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Summary for 104 Pine ST / Parcel ID 1977200030 / Inv #

Historic Name: Afton Hotel Common Name: Atwood Apartments
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Commercial Core
Built By: Year Built: 1910
This property is directly associated with the initial period (1902-1920) of downtown commercial expansion that occurred due to local economic prosperity after the Klondike Gold Rush and in tandem with explosive population growth and suburban residential development. During this era, modern urban architectural scale began with the construction of the earliest steel-frame highrise buildings and the establishment of a concentration of banking enterprises and department stores along Second Avenue from Cherry Street to Pike Street. The initial regrading of Denny Hill and the commercial redevelopment of the former University Grounds (University/Metropolitan Tract) were major factors that facilitated northward and eastward commercial expansion. In 1914, the owners of the Frederick and Nelson Department Store purchased property with the intention of building a large, five-story store at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street, thus solidifying the location of the future downtown retail core. A significant number of extant commercial properties dating from this era remain within the downtown commercial core, including: numerous hotels, several business blocks and early highrise commercial buildings, as well as specialty and department stores, apartment houses and theaters. The concept of the modern hotel that would include private rooms, toilet and bathing facilities, public spaces and related guest services, originated in the early nineteenth century. By 1853, the settlement community of Seattle included its first hotel, the Felker House. By the later part of the nineteenth century, Seattle - like cities throughout the United States - included a significant number of hotels that served a wide variety of business travelers, tourists and both permanent and semi-permanent residents. By the late 1880s several elegant hotels as well as workingmen’s hotels were clustered along the west side of First Avenue between Cherry and Columbia – in proximity to the original railway passenger depot. Urban hotels, lodging and apartment buildings all closely resembled commercial office buildings in the 1880s and 1890s; it was not until the 1920s that hotel design became distinctly different in exterior appearance. Early hotel development was clearly stimulated by improvements in railroad service that brought immigrants and drew tourists and entrepreneurs. Prior to the fire of 1889, the Occidental – Seattle Hotel (1864, 1887 & 1889, destroyed), was the city’s premier tourist-oriented hotel, although there were numerous other hotels located within the commercial district. At least a dozen hotels were destroyed in the great fire of 1889; however, within four years some 63 hotels were in operation. By the turn of the century, tourist and residential hotels lined the west side of First Avenue to Pike Street. Based on the number of hotels that were operating in Seattle by 1900, it is certain that they mostly catered to long-term residents rather than temporary visitors. Many buildings that were identified as hotels actually functioned as lodging houses or apartment hotels. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hotel living was particularly common especially in the developing cities of the American West. Hotels varied significantly in size and accommodations provided and served every economic level from those of wealth to recent immigrants and transient salesmen and laborers. Given the tremendous population growth in Seattle after 1902, hotels and lodging houses played an important role in absorbing a new and largely transient populous. Family-style hotels were designed to include suites of rooms that would be used by individuals who needed especially comfortable long-term accommodations for their relocated families or those who traveled regularly but maintained a principal residence elsewhere. While large resort or tourist-oriented hotels are noteworthy, the great majority of hotel buildings built after 1900 and prior to the 1920s were much more modest operations. A particularly significance boom in hotel development occurred between 1906 and 1910 in conjunction with local economic opportunities and population growth as well as the opening of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific (AYP) Exposition of 1909 that drew some 3.7 million visitors. By 1910, Polk’s Directory included over 475 hotel listings. Particularly noteworthy family-style and luxury hotels constructed during this era include: the 12-story Savoy Hotel (1906, destroyed) on Second Avenue near University Street; the New Washington Hotel (Josephinum, 1908) and the Moore Hotel and Theater (1907), both built after the initial regrade of Denny Hill; and the Frye Hotel (1910) at Yesler Way and Third Avenue located near the new passenger railway facilities at Jackson Street. Such well-appointed hotels would typically include comfortable lobby areas, restaurants, event and meeting rooms, and provide special housekeeping, laundry and meal services for their guests. Other extant tourist-oriented and residential hotels constructed in the expanding commercial district during this era include: the Millburn Hotel (1902, altered); Sterling Hotel (1903, altered); Irwin Hotel (Green Tortoise Hostel, 1905, destroyed); Kingsbury Hotel (Glen