Fall 2012
Article & photos by Larry Vogel, Historic Preservation Commission

allen houseWith Mayor Dave Earling officiating, the historic Allen House at 310 Sunset Avenue was officially added to the Edmonds Register of Historic Places in a gala ceremony on August 29.


Built in 1906 for Edmonds mill owner Zachary Taylor Allen, the house is a familiar sight to walkers, joggers, cyclists and others as they enjoy Edmonds' signature Sunset Avenue promenade. 

The exterior of the house remains essentially unchanged from 1906, reflecting the Queen Anne Free Classic architecture popular just after the turn of the last century. A clear departure from the more intricate Victorian style of the late 1800's, it presented a cleaner, less cluttered look that reflected the forward-looking mood of the nation as it embarked on the new century.

Edmonds was right in step with this mood. Reveling in its new status as an industrial powerhouse, the town was booming. The past decade had seen the waterfront transformed from tide flats into "shingle mill row," a solid wall of smoke-belching industry stretching from Bell Street to today's Marina Beach. 

Population was mushrooming with new workers arriving daily. The mills ran day and night to meet the demand of markets as far away as Alaska and California. The air was thick with wood smoke and the sounds of saw blades, shingle machines and the steam engines that drove them. Financed by shingle mill money, built for a shingle mill owner, and reflecting the new industrial architecture, the Allen House stands today as a solid link to this period in Edmonds' history. 

The current owners, John and Shirley Pauls, have lived in the house since December 1975. They purchased it from the Allen family, becoming only the second family to own this piece of Edmonds past. 

"We love the house as much as the day we moved in," said Shirley Pauls. "We feel privileged to live in a piece of local history, and are particularly honored to have our home on the Register of Historic Places."

paulsAt the August 29 dedication, Mayor Dave Earling recognized those who made this possible. "Preserving our heritage is key to our community identity," he said. "It gives us a sense of continuity, defines who we are, and reflects our shared values. But it couldn't happen without the hard work of the citizen volunteers on the Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission, the enthusiastic cooperation of owners of historic properties like the Pauls, and the resolve of our City staff and elected officials."

Do you own or live in an historic home? Would you like to join the other proud owners of homes and properties on the Edmonds Register of Historic Places? Learn more about the benefits of listing and how to make this happen at Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission web site <http://www.edmondswa.gov/government/boards-and-commissions/commissions/historic-preservation-commission.html>.

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