STYLE GUIDE – French Norman: 1918 to 1940

2577 W_Viewmont Way_SeattleWhile never as popular as Colonial or Tudor Revival, there are a number of good examples of French Norman inspired structures here in the Pacific Northwest.

The French Norman style, like the English Tudor, is a revival style that harkens directly back to medieval European architecture.  However, unlike other French inspired architecture such as the Second Empire, Beaux Arts and the Chateauesque styles, which were based on grand Parisian palaces, the French Norman style is modeled after the rural vernacular architecture of the French countryside.  The style was utilized most often in DomesticArchitectureRuralFrance_SamuelChamberlainresidential architecture and emerged from an increased knowledge of French architecture and an appreciation for French culture following WWI.  Among the literature providing architects and builders with many models to draw design ideas from was H.D. Eberlein’s Small Manor Houses and Farmsteads in France, published in 1926; Samuel Chamberlain’s Domestic Architecture in Rural France, published in 1928; and a variety of local lumber yards such as Copeland Lumber Company who provided builders with ideas and low cost plans.

HouseAngeles (1)As the name implies, the style borrows its design cues directly from the Normandy region of France.  In the region, barns were attached to living quarters, and grain or silage was stored in a central tower/turret.  On the French Norman style this element serves as the main character defining feature of the style.  The tower, most often round, could be octagonal or square in plan and is capped with a cone shaped roof.  In most homes this tower serves as the main entry and inside, a convenient place for stairs.  Most French Norman style dwellings rely on a side gable or steeply pitched hip roof.  Some employ clipped gables, while others simulate thatched roofs with upturned ridges and/or rolled eaves.

1603 25th Ave LongviewExterior walls are clad in brick, stone, stucco, shingle, or any combination thereof.  Some may utilize decorative half-timbering on a portion of the façade.  The idea is to create a building that appears to have developed over time.   Other features include asymmetrical placements of multi-pane windows, wall dormers with hip or shed roofs, round or segmental openings, and plank-like entry doors with large decorative wrought-iron hinges.

For more information about architectural styles in Washington State or to see examples of the French Norman style in Washington State go to: http://www.dahp.wa.gov/learn-and-research/architectural-style-guide

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Nutty Narrows Bridge, Dedicated to the Safe Passage of Squirrels, has been added to the NRHP!

NuttyNarrowsBridge3_Small The Nutty Narrows Bridge that was erected to create a safe, above-street crossing for the City of Longview squirrels has been listed to the NRHP.  When constructed in 1963, the bridge received world-wide attention and was featured in Sports Illustrated, the Christian Science Monitor and the London Daily Press.

The Bridge is a squirrel-sized catenary bridge that allowed squirrels to move between the Park Plaza office building and a city park across the street. The bridge is the oldest known squirrel bridge in the United States. Envisioned by the owner of a construction company, Amos J. Peters, the Nutty Narrows squirrel bridge was constructed during the month of March in 1963 and reflects a modern design aesthetic combined with the do-it-yourself style of Amos J. Peters. Over the years the Nutty Narrows has become a beloved city icon.

AmosPeters Taxidermy SquirrelAmos Peters, the bridge’s designer and constructor, discovered the need for the bridge when he noticed a red squirrel in the road in front of his office building that had met a vehicular demise. Peters collected the remains of the dead squirrel and carried it home to show his three children.  After some months in the family freezer, the children, unbeknownst to Peters, pooled their allowance money and took the frozen squirrel to a taxidermist for preservation. It was their 1963 Christmas gift to their father. This stuffed squirrel, the inspiration for the Nutty Narrows Bridge, is on display at the office of the Amos Peters Construction Company to this day.

Peters first kept the idea of building a squirrel bridge to himself because he believed others would think he was a “nut.”  However, after Peters mentioned the idea of the squirrel bridge to insurance man Win Jones, another tenant of the Park Plaza building, “things moved rapidly.”  With agreement from Frank Willis, the Longview Parks Department superintendent, on February 28, 1963, Peters presented the idea with “a section of the bridge” to the Longview City Council. Before finalizing the design, Peters consulted with architect Robert Newhall and civil engineer Donald Kramer, as directed by the City Council.  LeRoy Dahl, an employee of Newhall, participated in finalizing the design. All of the Nutty Narrows engineering and architectural service providers had offices in the Park Plaza office building. Peters promised the “entire initial cost … together with its future maintenance [would] be financed by Park Plaza.” With approval from the “City department heads,” the City Council unanimously passed a motion to accept the offer. At this same meeting, councilwoman Mrs. P. H. LaRiviere, Sr., was reported to have “facetiously suggested the name ‘Nutty Narrows’,” and thus it has been known ever since. This was likely a reference to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, famous for its 1940 collapse in Tacoma, Washington.

