Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

This application will be offline for Maintenance Saturday Feb 4th from 6am to noon

New Search

Summary for 1907 3rd AVE / Parcel ID 1977201070 / Inv #

Historic Name: Donohoe Garage Common Name: Bergman's Luggage (3rd and Stewart Building)
Style: Spanish - Eclectic Neighborhood: Downtown Urban Center
Built By: Year Built: 1916
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This property is directly associated with the initial period (1902-1920) of downtown commercial expansion that occurred due to local economic prosperity after the Klondike Gold Rush and in tandem with explosive population growth and suburban residential development. During this era, modern urban architectural scale began with the construction of the earliest steel-frame highrise buildings and the establishment of a concentration of banking enterprises and department stores along Second Avenue from Cherry Street to Pike Street. A significant number of commercial properties were constructed within the downtown commercial core, including: numerous hotels, banks, business blocks and early highrise commercial buildings, as well as specialty and department stores, clubhouses, apartment houses and theaters. The initial regrading of Denny Hill and the commercial redevelopment of the former University Grounds (University/Metropolitan Tract) were major factors that facilitated northward and eastward commercial expansion. In 1914, the owners of the Frederick and Nelson Department Store purchased property with the intention of building a large, five-story store at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street, thus solidifying the location of the future downtown retail core. Beginning in the mid- 1910s, the use of private automobiles changed the way downtown Seattle functioned. Gradually surface parking lots – many of which included a small gas station building - became a part of the commercial core or were located nearby on its periphery. By mid-1920s, large parking garages – some that could store hundreds of automobiles – were a lucrative and essential part of downtown commerce. During the 1920s, due to lower property values to the north of Virginia Street and close proximity to the commercial, entertainment and retail core numerous parking lots, garages and service centers were constructed in the vicinity of this property. This garage building was constructed for Charles W. Donahoe and described as “a public garage” on the building permit issued on July 14, 1921. Designed by Seattle architect Charles Haynes in a Spanish Eclectic style it is the oldest extant garage building in the neighborhood; however, it was converted to business and store uses in 1924. The original design included an auto sales room, manager’s office, stock room and automobile wash stalls on the first floor level. A driveway entry was located off Stewart Street and lead to a service and parking area on this floor level. The second floor level appears to have been entirely devoted to public parking. An incline ramp to the second floor level was accessed off of the alley at the NW corner of the building. Prior to being converted to a “business block and store building” the W.L. Hughson Ford Agency operated a business in the building. Both the original 1921 garage design and the 1924 conversion, which was estimated to cost between $25,000 and $30,000 were designed by Seattle architect Charles Haynes. By 1937, eight businesses occupied the building including Puget Sound Tent and Awning, which appear to have occupied the loft space, along with the Doner Piano Store, a postal and telegraph service, an electrical repair shop and a print shop at storefront locations. By 1962, a Peoples National Bank branch occupied the prominent storefront spaces at the SE corner. The original Donahoe Garage building was designed (1921) and remodeled (1924) by Charles A. Haynes. Haynes practiced architecture in Seattle and Aberdeen, on his own and under various partnerships, from 1907 until 1940. He is known to have designed numerous distinctive revival style residences in the Mount Baker neighborhood, as well as apartment houses and commercial buildings in both cities. One of the best known local examples of his work is the former Butterworth Mortuary (1923) in the Pike-Pine corridor. He also designed the Tyson Oldsmobile Company auto showroom at 901 Pike Street (1912). This is a partly intact early example of a commercial parking garage, an important downtown property type, and was designed by a notable Seattle architect, Charles Haynes. Other extant downtown garage buildings include: the Grand Central Garage (719 4th Avenue, 1919); the nearby White Garage (1915 3rd Avenue – altered interior, 1928); the nearby Second Avenue (Northwest Building Company) Garage (1915 2nd Avenue, 1926); and the Grand Opera House that was converted for garage use in 1923. This property apears to meet local landmark criteria as part of a cohesive group of four generally intact commercial buildings situated on the west side of the 1900 block of Third Avenue including: the Donahoe Garage (1916), White Garage (1928), Kelley-Gorham Building (1910) and Heiden Building (c.1914).
Located at the NW corner of Third Avenue and Stewart Street this two-story building was originally designed to serve as a garage and possibly as an automobile showroom. It appears to have housed retail stores and upper floor level light manufacturing uses for several years. The ground floor currently houses some retail stores and the upper floor level appears to be used for storage purposes. It measures 108’ x 120’ with six bays oriented toward both Third Avenue and Stewart Street. It exhibits an enframed commercial block façade and is a notable example of the Spanish Eclectic style. The ordinary masonry structure (with a concrete foundation) is clad for the most part at the principal elevations with original glazed terra cotta, cream color panels and orange-taupe ornament. Some portions of original storefront level cladding appear to have been removed. The façades are accentuated at each end bay by a prominent raised and rounded parapet decorated with terra cotta finials, coping and decorative details. At each elevation the central four bays are capped above the second floor level windows by red clay tile pent roofs that are separated at each structural pier. The structural piers separate each of the four segmental arched bays that include decorated spandrels (mostly covered by modern business signage) that define the first and second floor levels. The façade is unified by segmental arched openings in the end bay elements at the first floor level. Large rectangular window openings at the second floor level of each end bay correspond to the rectangular storefront openings at the central bays. The facades are further embellished with terra cotta ornament at the pent roofs and at some bulkhead locations. The upper floor level windows are a three-part configuration and appear to include original multi-pane industrial steel sash. Historic storefront openings with transoms are mostly intact but some have been modernized. Modern window sash and canopies/awnings have been installed at some openings. A large obtrusive neon sign covers terra cotta details and diminishes the architectural character of the building which appears to be in a poorly maintained condition. There do not appear to be any intact or architecturally significant interior building features, finishes or public spaces.

Detail for 1907 3rd AVE / Parcel ID 1977201070 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Transportation - Road- Related Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Transportation
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Storefront: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.
"Large Building Will be Altered at Cost of $30,000" Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, November 7, 1924.
Aldredge, Lydia. Impressions of Imagination: Terra Cotta Seattle, Allied Arts of Seattle, 1986.
Seattle Monorail Greenline EIS - Historic Resource Form prepared by ENTRIX (2003).

Photo collection for 1907 3rd AVE / Parcel ID 1977201070 / Inv #

Photo taken May 24, 2006
App v2.0.1.0