The Cambridge Apartments


SMR performed an occupied rehabilitation for the Cambridge Apartments, a handsome Classical Revival style apartment building in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Built in 1923, the L-shaped, ten-story, reinforced concrete building is clad in red brick, stucco, and terra cotta. Ten stories at the intersection of Union Street and 9th Avenue, the building is only eight to nine stories at some locations due to the steep surrounding topography. Freeway Park and the Washington State Convention Center are across the street to the west. For nearly 100 years, the Cambridge Apartments remained mostly unaltered until this substantial rehabilitation.

The scope of rehabilitation work included the restoration of the lobby and creation of new management offices; installation of six new concrete shear walls; upgrades of unit kitchens and baths, including flooring, cabinets, countertops, and efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures; installation of new windows; modernization of elevators; new emergency generator; new stairway and elevator pressurization; fire alarm system upgrades; installation of new fire sprinkler system; replacement of plumbing system; replacement and reconfiguration of electrical and phone cabling in corridors; abatement of asbestos containing materials; and conversion of eight units to meet Type A accessibility.

Client: Bellwether Housing
Location: Seattle, Washington
Program: 157 units (156 studios and one one-bedroom manager’s unit); 50 – 60% AMI
Highlights: Seattle’s first concrete high-rise apartment building; Recognized by the 2019 ABC of Western Washington’s Excellence in Construction Awards: Winner of Historic Renovation ($10 – $25 million) and Eagle of Excellence Award (overall best project submitted)