The last citywide survey was completed in 1979. Unlike the current effort, the 1979 survey was a “windshield” survey that identified buildings that appeared to have architectural significance but the surveyors did not have the tools to conduct additional historical research to evaluate the significance of the properties. Beginning with the survey and inventory of City-owned properties in 2000, professional architectural historians and volunteers have surveyed and inventoried more than 5000 properties that are included in the database are now available to the public.
The Chelsea Apartments on West Olympic Place were built in 1907 to house visiting families. Then called the “Chelsea Hotel”, it’s charms were widely advertised. One ad, running under the “Room and Board” classification a few years after the Exposition said:
Seattle’s Scenic Hotel Facing Kinnear Park. 10 minutes from business center. High-grade family home; large rooms, magnificent view, excellent neighborhood, roof garden, large lobby, private telephone in all rooms. Single rooms and suites with private bath… Take Kinnear car.
From 1868 to 1914, more than a million Swedes immigrated to the United States. Among them was John A. Lorentz, who was to become one of Queen Anne’s most prolific builders.
John A. Lorentz was born Johan Amandus Lorentzson in Ulvhult, Sweden, in October 1879. His family owned a farm, but the soil was poor and rocky. Like many Scandinavian immigrants, he left his native land because dividing the family farm with his brother would not have provided a viable living. Being adventurous,1 in 1903 he boarded a ship to the United States to seek a better life. He found work first as a blacksmith at the Old Star Carriage Company, and later as a carpenter, living on Garfield Street on Queen Anne. At that time, he was one of many newly-arrived immigrants from Scandinavia working in the building trades.
In 1905, he married his wife Bena, also a Swedish immigrant, who became not only his life-long companion but also a partner in his business. With her assistance, in 1910, Lorentz began a career as a building contractor. During his career, he built an estimated 200 single family homes on Queen Anne,2 many of which still exist with minimal exterior alterations, as well as apartment buildings in the Denny Regrade and on First Hill. …Continue reading “John Lorentz & Lorentz Pl”→