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Summary for 5501 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 3868400150 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Bertoldi Block Common Name:
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Georgetown
Built By: Year Built: 1904

Based on field work conducted in September 2014, this historic property retains its relationship to the streetscape, historic building form and a sufficient amount of exterior historic building fabric (design features, cladding and/or window sash/openings) to contribute to the distinct character of the Georgetown neighborhood. This is a relatively well-preserved historic property that appears to possess architectural and/or historic significance.

(1997) This property is associated with the residential and commercial building boom in Georgetown which occurred between 1890 and 1916. Fueled by the construction of the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company’s new brewing facility after the turn of the century and the arrival of foreign immigrants, especially German and Italian, Georgetown came to rely more on its commercial and industrial bases rather than agricultural. With the increase of industry and business, Georgetown had grown in population from 1,913 in 1900 to approximately 7,000 by 1910 as families located themselves near its factories and other places of employment. Believed to have been constructed c. 1904 for Germano Bertoldi who is also associated with Bertoldi Hall (GT016) constructed c. 1903, it was one of numerous hotel and store blocks in operation in Georgetown during this era. A news story from 1904 (see Seattle P-I article, 11/13/1904, pg 14, col. 2) indicates that the original plan called for a three-story building with shops and 36 rather than 16 hotel rooms. The Bertoldi family appears to have been one of numerous Italian immigrant families that played an important role in the establishment of the Georgetown commercial and residential areas.

(2014) The design of this building is credited to Thomas G. Bird. T. G. Bird was a partner in Bird and Dornbach (w/ George W. Dornbach) an architectural firm that operated in Seattle, WA, c. 1888-1890. Between 1890-1893, and later Bird is known to have practiced alone and maintained offices in the Holyoke Building, one of the partnership's designs. Bird and Dornbach are credited with the design of the Holyoke Building (1889-1890)
and Merchants National Bank, Office Building #2 (1889-1890) in Seattle.  
(2014) No substantive change to building form or historic building fabric/features since 1997 HRI project. It is in active use and appears to be well maintained. Degree of window unit alteration does not diminish architectural/historic character.

(1997) A distinctive example of early 20th C. commercial architecture that has fairly poor integrity due to alteration and recent remodeling. Exhibits unusual one-part commercial block facade composition due to its location on an irregular lot oriented toward two major arterial streets. The entire facade is clad with a concrete stucco finish applied with an unusual rusticated stone pattern. The facade exhibits several distinctive design elements: a prominent entry arch and recessed vestibule, a second floor corner bay window, upper floor window openings with voussoir heads, and a prominent wide overhanging wooden cornice with brackets. The upper floor windows were originally standard double-hung type and the storefront level included standard display and mezzanine windows. All of the original windows and doors appear to have been replaced with modern units and/or altered. The lower floor level was historically used for commercial purposes, and the upper floor level included rooms used as offices, sleeping/hotel rooms and later for apartment purposes. The current condition of the interior or the presence of character defining interior features is not known.

Detail for 5501 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 3868400150 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete - Block Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Specialty store Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Community Planning/Development, Ethnic Heritage
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
O'Brian, Tim. "Georgetown Historical Places" Construction Chronology.

Photo collection for 5501 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 3868400150 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Sep 09, 2014

Photo taken Mar 17, 1997

Photo taken Mar 17, 1997

Photo taken Mar 17, 1997

Photo taken Mar 17, 1997
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