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Summary for 605 5TH AVE / Parcel ID 5457801380 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Auditorium Apartments Common Name:
Style: Art Deco Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1927
 
Significance

In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.

In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the registration requirements established in the National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Listed, Seattle Apartment Buildings, 1900–1957, for a low-rise apartment block.

This Art Deco style multi-family apartment is in the Uptown neighborhood and known originally as the Auditorium Apartments.

The building was designed by architect H. M. Jackson with drawings dated July 1926. The original drawings are on file with the City Department of Construction and Inspections. A. S. Hainsworth was the contractor and Hall and Stevenson were the structural engineers. There were revisions to the drawings in 1927, as construction was being finished, to adjust the south garage doorway level and the interior garage grade level. The building was originally designed and constructed with two retail storefronts at the street level along the east side and on the southeast corner. Each storefront had a recessed doorway and storefronts for display items. These were later converted to apartments. By 1933, C. F. Clise was the building owner; by 1946, the Securities Mortgage Company owned the building; and by 1947, Mrs. Jessie M. Smallwood owned the building. Akira Horita owned the building by 1954, followed by Locus J. Zorotovich by 1965. Polk directories listed the building as the Auditorium Apartments from 1927 through 1975.

A January 23, 1927 article in the Seattle Daily Times noted when the finishing work was happening on the building and that it was just a block from the site of the proposed civic auditorium. The building was constructed for William H. Hainsworth, owner of the Spring Apartments at Fifth Avenue and Spring Street. The total building cost was $250,000.

An April 10, 1927, advertisement in the Seattle Daily Times promoted units in the new building with, “electric ranges; every modern convenience; radio in each apartment; basement garage.”

The building retains moderate integrity and is a good example of an Art Deco style multiple-family building in the neighborhood.

References:

City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.

Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed., Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Guide to the Architects (Seattle, University of Washington Press: 2014), 2nd edition.

King County Property Record Card (c. 1938–1972), Washington State Archives.

Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890–1996.

 
Appearance

Constructed in 1927, this three-story apartment building with a daylight basement stands at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue N and Mercer Street and faces east, fronting Fifth Avenue N. An alley runs along the west side of the building. The building has a U-shaped footprint with a narrow central light well opening to the west, and a slightly recessed front middle bay. The building is built out to the lot lines.

A flat roof with perimeter parapets shelters interior spaces. The roof is covered with a membrane type rolled roofing. The parapets step up decoratively at the outer south and east corners and over the central front bay. Sheet metal flashing caps the parapets.

A concrete foundation supports the building structure. The basement level consists of reinforced concrete. The upper stories consist of 2 x 6 wood studs clad with a red brick veneer, which has a raked surface finish and a plain veneer along the north facade. A buff brick rowlock band extends along the top of the basement walls transitioning from the parged concrete basement to the brick upper stories. The buff bricks have raked headers. Terra cotta detailing with fluted pilasters accents the front east entrance, providing a decorative surround for the doorway and first story window opening with another panel between the second and third story windows. A faint remnant ghosting of the signage, reading “Auditorium Apartments,” which had been painted on the upper portion of the north facade remains along the parapet.

Windows consist of single, paired, and triple units. Most openings feature a buff brick soldier course header and rowlock brick sill. Third-story window openings on the front facade to either side of the recessed middle bay feature round arched headers accented with a buff brick rowlock band. This same buff brick is continued along the sides of each opening and blended into the brick courses to provide a notable decorative effect. Flush cement parged panels infill the round arch headers above the window sash. The window opening above the front doorway features a decorative metal grille. Metal sash multi-lite windows, not in the original drawings but installed by 1937, provide day lighting and ventilation along the south facade at the garage level.

A pair of wall sconces flank the front entrance. A stained oak door flanked by leaded glass oak side lites and similar transoms provides access to the interior. The door features a tall single lite with chromed push bars over the glass and a steel kick plate at the bottom wood panel. A garage entry on the south facade off Mercer Street provided access to basement level parking for building tenants.

Alterations completed ca. 1938 closed off the two original storefronts in the southeast corner of the building’s basement level and converted these two apartments. The terra cotta surround at the west entrance was also reconfigured to lower the overall opening height, replace the existing terra cotta with new terra cotta, add the upper terra cotta panel, and create the lower transom window with the metal grille work. Window openings were also infilled, window openings were enlarged, and a personnel doorway was converted to a window opening along the south facade at the basement level. The brick that originally flanked the garage doorway and created a uniform parged band at the basement was also removed. These changes are all evident in the 1938 assessor’s property record photograph.

Alterations in 1947 (permit 382083) consisted of changes to the building’s stairway, designed by architect Jesse M. Warren in drawings dated September 19, 1947. Architects Richard Lytel and Lamonte Sorett designed alterations to the first and second floor, stairway and corridors (undated). Previous work included 1975 upgrades to the building (permit 558778) and the removal of the supporting brackets for the hip tile-clad pent roof along the east and south facade parapets. Alterations replaced the original 8:8 wood sash with vinyl sash. Alterations installed the existing metal garage door.

Detail for 605 5TH AVE / Parcel ID 5457801380 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR
Cladding(s): Brick, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Rolled
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: U-Shape
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Other: Intact
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for 605 5TH AVE / Parcel ID 5457801380 / Inv # 0


Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Jan 01, 1900

Photo taken Jan 01, 1900
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