About Quizzes

The Phillips House

The Phillips House, located at 711 East Union Street, is proof of First Hill's metamorphosis from its late 1800s role as an opulent neighborhood of wealthy citizens to its 20th-century status as a largely middle-class area of modest homes and apartments houses. By the beginning of the early 20th century, a streetcar line through First Hill attracted more middle-class citizens and transient workers to the posh upscale neighborhood of First Hill. The new middle-class residents sent many of the city's wealthy residents towards more isolated neighborhoods like the Harvard-Belmont Historic District. In 1902, an accountant by the name of William Phillips built a framed, two-family house illustrating the paradigm shift of social orientation in First Hill. The two-family home was designed to be half Classical Revival style, and half "Classic Box" design. Over the years, subsequent owners remodeled the Phillips House into apartments, and, finally the building deteriorated beyond livability. The Phillips House was then condemned in 1978, and sat empty for 14 years. In 1992, Historic Seattle, purchased the property, and had a Seattle architectural firm divide it into 11 housing units for persons earning 50 percent of Seattle's median income, or less. The Phillips House exemplifies the outstanding blending of historic preservation and affordable housing that can be found on those rare, precious occassions.