AKA: Yoshikawa Terrace Apartments, Fremont, Seattle, WA; 4400 Fremont Avenue North Apartment Building, Fremont, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses - apartment houses

Designers: Bassetti and Morse, Architects (firm); C and R Builders, Incorporated (firm); Frederick Forde Bassetti (architect); Wendell Harper Lovett (architect); John Moore Morse (architect)

Dates: constructed 1950-1951

2 stories, total floor area: 7,992 sq. ft.

view all images ( of 1 shown)

4400 Fremont Avenue North
Fremont, Seattle, WA 98103

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map

Building History

The developer of the property was Gamma Rho, Incorporated, which bought the property on 07/20/1950, and continued owning the lot and apartment building until 1998. Set on an 18,153-square-foot site, architects Bassetti and Morse placed the long, rectangular building perpendicular to Fremont Avenue North, allowing a large garden to remain on the property's south side. The Federal Housing Administration provided financing for this small apartment block.

This apartment house, set in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, contained 12 units on two floors. It was a wood-frame structure occupying a 38 x 118-foot rectangle covered by a flat roof. Its rectangular form was "...organized into nine structural bays that are unified in three groups forming six apartment units at each floor level. The south elevation is defined by three central recessed bays flanked by flush walls; the recessed bays function as sets of entry porches at the ground level and terraces at the upper level. A flush wing wall divides each recess. The fenestration pattern reflects the apartment breakup with slender aluminum window units (a wide central fixed unit flanked by narrow casement windows) that extend the entire width of each of the flush bays at both floor levels. Wall surfaces are entirely clad with flush vertical cedar siding. The west elevation has no window openings and is entirely flat. There are no roof overhangs; the roofline is edged with a simple metal coping. The north elevation exhibits a continuous band of aluminum windows at the second floor level similar to those at the south elevation. The ground floor level includes six recessed porches that provide access to the upper units."(See City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods, "Seattle Historical Sites Summary for 4400 Fremont Avenue / Parcel ID 5694000400," accessed 07/25/2017.)

Victor Steinbrueck, in his guidebook, Seattle Architecture, 1850-1953, said of the composition: "Design is striking for simple articulation of dwelling units in exterior view, and for color and texture contrasts of wood siding, asbestos cement board facing, and entrance and balcony recesses." (See Victor Steinbrueck, Seattle Architecture, 1850-1953, [New York: Reinhold Publishing, 1953], p. 41.)

The architectural partnership of Bassetti and Morse worked with C and R Builders to complete the apartment house in 1951. Architect Wendell Lovett (1922-2016)) was credited as an "Associate Architect" on this commission; Lovett worked in the Bassetti and Morse office at this time and was periodically given design responsibilities.

Building Notes

In 1952, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) presented a National Grand Honor Award to Bassetti (1917-2013), Morse (1911-2000) and Lovett for their work on the Gamma Rho Apartments.

The apartment building contained 12 units and 7,992 gross square feet, 7,740 net. It had a taxable value of $1,725,500 in 2013.