On the northwest slope of Queen Anne Hill, Queen Anne Park’s curving streets, fantastic views and generally modest-sized 1920s homes tell an exciting story of real estate development as the roaring ‘20s drew to a close just before the Great Depression.
Queen Anne Park had so much appeal that other areas wished to adjoin it. One such was Hill’s Queen Anne Park Addition of 1929, which ran from Seventh to Fifth avenues West. A City Council ordinance ensured that the owners would construct and maintain the streets and sidewalks. Much of that development later became the property of what is now Seattle Pacific University.
As discussed in Part One, there have been ongoing rumors about Queen Anne Park. Neither the plat for Prosch’s Queen Anne Addition nor the plat for the Queen Anne Park Addition shows that Queen Anne Park was to become a golf-course community. Nor do we have evidence that the home at 3042 10th Ave. W. was to have become a club house. Perhaps that confusion stemmed from numerous news accounts about the Queen Anne Club (now The Seattle Gym), which was being built at that time.
In the beginning, the house at 3042 10th Ave. W. served as the demonstration model home and office for the Queen Anne Park development. On Nov. 5, 1928, J.L. Grandey purchased the home from his corporation. Today’s owners have renovated the home, keeping its original style and beauty.
Leaving a legacy
Queen Anne Park was not intended to be a speculative subdivision. Purchasers were to select their lot and then have a home of their design built on it. There were skilled architects and contractors available to assist with designing and building homes.
The finest materials were used. A mill and cabinet shop were located on the site to turn out exquisite built-ins and woodwork at the best possible prices. The cost of homes began at $5,600 and ran up to $22,000 for George Morford’s home at 3219 10th Ave. W.
Grandey was a man ahead of his time. In an era when women were just beginning to come into their own and had recently received the right to vote, Grandey realized that their ideas and opinions were important, especially in the realm of the home. To showcase those ideas and the quality of local materials, he and the Seattle Daily Times teamed up to sponsor the Northwest Model Home Contest. The contest was limited to designs by women and set out to demonstrate that building materials in the Northwest were at least as good, if not superior to, products elsewhere and that a modern Northwest home could be affordable to the average family.
The rules of the contest were for a six-room house on one or two floors. More than 300 entries were received. First prize was $100 in gold; the winner was Katherine H.K. Wolf. The home was built at 836 W. Etruria St. and received much attention, with Mayor-elect Frank E. Edwards breaking the ground.
The home sold in 10 days, so a third model home, designed in a stucco Tudor style by the winner of a Lehigh Cement Co. contest, was soon opened at 816 W. Etruria St.
LeRoy Grandey, who was previously listed as the owner of Queen Anne Park, turned over a significant number of Queen Anne Park properties to F.W. Keen Co. before the Depression and before Keen died of an extended illness in August 1929.
Harry DuBois, assistant secretary-treasurer of F.W. Keen, was let go in 1930. He was given Lots 18 and 19 in Block Three as compensation. His lovely home was demolished about 2000, and two large, modern homes were built on those lots. Keen’s son-in-law, George E. Morford, continued at F.W. Keen until at least the mid-1930s.
J.L. Grandey and T.N. Fowler incorporated as Grandey Homebuilders in July 1936 and continued building in Broadmoor and Washington Park. In addition to these areas, Grandey left behind a number of exquisite homes in Winona Park and Queen Anne Park. He was a talented man whose vision enriched many lives. His legacy lives on in the neighborhoods he created.
Changing with the times
Like some other developments of the era, there were restrictive covenants for the Queen Anne Park development, which were to run with the land until Jan. 1, 1958; however, the racial restriction was dropped early on, and it is doubtful if any of the covenants could have been enforced.
Although Queen Anne Park’s covenants made it an exclusive community, the streets and sidewalks were given forever for public use and access, so it could not have been private and gated like Broadmoor and the Highlands. The restrictions also required a certain quality of residence and restricted the keeping of animals other than household pets. These covenants are a vestige of a bygone era.
At one point, buses were to run along the lovely curving streets, but fortunately, that did not last. Residents now have access to several bus routes but do not need to deal with bus congestion, noise or pollution.
Initially, there was no mail delivery service to Queen Anne Park; its residents needed to pick up their mail in Ballard.
Queen Anne Park has evolved over the years. Ramblers were built among the elegant Tudor, Colonial Revival and Spanish-style homes. The neighborhood became a happy haven for families with children; then, there were the years of white flight from Seattle Public Schools when there were very few children. Now, there is a racial mix and many lovely families with children. The neighborhood schools are excellent, and there is a lot of parental involvement.
Today, Queen Anne Park remains a beautiful, conveniently located, peaceful neighborhood, close to top-of-the-Hill shopping, yet not far from downtown. Excellent universities, medical facilities and cultural events with nearby public transportation, walkways and bicycle paths make it a terrific place to live.
To learn more about Queen Anne Hill, Queen Anne Park and the Queen Anne Club, visit the Queen Anne Historical Society’s website (qahistory.org).
To see a copy of the original Queen Anne Park brochure, visit digitalcommons.spu.edu/seattle_history_publications/1.
FLORENCE HELLIESEN is a longtime resident of Queen Anne Park and a member of the Queen Anne History Society. To comment on this column, write to QAMagNews@nwlink.com.