Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 4321 LINDEN AVE / Parcel ID 4339800000 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Linden Court Apartments Common Name: Linden Court Condominium
Style: Tudor - Cottage Neighborhood: Fremont
Built By: Year Built: 1929
The Linden Court Apartments/Condominium Complex is a relatively well preserved example of the garden courtyard type apartment house, an apartment subtype that was popularly constructed in Seattle during the 1920s. Los Angeles architects and developers are credited with having initially designed the garden courtyard apartment subtype—a unique form designed to accommodate increased density while providing privacy, light, air and a connection with the prized California landscape. Earlier examples, starting about 1916, were bungalow courts, groups of small inexpensive cottages arranged around defined spaces. In later examples, the cottages were merged into larger structures around courtyards. The courtyard apartment lent itself to both plain and elegant treatments, but in most cases each residence had its own entrance and direct access to a landscaped court, often filled with fountains and semitropical foliage. Because these buildings could be sited on the basic single-family parcel (50 by 150 feet) found throughout Los Angeles, they fit easily into neighborhoods and escaped much of the stigma attached to traditional apartment blocks. The wealthy and well-known lived in the more elegant apartments, while less elaborate buildings met the needs of working men and women. A romanticized version of Spanish Colonial Revival was the most common style. During the 1920s courtyard apartments became one of the most popular multifamily housing types in Seattle. Although some were in the Mediterranean Revival styles, most were in variations of Tudor or French Norman, considered by some architects to be more appropriate to our climate. [This information provided courtesy of Mimi Sheridan.] The building permit [#278056] for the construction of this complex – described as a “Bungalow Court” was issued on June 19, 1928 to owner Russell T. Pretlow. William Kinsley was identified as the architect and Thos. J. Madlen as the construction foreman. Russell T. Pretlow (d.1971) was a Seattle dentist who settled in Seattle ca. 1918. He was born in Winchester, Indiana (ca. 1898) and was a graduate of the University of Chicago Dental School. Pretlow purchased the property 5-17-1928. He practiced dentistry in Seattle for 50 years and appears to have developed this apartment as a real estate investment– near where he and his family resided at 4401 Linden Ave. N. Pretlow appears to have retained ownership of the complex until c.1940. He died in June 1971. William Kinsley (ca.1857-1929) began to practice architecture in Seattle in 1906 when he entered into a brief partnership with Henry W. Bittman. He was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts and appears to have possibly lived and practiced in the Mid-west. Prior to coming to Seattle Kinsley served as the City Building Superintendent for St. Paul, Minnesota. Among his known local commissions are the Orpheum Theater (1911, demolished) and a Presbyterian Church in Tacoma (c.1928). He is also known to have designed a highly distinctive Arts & Crafts Style residence for his daughter, Mrs. Clarence B. Blethen, on Queen Anne Hill.
Located mid-block with the courtyard and main elevations oriented to the east. Relatively well-preserved, two-story, brick masonry veneer clad, 12-unit garden courtyard type apartment complex. It has been converted to a 12-unit condominium complex. The complex is composed of three two-story buildings with concrete foundations that are organized around a 28’ x 90’ central courtyard: the central building at the west end of the site measures approx. 26’ x 36’ and includes two 2-story housing units; it is flanked to each side by buildings measuring approx. 26’x 90’ that each include five 2-story housing units. Each unit is accessed directly from the courtyard and includes a second floor level balcony on the courtyard side. Each building has a gable roof form; the gable ends oriented toward the street are clipped. Exterior cladding is primarily wire-cut brick with stucco at upper floors on the courtyard sides. Exhibits English Cottage style design elements including: stucco and brick cladding, clipped gable roof form and the fenestration pattern that includes multi-pane casement sash members that may be original. The roofing was originally asphalt shingle – including the lower roof areas at the balconies; the balcony roofs are now clad with standing seam metal roofing. Exterior doors appear to be modern non-historic products.

Detail for 4321 LINDEN AVE / Parcel ID 4339800000 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stucco, Brick - Common Bond Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable - Clipped Roof Material(s): Metal - Standing Seam, Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: U-Shape
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Major Bibliographic References
Seattle Public Library – Biographical Index File
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Architects file cards, Seattle Department of Neighborhood, Historic Preservation Program.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 4321 LINDEN AVE / Parcel ID 4339800000 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Apr 15, 2009
App v2.0.1.0