Historic Seattle is excited to launch a new program series highlighting our 2022 Preservation Awards Winners. This series runs from March 29 to April 29 and includes virtual and in-person events. We look forward to learning more about these incredible preservation projects from the project teams!
Join us on Zoom for an insider’s peek into the processes and learnings from these two projects: Frye Hotel and Bremer Apartments. Click here to register!
Frye Hotel | 2022 Outstanding Stewardship Award
Built at the base of the original Skid Road (Yesler Way) in 1908, The Frye Hotel, originally advertised as Seattle’s “First Fire-Proof Hotel,” was Pioneer Square’s first luxury hotel to have en suite bathrooms. The building, 11 stories above grade with two basement levels, was converted to 234 units of apartments in the 1970s. In the late 1990s, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) purchased the building, making it the largest Section 8 preservation project in Washington State.
LIHI is thrilled to have given this iconic beauty a new lease on life with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems overhauls, as well as a new insulated roof and extensive exterior renovation. Rehabilitation costs totaled approximately $35 million. Included in the renovation was exterior masonry cleaning, repair, and seismic reinforcement, along with a full replacement of the failing cornice along the street front sides of the building. Windows were also repaired or replaced, with historic wood windows repaired and preserved along street front sides and new energy-efficient windows on secondary facades.
The building remained occupied during the renovation, adding substantial challenge to the project. The progress of the rehabilitation work was driven by the location of the plumbing stacks throughout the building, work was done in 10 vertical zones spanning residential floors 2 to 11. Over the course of approximately two years, tenants were relocated within the building to clear the way for the construction crew to progress through the zones. LIHI staff worked closely with tenants to make moves as easy as possible, with many households moving only once – into a newly refinished unit.
Bremer Apartments | 2022 Outstanding Stewardship Award
The Bremer Apartments, located in Belltown at 1st Avenue and Broad Street, was constructed in 1925 for client George Bremer and designed by architect Max Allen Van House. Today, the Bremer is one of a diminishing number of character buildings still standing in the neighborhood.
Community Roots Housing (formerly Capitol Hill Housing) acquired the 49-unit property for use as affordable housing in 1992 and oversaw a minor rehabilitation at that time, which included the provision of new plumbing systems, plumbing fixtures, lighting, interior finish improvements, and energy-efficient window upgrades.
In 2018, the nearly 100-year-old apartments were deemed “high-risk” in the event of an earthquake by the City of Seattle. In a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the more recent rehabilitation included a voluntary seismic retrofit to address the building’s unique wood-framed, load-bearing structure and double wythe masonry veneer, stabilizing the veneer and the parapet against the effects of a seismic event and protecting the life safety of residents and community. The project was a substantial alteration, and key life-safety elements of the building were brought into compliance with current building and energy code requirements. In addition to the seismic improvement, the building’s electrical, heating, plumbing, and ventilation systems were significantly upgraded. Extensive demolition was required in dwelling units to facilitate the seismic retrofit work and to accommodate the required envelope and systems improvements. While this resulted in the loss of some original features within the units, considerable effort was made to maintain or restore the common areas, including the principal stairwell and its 1st Avenue windows which were replaced with wood windows.
We look forward to hosting this virtual event with representatives from each project team, including Jill Davies, Asset Manager at LIHI, Robert Drucker, architect at Environmental Works, Lee Stanton of Community Roots Housing, and members of the SMR Architects team.