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Summary for 1317 Boren AVE / Parcel ID 1978200340 / Inv #

Historic Name: Sovereign Apartments Common Name: Sovereign Apartments
Style: Italian - Italian Renaissance Neighborhood: First Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1925
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.
Although it is considerably smaller than the nearby high-rise apartments (The Gainsborough, Marlborough House, and 1223 Spring Street), the Sovereign was one of the elegant apartment buildings constructed on Firrst Hill in the 1920s. In the 1880s-90s, First Hill, with views and proximity to downtown, developed as the premier residential neighborhood, with the city's finest mansions. However, by the early 20th Century, apartment buildings and residential hotels, many quite luxurious, began appearing. Over time, these elegant buildings assured that First Hill would remain a desirable address. The Sovereign is well maintained, but the orginal windows have been replaced by newer metal sash. This is an early work of J. Lister Holmes (1891-1986), an important Seattle architect. He received his degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1913. After working for several Seattle firms, he established his own practice in 1922. His Beaux-Arts training enabled him to design eclectic and revival style homes for a considerable number of prominent citizens, as well as apartment buildings such as this one. Holmes executed designs in a range of architectural idioms, including English Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Norman Provincial and 18th century French. Among his designs are Collinswood on Bainbridge Island and several fraternity houses. During the Depression he began designing houses in the newly-developed International Style and served as the chief architect for the Seattle Housing Authority’s first public housing project, Yesler Terrace. After the war he continued his work in the International Style, designing clinics, banks, and schools as well as houses.
This five-story reinforced concrete building is clad with tan-colored brick veneer with extensive terra cotta ornament derived from the Italian Renaissance style. It sits on a sloping site on busy Boren Avenue. The building has an I-shpaed plan with a one-story addition on the west rear elevation. It features projecting gable-roofed pavilions at each end of the principal east elevation with a stepped gable element at the center. A modillioned cornice links the corbelled end gables to the center gable, while three stringcourses above the first, fourth and fifth stories tie the rest of the building together horizontally. Centered in the three gables at the fifth-story level is a group of three windows with slightly recessed blind segmental arches filled by a decorative medallion. Within each group,voussoirs of alternating colors define the center arch, above whisch is centered an additional medallion in each gable end. Decorative medallions also fill the terra cotta spandrels below all the windows of the fifth story. The recessed entry at the center of the east façade has a loggia with three white terra cotta arches, with a classical architrave above, with the name "Sovereign." Above the main entrance, elaborate terra cotta window surrounds framed by voluted buttresses ornament the three windows of the second story.

Detail for 1317 Boren AVE / Parcel ID 1978200340 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Other
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: five
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Sound Transit, Historic and Archaeological Report, Draft Environmental Impact Statement, 1998.
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 1317 Boren AVE / Parcel ID 1978200340 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 08, 2006

Photo taken Mar 08, 2006
App v2.0.1.0