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Summary for 2000 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977201140 / Inv #

Historic Name: Calhoun Hotel Common Name: Palladian Apartments
Style: Beaux Arts - American Renaissance Neighborhood: Downtown Urban Center
Built By: Year Built: 1910
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This property is directly associated with the initial period (1902-1920) of downtown commercial expansion that occurred due to local economic prosperity after the Klondike Gold Rush and in tandem with explosive population growth and suburban residential development. During this era, modern urban architectural scale began with the construction of the earliest steel-frame highrise buildings and the establishment of a concentration of banking enterprises and department stores along Second Avenue from Cherry Street to Pike Street. The initial regrading of Denny Hill and the commercial redevelopment of the former University Grounds (University/Metropolitan Tract) were major factors that facilitated northward and eastward commercial expansion. In 1914, the owners of the Frederick and Nelson Department Store purchased property with the intention of building a large, five-story store at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street, thus solidifying the location of the future downtown retail core. A significant number of extant commercial properties dating from this era remain within the downtown commercial core, including: numerous hotels, several business blocks and early highrise commercial buildings, as well as specialty and department stores, apartment houses and theaters. The concept of the modern hotel that would include private rooms, toilet and bathing facilities, public spaces and related guest services, originated in the early nineteenth century. By 1853, the settlement community of Seattle included its first hotel, the Felker House. By the later part of the nineteenth century, Seattle - like cities throughout the United States - included a significant number of hotels that served a wide variety of business travelers, tourists and both permanent and semi-permanent residents. By the late 1880s several elegant hotels as well as workingmen’s hotels were clustered along the west side of First Avenue between Cherry and Columbia – in proximity to the original railway passenger depot. Urban hotels, lodging and apartment buildings all closely resembled commercial office buildings in the 1880s and 1890s; it was not until the 1920s that hotel design became distinctly different in exterior appearance. Early hotel development was clearly stimulated by improvements in railroad service that brought immigrants and drew tourists and entrepreneurs. Prior to the fire of 1889, the Occidental – Seattle Hotel (1864, 1887 & 1889, destroyed), was the city’s premier tourist-oriented hotel, although there were numerous other hotels located within the commercial district. At least a dozen hotels were destroyed in the great fire of 1889; however, within four years some 63 hotels were in operation. By the turn of the century, tourist and residential hotels lined the west side of First Avenue to Pike Street. Based on the number of hotels that were operating in Seattle by 1900, it is certain that they mostly catered to long-term residents rather than temporary visitors. Many buildings that were identified as hotels actually functioned as lodging houses or apartment hotels. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hotel living was particularly common especially in the developing cities of the American West. Hotels varied significantly in size and accommodations provided and served every economic level from those of wealth to recent immigrants and transient salesmen and laborers. Given the tremendous population growth in Seattle after 1902, hotels and lodging houses played an important role in absorbing a new and largely transient populous. Family-style hotels were designed to include suites of rooms that would be used by individuals who needed especially comfortable long-term accommodations for their relocated families or those who traveled regularly but maintained a principal residence elsewhere. While large resort or tourist-oriented hotels are noteworthy, the great majority of hotel buildings built after 1900 and prior to the 1920s were much more modest operations. A particularly significance boom in hotel development occurred between 1906 and 1910 in conjunction with local economic opportunities and population growth as well as the opening of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific (AYP) Exposition of 1909 that drew some 3.7 million visitors. By 1910, Polk’s Directory included over 475 hotel listings. Particularly noteworthy family-style and luxury hotels constructed during this era include: the 12-story Savoy Hotel (1906, destroyed) on Second Avenue near University Street; the New Washington Hotel (Josephinum, 1908) and the Moore Hotel and Theater (1907), both built after the initial regrade of Denny Hill; and the Frye Hotel (1910) at Yesler Way and Third Avenue located near the new passenger railway facilities at Jackson Street. Such well-appointed hotels would typically include comfortable lobby areas, restaurants, event and meeting rooms, and provide special housekeeping, laundry and meal services for their guests. Other extant tourist-oriented and residential hotels constructed in the expanding commercial district during this era include: the Millburn Hotel (1902, altered); Sterling Hotel (1903, altered); Irwin Hotel (Green Tortoise Hostel, 1905, destroyed); Kingsbury Hotel (Glen Hotel, 1907); Raleigh/Imperial Hotel (1907, altered); Riopath Hotel (1908, altered); Shirley Hotel (1908, altered); Elliott Hotel (Hahn Building, 1908); Oxford Hotel (1909); Madrona Hotel (1909); Hotel Larned (1909); Nelson Hotel(Commodore,1909); Archibald Hotel (St. Regis, 1909); Hotel Afton (Atwood Hotel, 1910); Calhoun Hotel (Palladian, 1910); Crouley Building/Reynolds Hotel (1910); and the Governor/Rector Hotel (St. Charles, 1911). During the 1920s, a second boom in major hotel development occurred at which time several luxury hotels and large apartment hotels were built in the downtown commercial district. The national economic collapse brought on by the Great Depression during the 1930s brought downtown real estate development to a virtual halt. Old hotel buildings in Pioneer Square as well as those lining First Avenue and near the Pike Place Market provided cheap housing and services for an increasingly transient and displaced low-income population, a pattern that continued into the late 1960s. A tragic fire in 1970 