PTguide - Port Townsend and East Jefferson County, WA

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Historical Sites - Hastings Spec House

Name: Hastings Spec House
Year Built: 1890
Location: 505 Cass
Area: Uptown Port Townsend

Hastings is an important name in local history. Lucinda Hastings is said to have been the first white woman to set foot in Port Townsend. She took part in much of the early history of the town. Most of the early pioneers died during the 1880s, shortly before the boom period, when hopes that Port Townsend would be the great port of the Puget Sound area seemed to be materializing. Lucinda Hastings arrived in 1852, survived Indian wars, and eked out a subsistence in the wilderness. She saw the town prosper with the promise of a railroad, and watched the dreams fade in the depression of 1891. Her husband, Loren B. Hastings, died in 1881, but members of his family continued to prosper in their own businesses. Lucinda Hastings great grandchildren still live in Port Townsend today.

In April 1890, Lucinda Hastings took out a permit to build this spec house on Lawrence Street. There are six other one-and-a-half story houses built by the Hastings family that were identical to this one.

The current owner has photos of all six as they appear today. It's interesting to see how each has been modified through the years. Each is still easily identified by the dramatic asymmetrical roof that sweeps down across the entrance. In 1922 Charles Nelson, who was in the wood business, used wooden rollers to move this house to its current site on Cass Street.

Nelson lived in the house until 1935; since then there have been 11 owners. Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Aldrich bought the house in 1975 and began restoration, receiving a Jefferson County Historical Society and preservation award in 1979.

Mary and Fred Lezpona bought the house in 1993 and began the present restoration. They have accomplished wonders. They have made major changes in the plumbing and electrical systems, removed and rebuilt interior and exterior walls, built a new garage, and "completely redecorated every square inch," as Mary puts it. Credit is given to Townsend Builders for the quality of workmanship evident throughout.

Parlor
An asymmetrical archway beneath the stairs was removed and the wall beneath the stairway was built up to expand the coat closet. Glassed-in double transoms between parlor and dinning room were designed by Mary. A striking picture molding and border were added. The refinished fir floor is original. Wooden corner beads protect the wallpaper.

Dining Room
Because the dining room was considered the best room in the house, a more expensive narrow planking was used here than the fir in the parlor. An exceptional piece is the butler's china cabinet from northern Ohio. Made of quarter-sawn oak with its original finish still in excellent condition, the cabinet has claw feet, and curved glass and bowed wood doors.

Library
Formerly a bedroom, this room was enlarged by removing a non-functional butler's pantry and closet. Bookshelves were built in. A plastered-over chimney flu was discovered in the wall between the library and dining room.

Kitchen
The kitchen has been completely renovated and modernized. French doors leading to the yard replace double windows 5that were later recycled and installed in the garage.

Wine Room & Conservatory
A specially designed refrigerator keeps wines at the correct temperature. Note the grape-motif wet bar tiles. A wooden outdoor deck has been enclosed to create a room designed to resemble an old English conservatory. Interior walls were Specially milled by Edensaw Lumber in Port Hadlock to match exterior walls and railings.

Upstairs
The display of bobbins at the head of the stairs is one of several of the owners' antique collections. In the master bedroom 6a wall was moved to make room for the spacious closet.

Guest Bedroom
The double windows were once divided by a bathroom wall. Two separate closets were created. Note the unusual rocker.

Bath/Utility Room
A former bedroom was changed into a large bath with room for a spacious shower, double lavatories and a washer-dryer. The floor was raised to enclose piping for plumbing fixtures. Separate his and her medicine cabinets were designed, as was the vanity shelf that separates them. The old chest was once used for storing chamber pots. The door on a former bedroom closet was removed and shelves were installed to create a commodious linen closet. The stained glass window is from a Seattle antique dealer.

Some data modified from the National Register Information System. Many descriptions used by permission of the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce. All material copyrighted by PTguide.com.

 

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