What is that pretty house with the garden and gazebo?

1886 - Garden House is believed to be one of  the first houses on Beacon Hill, built for Judge Edward Turner and his wife Estelle. Turner was a pioneer real estate developer from Maine. The Italianate style house was built by the Turners, who sold to the Stacys in 1886. It is unlikely the Stacys lived in the house.

 

Ca. 1887-1889 - The Gabel family owned and possibly lived in the house before selling to the Koepf family.

1890 - 1921 - Koepf family purchased and lived in the home.

1896-1897 -The house is relocated about one hundred yards east to accommodate the Beacon Avenue South regrade, 2336 15th Ave S.

1906 - 1916 - The house was converted to the Queen Anne style. The existing pear trees and the rose were also planted during this period. The six pear trees are attributed as a cross between Clapp and Bartlett strains, and are on the south side of the house. They represent the remnants of a former residential scale orchard and some of the oldest known pear trees in the city.

1924 -The Jefferson Park Ladies Improvement Club purchases the house and grounds, becoming the first women's group to hold property in Washington state. They helped promote the development of the Jefferson Park golf course and getting a branch library in the neighborhood. 

1976 -The property is placed on the National Historic Registry. Unfortunately, This designation does not protect the house or grounds from development. 

1977 -The Ladies Improvement Club gifts the property to the Washington State Federated Garden Club (WSFGC), with the understanding that the property would be maintained as a historic site.

 

2018 - After 40 years of stewardship the WSFGC feels they no longer have the capacity to properly maintain the house, and voted to sell the property. While the apparent intent is to adhere to the 1987 agreement with the Ladies Club, the understanding is not legally binding. 

October 2018 - The property is sold to a private party. The SGH campaign completes and submits the Landmark Application to the city to preserve this historic property. 

January 2019 - The final landmark application has been accepted by the city. Public hearings will be scheduled before a decision is made. Read the full application here:

Revised application submitted 01/02/19.

Revised application visuals submitted 01/02/19.

February 20, 2019 - The landmark application was reviewed by the city Landmark Board and voted unanimously to recommend preservation of the grounds, interior and exterior of the house.

April 3rd, 2019 - Landmark Board Designation meeting.

What does that mean?

The Jefferson Park Ladies Improvement Club, 2336 15th Ave S., 1925

Fun Facts

 

  • The Dante Alighieri Society of Washington  has been Garden House tenants since 1930. Follow the link above to find out more about their work to promote Italian culture, language classes, and more.

 

  • Beacon Arts was headquartered at Garden House, and hosting the Garden House Concerts  series for 8 years.​

  • Who were the Jefferson Ladies Improvement Club and how did they shape the neighborhood we live in today? Find out more.

 

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