prompted revisions to the city’s fire code and new fire safety measures forced the closure of many residential hotels and displaced thousands of low-income residents and service providers. As a result many of the older residential hotels were either demolished or remained vacant and unused for many years. The Calhoun Hotel was built for Scott Calhoun in 1909-1910 at a cost of $125,000. Upon completion, the eight-story, brick and steel structure was one of the tallest buildings built north of Virginia and one of the earliest hotel buildings to be erected in the Denny Regrade area. At the time of its construction, the Calhoun Hotel was thought to be a significant development amongst the real estate and building circles, who considered the development of such a substantial building north of Virginia a turning point in the development of the north end of the business district. The Calhoun Hotel was constructed during a period described as “a mushroom growth of large buildings” in the northern end of the downtown commercial district, including the Fischer Studio Building (1912) and the Securities Building (1913), permanently securing the location of the new business and retail section of Seattle. Unfortunately, limited additional information regarding the history of this hotel building has been uncovered. The Calhoun Hotel was designed by Seattle architect William P. White. Although little is known about White, including his date and place of birth and educational background, he is said to have worked in Butte, Montana from 1897 until 1902 and was in partnership there with Werner Lignell. He appears to have practiced architecture in Seattle from 1902 to about 1918, without ever forming a professional partnership. White specialized in the design of hotel and apartment buildings, and is credited with the design of several in the downtown area, First Hill, the south end of Capitol Hill, and at least one on Queen Anne. His approach to apartment building design stressed lighting and ventilation, a somewhat common concern of design professionals at that time based on social and health reforms of the era. He was also concerned with designing appropriate higher density housing units. His specialty may have been recognized among his design colleagues, as he published an article entitled “Apartment Buildings” in the Pacific Builder and Engineer in March of 1907. By 1919, White had begun work in the Navy shipyards as a draftsman during World War I and was employed there until his death in 1932. His known extant works in Seattle include the Hotel Nelson (Commodore Hotel, 1909), the Imperial Apartments/Paramount Apartments (c.1907) on Capitol Hill, and the Kinnear Apartments (c.1907) on Queen Anne Hill. Other known works that are no longer extant include the Astor Hotel (c.1909), the Knickerbocker Apartments, the Manhattan Flats, and the Jefferson Apartments. White is also known to have designed one apartment building in Vancouver, British Columbia. Formerly the Sylvia Court Apartments (c.1912), the Sylvia Hotel was the first large scale development in Vancouver’s West End near Stanley Park and was the tallest building in the neighborhood until 1958. It is recognized as a “heritage building” and was listed in the Vancouver city register in 1975. This is a generally intact example of a common downtown hotel property type from this era. It is a noteworthy example of hotel design influenced by the Beaux Arts style and is architecturally distinctive in comparison with other extant like-properties. Furthermore it is associated with an important Seattle architect, W.P White, who is known for his hotel and apartment house designs.
Prominently located at the SW corner of Second Avenue and Virginia Street, this eight-story building was designed and constructed to serve as a 152-room hotel. It now functions as an apartment house with retail businesses at the storefront level of both of the principal elevations. It measures 60’ x 108’ with the principal hotel/apartment entry at Virginia Street. It exhibits a three-part vertical block façade composition and architectural details and decoration drawn from Italian Renaissance architecture in the Beaux Arts style. The steel and reinforced concrete structure includes a concrete foundation and basement and is clad with red-purple color brick and cast stone trim and ornament, much of which has been painted white. The base is distinguished by two-story segmental arched bays (five at Second Avenue and seven at Virginia Street) and capped by a bracketed intermediate cornice adorned with fruit swag motifs and denticulated trim. The base piers are capped with cast stone ornament and have for the most part been painted red and black. Original ornate steel mezzanine level windows remain in place although modern storefronts have been constructed at the street level openings. The northernmost storefront bay at Second Avenue has been more significantly altered. Two intact original bays at the Virginia Street elevation are infilled with brick and do not include mezzanine level or storefront windows. The main hotel/ apartment entry is a recessed marble clad vestibule with stairwell located at the center of the Virginia Street facade. The building shaft is distinguished by striated brick and stone cladding, Palladian window surrounds and accentuated voussoirs at the third floor level. Typical single window openings are individually set with cast stone sills. Original casement and 4/1 double-hung sash has been replaced with a modern 1/1 aluminum window product. Cast stone ornament at the top of the shaft is surmounted by a simple cast stone intermediate cornice that distinguishes the building cap. The cap is further accentuated by a prominent bracketed cast stone cornice. Exterior alterations appear to be limited to the window removal/replacement and storefront level changes. There do not appear to be any intact or architecturally significant interior building features, finishes or public spaces.

Detail for 2000 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977201140 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Terra cotta, Brick - Common Bond Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Hotel Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: eight
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.
"Work Starts on Calhoun Hotel" Seattle P.I., June 13, 1909.
Aldredge, Lydia. Impressions of Imagination: Terra Cotta Seattle, Allied Arts of Seattle, 1986.

Photo collection for 2000 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977201140 / Inv #

Photo taken May 24, 2006

Photo taken May 24, 2006
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