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Summary for 100-120 W Highland DR W / Parcel ID 889853-0010 / Inv #

Historic Name: Victoria Apartments Common Name: The Victoria
Style: Tudor Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1921
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.
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The Victoria is one of Seattle's largest and most prominent apartment buildings, due to its prestigious view site, its size, its architect and the luxury of its units. It was built in 1921, at an estimated cost of $500,000. Called a “mammoth community apartment house,” it was the first large project after World War I. An article in the Seattle Times called it "the first important answer to the campaign waged by the Chamber of Commerce to get the public to build now.” The developer was the Victoria Investment Company, with financing by the New York firm of S. W. Straus & Company. The 48 apartments were modeled on those in New York, with two to six rooms, many with service entrances and fireplaces. The original accommodations included six laundry rooms, 48 garages, twenty maid’s rooms, and a children’s playroom. Construction and occupancy took some time, as the economy had not recovered from the wartime recession and the market for a luxury building was not yet ripe. The Victoria had several owners in the 1960s-80s, when efforts were made to demolish it to build a high-rise apartment tower. Community pressure and a landmark court case eventually led to rezoning that prevented construction. Eventually, the rear portion of the block was redeveloped, with the original garages being demolished for new townhouses with an underground garage to accommodate all the residents. The original building was then converted to condominiums in 1998. The building is highly intact, except for the addition of mechanical penthouses to accommodate a new heating system. The interior was carefully restored in the mid-1980s. As the work was being completed, a severe fire damaged the north and west wings, which were then renovated, with some interior modernization. The large courtyard, which was once primarily lawn, was re-landscaped in 1994 with a variety of plantings. Further interior upgrades were done before the condo conversion. The architect, John Graham, Sr. (1873-1955), was one of the city's most prominent designers. Born in Liverpool, he apprenticed as an architect in England before moving to Seattle in 1901. He was responsible for many of the city’s most important landmarks. His work covered a wide range of building types, including a number of residences; the Ford Motor Company assembly plant (1913); office buildings (the Dexter-Horton Building (1921-24) and the Exchange Building (1929-31); institutions (four buildings at the University of Washington, 1927-28) and the U.S. Marine Hospital (1931-34); and department stores (Frederick & Nelson (1916-19) and the Bon Marche (1928-29), as well as churches, yacht clubs and apartments building. He also embraced a variety of styles, from the Tudor seen in the Victoria and the university buildings to the Art Deco masterpieces of the Exchange Building and the Marine Hospital.
The Victoria occupies an entire block on the north side of West Highland Drive, across from Kerry Park, one of the city's most prominent viewpoints. The plan is U-shaped, around a landscaped courtyard that is approximately 140 feet wide and 120 feet deep-probably the largest in the city. The building is four stories, clad with red brick. There are three main entries facing the courtyard, one near the end of each wing and one in the center; there are secondary entries on the rear of each section. The extensive terra cotta trim, late English Gothic in style, includes elaborate entries with Tudor arches, a wide frieze above the fourth floor windows, a belt course between the first and second floors, sills and lintels on each window, and coping on the gabled parapet. The parapet has gables at regular intervals, with two on each end, two in the center wing and one above each entrance bay; there is a terra cotta plaque with a shield motif beneath each gable. Between these shields are plaques with floral and fruit motifs. Windows are either three-part windows with four-over-one sash flanking a large center pane, or six-over-one double-hung sash arranged singly or in groups of two or three to give symmetry to each elevation. To the north are ten townhomes (designed by Mithun) that were constructed in 1998 on site once occupied by individual garages. An underground garage serves both the townhomes and the condos.

Detail for 100-120 W Highland DR W / Parcel ID 889853-0010 / 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: U-Shape
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Reinartz, Kay F. Queen Anne: Community on the Hill. Seattle: Queen Anne Historical Society, 1993.
"Mammoth Community Apartment House," The Seattle Times, May 15, 1921.

Photo collection for 100-120 W Highland DR W / Parcel ID 889853-0010 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 14, 2003

Photo taken Mar 14, 2003
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