Influence & Development of the Seattle Craftsman in the 20th Century

For my final project, I was most interested in discussing architecture, its impact, and importance in the environment surrounding it (which obviously, is extremely broad). I narrowed it down to Seattle and vernacular architecture, with the Craftsman-style bungalow. It is a house that all the locals see every day in passing, but we really don’t give enough attention to.

Taking four previous architectural history classes, I honestly hated discussing the history. One of the previous classes had us research a building in Seattle and its historical significance, but I was picking at straws and it was difficult to find enough reliable information. Researching from an historical archaeological perspective was much more interesting, because I surprisingly found so much I could discuss within in my paper. Thankfully, I even had notes on the specific architectural styles that I was discussing, from the classes that I did go to last year! And I still had my architecture textbooks, so it looks like they didn’t end up being a waste of money!

Anyway, my topic discusses the influence of previous styles of architecture and their accompanying ideology on the development of the Seattle bungalow, and how it contributed to suburban expansion. The Craftsman-style derives its roots from the Arts and Crafts movement in England, in which reformers found that industrial society was corrupt and they had these Romantic ideals of incorporating real craftsmanship and nature into their designs, whether it was architectural or furniture or textiles. They despised classical architecture and believed in a “no-frills” aesthetic, where artistic integrity should be included within the structure. Planners talked about having garden cities (which I personally, think is a good idea) that had maximum capacities to counter overpopulation in cities. In terms of architecture, houses were built with local materials instead of imported, and there was no geometric order to structures.

In America, the bungalow became most prominent in the west coast, starting in California. One of the more famous examples is the Gamble House, or if you’re not crazy and you’ve seen Back to the Future (if you haven’t seen it, you’re a slacker, McFly), Doc’s house. In Seattle, the bungalow became a capitalistic venture more so than an ideological one. Jud Yoho, a businessman advertised Craftsman homes without them being craftsman. They were the same style, but just mass-produced and much cheaper which appealed to buyers. They also included better appliances, and provided families with a sense of security and independence. Characteristic of Arts and Crafts houses, they had open plans, and so the dining room and living rooms had a flowing procession.

The more I researched into it, the more I became interested. I feel this is important to talk about because these homes have become characteristic not just of Seattle, but of the Pacific Northwest, and the rise in population growth from companies like Amazon could become a potential threat to pieces of history. The cost of living rises each year (my rent went up $100 in just a year—that’s 50 cups of coffee!) and unless you work at a tech company or some other decently-paying job (or you’re Jeff Bezos or Dr. Meredith Grey), rent does become a burden. It’s a problem that directly affects all of us.

The Mangasers Come to America

As part of the first generation born in America in my family of Philippine immigrants, I have much to be thankful for. I can’t imagine how much more different my life would be if I had grown up in Manila, where my parents came from. My mom’s side, the Villenas, are from Manila, and my dad’s side, the Mangaser side, is from a small town called Tayug in a province called Pangasinan, which is three hours outside of Manila.

Born in 1964 to my grandpa Benjamin and grandma Flora, my dad, Victor Bravo Ferdinand Mangaser (long name, I know) is the youngest kid out of ten children. My mom, Luzviminda Villena, was born a year later, and is the oldest kid out of five from my grandpa Rudy and my grandma Mila.

The Mangasers lived in Pangasinan for a while before moving to P. Halili Street in Manila, coincidentally the same street as my mom’s family. I thought it was significant to mention the street where they came from, because they both still have family that live on the same street, in the same homes. My parents tell me that my mom didn’t like my dad at first, because my dad was apparently in a band so they played music all the time, and my mom didn’t like that. Same as usual, my dad also always teased her.

When they got married, one of my (many) uncles on the Mangaser side, Uncle Ben, had moved to New Jersey and petitioned all of the Mangasers to come to the United States in the 1980s. At around the same time, my dad had joined the United States Navy and my mom was in the process of gaining citizenship, which took around 10 years and two rejections, despite having a U.S. military spouse. I can’t imagine why it took so long, to be honest.

Eventually, I came to be in October of 1998, when my dad was stationed in California. From there, we made our way up to a small town north of Seattle called Lake Stevens. In 2004, my grandma Mila was able to come to the United States and gained citizenship three years later. You’d think that the rest of the Villena family came along too. Though my grandma petitioned the remaining Villenas living in Manila (long ago, I might add), their applications haven’t been accepted (yet?).

I am proud of where I come from as a Filipino-American. Granted, I’m definitely more Americanized as I can’t speak Tagalog or Ilocano (my dad’s native dialect), and growing up I used to be embarrassed to show common Filipino signs of respect, like adding po to the end of every sentence, or performing mano to elders. And growing up in America with parents who grew up in Asia, was (and still can be) difficult. Nonetheless, my family coming to America for a better life for their kids, my sister and I, has always meant a lot to me. It meant a lot of hard work, learning, and adjusting to a new way of life, something I couldn’t imagine doing in my late 20s.