Hotel, 1907); Raleigh/Imperial Hotel (1907, altered); Riopath Hotel (1908, altered); Shirley Hotel (1908, altered); Elliott Hotel (Hahn Building, 1908); Oxford Hotel (1909); Madrona Hotel (1909); Hotel Larned (1909); Nelson Hotel(Commodore,1909); Archibald Hotel (St. Regis, 1909); Hotel Afton (Atwood Hotel, 1910); Calhoun Hotel (Palladian, 1910); Crouley Building/Reynolds Hotel (1910); and the Governor/Rector Hotel (St. Charles, 1911). During the 1920s, a second boom in major hotel development occurred at which time several luxury hotels and large apartment hotels were built in the downtown commercial district. The national economic collapse brought on by the Great Depression during the 1930s brought downtown real estate development to a virtual halt. Old hotel buildings in Pioneer Square as well as those lining First Avenue and near the Pike Place Market provided cheap housing and services for an increasingly transient and displaced low-income population, a pattern that continued into the late 1960s. A tragic fire in 1970 prompted revisions to the city’s fire code and new fire safety measures forced the closure of many residential hotels and displaced thousands of low-income residents and service providers. As a result many of the older residential hotels were either demolished or remained vacant and unused for many years. The Afton Hotel was built in 1910 for business partners Oscar J. Smith and J. S. Atwood. The hotel was designed and built as a first-class hotel in the center of the newly emerging business and retail district at the northern end of downtown Seattle. First-class amenities included large windows and running hot and cold water in every guest room and set the hotel apart from other older hotels in the immediate area. Upon completion, the hotel was managed by Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Handsaker, Fred Stevens, and William Du Dier, all said to be well experienced in first-class hotel management. The hotel was furnished throughout by the Grote-Rankin Company, a well known Seattle based furniture outfitter. The Afton Hotel was designed by architects Russell and Rice; however, limited biographical information has been gathered about the firm and very little is known about their careers in Seattle or elsewhere. Russell and Rice are known to have worked with Seattle architect Harlan Thomas. Two well known projects attributed to this trio are the eclectic Sorrento Hotel (1907-08) on First Hill, and the J.M. Weatherwax High School, (1908-09, destroyed) in Aberdeen, WA. In 1945, the first of many renovations to the hotel exterior was completed. The hotel gradually went from an upper end hotel to serving as a low-income single room occupant housing facility, mostly inhabited by transient fishermen. After a 1975 remodeling project, which cost $650,000, the hotel was formally converted into a housing project for low-income elderly. This work was undertaken in conjunction with other urban renewal efforts around the Pike Place Market. Although, little more is known about the history of this building, the hotel was apparently included a speakeasy cabaret in the basement during the prohibition era. Remnants of the band platform and dance floor remained in place as late at the mid-1970s. This is a partially intact example of a common downtown hotel property type from this era. It is a modest example of hotel design in comparison with other extant like properties. [However, this property may potentially meet local landmark criteria.]
Located at the NE Corner of First Avenue and Pine Street, this former 125-room hotel building includes several retail stores and now functions as an apartment building. It is a six-story masonry structure with a concrete foundation measuring 64’ x 111’ with three wide bays oriented toward First Avenue and seven narrower bays (including a smaller hotel entry bay) at the center of the Pine Street elevation. It exhibits a modest three-part vertical block façade composition accentuated by red brick cladding and modest brick and inlaid concrete details. Architectural features include a sheet metal cornice with corbel table and a stepped central parapet at both of the primary elevations. The sixth floor level is accentuated by inset window bays with corbelled headers and a masonry watertable band below the window sill level that is decorated with inlaid concrete details that correspond with the building piers. The shaft is distinguished by corbel headed window bays with windows set in groups of three and spandrels decorated with inlaid concrete. Original 6/1 double-hung wooden window sash has been entirely replaced by a modern window product with very narrow mullions. The original retail storefronts included multi-pane mezzanine windows, wide display windows and wooden bulkheads; new storefront infill has been installed throughout. There do not appear to be any intact or architecturally significant interior building features, finishes or public spaces.

Detail for 104 Pine ST / Parcel ID 1977200030 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick - Common Bond Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Hotel Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: six
Unit Theme(s): Commerce
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Storefront: Extensive
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.
"New Afton Hotel at First Avenue and Pine Street" Seattle P.I. September 4, 1910.

Photo collection for 104 Pine ST / Parcel ID 1977200030 / Inv #

Photo taken May 23, 2006
App v2.0.1.0