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Summary for 2132 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977201145 / Inv #

Historic Name: Castle Apartments Common Name: Castle Apartments
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical Neighborhood: Belltown
Built By: Year Built: 1918
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Castle Apartments was designed in 1918 by George W. Lawton and H. A. Moldenhour for Mr. E. E. Uden. It has 49 small units, averaging 474 sqaure feet. It is typical of the numerous apartment buildings that were constructed between the two world wars. 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. The Castle, like the nearby Franklin, was designed by George W. Lawton (1863-1928) in 1918, when he was working independently. However, the associate architect on the plans is Herman Moldenhour, who became Lawton’s partner a few years alter. Lawton, 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 five story building is of brick construction with red brick cladding. It is nearly rectangular in plan, measuring 60 by 108 feet with a shallow light well on the norrth side. Its extensive terra cotta ornamentation includes a deep dentilled cornice and belt courses above the first and fourth stories. Window sills and lintels on the top floor are also terra cotta. The entry, on the south façade, is relatively modest, with a terra cotta surround. The west elevation has three three-sided bays extending from the second to the fourth stories. Fourth story windows are set into blind arches, also clad with terra cotta. The original 8-over-1 double-hung sash have been replaced with vinyl 6-over-1 sash.

Detail for 2132 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977201145 / 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: Brick No. of Stories: five
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
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 2132 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977201145 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 18, 2007
App v2.0.1.0