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Walter and Mildred Isaacs House

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1950, John Morse; Garrett Eckbo, landscape architect. Not visible from the street.

The Walter and Mildred Isaacs at the Hilltop Community was designed by John Morse, and demonstrated what could be done on a larger budget. This house, although built in 1950, suggested more affluent designs of the later 1950s, when Fred Bassetti, Morse, and other local architects gained clients who prospered during the decade. Walter Isaacs was a Professor or Art at the University of Washington, and Mildred Isaacs was an artist. The Isaacs selected lot #36, which enabled sweeping views north and west toward Seattle and Lake Washington.

Morse created an L-shaped plan for the residence, comparable to ranch house models designed since the 1930s in California. Its longer axis ran north and south and was covered by a shallow-pitched gable roof rather than a flat one. This north-south axis contained a large living room on the northwest corner and a bedroom corridor moving south. The architect located bedrooms to the corridor’s west and south to provide for the best views and the prime positions for solar heating. A cross-axis moving east to west contained a studio space projecting to the north and a bathroom and a kitchen on the east. By 1950s standards, when tight Pullman kitchens remained common, the Isaacs’s kitchen was amply proportioned, anchored by a central island. A connected dining room space flowed to the west of the kitchen.

Similar to California ranch houses, the center of the Isaacs House was occupied by an extensive patio designed by landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, its exterior living space intended to merge with and extend interior rooms. The patio faced south to capture maximum sunshine and to shield it from cold northern breezes.

Writing Credits

Alan R. Michelson
J. Philip Gruen
Robert R. Franklin



  • 1950

    Design and construction

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Alan R. Michelson, "Walter and Mildred Isaacs House", [Bellevue, Washington], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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