Mapping Frederick Anhalt’s contributions to Capitol Hill (and other neighborhoods, too)

I love Fred Anhalt’s stylish older apartment buildings, some of which are now condominiums, but I had never been able to find a comprehensive map of all he’s done. There are only two books about Anhalt, neither of which is in print: Lawrence Kreisman’s 33-page Apartments by Anhalt and Steve Lambert’s 160-page Built by Anhalt. Both are available at the Seattle Public Library.

Anhalt’s story is interesting: this is a man who had no formal training as an architect but was a great businessman who was able to finish a building at blistering speed — as quickly as 43 days to complete a building that still stands more than 80 years later. Sadly, for all the beauty he brought to Capitol Hill, he lost everything in the Great Depression when banks forced him to cover the difference between his outstanding mortgages and the low resale price of his buildings.

View Anhalt Buildings in Seattle in a larger map

I put together this map of Anhalt’s buildings. Anhalt got his start designing market buildings in northern neighborhoods. His first Capitol Hill contribution was the La Quinta, a Spanish-style building at 17th & Denny. From there he moved on to bricks, building more than a dozen buildings in a three-year span and culminating with 1005 (“Ten-O-Five”) and 1014 E Roy St. Anhalt described Ten-O-Five as “the best building I ever built.” The ground-floor unit, now numbered #25, was Anhalt’s central management office for all his buildings. I was surprised to learn that Anhalt’s company built the commercial building on Broadway that Hollywood Video most recently occupied.

After bouncing back from his devastating bankruptcy in 1934, Anhalt mostly did commissions off-Hill and sold plans for houses. Among his last projects was St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Laurelhurst. He also branched out into nurseries, selling flowers and peat soil to other aspiring homebuilders. His career ended with an acrimonious dispute with the city over his 5-acre peat bog in northern Seattle, after which he effectively retired from the homebuilding business.

Check out the map of Anhalt Buildings in Seattle. Please leave a comment if I’ve missed or miscategorized any of the buildings.

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11 thoughts on “Mapping Frederick Anhalt’s contributions to Capitol Hill (and other neighborhoods, too)

  1. I didn’t realize Anhalt had built quite that much north of the ship canal as well. Love the Anhalt apartment / condo buildings. Used to own Unit #1 at the Twin Gables off of 15th Avenue. It had great 6+ inch wide oak plank floors with teak plug inserts. Also had one of the Apartments by Anhalt booklets, but left it with the unit when sold it — it seemed best to keep them together.

  2. I have often wondered how different Capitol Hill would look without the contributions of this man. Kinker (blackened, malformed) brick, the rejects of other builders, have a rusticity that no modern bulder would normally utilize, bricklayers being largely unfamiliar with them. The charms and nuances in every building were the results of considerable thought and are what is all together lacking in new construction. Modern materails can be beautifully used, but so often the details are poorly executed. Thank you for your thoughtful story.

  3. Hey CHB,
    Thanks for this interesting story on Anhalt! I am lucky enough to live in one of his buildings on Capitol Hill that got turned into condos a few years ago. I was also lucky enough to live in this very same unit almost 24 years ago when it was a rental apartment. My gf and I broke up and I was sad but I was sadder still to have to leave this beautiful, stately building. There is a quiet yet majestic comfort to the interior and exterior and I feel grateful that I have gotten to enjoy it again.

  4. Sie sind richtig, Herr Blofeld.
    Clinker is sometimes spelled “Klinker” which is the original Dutch / Low German, word. The old onomatopoeic verb “klinken” meant “to sound”, i.e. a “Klinker” is a “sounder”. (These brick stones produce a specifically bright sound when hit with or against something, for instance each other … also compare with the Standard German “klingen”)

  5. Is that in addition to the Twin Gables? The pushpin isn’t on the corner, but the building is big enough that I think we’re talking about the same property.

  6. Yes, Thanks for doing this inventory. I’ve written an article for our neighborhood newsletter about the Anhalt building in Eastlake and the count on the number of apartment buildings was just what I was looking for to include in it.