AKA: The Hearthstone, Green Lake, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses - apartment houses; built works - dwellings - housing - housing for the elderly

Designers: Mahlum Architects, Incorporated (firm); Wick Construction Company (firm); Edward Kristian Mahlum (architect); Peter D. Wick Jr. (building contractor); Peter D. Wick Sr. (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1964-1966

10 stories, total floor area: 198,752 sq. ft.

6720 East Green Lake Way North
Green Lake, Seattle, WA 98103-5439

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In the early 1960s, the architect Edward K. Mahlum, who had already designed a notable retirement facility at the Norse Home in 1955-1957, was selected by the Lutheran Council of Seattle-King County to design the Hearthstone, a 250-unit, non-denominational retirement center for people 62 and older located in the Green Lake neighborhood. The reinforced concrete high-rise was begun in 1964 and completed in 1966.

Building History

The Lutheran Council of Seattle-King County began plans for the building of this retirement facility in the 1950s. A newspaper story of 04/20/1963 in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer indicated that planning had begun by the Lutheran Council of Seattle-King County in 09/1959. As envisioned in 1963, the Hearthstone would be open to anyone over 62 years of age, and would contain 250 units, with an 28-bed infirmary. Its dining room was designed to seat 250 and chapel could accommodate 100. The facility would also come equipped with library, garden patio, hobby and craft rooms, recreation area, administrative offices and meeting rooms and a rooftop dining terrace. (See E.J. Mitchell, "Lutherans Give Go-Ahead for Retirement Home," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 04/20/1963, p. 5.) The Lutheran minister Carl Peter Rasmussen (born 02/02/1905 in Eugene, OR) was a key figure in the planning and financing of the Hearthstone.

An advertisement of 05/03/1964 in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer explained the Hearthstone's underlying philosophy regarding life in a retirement home: "To be assured of the precious right to complete privacy, together with an entire sense of security when need arises is everyone's hope. Combine these assurances with the means of enjoying spiritual as well as social well-being, in a wholesome Christian atmosphere, and you have THE HEARTHSTONE. Lutheran in original, non-denominational in administration, the Hearthstone extends a welcome to all." (See Hearthstone Advertisement, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 05/03/1964, p. 18.)

Funding accumulated to allow the start of construction in 1964, with completion in 1966. (The advertisement in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of 05/03/1964, p. 18, indicated that construction would commence on 09/01/1964.) Edward K. Mahlum (1909-1998) was the architect for this retirement facility; the Wick Construction Company served as its building contractor. Peter D. Wick Sr. and Jr., owners of Wick Construction, worked with Mahlum previously on the erection of the Norse Home (1955-1957) in Seattle.

Building Notes

Property for the Hearthstone was purchased by the realtor H.D. Williams and Associates and cost $216,000 to acquire prior to 04/1963. (See E.J. Mitchell, "Lutherans Give Go-Ahead for Retirement Home," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 04/20/1963, p. 5.)

The Hearthstone contained only studio and one-bedroom apartments, each having its own balcony. It is one of the tallest buildings in the Green Lake Neighborhood at 10 stories.

In 2021, it contained 198,752 gross square feet, and occupied a40,700-square-foot (0/93-acre) lot. The King County Assessor indicated that it had 218 units, 74 one-bedroom units and 144 studios, each with an average size of 458 square feet. (See King County Department of Assessments.gov, "Parcel Data for Hearthstone," accessed 11/03/2021.)


A tool storage room was added for $55,000 to the mezzanine level in 2006, while alterations to the third-floor memory-care unit were made in 2009 at a cost of $900,000. (See King County Department of Assessments.gov, "Parcel Data for Hearthstone," accessed 11/03/2021.)