AKA: Columbus Sanitarium, First Hill, Seattle, WA; Cabrini, Mother Frances Xavier, Hospital, First Hill, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - hospitals

Designers: Heins and La Farge, Architects (firm); Somervell and Cote, Architects (firm); Joseph Simon Cote (architect); George Lewis Heins (architect); Christopher Grant La Farge (architect); Woodruff Marbury Somervell (architect)

Dates: constructed 1906-1907, demolished 1995

7 stories

view all images ( of 2 shown)

1019 Madison Street
First Hill, Seattle, WA 98104

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map
The Perry Hotel was located on the southwest corner of Madison and Boren Streets.


The Perry Hotel was one of the earliest revival-style apartment towers that went up in First Hill just before the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE) in 1909. Large "apartment hotels" catered to a well-to-do class of renters, and continued to be built in the neighborhood until about 1930, when the 50-apartment Gainsborough was completed.

Building History

The New York, NY-based architectural firm of Heins and LaFarge designed the Perry Apartment Hotel, assisted by the Seattle partnership Somervell and Coté, in 1906-1907; both W. Marbury Somervell (1872-1938) and Joseph S. Coté (1874-1957) worked for Hein and LaFarge in New York, and came to Seattle to supervise the construction of that firm's Roman Catholic Saint James Cathedral (completed 1907). Seattle historian Paul Dorpat has written: "While supervising the construction of the prestigious St. James Cathedral, architects Marbury Somervell and Joseph S. Cote, both new to Seattle, became inevitably known to new clients. Their two largest 'spin-off' commissions were for Providence Hospital and these Perry Apartments." (See Paul Dorpat, "Seattle Now & Then: The Perry Apartments," on Dorpat Lomont Sherrard, accessed 06/29/2015.) Because the hotel was believed to be too removed from the downtown commercial district, it closed about8 years after opening, and was purchased bythe Roman Catholic Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 04/1916 and renovated for use as the Columbus Sanitarium about four months later. (See "Hotel Perry Property Is Deeded to Sisters," Seattle Daily Times, 04/27/1916, p. 24.)

Paul C. Hedrick, a reporter for the Seattle Daily Times described how the Hotel Perry, "...one of the finest hotel structures in the West," was sold to the order led by Mother Cabrini: ""The property is appraised by real estate brokers at more than $400,000. It is authoritatively stated that within a few days the papers transferring the title in fee of The Perry to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart will be signed by D.K. Lakin of New York City and his associates, who have long owned the property. Rev. Mother-General Cabrini, who is the head of the society, is in Seattle for the purpose of completing negotiations which were begun several months ago in New York City. Mother Cabrini, who is one of the most active of all the prominent sisters connected with Catholic organizations, soon will make an announcement as to the uses to which The Perry will be put, which will be in consonance with the charitable and philanthropic ideals and policies of the organization. The Perry was completed in 1908 and is a strictly modern and very beautiful building, situated on lots 2 and 3, block 102, A.A. Denny's Broadway Addition. It is seven stories in height and contains 204 rooms. The building cost $350,000. It is understood that a considerable part of the purchase price of the property will be rebated by the owners because of a the strong personal appeal made by Mother Cabrini. Long ago, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart established a branch in Seattle and it is said Mother Cabrini is very desirous of building up its usefulness and in forwarding and enlarging its work here." (See Paul C. Hedrick, Sisters of Sacred Heart Close Deal for Purchase of Hotel Perry Property, Seattle Daily Times, 03/22/1916, p. 1.)

Mother Maria Francesca Cabrini (1850-1917), founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) Order in Italy in 1880, and immigrated to the US in 1899, becoming a US citizen ten years later. During an 18-year span, she founded 67 charitable institutions--orphanages, hosptials and schools--in the U.S., the last being the Columbus Sanitarium, opened on 08/19/1916. The Seattle Daily Times said of the newly opened facility: "The building which the new sanitarium occupies is fire proof and noise proof and is within five minutes' ride of the business center. Complete renovation of the interior has made it one of the most up-to-date institutions in the country. The equipment includes all the newest electrical appliances, the latest equipment for hydrotherapy treatments and X-ray apparatus." (See "Columbus Sanitarium Opened for Patients," Seattle Daily Times, 08/20/1916, p. 16.) It served the city during the influenza pandemic of 1918 and was renamed the "Columbus Hospital" in 1924. Mother Cabrini was canonized as a saint in the Catholic church in 1946.

