Capitol Hill Modern Phase 2 Progress Report


New to Capitol Hill Modern and need to get up to speed? Check out my previous updates on Phase I over on the Capitol Hill Historical Society Blog.


Phase 2 of Capitol Hill Modern began in July of 2022. Our work to date has consisted of:

  1. New research

  2. Leading two walking tours

  3. Demolition/alteration risk assessment

  4. Building selection for Phase 2 photographic documentation and corresponding walking tour.

1. New Research

Phase 1 of the project did not allow for a thorough identification of all the architects, builders, and original owners of Capitol Hill's Mid-Century Modern apartment buildings. However, after a closer review of available permit and property records at Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, and the Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives, we are pleased to report that of the 275 buildings identified in the survey: 272 now have an identified architect (98.9%), 260 have an identified builder (94.55%), 272 have an identified original owner (98.9%). Better yet, the spreadsheet that contains all this vital information and more is now available online! Click the preview image below to open it. The only drawback is that it does not work well on phones or tablets, and the top row does not stay frozen. If anyone can assist, please email tom@tgheuser.co.

An unexpected bonus from this research was identification of six additional buildings we hadn't found in phase 1. They are:


1419 E Olive Street, a brick bungalow duplex

1631-35 15th Avenue E, a brick bungalow duplex (demolished)

1706 14th Avenue, a ranch style fourplex (demolished)

508 E Harrison street, a duplex

205 18th Avenue E, a 6-unit apartment block

743-47 Belmont Place E, an 8-unit dingbat.


2. Walking Tours

Concept art for the Highlander Condominiums at 525 Belmont with retro clipart overlay.

In September, we led two rounds of our walking tour from phase 1 of the project, raising funds for the development of a new tour, based on our work in phase 2.


We sold 48 out of 50 tickets, showing a continued strong interest in the topic.








3. Demolition/alteration Risk Assessment

Given there are more than 200 buildings to document, and only enough funding to photograph 29 of them, it is important to determine which are at greatest risk of demolition or significant alteration, and thus need to be documented first. Since real estate development remains fast-paced, this is a crucial priority of our project.


After completing the walking tours, we checked our list of Mid-Century buildings against the following criteria:



1. Current zoning classification

2. Height compared to what zoning allows

2. Permit history

3. Sales history

4. Development activity in the immediate vicinity


Zoning classification and sales history came from King County Parcel Viewer.


For permit history, we used Shaping Seattle and the SDCI Permit and Property Records Search.


When then marked each building with a color-coded risk level: Low, Medium, High, Very high


4. Phase 2 Selections for Photographic Documentation and Walking Tour

Once color-coded, we selected those which were high or very high risk, and had not been photographed. For the remaining buildings, we selected those most geographically conducive for our next walking tour, as well as buildings designed by African-American architects Benjamin F. McAdoo and Raymond Merriwether.



Very High

406 E Republican Street

415 Federal Avenue E

1517 Bellevue Avenue

1410 E Howell Street


High

1058 E Thomas Street

221 Summit Avenue E

1417 Belmont Avenue

312 Harvard Avenue E

1803 14th Avenue

1226 Lakeview Boulevard E

1222 Lakeview Boulevard E

1220 Lakeview Boulevard E 1300 Lakeview Boulevard E

Medium

1419 E Olive Street

1915-17 E Roy Street

605 10th Avenue E

401 19th Avenue E

Future Walking Tour Area (click to enlarge)

1642 Melrose Avenue

310 Bellevue Avenue E

1717 Summit Avenue

1718 Summit Avenue

523 E Denny Way

515 E Denny Way

1613 Summit Avenue

1629 Summit Avenue

509 19th Avenue E

609 10th Avenue E

424 19th Avenue E


Capitol Hill Modern is generously supported by funding from 4Culture.

*Retro artwork adapted from Adobe Stock images.

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