They were named for the pioneer family that platted and sold most of the land that ascends from the lowlands of the Cascade neighborhood to the highlands of Capitol Hill.








OPENED IN 1925 with 42 units — a mix of two- and three-room apartments, all appointed with Murphy In-A-Door Beds — the Pontius Court Apartments were named for the pioneer family that first platted and sold most of the land that ascends from the lowlands of the Cascade neighborhood to the highlands of Capitol Hill.

The Eastlake Improvement Company noted that most of the 98 rooms in its new brick apartment building, with six floors stacked on the side of the hill, came with views. Renters looked out to sunsets over the Olympic Mountains and a blue-collar neighborhood full of children at play. Of its many churches, at least three were Lutheran, and these steeples were mixed with laundries around the neighborhood’s one big primary school, after which it was somewhat puzzlingly named. With Capitol Hill in the way, even from the top floor of the Cascade School, one could not see its eponymous mountains to the east.

The grandest and most invigorating way to move between these contrasting neighborhoods was by way of the Republican Hill Climb, showing itself here on the right. Built in 1910, the climb went through three artfully designed half-block sections that complemented the distinguished homes to its sides. A half-century later, two-thirds of the stairway — the part between Eastlake and Melrose avenues — was demolished for Interstate 5, effectively breaking in two the greater Pontius neighborhood.

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The freeway took the Pontius Court, too. For its last listing in The Times classifieds, the apartment repeated some of its old sales song about a brick building with an elevator and “nicely furnished 2 room apartments” with views for — at the end — $65 a month.

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