Seattle.gov Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

This application will be offline for Maintenance Saturday Feb 4th from 6am to noon

New Search

Summary for 2011 5th AVE / Parcel ID 0659001015 / Inv #

Historic Name: Sheridan Apartments Common Name:
Style: Beaux Arts - American Renaissance Neighborhood: Downtown Urban Center
Built By: Year Built: 1914
 
Significance
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.
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 high-rise 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, banks, business blocks and early high-rise commercial buildings, as well as some specialty and department stores, clubhouses, apartment houses and theaters. In order to create additional industrial land areas to the south of the commercial district, as well as opportunities for commercial expansion further northward, major regrading efforts began in 1895. In 1897, First Avenue was further regraded and paved north from Pike Street to Denny Way. This was followed in 1903 when Second Avenue began to be extended and paved northward. By 1908, the major task of removing all of Denny Hill began in earnest. Most of Denny Hill to the west of Fifth Avenue had been removed by 1911; however, the lengthy civic debate over the Bogue Plan (that was ultimately rejected by voters in 1912) delayed real estate development in the vicinity. The anticipated major commercial development to the north of Stewart Street was slow to occur. With only a few exceptions, it was not until the early 1920s that sizable hotel, apartment and commercial construction occurred. Buildings that provided multiple-family housing in Seattle was not identified or described specifically as “apartment houses” prior to c.1903. During the late nineteenth and well into the twentieth centuries, numerous downtown hotel buildings functioned for long-term residential purposes. By 1905, several small apartment buildings had been constructed and were mingled primarily among the older single family residences located uphill and to the NE of the expanding commercial district. Most apartment construction during this era appears to have been concentrated further uphill along Yesler Way and on First Hill, as well as in burgeoning neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and Queen Anne Hill. As Denny Hill was removed and regraded in phases, small mixed use apartment buildings began to be constructed on the newly regraded lots. By the late 1910s, larger apartment houses had been constructed in the Denny Regrade area to the north of Stewart Street, including some extant examples: the Sheridan Apartments (1914); the Nesika Apartments (Stratford Apartments, 1915); and the Virginian Apartments (1917). During the 1920s, two large apartment hotels were constructed in the commercial core; however, major apartment house construction did not occur. Such development was heavily concentrated in residential neighborhoods, particularly First Hill and Capitol Hill where numerous noteworthy examples from this era remain. The Sheridan Apartments were originally designed and constructed in 1914 for a well known financier and one of the foremost investment bankers on the Pacific Coast, William D. Perkins. After moving to Seattle in 1890, Perkins established the private banking house of Wm. D. Perkins & Co. Bankers in 1893 and in 1905 incorporated the business as a successful real estate bank. Perkins’ business constantly expanded under his direction and he erected or financed not only the Sheridan Apartments, but also the Marlborough House, Englewood, Cascadia, Sovereign and Spring Summit Apartments and Hotel Oxford. Upon completion, the Sheridan Apartment building was leased by Henry Broderick, Inc., to Guy E. Sherwood. The Sheridan Apartment Building was designed by Seattle architect David Dow. David Dow (1855-1928) was one of Seattle’s leading early building contractors. A native of Scotland, re migrated from Texas to Seattle shortly before the fire of 1889. Dow was responsible for the construction of the first twelve tent houses built after the fire was extinguished. He also constructed the Phoenix Hotel, the first brick building erected during the reconstruction era. He also designed and built several masonry buildings in the Pioneers Square District including three warehouses on First Avenue S. and in the International District area including the St. James Hotel and the Eastern Hotel (1911). The Sheridan Apartment Building is a well-preserved example of a rare downtown apartment house property type from this era. It is a noteworthy example of the Classical design mode and is associated with an important early Seattle builder/architect, David Dow.
 
Appearance
Located mid-block on the west side of Fifth Avenue between Virginia and Lenora Streets, this six-story building was designed and constructed to serve as a 57 unit apartment house. It continues to function as an apartment house and does not include any retail businesses at the storefront level. It measures 60’ x 108’ with an I-shaped plan that allows for light wells at the north and south elevations. It exhibits a three-part vertical block façade composition and architectural details and decoration drawn from Italian Renaissance architecture in the Beaux Arts style. The steel reinforced concrete structure includes a concrete foundation and basement and is clad at the base with ivory-color terra cotta and at the shaft and cap with cream-color terra cotta and ornament. The side walls are clad with painted ordinary brick masonry. The base is clad with rusticated terra cotta and distinguished by first floor and basement level window openings that correspond with the symmetrical fenestration pattern at the shaft and cap. Window openings vary in size and are trimmed with wide terra cotta surrounds including pronounced voussoir heads and keystones. The one and one-half story entry vestibule is located at the north end of the façade and surmounted by a denticulated entablature head. The original entry vestibule, door assembly and metal canopy have been extensively altered and modernized. The building shaft is distinguished by symmetrically placed individual window openings of varied size indicative of the internal living/kitchen unit configurations. Second floor level window openings include elaborate bracketed entablature heads and the 5th floor level windows have the same treatment as those at the first floor with wide terra cotta surrounds and pronounced voussoir heads and keystones. Windows at the 3rd and 4th floor levels are accentuated by contrasting lintels and keystones and sills. The shaft is further accentuated by quoins. The building cap is distinguished by an intermediate cornice and segmental arched window openings with pronounced keystones that correspond with the fenestration at the shaft. The spandrels between windows are decorated with terra cotta panels and the window band is surmounted by a ``decorated frieze that follows the undulating line of the segmental window heads. The building cap is terminated by prominent bracketed and denticulated cornice. All of the original 8/1 and 6/1 double-hung sash members have been replaced with a modern aluminum window product that is dissimilar to the original windows. Exterior alterations appear to be limited to the window removal/replacement and entry vestibule level changes. The façade is somewhat difficult to view due to the close proximity of the Monorail tracts running along Fifth Avenue. There do not appear to be any intact or architecturally significant interior building features, finishes or public spaces.

Detail for 2011 5th AVE / Parcel ID 0659001015 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Terra cotta, Brick - Common Bond Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Other
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: six
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Integrity
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Storefront:
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
Aldredge, Lydia. Impressions of Imagination: Terra Cotta Seattle, Allied Arts of Seattle, 1986.
"Modern Apartment House in Regrade District" Seattle P.I. April 12, 1914.
Seattle Monorail Greenline EIS - Historic Resource Form prepared by ENTRIX (2003).

Photo collection for 2011 5th AVE / Parcel ID 0659001015 / Inv #


Photo taken May 25, 2006

Photo taken Feb 19, 2007
App v2.0.1.0