Within two days of the council’s decision, news of a squirrel bridge had spread across the United States. Peters then reported that because of all the national attention, the bridge’s design “would have to be slightly more elaborate” than originally planned. After “three or four nights at [his] drawing board” Peters completed the plans for the bridge.

Nutty Narrows Bridge PlanWith a design in hand, Peters along with William J. Hutch, his brother-in-law and co-owner of the Amos J. Peters Construction Company, built the bridge in the company’s workshop at a cost exceeding $1,000.

On March 30, 1963, the bridge was unveiled at a grand dedication ceremony, complete with marching bands and construction of a temporary platform for dignitaries to speak was held at the site of the bridge. The Longview Police closed the street to traffic and the 60-foot-long bridge was hung over Olympia Way.  The Kelso Chamber of Commerce sent several representatives with a large box of peanuts labeled “Kelso Nuts for Longview Squirrels.” Chief of the State Patrol, Roy A. Betlach (who was representing Governor Albert Rosellini), “was lifted 20 feet above the crowd in a park department cherry picker personnel crane and snipped the bright blue ribbon dedicating what he had earlier called the ‘road for rodents’.”

Reports of the dedication of the bridge spread far and wide. Articles appeared in newspaper such as the Denver Catholic Register, the London Daily Express; the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Indiana; the Alexandria Gazette of Virginia; and The Daily at Des Moines, Iowa.” Even the Christian Science Monitor and Sports Illustrated Magazine.

Nutty Narrows Media Coverage, Oregonian- March 20, 1963Over the years local businessmen have used the bridge and squirrels to promote their businesses in a tongue and cheek way.  A civic boaster group, called the Sandbaggers, even staged a campaign to import squirrels when the population dwindled over the harsh winter of 1968-69.

Over the years, students, writers, and individuals of all ages who loved animals contacted Peters about the bridge. Peters was appreciative of the letters and personally answered each one, until they became so numerous that it became a burden. At that point, a year after the Nutty Narrows Bridge had been erected, he began responding with a form letter.  Today, members of the Peters family, the City of Longview, and the Sandbaggers carry on the fun and the tradition of making safe travel for squirrels.  Such efforts have spawned the construction of several additional squirrel bridges in the city.

Over the years the bridge has been taken down a several times for repairs and has been moved four times due to the failure of the attached structural supports.  In 2010 it was reinstalled near it original location.  The Sandbaggers, once again and true to form, held a “tongue-in-cheek” ceremony before convening at the Monticello Hotel for cake and squirrel-themed cocktails. The ceremony included “speeches, prayer, cheerleaders, a ribbon cutting and a release of doves.”

The Nutty Narrows Bridge is unique. While there have been other squirrel bridges proposed, only a handful of cities are known to have constructed them, and except for the new squirrel bridges built in Longview, none of these were in the United States.

The Nutty Narrows Bridge has been taken on almost legendary status.  It is listed in multiple tourist guides as a “must see” in Longview and has been listed on RoadsideAmerica.com, an online “Guide to Offbeat Tourist Attractions” as “worth a detour.” Postcards and shirts with a local artist’s design were made available for several years. While not the initial intent of the Nutty Narrows Bridge, its value as a means to promote the City of Longview has long been acknowledged.

Today, the legacy of the Nutty Narrows bridge is embodied in the annual Squirrel Fest, a celebration of squirrels, was introduced by the Sandbaggers in August of 2011.  Since then three other squirrel bridges have been erected with plans for more.

The nominated object itself consists of a symmetrical catenary bridge with a flattened canvas fire hose deck, and a 10’ long mock suspension structure at its center. It is approximately 60 feet in length.  The bridge structure was made from aluminum tubing, part of which was old TV antenna.

 

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APA’s 2014 Great Places in America are Historic

The American Planning Association (APA) has announced their 2014 list of Great Places in America: https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/. Sub-categories include Great Neighborhoods, Great Public Spaces, and Great Spaces. This years listing identifies Fremont in Seattle as a Great Neighborhood and Rainier Vista on the University of Washington campus as a Great Public Space.  

