AKA: Bacon Residence,Whatcom, Bellingham, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Bacon, Henry, Architect (firm); Henry Bacon Jr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1905-1906

2 stories

2001 Eldridge Avenue
Whatcom, Bellingham, WA 98225-2104

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map

Illinois-born George Hunt Bacon (1867-1937) and his brother, Theodore H. Bacon, an engineer, had settled in Bellingham by 1889. George got into the booming real estate business in Whatcom County, WA. This was just after WA statehood, and prospects for the new maritime region around Puget Sound seemed especially bright. (Three significant fires in 1889--in Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane--also drew real estate speculators, architects and carpenters to WA that same year.) By 1900, his widowed mother and elder sister also had moved out to Bellingham from Champaign, IL. Rapidly gaining stature in the community, he became a Bellingham City Councilman during the 1890s, a position that probably did nothing to hinder the fortunes of his real estate company, Bacon and Ells. He married Mabel Donovan on 01/15/1906 in Bellingham, and proceeded to commission his cousin, the renowned New York architect, Henry Bacon (1866-1924), to design them a house. Henry opened his own office in 1902, and, previously, had worked for the premier American architectural firm, McKim, Mead and White, for about 10 years between 1886-1897. Henry would gain wide acclaim for his design of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (1914-1922), a peripteral Greek Temple centered around a commanding, seated portrait of the president sculpted by Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). George's business partner, Harry H. Ells, bought the lot next door and built his own residence. George Bacon became a farmer, banker and real estate developer, later in his career becoming head of the Bellingham Bay Improvement Company. George and Mabel Bacon raised three children at 2011 Eldridge Avenue and the family resided here until the year after his death (1938). (George Bacon was buried in Bellingham in a plot near his mother, Ellen Hunt Bacon [1836-1911], who lived with the family from at least 1906-1911.) Private owners subsequently occupied it for about 40 years, when the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle obtained the dwelling from 1978-1990, transforming it into a residence for 'predelinquent' boys.

The Bacon House is part of the Eldridge Avenue Historic District; listed on the National Register of Historic Places, level of significance: National. The George Bacon House was one of the very few projects that Henry Bacon designed for a site west of the Mississippi River. In 1930, the Bacon House had an estimated value of $10,000, two to three times the value of those surrounding it. In 1900, Bacon lived at 3245 Front Street with his mother and sister. Two doors down, another real estate man, William McKee, lived with his family at 3207. From at least 1902-1906, Bacon lived at 1811 Eldridge Avenue.

National Register of Historic Places (November 21, 1974): 74001989 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 8091