Historic Structures

Hoo Hoo House, Seattle, King County Washington

Date added: August 1, 2010 Categories: Washington Community Facility

This building represented a pivotal phase of Seattle architectural development. Reflecting an awareness of the American tradition of wooden architectural forms (as well as the superabundance of timber resources in the Pacific Northwest). it also marked the introduction to this region of the more recent architectural aims of the Midwest "prairie architects," and the tentative adaptation of these aims to a new environment. The building stood in sharp contrast to its "American Renaissance" neighbors at the Exposition.

The Hoo Hoo house, one of the best architectural features of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, is fundamentally English, suggesting the Elizabethan cottages in the land of their origin: there is also a suggestion of the Swiss. The resultant is a combination that appeals to one as appropriate and particularly suitable for its environment.

The house is located on the east side of the Exposition grounds with a hillside site amidst the Douglas firs and overlooking Lake Washington; its exact relationship to the other buildings is fixed as number 19 on the official ground plan.

While the scope of the house is primarily a rendezvous for all good Hoo Hoos, those eligible to Hoo Hoo and their families, making it a club for lumbermen and those associated with them in business, it serves as an exhibit of Washington fir and spruce, of local architectural effort, of Seattle made furniture, fixtures and decorations; the screens were loaned by the Japanese government.

Leading off the avenue, the entrance takes the visitor between two large black cats, with benign tails of inspiration by day, and green eyes of prey by night, are a brick walk to the latch-string, the only real latch-string of welcome on the Exposition grounds, which hangs invitingly through the only entrance there is to the house. Each side of the doorway is provided with settees, the ends of which carry the scrolled emblem of the fraternity.

A short flight of steps leads from the lobby 'Go the clubroom, and on the left dam to the basement, where quarters are provided for the Janitor, and a hot water tank heater is installed. A double stairway leads from the level of the clubroom and with a turn reaches the upper hall.

On the main floor to the left is a checkroom 8 x 12, and immediately behind it, with an entrance from the main room, is the kitchen, 9 x 12; to the right is the secretary's room, 16 x 12. The clubroom proper is 25 x 50. The entrance to the clubroom directly from the lobby may be closed by folding screens or half-partitions, which operate on ball-bearing casters.

The secretary's room is finished in spruce from the Grays Harbor country, Washington, and was manufactured by the Slade Lumber company and the Northwest Lumber company of Aberdeen and Hoquiam. The balance of this floor is all Douglas fir.

The color scheme used throughout the clubroom floor involves shades of forest browns and light forest greens. The walls are paneled from floor to ceiling, with a plate rail and candlestick brackets on a level and at a suitable height to emphasize the decorative values. The panels carry the light forest green and the stiles, brackets and rails a soft stain of brown.

The ceiling is finished with solid 4 x 10 beans and the usual beaded ceiling, all stained the same brown as the walls. There is no false work about the house; everything is as real as it appears to be; and every exposed member of the framework is there as a part of the construction, performing a necessary function.

On the east side of the clubroom, directly opposite the entrance, there is an unusually large Denny-Renton brick fireplace which bespeaks hospitality and demands a generous supply of wood. The opening is ten feet across and six and a half feet deep; the actual firebox is reduced three and a half feet by hobs on both sides, and will take logs six feet only in length. The sides of the fireplace are paneled and bear the Egyptian symbols of the higher orders of the fraternity. On the veranda side of the fireplace emblems of the same order form the decorative features.

The clubroom is lighted by large electric candles in massive black iron candlesticks of the primitive style and by lanterns suspended from the beams. The lanterns express originality, coupled with uniqueness and the emblem of the order; they are of the mission type with a truncated trapezoid cross section, wooden corners, panels of soft green glass and a black cat with red or green eyes in each of the four panels of the lantern. The fixtures were built at the "Homecraft" shop of Otis Sargent at West Seattle.

The furniture for the house was built largely from one-inch fir stock, along novel lines, yet comfortable and satisfying to the eye. The Seattle Turning & Scroll Works could have had no better exhibit of a product of their shops than this.

The furniture for the house was built largely from one-inch fir stock, along novel lines, yet comfortable and satisfying to the eye. The Seattle Turning & Scroll Works could have had no better exhibit of a product of their shops than this.

The veranda and open terrace on the east side of the house and leading around to the north and south wings are among the architectural features of the building. The first floor plan does not show the open terrace, which is 16 x 50 and adjoins the veranda along the major axis of the building. There are one hundred linear feet of the veranda, twelve feet wide, closed in with scroll panels and a railing decorated with rustic boxes of flowers.

The architectural scheme for the second floor was cleverly conceived. There is a delightful south room, well lighted, airy and provided with modern conveniences for the lady guests of the club. A similar room on the opposite side of the building serves the gentlemen as a smoking room. There is a musicians' balcony, a well reaching from the ceiling of the second story to the floor of the clubroom with casement windows opening onto it from the rooms on both sides, and a hall with tables and telephone extensions, forming, with the double stairway, the central feature of the scheme on this floor. The upper hall is finished with plaster walls decorated in modern classic and the ceiling carries a simple line decoration.

The smoking room is finished in redwood, secured for the building through the offices of W. W. Peed from the redwood manufacturers of Eureka county, California. The color treatment of this wood is the weakest feature in the entire decoration and does not do justice to the wood, which should present a rich satin effect, difficult to distinguish from old and well-rubbed mahogany. The walls are paneled with redwood, carrying a solid color, the ceilings are plastered and plain, and the frieze is a hand-decorated. study in Washington forests.

The woman's retiring room, as well as the remainder of the second floor, is finished with Douglas fir. The color scheme of the room is carried out in greens and browns. The plaster panels are gray-broth with stiles of old English brown. The frieze is decorated with Gothic geometrical figures and black cats and the ceiling is plain.

The interior draperies are a green bungalow lattice effect and black cats in applique. The entire decoration scheme as executed by Weissenborn & Company, is a demonstration of what may be done on a small appropriation.

The building is roofed with Washington red cedar shingles, stained Venetian red. The completed house cost, including the decorations, about $1,500. In addition to those mentioned above the builders who have had a share in the Hoo Hoo house are: Ellsworth & Lofgren, wiring; Eckhart Brothers, plumbing;; J. J. Tinker, plastering; A. E. Coxhead, painting; Architectural Decorating company, staff cats at entrance; Ballard Lumber, Douglas fir; Schwabecher Hardware company, building hardware, and D. E. Fryer & Company, plaster.

Hoo Hoo House, Seattle, King County Washington

Hoo Hoo House, Seattle, King County Washington