925 14th Ave E

Fred Rowell House

Built: 1903

Home of the Prominent Lawyer That Never Lived There

  • Style: Colonial Revival
  • Architect: William D. Kimball
  • Builder: Unknown

This 2 ½ story Colonial Revival was designed by William D. Kimball for Fred Rice Rowell (Permit: 1903: #19693). It is positioned laterally along the street, with its main entrance to the North. On the street side, it has bay windows to the south, a double hung window to the north, and two sets of two narrow double hung windows on the second floor. Also on the street side, a prominent dormer extends from the house, supported by carved brackets, and the eaves are held by modillions. Dentils embellish the bottom of the eave and the top of the ledge above the bay windows. The siding and north porch area have changed since the historical period.


Fred Rice Rowell, one of the most prominent Seattle lawyers of his time, contracted to have this house built; however, he died before he could move into it. His widow, May F. Rowell, lived in this house for several decades. Fred Rice Rowell, came to Washington State from Maine in 1888. He was of an old New England family – his great-grandfather William Rowell had fought in the battle of Bunker Hill. Fred Rice Rowell, like many of his neighbors, became affluent from Washington State's natural resources – his specialty was mining law. He also was vice president of Lake Sammamish Lumber and Shingle. In addition to having a large law practice, Fred Rice Rowell taught mining law at the University of Washington for two years. He also served as president of Washington's Sons of the American Revolution.

Additional Material

Early Investor

This 1901 Seattle Mail and Herald Ad boasts Fred Rice Rowell as an early purchaser of one lot.

Permit Notice

The building and realty notice in The Seattle Daily Bulletin, April 1, 1903, and the permit notice on April 3, 1903.

Fred Rice Rowell

Fred Rice Rowell, who built this house, was a prominent Seattle lawyer.

Mining Lawyer

Rowell, who practiced Mining Law, was president of the Seattle Mining Bureau. James Moore was an officer as well.

The Architect

W.D. Kimball designed this house and two others on Millionaire's Row.

Archive Photo

This 1937 photo is from the Washington State Archives.