Hofius House

1104 Spring Street

Hofius House (1902), 1104 Spring Street, Seattle, October 18, 2009, Photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Porch detail, Hofius House, 1104 Spring Street, Seattle, January 13, 2008, Photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Hofius House (right) and residences, Boren Avenue at Spring Street looking northeast, Seattle, ca. 1910, Courtesy UW Special Collections (SEA1916)
W.D. Hofius Residence Interior, 1104 Spring Street, Seattle, ca. 1904, Courtesy WSHS (1943.42.5519)
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Continue north on Boren one block. W.D. Hofius came to Seattle in the late 1880s from Pennsylvania. He formed a partnership with William Pigott and in 1893 organized the firm W.D. Hofius & Co. which handled railroad equipment and supplies. This was the predecessor to the Hofius Steel & Equipment Co., which furnished the steel for many prominent Seattle buildings.

For Hofius’s residence on Boren and Spring, Walter Spaulding and Max Umbrecht designed a Venetian Gothic palazzo in 1902. The finely laid brickwork, copper roof and dormers, and terra cotta porch and verandas of this exotic house would have been almost as out of place in Seattle when it was built as it is today–an island in a sea of busy traffic and concrete and glass condominium towers. Venetian Gothic was not a common style in Seattle; it would have been more at home on Chicago’s Gold Coast or off New York’s Fifth Avenue, where brick, stone, and terra cotta were commonly used.

The ornamental elements of the exterior are restated as decorative themes throughout the interior – which illustrates a stylistic mix of Greco-Roman, Moorish/Venetian Gothic, and Art Nouveau. Features include mosaic tile floors, Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts stained-glass windows, plaster molding detailed with stylized wheat motifs, Honduran mahogany Gothic screens, and a Moorish-inspired ogee-arched fireplace of variegated green Italian onyx. The Moorish influence was carried through in the heavily carved cornices and ceiling panels.

Since 1920, it has been the property of the Archdiocese of Seattle (and known as the Connolly House) and until recently it was the residence of the archbishop.

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