Tacoma Historical Society holds its annual Historic Homes of Tacoma event on May 5-6. Owners of several houses in Old Town and Proctor District will open their doors to visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Annie Wright School is on the tour and Christ Episcopal Church, located at 310 N. ‘K’ St., will serve as the reception area. Tickets can be purchased for $20 on the days of the event at the church, or in advance at Pacific Northwest Shop, Stadium Thriftway and Columbia Bank branches in Fircrest (the intersection of South 19th Street and Union Avenue and North 21st and Pearl streets). For more information call (253) 472-3738 or visit www.tacomahistory.org.
Here is a brief look at the school, church and houses on this year’s tour.
In 1907 Rolf Aune built this foursquare house and its neighbor. The design, by Tacoma architect George Trost, was the same but the floor plan was “flipped” and the two houses were mirror images of each other. Aune used the same design to build the house next door in 1908. They became locally known as “The Three Sisters.”
The entry retains the original fir woodwork, ornamental stairway, light fixture and fir floors. The living room is the result of joining what once were the front parlor and dining room. The low partition and columns that most likely divided the two rooms were removed years ago. The living room still has its leaded-glass upper front window, bow window and fir floors. What is now the dining room was originally a sitting room and features a bamboo floor that complements the fir floors in the entry and living room. The home was expanded rearward by the owner. She updated and enlarged the kitchen, opened it up to the living room and installed woodwork and five-panel doors to match the original fir in the remainder of the home. The style and finish of the kitchen cabinets nicely complement the woodwork and overall ambience. A family room, laundry, and full bath were added at the rear of the home.
The upstairs still has its original five-panel doors and fir floors. The short hallway to the right of the stairs leads to a small bedroom on the right that is used as an office. The bedroom on the left is graced by a mural by Margaret Lundberg. The owner added the door to the porch in 2011. A foyer is to the left of the stairs. The main upstairs bathroom has been redone in vintage style. The bedroom to the right of the bathroom is much as it was originally. A hallway to the left of the bathroom leads to the master bedroom, full bath, and walk-in closet that were added when the house was expanded.
Aune and his wife Jennie lived in the house just a year before moving next door to the newly completed house in 1909. Trost, originally from Denmark, was the architect of a number of homes between 1900 and 1925, including Normanna Hall at South 15th and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Randy and Lana Parker purchased the home in 1987 and undertook extensive renovations, transforming the exterior into a 1880s-style Queen Anne Victorian. The home now has wrap-around porches on the first and second floors as well as an attic turret and peaked-roof gables. The front porch has a clear fir deck, and the posts and railings are done in the Queen Anne style. The entry features a striking white staircase that ascends in stately fashion back and forth to the third floor. Stained-glass windows provide privacy while adding color and admitting light. Ornate, architectural woodwork is a prominent feature of the first floor.
The current owners purchased the home in 1994 and have furnished it with appropriate pieces and artifacts and items from around the world. In the front parlor, the ornate hall tree is from Switzerland. Folding French doors lead to the dining room. The carpets in the dining room and the parlor are from Morocco. The dining room china cabinet is Italian. The dining room bay adds interest to the room. The half bath has a vintage toilet and pedestal sink. The kitchen cabinets are white and complement the overall feel of the home.
Upstairs, the master bedroom has a corner door that accesses the wrap-around deck. The master bathroom is white with light blue tile accents. Two additional bedrooms, one used as a study, are at the rear of the home. The attic is completely finished. The large room at the front has a fine view of Commencement Bay, Vashon Island, and the Olympics. The attic also has a bathroom and an office.
Rolf Aune lived here until his death in 1936. His wife stayed until her death in 1943.
Keith and Crystal Stone bought the home in 1998. In 1986 they bought the run-down Milwaukee Road warehouse in the Dome District and transformed it into Freighthouse Square, which they sold in 2001.
The exterior has changed little since 1909, although the front porch has been extended around the house on both sides. The entry retains its original fir stairway and finely-turned banisters. The parlor, to the left of the entry, has a marine and territorial view. The dining room fireplace surround and mantel are original. The current owners, who purchased the home in 2005, have installed an ornate and period-appropriate gas insert in the fireplace opening. The back of the home was extended to provide space for an expended kitchen and a bathroom. The kitchen, now completely updated, has a center island.
Upstairs, the original fir floors have been nicely refinished. The woodwork, five-panel doors, and much of the hardware are original. The front bedroom on the left is a guest room. To the right is a sitting room with beamed ceiling and a marine view. Two bedrooms have been incorporated into a master bedroom and dressing area. The light fixtures in the master bedroom, as in the rest of the upstairs, are fitting reproductions. The two bathrooms have vintage-style floors. The finished attic has a small bedroom and a large office.
Ferdinand and Laura Mead purchased this bungalow, in the prairie style with neo-classical front columns, in 1902.
William and Paula Keyser bought the home in 1955. They completely renovated it, salvaging items from historic buildings demolished during the 1950s and ‘60s. They comprise many of the interesting elements that now distinguish the home. Daniel and Georgina Slavich bought the home in 1998 and made improvements to the upstairs, kitchen, media room and added a full bath.
