Based on field work conducted in September 2014, this historic property retains its relationship to the streetscape, historic building form and a sufficient amount of exterior historic building fabric (design features, cladding and/or window sash/openings) to contribute to the distinct character of the Georgetown neighborhood. This is an intact historic property that may possess some limited architectural and/or historic significance.
Originally constructed in 1928, this commercial building was possibly built in conjunction with a gas station that was previously located immediately adjacent and to the east. The property was purchased by C.H. Johnson in 12-12 1925. In 1941 Mr. Johnson appears to have joined with Victor L. Miller to develop the adjacent commercial block (at 6201 13th Ave. S) on the site of the former gas station. V.L. Miller owned several other Georgetown commercial buildings including 1226 S. Bailey St (1927) and 6031 Airport Way S. (1940). Their new commercial building was designed by Otis E. Hancock, who also designed the Georgetown branch - Seattle First National Bank (1955). It appears that Otis Hancock was commissioned to remodel the older storefront shop spaces on this site in order to harmonize them with the new building. The modernized façade design was distinguished by expansive display windows, a recessed duel entrance vestibule and a low bulkhead with decorative tile cladding. V.L. Miller appears to have acquired all of the property in the 1950s.
Victor L. Miller - According to an obituary published in the Seattle Times (Nov. 30. 1964, pg 47) Victor L. Miller was born in Alpena, Michigan and settled in Seattle c.1904. He was identified as a builder and owner of rental properties in the “Georgetown District’. At the time of his death he was survived by three children: Arthur Miller (Seattle), Mary Ellorin (Stockton, CA) and Iris Groves (Canby, OR).
Biographical Info: Otis E. Hancock (November 11, 1893-March 10, 1972). Born in Duluth, Minnesota; moved with family to Seattle in 1907; attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh; served in U.S. Navy, 1917-19; employed by Arthur Loveless, Seattle, 1920-22; B. Marcus Priteca, Seattle, 1922-23; Frank Fowler, Seattle, 1923-24; independent architectural practice, Seattle, 1925-27, designed Finnish Clubhouse, Seattle (1923); partnership with Frederick V. Lockman, Seattle, 1927-33, designed Queen Anne Clubhouse, Seattle (1927), Central Lutheran Church addition, Seattle (1932); independent practice after 1933; designed L. Bodfrey apartment building, Seattle (1948), Western Union Telegraph garage, Seattle (1950-51), Georgetown Seattle First National Bank Branch (1955), Haloid Xerox (now Kroessen’s) warehouse, Seattle (1958); retired, 1971; died in Seattle. [Credit: Shaping Seattle Architecture, 2014]
This property is directly associated with an era between 1916 and 1942 when the character of the community began to be changed by social factors, the acceleration of industrialization and associated economic impacts. Due to the instigation of Prohibition in 1916, all breweries closed and brought an abrupt end to their dominance within local industry. Prohibition not only closed down the large local brewery operations but also Georgetown’s infamous roadhouses and saloons. The completion of the Duwamish Waterway in 1917 created additional cheap factory sites with efficient shipping facilities. The establishment of manufacturing businesses such as the Boeing Aircraft Company signaled the new economic direction for the geographic area. Due to the increasing introduction of industrialization within the community, in 1923 it was zoned exclusively for such uses; however, home owners and builders continued to construct new homes and local businesses throughout the era. Inexpensive land and depression era federal programs stimulated residential construction and by 1942 city planners were forced by the community to rezone the residential areas. Major factors in housing development during this era were the opening in 1928 of Seattle's first municipal airport (Boeing Field) and the establishment in 1935 of Boeing Company Plant 2 on the west side of Boeing Field. By the end of World War II, 6,981 B-17 bombers had been produced there. At peak production, the facility operated three shifts, seven days a week and employed thousands of workers.
Sources of Information:
Building Permit Records, City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Library
“Historic Property Survey Report: Georgetown (Seattle, WA)” City of Seattle 1997
KC Property Record Cards 1937-1972, Puget Sound Regional Archives
Sanborn Insurance Maps: 1904-05 (Vol.1 pl.89-98), 1917 (Vol.3 pl. 353-54 & 357-59), 1929-1949 (Vol.8 pl. 869-72 & 1301-1317).