Belmont-Boylston Historic Houses

1411 Boylston Avenue

Belmont-Boylston Historic Houses, Seattle, December 10, 2021, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
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1410, 1420 and 1424 Belmont Avenue; 1411, 1417 and 1423 Boylston Avenue

From Summit Avenue, walk east one to two blocks along E. Union Street. From 1893-1902, Henry Burke and Albert Hambach designed six buildings, constructed mid-block on Belmont and Boylston avenues south of Pike Street. They shared similar late Queen Anne and Colonial Revival architectural vocabularies that included columns, turned posts, and balusters, dentil molding, and Palladian windows. The three houses on Belmont were built and used as single-family homes, while those on Boylston were middle-class multiple residences made to have the appearance of single-family residences. Two are “double houses” or duplexes; one had four entrance doors leading to four units, representing a changing First Hill. The arrival of the streetcar to First Hill brought increased density, and new multifamily development.

Like so many First Hill buildings, these once elegant residences had become boarding/rooming houses in the late 20th century and were considered derelict properties when Historic Seattle acquired them in 1989. The Bel-Boy rehabilitation project converted the houses into 47 one-bedroom, studio, and single room occupancy low-income apartments while preserving original woodwork, shingling, and variety of window styles on the exterior. The project received numerous awards for successfully combining historic preservation and affordable housing. Historic Seattle holds preservation easements on all six houses and retains ownership of 1411 Boylston and its 16 units of affordable housing.

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