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Originally published April 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM | Page modified April 21, 2012 at 10:09 PM

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A look back at Seattle's Beaumont Apartments

The building is part of the city's most generous swath of apartments that were built conveniently along the western slopes of First and Capitol hills, a quick trolley ride to downtown.

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THIS WEEK'S Capitol Hill subject is an apt example of how Diana James, in choosing the 100 local apartment buildings to feature in her book, "Shared Walls," could sometimes be influenced by a photo.

The Beaumont Apartments building, she writes, "hovers above the appealing Pike Street Gas Station and, in the photo's composition, between the Ford dealer on the northeast corner of Summit and Pike and the porch of the large, dark home on the left. I was intrigued that the building has stood there forever, preserved."

In her essay on the Beaumont Apartments she reveals that after the contractor, F.G. Winquist, built it in 1909 he moved in with his wife, five children and three servants. Of their apartment building's 27 three- and four-room units, the Winquists may have needed several.

The Beaumont's architects, Elmer Ellsworth Green and William C. Aiken, are mentioned in the book "Shaping Seattle Architecture." Aiken later helped with the design of the Yesler Terrace Housing Project, while "Green designed dozens of houses and apartment houses in Seattle neighborhoods including Capitol Hill, the Central Area and Mount Baker."

Like many apartment houses of the time, the Beaumont featured two bays that climbed to the roof. The building is part of the city's most generous swath of apartments that were built conveniently along the western slopes of First and Capitol hills, a quick trolley ride to downtown. The Beaumont was advertised in The Seattle Times of July 28, 1913, as featuring "Close-in choice apartments, 10 minutes walk to 4th and Pike . . . strictly modern, rent reasonable."

Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard's blog at www.pauldorpat.com.

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