With the arrival of April, numerous Seattle organizations are beginning their spring – summer walking tour programs. The Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF) offers a particularly diverse set of critically lauded tours that often sell out well in advance to their dates. SAF just announced dates for its popular walking tour of Mount Baker, the first tour is only a month away on May 7th.
Mt Baker is one of Seattle’s earliest planned residential communities and therefore served as a precedent for later residential developments in the city. The plot of land MT Baker occupies was originally owned by David T. Denny, who purchased the land in 1860. By the turn of the twentieth century, the land had been sold to the Hunter Tract Improvement Company, which platted the holding in 1907 as the MT Baker Park District in 1907.
The Hunter Tract Improvement Company used a series of innovative planning measures to insure MT Baker would be an exclusive, upper-income residential district. The company hired the Olmsted Brothers to lay out the streets and individual lots so that they would fit within the topography of the land in order to provide views and privacy. The area was also restricted to single-family dwellings, with strict requirements for side and front yard setbacks.
MT Baker developed throughout the first half of the twentieth century as an affluent enclave much to the credit of the Hunter Tract Improvement Company’s early planning measures. The neighborhood offers a diverse range of early-twentieth-century houses including a few designed by Ellsworth Prime Storey, one of Seattle’s most popular architects. A set of “cottages”, built between 1910 and 1915, are perhaps Storey’s most important buildings in MT Baker due to their modest size and use of local building materials and vernacular forms.
The SAF tour of MT Baker offers audiences an in-depth, engaging history of the neighborhood and a chance to learn about the architecture of some of its finest residences.
Saturday, May 7 at 10:00am — 12:00pm
Mt. Baker Community Club