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Summary for 1520 MELROSE AVE / Parcel ID 8725600255 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Melrose Apartments Common Name: Melrose Apartments
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical, Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque Neighborhood: Pike/Pine
Built By: Year Built: 1916
 
Significance
This is a good example, well-maintained and intact, of a medium-sized apartment building commonly built in Seattle neighborhoods in the early years of the 20th century. First Hill and the western part of Capitol Hill were the city's earliest dense apartment neighborhoods, beginning early in the 20th century. The area's proximity to downtown, easy streetcar access and views made it appealing to developers and tenants of all types. The first two decades brought significant population growth in Seattle, but relatively little construction, partially due to economic factors relating to World War I. Thus, this building's 1916 date is relatively unusual, as construction slowed until the mid-1920s. Little is known about the architect, W. W. Noyes, or the original owner, Sutherland McLean. In one sense it was a relatively modest building, with 30 2-room units, averaging 400 square feet. However, it has an elegant lobby with of marble and terrazzo. The exterior has terra cotta ornament in a Neoclassical style, but with an arched center bay reflecting the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The building was renovated in 1990 by Stickney Murphy Architects for use as low income housing.
 
Appearance
This four-story building is a long narrow rectangle (105 feet by 37 feet), set into the hillside so that the first story is below grade except at the front of the building. It is of solid brick construction with a three-part façade composition. The first story is clad in stucco and the shaft is clad in dark red brick. The building is topped by a prominent cornice with modillions. The entry is in the center of the west façade, in a recessed archway. Windows on the three stories above are arched, with terrace cotta labels and window boxes below. The other windows have terra cotta sills and flat lintels with keystones. The front has three-part windows, with an 8-over-one windows flanked by two six-over-one windows. Single ten-over-one sash are on the side elevations. The sides each have two three-story polygonal bays clad in wood. The original fire escapes have been removed.

Detail for 1520 MELROSE AVE / Parcel ID 8725600255 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Integrity
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.

Photo collection for 1520 MELROSE AVE / Parcel ID 8725600255 / Inv # 0


Photo taken Jun 19, 2011

Photo taken Mar 16, 2006
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