Hans Pederson’s Seattle Legacy


Roy Vue Apartments 1924. Charles Lyman Haynes, architect. contractor, Hans Pederson


Born in the village of Stenstrup Denmark in 1864, my father. Hans Pederson, attended a laborer’s school twice a week from the ages of seven to fourteen. At twenty he worked his way  West to Seattle as an immigrant on the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Although he found no Yukon gold during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, the technical skills he acquired as a prospector served him well as a Seattle contractor. Seattle and Puget Sound bustled with the largest population growth in history during the first third of the 20th Century. The area continued to do well until the 1929 depression. Pederson’s projects number in the hundreds over the course of thirty years and range from nearly forty apartment houses, to sidewalk and road paving project, to skyscrapers and private homes.

“No project was too great or small for Pederson.” A March 27, 1931 article in the Christian Science Monitor noted. His credo was to take any job to keep crew employed and paid. His most noted projects are listed below.*

Seattle’s Landmark Preservation Board recently granted Landmark status to the downtown Roy Vue Apartments after nomination by Historic Seattle and the Capitol Hill Historical Society.  How fortunate that this neighborhood gem has been spared the wrecking ball in the name of “progress.” You can see why the residents don’t move.


Space Needle and mountain view











*Among Pederson’s most notable projects are the Arctic Building (1916, City of Seattle Landmark), Seabord Building (1909, City of Seattle Landmark) Washington Hall (1908,City of Seattle Landmark), Milwaukee Hotel (1911, contributing resource – Seattle Chinatown National register Historic District), St. Regis Hotel (1909) the Rex Theatre (1915, demolished) Alhambra Theatre (1909, extensively altered), Blue Mouse Theatre (ca. 1920, demolished), the 15th avenue NW (Ballard) bridge and viaduct (1917), Ford Assembly Plant in Seattle (1913, City of Seattle Landmark), Temple of Justice in Olympia, Terminal Sales Building (1925, City of Seattle Landmark) and the King County Courthouse, 1930, King County Landmark). He also constructed many country roads throughout the state of Washington and worked on reclamation projects as well.



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