This Italian Renaissance Revival was designed by noted architect Ambrose Russell and constructed by master builder M.J. Westerfield in 1908 for Tacoma businessman Charles Rowland and his wife Harriett. Rowland was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1864, married in Kansas City, Missouri in 1889 and moved immediately to Tacoma with his Kansas-born bride Hattie. Rowland established a thriving liquor distribution business in Tacoma, where he and Hattie were celebrated members of society during the Jazz Age. The couple had one son, Irvin Rowland. Following Charles Rowland's death in 1949, the home was sold to a family friend named Hans Hansen. Hansen had become Irvin Rowland’s business partner in the early 1940’s when they created the insurance firm of Hansen and Rowland, headquartered in the Puget Sound National Bank Building in downtown Tacoma. Hansen and his wife Ellen used the property as a part time summer residence for the remainder of their lives.
The Rowland House is eligible for inclusion on the Lakewood Register of Historic Places, given its ties to the Rowland and Hansen families and as an early example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style as designed by architect Ambrose Russell. Russell is perhaps best known for designing the Rust Mansion, the Rhodes Mansion, the National Guard Armory, the Temple Theater and the Perkins Building all in Tacoma and the Governor's Mansion in Olympia.
Beautifully sited on nearly three acres of park-like private grounds, this historically significant home offers a number of architectural elements consistent with the period, including original sandstone exterior, leaded and stained glass windows, vintage hardware, refinished quarter-sawn oak floors and custom mill work. The gracious entry hall is flanked by a large formal living room with wood burning fireplace and a formal dining room with original china cabinets. The entry level also includes an updated eat-in kitchen, a laundry room, a half bath and a family room with wood burning stove and glass doors to a large side patio ideal for entertaining. Three bedrooms and two full bathrooms are located on the second floor, including a large master suite. A large bedroom in the attic could easily be used as a family room. An enclosed loggia connects the main house to the original carriage house, now configured as guest quarters with a sitting room, bedroom and 3/4 bath. The partially finished lower level includes storage and a mechanical room. The property features a two car garage, a two car carport and a sprinkler system supplied by an on-site well.
First settled in the mid-1800s, the area we now call Lakewood was once known as The Prairie. A number of wealthy families built grand estates on the shores of Gravelly and American Lakes toward the end of the 1800s, and the Tacoma Country and Golf Club was established on American Lake in 1894 – the first golf club west of the Mississippi River. Commercial and residential development in the area increased significantly following the Great Depression. Lakewood Colonial Center began construction in 1937 as one of the first suburban shopping centers in the country. As the area grew, other amenities were added, including what we now know as St. Clare Hospital, Clover Park Technical College, Pierce College and Lakewold Gardens. The City of Lakewood was incorporated in 1995 and is currently the second largest city in Pierce County. It offers easy access to downtown Tacoma and Joint Base Lewis McChord.