APA’s increasingly visible Great Places in America program raises the profile of locations in our nation that are truly iconic in representing successful and noteworthy places and to visit, live, and enjoy. Each year, the program’s listed streets, neighborhoods, and spaces are historic places or places that have preserved elements of the past. Over the years, Washington State has been well-represented in the listings including Browne’s Addition Historic District in Spokane, Downtown Walla Walla, Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Pike Place Market in Seattle, and Esther Short Park in Vancouver.

Do you know of a great place in your community? Consider nominating it to the APA in 2015.

 

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DAHP is on TV-W!

See our own Russell Holter speak about railroads in Washington as part of the opening ceremonies for the 1889 Statehood Exhibit.

The program will air on TV-W November 25th at 8 am and 7:30 pm and November 27th at 1 pm.

You can also see the video on the TV-W website.

 

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STYLE GUIDE: Williamsburg Revival 1930-1950

Colonial Williamsburg, VAThink you’re in Virginia, think again! This period revival house style can actually be found all across Washington State and is easy to identify with its row of distinct second story gable windows.

Often confused with the Cape Cod Revival style, the Williamsburg Revival style should actually be considered a sub-style within the Colonial Revival Period. The style is a liberal interpretation of British, New England, and Virginia originals from the Colonial period of the 1600′s and 1700′s. The style was fueled by the complete restoration of Colonial Williamsburg in the late 1920′s by the John Rockefeller Foundation. Home to 88 original Colonial-period structures, these buildings became the inspiration and prototype for hundreds of reproductions throughout the 1930′s, 1940′s and 1950′s, and quickly became popular with many early suburban developers and first time home buyers.

The Williamsburg Revival style is very similar to the Cape Cod style. The main difference is that dormers have been added to the roof.  The style shows up in many ready-cut and builder catalogues right after Colonial Williamsburg opened to the public in 1928.  While many of the homes were labeled “Cape Cod designs” to allow an association with the more popular name; with the added dormers, the Williamsburg Revival style clearly has its own unique profile.

American Builder Mag, August 1936Common characteristics include a one-and-a-half story plan, steeply pitched side gable roofs, and a large chimney either centered on the ridge or located at the exterior side.  Most have a formal symmetrical façade with multi-pane double-hung windows highlighted by decorative shutters and flower boxes.  Many boast no front porch or a small, simple covered stoop.  Exteriors can be clad in clapboard, brick and/or shingles.

For more information about architectural styles in Washington State or to see examples of the Williamsburg style in Washington State go to: http://www.dahp.wa.gov/learn-and-research/architectural-style-guide

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Washington Trust Announces a Call for Nominations to the 2015 Most Endangered Historic Properties List

Seattle, Washington:  The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is seeking nominations to its 2015 Most Endangered Historic Properties List. Nomination forms may be obtained through the Trust’s website at www.preservewa.org.

Washingtonians enjoy a diverse collection of historic and cultural resources found throughout the state. Historic buildings and sites significantly contribute to the heritage and vitality of Washington while enhancing the quality of life in small towns, large cities, and across rural areas. Yet each day, these resources face a variety of challenges, including lack of funding, deferred maintenance, neglect, incompatible development, and demolition. Inclusion in the Most Endangered List is an important initial step in highlighting these threats and bringing attention to those historic resources most in need.

Historic properties selected for the Most Endangered list receive advocacy support and assistance from the Washington Trust. While the focus is to remove the immediate threat facing historic properties, raising awareness of preservation issues in general remains a programmatic goal. Through proactive partnering with local organizations and concerned citizens, the Washington Trust’s Most Endangered List program has resulted in many high profile success stories across Washington since its establishment in 1992.

Past case studies demonstrate the effectiveness of inclusion in our Most Endangered List. The Green Mountain Lookout is located near Darrington, in a section of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest designated as the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933, the US Forest Service completed restoration of the Lookout in 2010. The agency promptly faced a lawsuit alleging they had violated the Wilderness Act during the restoration process. The courts agreed. Facing a court-ordered mandate to remove the Lookout, local advocates sought legislative relief. With support from the Washington Trust and other partners, the community’s tireless, multi-year efforts paid off, as President Obama signed into law the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act in April 2014. The Lookout will remain atop Green Mountain, serving as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

The Enchanted Valley Chalet located in Olympic National Park provides an example from our 2014 Most Endangered List. Over the course of several years, the meandering channel of the Quinault River worked to undercut the chalet’s foundation, leaving the structure precariously cantilevered over the riverbed. While Park officials debated dismantling the chalet, which sits within a designated Wilderness Area, a dedicated handful of organizations and local advocates with deep ties to the area urged for the structure to be relocated away from the river while remaining in the valley. After determining relocation would not pose a significant environmental risk, Park officials contracted for the chalet to be moved approximately 150 feet away from the river. Although long-term plans have yet to be finalized, the chalet presently remains at home in the Enchanted Valley.

