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Summary for 1450 E Republican ST E / Parcel ID 3303700120 / Inv #

Historic Name: Astor Court Common Name: Astor Court
Style: Spanish - Eclectic, Vernacular Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1926
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.
Astor Court is notable for its treatment of its prominent corner location, with the 3-story building wrapping around a large heavily landscaped courtyard on the corner, a notable community amenity. This is one of the larger and more prominent apartment projects of Gardner J. Gwinn, who appears to have been the most prolific developer of Seattle apartments (primarily on Capitol Hill) in the late 1920s. Gwinn also designed this building, in 1926 (permit #282836, 283241). He began doing construction work with his father in his native Nova Scotia, moving to Seattle in 1909. He soon established his own construction business, building more than 700 homes ranging in value from $5,000 to $25,000. They were noted for their livability and strong construction. In 1925 he turned primarily to apartment construction, building more than fifty apartment houses during the 1925-30 development boom. His largest project was the 14-story Benjamin Franklin Hotel, the second largest in Seattle (demolished for construction of the present Westin Hotel). His brother Wells Gwinn also headed prominent housing, contracting and finance companies. Gwinn was a major factor in meeting Seattle's housing needs during the 1920s construction boom. The city's population had increased dramatically in previous decades, and prosperity encouraged developers to meet the pent-up demand for housing. Some developers, like Gwinn, turned from single family houses to apartments, which were probably more profitable. These buildings, ranging from basic housing to luxury units, were a significant factor in meeting this need, and became a major element of the streetscape in many Seattle neighborhoods. The 15th Avenue district had easy streetcar access to downtown and many apartment buildings appeared, often using fine materials and detailing to reduce the impact of their size in the basically residential area. Astor Court has 27 units, averaging 600 square feet, typically containing one bedroom plus a "bed closet" that could accommodate another bed.
Astor Court is three-stories, of masonry construction faced with dark red brick. It is L-shaped in plan, with two wings of equal length wrapped around a large corner courtyard. The courtyard is the most prominent feature and is heavily landscaped with small trees, shrubs, clipped hedges and a pond. A pathway leads from each side to the entry, at the rear of the courtyard at the angle of the L. The cast stone surround extends up three stories, with arches and vaguely-Spanish-influenced motifs. A prominent stepped cast stone coping and parapet with oversized finials and cartouches is the only other ornamentation. Windows have three-over-one wood sash and are arranged, alternately, singly and in pairs. /a garage door entry with a newer green fabric awning is on the south fa├žade, facing Republican Street.

Detail for 1450 E Republican ST E / Parcel ID 3303700120 / 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: L-Shape
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: 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 1450 E Republican ST E / Parcel ID 3303700120 / Inv #

Photo taken Aug 15, 2006
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