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Oregon Historic Sites Database

address:729 S Water St historic name:Ek, Magnus and Emma, House
Silverton, Marion County current/other names:
assoc addresses:
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr: twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:
resource type:building height (stories):2.0 total elig resources:1 total inelig resources:2
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:c.1890 second date: date indiv listed:02/20/2013
primary orig use: Single Dwelling orig use comments:
second orig use: Hotel
primary style: Queen Anne prim style comments:
secondary style: Stick sec style comments:
primary siding: Horizontal Board siding comments:
secondary siding: Shingle
plan type: architect:Magnus Ek
builder:
comments/notes:
contributing garage
Survey/Grouping Included In: Type of Grouping Date Listed Date Compiled
   Historic Architecture in Silverton, Oregon and its Environs MPD MPS 03/12/2011 2010
   Silverton 2010 MPD Selective RLS MPS 2010
NR date listed: 02/20/2013
ILS survey date:
RLS survey date: 03/02/2010
106 Project(s): None
Special Assess Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
The Magnus and Emma Ek House is a two-story, wood-frame, Queen Anne–style residence that was originally constructed in the Stick Style, but was remodeled shortly after its construction, adding Queen Anne elements. The house is now an eclectic mix of the Stick and Queen Anne styles. The house sits on a rectangular lot, with 74 feet fronting South Water Street, the primary north-south thoroughfare through Silverton, and 151 feet extending along Adams Avenue. The neighborhood is characterized by historic residences, some being contemporary to the Ek House, but most having been built in the decades following the Ek House’s construction in 1890. The Ek House was one of the earliest residences in its immediate vicinity. Behind the house is a ca. 1920s non-contributing, two-car detached garage. Adjacent to the house is a non-contributing but sympathetic pentagonal gazebo, built in 1984. The Ek House was originally constructed in the Stick Style, and later remodeled, adding Queen Anne elements. These changes probably occurred at the height of the popularity of the Queen Anne style. In Silverton, houses that have been formally surveyed and categorized as exhibiting the Queen Anne style were constructed before 1910, making it likely that the addition of Queen Anne elements, such as the prominent wrap-around front porch, were added before 1910. The style was most popular between 1900 and 1905. As is quite characteristic of the Queen Anne and Stick styles, this house exhibits mixed siding textures, projections and bays that break flat wall surfaces, and the highly characteristic Queen Anne–style wrap-around porch on the principal elevation. The house has a side-gabled roof featuring a prominent projecting, forward-facing gable and a rear-facing, projecting gable. The house exhibits a side-passage plan, with the principal entrance opening into a hallway that extends along the south elevation; the entrance is thus on the south side of the principal (west) elevation. The walls are finished primarily with wood coved shiplap (drop) siding, with decorative elaboration in the use of wood fish-scale shingles in the gable ends and beaded tongue-and-groove in panels surrounding the upper portion of the house, beneath the eave line. Much use is made of horizontal and vertical fascia, creating a strong geometric presentation and serving to break up otherwise large walls. The foundation beneath the original house is rough-dressed coursed granite and, beneath the rear addition, poured concrete. The interior of the house is modestly styled with built-in cabinetry, a finely crafted maple staircase, and a richly adorned study (now a bedroom) that exhibits finely crafted woodwork on the ceiling, walls, and floor and incorporates a wide variety of wood species, especially on the floor, where the various shades and grains are arranged in patterns forming stars and various geometric designs. The house includes two non-historic alterations of note: a gabled attachment to the rear of the south elevation and a short hexagonal turret extending from the gable peak of the rear, single-story portion of the house. The turret cannot be seen except from the side and rear angles of the house. Minor alterations include the alteration of the porch railing, the alteration of the spindlework in the projecting gable of the principal elevation, and the removal of the cresting along the gable ridge. The interior of the house retains a majority of its woodwork and craftsmanship. The first floor has a formal living room, dining room, study (currently used as a bedroom), kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and office. The single-story addition houses a master bedroom and bathroom. The second floor has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The 2,453-square-foot house is among the finest residences in Silverton. The house has undergone thoughtful renovations and restoration and maintains high integrity.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
The Magnus and Emma Ek House, located in Silverton, Marion County, Oregon, is significant at the local level under Criterion C in the area of architecture as an excellent example of a Queen Anne residence in Silverton. The house was constructed during a time of incredible industrial growth in Silverton, and represents one of the most popular styles of the period. This 2.5-story residence, built in 1890, is one of the finest remaining examples of a Queen Anne–style residence in the area. The Magnus and Emma Ek House retains integrity and meets the general and specific registration requirements set forth in the Domestic Architecture in Silverton, Oregon, and its Environs MPD. The Magnus and Emma Ek House is one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture in Silverton. It is nominated for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C in the area of architecture. It meets the general registration requirements and property type–specific registration requirements set forth in the MPD Domestic Architecture in Silverton, Oregon, and its Environs as a good example of a middle-class Queen Anne house. As required by the MPD, this house retains a high