AKA: Carkeek Mansion, First Hill, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Carkeek, Morgan J., Building Contractor (firm); Morgan James Carkeek (building contractor); Charles Palliser (architect); George Palliser (architect)

Dates: constructed 1884-1885, demolished 1934

2 stories

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918 Boren Avenue
First Hill, Seattle, WA 98104

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Southeast corner of Madison Street and Boren Avenue.


This residence of Morgan J. (d. 1931) and Emily G. Carkeek (d. 1926) became a social center for Seattle society during the later 1880s and 1890s. Seattle historian Paul Dorpat has observed that the Carkeek Mansion served as a magnet, drawing other well-to-do residents to settle on First Hill. He stated: "In the mid 1880s the English couple, Morgan and Emily Carkeek, built their mansion directly across Boren Avenue from the future Perry when the neighborhood was still fresh stumps and a few paths winding between them. The Carkeek home became the clubhouse for First Hill culture and no doubt a few Perry [Apartment Building] residents were welcomed to its card and masquerade parties." (See Paul Dorpat, "Seattle Now & Then: The Perry Apartments," viewed on Dorpat Sherrard Lomont, accessed 06/29/2015.) First Hill had the benefit of being quite close to Downtown businesses while, at 340 feet above the city, it retained fine views of the mountains and sound.

Building History

Morgan Carkeek, a respected building contractor, erected this house for his wife and him on the southeast corner of 11th Avenue and Madison Street in Seattle; it became the scene of many well-attended society functions between 1885 into the 1910s. It was based on designs derived from the Palliser, Palliser and Company plan book, Palliser's American Cottage Homes (1878). The Carkeek House does not seem to be based on any exact drawing included in the book, but there are at least two plates (plates 14 and 18) that feature a similar L-shaped, cross-gabled plan with a tower. Carkeek may have received a basic set of plans from the Pallisers and embellished them himself.


The Carkeek House was demolished in 1934; a Standard Oil Service Station was to have been built on this site. It was demolished three years after the death of Morgan J. Carkeek, the pioneer Seattle builder who erected it.