AKA: Capitol Hill Methodist Church, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA; First Methodist Protestant Church #4, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Fulton, John Charles, Architect and Builder (firm); John Charles Fulton (architect/building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1906-1907

128 16th Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98112-5212

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Building History

According to historian Paul Dorpat, a, architect, John Charles Fulton (1856-1924), based in Uniontown, PA, was responsible for the design of Seattle's 1st Methodist Protestant Church #4. Since the beginning of the 19th century, many architects sold church designs and plans by mail, often advertising in denominational publications. Fulton was one of these, selling approximately 600 church plans this way.

An ancestor of the engineer Robert Fulton (1765-1815), the inventor of the steamboat, J.C. Fulton, first learned carpentry while working in the extensive flour and paper mills of a maternal uncle, General Joseph Markle (1777-1876), in West Newton, PA. His paternal uncles owned a successful contracting business in Irwin, PA, and also furthered his education in building and architectural design. Fulton began as a contractor himself, but, over time, gained distinction as a designer, and had styled himself an architect by 1884. He was responsible for a number of large-scale commercial and public buildings in southeastern PA and WV, including the Uniontown High School, Hotel Mahaney, Uniontown, and court houses in Morgantown, Beverly and West Union, WV. He later became interested in politics.

The 1st Methodist Protestant Congregation established itself early in Seattle's history, forming in 1865, with pioneer cleric Daniel Bagley (1818-1905) as its first pastor. As a result of a disagreement, Bagley split his congregaton from the Methodist Episcopal congregation in town, changing its name slightly to First Methodist Protestant." In addition to church affairs, Bagley earned an important place in local history, assisting in the establishment of the Washington Territorial university in Seattle on land donated by Arthur Denny and others. The congregation utilized this fourth church from 1907 until 1991, when its 89 members decided that it could no longer afford to maintain the building. The 84-year-old structure had a leaky roof and other problems that required $1.5 million for renovation. They sold the property and decided to share the Central Lutheran Church building at 1710 11th Avenue with its tenants.

Building Notes

The City of Seattle designated the 1st Methodist Protestant Church #3 a Seattle Historic Landmark in 1976; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.


Renovation work by the architectural firm of Arai-Jackson turned the former church into the firm's own offices c. 1992-1993. By 2004, it was again for sale. It later became used by the Catalysis Corporation, c. 2012.

Seattle Historic Landmark (1976): ID n/a

National Register of Historic Places (May 14, 1993): 93000364 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 5411