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Summary for 1931 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977200926 / Inv #

Historic Name: Puget Sound News Company Common Name: Terminal Sales Building Annex
Style: Gothic - Collegiate Gothic Neighborhood: Downtown Urban Center
Built By: Year Built: 1915
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This property is directly associated with the initial period (1902-1920) of downtown commercial expansion that occurred due to local economic prosperity after the Klondike Gold Rush and in tandem with explosive population growth and suburban neighborhood development. During this era, modern downtown urban scale began with the construction of the earliest steel-frame highrise buildings and the establishment of a concentration of banking enterprises and department stores along Second Avenue from Cherry Street to Pike Street. The initial regrading of Denny Hill and the commercial redevelopment of the former University Grounds (University/Metropolitan Tract) were major factors that facilitated northward and eastward commercial expansion. In 1914, the owners of the Frederick and Nelson Department Store purchased property with the intention of building a large, five-story store at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street, thus solidifying the location of the future downtown retail core. A significant number of extant commercial properties dating from this era remain within the downtown commercial core, including: numerous hotels, banks, business blocks and early highrise commercial buildings, as well as some specialty and department stores, clubhouses, apartment houses and theaters. In order to create additional industrial land areas to the south of the commercial district, as well as opportunities for commercial expansion further northward, major regrading efforts began in 1895. Under the direction of City Engineer R.H. Thompson, various projects were initiated with the intention of reducing the steepest slopes and eliminating the obstructing hills and filling tidelands. In 1897, First Avenue was further regraded and paved north from Pike Street to Denny Way. This was followed in 1903 when Second Avenue began to be extended and paved northward. By 1908, the major task of removing all of Denny Hill began in earnest. It would take over twenty years to completely remove Denny Hill; in the process Fourth Avenue at Blanchard Street would be lowered in elevation by some 107 feet. Most of Denny Hill to the west of Fifth Avenue had been removed by 1911; however, the lengthy civic debate over the Bogue Plan (that was ultimately rejected by voters in 1912) delayed real estate development in the vicinity. The anticipated major commercial development to the north of Stewart Street was slow to occur. With only a few exceptions, it was not until the early 1920s that sizable hotel and apartment house construction occurred. This distinctive four-story, terra-cotta clad office and warehouse building was designed in 1915 by the highly regarded local firm of Bebb & Gould and constructed in 1916 for the Puget Sound News Company, a division of American News Company. The American News Company was one of the country's major distributors of periodicals and producer of picture post cards. This building appears to be among the earliest of a small group of buildings constructed for light manufacturing and/or publishing purposes in the newly regraded area to the north of Steward Street. It served as the offices for the Puget Sound News Company, as well as housed publishing activities and provided warehouse space for the storage and distribution their products. The company appears to have been a manufacturer and wholesale dealer of a wide variety of paper products, including: books, newspapers, stationary, school supplies and holiday-related goods. They are known to have been a prolific publisher of picture postcards of regional locations. The building was purchased by the Pacific Warehouse Company in 1944. In 1948, the Puget Sound News Company had a modern industrial warehouse building constructed at 621 Second Avenue and relocated the business. Subsequently, this former Puget Sound News Company building became know as the Terminal Sales Annex and was used by the Seattle Weekly newspaper during the late 1970s or 1980s. Charles Bebb (1856-1942) was educated in London and at a preparatory school in Switzerland before attending the University of Lausanne. He also studied engineering at the School of Mines in London and worked as a railroad engineer in South Africa before moving to the United States. By 1888, he had been hired by Adler and Sullivan in Chicago as the chief superintendent architect on the building of the Auditorium Building. In 1890, he was sent by Adler and Sullivan to superintend the building of the Seattle Opera House. The project was never built and late in 1890, Bebb, still in the employ of Adler and Sullivan, returned to Chicago. However, he returned to Seattle in September 1893 and became a designer for the local Denny Clay Company. His work there is credited with making the Denny Clay Company a leading producer of architectural terra cotta on the West Coast. By 1898, he had an independent architectural practice and by 1901, a partnership with Louis Leonard Mendel, who had also previously worked for Adler and Sullivan. The firm of Bebb and Mendel are particularly well known for the design of the Corona Building (1903) and the Hoge Building (1911). The firm was also responsible for the design of the Washington State Pavilion (destroyed) at the Seattle Alaska Yukon Exposition in 1909. After the Bebb and Mendel Partnership dissolved in 1914, Bebb formed a successful partnership with Carl F. Gould. Carl F. Gould (1873-1939) was born in New York, educated at Harvard and attended the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris (1898-1903). He interned with McKim, Mead and White (1903-05) and then assisted in the preparation of the Burnham Plan for San Francisco. He settled in Seattle in 1908 with significantly more