Mission Settles
Charles & Hudson

Classic Seattle Bungalows the new Spotted Owl?

Seattle Weekly Editor-in-Chief Knute Berger, in The 'Just Right' People (click for full article), writes on the Craftsman aesthetic and the relation of the bungalow to a true, working middle class:

Some years ago, my then-grade-school-aged daughter was trying to figure out where our family fit in the grand scheme of things. "Dad, are we rich?" she asked. No, I answered. "Are we poor?" No. Her face brightened, and she said happily, "Then we're the 'just right' people!"

That's social-class theory according to Goldilocks. In my daughter's eyes, we had attained a kind of secure just-rightness that offers comfort. That kind of value used to personify Seattle, a city that prided itself as being a middle-class, democratic, populist alternative to big Eastern metropolises or sprawling Western ones.

Rich people showed up in Seattle pretty late. The first millionaires were made by the Alaskan Gold Rush, which ushered in a rum, retail, and real-estate boom. Early labor activism added resistance to the growing influence of the robber barons, and the clash between upper and lower classes evolved a city in which there was little economic difference between union blue-collar workers and Boeing white collars.