Shared Walls

Seattle Apartment Buildings, 1900–1939


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SKU: 9780786465965 Categories: , Tag:

About the Book

The 1900 edition of Polk’s Seattle City Directory listed four apartment buildings. By 1939, that number had grown to almost 1,400. This study explores the circumstances that prompted the explosive growth of this previously unknown form of housing in Seattle and takes an in-depth look at a large number of different apartment buildings, from the small and simple to the large and grand. Illustrated with numerous contemporary and vintage photographs and sketches, this volume preserves an intimate record of these under-studied and under-appreciated buildings and will inspire an appreciation for their history and architectural variety, and for their preservation as an integral part of Seattle’s urban landscape.

About the Author(s)

Diana James holds a Master of Arts in historic preservation from Goucher College. Living in a 1928 apartment building in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood was both inspiration and impetus for writing about early Seattle apartments.

Bibliographic Details

Diana E. James

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 281
Bibliographic Info: 145 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6596-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0358-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
1. Shared Walls: A Beginning 5
2. All the Modern Conveniences: Electricity, Radios, and Ice Cube Trays 20
3. Behind the Scenes: Architects and Builders 35
4. Apartment Fundamentals: Styles, a Seattle Form, Classes, and Building Materials 64
5. Downtown Apartments: Between the Water and Hills 86
6. First Hill and Renton Hill Apartments 115
7. Capitol Hill Apartments West of Broadway 144
8. Capitol Hill Apartments East of Broadway 181
9. Apartments All Around the Town 219
Chapter Notes 239
Bibliography 259
Index 267

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “James’ new history of Seattle apartment houses has a confident clarity that shares the author’s delight in her subject”—The Seattle Times
  • “readers and students will discover the architects, builders, styles, building materials, and stories behind apartments built in the early decades of Seattle’s rise as an important West Coast city”—Reference & Research Book News