Category Archives: Balch

Albert Balch, Part Three: Learning Real Estate in View Ridge

As of January 1936 Albert Balch and Ralph Jones were on their way: they had started a new real estate development called View Ridge and had been able to get some buyers.  Although Balch & Jones had experience in advertising … Continue reading

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Albert Balch, Part Two: Finding a Career in the 1930s

Albert Balch, developer of the View Ridge and Wedgwood neighborhoods of northeast Seattle, did not start out to work in real estate.  As many college grads do, at first Balch struggled to find a suitable career. Albert Balch graduated from … Continue reading

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Albert Balch, Part One: Early Life

This series of articles will outline the life of Albert Balch, the developer who, beginning in 1941, built the Wedgwood houses which gave their name to the neighborhood in northeast Seattle. Balch’s father Albert S. Balch Sr. was from a … Continue reading

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Working for Mr. Balch

The developer of the Wedgwood neighborhood, Albert Balch, was born in Gem, Idaho, finished high school in Blaine, Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle.  In 1934 Balch was thirty years old, married and about to become … Continue reading

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Hamburgers in Wedgwood

Wedgwood of the 1950s was a still-developing neighborhood with a lot of house construction in progress.  Although Albert Balch’s original group of Wedgwood houses was finished (from NE 80th to 85th Streets on the west side of 35th Ave NE) … Continue reading

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From Yesler to Wedgwood

The intersection of 35th Avenue NE at NE 85th Street is the heart of the Wedgwood neighborhood and is its main commercial center. Today it is difficult to imagine that any corner of this intersection would be vacant, and yet … Continue reading

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Houses in Wedgwood: from Craftsman to Balch

All of Wedgwood didn’t come within the Seattle City limits until 1954, and up until that time the neighborhood retained its rural character. Wedgwood was thinly populated and there were many vacant lots whose owners were holding land as an investment.  Many … Continue reading

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Shearwater Part One: Navy Housing in Wedgwood in the 1940s

Decatur Elementary School at 7711 43rd Ave NE in Wedgwood is on the site of what was Navy housing from 1945 to 1966.  The first part of the school building was completed in 1961.  With a later addition to the … Continue reading

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What about the “E” in Wedgwood?

The Wedgwood neighborhood in Seattle took its name from a real estate development which was started in 1941 by Albert Balch.  The naming happened gradually after Balch’s Wedgwood group of houses became well-known. In an April 1956 interview for the … Continue reading

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The Gateposts of Wedgwood

When Albert Balch, the developer of the Wedgwood neighborhood, put up stone gateposts at the entrance to his new housing area, he tapped into the gateposts’ symbolism of permanence and protection, qualities desired by young couples in search of homes.

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