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Summary for 1220 Boren AVE / Parcel ID 5161400005 / Inv #

Historic Name: Marlborough House Common Name: Marlborough House
Style: Tudor Neighborhood: First Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1927
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This is one of the largest of the high-rise apartment buildings that were constructed on First Hill in the 1920s. It is particularly notable for its prominent location on Boren Avenue and for its extravagant ornament in tan-colored terra cotta. In the 1880s-90s, First Hill, with views and proximity to downtown, had developed as the premier residential neighborhood, with the city's finest mansions. However, by 1920, apartments and institutions such as hospitals and schools appeared throughout, and it became the location of the tallest apartment building outside of downtown. The addition of these luxurious buildings enhanced the neighborhood as a desirable address. The architects, B. Dudley Stuart and Arthur Wheatley, were responsible for several of the most prominent apartment buildings of this era, including the Bergonian (now the Mayflower Hotel), Exeter House and Biltmore Apartments. Their practice also included residences and a number of fraternity and sorority houses. Stuart (1885-1977) was born in London and came to Seattle from Vancouver in 1918. He worked in partnership with Arthur Wheatley from 1925-1939, the heyday of Seattle apartment development. He later worked in partnership with Robert L. Durham, until retiring at the age of 86.
This prominent building has 13 stories and is of reinforced concrete construction, clad with mottled brown brick with cast stone at the ground level. It is sited on a steep incline on busy Boren Avenue. The entry, sheltered by a canvas awning, has an imposing terra cotta surround with a flat triple-arched porch crowned with a blind arch balustrade. The terra cotta, with motifs derived from the English Perpendicular style, covers the entire top floor on the main façade, with simpler ornament at the top of each bay on the minor elevations. A pair of projecting twelve-story towers composed of three engaged piers separates the eleven story principal façade into three sections above the first-story base of terra cotta, which resembles cut stone. The central secton of the façade continues to the twelfth story between the towers, forming a penthouse unit clad with elaborate terra cotta, which extends beyond to embellish the adjacent towers' piers. A brick parapet wall detailed with a series of blind terra cotta arches caps this penthouse unit while a brick parapet wall with filagreed terra cotta paneled detail with pointed arched trefoil tracery encircles the rooflines of the outer sections. Windows throughout have newer aluminum sash. There is a one-story garage across the alley to the east.

Detail for 1220 Boren AVE / Parcel ID 5161400005 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Terra cotta 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: thirteen
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Plan:
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.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 1220 Boren AVE / Parcel ID 5161400005 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 20, 2006

Photo taken Mar 20, 2006
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