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Summary for 114 Pike ST / Parcel ID 1975700646 / Inv #

Historic Name: Liberty Building Common Name:
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Commercial Core
Built By: Year Built: 1922
This property is directly associated with the early twentieth century developmental era (1920-1930) when a significant number of commercial buildings were constructed and the modern downtown commercial district was fully established. In 1923, Seattle adopted its first ordinance that regulated specific geographic areas for specified uses; it allowed the most densely concentrated commercial development to occur in the downtown core. The economic prosperity of the 1920s stimulated the development of numerous major highrise commercial buildings, as well as smaller-scale bank and commercial buildings, major hotels and apartment hotels, club buildings and entertainment facilities, which were all typically designed by leading Seattle architects. During this era, the original residential district was entirely absorbed by commercial and other real estate development. By 1930, virtually all of the old residential properties - as well as many of the immediate post-fire era commercial buildings outside of Pioneer Square - had been demolished or removed. This building is one of a collection of extant two-story commercial block buildings (mostly dating from the 1920s) that share similar building form, scale, exterior cladding and ornate architectural treatment. Like commercial highrise construction of this era, they are typically located at a prominent corner of a downtown block with matching facades at each elevation; however, mid-block locations with a single façade were also commonly constructed. Their most distinctive features are glazed terra cotta cladding and/or other terra cotta components that both reveal the underlying structural system and allowed architects to utilize a wide range of eclectic architecture styles that were particularly popular during this era. In this case the details are drawn from the Classical design mode, which was heavily used in terra cotta design during the 1910s; whereas, in the 1920s a wider range of popular revival styles were designed and constructed. During this era, neighborhood commercial districts also flourished with similar building types. Other extant terra cotta clad two-story, commercial block buildings that are located downtown and fit within this category include: the Ames Building (Charles Bebb, 1914), Broderick Building (John Graham, Sr., 1922), Old National Bank Building (Henry H. James, 1922), Centennial Building (Henry Bittman, 1925), Mann Building/Embassy Theater (Henry Bittman, 1926) and the much altered/partly demolished Pande Cameron Building (Henry Bittman, 1928). Similar extant two-story, commercial block buildings that are partially clad or decorated with terra cotta ornament include: the S.J. Holmes Building (J. Lister Holmes, 1924); Jordan Building (Lawton & Moldenhour, 1920) and Colony Club ((John Creutzer, 1928). This building was constructed in 1924 for G.W. Yancy and George Donworth, believed to be a real estate investment firm, as Mr. Donworth was an attorney and Mr. Yancy was a financier. It was designed by John R. Nevins and Pierce A. Horrocks and intended for retail and office use. The original tenant or tenants are not known. By 1934, it was in the ownership of Haskill S. Yancy, presumably a relative of one of the developers, and it housed a single retail operation (Carl Schermer Co., millinery and haberdashery) and the upper floor was used for sales or storage purposes. A number of different retail shops were housed in the building between 1940 and 1968. The building was purchased by Jack Levy in 1967. A long-time tenant is the Liberty Loan and Pawn Shop, dating to the mid-1960s to the present. The architects for the Liberty Building were John R. Nevins and Pierce A. Horrocks, Associated Architects & Engineers. Pierce A. Horrocks (1878-1942) was born in England and trained and interned there before practicing architecture in Chicago. He migrated to Seattle in the early 1920s and formed a brief partnership with Andrew McQuaker. While practicing independently, he also worked in association with other architects including John R. Nevins. He is known to have designed several residences, the Greenlake Baptist Church 91922-23), the Women’s century Club (Harvard Exit Theater, 1925-26) and may have worked on the design of Suzzallo Library for Bebb & Gould (1922-27). John R. Nevins had offices located in the Hoge Building. Between 1921 and 1924 and is known to have worked on the planning and design for the model city of Longview, Washington and the Hotel Monticello in association with Schack, Young and Myers (and Hare & Hare, Kansas City) c.1922-23. No additional biographical information has been gathered about him or known about his career in Seattle or elsewhere. This building is a partly intact but significantly altered example of a distinct downtown property type, a two-story, terra cotta clad commercial block. It is an example of commercial block design executed in the Classical mode utilizing glazed terra cotta cladding and other terra cotta components, which remain visible and in generally sound condition.
[For complete information regarding this property refer to an in-depth report that was prepared by Larry Johnson, The Johnson Partnership and submitted to the City of Seattle Historic Preservation Program dated July 31, 2006.] Located mid-block on the north side of Pike Street between First and Second Avenues, this two-story commercial building is a concrete and brick masonry structure with a concrete foundation that measures 61’ x 107 ft. The original façade had a two-part commercial block composition with three distinct retail storefront bays. The façade and adjacent bay at the alley elevation continue to be distinguished by intact highly ornate cream-color terra cotta cladding, ornament and cornice element designed in a classical mode. Second floor level windows include terra cotta surrounds and trim and some deteriorated wooden window frames. The lower storefront portions of the façade have been drastically altered and none of the original plate glass windows with copper trim or copper spandrels remain in place. The great majority of the lower portions of the façade has been covered, removed or significantly altered. Windows at the upper floor level are deteriorated aluminum sash. There do not appear to be any significant interior finishes, features or public spaces.

Detail for 114 Pike ST / Parcel ID 1975700646 / Inv #

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Storefront: Extensive
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Krafft, Katheryn H. "News Lane Block, Seattle Washington: Cultural Resources Survey Report." January 12, 1996.
Johnson, Larry E. "Yancy-Donworth Building Landmark Nomination" submitted July 31, 2006.

Photo collection for 114 Pike ST / Parcel ID 1975700646 / Inv #

Photo taken May 23, 2006
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