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Summary for 2225 1st AVE / Parcel ID 0246300000 / Inv #

Historic Name: Hotel Grace/ Utah Hotel/ Apex Hotel Common Name: Apex Hotel, Apex Hotel Condominium, Apex Belltown Coop
Style: Commercial, Modern Neighborhood: Downtown Urban Center
Built By: Year Built: 1909
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This building was erected in 1909. According a Baist map from 1912 and Polk's Directories, it was first known as the Hotel Grace. It operated as one of several workingmen’s hotels on First Avenue in Belltown. In fact, on the next block to the north, was the Oregon Hotel, currently part of the Oregon Apartments (2301 1st Avenue). Aside from the storefront, the main façade is intact and the building continues to make a striking impression on the west side of First Avenue and within Belltown. The addition of the courtyard on the north elevation does not detract from the historical nature of the main façade. At least by the 1930s, the upper floors of the building continued to house a hotel, known at this time as the Utah Hotel. The hotel was accessed from the south door of the main façade, now the entrance to the “Apex Condominiums.” The ground floor space housed the Elmer and Moody Company, which according to a large painted sign on the north elevation, sold: “doors, sash, frames, glass, wall board, inside finish, moldings, fir and hardwood panels, Philipine mahogany, doors and trim, French doors.” This may explain why the 1930s Tax Assessor records also specifically mentions that the interior contained “laminated and plaster partitions,” since the business may not have been shy about employing a variety of interesting assemblies and finishes within its own store. The words “Mouldings and Finish” also figured to the right (north) of the main sign for the business and the north jamb or end of the façade also had special vertical lettering with the words “ WALL BOARD.” By 1948, the Apex Hotel was the hotel’s new name, which is still reflected in the condominium’s current name. The building was renovated around 1982 by Environmental Works. The exterior work included the changes already recorded, the repair and rehanging of existing windows, as well as work on a penthouse and on the roof. Interior changes completed the renovation of the upper floors into 21 units and the creation of the Apex Belltown Coop. Egbert’s, which sells imported designer furniture and housewares from such countries as Denmark, Germany and Italy, has occupied the ground floor store space at least since the 1980s.
This is a three story building with basement, as well as a sub-basement levels. The building’s structure includes reinforced concrete walls and interior post and beam construction. By the 1936, the building interior also included some steel and concrete elements, which were plastered as well as “laminated and plaster partitions.” Like other nearby buildings, such as the Oregon Hotel to the north, it has a rectangular footprint of 60 feet by 111 feet. It also has a flat roof and parapet. Located originally mid-block between Bell Street and Blanchard Street, and on the west side of First Avenue, it now overlooks a parking lot, the site of a demolished building, (located on the southwest corner of First Avenue and Bell Street). It is now the most northern building on the block: the main east façade was the only elevation designed to be seen from the street. Now the north elevation, which looks toward Bell Street and the south elevation, which faces a modernist housing project, are also visible. As in the case of other neighboring sites, there is a steep level change from east to west, which allows the basement levels to be revealed above grade on the north elevation and on the back west elevation, which faces an alley. As designed, according to extant records, the height of the sub-basement was 9’, the basement was 10’, the ground level was 15 feet, while the second floor was 10’ and the third level was 8’-10” and the “mean roof height” 4’. The main First Avenue façade, which is clad in concrete, is distinguished by a somewhat monumentally sized classical entablature, with deep modillion/ beam-like ornaments below. Below this are three, well-spaced, two-story bays, which are also slightly recessed. At each level, within each bay, there is a pair of slightly spaced, double-hung windows, each of which is six over one. There are also incised rectangles emphasizing the spandrels between the third and second level openings. Below this, and also doing double duty as a window sill, is a cast-stone belt-course. All of these elements appear as they do in an historical photo from 1936. Below the belt-course is store front, which has been modernized in a very distinctive manner. The design differs from the ground level, which had store fronts with angled glazing and recessed entries, as well as continuous clerestory windows across the façade. Openings are now punched and store fronts are emphasized by a grid of large glazed squares with thick muntins. Still, even in this newer design, the sense of the three original bays and of the south entry to the upper levels is maintained. The south elevation is simply a rough, poured concrete wall with no openings. The original south elevation originally had no openings, but a lightwell, corresponding to the second and third levels, was cut away in a later remodel in the early 1980s. The recessed portion of the new lightwell is now clad in what appears to be corrugated metal and new windows are 1 over 1. Also sometime around the early 1980s, a large, distinctive mural, representing various sites in Belltown and neighboring areas, was painted on this north wall.

Detail for 2225 1st AVE / Parcel ID 0246300000 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete, Stucco, Veneer- Vinyl Siding Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Hotel Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Storefront: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Baist, William. Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Seattle, Wash. Philadelphia: W. G. Baist, 1905, 1908 and 1912. 1905, 1908 and 1912.

Photo collection for 2225 1st AVE / Parcel ID 0246300000 / Inv #

Photo taken Jul 31, 2006

Photo taken Feb 09, 2006
App v2.0.1.0