First, I apologize for the lack of posts lately; I'm neck deep in a class over at UW and between that and work, the majority of my time is occupied. The good news is I'm reading lots of Neo-Marxism and much of it could be applied to what we're talking about here on this site. Don't get scared and think I'm trying to build some "red commune" or anything; though they talk lots about revolution, the main point I'm extracting is shifting the power from the "establishment" (developers, in our case) to the "people" (that would be us, the folks interested in more affordable, dense, green urban housing). Maybe that sort of talk doesn't bother Seattleites but I'm from Texas, where we believe in freedom (sarcasm intended).
Anyway, taking a cue from DanB over at Hugeasscity, I took an early morning walk past a few historic multifamily developments that I think are of particularly nice design (and, like him, I wonder why there aren't more). All are on Capitol Hill; the first is on Republican, directly east of 15th, and actually has a unit for sale if you have half a million.
This is one of Frederick Anhalt's beauties that goes by the name "Twin Gables." This view is into the communal front yard which all of the main entrances face; the brick is classy and the location is wonderful as well. There probably aren't parking spaces (I didn't go down the alley), which would, unfortunately, be impossible to do today, but there are nice back doors out on to 16th.
Keeping with the shared front yard theme, I walked down to 14th, just south of John to take a few photos of "The Tudor House." The layout is similar but it is shorter than what I envision building. Beautiful as well. That front yard would be a great place for a garden.
This idea of the shared front yard has been implemented as a backyard on another site further down 14th, at Olive (across the street from the hated, by me at least, Cite Jardin). While the front of the building is awfully plain, the backyard is actually kid-friendly (in the city!).
Another building which I've liked since I moved over here is at the corner of 16th and Harrison. It's actually an F-shape but has a wonderful open space right on the corner. There are fewer entrances than in the first two buildings so I doubt it spurs as much interaction, but I think with a low fence (and I stress low) it could be another good location for gardening or kids.
In closing, does anyone know what's up with this house? I call it the Fight Club house out of admiration. It is on 16th between Thomas and Harrison.