(click to enlarge photos)
Mathew Partrick Zindorf, the sturdy builder-developer of these namesake apartments, ran a classified in The Post-Intelligencer for Sept. 19, 1909 that trumpeted the qualities of his then modern four-story (with basement) creation on the east side of 7th Avenue, mid-block between Cherry and Columbia Streets. Distributed throughout were seventy-one apartments, 40 of two rooms, 28 of three, and 3 of four. Everyone of them had disappearing beds, tiled and enameled bathrooms, kitchenettes fitted with gas ranges and refrigerators, and every apartment was entered thru the elegance of doors aglow with art glass, and along floors, halls and stairs finished in Alaska marble and art tiling.
The apartment’s accompanying portrait – from about 1911 – reveals that it was lavishly decorated with art tile on the outside as well. But most importantly, these apartments were made of fireproof reinforced concrete. It was a point of such gravity to the long-lived Zindorf that the first line in his Seattle Times obituary for April 13, 1952 reads, “93. Long-time Seattle construction engineer, who built
the first reinforced concreted structure here . . .the Zindorf Apartments.” Historian Dianna James, author of “Shared Walls,” a history of Seattle’s apartment buildings, doubts it. She nominates the Waldorf apartment-hotel for that distinction. Built a few blocks north of Zindorf at the northeast corner of 7th and Pike and about three years earlier in 1906, in a Times report from 1907, the Waldorf is also described as strictly fireproof . . . built of reinforced concrete . . . There is no wood of any kind, except the flooring.”
Zindorf seems to have had some uncertainty about his namesake apartments before they opened. In a July 11, 1909 Times classified the developer indicates a willingness “to lease for a term of years” his “strictly first-class building and very close in. . .” However, the offer did not, it seems, indicate an impasse, for the 1909 Times classified noted above promised that “the apartment house will be ready for occupancy in October.” Next in the Times classifieds for December 12, a self-acclaimed “first class dressmaker, Mrs. Amsbury, was advertising her services from Zindorf apartment 1-b.” Early in January a “professional masseur and chiropodist” was offering rheumatism massage in a Zindorf apartment.
A century ago the neighborhood was distinguished by the brick Monticello Hotel, directly across 7th Ave. from the Zindorf; the Seattle Fire Department’s headquarters, at the southwest corner of
7th and Columbia; the brick Columbia Bldg. (also showing here), next door at the southeast corner of the same intersection, and nearby both St. James Cathedral and Trinity Episcopal Church. And being “very close in” to the business district was made nearly immediate by Cable Railways on both James and Madison Streets. For the second half of its life, the Zindorf has faced the freeway, and heard it too.
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, but with a confession that we have, again, given most of our time to research and this show-tell (the sensational rewards of research) will suffer some because of it. We don’t have time for it all it seems, however, Ron Edge’s help is typically redeeming in this, and so below we will include a number of aerials got from Ron and from the edges of other collections. To these we will join a few past features from the neighborhood – most of them linked by Ron – and a few other features pulled from this computer. Also we will leave much of the interpretation to the readers. They may feel confident that most likely the Zindorf will figure into what we add – either directly or as a neighbor. What follows, then, is something of a challenge. To repeat, we will begin with the links, continue on then to some aerials and then find a few more neighborly features. (The last may be added later in the week, depending, this evening, on the nighty-bear* impulses.)
* Coined and used by Bill Burden to describe or indicte anything that may have to do with going to bed.
The TWO from 1929 CHALLANGE
We hope to soon include what remains. But now we climb the stairway to nighty-bears*
* compliments Bill Burden