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Summary for 2101 NW 77th ST NW / Parcel ID 6021504080 / Inv # DPR054

Historic Name: Loyal Heights Field House Common Name: Loyal Heights Community Center
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Crown Hill/Ballard
Built By: Year Built: 1950
This architecturally distinctive modern brick building was constructed in 1949-50 to serve as a community center for the Loyal Heights neighborhood of Ballard. In 1907, real estate developer Harry W. Treat platted his Loyal Heights subdivision near the northern limits of the city in Ballard. Treat also established the original Golden Gardens Park on the shores of Puget Sound below NW 85th Street near the end of his streetcar line, the "Loyal Railway." At that time, streetcar lines often terminated at a popular attraction so as to encourage real estate development along the length of the line and to increase ridership outside of regular commuting hours, especially on weekends. The Loyal Railway ran between Ballard and Treat’s Loyal Heights subdivision and terminated at Loyal Way NW and NW 85th Street on the bluff above the park. Treat named his development and many of its physical features to honor his daughter, Loyal. Over the next thirty years, there was steady but scattered residential and commercial development as the city’s population shifted to the north. By the late 1930s, the growing community’s desire for a local park resulted in the establishment of a Local Improvement District to acquire a large parcel of land in 1941. However, the financial difficulties of the depression in the 1930s and the shortages of labor and materials during the Second World War halted the construction of most park buildings until the later 1940s with the exception of those built by state and federal relief agencies. In 1948, funding for the construction of a new field house at Loyal Heights Playfield was included in a voter-approved bond issue. A new field house was also approved for West Queen Anne Playfield. Designed by the architecture firm of Naramore, Bain, Brady & Johanson, the two new field houses were completed and put into operation in 1950. The Parks Department had constructed its first field houses in 1911 at Hiawatha and Ballard Playfields. Within the next several years, similar wood frame field houses were constructed at Collins, and South Park Playfields. In the later 1920s, larger masonry field houses were constructed at Green Lake Park and Rainier Playfield. During the 1930s, two smaller brick field houses had been built at Laurelhurst and Montlake Playfields. In 1949, a small field house was constructed at Hutchinson Playfield in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. However, these new field houses were the first large-scale recreation buildings constructed since the late 1920s. The Loyal Heights Field House featured a large multipurpose gymnasium with a stage at one end, two large social rooms, a lounge, and a game room, as well as separate locker rooms for men and women, restrooms, and storage and equipment rooms. Born in Illinois in 1879, Floyd A. Naramore studied engineering at the University of Wisconsin and architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Early in his career, he worked on the design and construction of bridges before becoming the Architect and Superintendent of Properties for the Portland (Oregon) school system in 1912. Impressed by both his design work and ability to control costs, the Seattle School Board hired Naramore in 1919 to succeed Edgar Blair as the architect for the Seattle School District. After the state’s passage of a compulsory attendance law, the district had been faced with a need for many new school buildings to accommodate the growing enrollment. With the onset of the Depression in the early 1930s, school construction largely ceased, forcing Naramore to resign in 1932. He then practiced in partnership with a number of other prominent Seattle architects before joining with architects William Bain, Clifton Brady and Perry Johanson to form Naramore, Bain Brady & Johanson in the early 1940s. Now known as NBBJ, the partnership has designed a wide variety of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings for which they have an earned considerable local, national, and even international prominence and attention. Completed in a Modern Style, this brick building is significant for its design and with the development of Loyal Heights Playfield.
Completed in 1950, this large brick and reinforced concrete building occupies the northeast corner of Loyal Heights Playfield. The flat roof structure consists of four interconnected blocks of varied massing dictated by the distinct function. The largest block, the gymnasium, occupies most of the northern half of the building and dominates with its height and size. The rectangular plan gymnasium measures 110 feet by 65 feet and has a ceiling height of 30 feet, enclosing a one-story volume of space. The higher rectangular plan block at the eastern end of the gymnasium houses a stage and measures 30 feet by 65 feet. The one and two-story block encompassing the entire southern half of the building has an irregular but mostly rectangular plan, which measures approximately 171 feet by 55 feet. This block houses a number of functions, including social and game rooms, locker rooms for men and women, restrooms, and storage and equipment rooms. Located at the center of the west elevation, a small one-story entrance hall has an L-shaped footprint, measuring 34 feet by 38 feet on the longest sides. Overall, the building measures 174 feet by 120 feet. Brick veneer and an exposed concrete frame comprises the exterior of the building and helps to unite visually the disparate elements. On the gymnasium block, the exposed concrete frame divides the north and south elevations into six bays and the west elevation into three bays. Inset panels of brick veneer fill the bays on the west elevation, which presents a blank wall with no openings. The bays on the longer north elevation each have an inset brick panel below a blank stuccoed panel covering the upper quarter below the roofline. These blank panels fill the original window openings, which lined the elevation. The only remaining opening is a double door entrance at the lower basement level near the eastern end of the block. The block along the southern half of the building covers all but the upper quarter of the south elevation, which has the same blank panels filling the original window openings. On the stage block, the brick veneer covers the concrete frame. The east elevation has a band of windows in a large opening near the center of the first story and a set of double entrance near the northern end. The opening has a raised concrete surround and concrete mullions separating the windows. On the southern half of the building, the two-story main block has a one-story wing with a lower level along the eastern half of the south elevation. A small two-story entrance wing also extends from the northern end of the east elevation. The brick veneer covers most of the concrete frame. On the south elevation of the main block, bands of modern metal sash windows line the first and second stories. Wide metal mullions divide the bands into sets of two and three windows. The panels above the current windows were installed when the larger original windows were replaced. On the south elevation of the one-story wing, a band of smaller windows extends across the main upper floor level above entrances to the restrooms at the lower floor level. The west elevation of the main block has only two windows at the first story level, while the east elevation has a single entrance door. The entrance wing on the east elevation has only the double entrance doors on the east elevation. The one-story entrance hall has a blank brick wall on the northern half of the west elevation with a pin-mounted "LOYAL HEIGHTS" sign in metal letters. The projecting southern half of the elevation has a recessed opening covered by a shallow marquee. Brick piers frame a window wall at the rear of the opening set with a series of doors. Windows cover the eastern end of the hall’s north elevation. Despite the extensive window alterations, this architecturally distinctive Modern building retains good physical integrity.

Detail for 2101 NW 77th ST NW / Parcel ID 6021504080 / Inv # DPR054

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Recreation and Culture - Sports Facility Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
Seattle Department of Parks. Annual report/Department of Parks. Seattle, WA: 1909-1955.

Photo collection for 2101 NW 77th ST NW / Parcel ID 6021504080 / Inv # DPR054

Photo taken Nov 01, 2000

Photo taken Nov 01, 2000
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