The Master Use Permit Board is up, and a new, rather unusual, small residential project is in the works down in the Summit Avenue flats. It is time to say goodbye to the old Dutch colonial frame house at 1728 – the last house on the block (although it’s been a duplex since about 1940). We don’t know exactly when the house was built. It shows up with a number of other houses on block 704 on the Sanborn map updated to 1902. From the Seattle Times we glean than the water mains were installed in this area in about 1901. And the plat was filed on December 3, 1894, called the Union Addition Supplemental Plat, or the “Union Addition” as it came to be known in the newspapers. Best guess: 1901.
In the tradition of historic preservationists, let’s call it Wagner House after the tenants who lived there longest. Theodore Henry (1860-1933) and Mary Ann (1856-1939) Wagner moved in by 1903 and stayed until 1933. They raised their daughter, Florence. there and for thirty years created music for all kinds of occasions, public, private, and maybe just for fun.
T. H. Wagner, sometimes called “Dad” Wagner, arrived in Seattle in the 1880s accompanying a traveling theatrical troupe (with cornet). He stayed and lead the 1st or 2nd Regiment National Guard Band (sources digress on the name), up until statehood and the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, then went on to form his own band and orchestra. Known for his free concerts in Pioneer Square after the Great Fire, he also played free concerts in Seattle’s parks, as many as 62 in 1912! The newspapers are full of announcements of the band’s schedule, almost on a daily basis up until the late 1920s.
Wagner was also one of the founders (with Charles E. Bray and Frank Hopkins) of the Musicians Union (Musicians Mutual Protective Union). As early as 1889, they made the first steps. Wagner served as president from 1923-1928 of the resulting American Federation of Musicians Local 76.
One does wonder whether music practice drove the nurses out. Swedish Hospital, in its very first incarnation, was housed in a small apartment house at 1733 Belmont, directly behind the Wagner house. (There’s not even an alley.) Lizzie Quarnstrom managed the hospital in 1911. Swedish was only there for a short time, until 1912, when they moved up Summit to First Hill.
The Wagners are buried in Evergreen-Washelli (Section N) if you’ve a mind to pay your respects.
After 1933, the house was sold and seems to have served as a rental. The first instance in the Polk’s Seattle Street Directories of a duplex appears to be in 1940. Certainly many folks have lived in the house since, and someone had the good sense to keep the lovely front windows even as the house has worn out.
It’s called MUP Project Number 3013254 (no name as yet), and will be a 6-story building with 46 units. All studios, average size quite small (less than 300 square feet). Each unit will feature a kitchenette and a stacked washer/dryer. No parking. The idea, I gather, is for small, less expensive places for single folks who’d like a nice new clean place to live. The owner is Brett Allen of Triad Capital Partners, and the design is quite new. They’ve already had design review meetings, and are moving forward. You can see what comes next here.