This elaborate two-and-one-half-story frame residence was built in 1904 by Dr. Scott Percy Woodin following his marriage to Imogene Huntsman. Their wedding, which was held at the Seattle home of Dr. Woodin’s sister, Mrs. Van Ness, was highlighted in the Georgetown- South Seattle News (December 3, 1904): “They enjoyed a week’s honeymoon in Seattle, but the Doctor is now back in the harness, working hard as ever.” The article went on to say that the newlyweds will reside at the doctor’s residence on Bateman Street “until the completion of their elegant home on Charlestown Street.”
Dr. Woodin, a well-known Georgetown figure, served as City Health Officer and Assistant Physician at the nearby King County Hospital. He met Imogene, who was described as “an accomplished and amiable woman,” when she was a nurse at the hospital. (According to Woodin’s grandson, Scott Daniel Boone, Imogene had a daughter from a previous marriage who passed away from appendicitis soon after her marriage to Dr. Woodin.) Woodin assisted hospital superintendent Dr. Willis H. Corson from 1906 to 1912 and introduced the first x-ray machine to King County; however, enthusiastic overuse of the new technology, and the radiation poisoning that went with it, were a contributing cause to the doctor’s death.
Scott and Imogene Woodin lived at this residence from 1904 to 1923. The 1906 directory lists their address as 507 Charleston (later renamed Corson Avenue South). Conveniently located one block north of the hospital and across the street (south) from the Georgetown Public School, Woodin used the upper bedroom above the front porch as a physician’s office. They had their first daughter, Diadama, in 1907. Woodin’s grandson recounted that when Diadama was a little girl, the Duwamish Indians would paddle up and down the river and ring their doorbell to sell their wares. Among his grandmother’s acquisitions were a wooden bowl and a couple of grass mats. After Imogene died of cancer in 1923, Scott Woodin remained here until his death in 1929. The 1930 city directory lists his daughter Diadama as the sole occupant.
The 1929 Sanborn map indicates that the Woodin Residence was one of the few residences in this neighborhood. An adjacent frame dwelling (#5801 ½), situated west of the house, and two garages are located in this block. The subdivided lots north along Corson Avenue remain undeveloped, except for the Germani’s residence and ornamental cast stone manufacturing business (#5609-11).
On Christmas Day in 1931, Diadama married Jacob Boone at the University Presbyterian Church and they took up residence at her parent’s residence, remaining there for the next 16 years. Periodically, throughout the depression and early 1940s, the house was rented out to nurses who worked at the King County Hospital. The tax assessor’s records indicate that tenants paid $30 per month. Diadama appears in the 1940 city directory working as an office secretary at the University of Washington and living at 418 23rd Avenue North. (According to her son, Scott Daniel Boone, she was temporarily staying at a family friend’s home while tenants rented the Woodin house.) Diadama and Jacob Boone divorced in 1947, and two years later she married Eldon Pratt.
In 1965-66, when the Corson Avenue exit ramp was put in, the house was moved back roughly 20 feet. A new concrete foundation, as well as a new oil furnace, was installed at this time. After Eldon passed away in 1977, Diadama continued to live at the house until her death in 1996. The property passed down to Diadama’s son and only child, Scott Boone, who plans to spend the rest of his days there.PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
The Woodin Residence, which sits at the base of the Corson Avenue exit ramp and across from the Georgetown Playfield, is one of the block’s sole survivors from the early 20th century (the Georgetown Presbyterian Church still remains one block west, at the corner of South Homer Street and Padilla Place South). As good fortune would have it, the house has remained under the same family’s continuous ownership with minimal changes to its original design and, as a result, stands as a well-preserved example of a “Seattle Classic Box.” This residential type gained popularity on the West coast between 1900 and 1910 and was largely promoted in plan books, magazines, and local newspapers. Both the Radford Architectural Company in Chicago and the Alladin Company in Michigan published house plans, including a four-square house called the “Standard.” Seattle’s two leading proponents were architects Victor W. Voorhees and Fred L. Fehren, who published fully illustrated plan books that were heavily used by Seattle area homeowners and builders. Voorhees’s Western Home Builder featured several “Classic Box” designs consisting of eight-room houses that measured 28 by 36 feet, and ranged in cost from $2,400 to $4,000.
