Tacoma Historical Society’s annual Historic Homes Tour offers an opportunity to get out and visit some of those ravishingly regal residences that grace the long-settled parts of our lovely city. It is always a treat to wander inside these repositories of remembrance and to learn the stories of the people who have lived in them. The architectural details and stylistic flourishes are as fascinating as the overall design and the views through the windows.
The Historic Homes Tour of Tacoma is using Bethany Presbyterian Church as the reception center this year, and includes walking tours of the Weyerhaeuser family’s “Haddaway Hall” and other beautiful homes of North Tacoma.
Docents will be in each home to answer questions and to give the history of each home. This is a self-guided walking tour. The homes are within walking distance of each other and good walking shoes are recommended. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 6. The last tour of Haddaway Hall starts at 4:15 p.m. each day, so please plan accordingly.
This tour is recommended for those 16 years and older. All persons entering a home need a ticket. There is no food, drink or photography allowed in any home. Complimentary snacks and drinks will be available at the reception center during tour hours.
This annual event is a fundraiser for the Tacoma Historical Society.
Tickets are currently available at: Tacoma Historical Society (919 Pacific Ave.), The Pacific Northwest Shop (2702 N. Proctor St.), Stadium Thriftway (618 N. 1st St.) and Columbia Bank branches at 5727 N. Pearl St., and 2401 Mildred St. W. You can order tickets online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3362135. Tickets can also be purchased May 5 and May 6 at the reception center, 4420 N. 41st St. Tickets are $20 for Tacoma Historical Society members and $25 for nonmembers.
For information, visit www.tacomahistory.org.
2018 Historic Homes
Haddaway Hall (Weyerhaeuser Mansion)
This magnificent residence of 16,862 square feet was built in 1922 for John and Anna Weyerhaeuser at a cost of more than $100,000. The design was by architects F. B. Meade and James Hamilton (Cleveland, Ohio). John Weyerhaeuser was an executive of the timber company founded by his father, Frederick Weyerhaeuser.
The grand exterior of the home features multiple gables, chimneys, oriel windows, and Gothic archways of brick, Wilkeson sandstone, and terra cotta. Inside, dogwood patterns are repeated in wood carvings, plaster accents, and some of the light fixtures. The main floor, with reception area, living room, dining room, library, kitchen, and servants’ quarters, has a number of fireplaces and leaded-glass windows that complement the fine hardwood flooring and extensive woodwork. An Aeolian pipe organ was designed and built especially for the house. The second floor had eight bedrooms with individual baths; the third floor had two suites of rooms. The basement had a billiards room with fireplace, a laundry room with an open-cage elevator, and large storage rooms. The main-floor sun room and the second-floor loggia offer unobstructed views of the Sound, Cascades, and Olympics.
1926 was the year that architect C.F.W. Lundberg built this English Tudor-style home overlooking the bay. The home was built for a cost of $9,000 on a one-acre site in the Mason Heights Addition. To coincide with the architect’s announcement of a new business partner and larger offices in the Provident Building, the home featured many unique and noteworthy features.
The one and one-half story house with an exterior of hollow tile and brick is set back from the street on a graciously curved drive, and the architect’s original detailed attention to the landscape gardening remains apparent today. The living room featured a dramatic vaulted ceiling, prominent stone fireplace, and dramatic bay view. Through a wide archway is the dining room, with dark wood-paneled walls topped with dentils. The unobstructed bay view was captured again in what at the time was a new type of room, a dinette: ‘considerably larger than the average breakfast nook, yet smaller than a dining room.’ The original floor plan included two bedrooms, bath, and kitchen on the main floor, a guest room and sewing room on the second floor, and a partial basement. A two-car garage in the same brick style as the house was also original to the property.
Noted Tacoma builder Olof F. Larson constructed this classic Foursquare home for Carl A. Landberg at a cost of $1,500. The two and-one-half story structure sits high on the site, with a center dormer. Landberg was a professional wallpaper hanger and interior decorator.
Larson, born in 1858, emigrated from his native Sweden in 1881 and settled initially in Minneapolis. He moved to Tacoma in 1890 and established himself as a contractor, working after 1903 from offices in the Provident Building. He built several hundred homes in Tacoma as well as a number of public and commercial buildings, including the Olympus Hotel, Jason Lee Junior High, and the original Horace Mann Elementary. He served on the park board and on the board of Puget Sound National Bank.
In January of 1904, Thomas B. Kail was issued a permit to build this home on the northwest corner of North 41st and Mason, at a cost of $1,400. The dwelling would sit on lots 12-14 of block 1 of the Home Addition, originally developed by Allen C. Mason in 1889. Although modest in size at just over 2,000 square feet, the home is easily recognized by its turreted square corner bay windows on both the first and second floors, as well as its leaded-glass windows featuring diamond shapes.
Kail and his wife Inez had recently arrived in Tacoma from Iowa in 1904. Mr. Kail worked as a traveling salesman and was a Shriner, while his wife was active as a member of the Tacoma chapter of the Daughters of the Nile. The next owners (1909-1942) were Henry M. and Emilie Hanson. Henry was a partner in the Buelow Grocery Co. at 1144 Broadway, and then later connected with the Northwestern Grocery Co. at 1302 Commerce.
George Leroy Allen Jr. and his wife Mary Ellen were listed in city directories as the home’s owners from 1945-1954. George, a U.S. Navy officer who served in the South Pacific for 21 months during World War II, unfortunately had his life cut short by an automobile accident in 1945. Mary Ellen and her children remained in the home after his death; the widow worked at Rhodes Brothers and would go on to own and manage her own button and belt shop on 6th Avenue.
In 1906, Leonard G. Fenton built his 2,400-square foot home at the end of North Proctor at the intersection of North 39th Street. He engaged Arnott Woodroofe, a British immigrant from Liverpool, as his architect. The Tacoma Daily Ledger described the new structure as a “roomy Spanish colonial cottage … containing six rooms with a large reception hall. The living and dining rooms are connected with an arch, supported by large pillars. At one end of the living room is a colonial fireplace. Upstairs are three bedrooms and a bath.”
Fenton was a U.S. Customs “tea examiner” and served in the Army before coming to Tacoma during World War One. In 1927, he married and moved to Seattle. Woodroofe later joined with Arnold S. Constable, another immigrant from Britain, to form a notable Tacoma architectural firm. The duo designed numerous residential dwellings as well as the Park Universalist Church, now the Center for Spiritual Living, and the Babcock Electric Automobile Company Building, now occupied by King’s Books.