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Summary for 1309 DEXTER AVE / Parcel ID 338690-0080 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: The Dexter Common Name: Dexter Apartments
Style: Beaux Arts - American Renaissance Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Built By: Year Built:

This property is located in <st1:place w:st="on">Hinckley’s Supplemental Addition, part of what was a large land parcel associated with the 19th c. lakefront homesteads of T.D. and W.R. Hinckley. It is indirectly associated with the era of modern industrialization around <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placetype w:st="on">Lake <st1:placename w:st="on">Union and the establishment of new transportation routes and light industrial uses (1905 - 1930). King County tax records indicate that it was constructed in 1927; however, an advertisement for “The Dexter” appeared in the Seattle Times on July 26, 1926 (p.22) describing it as “new and strictly modern” featuring two and three bedroom apartments with parking at a cost of $35 to $50 per month. The four story brick veneer clad building was designed to include 22 – two bedroom apartments, 3 – three bedroom apartments and one 1-room apartment and a retail store at the south end of the ground floor. Parking was provided at the uphill (west) side of the building. According to DPD Microfilm Library building permit records (Permit #250135 dated 8 Oct 1925) the apartment building was designed by <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Seattle architect Warren H. Milner for the Albertina Investment Corp. and constructed for $75,000, reportedly. [Biographical info regarding Warren H. Milner, (ca. 1864-July 21, 1949) from Shaping for Seattle Architecture.  Served as Cook County Architect, Chicago, 1896-99; came to Pacific Northwest from Chicago to establish chicken/duck ranch east of Everett in 1906; resumed practice of architecture in Seattle in 1907; designed Silas Archibald hotel building (now St. Regis Hotel), Seattle (1908-9); in partnership Wilson & Milner Ltd. with John R. Wilson, Victoria, B.C., 1910-15, and Milner & Ivey with John Edwin Ivey, Seattle, 1911-12; designed Clemmer Theater, Seattle (1911-12, with Ivey; destroyed); founded Warren H. Milner & Company in 1912; designed Alaska Theater, Seattle (1913-14, destroyed), Hotel Lorraine, Seattle (1916), Fleming Apartments, Seattle (1916-18), an addition to the William O. McKay Ford dealership building, Seattle (1922-23, with McClelland & Pinneh; destroyed), Soames Building – Pike Place Market (1922), Humphrey Apartments, Seattle (1923), Sinclair (now Tower) Apartments, Seattle (1925), Trianon Ballroom, Seattle (1926-27; altered); retired from practice in late 1930s, died in Seattle.] Information regarding the original development company has not been uncovered. Building may have been originally known as the Angelina Apartments. By 1937 the fee owner was identified as Tacoma Savings & Loan Association. A new garage building was constructed c.1944. It appears to have changed ownership multiple times between 1937 and 1961. Storefront intact c. 1958; extensively altered prior to July 1961.

By 1905, the cultural landscape of the South Lake Union neighborhood was characterized by dense residential development including family dwellings, older homes that had been converted to flats, modern flats, double houses and buildings identified as “tenements” or “lodgings.” Within five years apartment buildings began to be developed in the neighborhood, which was typical throughout most of the city and particularly near street car lines.

The 1923 zoning map reflects the continued concentration of industrial and manufacturing uses near <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placetype w:st="on">Lake <st1:placename w:st="on">Union, primarily north of <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Mercer Street and adjacent to <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Terry Avenue. By this date <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Westlake Avenue to the south of Republican was targeted for commercial development and use as was most of the remainder of the neighborhood to the east and south. The blocks to the east of <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Fairview Avenue in the Cascade neighborhood and much of <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Boren Avenue remained primarily residential with hundreds of extant family dwellings, double houses and flats. By the mid-1920s, the combination of population growth, economic prosperity and the broad acceptance of apartment living resulted a significant number of apartment buildings having been constructed along arterial streets in nearly every neighborhood. This activity peeked in 1929-1930 and the subject building was part of that trend.



Typical low-Rise Apartment Block – no intrinsic architectural style (modest Beaux-Arts elements).

Two-part facade composition with commercial space at south end of façade.

Distinctive features or finishes: Four story block form, wire-cut brick veneer cladding, terra cotta sills/watertable/coping at parapet, prominent terra cotta clad arched opening at single entrance off Dexter Avenue N, original wooden window, five bays – window sets (three-part w/transom and single double-hung) at façade, two bays with central fire escape at south elevation. Parking lot at rear uphill location behind building.

Alterations: No distinctive public lobby at entrance. Commercial space at south end altered/modernized, modern awning and plywood obscures view of rounded transom light openings at storefront. Garage building removed.



Detail for 1309 DEXTER AVE / Parcel ID 338690-0080 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Community Planning/Development
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Storefront: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.

Photo collection for 1309 DEXTER AVE / Parcel ID 338690-0080 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 10, 2014
App v2.0.1.0