The George Bacon residence (1906) has the distinction of having been designed by Henry Bacon. Henry Bacon, the builder’s first cousin, is one of the most famous 20th century American architects, specifically noted for his work in the Classical Revival style. Bacon is best remembered for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., which he designed in 1911. The Bacon home reflects the architect’s fascination with Greek and Roman temple design with the addition of Palladian overtones that some describe as “Jeffersonian Classicism.” Jefferson’s influence can be attributed to the architect’s familiarity with eastern Virginia, where this style is much more common than in the Pacific Northwest.
The George Bacon home is a rectangular two and one half-story building with a wood frame. The massive front portico supported by four square columns, that strongly suggests a Greek temple, is the homes central feature. Other classical features include a semicircular window in the center of the pediment, small, straight-topped windows, and the dentils (small block-like projections) below the eaves. Also worth noting is the handsome front door, capped by a semicircular fanlight.
This attractive and unusual home was built for George Bacon, who came to Whatcom in 1889 as a young man of 23. After becoming a successful real estate dealer he opened a farm and a home loan business in partnership with Harry Ells. Bacon was also active in politics, serving as a city councilman during the 1890’s. He later managed the Bellingham Bay Improvement Company.
Bacon’s successful business ventures allowed him to build his new house, using the plans his cousin drew. Soon after its completion in 1906, his partner Harry Ells built a house of similar size on the adjoining lot. The home remained in the Bacon family until 1938, the year after George Bacon’s death. From 1972 until 1990 the house was owned by the Archdiocese of Seattle, for use as a home for “predelinquent” boys by Catholic Family and Children Services. It has since returned to private ownership.
For more information see the George H. Bacon House National Register of Historic Places Nomination.