Baroness Apartment Hotel

1005 Spring Street

Baroness Apartment Hotel, 1005 Spring Street, Seattle, January 13, 2008, Photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Baroness Apartment Hotel sign, Seattle, December 10, 2021, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Architectural detail, Baroness Apartment Hotel, Seattle, October 4, 2013, Photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Northern entrance, Baroness Apartment Hotel, Seattle, December 10, 2021, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
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After crossing Boren Avenue, look across the street to the north to see the 1928 brick and terra cotta Marlborough Apartments, one of the first and finest high-rise apartment buildings in Seattle. Continuing down the hill, John H. Armin and L. Stark, pioneer Seattle hotel and apartment developers, commissioned James Hansen Schack, architect, and Arrigo M. Young, engineer, to design the Baroness Apartment Hotel in 1930. Buff colored brick veneer over reinforced concrete faces the second through sixth floors. The vertical full-height corner bays, rising from the first to the sixth floor, are faced with faux stone. The stylized floral design in the spandrels between the metal casement windows, and the three-dimensional zigzag brickwork in the parapet, are characteristic Art Deco elements. The Baroness opened with thirty apartments and thirty hotel rooms. The first floor provided a reception lobby, with an elevator, stair, and secondary entry on its south side. An adjacent lounge was built to the west of the lobby. This lounge featured a marble clad fireplace on its west wall and accessed a raised platform on the south that once featured low, curvilinear walls. Early advertisements call this the Music Room as it was used for musical performances. Local lore says that visiting opera stars stayed at the Baroness and used the stage when practicing. The stage is now behind one lobby wall. Early advertisements stressed “the utmost in convenience and luxury.” Amenities included spacious closets, basement laundry with electric washer, dryer and mangle, electric refrigeration, and an exclusive feature of twin beds in the three-room apartments. The Baroness became a City of Seattle landmark in 2009.

Other notable 1920s apartment buildings nearby are the Chasselton (1017 Boren Avenue), Rhododendron (Inn at Virginia Mason, 1006 Spring Street), and Cassel Crag (offices, 1218 Terry Avenue, designated a Seattle Landmark in 2021), and the John Winthrop (1020 Seneca Street).

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