Location: 1010 Franklin St SE
National, State, and Local registers

steele house thenSteele House 1968, State Library, Digital Archives collection steele house nowSteele House today (2012), photo by Matthew Kennelly

The only remaining example of a pre-statehood residence in the core of Olympia, the Alden Hatch Steele House has been saved from demolition on at least one occasion and has been meticulously restored. It is important both as an example of early Italianate design  and for its historic significance as one of the earliest existing homes in Olympia. Dr. Steele was an early physician in Olympia, having arrived in 1869 as an army surgeon but soon after moving to Olympia, where he almost immediately built this house in about 1870. As noted for the listing for the Sylvester Mansion and the site of the McElroy House, this neighborhood was considered one of the better areas in Olympia proper, and continued to be so until commercial development began to impinge on the residential nature of the neighborhood. The Bird’s Eye View of Olympia of 1879 shows that this house was at grade when built – grading operations in the late 1880s or 1890s lowered Franklin Street resulting in the Steele House now being elevated above street level. Several biographies of Doctor Steele are on line and searchable by following the link below.

The home is on the national, state and local registries.

For more information follow these links:

Olympia Heritage inventory

1879 Bird’s Eye View of Olympia

For more information on the Steele family, see the Residents section of this website.

Copyright © 2022  Deborah Ross