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Summary for 2805 SW Holden ST SW / Parcel ID 6818100275 / Inv # DPR037

Historic Name: Hughes (E.C.) Playfield Shelter House Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1950
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
This modern shelter house was constructed in 1950 as one of the first permanent improvements to this park. The city had acquired the property for the playfield in 1945 with funding provided entirely by a Local Improvement District. Property owners in the Olympic Heights neighborhood had initiated the action to acquire the site in order to create a much-needed neighborhood park. When West Seattle was annexed in 1907, the city promised increased municipal services, including additional parks and recreational facilities. The 1908 Olmsted Supplemental Plan proposed an extensive parkway system for West Seattle but few parks and playgrounds. In 1903, the city had hired the Olmsted Brothers to prepare plans for a comprehensive park and boulevard system, including suggestions for improvements to existing parks. This was supplemented by an additional report in 1908 to include the large areas annexed by the city the previous year. The city immediately began to implement much of the plan but generally neglected those areas not included, especially the outlying areas where there was less residential and commercial development. Olympic Heights, like other West Seattle neighborhoods, had experienced a residential boom during the First World War when employment opportunities in the steel mill, lumber mills, and shipyards expanded. Until the later 1930s, most residential and commercial growth centered along the 35th Avenue SW corridor, the main north-south thoroughfare. In 1926, the Seattle School District completed E.C. Hughes Elementary School located two blocks to the west of the future park site. This two-story brick building replaced a 1913 wood frame structure located a block to the northwest. The new school was named for Elwood Clarke Hughes, a prominent attorney and past president of the Seattle School Board, who oversaw the expansion of the school system just after the turn of the 20th century. After the playfield site was acquired in 1945, the name was taken from the nearby school, but the site remained undeveloped until the Parks Department appropriated funds from its 1948 bond issue to pay for improvements. Clad with Wilkenson sandstone, this small shelter house was completed in 1950 to serve the adjacent children’s play area and the nearby athletic fields. Beginning in the later 1920s, the Parks Department had constructed brick shelter houses at many of the city’s playgrounds and playfields. These buildings housed large rooms for organized recreation activities in addition to public restroom facilities. Office space for recreation instructors was also provided. The Parks Department continued to construct new shelter houses into the later 1930s due to the availability of labor and funding from state and federal relief programs, such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA). However, shortages of labor and materials brought on by the Second World War halted construction of any new park buildings for most of the 1940s. The modern design of these 1950s shelter houses is in contrast to the earlier buildings, which generally exhibited Craftsman or period revival stylistic features. This building is significant for its design and for its association with the development of E.C. Hughes Playfield.
Completed in 1950, this stone-clad shelter house occupies a midpoint site at the northern end of E.C. Hughes Playfield near the intersection of SW Hughes Street and 28th Avenue SW. The one-story building has a T-plan covered by a front gable roof with deep overhangs on the longer north and south elevations and slight overhangs on the narrower east and west elevations. Overall, the building measures 16 feet by 25 feet. An attractive roughcut Wilkenson sandstone set in random-coursed ashlar masonry covers the structure with the exception of the wide gable ends of the low-pitch roof clad with wide cedar siding. The Modern building faces east towards the children’s play area and contains a large recreation room in the eastern half and restrooms in the western half. On the principal east elevation, stone clad piers frame a large opening, which nearly fills the façade and contains an overhead metal door into the recreation room. The entrances to the restrooms are situated on the inner walls of the recessed northwest and southwest corners. On the north and south elevations, bands of windows line the western ends of the uppers walls below the roofline and wrap onto the rear walls of the recessed corners. The south elevation also features a single entrance door east of center. A stone clad chimney pierces the southern slope of the gable roof at the rear of the recreation room where a fireplace is located. This modest building retains very good physical integrity despite some graffiti, which mars the exterior.

Detail for 2805 SW Holden ST SW / Parcel ID 6818100275 / Inv # DPR037

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stone Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Metal - Corrugated
Building Type: Other Plan: T-Shape
Structural System: Unknown No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
Erigero, Patricia. Seattle Public Schools Historic Building Survey Summary Report. Seattle, WA: Historic Seattle PDA, 1990.

Photo collection for 2805 SW Holden ST SW / Parcel ID 6818100275 / Inv # DPR037

Photo taken Nov 13, 2000
App v2.0.1.0