AKA: Rainier Club, Clubhouse #1, Downtown, Seattle, WA; Hotel Hillcrest, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Williams, Warren Heywood, Architect (firm); Warren Heywood Williams (architect)

Dates: constructed 1883-1884, demolished 1928

3 stories

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1000 4th Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98104

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The McNaught House was moved from the southeast corner of 4th Avenue and Spring Street to the northeast corner of 4th and Spring.


The Portland, OR-based architect Warren Heywood Williams (1844-1888) designed at least two large commissions in Seattle during the decade following the US Centennial, the 1st Presbyterian Church #1 (1876) and the mansion for James F. and Agnes McNaught.

Building History

Built for a wealthy lawyer working in the railroad industry, the James McNaught House was a three-story eclectic Queen Anne dwelling, fitted with a central four-story tower on its front facade. McNaught, along with Joseph F. McNaught, Elisha P. Ferry, and John H. Mitchell, Jr., was a partner in the legal firm of McNaught, Ferry, McNaught and Mitchell, that had offices on Seattle's Commercial Street (later 1st Avenue South) between Main and Washington Streets in 1884. (See Oregon, Washington and Idaho Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1884-5, vol. 1, [Chicago: R.L. Polk & Co., and A.C. Danser, 1884], p. 526.) One of the firm's main clients during the 1880s was the Northern Pacific Railway.

The McNaughts had moved back to West Point, NY, by 1890, and thereafter, their house functioned as the first Rainier Club Clubhouse from c. 1890 until 1893. The Rainier Club, named for the British naval officer Admiral Peter Rainier (1741-1808), a friend of the explorer George Vancouver (1757-1798), formed in 1888 to provide a “boarding, lodging house, and restaurant" for a small elite group headed by Thomas Burke, William A. Peters and John Leary. The club paid $100 per month rent to use the 22-room house. (The club moved its activities to a building next door to the Seattle Theatre, c. 1893, and thereafter, the McNaught Residence went on to become a rooming house. See Rainier Club.com, "Then & Now,"accessed 07/01/2019.)

In its last years, the house was remodeled into the Hotel Hillcrest.

Building Notes

Writer Frank R. Atkins wrote of the McNaught House in 1937: "The McNaught home was surmounted by a huge tower, with perhaps half as many rooms of the Yesler mansion [which had 40], but the upper story was utilized as a ball room. It commanded a fine view of the bay and mountains. After its owner was transferred east to make his future home, the Rainier club, among others, used it as its headquarters for several years. Later on the two lots on which it stood, together with the balance of the block was sold to the city for our Carnegie Library. Afterwards, the building was moved anorth cross tSpring Street. Subsequently it was demolished and the Hungerford hotel now occupies its old location." (See Frank R. Atkins, "Henry Yesler Home One of Early Show Places," Seattle Star, 08/07/1937.)


In order to make room for Seattle's main Carnegie-financed Library, the McNaught House was moved to a new location on the northeast corner of Spring Street and 4th Avenue in 1904.


The McNaught House was demolished in 1928.

PCAD id: 8031