Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 2230 4th AVE / Parcel ID 069600-9595 / Inv #

Historic Name: Charlesgate Apartments Common Name: Charlesgate Apartments
Style: Tudor - Jacobethan Neighborhood: Belltown
Built By: Year Built: 1922
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Charlesgate was designed in 1922 by architect Edward T. Osborn for a rather anonymous client, Investors Corporation. Nothing is known about the client, and little about the architect, who maintained a practice in the Leary Building. He designed a similar apartment building, the Lynwood (now demolished), nearby at 2405 4th Avenue. Osborn's other local works are not known. The Charlesgate is unusual for its castle-like appearance and its irregular plan, with angled corners, a recessed entry bay, courtyard on the north side and assymetrical massing in the rear. It is of solid brick construction with cast stone and terra cotta ornamentation. There are 58 2-room units and one 3-room unit. When built, it was a fairly simple building, but with features such as a sprinkler system and built-in refrigerators. The original wood windows have been replaced by metal sliders. 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.
The Charlesgate is of solid brick construction, clad with scored dark red brick. It has an irregular plan with three-sided corners (allowing more light into the units) and a narrow courtyard on the north side. The main entry is in a shallow courtyard at the center of the west façade; the projecting entry bay has an arched doorway with a wide cast stone surround, now painted white with X-shaped detailing painted green. Above is a cast stone medallion with the word "Charlesgate," flanked by shields. Three more ornate medallions are below the third-story windows; above is an arched parapet. The southernmost bay on the west façade has recessed balconies on the first and third stories. The parapet is pedimented above the primary bays and has cast stone coping and medallions and shield designs throughout. Other ornamentation includes cast stone belt courses below the first-floor windows and above the third floor windows, as well as brick window sills and lintels and a soldier course of brick at the water table.

Detail for 2230 4th AVE / Parcel ID 069600-9595 / 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: Irregular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.

Photo collection for 2230 4th AVE / Parcel ID 069600-9595 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 18, 2007

Photo taken Jul 04, 2006

Photo taken Mar 18, 2007
App v2.0.1.0