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Summary for 500 Wall ST / Parcel ID 0697000025 / Inv #

Historic Name: Grosvenor House Common Name: Wall Street Tower
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Belltown
Built By: Year Built: 1949
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 apartment complex, the largest in the Belltown/Denny Triangle area, was built in 1949 as the Grosvenor House. It was originally owned by the Kellerblock Corporation (which included Teamster President Dave Beck as one of its partners). The designer was Earle W. Morrison, one of the city’s most prominent apartment designers of the period. The building was purchased by the current owners about 2000, renovated and renamed Wall Street Tower. At the time of its construction, development was just recovering from World War II, but apartment growth (mostly with federal assistance) boomed both within and outside of the city to meet the critical need for housing. This was one of the first large Seattle apartment complexes of the post-war period. It was also one of the first to adopt this distinctive form, with an 18-story tower set on a full-block base with a garage and stores. Even with intense downtown development in recent years, this remains a distinctive feature of the neighborhood. Earl W. Morrison (d. 1955) practiced in Spokane before moving to Seattle in 1926. He specialized in high-rise buildings, especially apartments. His major works include the Olive Tower Apartments (1928), 1223 Spring Street Apartments (1929), the Gainsborough (1930), the Nettleton (now 1000 8th Avenue Apartments, 1949) and the Baldwin (1955).
The reinforced concrete building occupies an entire block, with an 18-story tower on the south side. The tower is in the shape of an E, which both breaks up its massing and provides light and air to the units. The building is Modernist in style, with no ornamentation. The sheltered main entry is at the center of the on the south façade. Windows are newer metal sash, which appear to be compatible with the original sash. They are concentrated at the corners of each wing, with two small bays of windows in the center of the wings; the continuous concrete bays between the windows provide a strong vertical element, emphasizing the building's height. The blue color of the window bays contrasts with the grey paint elsewhere. The north half of the block has a two-story structure with a large roof garden on top. The east and west elevations have numerous storefronts, the most prominent of which is a restaurant location at the southeast corner. The west side, along Fifth Avenue, originally had eight storefronts, but the small grocery store, City Foods, has expanded to fill several spaces; it has evidently been in this location since the building opened. The storefronts appear to be mostly intact, with metal-framed display windows and doors. The north elevation is largely blank, due to the garage entry, but is ornamented with large-scale cut-outs with a stylized floral motif (which may not be original).

Detail for 500 Wall ST / Parcel ID 0697000025 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete 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: eighteen
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 500 Wall ST / Parcel ID 0697000025 / Inv #

Photo taken Jul 04, 2006

Photo taken Jul 05, 2006
App v2.0.1.0