image description
47.667219 -122.38450699999999

Pioneer Houses

5341 Ballard Avenue Northwest, Seattle, WA 98107, United States
Date Built:
ca. 1880
Original Architect /
Original Owners:
Carpenter-built wood frame

Historic Seattle’s Role:

In 1975, two of the city’s oldest houses were threatened with demolition. They were small, carpenter-built, vertical plank, wooden houses, typical of the late 1800s. (For more information on vertical plank construction, download Of Small Means: Vertical Plank Dwellings around Puget Sound and King County, a report by Katheryn Krafft.) The houses sat on land in the International District that was coveted by the management of an adjacent bank. The bank offered to donate the houses and help cover the cost of moving the structures if Historic Seattle could manage their relocation. After a search for an appropriate site in their original neighborhood was unsuccessful, Historic Seattle moved the houses to the newly created Ballard Avenue Landmark District in 1976, where they were compatible with early Ballard dwellings. After relocation, the exteriors were restored and the interiors remodeled for adaptive reuse as professional offices.

Current and Future Uses:

The property was sold with a preservation easement requiring the owner to maintain the exterior appearance of the houses. The houses are now brought to life by San Fermo, an Italian trattoria.


Ongoing Stewardship and Easements