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South Capitol Neighborhood

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Buy a Home in the South Capitol

Neighborhood, the Most Desirable

in Olympia

Ask any resident of Olympia which neighborhood they’d live in if they could have their pick, and the answer would likely be a resounding: South Capitol Neighborhood Historic District. To buy a home in the South Capitol Neighborhood is like buying a piece of history, as many of the structures were built around the time the Capitol Campus was constructed in the 1920s and 30s. Many of the properties have housed notable state officials throughout the years, yet have also provided shelter for everyday Olympians. This desirable neighborhood attracts buyers who want a home in the “South Cap” neighborhood because of its great location, walkability, and aesthetic beauty. Who could blame them?

History of Olympia

history of olympia

The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 was unlike any other in history. It stated that unmarried white men who arrived in Oregon Territory (which Washington was a part of at that time), before December 1, 1850, could stake their claims upon 320 acres and after four years of cultivation could call it their own.

In addition, married men who jointly claimed land with their spouses were entitled to a 640-acre parcel, with the husband and wife each owning half in their own names. In fact, this law was one of the first on record that allowed married women to hold property under their own name.

My, how things have changed.

history of olympia

History of the South Capitol Neighborhood

History of the South Capitol Neighborhood

History of the South Capitol Neighborhood

The South Capitol Neighborhood grew steadily with the growth of the Capitol Campus, particularly in the first three decades of the 20th century. The neighborhood includes 440 primary properties, mostly single-family residents, but a few apartments and duplexes are peppered throughout. There are two mansions in the neighborhood, two churches, one historic school, a handful of professional

History of the South Capitol Neighborhood

History of the South Capitol Neighborhood

Homes in the South Capitol Neighborhood


Perhaps one of the best reasons to buy a home in the South Capitol Historic District is that the architectural styles are a mix of all of the important 19th and early 20th century styles. This massively distinguishes it from other neighborhoods in the Capital City and the District is also an important display of a complete residential urban landscape from the early part of that century.


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Period Revival

Style Houses

The Lord Mansion and the McCleary house are two fine examples of this style. Both designed by

prominent Olympia architect, Joseph Wohleb, they are built across from each other, yet in

different styles. Those two, and additional examples include:

Mission Revival style

The Lord Mansion, Mission Revival style, located at 21st and Columbia Streets. C.J. Lord was mayor of Olympia and a prominent banker.

The McCleary House

The McCleary House, English

Renaissance Revival built of brick and

stone, 21st and Capitol Way. McCleary

was a timber magnate and his

company town still stands today, 40

minutes west of Olympia.

The Judge Jesse Bridges House

The Judge Jesse Bridges House,

English Revival Style, located at 301 W.

21st Street. The house was designed by

Elizabeth Ayer, an Olympian, and the first

woman graduate of the University

of Washington School of Architecture.

The Overton House

The Overton House, Colonial Revival

Style, located at 2217 S. Columbia Street.

For even more examples of the Craftsman/Bungalow Style, head over to an excellent row of houses in the 400 block of East 17th Street.

Victorian Style

Troy House, one of South Capitol

Troy House, one of South Capitol, 1893, is located at 113 E. 17th Street.

Rare for the district, a great example can be seen in the Troy House, one of South Capitol Neighborhood’s oldest houses built in 1893, is located at 113 E. 17th Street.

Troy House, one of South Capitol

Troy House, one of South Capitol, 1893, is located at 113 E. 17th Street.

Queen Anne Style 

This style is best characterized by its ornate designs, and

stunning examples can be found at.

Mission Revival style

The Young House, located at 2002 S. Capitol Way.

The McCleary House

The Mustard House, located at 1617 Capitol Way.

The Judge Jesse Bridges House

The Ogden House, located at 301 Maple Park, is a rare example of Shingle Style with polygonal dormers.

American Foursquare Style

These solidly-built houses were a popular mail-order style known for their space-efficient design that makes them a good fit for narrower, more affordable lots that were more attainable by the middle-class. Examples include.

The Dufault House

The Dufault House, located at 1628 S. Water Street.

The Alling House

The Alling House, located at 203 W. 18th Street.

Bungalow/Craftsman Style, the Overwhelming Genre

Over one-third of the houses in the district are categorized as Craftsman Style. Variations on the theme exist all over the neighborhood and many buyers who want to buy a home in the South Capitol Neighborhood will end up with this style.

The Jewett House

The Jewett House, located at 205 Maple Park, is done in the Chalet Style

The Jesse Mills House

The Jesse Mills House, located at 1617 S. Columbia Street

The Hubbard House

The Hubbard House, located at 199 W. 17th Street

The Winstanley House

The Winstanley House, located at 127 W. 17th Street

For even more examples of the Craftsman/Bungalow Style, head over to an excellent row of houses in the 400 block of East 17th Street.

King County

Schools, Parks, and Shops

An attractive feature for buyers who are looking to purchase a home within the South Capitol Neighborhood Historic District is walkability to schools, churches, parks, and shops.

The Neighborhood school, a castle-like structure, stands proudly now as a stately centenarian. Completed in 1922, it was also designed by Olympia’s foremost architect, Wohleb. The school looks much the same as it did when it was first built, but the teaching models have changed greatly. Although it is a public school and the oldest in the Olympia School District, its unique curriculum, redesigned by a group of parents and educators many years ago, is now one of the most desirable schools in the city and holds a lottery each year to admit its students.

King County

Downtown Olympia

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Perhaps one of the coolest features that residents of the South Capitol Neighborhood enjoy is Intercity Transit’s Dash bus. The bus runs a dedicated route from the Capitol Campus all along Capitol Way to its terminus at the Olympia Farmers Market, Washington’s largest outdoor covered market.

olympia  beer

Frequently asked questions


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