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Summary for 2132 5th AVE / Parcel ID 0660000030 / Inv #

Historic Name: Fifth Avenue Court Common Name: Fifth Avenue Court
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical Neighborhood: Belltown
Built By: Year Built: 1922
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 Fifth Avenue Court is an elegant and highly intact example of the many apartment buildings constructed in Belltown between the two world wars. It has 31 units, averaging 425 square feet. Its design and integrity have been recognized in several historic resource surveys and it has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register. The building was designed in 1922 (permit #211316) for William Carroll by the prominent firm of Lawton & Moldenhour. This is the farthest east of Belltown’s 1920s apartment buildings, as the regrading east of Fifth Avenue was not completed until 1930. Heavy development occurred in this area in the 1920s 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. George W. Lawton (1863-1928), born in Wisconsin, came to Seattle about the time of the Great Fire in 1889. He worked as a draftsman for the prominent firm of Saunders & Houghton before entering into partnership with Charles Saunders in 1898. The firm designed a wide range of projects, including the Lincoln Apartment Hotel, one of the city’s first apartment blocks, the San Marco (1905), and the Summit (1910). They adeptly used a wide range of revival styles, including Romanesque, Classical, Tudor and Colonial. One of their most noted works was the Forestry Building (1908-09) at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, a classical design executed in raw logs. Few of these early buildings remain, other than Horace Mann and Beacon Hill (now El Centro de la Raza) elementary schools. The partnership dissolved in 1915. As an independent practitioner, Lawton worked with A. W. Gould on the Arctic Building (1913-17), famed for its terra cotta walrus heads. In 1922 Lawton formed a partnership with Herman A. Moldenhour (1864-1976). Moldenhour, also from Wisconsin, had been an office boy for the Saunders & Lawton firm. This partnership specialized in large office and apartment buildings, including the Franklin (1918), Olive Crest (1924) and Hawthorne Square (1924), a notable townhouse project. Moldenhour continued with an independent practice after Lawton’s death in 1928.
This elegant red brick building has a U-shaped plan with a narrow light well on the south side. It has three stories above a daylight basement. The entry bay is the most notable feature, with a recessed arched entry with fluted Ionic columns, marble stairs and wainscoting and double doors of oak and glass with an arched transom and sidelights of leaded glass. The second story above has a group of three windows set in blind arches. Terra cotta trim includes window sills and keystones, a prominent cornice, wide belt courses above the first and third stories. The original six-over-one double-hung windows remain.

Detail for 2132 5th AVE / Parcel ID 0660000030 / 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: U-Shape
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 2132 5th AVE / Parcel ID 0660000030 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 18, 2007

Photo taken Mar 18, 2007
App v2.0.1.0