The Average Joe Bottle

For this week, our class analyzed glass bottles from a dump, and see how they were manufactured, and what they could have possibly been used for. I never realized the differences between bottles and how their shapes and finishes could reveal how they were used. It’s clear a champagne bottle is used for champagne, and a soda bottle for soda, but I never realized why.

Then we characterized the age of all the bottles from the class data, and find the average age of each type of bottle. For example, the median age of beer and ale bottles was 1896 out of 12 dateable bottles. The median age of food containers was around 1900, but out of the nine bottles, only six were dateable. From these ages, we determined the lag by subtracting the average from the year the dump was sealed off, which was in 1929. So the lag between the year it closed and the age of the beer bottles is 33 years.

Then, we were to choose a bottle ourselves and describe what it was used for. As seen below, the bottle seems to be a soda/mineral bottle. It has a crown finish, and possibly had a paper label. However, when and where the item was manufactured remains a mystery as there is no manufacturer’s date or label. Being a soda bottle, it was probably used by an average Joe who decided to drink some soda on a hot day (or a mild day, it’s Seattle).

Death & Society

Our lab these past few weeks had us take data at a cemetery. We were sectioned off to record a part of the cemetery and take note of the inscription on the gravestones, whether or not it was part of a family plot, the size, shape, and material of the stone, and their age. It was sad to find some young children’s graves and even graves of those who were recently deceased.

With all of the class’ data compiled, we looked at the frequency of shapes and how this changed over time. I found this difficult since more people in the cemetery had died earlier than the 2000s so the stylistic changes would not be completely accurate.
Next, we were to choose from our seriation and to analyze one of three choices. I chose to analyze the frequency of kinship terms. It was very broad to put into a graph, as not every single gravestone used a term of endearment. What I found was that many of the stones with kinship terms were female. There were almost 200 graves, and out of those 200 were around 50 stones that used terms such as “mother,” “father,” “sister,” etc. Out of these 50 stones, there were 32 with inscriptions “mom,” “aunt,” “wife,” etc. This could mean that maybe female figures were more “cherished” in terms of family and the home.

The next thing I found particularly interesting. Earlier gravestones, from the late 1800s to before the 1930s used “his wife,” or “wife of”. In around the mid-1920s, the gravestones from this cemetery used more “mother,” or “beloved wife and mother,” instead of being a man’s wife. I wonder if we would see this same trend if we looked at other cemeteries in the Seattle area.

There was only one instance where they used “son,” and he was an infant when died. There were three other times where their daughters were referred to as “angels”, also in infancy when they passed. All three of these girls passed away in the 1960s, which raises the question as to what could’ve happened during that time that caused them to pass at such a young age (at zero months to four months old). Could it have been due to the environment around them? Could it have been because they were suffering from fatal birth defects?

Either way, it would be interesting to see if there were different trends in another cemetery or to see if they were the same. I think it would also be fascinating to see comparative studies on cemeteries by region.

We Are Trash

I would’ve never thought trash could say so much about a person. This past week, recording all the items that went into my apartment’s garbage made me realize 1) how much trash my roommates and I produce within not even a week, 2) I absolutely hate sifting through garbage, and 3) people like to wait until the garbage gets overfilled because we’re all too lazy (or too busy, if you wanna be nice about it) to walk all the way down to the dumpster in the garage (at least in my case). Also, spending half of my time – just in this past week – out of the apartment made it a bit harder to collect data since some days would go without recording refuse since it wouldn’t have been a control of how much, and what my collective household throws away. Otherwise, this was a very informative assignment.


This assignment also included the chance to analyze and interpret someone else’s garbage. They separated their refuse into garbage, recycling, and compost, and shopped at Trader Joe’s, ate lots of organic food, you get the idea. Then we were to infer from that what kind of person they were and honestly all I could say was that

they’re probably ten times healthier than me;

probably use public transportation and/or ride a bike, or own a Prius;

and they probably remember to bring their reusable shopping tote(s) to the grocery too.

From their descriptive data I could only infer these things, but I’m honestly hoping I’m like, 80% correct. It’s like the world is saying we are our own trash. If you ate a lot of meat, we would probably find empty bacon wrappers, meat packages, maybe chicken wing bones or T-bones. We could infer you really like your protein for working out after (who knows?). If you’re in an Asian household, you’ll probably never find expired foods because “IT’S STILL GOOD” according to my Asian mom, and will be left in the fridge until spring cleaning; but you can almost guarantee you’d find some Spam cans, some Seafood City or H-Mart take-home packages, sauce packets with foreign names, noodle wrappers, and some black hair-dye (secret: that’s how Asians stay young).

About Me

Hi there! My name is Gabbie Mangaser, and I am currently a third year undergraduate student at the University of Washington. I’m currently majoring in history and archaeology, and minoring in architecture. My interest in history and archaeology stems from one of my aspirations to be a museum curator, and I gush over the history of the French Revolution and the Renaissance.

I enjoy spending most of my spare time with my majestic golden doggo, Nymeria (first of her name [Game of Thrones reference]), and my second favorite thing is showing people how cute she is because I have a thousand-something pictures and videos of her on my phone. My other hobbies include photography, watching food videos, and looking at memes to procrastinate.