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

Seattle Historical Sites

This application will be offline for Maintenance Saturday Feb 4th from 6am to noon

New Search

Summary for 1514 Bellevue AVE / Parcel ID 8725600460 / Inv #

Historic Name: McDermott Apartments Common Name: New McDermott Apartments
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1926
 
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 is a large and imposing high-quality building of solid concrete construction with extensive terra cotta cladding and ornamentation. It is particularly notable for the canopy edged with glass, a feature more typical of New York's Fifth Avenue than Seattle. It has 83 apartments, averaging 535 square feet; 69 units have two rooms and 14 have three rooms. Special features include an elegant lobby with terrazzo and marble, oak floors and tile baths throughout and, originally, central refrigeration. This is one of the larger examples 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 West Capitol Hill area was particularly popular because of its easy streetcar access to downtown, and the street became lined with apartment buildings. The McDermott was designed by architect Gerald C. Field, for the original owners, John F. and R. J. McDermott. Little is known about the owners, although John is listed in city directories as a carpenter.
 
Appearance
This large imposing building occupies most of a block in the dense Pike/Pine area. It is seven stories tall, of reinforced concrete construction with a T-shaped footprint. It is 100 feet long on Bellevue Avenue, with a 56 foot-wide wing projecting to the rear; this allows a 22 foot light well between the side apartments and the property line. There are 83 two-and three-room apartments. It has a traditional three-part configuration with the first two stories clad with cream-colored terra cotta and a plain shaft clad with brownish-red brick. The top of the building has extensive terra cotta along the parapet with a deep cornice and frieze below. Between each window bay is a block pedestal that once held a terra cotta urn; these have been removed, probably for safety reasons. Terra cotta belt courses run below the second and third story windows. The entry is notable, with a suspended canopy edged with glass pieces, an unusual feature in Seattle. Windows in the center bay are in groups of three, with pairs in the other bays; all have original six-over-one wood sash. The lobby is elaborate, with terrazzo floors and marble walls.

Detail for 1514 Bellevue AVE / Parcel ID 8725600460 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: seven
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Integrity
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 1514 Bellevue AVE / Parcel ID 8725600460 / Inv #


Photo taken Mar 16, 2006

Photo taken
App v2.0.1.0