Builder Ross Hebb was a skilled craftsman, having learned the building trade from his father (Phil Angus Hebb) who built many of the homes in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle. Ross Hebb was born on June 27, 1914 and attended Roosevelt High School. He spent the summers working for his dad starting at the age of 12. During WWII as home-building slowed, Hebb served on a mine-sweeper patrol in Puget Sound and took additional work in the Lake Washington shipyards.
In the late 1940s he was introduced, via a banker, to a young lawyer named Daniel Narodick, who wanted to build apartment complexes. Such was the humble beginning of a 31-year partnership and a lifelong friendship. At the time, Narodick was struck by the lack of apartments in the growing city of Seattle. Hebb had been building single homes in the north end of Seattle since 1936. The partnership was a perfect fit, with Hebb offering his years of building skills and connections to sub-contractors, and Narodick bringing his business acumen and financial backing. Under the name Hebb & Narodick Construction Company, the business grew quickly eventually becoming one of the largest home construction companies in the Pacific Northwest. Over the course of their careers, they reportedly built over 10,000 custom homes and apartment buildings. Located in over 200 subdivisions in the Seattle area, they also built housing in Bremerton, Anacortes, Spokane, Tacoma, Bellingham, Fairbanks and Hawaii.
Daniel Narodick had originally moved to Seattle to practice law, but realized it wasn’t the profession for him. Born in Naywood, Illinois on September 1, 1911, Narodick received his pre-law degree from the University of Illinois, then moved west to attend the University of Washington to obtain his law degree (1939). Upon graduation he moved to Washington, D.C. where he practiced law, often taking cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Disillusioned with the profession, he and his family returned to Seattle in 1946.
Their first project together was the modest Kathwynn Apartments (215 Aloha St.) on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. This two building, two-story brick complex completed in 1948 was one of numerous like structures to follow. Other apartment complexes quickly followed including Aloha Terrace Apartments (1949); the Queen Lee Apartments (1949); Bonnie Arms Apartments (1950); the Queen Vista Apartments (1950); the Artic Park Apartments (1953); the Harborview Apartments (1953); and several real estate investments in Hawaii (1954). All were funded using the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Section 608 Housing program.
Active in the Seattle Master Builders Associations, both Hebb and Narodick served as Presidents of Seattle Master Builders (Hebb in 1951, Narodick in 1954). Narodick was a particularly strong voice against more regulation of industry contractors and builders, using his legal skills to craft his arguments. He also received the first prize from the National Association of Home Builders in a nationwide contest for best celebration of National Home Week in 1955.
The firm reportedly had built numerous apartment buildings, duplexes, single-family homes, bowling alleys, theaters and other types of commercial buildings. Hebb served as President of the company, while Narodick acted as the Secretary-Treasurer. Dean Kentworthy was hired as general superintendent, Danforth Apkar served as the in-house structural and civil engineer, and Roy Mays was the company comptroller.
Notable projects by Hebb & Narodick include 140+ homes in the Bow Lake development (1954 with Durham, Anderson & Freed, 1954 & 55 Parade of Homes) in Sea Tac; 75+ homes in the Spiritwood development (1956 with Durham, Anderson & Freed, 1957 Parade of Homes) in Bellevue; 65+ Capehart Housing project at Fairchild Air Force Base (1959) in Spokane; 100+ homes in the South Shore Hills Development (1959) in Des Moines; 110+ homes in the Spiritwood development No. 3 (1961 with Lawrence S. Higgins) in Bellevue; homes in the Spiritridge development (1962) in Bellevue; 500+ homes in the Kingsgate development (1965 with Lawrence S. Higgins) in Kirkland; 200+ homes in the Viewridge development (1965 with Lawrence S. Higgins) in Redmond, a project which received a national award citation from Weyerhauser; Salt Water Park West development (1967 with Sassonoff & Mecklenburg) in Des Moines; and 100+ homes in the Spiritbrook development (1967 with Lawrence S. Higgins) in Redmond. The Spiritbrook neighborhood received a lot of press for the construction of an “Idea House” developed with ideas supplied by a panel of 68 Seattle area women. The home received a national award from Parents Magazine in 1968.
Later projects include homes in the Riverside South development (1968 with Sasonoff & Mecklenburg) in Auburn; Queensborough development (1968 with Sassonoff & Mecklenburg) in Kenmore; and the Southmoor development (1969 with Sasonoff & Mecklenburg) in Kent.
In 1978 the company was sold to Weyerhauser and became part of Quadrant Homes. Narodick died in September 15, 1981. Hebb died in Kirkland on December 27, 1998.
- Michael C. Houser