level of integrity and has ornamentation consistent with the moderate expression of the form. The Ek House’s cross-gable form displays transitional elements from the earlier Stick style. The decorative gable truss and slightly raised horizontal and vertical bands are classic Stick-style elements that were intended to reflect (truthfully or not) the internal structure of the building. The varying directions in the siding application are also typical of Stick houses. The form of the building, however, is pure Queen Anne, with its central hipped roof and slightly lower cross-gables. The presence of fish-scale shingles in the gables creates further variation in the siding, adding texture and displaying some of the lumber products that would have been locally available and proudly displayed by the millwright and sawmill owner who built the house. The addition of a wrapped porch intentionally increased stylistic ties to the Queen Anne form. The extensive and varied use of wood on the exterior carries through to the interior of the house in even more abundance. Interior construction emphasized the availability and variety of finished lumber in Silverton in 1890, and the variety and amount of wood trim pieces in the house is impressive. The interior of the building has many wooden decorative elements that are typical of Queen Anne houses, including window and door surrounds with trim of varying profile and corner pieces with a circular or rosette motif. Other trim elements include crown and picture moldings, baseboards, wainscot caps, crown molding, and picture molding. These include molded pilaster door (and window) surrounds with bead-and-cove side and head casings, plain rosette corner blocks and tall base blocks with an ogee profile, tall baseboards with a beaded and ogee profile, turned balusters on the quarter-flight stair balustrade with rosettes on turned newel posts, and a plain wall stringer. Wood ceilings and floors are also located throughout the house. The interior trim reaches its apex in what was presumably Ek’s study at the end of the downstairs hall. This room contains an elaborate, quilt-like parquet floor with at least four varieties of wood cut in a variety of ways to produce different grain patterns. The lower walls are clad with paneled wainscot, and the ceiling is covered with tongue-and-groove boards arranged around a central coffer surrounding the light fixture. Built-in cabinets occupy the space below the chimney. This house shows the transition between the two styles and emphasizes the popularity of both styles at the time it was constructed. The house’s alterations, with the exception of the fireplace, are not visible from the primary façade and do not negatively affect the integrity of the house. The house contributes to the historic character of the neighborhood and the City of Silverton.
Title Records Census Records Property Tax Records Local Histories
Sanborn Maps Biographical Sources SHPO Files Interviews
Obituaries Newspapers State Archives Historic Photographs
City Directories Building Permits State Library
Local Library: University Library:
Historical Society: Other Respository:
Bibliography:
Allen, Jason M. Historic Architecture in Silverton, Oregon, and Its Environs. National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form (2010). SWCA Environmental Consultants, Portland, Oregon. Ancestry.com. U.S. Civil War soldier records and profiles online database, compiled from Slavik, Harold: Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio. Accessed May 2012. Bennett, William H. Eleventh Annual Report of the State Banking Department of the State of Oregon 1918. State Printing Department, Salem, Oregon, 1919 U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940, Federal Census, Manuscript Population Schedule, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. U.S. Bureau of the Census. Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census, 1890, Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Marion, Marion County, Oregon, Roll 77, Page 2, s.v. “Martin J. Adams,” 1890. Canadian Patent Office, No. 591, 248 Folding Crate, Canadian Patent Office Record and Register of Copyrights and Trade Marks, 25(8):883 (1897). Gaston, Joseph. 1912. The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912. Chicago, Illinois: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. Gaston, Joseph. 1903. Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley Oregon: Containing Original Sketches of Many Well Known Citizens of the Past and Present. Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company. City of Silverton Building Department, 1983–2011, Permit records for 729 S. Water Street. On file at City Hall, Silverton, Oregon. Gelernter, Mark. 1999. A history of American architecture: buildings in their cultural and technological context. Hanover: University Press of New England. Ladd & Bush, Bankers. 1912. Ladd & Bush quarterly. Martin J. Adams, Obituary. Salem, Oregon: Ladd & Bush,Bankers. Marion County Assessor. Plat map, Silverton, Oregon. http://www.co.marion.or.us/AO/, accessed September 27, 2011 Marion County Clerk. Affidavit for Marriage License, Emma Johnson and Magnus Ek, July 8, 1890. Marion County Clerk. Deed Records, Book 78, Page 273. Magnus and Emma Ek to MJ Adams, 18 December 1901. Marion County Clerk. Deed Records, Book 1957, Page 84. Susan A. Capper (aka Susan A. Newell) to Michael G. and Linda E.L. Whitmore. Marion County Clerk. Deed Records, Book 3220, page 99. Whitmore Family Trust to Nancy F. Korda Living Trust, 1 October 2010. McAlester, Virginia, and A. Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Knopf, 1984. McEachern, Philip Duncan. 1990. Silverton: the morphology of an Oregon town. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Oregon, 1990. Salem City and Marion County Directory. 1913, 1915, 1917, 1924, 1930–1931, 1932, 1934, 1935. Portland, Or: R.L. Polk. Steel, James. First Annual Report of the State Bank Examiner to the Board of Bank Commissioners of the State of Oregon: Twenty-Fifth Legislative Assembly Regular Session 1909. Salem, Oregon: Willis S. Duniway, State Printer. United States Patent Office. Patent No. 591, 248, Folding Crate. October 5, 1897. Yeagley, J.B. Home Seeker’s Guide, City of Silverton, Marion County, Oregon. East Portland, Oregon: White Printing Company, 1890.