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Summary for 2030 8 AVE / Parcel ID 0660000575 / Inv #

Historic Name: Store and Loft Building for George L. Seibert Common Name: Cosmopolitan Motors
Style: Commercial, Beaux Arts - American Renaissance Neighborhood: Denny Triangle
Built By: Year Built: 1925
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
According to extant recorded drawings from dating from 1925, the building was designed as a “Store and Loft Building for George L. Seibert,” by architect Earl Roberts. It was designed by Roberts for the same client and apparently around the same period as the “Garage Building for George L. Seibert,” located at 2101 9th Avenue. This last building is, in fact, located at a diagonal from 2030 8th Avenue, across Lenora Street on the northwest corner of Lenora Street and 9th Avenue. The building’s terra cotta clad facades, in particular, have a similar composition to the former garage building on 9th Avenue; however, the arched and “faux-arch” openings, as well as the detailing and ornamentation of the terra cotta skin, make this a much more ornate building. The style is eclectic and harkens back to historical styles. The terra cotta clad elevations are typical of some of Seattle’s more ornate 1920s warehouse and utilitarian buildings and also bear the stylistic influences of the Beaux Arts and of the Early Italian Renaissance Revival. While the building began as a loft and store, by the mid 1930s, it housed the “Transport Motor Company,” and by the late 1940s, it was part of a Chevolet dealership, as was the former garage building. In fact, its bears a resemblance with many utilitarian buildings used as car dealerships in Seattle, such as the William O. McKay Building, which also dates from 1925 and is currently located on Westlake and Mercer Street, in the nearby South Lake Union area. The original architect of the building, Earl Roberts, designed many Seattle buildings dating from the 1920s until at least the mid-1930s and appears to have practiced in Seattle at least until 1939. The body of his known work in Seattle clearly shows variety, but also a keen interest in historical styles. In addition to 2030 8th Avenue and 2101 9th Avenue, he designed several recognizable1920s University District apartment buildings in the Collegiate Gothic style. Typically clad in brick and with terra cotta ornament, these buildings include the Malloy, the Stanford Apartments (historically the Smart Apartments) and the University Manor Apartments (formerly the Washington Manor). Roberts also was responsible for the Fifth Church of Christ Scientist, now the Rainier Valley Cultural Center, located in Columbia City and completed in 1921. The brick clad Marianne Manor at 1825 Nagle Place dates from 1936. Aside from changes to the storefront glazing, which do not mar the general appearance of the building, this building, particularly its terra cotta cladding is remarkably intact. Taken with the rest of Roberts’ work, the building is a yet another testament to this architect’s versatility. The building now houses a variety of businesses, including a car dealership and a furniture upholstery shop.
The building is square in plan, 120 feet by 120 feet and located on the southeast corner of Lenora Street and 8th Avenue. This is a two-story building with basement. It has a flat roof with parapet, a mainly concrete structure and terra cotta cladding on the two main facades along Lenora Street and 8th Avenue. The exterior structural walls are of concrete and include concrete piers, which are square in plan, on all four elevations, but the alley elevation also has masonry infill brick walls, which appear to be mainly of hollow terra cotta brick, set between concrete piers. The interior structure, according to original drawings, was also designed with regularly spaced concrete columns, also square in plan. The main facades, along Lenora Street and along 8th Avenue, are both almost completely clad with a terra cotta skin, which is mainly a light cream color. Both elevations are divided into six equal bays. The parapet level is accentuated by a diaper pattern of medium-sized, diamond-shaped, beige, terra cotta tiles, linked visually by small, square, blue tiles. Here and throughout the façades, the pattern is enhanced by clearly visible, contrasting mortar joints in grey. Below the diaper pattern band is an ornamental representation in terra cotta of a continuous, arched corbel table - that is, a continuous band of small arches across the face of each major façade. The inside of each arch is filled with a tile of a different color, which creates a continuous multi-colored band of orange-yellow, blue, red and green terra cotta. Below the cornice level, the terra cotta cladding is almost completely cream-colored, except for square, blue tiles, which occasionally appear as accents, at the center of piers or at the center of spandrels. At the second level, each bay has a large segmental arched opening, divided into three sections or sub-bays, with multi-lite transoms. The central section is twice the width of each of the flanking sections and its transom is divided into six vertical lites; each of the side sections has three vertical transom lites. Below this, at the ground level, each corresponding bay has the same distinctive design, which, on a cursory glance, might appear to be a segmental arch, filled with storefront and transoms. In fact, here, the “arch” shape is defined by a horizontal line, flanked by two symmetrical, flattened, compound curves, with a slight reveal to each side of these curves. As with the second floor bays, each storefront was designed with a wider, central section, which is flanked by narrower sections, which are half the width of this central sub-bay. The central section corresponds to the flat part of the opening, while the side-bays correspond to the flattened compound curves to each side. Original transom lites are still visible, but according to original drawings, there were once vertical muntins, defining vertical transom lites, similar to those on the second floor transoms. As a rule, the multi-pane transoms tend to have been replaced by large expanses of glazing. Also, the three eastern storefronts along Lenora Street appear have since been replaced by garage doors. In general, although the glazing of the storefronts on the main facades has been replaced over the years, the overall sense of the storefront openings has nevertheless been maintained. Transom lites at the second level appear as they did in original design drawings and the very striking terra cotta cladding skin is surprisingly intact.

Detail for 2030 8 AVE / Parcel ID 0660000575 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete, Concrete - Block, Terra cotta, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Square
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Science & Engineering, Transportation
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
M. Sheridan, “Marianne Manor,” Historic Property Inventory Report, City of Seattle Database, July 30, 2002.
M. Sheridan, “Butterworth Arthur A. Wright Funeral Home,” Historic Property Inventory Report, City of Seattle Database, July 30, 2002.
Sarah Sodt/ Cathy Dampier, “Malloy Apartments,” Historic Property Inventory Report, City of Seattle Database, January 25, 2002.
Sarah Sodt, “Rainier Valley Cultural Center,” Historic Property Inventory Report, City of Seattle Database, March 29, 2004.

Photo collection for 2030 8 AVE / Parcel ID 0660000575 / Inv #

Photo taken Feb 22, 2006

Photo taken Mar 20, 2006
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