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Summary for 2625 1st AVE / Parcel ID 2425039003 / Inv # DPR078

Historic Name: Rodgers (David) Park Comfort Station Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1948
This concrete block comfort station was constructed in 1948 on the eastern side of David Rodgers Park. It replaced an earlier wood frame comfort station built in 1920. The city originally acquired the north half of the property in 1883 as a donation from real estate developer Benjamin Franklin "B.F." Day. At the time, this area at the northern end of Queen Anne Hill was beyond the northern limits of the city at West McGraw Street. However, B.F. Day apparently intended for the five-acre parcel to be used for park purposes and noted its panoramic view of mountain and water scenery. Within ten years, this area was annexed by the city in the 1891"North Seattle Annexation." Despite Day’s intentions, the land was not transferred to the jurisdiction of the Parks Department until 1908. The transfer may have been occasioned by the implementation of the Olmsted Brothers’ recommendations for the development of a comprehensive park and boulevard system for Seattle. In 1903, the city had hired the Olmsted Brothers to develop a comprehensive plan for parks, boulevards and playgrounds in Seattle. This move was largely brought on by the public interest generated for the planned Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and through the purchase of Woodland Park and the acquisition of Washington Park, two large tracts of mostly undeveloped land. In 1908, the plan was supplemented by an additional report, which included the extensive areas of the city annexed the previous year. The Olmsted Brothers identified the donated parcel as the "Queen Anne Tract" in their plans and recommended its development for park purposes. In 1909, the city purchased the south half of the property and named the new park, Evergreen Park, after its beautiful grove of evergreen trees. By this time, the city had already developed the B.F. Day Playground adjacent to the school of the same name in Fremont. In the early 1890s, Day and his wife, Frances, had donated land for a new public elementary school, which was built in 1892. Initially, the only improvements made were the clearing of underbrush, the opening of paths, and the construction of rustic seats. A 1915 Health Department recommendation for a new comfort station was not satisfied until 1920 when a new wood frame building was constructed with a proper sewer connection. The previous year, the Workingmen’s Committee of the Skinner & Eddy Corporation, a shipbuilding firm, had donated $2,000 to the city to honor their recently retired manager, David Rodgers. As a result, the Parks Department renamed Evergreen Park as David Rodgers Park and constructed the new comfort station with the donated funds. Few additional improvements were made until the 1930s when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) carried out a large-scale grading and landscaping project. The WPA also constructed three tennis courts. Other than the projects completed by the WPA, the construction of new park buildings was halted until the late 1940s. After the financial difficulties of the 1930s, the Second World War brought shortages of labor and materials. By the later 1940s, the Parks Department was able to resume construction of new buildings. Completed in 1948, this comfort station was constructed at a time when less expensive and more durable concrete block buildings were beginning to be built. This building is nearly identical to one constructed the same year at Seward Park on Lake Washington. The modern design of the post-war comfort stations contrasted with the earlier buildings, which generally exhibited simple Craftsman or period revival stylistic features. This building is distinctive for its design and for its association with the development of David Rodgers Park.
Completed in 1948, this concrete block comfort station occupies a site near the playground at the southeast corner of David Rodgers Park. The simple one-story structure has a rectangular footprint covered by a side gable roof with deep overhangs on the east and west elevations and slight overhangs on the north and south side elevations. The exterior walls have a smooth stucco exterior. The wide gable ends of the low-pitch roof are outlined by narrow bargeboards and covered by an unknown material with a striated surface. The Modern building faces west and contains a women’s restroom at the northern end and a men’s restroom at the southern end. The entrances to the restrooms are situated within recessed openings at the western ends of the north and south elevations. An additional door at the center of the principal west elevation provides access to a maintenance room. At the center of the rear east elevation, a long narrow louvered opening lines the upper wall below the eaves. Wire mesh covers the interior of the opening shared by the restrooms on either end. This well-maintained building retains good physical integrity.

Detail for 2625 1st AVE / Parcel ID 2425039003 / Inv # DPR078

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete - Block, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Metal - Standing Seam
Building Type: Other Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Block No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.

Photo collection for 2625 1st AVE / Parcel ID 2425039003 / Inv # DPR078

Photo taken Aug 14, 2000
App v2.0.1.0