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  • Ellen Mirro

Edmonds Historic Resource Survey 2011: findings and recommendations.

Survey findings were pretty much as expected, including a lot of 1950s ranch houses and 1960s split levels. However, we found many buildings that predated the biggest housing stock expansions, and others from the major development era that were worthy of notice.

Examples of well preserved farmhouses with good integrity.

There is a cluster of older farmhouses with good integrity on 98th Avenue. There are also some nicely preserved older suburban properties that had once been on large tracts. Some of them are potentially significant.

A home in an older Edmonds suburban tract.

An interesting suburban Edmonds estate from the 1920s.

The summer house of the Handley family is the original site of the Handley cabin that now sits near the old library.

Handlee House in Edmonds.

There are other anomalies, such as this former estate in Esperence that was the White Horse Inn during Prohibition and now belongs to a small church.

The former White Horse Inn, in the Edmonds neighborhood of Esperence.

There are perhaps a dozen log cabins clustered in Esperence. One is across the street from the former White Horse Inn. Many were built in the 1930s, 1940s or early 1950s.

Log Cabin types in the Edmonds neighborhood of Esperence.

We found a number of what we now call mid-century modern residences. Some may be significant. Most for some reason are hidden away. We expected to find these types of houses north and south of the study area in areas of newer development. There is a cluster of originally identical mid-century houses, one with it’s original form and the others had been remodeled. In addition there is a classic butterfly roof contemporary south of downtown.

Examples of midcentury modern and contemporary houses in Edmonds.

There is a cluster of lovely homes east of town near the water on Cherry Lane, most with significant gardens.

Homes on Cherry Lane, Edmonds.

We found some potentially significant, previously un-surveyed, resources near downtown. Including a “folly” and an older farmhouse.

A folly east of downtown Edmonds.

A potentially significant house near downtown Edmonds.

By reviewing archive photos we answered the question of why some older hip roofed houses had flat tops. The evidence suggests that these houses originally had a type of lantern, all of which have now been removed.

On the left, the 2011 survey photo shows an older home with a “flat top.” On the right an archive photo of a similar house shows a widows-walk type lantern on top.

The survey found just about every kind of style house one can imagine, ranging from Arts & Craft bungalows, to Colonial Revival, to “Storybook,” and a beautiful large bungalow on 98th Avenue.

Edmonds houses: an Arts & Crafts bungalow, a Colonial Revival, a “Storybook,” and a large bungalow.

There are a few endangered houses, and some houses are perhaps a little over-loved. There are a few houses that belong in the National Register, like Sound Haven, the former Shrock House, which was nominated, but never listed in the Register.

Sound Haven, the former Shrock House.

We also prepared a report for the Commission that included recommendations for future action by the City and the Commission. Recommendations were:

  1. The survey should be public information, accessible to all who have an interest.

  2. The city’s survey map should show only those properties with enough physical integrity.

  3. There are a few remaining areas of the city that should be surveyed.

  4. Work with the Edmonds Historical Society to continue to make digital images of historic photographs accessible online.

  5. Encourage owners to appropriately renovate and restore their buildings and properties. Other municipalities have prepared citizen guidelines that encourage historic preservation through sympathetic renovation. In the late 1970s, the city of Oakland made an example of this.

  6. Encourage Landmark nomination and the formation of Historic Districts where appropriate.

  7. Work with the Chamber of Commerce to encourage preservation in the commercial core.

  8. Encourage public awareness and create public education by publishing a walking tour of the most significant historic properties.

Oakland’s “Rehab Right.”

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