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Summary for 2205 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977200671 / Inv #

Historic Name: Humphrey Apartments Common Name: Humphrey Apartments
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical Neighborhood: Belltown
Built By: Year Built: 1923
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Humphrey was designed by architect Warren Milner in 1923. It is one of the largest of the pre-1930 apartment buildings in Belltown. It is notable for its extensive terra cotta ornamentation and the fact that it is virtually the only apartment courtyard in the city that is heavily used, providing seating for a restaurant on the first floor. Belltown sits on land claimed by William Bell, who arrived with the first settlers at Alki Point in 1851. It developed its own identity because of the steep grades separating it from Pioneer Square. The Gold Rush boom pushed the business district northward. In 1898, First Avenue (Pine to Denny) was lowered by 17 feet. Between 1908 and 1911, 27 blocks (between 2nd and 5th, Pine to Cedar) were washed away. The area developed into a low-density service area for downtown, with numerous 2-4 story apartment buildings and businesses such as auto repair and print shops. Slow growth meant that many of the apartment buildings remain today, most operated as affordable housing by social service agencies.
 
Appearance
The Humphrey is a six-story building of brick masonry construction, faced with dark red brick. It has a generally U-shaped plan with a central courtyard approximately 25 feet wide and 52 feet deep. Walls on the courtyard are faced with light-colored brick to lighten up the interior. The rear fa├žade has three light wells, giving it an irregular plan. The building has a typical three-part composition, with notable terra cotta ornamentation including a deep cornice with acanthus leaves above egg-and-dart molding and a deep fluted frieze that encompasses the entire area between the top-story windows and the cornice. This is balanced with a very wide terra cotta course between the first and second stories and a water table below. Window sills are also terra cotta. At the northeast corner is a secondary entry with an elaborate arched terra cotta surround with the incised words "The Humphrey" above. Simpler entries are at the northeast corner of the courtyard and the west end of each wing. The courtyard entrance has an iron-and-glass canopy, which does not appear to be original and a fountain; there is restaurant seating here into eh summer. The original three-part windows have been replaced with modern aluminum sliding windows.

Detail for 2205 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977200671 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: U-Shape
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: six
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 2205 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977200671 / Inv #


Photo taken Apr 01, 2007

Photo taken Jul 05, 2006
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