Structure Type: built works - dwellings - housing - affordable housing

Designers: Aitken, William, Architect (firm); Bain, William J., Sr., Architect, AIA (firm); Heilman, E. Clair, Landscape Architect (firm); Holmes, J. Lister, Architect (firm); Jacobsen, John T. , Architect (firm); Stoddard, George W., Architect (firm); Sturtevant, Butler, Landscape Architect (firm); William Aitken (architect/engineer); William James Bain Sr. (architect); E. Clair Heilman (landscape architect); Joseph Lister Holmes Sr. (architect); John Theodore Jacobsen (architect); George Wellington Stoddard (architect); Butler Steven Sturtevant (landscape architect)

Dates: constructed 1939-1941

view all images ( of 1 shown)

903 East Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98122-5417

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map
Yesler Terrace from Eighth Avenue to 12th Avenue.

Designed under the guidance of Jesse Epstein (1911-1989), Director of the Seattle Housing Authority, this affordable housing project had 561 apartments (on 43 acres) when built; its name commemorated Henry L. Yesler (1810-1892), the pioneering Seattle lumber mill owner and public servant. In 1941, Yesler Terrace took the lead in racial integration, becoming the first public housing project in the US not to segregate the races. Yesler Terrace faced redevelopment in 2005 into a mixed-income, rather than a low-income housing tract; other Seattle housing sub-divisions, many built during WW II, such as Holly Park (later called "New Holly"), Rainier Vista, and High Point, were redeveloped by the the Seattle Housing Authority. J. Lister Holmes served as Chief Architect of this low-cost housing project, and was assisted by William Bain, Sr., William Aitken, George W. Stoddard, and John T. Jacobsen, who acted as Associate Architects. Jacobsen has been credited as the Principal Designer of the group. (See Michael Houser, "Jacobsen, John T. (1903 - 1998),Accessed 02/15/2012.) Butler S. Sturtevant and E. Clair Heilman collaborated on the landscape plan for the housing project. In 2007, it had 582 units and approximately 600 residents.

Yesler Terrace received many accolades for its design over the years. The Seattle Art Commission presented it with a design citation for excellence in 1966. The City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board considered the landmarks nomination of Yesler Terrace on 08/18/2010.

PCAD id: 5319