Murray House

402 N. Sheridan Ave., Tacoma, WA. 98403

Originally constructed in 1900 as a single-family residence with over 7000 s.f. of living space, Murray House was converted to apartments mid-century. The ten units (two studios, six 1 bedrooms and two 2 bedrooms) are spread over five floors of the building. Water, sewer, garbage & hot water are included in the rent. Tenant pays remaining electric for the apartment (baseboards) & cable/Internet. Cable is available, at tenant expense. Coin-operated washer and dryer in the basement. Some storage is available in the basement. 

Apartment #1: Studio, 360 s.f. Entrance to main room is next to the large stone fireplace in the lobby. Restored wood floor. Deep closet. Kitchen and bath on lower level, with entrance from side yard in to kitchen.

Apartment #2: Two bedroom, 1060 s.f., main level. Large living room, decorative fireplace. Restored wood floors in living room, hall and bedrooms. One bedroom is in the turret. Bright dining room, lots of windows.

Apartment #3: One bedroom, 420 s.f., main floor. Shower only. Narrow bedroom. Carpeted. Spacious, bright kitchen.

Apartment #4: Apartment #4: One bedroom, 450 s.f., 2nd floor. Open floor plan between living room & kitchen.  Carpet-free.

Apartment #5: One bedroom, 600 s.f., 2nd floor. Restored wood floors. Large living room, bay window.

Apartment #6: One bedroom, 460 s.f., 3rd floor, wood floors, tiled bathroom, clawfoot tub (shower over). Views.

Apartment #7: Two bedroom, 1040 s.f. Kitchen and living room (14’ cathedral ceiling) on 3rd floor. Restored wood floor in living room. Bath and carpeted bedrooms with cathedral ceilings and skylights are upstairs, on 4th floor. Views. No elevator.

Apartment #8: One bedroom, 700 s.f., 3rd floor. Restored wood floors, high ceilings, lots of windows. Private deck above turret, Mt. Rainier view.

Apartment #9: Studio, 145 s.f., entrance to left of fireplace, off lobby. Restored wood floor. Compact, shower only.

Apartment #10: One bedroom, 1020 s.f., 2nd floor. Restored wood floors. Sitting room in turret. Huge kitchen. Dishwasher. Private deck. 

All tenants are asked to keep noise to a level that is not intrusive to neighbors. No smoking is permitted in the building or anywhere on the property

 

Historical Facts of F. H. Murray House

 

The F. H. Murray House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It was designed and built in 1899-1900 by the eminent architect, Ambrose J. Russell.  Born to Scottish missionaries in the East Indies in 1857, Mr. Russell studied classical architecture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.  In 1892 he moved to Tacoma.  He and his associates designed many Tacoma homes, apartments and public buildings, including St. Peter’s Church, the Perkins Building, the Masonic Temple and the Tacoma Armory.  They also designed the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia and Sunrise Lodge on Mt. Rainier.  The Tacoma Society of Architects awarded Mr. Russell, at the age of 79, the title of “Honorary Secretary for Life”.

 

The house was built for Frederick Hume Murray.  He came to Tacoma in 1889, as an attorney with Northern Pacific Railway.  From 1892 to 1894 he served as the City Attorney for Tacoma, reportedly “filling the position with dignity and credit and well maintaining his reputation as a progressive man determined and destined to succeed.”  In 1913 he was elected as the second president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association.

 

The Murrays adopted a son, Robert.  He was discovered by famous New York Metropolitan Opera singer Frances Alda, became nationally renowned in the early 1920s as the “Wonder Boy from Tacoma”, for his exceptional ability to sing notes above the highest note on the piano, some inaudible to the human ear, reputed to be the highest notes ever reached by the human voice.   Mr. Murray gave up his profitable law practice in Tacoma to move to New York, to oversee his son’s musical career.  However, Robert’s music career ended abruptly when he reached puberty, his voice changed, and he lost his extraordinary talent for high notes.

 

In the 1920s the house became a restaurant, the Modern Inn.  In the 1930s it was converted into “baths”, then Mar Dor Sanitarium, “a complete, scientific, thoroughly tested treatment for Alcoholism”, per a News Tribune ad in 1938.   About mid-century, the house was divided in to apartments, first 3, then 8, at one time 12,finally its current configuration of 10 flats.  In the late 1940s it was named the Boze Apartments, later the Edwards Apartments, finally Murray House, in recognition of it’s original owner.

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