Fred Anhalt was never an architect—at least, not officially—but his architectural influence is all over Seattle, with some of the most showstopping apartment buildings in the city, especially on Capitol Hill. Even if you’re not familiar with him, you probably know his work, with styles harkening back to old Europe: half-timbering, Gothic arches, and even the occasional turret. In Anhalt buildings, two units are rarely alike, thanks to the buildings’ unique floorplans.
But officially, Anhalt was a developer. He founded his building company in 1925, and by the end of that decade, he became a prolific builder of luxury apartments. He worked fast—many of his buildings were built before the stock market crash of 1929, when his company went bankrupt—and lent his expertise to architecture, design, landscaping, and building alike. He continued building residences throughout his career, though, including single-family homes. In the 1940s, Anhalt ultimately left the business to start a nursery, a fitting next act for someone who designed so many elaborate courtyards.
Starting in the 1970s, his work started earning landmark designations. One approved in 1980 notes that Anhalt helped define an era in Seattle construction, successfully merging apartment and single-family home styles “before downzoning restricted multifamily units in many of Seattle’s stylish single-family residential communities.”
With a style as distinct as Anhalt’s, it’s hard to imagine that he was never licensed or formally trained as an architect. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized this, and granted him an honorary membership in 1993, just a few years before his death at a whopping 100 years old.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but it includes some of his most iconic works.Read More