Christine Palmer of Historic Seattle in her weekly e-newsletter of the Historic Seattle organization (www.historicseattle.org) has posted a message from the National Park Services Cultural Resources office regarding a historically significant neighborhood house now for sale.
According to Gretchen Luxenberg of the National Park Service “the George Washington Carmack House at 1522 E. Jefferson Street is for sale and being offered as a 4,800 square foot lot (no mention of the house) in a neighborhood that has already lost all its single family residences due to Swedish/Providence hospital construction.”
The house is the last home of Carmack whose gold strike is credited with setting off the Klondike Rush. Luxenberg writes that “the National Park Service has initiated a National Register nomination form for the property. … The house will likely be demolished as it is surrounded by Swedish Hospital buildings and a parking garage. While it could make for a wonderful addition to Swedish’s building inventory, they are not in the business of preservation. NPS is not in a position to help this house as it is way beyond our authority to do this. We have always talked about how it could be an associated property for the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park but it is outside of the Pioneer Square Historic District and the Park/NPS is limited in what it can do. … NPS would more than likely want to help interpret the history and significance of the place, if it can be saved.”
Neighborhood residents will remember the house as the long-time residence of Mr. and Ms. Jewdoschenko. While they lived there Providence Hospital, and later the Sabey Corporation, apparently tried to purchase the property so it could be used for future expansion of the medical center’s parking garages. After the death of Ms. Jewdoschenko, who had survived her husband, Swedish Medical Center and the Sabey Corporation apparently tried to purchase the property from the estate. Terms of sale were not agreed upon by the parties.
Sabey and Swedish proceeded with plans to expand their adjacent parking garage and asked the City for approval to reduce the required setback from Jefferson Street. After the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) approved reducing the setback, the Administrator of the Jewdoschenko estate appealed the City decision to the Hearing Examiner’s Office. Her argument was based on the increased impact on the house that would be presented by allowing the parking garage to be built nearer the street than the Jewdoschenko (Carmack) House. (The Squire Park Community Council and Feet First appealed the approval of the expanded parking garage on other grounds.) The decision of the Hearing Examiner upheld the DPD decision and the parking garage has been built with the reduced setback.
You can see the City of Seattle historical record for this property at: http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/historicalsite/QueryResult.aspx?]
Also, Jess Cliffe, in his Vintage Seattle blog has a number of excellent exterior and interior pictures of the house, along with more words about the history of the house: www.vintageseattle.org