Bremer Apartments

Bremer Apartments

Seattle, WA

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 in the neighborhood.

Community Roots Housing (formerly Capitol Hill Housing) acquired the 49-unit property for use as affordable housing in 1992. It 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. SSF teamed with SMR Architects for this substantial alteration. 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.

DJC Articles – including Historic Seattle Award information

IMAGE CREDITS

SMR Architects and the Department of Archeology and Preservation (DAHP)

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