A variation of the American Four Square, the Seattle Classic Box is characterized as a two-story, wood-frame box-shaped house capped by a low-pitched, hipped roof. The footprint usually measured 32 by 36 feet. Roof dormers and a broad front porch are common, while more substantial versions often feature projecting corner bays, full-width verandas, and leaded glass windows. Its basic cubic form “lent itself to infinite variation in applied ornamentation and detail,” often borrowing stylistic features from English Tudor, Craftsman, and Colonial and Classical Revival. Interiors contained a large entry hall, living room, dining room and kitchen on the first floor, and bedrooms on the second floor. More expensive versions boasted tiled fireplaces, beamed ceilings, wainscoting, and dark-stained wood trim. Examples of the Seattle Classic Box are scattered throughout Seattle, displaying a range of sizes and architectural details.
The Woodin Residence, which is distinguished by its symmetrical composition and mix of Classical and Craftsman detailing, may have been built using an architect-designed plan or mail-order design. The owner has tracked down similar houses near Boeing Field and in South Park; however, most of them have since been torn down. Standing two stories tall and capped by a flared hipped roof with wide bracketed eaves, the exterior is clad in horizontal wood siding (first floor) and wood shingles (second floor), exemplifying its Craftsman influence. At its midsection, a dentiled belt course – a typical classical element - further delineates the two levels. Bay windows and flared hipped roof dormers are other characteristic features. A combination of tall, narrow, double-hung wood-sash and smaller cottage-type windows are used throughout. Some of the windows are grouped together and contain ornamental wood mullions or leaded-glass upper sashes.
The front (east) façade contains an offset one-story hipped-roof porch entry with a large tripartite window with an upper leaded-glass sash positioned to one side. The classically-detailed porch has grouped, square and circular fluted columns, raised on wooden plinth blocks, supporting a wood entablature and bracketed hipped roof. A projecting bay window (south) and grouped double-hung wood sash (north) occupy the second-floor level. The bay window contains three double-hung wood-sash windows and decorative wood brackets at its underside. The central hipped-roof dormer contains paired, wood-mullioned sash windows.
The south elevation contains a first-floor bay window and three double-hung wood-sash windows on the second floor. An interior brick chimney is located at this side of the house. The north façade, which faces onto South Homer Street, features a cantilevered staircase bay supported by three scrolled wood brackets. The bay contains paired, double-hung wood sash and incorporates the dentiled belt course that stretches across the main façade’s midsection. A small, rectangular window positioned to the east side of the bay contains the original leaded-glass sash. Two double-hung wood-sash windows occupy the first-floor west end. The upper floor contains three double-hung wood sash windows and a hipped roof dormer is centered on the roof slope above. A one-story hipped roof addition, measuring 5 by 20 feet, is appended to the rear (west) façade, and the upper floor contains two double-hung wood-sash windows.
The building’s footprint, which measures 27 by 40 feet, contains eight rooms on the interior – four on each floor. Many of its interior features remain intact, including the plaster walls, fir floors and trim, and brick fireplace. Most of the woodwork – except for the kitchen - is in its original, unpainted condition. Craftsman style built-in cabinets, with doors on both sides, divide the dining room and kitchen. A small cast-iron coal burner is located in the living room fireplace.BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
Department of Neighborhoods, Office of Urban Conservation, 1997 Architectural Survey (Site No. GT014); WSA, PSB, Bellevue Community College, King County Tax Assessor’s Real Property Records; Tim O’Brian’s collection; Georgetown- South Seattle News, December 3, 1904, Volume II, No. 40; Phone interview with Scott Daniel Boone, June 1, 2005; Seattle City Directories; Baist’s Real Estate Atlases; Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps; Kroll’s Atlases of Seattle; Victor W. Voorhees, Western Home Builder, 1910.