AKA: Frye Apartment Hotel, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA; Frye Hotel, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Bebb and Mendel, Architects (firm); Clark, W.G., Construction Company (firm); Tonkin Hoyne Lokan, Incorporated, Architects (firm); Charles Herbert Bebb ; Louis Leonard Mendel Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1908-1911

11 stories

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223 Yesler Way
Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA 98104-2638

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The address was also listed as 215 Yesler Way.

Building History

George Frye (1833-1912) had a long and distinguished career in Seattle as a settler and businessman. He came to Seattle in its just after its founding in 1851 and developed friendships with its earliest Anglo-American inhabitants. Historian Paul Dorpat has said of Frye: "Arriving in Seattle in 1853, the 20-year-old German immigrant helped Henry Yesler assemble his steam sawmill and quickly became a favorite of Arthur and Mary Denny and later also of their daughter. Louisa had just turned 17 when George married her in 1860. Together they had six children and many businesses, and Louisa was very much a partner in both." (See Paul Dorpat, HistoryLink.org, "Frye Hotel," published 02/20/2001, accessed 02/15/2018.) Frye named the hotel in honor of his wife, Louisa Catherine Denny Frye (1844-1924), a daughter of Seattle pioneers Arthur Armstrong Denny (1822-1899) and Mary Ann Boren Denny (1822-1910).

On 12/06/1997, the Frye Associates sold the property to the Low Income Housing Institute for $5,400,000. In 2018, the Low Income Housing Institute.continued to own the building, known as the "Frye Apartments."

Building Notes

Terra-cotta ornamentation used on the exterior of the Frye Hotel became popular in 1910s Seattle, replacing more costly cut-stone details.

The Frye Apartments occupied a 21,600-square-foot (0/5-acre) parcel. It contained 177,364 gross square feet, 141,500 net. The building contained 234 apartments (112 one-bedroom units, 122 studios), with an average size of 592 square feet.


The architect W.H. Gardner worked on an alteration project at the Frye Hotel on 06/29/1960, according to the Seattle Municipal Archives.

Tonkin Hoyne Lokan Architects participated in a recent renovation of the building, working with the W.G. Clark Construction Company. The Low Income Housing Institute and the Seattle Archdiocesan Housing Authority directed this renovation work to create low-income housing in the building. The LIHI operated "234 studio and one-bedroom units for families, seniors, disabled and homeless individuals" in 2011. (See Low Income Housing Institute.org, "LIHI Properties: Frey Apartments,"Accessed 06/16/2011.)