Next Sketch Outing
Saturday March 25: International District
Houses of Maple Leaf
Unlike Queen Anne, Capitol Hill or other areas where you can still find grand, stately homes, Maple Leaf is more of a working-class neighborhood. Houses here tend to be modest one- or two-storied Tudors and American Craftsman styles that would be considered too small by contemporary standards. To get a second bathroom, people have to add on a dormer or, more likely these days, tear down the original and build a new larger house.
As a Maple Leaf resident for more than 30 years, I’ve seen many changes, but most of them have happened in the past decade or so. When a new house started going up last spring just a block away, I realized I couldn’t remember exactly what the house that it replaced looked like . . . probably just another small Craftsman that had been there for a century (our own Craftsman is nearly that old).
Whenever I travel, everything seems exotic, even ordinary homes, yet the houses in my own neighborhood seem too familiar to sketch. But suddenly I was saddened that I couldn’t even recall the house that had been torn down – one I had passed nearly every day.
During the past spring and summer, I decided to spend much of my sketching time walking around in my own ‘hood to observe the different kinds of architecture and generally appreciate the older houses I take for granted. In fact, the presence of small, older houses is a big reason we chose to live here, and I wanted to preserve them in my sketchbook before more are torn down. You can see the whole series on my personal blog
. Shown here are some of my favorites. The last one is the new house (still under construction six months later; please note the size of the houses next to it).
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