Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Fisher, Elmer, H., Architect (firm); Elmer H. Fisher (architect)

Dates: constructed 1889-1890

5 stories

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2326 1st Avenue
Belltown, Seattle, WA 98121-1617

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Also noted as 2324 1st Avenue.

Overview

A wood frame supported this eclectic, brick-faced commercial building built in 1889, designed by the prolific and mysterious architect, Elmer H. Fisher. A variety of materials composed the picturesque front facade including cast iron, rusticated stone, brick, glass and terra cotta. Its composition was irregular, with the front four bays having windows arrayed in groupings of two, three, two, and one.

Building History

Elmer Fisher (c. 1844-1905), the architect of a large number of buildings erected in Seattle after the fire of 1889, designed this store and office building for the ill-fated member of the Bell Family, Austin A. (1854-1889). Austin Bell was developer William N. Bell's (1817-1887) son; the Seattle neighborhood, Belltown, takes its name from this influential early family.

Austin Bell killed himself in 1889 after noticing what he thought to be the onset of a hereditary nervous system disorder.

Building Notes

The Seattle Landmarks Board declared the Austin A. Bell Apartments a City of Seattle Landmark. Date introduced/referred: 08/21/1978. Date passed: 10/23/1978. Status: Passed Vote: 9-0 Date of Mayor's signature, 11/01/1978

In 2018, the first-floor commercial spaces within this condominium building contained about 8,413 square feet. In total, the building contained approximately 37,365 square feet on its five floors. It occupied a 10,375-square-foot (0.24-acre) lot.

Each floor had differently shaped window openings. The first floor had commercial glazed openings and an arch over the door leading to the upper floors. The second floor's double-hung windows were trabeated, while those of the third were both trabeated and topped by segmental arches. The windows of the top floor were both arched and trabeated.

Alteration

The building has endured at least two fires, the last of which gutted the interior; in the late 1990s, all but the facade of the building was demolished, and new condominium housing with 44 residential units was located on the upper floors. The living units were small, averaging 658 square feet in size.

About $75,000 worth of alterations were done to accommodate a Starbucks coffee shop beginning on 04/17/2014. Replacement of some west-facing windows on condominium units occurred beginning 12/30/2014. This work cost $98,000.

Seattle Historic Landmark (Listed 1978-10-23): 107753

King County Assessor Number: 0657000000 Department of Assessments eReal Property GIS Center parcel report GIS Center parcel viewer GIS Center iMap viewer

PCAD id: 3113