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Summary for 2302 4th AVE / Parcel ID 0696000140 / Inv #

Historic Name: Franklin Apartments Common Name: Franklin Apartments
Style: Colonial - Georgian Revival Neighborhood: Belltown
Built By: Year Built: 1918
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.
The Franklin Apartments was designed in 1918 by George W. Lawton for Mr. F. M. Jordan. It is highly intact, with the extensive terra cotta ornament often found in apartment buildings of this period. It has 36 apartments, primarily studios, averaging 500 square feet. The current owner purchased the building in 1973. This apartment building is typical of those built in Belltown between the world wars to provide housing for the city’s booming population. In only twenty years, Seattle’s population had exploded from 80,671 (1900) to 315,312 (1920). After the regrading of Denny Hill between 1898 and 1911 opened this area up for development, developers soon constructed apartment buildings to meet the acute housing need. These buildings provided modest but comfortable accommodations that were affordable for the sales clerks, clerical staff and other workers in downtown businesses. They remain a very important part of the historic character of Belltown. This building was designed by George W. Lawton (1863-1928) in 1918, when he was working independently. However, the associate architect on the plans is Herman Moldenhour, who became Lawton’s partner few years later. Lawton, 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, one of the city’s first apartment blocks, the San Marco (1905), and the Summit (1910). 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. 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 Franklin (1918), the Castle (1918), Olive Crest (1924) and Hawthorne Square (1924), a notable townhouse project. Moldenhour continued with an independent practice after Lawton’s death in 1928.
The Franklin has three stories plus a daylight basement level. It is of brick construction, clad with scored dark red brick. The extensive ornament of beige terra cotta tile includes window surrounds and sills, a belt course below the third floor, a water table, and a dentils and a frieze below the metal cornice. The recessed entry on the west elevation is framed by a terra cotta surround with a dentilled entablature with corbels and a small wrought iron balcony above. The entry vestibule has marble stairs and walls and sidelights and a large transom of leaded beveled glass. The distinctive eight-over-one double-hung windows throughout are intact.

Detail for 2302 4th AVE / Parcel ID 0696000140 / Inv #

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: Rectangular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
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 2302 4th AVE / Parcel ID 0696000140 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 18, 2007

Photo taken Jul 04, 2006
App v2.0.1.0