Sigma Kappa Mu Chapter House
Tudor Revival style, designed by Joseph Skoog – 1930
University District, Seattle, WA
Historical & Community Significance
The University of Washington branch of Sigma Kappa Sorority was founded in 1910, and in 1930 the branch moved into its new home—a Tudor Revival-style residence designed by Seattle architect Joseph Skoog. The style of the building has also been called a “free, Romantic interpretation of Collegiate Gothic” by local historian Norman Johnston. The building features an enchanting spiral staircase in the entry hall, a feature that was then adopted by all subsequent Sigma Kappa chapters.
Studio TJP’s initial involvement with the building was the result of the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. We assisted with repair and restoration of the damaged chimney, and went on to prepare the Landmark Nomination Report for the building. The Seattle Landmarks Board designated Sigma Kappa a city Landmark in March 2006. The Puget Sound Association of Sigma Kappa developed our Landmark Nomination Report to nominate the house for the National Register of Historic Places. We’ve continued to be involved with large maintenance projects for the sorority, including updating bathrooms to meet code requirements, and a multi-year window replacement project.
Stewardship Services included
- Consulting on seismic and other structural repairs following the Nisqually earthquake, ensuring the new support struts for the damaged masonry chimney were visually unobtrusive.
- Prepared and secured a City of Seattle Landmark nomination, which the Puget Sound Association of Sigma Kappa in turn leveraged to prepare a National Register Nomination.
- Continued stewardship assistance includes a west wing bathroom renovation followed years later by a renovation of the east wing bathroom, and a multi-year window replacement project for which Studio TJP obtained a Certificate of Approval (and subsequent renewals) from the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board.
Skoog, who worked for Robert Reamer’s Metropolitan Building Company, claimed responsibility for the 5th Avenue Theater’s interior design, and the Lake Quinault Lodge on the Olympic Peninsula.
Photographs by Studio TJP