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Summary for 802 ROY ST / Parcel ID 4088803530 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Puget Sound Power & Light Company Shops Common Name: Parks Department Roy Street Maintenance Shops
Style: Other Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Built By: Year Built: 1926
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 historic property has been formally designated a City of Seattle landmark per the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance (SMC 25.12). Refer to the webpage listed below for a list of City of Seattle landmarks and additional information regarding this specific property:

The Puget Sound Power & Light Company constructed this large warehouse, shop, office and garage complex in 1926 to serve their private electric utility operations within the City of Seattle. Formed in 1900 as a subsidiary of Boston-based Stone & Webster, the Seattle Electric Company, a predecessor company, consolidated under unified operation the properties of virtually all of the private electric utilities and street railway businesses, which had previously operated within the city. In the next decade, the company took over most of the remaining independent utility and street railway operations. In 1902, the company acquired a fifty-year franchise to operate a private electric utility system within the Seattle City limits. In March of that same year, the citizens of Seattle had voted to establish their own lighting plant in order to ensure good street lighting service at reasonable rates. This began nearly fifty years of direct competition between the private and the municipally owned electric utilities, which did not end until the 1951 purchase by City Light of Puget Sound Power & Light Company’s Seattle-area properties. After the purchase, the elimination of duplication resulted in substantial savings, which translated into significant rate reductions for consumers. In addition to three transmission substations and ten distribution substations, the purchase included this general plant structure located on 8th Avenue North and Roy Street near the south end of Lake Union. Designed by prominent Seattle architect John Graham, Sr., this centrally located facility served the expanding operations of the Puget Sound Power & Light Company, which experienced a golden era of growth during the 1920s. An increase in power available for sale was the result of the completion of the Lower Baker River Development in Skagit County in 1925 and the Shuffleton Steam Plant in Renton in 1929 and of upgrades to existing hydroelectric plants at Electron and White River in the same period. This increased supply was in response to an almost insatiable demand for electric power fueled by unparalleled growth in the number of new residential, commercial and industrial customers and the development of new electric products. City Light had already built a new warehouse and shops complex two years earlier in the industrial area south of downtown Seattle. After City Light purchased the property in 1951, it was used by the public utility for a number of years before the Department of Parks and Recreation acquired it. Born in Liverpool, England in 1873, John Graham, Sr. acquired his professional skills by apprenticeship rather than formal education and eventually moved to Seattle in 1901, where he practiced as an architect for more than four decades. In his long career, Graham embraced a wide variety of building types in many styles and designed a number of landmark structures significant to the fabric of Seattle’s built environment. A partnership with David J. Myers lasted for five years before the two architects decided to pursue separate practices in 1910. Graham then founded a successful firm, which produced a number of prominent Seattle buildings. These included the 1913 Ford Motor Company Assembly Building (now the Shurgard Storage Building), the 1921-24 Dexter Horton Building, the 1928-29 Roosevelt Hotel, the Bon Marche of the same year, and the 1929-1931 Exchange Building. In his later career, Graham was associated with William L. Painter in New York City and eventually transferred his practice to his son, John Graham, Jr., before his death in 1955. With its mixture of Mission Revival and Neo-Classical Revival stylistic features, the architecturally distinctive Parks Department Roy Street Maintenance Shops is significant for its design by the prominent Seattle architect, John Graham, Sr. It is also significant for its associations with the era of privately owned electric utilities in Seattle and with the evolution of City Light as the sole supplier of electric power in the area.
Completed in 1926, this reinforced concrete building occupies the southwestern quarter of a long block bounded by Aloha and Roy Streets and 8th and 9th Avenues North. Enclosed by a chain link fence, a surface parking lot adjoins the building to the north and covers the northwestern quarter of the block. The flat roof structure has a U-shaped footprint, which measures 300 feet and 116 feet overall. A garage block at the northern end and an office block at the southern end flank the long warehouse at the center. The one-story building has a lower basement level, which opens onto the rear east elevation. The west and south elevations of this otherwise utilitarian building display a mixture of Classical Revival and Mission Revival stylistic influences. These include cast stone quoins at the corners of the garage and office blocks, a red tile shed roof over the truck concourse and loading platform on the west elevation, and a textured stucco exterior. The north and east elevations present plain and unadorned walls of poured concrete. All of the original multi-paned steel sash windows have been replaced on the primary west and south elevations, but the majority remain intact on the minor east and north elevations. The office block has a rectangular plan, which measures 40 feet by 116 feet. In addition to the corner quoins, a simple cornice wraps the roofline. The main entrance on the south elevation is recessed within an elaborate surround near the western end. A wheelchair accessible ramp with a set of stairs leads to the modern double entrance doors covered by a small canopy. These doors replaced the original glass entrance doors below a multi-paned transom. Two small windows flank the surround and serve as sidelights. A single entrance door is situated at the eastern end of the elevation and is accessed by a short flight of stairs. Seven large vertical window openings with modern sash line the remainder of the elevation. The west elevation of the office block has five identical windows. The narrower warehouse block across the center of the building has a rectangular plan, which measures 205 feet by 76. Chamfered concrete columns separate the nine truck bays along the west elevation. At the rear of the open bays, large sliding doors open onto a loading dock. A tenth bay at the northern end has an entrance door centered between two tall narrow window openings set with modern sash within a wall clad with textured stucco. The simple cornice band over this bay continues as an intermediate cornice across the west elevation of the garage block. The garage block has a rectangular plan, which measures 50 feet by 116 feet, and a gabled parapet wall covering the flat roof along the west elevation. A large opening within an elaborate surround at the center of the elevation contains a recessed overhead door. The surround has a projecting cornice with low relief finials at each end. The circular window above the center entrance has been filled with louvered vents. North of the overhead door, a single entrance door below a window set high on the wall adjoins a large vertical window opening with a modern sash. Two identical windows are south of the door. The north elevation of the garage block has an overhead entrance door at the center between four large multi-paned windows and a single entrance door near the western end. On the rear east elevation, large multi-paned windows line the upper main floor and the lower basement levels. Near the northern end of the warehouse block, a driveway leads down to a large overhead door into the lower level. A single entrance door is situated to the south of the overhead door. Despite the extensive window alterations on the west and south elevations, this building retains good physical integrity.

Detail for 802 ROY ST / Parcel ID 4088803530 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat, Shed Roof Material(s): Clay Tile, Unknown
Building Type: Transportation - Road- Related Plan: U-Shape
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Conservation, Politics/Government/Law, Transportation
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: 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.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Wing, Robert., editor. A Century of Service, The Puget Power Story. Bellevue, WA: Puget Sound Power & Light Company, 1987.
Puget Sound Power and Light Company. Agreement of purchase and sale between Puget Sound Power & Light Company and the City of Seattle. c1951.

Photo collection for 802 ROY ST / Parcel ID 4088803530 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Oct 30, 2000

Photo taken Oct 30, 2000

Photo taken Oct 30, 2000
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