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

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 455 N 44th ST N / Parcel ID 8129700380 / Inv #

Historic Name: Sunset Heights Apartments Common Name: Sunset Heights Apartments
Style: Spanish - Mediterranean Neighborhood: Fremont
Built By: Year Built: 1929
 
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 simple brick apartment block is another example of how buildings similar to one another could be set apart by their detailing and ornament. The entry has an elaborate arched surround of terra cotta, with twisted columns. The Mediterranean/Moorish theme is also reflected in the red clay tile pent roof and the gables on the parapet. The tax assessor records of 1937 call it a "Well-finished building with magnificent trim throughout except kitchens and baths." It has 12 three-room apartments. The exterior remains very intact. The building was designed by local architect William G. Brust in 1929 (permit #283511) for owner J. Knutsen, and was built by contractor William Wills. This is a typical example of the many apartment buildings constructed in the 1920s, when Seattle experienced a major construction boom. The city's population had increased dramatically in previous decades, and prosperity encouraged developers to meet the pent-up demand for housing. Apartments, ranging from basic housing to luxury units, were a significant factor in meeting this need, and became a major element of the streetscape in many Seattle neighborhoods. The Phinney Ridge/Woodland Park area was a popular one for apartments, with the open space of the park and easy streetcar access to downtown. Buildings like this one often used fine materials and detailing to reduce the impact of their size in the basically residential area.
 
Appearance
This three-story apartment block is of wood frame construction with cladding of multicolored brick in shades of red, gray an tan. The main entry in the enter of the north fa├žade has double doors of oak and glass flanked by two pairs of attached twisted columns. Above is a large terra cotta arch bordered with pictorial plaques. The words Sunset Heights Apts. are above the doorway in terra cotta. On each of these three facades, the third floor window in the center bay is accented with a small wrought iron balcony. On the front and two side elevations the central bay projects about two feet from the body of the building and terminates in an arched parapet topped with red clay tile. The remainder of the parapet is also topped with tile. Below the parapet, down to the third story windows, is series of red terra cotta arches. Windows are eight-over-one sash with leaded glass, arranged singly or in pairs. Behind the building is a separate building with __ individual garages around a courtyard. Visible at the rear of the building is the chimney for the incinerator, with originally had a chute with a door on each floor for tenant use.

Detail for 455 N 44th ST N / Parcel ID 8129700380 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Clay Tile
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Integrity
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
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 455 N 44th ST N / Parcel ID 8129700380 / Inv #


Photo taken Apr 16, 2006

Photo taken Apr 16, 2006
App v2.0.1.0