A local newspaper columnist Dorothy Brant Brazier, wrote in a 1963 article about the hotel/hopsital: "The Perry was designed by Cote and built in 1909. It operated as a hotel until 1915, when it became--with remodeling, of course--Columbus Hospital. Now, with more recent remodeling, it is Cabrini Hospital. It was the last purchase made by Mother Cabrini (now known as St. Frances Xavier Cabrini) before she died. She had been responsible for 67 institutions all over the world, but this was her last one. Mother Cabrini had wanted it as an orphanage, but the building was used first for physiotherapy and electrotherapy treatments; later as a general Catholic hospital." She continued, that Hotel Perry rooms cost $2 and up in 1915, and Seattleites alive at that time indicated that "...the Perry was one of two 'best addresses' for widows of that day. Another [writer] said the hotel, beautiful as it was and with fine service, seemed 'too far out of town' at that time to succeed as a hotel.'" (See Dorothy Brant Brazier, "Hotel Perry Far From Forgotten," Seattle Daily Times, 09/13/1963, p. 21.)

Building Notes

The Hotel Perry replaced the large residence of Seattle pioneer Cornelius H. Hanford (1849-1926), a Federal judge, his wife, Clara M. Baldwin (born 09/06/1856 at Olympia, Washington Territory-d. 02/29/1904), and their 8 children, at 1023 Madison Street, on the southeast corner of Madison Street and Boren Avenue. Clara died of tuberculosis in Spokane, WA, at the age of 47. Following her death, Judge Hanford moved to another residence at 1503 10th Avenue North (where he lived in 1905), opening the site for development.

The Perry Hotel (also called the "Hotel Perry") was designed in the Tudor Revival Style and had seven stories. According to an advertisement in the Seattle Times (11/06/1910, p. 16), the Perry Hotel was "A beautiful fireproof structure containing 250 rooms, replete with all modern accessories and provided with every requisite for the most exacting patrons." In 1910, J. Guerrieri was the manager.

The Seattle Daily Times reported in 1908: "The United Wireless Telegraph Company yesterday closed a contract with the Perry Hotel Company for the installation of a wireless station on the roof of the hotel at the corner of Madison Street and Boren Avenue. The Perry will be the third hotel on Puget Sound to install wireless telegraphy." (See "Wireless for Hotel Perry" Seattle Daily Times, 10/18/1908. p. 25.)

The Hotel Perry had a sizeable number of long-term guests in multi-room apartments, who had to vacate the building after its sale in 04/1916. A Seattle Daily Times article mentioned a few of these inhabitants: "Owing to the sale of the Hotel Perry, the guests of the hotel have had to make other arrangements for their homes. Most of them will leave the hostelry early this month. Among those who will make their homes at the Hotel Sorrento, are Judge and Mrs. Frederick V. Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Irving M. Ballard, Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. F.M. Dudley, Miss Edith Young and Mr. and Mrs. H.B. Earling. Mr. and Mrs. George Noble Skinner will remove May 1 from the Hotel Perry to an apartment at the Hotel Sorrento. Mr. and Mrs. John Davis have removed from the Hotel Perry to an apartment at the Olympian. Mr. and Mrs. George T. Myers will remove the middle of this month from the Hotel Perry to the residence of Mrs. Orion O. Denny, 1204 Boren Avenue." (See "Personals." Seattle Daily Times, 04/09/1916, p. 61.)


A 7-story addition was made to the Columbus Hospital in 1958; this wing contained an additional 6 surgery suites and 223 beds. The Columbus Hospital was renamed in 1958 to the "Saint Frances X. Cabrini Hospital."


The Perry Hotel/Columbus Hospital was demolished in 05/1995; affordable housing for seniors was built by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) on the site in 2006. The new low-cost housing for the elderly was called "Cabrini Senior Housing."

PCAD id: 12359