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Townhouse in historic Phinney Ridge enclave asks $1.15 million

It’s hard to find a townhouse with this much history

A row of connected brick homes sit behind a wide, recessed fountain, which has a statue of a boy in the center.
A brick exterior has plenty of gables and terra cotta work—staples of 1920s construction in Seattle—surrounding a central courtyard with an ornate fountain.
HD Estates

Just one block south of Woodland Park Zoo, this three-bedroom townhouse, built in 1923, is full of vintage charm, with the brick and extensive terra cotta common for the era. That was untouched by a condo conversion in 1977—and despite its dense surroundings, it lives like a single-family home. It also is part of a bigger story about Seattle’s growth nearly a century ago.

Hawthorne Square, a development of courtyard townhomes similar to rowhouses, were part of a 1920s housing boom, and were designed for upper-middle-class people “who could afford to purchase a home but preferred the convenience of renting,” according to its listing in the National Register of Historic Places, which notes the era was a time of prosperity. The architects were Lawton and Moldenhour, who also designed the Liggett Building at Fourth and Pike and the Republic Building at Third and Pike.

Alterations since then are minimal: a small addition to one building, a few decks, and an upgrade to the garage doors. In the center fountain, says the register, originally had concrete frogs spouting water in the center instead of a boy.

While the integrity inside the homes vary, this one appears to be in pretty good shape, with oak flooring and period millwork like cased openings. All the units have basements, and many of them, including this one, have since been finished—in this case it’s a den, although there’s laundry down there, too. The kitchen has been opened up to the dining room, something the register notes is a very common alteration, which frees up some entertaining space.

Upstairs, three bedrooms have the same historic feel, with original woodwork, shuttered windows and hardwood floors, but with the added modern convenience of a second set of laundry facilities.

4800 Fremont Avenue N is on the market for $1.15 million through Urbn Livn, with $490 a month in HOA dues, and comes with its own private (also historic) garage.

A staircase with a banister. A living room is visible to the right, or straight ahead there’s a door to a kitchen. The room has hardwood floors, white trim, and pastel yellow walls.
A classic formal entrance opens to a staircase with banister, with the living area adjacent.
A white couch is in front of a three-window bank, with a fireplace to the left and a cased opening (with the home’s front door visible) to the right. The room has hardwood floors, white trim, and pastel yellow walls.
Just off the foyer, a stately mantel anchors the living area for an overall traditional feel.
A wood table in the center of a room, surrounded by five chairs, has a cased opening to the right with wood bookcases visible, a three-window bank to the left, and a chandelier above. The room has hardwood floors, white trim, and pastel yellow walls.
The dining room is separated from the living room by a wide cased opening.
A basement room has a couch against a far wall with French doors to the right, and small, basement windows above. The room has hardwood floors, white trim, and pastel yellow walls.
A den in the basement was a later addition, but does better than most at matching the look and feel of the rest of the home.
A bedroom with a two-window bank to the left and an open door with the staircase rail visible to the right. The bed is beige with brown linens. The room has hardwood floors, white trim, and pastel yellow walls.
Upstairs, three bedrooms, including this master, are roomy—and have the same period woodwork as the downstairs rooms.
Two twin beds sit in a room with a two-window bank to the right. The room has hardwood floors, white trim, and pastel yellow walls.
While smaller than the master, another bedroom still has plenty of space and its own courtyard-facing view.
A small room has a brown leather seat and a wooden desk on either side of a window. The room has hardwood floors, white trim, and pastel yellow walls.
A smaller bedroom, this one with two sets of shutters, works well as an office.