Harvard / Belmont Landmark District Walking Tour

Harvard_Belmont HIstoric District

Spend Saturday, April 9th peering into the glamorous history of Capitol Hill’s Harvard / Belmont Landmark District. Designated in 1980, the district boasts an inventory of impressive estates as well as numerous smaller, but nevertheless charming, homes.

By the early twentieth century, Capitol Hill’s central location yet pastoral streets were attracting affluent families away from the increasingly commercial Frist Hill, arguably Seattle’s first fashionable neighborhood.  Horace Chapin Henry, the venerable Seattle businessman and founder of the Henry Art Gallery, is credited with commissioning the neighborhood’s first substantial house.  Designed by Bebb & Gould, a prominent Seattle firm responsible for the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Hotel, the house was completed in 1901 and featured a five-car garage, a novel amenity for a time when automobiles were just appearing on the city’s streets.  The scale of Henry’s home, which unfortunately was demolished in 1936, set an impressive precedent for other affluent Seattleites commissioning homes in the area.

Characteristic of urban development in the early twentieth century, the homes in the Harvard / Belmont district run the gamete in terms of architectural style.  Among the buildings of primary significance, however, are numerous residences undoubtedly influenced by the English architect Richard Norman Shaw.  While Shaw was essentially an eclectic architect, his projects that held the most influence for American designers  were a series of picturesque country houses that derived from a careful study of sixteenth-century English manorial architecture.  The half-timbering, hanging tiles, projecting gables, massive chimney blocks, and asymmetry of Shaw’s work can be felt throughout the Harvard / Belmont District, but especially in the M. H. Young House, the C. H. Bacon House, the J. A. Kerr House, and the W. L. Rhodes House

Whether you go for the early-twentieth century gossip, the plethora of beautiful and architecturally significant houses, or just for the walk, the important thing is to go, as you will not want to miss this glance into the fascinating history of the Harvard / Belmont Landmark District.

Details

Tours are approximately 2 hours and run rain or shine, dress accordingly! Advance registration is strongly encouraged; walk-ups are limited to space available for a cost of $25 (cash only/exact change required). For more information on SAF tours, visit their FAQ page (http://seattlearchitecture.org/tours/tours-faq/) or call 206-667-9184.

 

Capitol Hill Real Estate: February Report

The real estate market in Seattle’s popular Capitol Hill neighborhood was slightly down in February with 26 sales. According to the NWMLS, data shows a decline in sales from previous years of 33 in 2015, 34 in 2014 and 31 in 2013.  This year’s February listings sold for a total of $15 million. Out of these sales, 57% were condos as capitol hill is one of the more densely populated neighborhoods.

Currently, there are 54 active listings in Capitol Hill as well as 51 pending listings. The year to date median sales price for the area was $477,000 and the average sales price was $597,902.

Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle

Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle

For similar information on Denny BlaineMadison Park, or Madrona real estate please click the previous links to each of these Seattle neighborhoods.

Capitol Hill is a part of “Central Seattle” as defined my Seattle real estate agents. Central Seattle real estate basically includes the area from the Montlake cut to I-90 and from Lake Washington to I-5.  The start of the year shows home prices are up across the city and sales for the first two months are down with 165 sold in 2015 versus 158 in 2016.  Currently, in this central Seattle area, there are 177 active listings.

If you have any questions about the Seattle real estate market, please feel free to reach out to a local Seattle real estate agent.

First Hill Walking Tour

 

The historic fireside room at the Sorrento Hotel serves as the final stop on tour.

The historic fireside room at the Sorrento Hotel serves as the final stop on tour.

On Tuesday, March 8th Historic Seattle, publisher of Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill: Propriety, Profanity, Pills, and Preservation in 2014, is offering a walking tour of First Hill.

Directly adjacent to Capitol Hill’s busy Pike and Pine retail corridors, First Hill may seem like little more than a neighborhood of hospitals. At the close of the nineteenth century, however, First Hill was one of Seattle’s first “it” neighborhoods. Offering commanding views of the fledgling city center, as well an abundant supply of fresh water provided by streams and springs, First Hill attracted many of city’s wealthiest residents who built imposing houses in the varied and exotic architectural styles popular at the turn of past century. At the height of its social cache, First Hill boasted approximately 40 stately residences, home to such influential Seattle names as Terry, Minor, Hanford, Burke, Lowman, Frye, Pigott, Malmo, and Denny. To accommodate the influx of moneyed residents, exclusive social clubs, churches, and restaurants were also built.

First Hill’s reputation as a prestigious residential district fell victim to urban growth. During the interwar period, the neighborhood began a quick transition into a largely institutional and commercial district, with Virginia Mason establishing its first foothold in the area in 1920. Today, most of First Hill’s mansions have been demolished, but a few remain, including the Stimson-Green Mansion, now operated by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation (http://preservewa.org/Tours.aspx/).

Tuesday’s walking tour will include the Frye Art Museum, Saint James Cathedral, H.H. Dearborn House, Stimson-Green Mansion, Piedmont Hotel (now Tuscany Apartments), First Baptist Church, Fire Station No. 25, the Sorrento Hotel, among other properties. The tour will provide insight into the development of First Hill and changes the neighborhood has faced over the past century.

Details

Date: March 8th, 2016

Time: 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Venue: Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Avenue

Tickets: $35 general public / $25 Historic Seattle members

https://app.etapestry.com/cart/HistoricSeattle/default/item.php?ref=564.0.1269332