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Summary for 1017 Minor ST / Parcel ID 2680670000 / Inv #

Historic Name: Gainsborough Common Name: Gainsborough
Style: French Neighborhood: First Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1930
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).
This is one of three luxury high-rise apartment buildings designed by Earle W. Morrison on First Hill in the late 1920s. In the 1880s-90s, First Hill, with views and proximity to downtown, developed as the premier residential neighborhood, with the city's finest mansions. However, by the early 20th Century, apartment buildings and residential hotels, many quite luxurious, began appearing. It was not surprising that, during the 1920s apartment building boom, some of the most urbane and sophisticated buildings were constructed on First Hill, confirming that it was still a desirable address. First Hill also had the tallest buildings outside of downtown. Though matching the nearby 1223 Spring Apartments in scale and massing, the Gainsborough contains more units per floor and lacks such amenities as servants' quarters. However, the four-to-six room apartments are larger than most, and have features such as oak parquet flooring and cove molding. It was converted to condominiums in 1980, and is well maintained, with good physical integrity, including its original wood sash. However, the original roofline has been compromised by the addition of dormers on the penthouse. Earl W. Morrison (d. 1955) practiced in Spokane before moving to Seattle in 1926, just in time to take advantage of the city’s apartment building boom. He specialized in high-rise buildings, especially apartments. His major works include the Olive Tower Apartments (1928),) 1223 Spring Apartments (1929) and the Nettleton (now 1000 8th Avenue Apartments, 1949).
The Gainsborough is a 14-story reinforced concrete structure with an I-shaped plan. The recessed central shaft is clad with light-colored brick veneer and flanked by projecting end bays rising from a stone-faced base to a steeply-pitched roof containing a single penthouse unit. An exceptionally wide terra cotta stringcourse ornamened with a shell motif marks the transiton from stone to brick at the sill level of the third story. A deep, richly-decorated terra cotta belt course caps the intervening nine stories and emphasizes the transition to the diamond-patterned brickwok of the twelfth and thirteenth stories Terra cotta ornament of faintly Chateauesque design also embellishes these upper two stories, terminating in a fanciful gable-roofed wall dormer topped with finials at the top of each of the end bays. A projecting three-arched loggia of richly detailed terra cotta surrounds a recessed entryway.

Detail for 1017 Minor ST / Parcel ID 2680670000 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Stone, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Other
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: fourteen
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Sound Transit, Historic and Archaeological Report, Draft Environmental Impact Statement, 1998.
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 1017 Minor ST / Parcel ID 2680670000 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 08, 2006

Photo taken Mar 08, 2006
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