923 14th Ave E
Thomas Russell House
The Quarry Owner's Stone House
- Style: Gothic & Tudor Revival
- Architect: August Tidemand
- Builder: Unknown
This eclectic mix of Gothic and Tudor revival styles was the very first house built on Millionaire's Row. On May 5, 1902, Thomas Russell received permit #13867 to have this house constructed according to the plans of August Tidemand. This permit is dated the earliest of the houses on Millionaire's Row. The permit states that the house would be 50'x30', built at a cost of $5,000. Appropriately, Thomas Russell chose to have the house constructed out of stone from his own quarry in Tenino, Washington. The 2 ½ story home has a sandstone exterior for approximately the first two stories, with half-timbering just below the highest roofline. The house has a front portico, supported by groups of two to three Corinthian columns carved from sandstone. Above it is a porch (made of sandstone, as is most of the house), with the parapet, having a repeating rosette decoration carved in enclosing squares. The year "1902" is carved into the north side of the house. The house appears to have a great amount of historical integrity, and it is one of 80 buildings in all of Capitol Hill cited in Folke Nyberg's and Victor Steinbreuck's 1975 survey as being significant to the city. A 1979 Seattle Inventory by Mark L. Peckham of the Department of Urban Conservation pointed out the Richardsonian character of several aspects of the building, and for district consideration gave it an "A" grade both on individual merit and contribution to the district.
The first owner of this house was Thomas Russell. Around 1889, he started the Russell Stone Quarry in Tenino, Washington, about 16 miles from Olympia. His venture later became the Tenino Stone Quarries Company, of which he was owner, president, and general manager. The sandstone quarried there was used in important buildings, including Washington State's earlier Capitol Building (and of course, this house). The Tenino Stone Quarries Company shipped its product throughout the Pacific Coast, including Washington State, Oregon, California, and even Hawaii. After Thomas Russell retired, his son Dr. Donald G. Russell took over as president and owner. Donald Russell, who had been living in his father's house, eventually took ownership of it, residing there at least through 1935.
The original building permit from 1902.
The permit announcement in The Daily Bulletin, May 2, 1902.
A notice of the building of the house appeared in The Seattle Sunday Times on August 10, 1902.
Tenino Russell House
Thomas Russell, who built this house, owned and managed the Tenino Stone Quarry, and earlier lived here in Tenino.
Tenino Stone Company
Donald G. Russell, Thomas' son and the second owner, also managed and wrote about the Tenino Stone Company.
Norwegian architect August Tidemand designed this house.
Tidemand also is credited for creating the current appearance of the Colman Building, a Seattle Landmark that is included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Vintage Postcard #1
A view of Millionaire's Row, looking north, with the Moore Mansion nearest, and then the Russell House.
Vintage Postcard #2
Looking southeast on 14th, this picture was taken from a balcony of the Russell House, visible in the right foreground.
This 1937 photo is from the Washington State Archives.
Capitol Hill Inventory
Nyberg and Steinbrueck's 1975 Inventory listed this house as one of 80 significant buildings in Capitol Hill