Communities are encouraged to take action when the historic fabric of their neighborhoods, main streets, rural landscapes, and beloved parks are threatened. Through our Most Endangered List, the Washington Trust offers support with preservation efforts aimed at resolving these preservation challenges.

Nominations to the Trust’s 2015 Most Endangered Historic Properties List are due on Monday, January 12, 2015. The 2015 List will be announced at the annual RevitalizeWA Preservation and Main Street Conference held in May as part of the Washington Trust’s Preservation Month programming.

Those interested in nominating a resource are strongly encouraged to contact Cathy Wickwire, Operations Manager with the Washington Trust, prior to submitting a nomination. For more information on the Most Endangered Historic Properties List, including a nomination form, please visit the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation website at www.preservewa.org/Nomination-Process.aspx.

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Washington Preservation Hero Award to Jennifer Haegele

The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) is pleased to announce that Jennifer Haegele of Spokane is the State Historic Preservation Officer’s (SHPO) most recent Washington Preservation Hero.  On occasion, the SHPO confers a Preservation Hero recognition on individuals or organizations that dedicate their time and resources to help protect and preserve the state’s heritage.

Since 2012, Jennifer Haegele has played an extraordinary administrative support role for the City of Spokane’s Historic Preservation Department.  Jennifer greatly assisted with the organization and preparation for the National Trust’s 2012 conference in Spokane.  That feat alone deserves merit but Jennifer has continued to go above-and-beyond for the department.  She helped with the organizing of the Certified Local Government grant for the Multiple Property Documentation of the Spokane Park System, and continues to assist with the Landmarks Commission for the city.

Jennifer, who has been described as the department’s “backbone,” is a great support for the City of Spokane’s preservation efforts as she makes sure everything is in its place and on time.  This sort of behind-the-scenes work especially deserves recognition since, as is usually forgotten, all the little duties add up to form the larger picture of preservation in Spokane.

The SHPO, DAHP and the HP Department for the City of Spokane congratulate Jennifer on being a Preservation Hero and extend our sincere thanks for her contribution to historic preservation work in Washington.

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First Formally Trained Female Architect in Washington Discovered!

Meldora Stritesky from Spokane holds the distinction of being the first formally trained female architect to practice in the State of Washington.  In fact, she ranks among the earliest females in the United States to have received a bachelor’s degree in architecture.  Stritesky received her degree from the University of Illinois in 1897.

Meldora was born in Rantoul, Illinois on March 12, 1872.  Details of her early career are unknown, but she is credited with preparing plans for the Y.W.C.A in Gifford, IL.  She moved to Spokane around 1905 and became a  member of the Spokane Architect’s Club (an early alternative to the AIA).  She worked as a draftsman for Spokane architect John K. Dow.  Ms. Meldora “Ice” married fellow University of Illinois alum Lewis Stritesky on August 22, 1906 in Spokane.

Unfortunately, Meldora died in childbirth on May 2, 1908 and was buried in Spokane at the Greenwood Cemetery.  Her husband was laid to rest next to her in 1951.

Please contact us if you have information about Meldora and the Stritesky family.

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2015 Northwest Anthropological Conference Call for Papers

Microsoft Word - NWAC 1st call for papers

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RFP Sought for Seattle Olmsted Park System Project

The City of Seattle intends to select a qualified consultant or consultant team to prepare a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) – Multiple Property Documentation (MPD) for Seattle’s Olmsted-designed Park and Boulevard System and associated NRHP registration forms for selected segments or components of Lake Washington Boulevard and adjacent public parks.

OlmsteadBrothersThis project is being undertaken in partial fulfillment of the requirements set forth in SR 520, I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and HOV Project Section 106 Programmatic Agreement and the requirements set forth in Partial Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Act (UPARR) P.L. 95-625 Section 1010 Conversion at Seward Park, Seattle, WA with Recreation Mitigation at Lake Washington Boulevard Park, Seattle, WA.

In the SR 520 I-5 to Medina MOA, Washington Park and Arboretum was determined eligible for listing in the NRHP by the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) on 7/5/2011.  Some other segments or components of Seattle’s Olmsted-designed Park and Boulevard System have also been locally designated and/or determined eligible for listing in the NRHP.

For more info go to: http://consultants.seattle.gov/category/bids-proposals/duedate/

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