West Seattle’s newest landmark: North Admiral’s ‘Bloss House’

(Photo courtesy Historic Seattle)
The city Landmarks Preservation Board has just voted 8-2 to grant city-landmark status to the North Admiral bungalow known as the “Bloss House” (4055 SW Holgate). It was revealed that the home’s longtime (but not original) owner Ruth Ward, who was too ill to attend the meeting at which the nomination was accepted back in April, died five days later (here’s her obituary). “She was just hanging on (to see that happen),” suggested Eugenia Woo of Historic Seattle, which prepared the nomination paperwork. (One of its leaders read a century-old poem, “Bungal-Ode,” bringing smiles around the room – read it here – in explaining the significance of bungalows in general.) The house is in the process of being purchased – pending some legal issues – by a couple who lives next door, who spoke at the hearing (photo right), hoping that the landmark designation wouldn’t get in the way of them making badly needed repairs; they intend to use it as a rental. (They were assured the board would collaborate with them.) It was proposed for landmark status not because of something remarkable about its history or its owners past/present – but rather because it was a rare still-standing example of largely unaltered Craftsman construction and trim. (West Seattle architectural historian Brooke Best also noted during the public-comment period that even though WS is not a place of “high style,” she feels more of its historic architecture should be recognized formally in this way.) First word of the landmark proposal came in early April (here’s our original story).

The Bloss House is now the third new city landmark in West Seattle designated in less than a year – the Seaview Building at The Kenney [WSB coverage here] and The Sanctuary at Admiral, formerly Sixth Church of Christ, Scientist [WSB coverage here] are the previous two. Landmark designation brings some tax benefits but also some responsibilities and restrictions, depending on what part of the structure is designated; in this case it’s the exterior and part of the interior. (That part of the deal will be worked out later, in an agreement containing “controls and incentives.”)

5 Replies to "West Seattle's newest landmark: North Admiral's 'Bloss House'"

  • Michael Stusser June 16, 2010 (6:34 pm)

    Fantastic news! Somewhere Ruth is smiling….The neighborhood will always be blessed by her presence (and her home).

  • miws June 16, 2010 (6:43 pm)

    So happy to hear this designation was granted, but saddened to hear of Ms. Ward’s passing. May she Rest In Peace.


    Huge kudos to all that made this happen! :cool:



  • Cheryl June 16, 2010 (7:32 pm)

    I’m SO glad to hear that the house received historical status, but am very sorry to hear that Ruth passed away. Rest in peace indeed.

  • Vera June 16, 2010 (11:05 pm)

    So great to hear of this! Thank you to all who helped make this happen.

  • Barb Lord June 20, 2010 (10:25 pm)

    Wonderful news and yes, I am sure Ruth is smiling also. She loved that house and that was one of the things she wanted to accomplish before her passing.

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