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Summary for 1633 MELROSE AVE / Parcel ID 066000-2565 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Sherwood Apartments Common Name: Sherwood Apartments
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical Neighborhood: Pike/Pine
Built By: Year Built: 1916
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This distinctive triangular building was designed in 1916 by George W. Lawton, one of Seattle's most prominent architects of the period. It was built for the Goodwin Real Estate Company, a family-owned real estate financing company. Its president was Ervin S. Goodwin, with Arthur Goodwin serving as secretary and John W. Goodwin as treasurer at the time that the Sherwood was constructed. First Hill and the western part of Capitol Hill were the city's earliest dense apartment neighborhoods, beginning early in the 20th century. Its proximity to downtown, easy streetcar access and views made it appealing to developers and tenants of all types. The first two decades brought significant population growth in Seattle, but relatively little construction, partially due to economic factors relating to World War I. Thus, this building is somewhat unusual, being constructed in 1916--the major construction boom began in the mid-1920s. This building is notable for both its size and its prominent corner siting. George Willis Lawton evidently designed this building shortly after his partnership with Charles Saunders ended in 1915. Lawton began his career as a draftsman in Saunders' office and became a partner in 1898. The firm was responsible for a very wide range of buildings, from utilitarian warehouses to fine residences and schools, in a variety of styles. Many of them are now gone, including the Lincoln Apartments (1900), the original Bon Marche store (1900) and the first fire department headquarters (1904). Among their remaining works are Horace Mann school (1902) and Beacon Hill Elementary School (1904, now El Centro de la Raza). Lawton continued on in independent practice; during the transition, he completed work on the Masonic Temple (1912-16, now the Egyptian Theater), located not far from the Sherwood Apartments. In 192 he entered a partnership with Herman Moldenhour, who had begun as an office boy in the Saunders and Lawton firm; they designed many apartment buildings and institutional structures, including the Fourth and Pike Building (1927), completed shortly before Lawton's death in 1928.
The Sherwood is triangular in plan to match shape of the sloping corner lot, with rounded corners. The building is five stories high, with a small triangular entry court on the east façade. It is of brick construction with red brick facing and a considerable amount of glazed terra cotta ornament, including a prominent cornice with modillions, a water table and a belt course beneath the fifth floor windows. Most windows have terra cotta sills and lintels. The west and north facades each have two three-story polygonal hanging bays. Windows on the fourth story are set in blind arches. On the main (east) façade there is an early metal fire escape on each of the two wings. The entry has a double door with beveled glass and sidelights and is flanked by two pairs of round columns supporting a flat roof over the brick stairs. The lobby is elaborate with marble walls and floors.

Detail for 1633 MELROSE AVE / Parcel ID 066000-2565 / Inv # 0

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: Triangular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: five
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Intact
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 1633 MELROSE AVE / Parcel ID 066000-2565 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jul 26, 2011

Photo taken Mar 22, 2006
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