Image: Derrick Louie

Just across the street from Ravenna’s Cowen Park stands an extremely regal building covered in ornate, Gothic terra-cotta, complete with elaborate cornices and cathedral-like cladding. Park Vista has been cooperatively owned by its residents for decades, and it has an opening: a little one-bedroom home with 1928 style intact.

Image: Derrick Louie

Seattle hit a building boom in the 1920s, bringing us a host of apartment buildings in brick revival styles. Tudor Revival and similar looks were popular throughout the city, but in the University District, Collegiate Gothic reigned; as the University of Washington was filling its campus with stately buildings like Suzzallo Library, the University president at the time encouraged all new buildings around it to match. Architect John A. Cruetzer, who’s behind other terra-cotta bonanzas like the Medical Dental Building, designed Park Vista right in the middle of this era.

Image: Derrick Louie

Despite a 1999 remodel to bring the place up to code, the vintage vibe remains untouched. Cove ceilings, an archway, baseboards, casings, and even a glass doorknob or two still adorn the home. A glass-door cabinet separates the small dining area from the galley kitchen. It has hardwood floors everywhere but the bathroom (which has historically appropriate hex tiles). The bedroom is small, but it has a cute little walk-in closet to keep it from getting too cluttered.

The building takes up its entire triangular block, its L-shape cradling a small courtyard with a fountain. It’s bounded on two sides by trees, with Cowen Park opposite the courtyard to the west and an itty-bitty green space affectionately called Olga Park to the south. (Although it's less of a selling point, the traffic island to the north is also, technically speaking, a park.)

Monthly fees are $662, but unlike condos, co-op dues include property tax—so they tend to be a little higher.

Listing Fast Facts

5180 Cowen Place NE #101
Size: 560 square feet, 1 bedroom/1 bath
List Date:
List Price: $269,000
Listing Agent: Kelly Pornour, Windermere

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