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Summary for 4th AVE / Parcel ID 5457801200 / Inv # FAC013

Historic Name: Queen Anne Pump Station Common Name:
Style: Arts & Crafts, Arts & Crafts - Craftsman Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1925
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Seattle Water Department constructed this brick pump station located on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill in 1925 as a replacement for an earlier pump station constructed on the site by the Union Water Company. The original wood frame pump station, supplied from springs, was one of the first municipally owned water pump station after the City acquired it on August 15, 1891. From 1854 until 1890, wells, springs and private water companies provided Seattle’s water. Shortly after the great fire of 1889, Seattle citizens voted to establish a municipal water system. The first step was the purchase of two private water companies, the Spring Hill Water Company and the Union Water Company. Ten years earlier, prominent early Seattle pioneer David T. Denny and some business associates had incorporated the Union Water Company on February 27, 1882. Denny had extensive real estate holdings in the vicinity of lower Queen Anne Hill and South Lake Union and wanted to provide an adequate water supply in order to facilitate development in the area, then considered far from the center of town. In addition to the pump station at Ward Street and Fourth Avenue North, the private water system also included a well sunk 348 feet deep at the top of the hill and a large wooden tank. When the well proved inadequate, a pump was installed on the shore of Lake Union to supply the Queen Anne tank. With the assistance of the pump station located halfway up the steep southern slope, water was pumped up the hill into the holding tank, and then distributed to the city below. After purchasing the private water companies, the city began to develop the Cedar River water system and awarded the first construction contracts in 1899. The initial phase included reservoirs at Lincoln and Volunteer Park, as well as a standpipe located at the top of Queen Anne Hill, Queen Anne Tank No. 1, all of which were completed in 1901. Three years later, Queen Anne Tank No. 2 was constructed adjacent to the earlier tank to provide additional storage capacity. The original pump station was used mostly in emergencies to pump water to the standpipes from its source at the Lincoln Reservoir on Capitol Hill. At the time of its replacement in 1925, the original pump station featured the city’s only steam driven pump, which had a pumping capacity of 1,250,000 gallons per day. Although mostly devoid of exterior ornament or embellishment, the current building exhibits Craftsman stylistic features, similar to the 1928-29 SW Spokane Street Pump Station. The Queen Anne Pump Station is significant for its design and for its associations with the early private water companies and with the growth and development of Seattle’s water system.
Completed in 1925, this one-story buff brick building occupies a flat area at the top of a steep grassy slope on a corner lot at the intersection of Ward Street and 4th Avenue North. Set on a steep hillside, this site is located within a residential neighborhood on the southern slope of Queen Anne Hill, overlooking Seattle Center. Featuring a rectangular plan, this front gable building rests on a concrete foundation outlined with brick soldiers. A similar band of brick soldiers lines the top of the wall below the roofline on the north and south elevations and continues on the east and west elevations, creating an intermediate cornice of sorts. Two double-hung windows with brick lintels and sills originally flanked the center entrance on the principal east elevation. These windows have been covered with plywood panels containing metal louvers along the bottom. Lighter bricks set in a diamond pattern are centered above each window. The original paneled door remains below a covered transom in a shallow arched opening. The original multi-paned window also remains in the opening at the peak of the gable end. On the north elevation, three similar window openings joined by a continuous brick sill have been covered with plywood panels as have the three larger window openings on the south elevation. On the west elevation, the original double wooden doors remain in the large opening at the center. The original multi-paned window also remains in the opening at the peak of the gable end. However, the window openings on either side of the doors have been covered. This building exhibits slight Craftsman stylistic influences, including wide bargeboards with flared ends and exposed trusses overhanging the end and side walls. With minimal alterations, the building is relatively well maintained with excellent physical integrity.

Detail for 4th AVE / Parcel ID 5457801200 / Inv # FAC013

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Waterworks Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Politics/Government/Law, Science & Engineering
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
HistoryLink Website (
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 4th AVE / Parcel ID 5457801200 / Inv # FAC013

Photo taken Nov 10, 2000
App v2.0.1.0