Most of the homes on the winding Conkling Place in 1927 or 1928 still hold to their uniquely footprinted lots.
IS IT OBVIOUS in our “Then” photo that this is a work in progress? Evidence of a new city addition in the throes of creation includes the rough ground cover on the far right. It is in need of a home. A meandering clue is the fresh and hardly stained concrete ribbon that has laid its eccentric path beyond and behind the line of unfinished homes that crosses through the scene’s center.
The fact that the last two or three of the eight or nine homes built all in a row are finished at least suggests that most of the cars parked here belong to carpenters, or Realtors, perhaps, rather than prospective buyers.
This is Conkling Place, named for the family of pioneer historian Thomas Prosch’s mother, Susan Conkling Prosch. In the late 1890s, Thomas Prosch wrote “A Chronological History of Seattle.” Although the Prosch mansion was on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill, the family purchased these acres near its northwest corner in the early 20th century. Plans for the Queen Anne Addition to the city were submitted on Sept. 27, 1909.
The Conkling Place in our “Now” photo begins at the corner of West Bertona Street and 10th Avenue West. Prosch’s Conkling Place was different: It was cut to the southwest with one long, straight block to the center of the addition drawn but never developed. Had it been fulfilled with homes, they would have crossed through the footprints of the first four or five residences standing here since 1926, the year this concrete was first given its serpentine pour.
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It seems the developers were aesthetes allured by the poetic platting and curvilinear inclinations of the City Beautiful Movement. They started building diversely styled residences along romantic lines fit for their curving streets.
The developer’s model home, built in a Spanish style at 3042 10th Ave. W., survives well-kept on the avenue’s pointed corner with West Etruria Street. It stands one long block and a few feet south of the “Now” prospect above Conkling Place. Should you decide to explore this unique addition, you will discover that most of the homes on Conkling Place in 1927 or 1928 still hold to their uniquely footprinted lots.
On Feb. 21, 1926, F.W. Keen and Company announced the building of the new 40-acre residence addition on Queen Anne Hill was under way. “The plat was filed last week. This is one of the last large close-in tracts suitable for platting. It will contain 235 lots, with the streets laid out to take advantage of the natural contour of the ground. The addition has been designated Queen Anne Park.”
To learn much more on the history of this neighborhood, we recommend an essay by the Queen Anne Historical Society’s Florence Halliesen.