Our History

Before Lawrence Lofts, the corner of 19th & Madison was home to Fratelli’s Ice Cream. The Chicago-born Morse brothers opened their shop doors in 1981 where for 17 years they served delicious & all natural ice cream made with milk from local dairy cows.

They were transplants to Seattle who became essential to the story of our neighborhood. In their era, Fratelli’s walls were covered in cows. Multiple murals decorated the exterior walls in varying styles. A 1987 Seattle Times article by art critic Deloris Tarzan described, “The giant 140-foot mural John Morse is creating on the east wall of the Fratelli’s Ice Cream building…recognizes members of a dairy herd as individuals. Each is painted in the style of a different artist or school.

There’s a cubist cow a la Picasso and a Pointillist cow, in the style of Georges Seurat. A dribbled cow recalls Jackson Pollock’s painting style, next to a pair of impressionist-style blue cows rimmed in crimson.”

Over many sessions, Morse used a one-inch paintbrush to paint 32 individual cows across the massive mural. At the time, the mural was one of Seattle’s largest public art pieces.

When our building was redeveloped as Lawrence Lofts, we couldn’t let the cows go home. Our own mural by local artist Jessica Dodge pays homage to Morse’s herd.

Let it be a reminder that you can come from anywhere and become a Seattleite. To come see the cows, schedule a tour.

Lawrence Lofts Experience

Immerse yourself in a true PNW Seattle experience with curated videos on every floor. You can learn about the various animated objects around Seattle, local artists, and scenic Seattle drone imagery.

Each video is part of a larger series created by Kris Crews, which we showcase on-site in the halls of each floor. Come and see them for yourself!