Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 1321 Queen Anne AVE / Parcel ID 1731800740 / Inv #

Historic Name: Queen Vista Apartments Common Name: Queen Vista Apartments
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1949
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.
The Queen Vista, designed by Stuart & Durham, is an excellent example of a mid-rise Modernist apartment building of the early post-World War II period. After stagnant growth in the Depression years of the 1930s, Seattle's population increased sharply due to World War II and post-war industrial activities. From approximately 368,000 in 1940 the population grew to 465,000 in 1950 and to 550,000 in 1960. When peacetime construction began to recover in the late 1940s, small apartment buildings appeared in locations where they had not been seen before and multifamily areas saw larger buildings, such as this one. At the time of its construction, Queen Anne Avenue still had numerous large homes among the small multifamily buildings from the pre-war years; this was a precursor to the rezoning and intense high-rise development of the 1950s-70s. Apartment developers were probably slower than commercial developers to adopt modern designs and materials after the war. However, the Queen Vista is notable for its expression of Modernism, especially in the convex curve of the main façade and the extensive use of corner windows. Architect B. Dudley 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 and designed several of the most prominent apartment buildings of this era, including the Bergonian (now the Mayflower Hotel), Exeter House, Marlborough Apartments and Biltmore Apartments. Their practice also included residences and a number of fraternity and sorority houses. Stuart later worked in partnership with Robert L. Durham, when they continued to design large apartment buildings in more modern styles. He retired in 1954 at the age of 86. Robert L. Durham, a Seattle native, received his degree in architecture from the University of Washington in 1936 and began work as a draftsman for B. Dudley Stuart. After a period of work as a cost engineer for the Federal Housing Authority, he re-joined Stuart in the partnership Stuart & Durham, doing wartime housing and commercial structures. After Stuart's retirement in 1954, the partnership was reorganized as Durham, Anderson & Freed, taking on major projects such as schools, banks, churches and buildings for the University of Washington and Evergreen State College. Their work included at least one other multifamily project, the Horizon House Retirement Home (1971). They also did master plans for Evergreen State College and U.S. Naval Base Bangor. Durham was an active an honored AIA member, serving a term as national president and receiving the AIA Kemper Award and AIA Seattle Medal..
The Queen Vista is prominently sited on the steep south slope of Queen Anne, rising six stories above Queen Anne Avenue. It is of reinforced concrete construction with red brick veneer, and has an irregular plan. The most notable feature is the dramatic convex curve of the full-height pavilion on the north half of the principal (east) façade, above the street. The narrow south end of this pavilion features a recessed balcony on each story, with metal railings. The north end has a large bank of windows on each floor, extending to the corner. The southeast corner of the building also has dramatic sorner windows. The main entry, located at the base of the curved pavilion, has double glass doors surrounded by expanses of glass. The driveway runs between the entry and the sidewalk. A porte cochere extends over the driveway, illustrating the importance of the automobile in the post-war world. A low flagstone wall encloses a planting bed outside the entry, and wraps around the corner to become a higher wall as it descends the slope on Queen Anne Avenue.

Detail for 1321 Queen Anne AVE / Parcel ID 1731800740 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: six
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
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 1321 Queen Anne AVE / Parcel ID 1731800740 / Inv #

Photo taken Apr 18, 2007

Photo taken Apr 17, 2007
App v2.0.1.0