, WA, (1924). Another weekend house was built up a slight slope for Olive Kerry, A.S., Jr.'s sister. Both houses shared similar plans and used the same materials and equipment. The upper house (Olive Kerry's) stood to the north of the lower, but both dwelling enjoyed wide views of Puget Sound. The A.S. Kerry House featured a line of three bedrooms on the east side and a living room/kitchen on the west, the former connected to the exterior by glazed doors. A large paved patio with a rounded brick seat/wall stood to the west of the living room/kitchen, overlooking the Sound. A pergola off the kitchen shaded a dining space.

One of Thiry's better-known houses designs before WW II; a photograph of the Kerry House's shoreline exterior was reproduced often in the architectural press. Because the houses were located directly on Puget Sound, the clients, a brother and sister from a prominent Seattle family, were concerned that the houses would be subject to mold and mildew. A reviewer for Architectural Forum wrote in the 04/1941 issue (p. 227): "Due to the generally high humidity in this area, an attempt was made to eliminate all moisture-absorbing materials, with the very unusual results shown here. Floors are hard, there is no plaster, walls are of hollow tile exposed inside and out; in some of the walls glass block is ingeniously combined with tile." The article also mentioned efforts at economizing by the architect: "A considerable degree of standardization is evident in the two houses, especially in the plans, where closets are used as partitions, and in the design of the kitchens as integral parts of the main living areas." (See "81 New Houses: Houses near Seattle, Wash. Paul Thiry, Architect, A.I.A.," Architectural Forum, 74:4, 04/1941, p. 227.) This weekend house's informal spatial linkage of kitchen and living room was a feature that would become commonplace in suburban houses of the later twentieth century. The A.S. Kerry House had 17,670 cubic feet of space.

PCAD id: 5206