ArchitectureSeattle History February 9, 2017

The Seattle Craftsman, A Green Lake Classic

Photo by Brewbooks – Restored Craftsman, Wallingford

Craftsman homes were first built in the U.S. during the latter part of the 19th century, following the British Arts and Crafts movement which saw a departure from Victorian architecture toward clean, livable design. Seattle is home to hundreds of these Craftsman Bungalow homes, many built during the early part of the 20th century following the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition. The Expo brought with it streetcars, and as a result Seattle’s first downtown commuters traveled from suburbs with ease. These were working class families, who built their own homes using purchased “do-it-yourself” kits from major retailers or via detailed construction plans found in magazines and catalogs. The Craftsman was heavily advertised in the Seattle area, and people were drawn to the opportunity to own a home with close access to urban life, a rare opportunity to residents in Eastern cities at the time.

Here are a few distinctive features that help to identify these gems of Seattle history.



overhanging eaves 

heavy wood millwork

low pitched, front or side gabled roofs

dormer windows and multiple roof planes

exposed rafters and beams

wood or stone siding

generous full or partial width porches

tapered porch columns with low pedestals made of stone, brick, wood, or stucco

stone exterior chimneys



open floor plan

natural materials: wood, brick, glass, stone, tile

exposed rafters, joists, beams

built in woodwork

wide door and window casing