Places We Keep: Early Apartment Buildings on Capitol Hill

Places We Keep, my Senior BFA thesis project that extended beyond my graduation, documented early to mid-century apartments on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Most of these buildings still stand but others have been razed amidst Seattle’s demolition & construction boom, sometimes weeks or months since I photographed them. These buildings, however, are nothing less than this city’s architectural and cultural heritage, and I am saving them on film even if I cannot save them from demolition.

Beyond visual documentation, a great way to participate in urban planning for Capitol Hill (and a few other Seattle neighborhoods) is to provide in-person or electronic feedback on design proposals for new buildings. These resources will help you stay up to date on neighborhood developments:

  • City of Seattle Land Use Public Notices. Sign up for their mailing list to receive notifications of proposed development.
  • Design Review Calendar. See the design review meeting schedule, view and read developers’ proposals, plan to attend in person, or submit comments via email to the city planner. It does make a difference.

Select Essays

1406 E Republican

Era/style: unsure
Location: 14th Ave E and E Republican St
Years photographed: 2013
Notes/curious facts: Demolished around 2014 and replaced by a much larger contemporary building.

608 & 612 Belmont Ave E

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 608 & 612 Belmont Ave E
Years photographed: 2013
Notes/curious facts: A sweet little duo with a grand look.

Bering

Era & style: early 20th century
Location: 14th Avenue E & E Thomas St
Years photographed: 2013-14
Notes/curious facts: The Bering has a casual annex and a dirt alley with a row of garages.

Capitol Crest

Era/style: mid-century modern
Location: E Thomas St & 13th Ave E
Years photographed: 2013
Notes/curious facts: One of my favorite mid-century buildings on Capitol Hill.

DeLuxe

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 18th Ave & E Howell St
Years photographed: 2014

Gables

Era/style: early 20th century, Tudor revival (most likely)
Location: 16th Ave & E Harrison St
Years photographed: 2014

Garden Court

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 16th Ave & E Olive St
Years photographed: 2015

Harvard & Harrison

Era/style: mid-century modern
Location: Harvard Ave E & E Harrison St
Years photographed: 2013

La Crosse

Era/style: early 20th century, eclectic
Location: E Thomas St & Malden Ave E
Years photographed: 2013-14

Laurelton

Era/style: early 20th century, modern
Location: 16th Ave & E Denny St
Years photographed: 2013-14
Notes: A patch of grass in front of the grand porch reminds me of Albrecht Dürer’s The Great Piece of Turf.

Madkin

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 17th Ave & E Madison St
Years photographed: 2014
Notes/curious facts: Madkin is one of the first apartments to appear on the top of the hill.It used to be called Renton and then Alta Vista.

The Martha Lee

Era/style: early 20th century; Colonial Revival
Location: 427 Bellevue Ave

Maryland

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 626 13th Ave E
Years photographed: 2015
Notes/curious facts: The Maryland received a landmark designation by the City of Seattle in 1989.

Mission Inn

Era/style: early 20th century, Mission Revival
Location: 1743 Boylston Ave
Years photographed: 2013

Olympian

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 16th Ave & E Madison St
Years photographed: 2014

Paramount/Goldie

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 1521 15th Ave
Years photographed: 2014-15
Notes/curious facts: Paramount started its life as Goldie, and the sign is visible above the east entrance. Paramount’s south wall is now obscured by the Broadcast apartments, and the coastal pines are gone.

Porter

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: Olive St & Boylston Ave E
Years photographed: 2014

Rosemont Co-Op

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 13th Ave E & E John St
Years photographed: 2013-14

Ruth Court

Era/style: early 20th century, Tudir Revival, garden style
Location: 133 18th Ave E
Years photographed: 2013
Notes/curious facts: Ruth Court was nominated and rejected for landmark status in 2012 (look here and here). It has been demolished and replaced with a much larger contemporary building.

Senia Mara

Era/style: mid-century modern
Location: 13th Ave and E Olive St
Years photographed: 2013

Sheffield

Era/style: 1929
Location: 200 17th Ave E
Years photographed: 2013

Swansonia

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 1017 E Harrison St
Years photographed: 2014
Notes/curious facts: Swansonia was designed by the same architect as Washington Irving

Washington Irving

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 13th Ave & E Howell St)
Years photographed: 2015
Notes/curious facts: Washington Irving was designed by the same architect as Swansonia. Its north windows look out on The Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption and the south windows – on the Russian Orthodox St Nicholas Cathedral. The garage north of Washington Irving was once a SONOCO service station, the first (or one of the first) in the city.

Washington Irving Interior

Era/style: early 20th century
Location: 13th Ave & E Howell St
Years photographed: 2013
Notes/curious facts: Washington Irving was designed by the same architect as Swansonia