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Summary for 234 9th AVE / Parcel ID 1986200120 / Inv #

Historic Name: Lauch Bros. Common Name: Jones Soda Company
Style: Art Deco - Streamline Moderne Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Built By: Year Built: 1940
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The original building was designed in 1940 by the architecture firm of McLelland and Jones with architect Hugo Ostermann as associate for Miller Brothers Incorporated. Subsequent changes may have been made to the building in 1947. Construction drawings from 1940 show the original design for the main façade. An important feature of the façade was the large Moderne lettering advertising “LAUCH BROTHERS,” set above the shallow overhang or “division strip” on the original drawings. While the entry door with the glass block sidelights is reasonably intact, the original fenestration consisted of trios of windows, divided vertically into three rectangular lights, which were longer in the horizontal direction. In general, while the building was an interesting example of industrial Moderne in 1940, it not only has new cladding, but a significant loss of original historical detail. Lauch Brothers appear to have been a specialty contracting firm, and according to Polk’s Directories, were plaster contractors. They remained in the building at least until 1942, but by 1948, the main tenant was another contracting firm, W. E. Beggs Company. The same firm, still at the same address, was listed as “plumbers” in the 1953 Polk’s Directory. The architecture firm responsible for this building, McLelland and Jones, a local Seattle firm, also designed 300 Dexter Avenue North, originally commissioned by the Wilderman Refrigeration Company in 1945, and located not far from this building. McLelland and Jones & Associates was founded in 1933 and dissolved in 1946. There does not seem to be much information on McLelland, except that he later joined Hugo Osterman to form the architecture firm of McLelland and Osterman. Victor Noble Jones went on to found Victor N. Jones & Associate, which lasted from 1946 to 1955. After the dissolution of McLelland and Jones, among projects for which Jones was responsible were the Administration Building (1947-1949) and the first Medical School Building at the University of Washington (1952), on which he collaborated with NBBJ. Subsequently, Jones was a partner in Jones Lovegren Helms & Jones, founded in 1956 and dissolved around 1965. He also was the architect of the Washington State Ferry Terminal in Seattle, designed between 1964 and 1967. Victor Jones was born in Exeter, Ontario and received a M.Arch. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1926.
234 9th Ave North is located on the southwest corner of 9th Avenue North and Thomas Street. The building is rectangular in plan and has a main, west façade along 9th Avenue North and a secondary north facade along Thomas Street. While the building was designed to have only a single story building, its back, western portion, in the north-south direction, includes a higher interior central space, flanked by two lower spaces, equal in width. From the street the building mainly reads as a simple, single story building with a flat roof and parapet, while the higher rear portion is set back from the Thomas Street façade and has four original clerestory window openings facing north. The building was designed as a typical streamline Moderne building and retains characteristics of the original design. Doorways, which occur at the center of the Thomas Street elevation and toward the north of the main façade, are inset and have curved jambs. Long, shallow, streamlined, fluted metal overhangs, called “division strips” on original drawings, run most of length of the main façade and also tie together the architectural elements of the Thomas Street façade. In plan, at each end, the overhangs characteristically curve into the building façade. Aside from these details, the openings of the main façade begin slightly north of center, with a door, flanked by side lights of glass block, four blocks in the horizontal direction and ten in the vertical direction. Moving to the south, there is a larger plate glass window, followed by a non-recessed door and then a rectangular section of the same height as the window in brick, followed by two wide windows. The fluted metal overhang ties all these elements together. The Thomas Street elevation begins with a typical recessed door at its center, with four, virtually square openings, separated by more or less square expanses of brick, running most of the length of the western half of the façade. Again, the fluted overhang ties the openings and bricks expanses together. The parapet also rises very slightly over this portion of the façade. In its present condition, the building appears to have received a new skim coat of concrete over its exterior and even the fluted metal overhangs have been covered over lightly. The building has also been painted somewhat garishly in dark blue with bright orange trim color for the thin parapet cap, which flairs out (and is probably an original element of the building) and for the fluted overhang. Metal signage, in large flat letters, advertising JONES SODA, have been added to the main façade, in addition to a large logo/ mural at the northwest corner of the building.

Detail for 234 9th AVE / Parcel ID 1986200120 / Inv #

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete, Glass - Glass Block Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.

Photo collection for 234 9th AVE / Parcel ID 1986200120 / Inv #

Photo taken Feb 10, 2005
App v2.0.1.0