The front porch railing is not original, but salvaged. Grilles on the front doors came from Bonneville Hotel, which once stood across the street from Landmark Convention Center. In the entrance living room, the ornate fireplace surround and mantel came from the Hewitt house that once stood at the corner of North 4th a Street and Tacoma Avenue. The ceiling molding and baseboards came from the Woman’s Club House (once the Issac Anderson residence) located at 426 Broadway. The beveled Tiffany window at the north end of the living room came from the Sidney A. (Sam) Perkins residence at 501 North D St. The fluted molding and carving above the pocket doors leading to the dining room came from the old Pierce County Courthouse. The bay window, with its 45 beveled-glass panes, originally graced the third floor of the Hewitt residence. Beyond the dining room is a den with its own fireplace.
The current owners, who purchased the home in 2005, renovated and enlarged the kitchen. The fireplace mounted in the brick wall, of bronzed cast iron, decorated with acorns and oak leaves, also comes from the Hewitt residence. They have transformed the media room into a combination office and guest room (with a Murphy bed). They redecorated the upstairs and added a full bath with white and matte black tile and period-style porcelain light fixtures.
The garden wall bricks came from Visitation Villa in Lakewood. The ornate terra cotta tiles came from Fire Station No. 6, where Fireman’s Park is now.
In 1906 contractor Elias Youngberg built this American foursquare home for Frank and Othelia Davidson at a cost of $4,500. Among subsequent owners was Harold and Phyllis Brotman, he of the Brother Brothers men’s apparel operators.
The exterior of the house is largely unchanged from 1906, but the original columns and railings have been replaced with wrought iron and two diamond-shaped windows have been removed from the second floor. The entry, which retains its original oak floors, acquired a closet with sliding doors in the 1950s. The owner removed a 1950s-era closet and installed the columns that visually join the entry and living room. She purchased in Venice the crystal light fixture that now graces the entry. The panels on the pocket doors that join the living room and den cover the original glass-paned pocket doors. The fireplace in the den was redone in Roman brick in the 1950s when the bookshelves were installed. The dining room light fixture is a reproduction. The swinging door that leads to the kitchen is original. The kitchen was renovated in the 1980s, the pantry giving way to a half bath.
The upstairs retains its original five-panel doors, crystal doorknobs and woodwork, as well as the oak floor in the landing. The front and master bedrooms have their original window seats. She installed the master bath with a double sink where a small bedroom used to be. The main bathroom has period cabinets and fixtures. The back “double” bedroom is now an office and artist’s workroom.
In 1890 Levi and Izora Pentecost engaged architect Arthur L. Smith to design this large Victorian home. It cost $4,000.
The house was “updated” in 1914 by Izora, who replaced the Victorian woodwork with Craftsman-style woodwork in the entry and living room, a new front door, and a built-in cabinet and window seat in the dining room.
The current owners purchased the house in 2006. They have undertaken extensive renovation and expansion. The entry and living room retain much of the 1914 Craftsman “update.” The fireplace in the entry has a Prairie-style mantel. The living room fireplace has an ornate oak surround. The window seat installed above the radiators and the built-in china cabinet also date from 1914. The stained-glass windows in the entry and the living room are original to the house. The light fixtures in the living room date from circa 1900, when electricity was installed. Original pocket doors access the dining room, which originally stopped at the beam visible in the ceiling. The family room beyond the dining room is part of the expansion. The kitchen was expanded to the rear. The stained-glass window in the kitchen was originally located in the dining room. The pantry and bathroom are also part of the expansion.
The two upstairs bedrooms at the front of the house retain their original woodwork and doors. The semi-circular alcove in the original master bedroom is striking. The new master bedroom suite is at the rear of the house. The washbasin in the master bedroom is original to the house, as is the bathtub in the master bath.
August and Amy Naef had this two-story Craftsman home built in 1909 at a cost of $3,000. It was purchased by Steven Rinnan in 1977. In 1992 he sold it to one of its current owners, who with his wife, has made extensive restorations and upgrades to the home.
The exterior looks very much as it did in 1909, with its prominent roof gables and knee braces typical of the Craftsman style, and with its original siding and flared skirt.
The entry features the original fir floor, a leaded-glass window, and clear fir woodwork. The living room has Stickley and other period craftsman furniture and lighting. The fireplace, while not original, fits seamlessly in the room. The dining room has beamed ceilings, built-in cabinets with leaded-glass doors, and a plate rail that runs around the room. The owners stripped six layers of paint to restore the woodwork to its original state. The kitchen has been tastefully updated to harmonize with the Craftsman style. The bathroom, originally a pantry, has period fixtures. The back porch is covered, as it was originally.
The upstairs retains its original woodwork, five-panel doors, and fir floors. The front bedroom has two small side rooms, one used as a small office and child’s study area, the other as a walk-in closet. The light fixtures in this bedroom and in the middle bedroom are original. The upstairs bathroom has been redone to suit the style of the house with period tablet tiles and wainscoting. The master bedroom is furnished in Arts and Crafts style and also features a walk-in closet. All the attic space upstairs is finished and used for closets and storage