The James Bard Metcalfe residence is an example of an asymmetrical Italianate house. The two-story structure had both front and side porches that were capped with a low wooden balustrade. An ornamental iron balustrade and small decorative brackets accented the shallow hipped roof. Spaces between the brackets were further articulated by raised rectangular molding. The main floor of the house had an extended bay to the left, followed by a recessed double bay section. Windows, while paired on the projecting bay, were singly placed on the rest of the main façade. The house had a mixture of window types. While all appear to have been double hung, some were two over two and the narrower examples were one over one. This house was an imposing, stately residence, befitting the social status of its owner, James Bard Metcalfe, and his wife Louise Boarman Metcalfe.
Metcalfe was a native of Mississippi, and served the Confederacy during the Civil War. He studied law after the war, then decided to move west for greater career advancement, settling in San Francisco. He visited Seattle in 1883 and decided to stay, opening a law office the following year. A few years later he entered into partnership with Junius Rochister, forming the firm of Metcalfe and Rochister. Metcalfe had several different legal partnerships over his professional career, with the last being Metcalfe and Jury. One of his sons, James Vernon, was also a lawyer, and graduated from the University of Washington in 1909.
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