impressive training than most local architects. He worked with Everett & Baker and then in 1909 he entered into partnership with Daniel Huntington, the skilled designer of numerous notable public and private projects. That partnership produced apartment and commercial buildings while Gould independently designed numerous residences and was an active promoter of the Bogue Plan. He also became the president of the Fine Arts Society, began lecturing at the University of Washington on domestic design and assumed leadership of the Architectural league of the Pacific Coast. In 1914, he founded the university of Washington Department of Architecture and headed the school until 1926. Upon joining Bebb in 1914, Gould continued work on several large projects that he or Mendel had already begun work on, including: buildings and sitework at the Chittenden Government Locks; the Fisher Studio Building; the Times Square Building; and this building for the Puget Sound News Company. With Charles Bebb serving as principal engineer and construction manager, and Carl F Gould as the principal designer and planner, the two practiced in a flourishing partnership between 1914 until 1924. It became a leading local firm and flourished with over 200 local commissions, including schools, churches, hospitals, memorials, homes, clubhouses, and numerous commercial buildings executed in a wide range of historic revival and non-traditional modern architectural styles. Bebb and Gould produced several of Seattle’s most architecturally distinctive buildings, including: the Times Square Building; Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington; the U.S. Marine Hospital and the original Seattle Art Museum. However, after 1924 Bebb’s role in the firm was significantly reduced. This building is a distinctive and generally well- preserved example of a unique downtown property type from this era. It is a highly noteworthy example of terra cotta work executed in the Gothic Revival style as designed by highly regarded local architecture firm, Bebb and Gould. This building appears to be among the earliest of a distinct small group of buildings constructed during this era for light manufacturing and/or publishing purposes in the newly regraded area to the north of Steward Street.
Prominently located at the north end of the west side of 2nd Avenue at Virginia Street, this four-story commercial block was designed and constructed to serve as an office building and wholesale warehouse and is presently used for commercial office purposes. It measures 45’ x 108’ and exhibits a highly distinctive two-part vertical block façade composition finely executed in the Collegiate Gothic style. The reinforced concrete structure includes a concrete foundation and basement. It is entirely clad with terra cotta; cream color at the base and shaft and multi-color at the highly decorative stepped parapet. The façade is divided vertically between five bays and horizontally between the base and shaft. The vertical bays are accentuated by wide piers at the two outermost bays and narrow interstitial piers at the three central bays. The central bay is twice the width of the outer flanking bays; at the shaft the bays are divided by matching window openings, sash members and terra cotta decorated spandrels. The base is distinguished by a broad segmental arched tripartite window configuration within the three central bays and balanced by a formal recessed entry bay to the north and rectangular window opening to the south. The base is capped by a terra cotta frieze that includes (now empty) alcoves in the end bays that previously held small sculptures depicting newsboys. The base is further accentuated by Gothic-derived ornament at the major piers that corresponds to that at the building cap and functions to draw attention to the verticality of the overall façade design. The building shaft is terminated by a trefoil arched molding that is surmounted by an elaborate cap. The building cap is a stepped design feature; a central raised parapet and each of the major and interstitial piers is accentuated by vertical ornament that extends above the parapet line, and the interstitial piers are capped by ornamental finials. The face of the cap is elaborately decorated with a frieze composed of Gothic arches and executed in polychromatic terra cotta. The upper floor level windows are multi-pane casement type with multi-pane transom lights that appear to be original or in-kind replacements that closely match the original window design. The first floor level windows appear to be a modern window product. The name of the architecture firm (“Bebb & Gould Architects”) responsible for the design of the building is carved into the terra cotta at the exterior face of entryway. The two-story entry vestibule and stairwell were originally open to the exterior and has been enclosed. The vestibule exhibits original marble stairs, ornate light fixtures, recessed ornamental wall panels and shield motifs and leads to an small interior entry lobby with an ornate marble and cast iron stairwell feature. Exterior alterations appear to be limited to the removal of the sculptural elements, the removal of the ornate “The Puget Sound News Company” sign that was originally located below the first floor windows and minor window changes as described above.

Detail for 1931 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977200926 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
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: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Communications
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Interior: Slight
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Booth, T. William and William H. Wilson. Carl F. Gould, A Life in Architecture and The Arts. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995.
Aldredge, Lydia. Impressions of Imagination: Terra Cotta Seattle, Allied Arts of Seattle, 1986.

Photo collection for 1931 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 1977200926 / Inv #

Photo taken May 24, 2006
App v2.0.1.0