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 4800 Fremont AVE / Parcel ID 318320000 / Inv #

Historic Name: Hawthorne Square Common Name: Hawthorne Square
Style: Tudor Neighborhood: Fremont
Built By: Year Built: 1924
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 housing project, unique in Seattle, consists of 25 townhouses arranged around a central garden court. It was designed in 1924 by architects George Lawton and Herman Moldenhour for the Hawthorne Improvement Company. It is an outstanding example 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 Woodland Park area, with the amenities of the large park and easy streetcar access to downtown, became a popular apartment district in the teens, continuing into the 1920s. Each unit has two stories, with a living room with fireplace, a dining room, kitchen and hallway on the first floor and three bedroom and a bath upstairs. Rowhouse developments were built in Seattle in the late 19th century and early 20th century, but very few of these original examples remain. By the 1920s block and courtyard apartment forms became the common the common form, and this building is unique. George W. Lawton (1863-1928), born in Wisconsin, came to Seattle about the time of the Great Fire in 1889. He worked as a draftsman for the prominent firm of Saunders & Houghton before entering into partnership with Charles Saunders in 1898. The firm designed a wide range of projects, including the Lincoln Apartment Hotel, several commercial blocks and warehouse and mill buildings as well as numerous residences. They adeptly used a wide range of revival styles, including Romanesque, Classical, Tudor and Colonial. One of their most noted works was the Forestry Building (1908-09) at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, a classical design executed in raw logs. Few of these early buildings remain, other than Horace Mann and Beacon Hill (now El Centro de la Raza) elementary schools. The partnership dissolved in 1915. As an independent practitioner, Lawton worked with A. W. Gould on the Arctic Building (1913-17), famed for its terra cotta walrus heads. This building was designed at this same time, and also features extensive terra cotta. In 1922 Lawton formed a partnership with Herman A. Moldenhour (1864-1976). Moldenhour, also from Wisconsin, had been an office boy for the Saunders & Lawton firm. This partnership specialized in large office and apartment buildings, including the Fourth & Pike Building (1927), Herman Moldenhour continued with an independent practice after Lawton’s death in 1928.building is notable for both its size and its prominent corner siting.
This project consists of three buildings arranged around a garden court. Two of the buildings, with ten units each, face each other on the north and south sides of the court; these buildings each measure 221 by 34 feet. .A five-unit building (approximately 90 by 30 feet) closes the east end, with the west end remaining open to Fremont Avenue North. Each unit is a townhouse with an entry to the courtyard and a rear entry. The structures have side gabled roofs, with a regular arrangement of large and smaller gabled bays delineating the individual units. The buildings are wood frame construction, with red brick cladding is red brick and terra cotta trim. The entry to each unit has several steps with wrought iron handrails, sheltered by a round-arched or flat hood. Doors are flanked by sidelights. The first-story has three-part windows with an 8-over-1 window flanked by 4-over-1 windows. Second story windows are primarily 6-over-1, in pairs or singly. Most windows are set in blind arches clad with cream-colored stucco. The large central courtyard is formally landscaped, with a large pond surrounded by a lawn and flowers, and shrubs and trees along the foundation of the buildings. Individual garages are located in three buildings to the rear.

Detail for 4800 Fremont AVE / Parcel ID 318320000 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: U-Shape
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: 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 4800 Fremont AVE / Parcel ID 318320000 / Inv #

Photo taken May 06, 2006

Photo taken May 06, 2006

Photo taken May 06, 2006
App v2.0.1.0