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Summary for 12th AVE / Parcel ID 5100400230 / Inv # SPU011

Historic Name: Maple Leaf Reservoir Pump Station Common Name:
Style: Colonial, Colonial - Colonial Revival Neighborhood: Roosevelt
Built By: Year Built: 1911
The Seattle Water Department completed construction of this small brick pump station in 1911 to serve the adjacent 60,000,000-gallon Maple Leaf Reservoir completed the previous year in 1910. The Maple Leaf Reservoir and the nearby 50,000,000-gallon Green Lake Reservoir and their pump stations were built as part of the Cedar River Water System No. 2, which also included a second pipeline from the Cedar River and the reservoirs and their appurtenances at Beacon Hill. Construction of the Cedar River water system had commenced in 1899 after Seattle residents voted in 1895 for the approval of bonds to finance the system. On January 10, 1901, water began flowing from the Cedar River into Seattle’s system carried by a newly completed 28.57-mile pipeline to the new Lincoln and Volunteer Park reservoirs. This new system had a capacity of 23.5 million gallons per day. Over the next ten years, the city’s population increased from 80,600 in 1900 to 237,194 in 1910, greatly increasing the demand for water all over the city. In 1908, construction began on a second pipeline and the reservoirs, which would be supplied by it. At Maple Leaf, the City acquired through purchase or condemnation the necessary lands for the reservoir site between 1906 and 1908. At the time, this site was located just within the northern limits of the city at 85th Street. On June 21, 1909, the second pipeline went into service, providing an additional 45 million-gallon per day capacity to meet the water needs of a fast-growing Seattle. Within a year, the Maple Leaf and Green Lake Reservoirs were completed with water supplied via water mains from the Volunteer Park Reservoir. With a capacity of 60,000,000 gallons, the intermediate service Maple Leaf Reservoir served the north end of the city along with the low service Green Lake Reservoir. After the completion of the reservoirs, the Water Department planned to erect a standpipe at the Maple Leaf Reservoir site to improve gravity service to higher elevations. The standpipe would be supplied by a hydraulic pump, which would be installed at the Green Lake Reservoir. Water flowing downhill from the Maple Leaf Reservoir into the Green Lake Reservoir Pump Station would then be pumped back up to the standpipe at Maple Leaf. For some reason, the Water Department chose not to construct a standpipe but opted to construct two elevated tanks within the next decade. A new 1,000,000-gallon tank later replaced these smaller tanks in 1949. The Maple Leaf Reservoir Pump Station is identical in design to the Green Lake Reservoir Pump Station, however both are unique among all Water Department structures in terms of their design and their materials. With its Colonial Revival/Georgian Revival stylistic features, the Maple Leaf Reservoir Pump Station is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of the Cedar River Water System No. 2 and with the growth and development of Seattle’s water system.
This one-story brick building is located at street level beyond the southern end of the Maple Leaf Reservoir, which lies to the north in a high berm. Measuring 26 feet by 40 feet, the Classical Revival design of this small building is nearly identical to if not exactly the same as the Green Lake Reservoir Pump Station, which was completed the same year in 1911. Set on a high brick base over a concrete foundation, the rectangular plan structure features a hipped roof lined with an elaborate terra cotta cornice adorned with solid modillion blocks and corners embellished with fluted terra cotta pilasters. An intermediate cornice above the brick base appears to visually support the corner pilasters. On the principal south elevation, two large window openings with terra cotta surrounds have been infilled with concrete and flank a center entrance covered by a small projecting pediment. Square engaged terra cotta columns on either side of the entrance opening support the pediment’s entablature containing an incised sign, which reads "19 - MAPLE LEAF RESERVOIR - 11." A semi-circular fanlight covered with a decorative metal grille is set above the modern double entrance doors, accessed by a few concrete steps. The west elevation has a single large window opening at the center, which has also been infilled with concrete. On the north elevation, there are two infilled window openings. The east elevation has two openings, one containing a modern door and the other a window, which has been infilled as well. In addition to the extensive alterations, the light buff brick is severely pitted and pock marked in places, especially on the north elevation, and the terra cotta trim detail is cracked, deteriorated, and broken off in places. Heavy dense trees and bushes cover most of principal south elevation, and a chain link fence impedes access to the main entrance. The level of physical integrity of this structure is significantly less than the Green Lake Reservoir Pump Station.

Detail for 12th AVE / Parcel ID 5100400230 / Inv # SPU011

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable, Hip Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Waterworks Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Science & Engineering
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
McWilliams, Mary. Seattle Water Department History, 1854-1954: Operational Data and Memoranda. Seattle, WA: Water Department, City of Seattle, c1955.
Seattle Water Department. Annual report / City of Seattle, Water Department. Seattle, WA: 1908-1965.

Photo collection for 12th AVE / Parcel ID 5100400230 / Inv # SPU011

Photo taken Jul 19, 2000
App v2.0.1.0