An Abbreviated History
Mr. James Moore, a Seattle pioneer and entrepreneur, built his home centrally located on Capitol Hill--the neighborhood that he developed and named. He originally purchased some 200 acres of clear-cut land in 1900, and platted it into lots. Before selling the lots, he installed streets, sidewalks, streetlights, water, and sewer lines--a revolutionary idea which has been copied by developers ever since. He named it after the location where he had proposed marriage to his beloved wife, Eugenie--Capitol Hill in Denver.
Millionaires Row is how this section of the 14th Avenue East was known. Residents called it the "Avenue of Mansions." This street had spectacular views to the west and was a parkway with a beautifully planted median strip. By 1924, traffic had grown so the median strip was removed. The depression that followed meant that large homes became difficult to maintain; residences deteriorated, were demolished, or became multifamily.
James Moore's residence was constructed between 1901 and 1904 and is one of the few remaining buildings designed by the Seattle architect W. D. Kimball. His other accomplished designs include the Baker building, the Hanson Baking Company, all destroyed in the name of progress. Unfortunately, all of the plans and blueprints for his projects were lost in 1915 when a fire totally destroyed his offices, so other homes he may have designed are unknown. The Moore home may be the only remaining structure standing as tribute to his genius.
Designed for an irregular-shaped hilly double lot, the mansion responds to the site by presenting a straight, almost symmetrical facade to the street, yet sweeping around the corner is a grand verandah and loggia that break into dissonance of curve and angle as it descends the slope behind. Typical of the Francois Ier Renaissance style of architecture revived in France in the early 19th century and imported to the Eastern United States in the latter half of that century. Classical and gothic details form a curious blend in this residence.
The home deteriorated in the 1950's and 60's as a series of renters were allowed to depreciate the structure and eventually it was gutted by fire in the 1970s. It was vacant for several years. Subsequent owners attempts to save it were thwarted by costs and other problems.
The present owners, David Herrington and Keith Mumme, purchased the home in 1982. Interior restorations, through communication with the Moore relatives and previous tenants, have retained as much authenticity as could be found.
The Mansion is on the Seattle Historic Registry.
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