The historic interiors of the Roy Vue will be gutted to turn 34 apartments into 147 microunits. The unique courtyard and community space--one of the last remaining heritage gardens in Capitol Hill--will be razed to accommodate an addition to the building. All of the beautiful original fixtures and hardwood floors will be gone forever. Only the building's facade will remain.
The microunits will likely rent for $1,100 for 180 square feet or $2,200 for 335 square feet. This project proposes to create more housing, not more affordable housing.
Save the Roy Vue, Historic Seattle and Capitol Hill Historical Society have served notice to the current owners and potential developers to let them know we are preparing and will be submitting a landmark application for the historic Roy Vue Apartment building. Our coalition has support from local businesses, residents, property owners, organizations, and the broader Capitol Hill community, all who are equally saddened by and opposed to the proposed development plans.
While we recognize that certain expectations exist for income properties, we feel confident that this unique building meets landmark designation requirements, and that it comes with the particular obligation to maintain its historic envelope and character. The Roy Vue is more than a facade.
An Iconic Capitol Hill Landmark
The warm brick facade, the friendly arched gate draped with red camellias, the splashing fountain--the Roy Vue has been lovingly maintained to preserve its welcoming beauty. The historic garden courtyard is more than an oasis in the midst of a busy city; it is also a community gathering place. For almost 100 years, the Roy Vue has been a friend to Capitol Hill.
Rich in History
SIFF Cinema Egyptian. The Pine Box. Auto Row. Broadway Market. Architect Charles L. Haynes designed some of the most beloved landmarks in Capitol Hill and throughout Seattle. He also designed the Roy Vue, a semigothic, Tudor-style apartment building that helped establish the distinctive look and feel of historic Capitol Hill. The Roy Vue is one of only three remaining apartment buildings designed by Haynes. It’s a precious link between Seattle’s past and future. And we're about to lose it.
Inside and out, the Roy Vue exemplifies the kind of architectural elements that are lost every day as historic buildings are demolished: terra cotta detailing, shield medallions, and the distinctive red brick façade with an arched iron gate, so familiar to Capitol Hill residents.
Designed for Quality of Life: A Model for Livability
The brick buildings of Capitol Hill built in the 1920s define the landscape, living standard and heart and soul of the neighborhood. Originally designed to create healthy airflow, with a garden that provides clean air, the Roy Vue is an example of a housing movement made to create true liveability in an urban environment. Livability doesn't just mean a safe place to sleep--it's about creating a sense of wellbeing in a place of beauty, establishing a multi-generational space that accommodates roommates and families. The Roy Vue is a living space for other neighborhood residents, too: the courtyard welcomes pollinating bees, endemic fauna and irreplaceable plants like heirloom rose bushes.
Is Nothing Sacred?
What is Seattle if we obliterate the past? While we are creating density, can we not also protect irreplaceable structures and ways of life that can never be replicated again? Without these buildings, do we lose all sense of character and civic identity? We need to foster the preservation of unique and historic spaces that offer mid-range housing that meets the needs of workers and its inhabitants. These buildings, not just the Roy Vue, offer quality of life and sense of place.