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Summary for 2555 8th AVE / Parcel ID 242503-9014 / Inv #

Historic Name: 7th Church of Christ Scientist Common Name: 7th Church of Christ Scientist
Style: Other, Spanish - Eclectic, Spanish - Mission Neighborhood: Queen Anne
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.
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
Christian Scientists began meeting on Queen Anne in 1919, using Redding Hall at First Avenue West and West Roy Street as their initial meeting place. Within a few years, the congregation had grown enough that they were able to raise the money to hire a prominent firm, Harlan, Thomas & Grainger, to design this unique building for their services and Sunday school. It has been in that use since its completion in 1926. Sally Woodbridge describes this unusual building as "an effectively scaled and decorated Neo-Byzantine-early Christian Revival church." The 1970s historic resources survey noted Mission and Spanish Colonial elements as well. It differs from other local Christian Science churches in its complexity of form and ornament. Harlan Thomas (1870-1953) had American roots but is particularly known for his European-influenced designs such as this one. He grew up in Iowa and Colorado, and opened an architectural practice in Denver in 1895, after receiving a degree in mathematics and mechanics from Colorado State College. He then spent nearly three years traveling and studying throughout the world, before moving to Seattle in 1906. He built a house on 8th Avenue West, and immediately embarked on two major projects, the nearby Chelsea Hotel on Olympic Way and the Sorrento Hotel on First Hill. Both designs show the influence of his European travels. He later partnered with Thomas Grainger, producing such well known works as the Queen Anne, Columbia and Douglass-Truth libraries (1912-15), the Corner Market Building at Pike Place Market (1911-12), Harborview Hospital (1929-31) and several fraternity and sorority houses. His son, Donald Thomas, later joined the partnership. Thomas taught architecture at the University of Washington from 1926 until 1940. and retired from practice in 1949. He died in 1953.
This building has two parts, the two-story church and the smaller education wing, forming an ell. Cladding is beige stucco with red clay tile roofs. The form of the sanctuary section is basically square, but with each corner flattened to form an irregular octagon. The east elevation has a one-story gabled entry pavilion, with a shed-roofed section at each side; the three arched doorways are edged with elaborate Byzantine-style cast stone ornament and voussoirs. The three massive oak doors are also arched, with elaborate leaded glass. The gabled parapet has a cast stone frieze with an elaborate naturalistic design. On the south side are other oak doors entering a foyer connecting the sanctuary with the education wing. There is extensive cast stone trim, including quoins, an elaborate frieze below the eaves, a dentilled belt course below the upper windows, and surrounding the windows. Windows throughout are arched multipaned sash, in groups of three. Each of the long sides has a group of three large arched windows with three smaller ones above; the short sides of the octagon walls each have three windows at the upper level. The single-story wing to the south has cross gable form is also clad with stucco with a red clay tile roof. It is almost square in plan, with a cross gable roof with a tile-clad cupola at the center. The main entry is at the north, connecting to the sanctuary building, but there is also a simple arched entry from the street, at the southeast. The east and south elevations each have a group of three arched windows. The wing has extensive cast stone trim, edging the building corners and the window arches, with a frieze of elaborate naturalistic ornament along the gabled parapet.

Detail for 2555 8th AVE / Parcel ID 242503-9014 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable, Hip Roof Material(s): Clay Tile
Building Type: Religion - Religious facility Plan: L-Shape
Structural System: Clay Tile No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Religion
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Woodbridge, Sally and Roger Montgomery. A Guide to Architecture in Washington State. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1980.
Reinartz, Kay F. Queen Anne: Community on the Hill. Seattle: Queen Anne Historical Society, 1993.

Photo collection for 2555 8th AVE / Parcel ID 242503-9014 / Inv #

Photo taken Aug 16, 2004

Photo taken Aug 16, 2004

Photo taken Aug 16, 2004
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