Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 304 Bell ST / Parcel ID 0656000540 / Inv #

Historic Name: Adams Apartments Common Name: Adams Apartments
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical Neighborhood: Belltown
Built By: Year Built: 1915
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 meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Adams was designed in 1915 by architect Victor Voorhees for E. V. Adams, who developed a number of buildings in this neighborhood. The building has 22 apartments, averaging 636 square feet. Its 4- and 5-room units are larger than the studio apartments common in Belltown. However, it is generally typical of the apartments built in Belltown in the early 20th century to provide housing for the city’s booming population. In only twenty years, Seattle’s population had exploded from 80,671 (1900) to 315,312 (1920). After the regrading of Denny Hill between 1898 and 1911 opened this area up for development, developers soon constructed apartment buildings to meet the acute housing need. These buildings provided modest but comfortable accommodations that were affordable for the sales clerks, clerical staff and other workers in downtown businesses. They remain a very important part of the historic character of Belltown. Victor Voorhees was one of Seattle’s most prolific architects, working here from 1904 until at least 1957. He is credited with designing more than 100 local buildings, ranging from cottages and large residences to apartment and office buildings, auto dealerships, industrial buildings, fraternal halls and commercial structures such as Washington Hall and the Vance Building. His other apartments and hotels include the renovation of an engineering school into the Vance Apartments (now the Marqueen Hotel, 1926), the Washington Arms (1919), the Vance Hotel (now the Hotel Max, 1926) and the Earl Hotel (now the Seattle Hotel, 1928). However, he has become best known for a popular book of house plans, Western Home Builder, first published in 1907.
The Adams has three stories plus a daylight basement level. It is of wood frame construction, clad with red brick. Its terra cotta ornamentation includes the cornice with a narrow belt course below, window sills and lintels, and a water table. It has two recessed entries on the south façade, each with marble wainscoting and leaded glass sidelights. The windows have newer back aluminum sash, compatible with the original one-over-one sash.

Detail for 304 Bell ST / Parcel ID 0656000540 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 304 Bell ST / Parcel ID 0656000540 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 18, 2007
App v2.0.1.0