806 14th Ave E

Thomas Bordeaux House

Built: 1903

Home of a Lumber Tycoon who was Brother to Another (Across the Street)

  • Style: Tudor Revival / Queen Anne
  • Architect: William D. Kimball
  • Builder: Harvey J. Allan

This house is a novel mix of Tudor Revival and Queen Anne architectural styles, although it has also been called "Tyrolean" as well as "Tudor Gothic". It was designed by William D. Kimball, the same man that designed The Moore Mansion (Site ID #14) and the Fred R. and May Rowell House (Side ID #6). The permit, dated July 16, 1903, called for Harvey J. Allen to construct a 40'6"x55'10" house for a sum of $15,000. The exterior of the lowest story is brick, upon which rests an additional 1 ½ stories of half-timbering. A hexagonal turret, with a "candle-snuffer" top and three ornate round windows, adorns the southwestern corner of the house. The main entryway is on the west through a recessed porch. Above it is a second recessed porch with columns. An additional porch sits on the southwest corner, with a balcony above. The house's hipped roof has several striking dormers and high chimneys. The house sits high upon the street, with a stone retaining wall bounding the property on the west and south sides. This house was one of eighty buildings in Capitol Hill noted in the Nyberg and Steinbreuck 1975 survey as being important to the city. It was also cited in the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Survey as likely meeting the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places and the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance. This survey also stated that the house is located within a potential historic district. Although the house was remodeled in 1913 by Bebb and Mendel, early in the district's period of significance, it remains quite true to its 1903 form.


This house was built for Thomas Bordeaux, another well-known lumber company owner in the Pacific Northwest. Bordeaux was born near Montreal, Canada in 1852, but immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 20, where he prospected for gold in the West. Having mediocre luck with mining, he eventually found himself starting a small lumber business near Shelton, Washington, initially oxen hauling logs, with 8-10 men working at his camp. Thomas' brother, Joseph (later a neighbor living across the street at 811 14th Avenue E.) joined the business, and together they formed the Bordeaux Brother Logging Company, followed by the Mason County Logging Company. The latter became extremely successful over time, and Thomas Bordeaux served as founder, president, and principle owner. The town which formed around Bordeaux's lumber company was named "Bordeaux, Washington" in honor of the two brothers. Later Thomas simultaneously served as president and a principle stock owner of the Mumby Lumber and Shingle Company.

Although Thomas Bordeaux was primarily associated with logging, he had other business interests. Bordeaux was also director of the First National Bank of Seattle, and vice-president, director and a founder of the State Bank of Shelton, Washington. Like several of his neighbors, Bordeaux was a stockholder in the Metropolitan Building Company, and he was also a stockholder in the Lumber Mercantile Company.

Accessory Structure: Detached Garage
Built: 1917 or earlier

This garage, located off the alley behind the house, appears on the 1917 Sanborn map. To all appearances it seems true to the district's period of significance.

Additional Material

Early Investor

This 1901 Seattle Mail and Herald Ad boasts Thomas Bordeaux as an early purchaser of 2 lots.

Realty Notice

The building and realty announcement in The Seattle Daily Bulletin, July 15, 1903.

Permit Notice

The permit announcement in The Seattle Daily Bulletin, July 17, 1903.

Thomas Bordeaux

Thomas Bordeaux (picture from The Timberman, Nov. 1916) was the original owner of this house.

Bordeaux Mill Closes

Article announcing the Bordeaux Mill closure in 1941. "The reason? There are no more logs worth cutting." (The Daily Olympian, Sept. 26 1941).

Ghost Town

Bordeaux, a once prosperous logging community, is now a memory (Tacoma Tribune, Oct. 5, 1969, 10-11).

The Architect

W.D. Kimball designed this house and two others on Millionaire's Row.

Archive Photo

This 1937 photo is from the Washington State Archives.

Vintage Postcard

Looking north on 14th, the houses pictured here are (right to left) the Stuart House, the Bordeaux House and the Cobb House.

Vintage Postcard #2

Looking south on 14th, the houses pictured here are (left to right) the Cobb House, the Bordeaux House and the Stuart House.

Capitol Hill Inventory

Nyberg and Steinbrueck's 1975 Inventory listed this house as one of 80 significant buildings in Capitol Hill

Times Pictorial

The house was featured in a 1978 pictorial in the Pacific Northwest Living section of The Seattle Times.

1979 Inventory

The house received an A for 'individual merit' and 'contribution to district' in this 1979 report by the Dept. of Urban Conservation.

Historical Survey

A Dept. of Neighborhoods survey notes this house's historic value.