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

Designers: Creutzer, John A., Architect (firm); Western Construction Company (firm); Johan Alfred Creutzer (architect); Charles F. Tregoning (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1925-1926

8 stories

view all images ( of 2 shown)

1705 Belmont Ave
Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA 98122

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


Occupying the northwest corner of East Olive Street and Belmont Avenue, the Tudor Revival Charbern Apartment Building was designed by Seattle architect John A. Creutzer (1873-1929) and erected by the Western Construction Company, owned by George and John A. Johnson. Eight-stories in height, the building measured 100 x 100 feet. Its name came from the first names of the owners Charles F. Tregoning (born c. 1885 in CO-d. 1952 in WA) and his wife, Bernice Bryan Tregoning (born 03/1891 in MI).

Building History

Seattle boat builders Charles F. Tregoning and his brother, Frank, (d. 1937 in WA), were the first owners of the Charbern Apartment Building. The building was stoutly constructed, composed of a reinforced concrete frame with brick-faced walls. Two-tones of brick patterned the first floor exterior, with terra-cotta detailing ornamenting the main entry door opening, belt courses and window sills. Charles Tregoning supervised the building's construction. A story in the Seattle Times said: "Charles F. Tregoning and Frank Tregoning, the owners of the apartment, have used their knowledge of superior workmanship and excellence of detail which for years marked their success in manufacturing. The Western Construction Company handled the general constract, and with the personal supervision of Charles F. Tregoning, have completed a monument to high ideals of refined, comfortable and commodious apartment construction." (See "Charbern Apartment to Be Opened Feb. 1," Seattle Times, 01/24/1926, p. 14.) Charles managed the apartment tower in 1928, although he operated a gas station at 5821 Roosevelt Way in 1935, and did not live at this address. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1935, p. 1503.) It is possible that economic exigencies during the Depression forced him to sell the property.

The Seattle Times described the building and its features: "The building, to be built by Charles F. Tregoning, is to be of reinforced concrete, eight stories high, and will occupy approximately the entire site which fronts 100 feet on the west side of Belmont Avenue and 100 feet on the north side of East Olive Street, one of the most desirable apartment house corners in that part of the city. The building, designed by John Creutzer, architect, will contain 151 rooms divided into 64 apartments of two, three and four-room units, and garage accommodations for fifty automobiles. The two street frontage facades are to be of brick and architectural terra cotta. The building is to be equippws with a two-pipe vacuum-return steam heating system, automatic refrigerators in the kitchen, a full quota of modern built-in features for each apartment, high speed passenger elevator and other features of modern apartment house appointments." (See "Straus & Co. Finances New Apartment Here," Seattle Times, 07/09/1925, p. 18.) Construction of the highrise began in 07/1925 and concluded in 01/1926, with apartments being offered for lease by 02/01/1926. (See "Charbern Apartment to Be Opened Feb. 1," Seattle Times, 01/24/1926, p. 14.)

This 01/24/1926 article described the building's noise-proof construction: "In designing the Charbern Apartments, J.A. Creutzer, architect, has planned for owners an exceptionally high-class and throughly modern structure of eight stories and basement built of reinforced concrete, brick and tile, with four-inch plaster block partitions, thereby rendering each apartment sound-proof as well as fireproof, it is claimed. The reinforced concrete floors are of ten-inch thickness, of slab and beam construction, which eliminates possibility of shrinkage and resultant impairment of the noise-proof feature." (See "Charbern Apartment to Be Opened Feb. 1," Seattle Times, 01/24/1926, p. 14.)

Building Notes

The Seattle Times noted in 1925 that the the owner of the Charbern Apartments relied on S.W. Straus and Company to issue bonds covering most of the building's cost: "This is the seventh building of major type to be erected in Seattle for which the funds were provided in part by bond issues underwritten by S.W. Straus & Co., and it is the eighth Seattle building securing Straus bond issues. These apartments are Dexter Horton Building, Spring Apartments, New Washington Hotel, Terminal Sales Building, Wilsonian Apartments, and the Medical and Dental Building. Through the agency of S.W. Straus & co., millions of dollars of investors from coast to coast have thus been provided for building enterprises in Seattle." (See "Straus & Co. Finances New Apartment Here," Seattle Times, 07/09/1925, p. 18.) The apartment tower cost $350,000 to build, of which $215,000 was raised in bonds owned by Straus and Company.

PCAD id: 21405