The architect of the Victoria Apartments, John Graham, Sr., was noted for his “appropriate and sensitive use of historic and modern architectural styles and his eye for proportion and nuance of ornament.”
The building cost $600,000 when it was built in 1921 in a Tudor Revival style, in red brick with terra cotta ornament. It occupies an entire block at the crest of the hill with panoramic views of the city and Elliott Bay. The U-shaped building surrounds a vast terraced lawn (recently re-designed), which allows residents to not only enjoy the water view but to have garden views from virtually every window and a greater sense of privacy from the street. It also provides an important amenity to the neighborhood, providing open space, light and attractive plantings.
The Victoria’s aim was to have home-like units with large comfortable rooms and amenities seldom found in Seattle apartments. The building’s original configuration had 48 apartments of two to six rooms each, three elevators, six laundries, a community assembly room, a children’s playroom, 20 maid’s rooms with sitting room and bath; and 48 garages. Many larger units had service entrances, foyers, libraries, and fireplaces; each unit had a service door, where trash was picked up daily. The building now has 55 one- and two-bedroom units, some formed from the servants’ rooms.