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Summary for this site is under review and the displayed data may not be fully up to date. If you need additional info, please call (206) 684-0464

Historic Name: Sacred Heart School Common Name: Sacred Heart School
Style: Italian - Italian Renaissance Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1928
This school is one of the four buildings of Sacred Heart Parish that occupy an entire block just outside the western edge of Seattle Center. Sacred Heart Parish is one of Seattle’s oldest, having been founded in 1889, when Father E. Demanez built a church at Sixth and Bell. The Redemptorist Fathers took over the project shortly afterward, and run the parish to this day. By 1891 they had built a church, convent and Seattle's first parish school. The church, the second Catholic church in the city, burned in 1899 and was rebuilt. In 1928 the parish faced destruction due to the Denny Regrade, and moved to this site. The church here, building a new church, school (1927) and convent (1929). The church was replaced in 1962, and a new rectory was built at about the same time. The parish school closed in 1969, but has had several uses since that time, including the Lifetime Learning Center for adult education (1976-c. 1998) and the Center School, a new public high school.
Content for this form was updated in 2018 as part of the Uptown Historic Resources Survey.

In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.

In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to be within and potentially contributing to a potential National Register of Historic Places historic district.

In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.

This Italian Renaissance Revival style school is in the Uptown neighborhood and known as the Sacred Heart School.

Architect William L. Smith designed the building. Ground was broken for construction in 1927. The building served as both a chapel and a school. The congregation moved into this building from their former location at Sixth Avenue and Bell Street. The building was dedicated in 1928 by Bishop O’Dea. The Sisters of the Holy Names staffed the school until it closed in 1969.

This building retains good integrity and is a good example of an Italian Renaissance Revival style building. The building’s design and brick coloring set the precedent for the rest of the campus buildings (convent, rectory, and church).


City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.

Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed., Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Guide to the Architects (Seattle, University of Washington Press: 2014), 2nd edition.

King County Property Record Card (c. 1938–1972), Washington State Archives.

Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890–1996.

Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish website. “Church History.” Accessed July 19, 2018.

This school building has a U-shaped plan, with buff and tan brick cladding with terra cotta trim and red clay tile roofing. The hipped roof has wide eaves and modillions. The main entry is on the west side with an elaborate terra cotta surround. The entry, through double wood doors, is at the lower level, with interior stairs up to the main floor. Above the door is an arched window, flanked by two globe light fixtures and fluted terra cotta pilasters. There is a cornice beneath the arched window and a prominent cornice below the second floor, at the top of the surround. The entry bay is topped by a large terra cotta arch with modillions above the cornice at the eave line; a cross sits atop the arch. Windows on the main floor are original six-over-six sash set in blind round arches with terra cotta keystones. Second floor window are rectangular six-over-six sash. The south elevation has a shallow courtyard filled with a large two-stage staircase with a turned terra cotta balustrade and railing. Windows on the south side are the same as on the front, except that the second-floor windows are newer dark aluminum sash and the two end walls have no windows on the second floor. There is a small one-story addition on the north side and a secondary entry on the east.
Content for this form was updated in 2018 as part of the Uptown Historic Resources Survey.

Constructed in 1928, this two-story school building features a H-shaped plan. A single-story wing extends north off the east end of the building’s north facade. Located at the northeast corner of John Street and Warren Avenue N, this building faces west overlooking Warren Avenue N. An alley abuts the east side of the building. The site slopes steeply downward from east to west. Narrow lawns abut the south, west and north sides of the building. There are several deciduous trees along the west and south sides of the building. A concrete stairway with a metal pipe railing wraps around the southeast corner of the building to navigate the difference in grade between the alley and entrances along the south facade.

A hip roof clad in clay tile shelters interior spaces. A prominent terra cotta cornice with projecting dentils wraps the roofline. The cornice rises in an elliptical arch at the middle of the front west facade creating a narrow tympanum with “Sacred Heart School” in raised lettering within. An external brick chimney services the building’s heating system. A shed roof on the north side of the building covers an exterior stairway descending to the building’s basement. The chimney features a terra cotta cap and decorative terra cotta detailing.

A concrete foundation supports the building’s concrete structure and serves as a projecting base element. Brick veneer composed of varying shades of tan and buff colored brick clad the building. Soldier course brick define raised panels on the south side of the building and outline second story window openings. A terra cotta belt course marks the first to second story transition with another terra cotta course at the first story level.

Windows consist of 6:6 double hung wood sash units with brick moldings. These occur as single, paired, and groupings of five. Wood mullions separate openings in the groupings. Second story windows feature flat headers. First story window openings feature decorative round arched headers comprised of solider course brick with terra cotta keystones. A recessed brick panel within the arch with a central square tile span the flat window header. Several windows feature textured glass. First story windows have either terra cotta sills (upper stories) and concrete sills, depending on location.

The main west entrance consists of a broad flight of concrete stairs with metal railings leading up to a pair of multiple lite, stained glass wood sash doors. A terra cotta surround with projecting pilasters wraps around the doorway and extends up to the second story. A round arched window is located at directly above the entrance doorway. The pilasters continue up to a projecting entablature at the second story level. Flanking brick pilasters continue up to the cornice of the main roofline and feature terra cotta capitols with decorative cartouches.

The east entrance opens to the alley with a prominent landing having direct flights off its north and south sides. Three large bays open under the landing with a pair of wood panel doors remaining in the south bay. Brick clads the landing and newels with a terra cotta railing spanning between. A single large doorway opens at the second story level.

South entrances consist of single personnel doors with a six lite transom providing access to the interior at the east end of the building. This doorway has the same header as first story windows. An exterior concrete stairway with brick clad newels and terra cotta railing ascends to a second story entrance. Below this stairway, at the first story level, a pair of doors with tall glass lites and a nine lite transom provide access to the building interior. Entrances on the north consist of a basement level entry accessed via an exterior concrete stairway with metal railings and a second similar entrance in the north wing.

Alterations include replacement of several windows on the south facade with contemporary sash.

Detail for this site is under review and the displayed data may not be fully up to date. If you need additional info, please call (206) 684-0464

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR
Cladding(s): Brick, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Clay Tile
Building Type: Religion - Church School Plan: Other
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Education, Religion
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Reinartz, Kay F. Queen Anne: Community on the Hill. Seattle: Queen Anne Historical Society, 1993.

Photo collection for this site is under review and the displayed data may not be fully up to date. If you need additional info, please call (206) 684-0464

Photo taken Aug 30, 2004

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Jan 01, 1900
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