In the late 19th century realtors seeking out waterfront property in Seattle named an east side neighborhood Madrona, after the identically-named tree. In 1919 a single floor house was built located at a corner of the Madrona woods, at what is now 38th Ave. and East Columbia St. The house was well located with a fantastic view of Lake Washington as well as the Cascades from Gordon Ridge all the way to Mount Rainier! Being built only 30 years after the first house was erected in Madrona, it has had a long history in the neighborhood and is now a much different building than when it was first created. Aerial photographs from 1936 show a tiny structure obscured in the shadow of neighboring trees. 80 years later similar aerial photographs show a sizable building along with a lot of other development around.
While it is not clear how many changes happened between 1919 and 1997, remodeling plans from November of 1997 show the addition of an entire second floor with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 decks. Remodeling plans from 2002 show the upstairs master bedroom being converted into two separate bedrooms, with the addition of a closet and the removal of one of the two upstairs decks. The small office on the first floor seems to be the only room to be left in its original form from the pre-1997 design of the home.
Sales histories from 1997 to now confirm at least five different owners, including my family. My family bought and moved into this home in late 2011, since then my mother, brother and I have lived here. Pre-1997 documentation of the home is lacking and it seems that there were many address changes as well. I was not able to find mention of the original architect or occupants. I am glad to be enjoying the beautiful home, neighborhood and views just as every occupant previously has done. – RC