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Bungalow in National Register of Historic Places
Frank Coder considered first building contractor in Bremerton.
Frank Coder, considered the first building contractor in Bremerton, built the Coder-Coleman House around 1916, and nearly 100 years later, it is being listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
“It is significant because it is only the second residential property in Bremerton to be listed in the National Register,” Michael Houser said.
Houser, a state architectural historian for the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, said the home was added to the register because it “is an intact example of a Craftsman-style Bungalow.”
The home, located in Coders Addition near the core of downtown Bremerton, sits at 904 Highland Ave., just above Washington Avenue. From the backyard, views of the Port Washington Narrows, Manette Bridge and ferries are possible. A large maple tree that exists in pictures from 1916 still sits in the southwest corner of the front yard.
Coder, originally from Indiana, moved with his family to Oakland, Calif. in 1874. He left school in 1877 to work with his father as a carpenter. He moved to Bremerton in 1898 and became a building contractor, one of the first in the city. Among his projects are the Paul Mehner Building (1900), Fraternal Hall, Eagles Temple and the First Methodist Church (1920).
An active businessman in his day, Coder owned a grocery store, a hotel and several apartment buildings. He also held numerous positions with the city, including two terms on the city council and a six-year stint as justice of the peace. In fact, according to author Fredi Perry, at one time Coder held the record for the number of offices held in one year. In 1911, he was police judge, justice of the peace, member of the school board, notary public and city engineer.
Some of the prominent Craftsman-style architectural elements which aided the register’s decision to enter it include the home’s low-pitched roof, exposed rafter tails, deep bargeboards, covered front porch with thick square tapered porch supports (unusual cobblestone), wood cladding (shingles and narrow, beveled siding) and original true-divided light windows, according to the registration form filed with the NRHP.
On the inside, details include built-in book shelves and cabinets in the dining room, use of wood paneling and wainscoting, boxed ceiling beams and a spacious living/dining room.
“(The home) joins other properties which contribute to the rich cultural heritage of Washington state,” Allyson Brooks, state historic preservation officer, said in a letter to the press.