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Summary for 1915 Terry AVE / Parcel ID 0660001255 / Inv #

Historic Name: The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company Common Name: Qwest Communications
Style: Modern, Modern - International Style Neighborhood: Denny Triangle
Built By: Year Built: 1954
According to original drawings, “John Paul Jones and Leonard W. Bindon, Architects” designed the first five floors of this building for Pacific Telephone and Telephone and Telegraph Company during 1952. A building permit was obtained on March 15, 1953 and construction occurred between 1953 and 1954. Drawings for two additional floors were later completed by the same architects, by then known as the firm of Bindon and Jones. The construction drawings date from March 1, 1957 and the construction of the two additional floors is supposed to have been complete by 1957, according to Tax Assessor’s Property Record Cards. Between the 1950s and the present, the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company was renamed “U.S. West” and then “Qwest.” This company (or companies) has consistently occupied the building. The building is an example of a mid to late 1950s Modernist office building. Its Stewart Street and Terry Avenue elevations appear as they did in an extant photo from 1957, except that metal window frames were a light color, rather than dark, as they are now. Despite its size and the integrity of the main facades, the building is perhaps not as interesting architecturally as many Modernist examples located in or close to Downtown Seattle, save for the interesting swooping metal marquee. The building is associated with two architects, who are perhaps more well known for their association with other Seattle firms. Architect John Paul Jones, born in Granville, Ohio in 1892, worked for a number of “eastern architectural firms,” before pursuing studies at Dennison University. Then, in 1916, he obtained a B. Arch. from the University of Pennsylvania. After working in Detroit from 1916 to 1917, he arrived in Seattle around 1918. He worked for Bebb and Gould from 1919 to 1939, becoming a senior associate in 1928. He later became a partner in Bebb and Jones, which was in business from 1939 to 1947. In 1947, John Paul Jones and Leonard William Bindon began to work together, although the exact date of the formation of Bindon and Jones is not clear. It appears that they may have worked in tandem as independent architects, but the official partnership of Bindon and Jones certainly existed by 1956. Bindon, who was born in London in 1899, received a B.Arch. in 1924 from the University of Washington and a M.Arch. from Columbia University in 1927. He was employed by a number of well known Seattle and New York architects. He worked for R. C. Reamer in Seattle from 1925 to 1926 and for James Gamble Rogers in New York during 1928. During 1933 and 1934, Jones was back in Seattle and worked for Paul Thiry’s office. After private practice in Bellingham and serving in the army during World War II, he returned to Seattle again in 1946 and worked for Bebb and Jones. Bindon and Jones were also responsible for the initial designs for the mid-1950s Seattle Downtown Library. Jones designed the original Student Union Building at the University of Washington between 1947 and 1952. He was also involved in planning efforts for the University of Washington Campus and in 1940 produced The History of the Development of the Present Campus Plan for the University of Washington. In 1949, he and Bindon completed Report Concerning Revision of Campus Plan, University of Washington, 1948-49. Bindon later became a partner in Bindon & Wright, most well known for the design of the Norton Building (1959), in collaboration with Skidmore Owings and Merrill. (John Paul Jones, born in 1892, should not be confused with a much younger JohnPaul Jones, an architect, who is presently a partner at Jones and Jones Architects Landscape Architects in Seattle).
This concrete structure is mainly clad in marble at the ground level and in ceramic tile at the upper levels. It is seven stories tall, with an additional utility/penthouse level, as well as a basement level. The main roof is flat and there is a parapet, with terra cotta coping. The building footprint is a long rectangle, 292’-7” x 120’. It takes up most of the east portion of the block, bounded, in the north-south direction, by Virginia and Stewart Streets and, in the east-west direction, by Terry Avenue and an alley. Currently, main facades are the east façade, set along Terry Avenue and the south façade, along Stewart Street. A third concrete-clad elevation, which was not originally meant to be seen from the street, is visible from Virginia Street. A separate, low, one story garage adjoins the Virginia Street elevation. At the main facades, the ground floor is clad in brown marble, and the rest of the exterior is clad in cream colored ceramic tile. The joints between the tiles create an additional rhythm across the main facades. Window sills, which are shallow and unobtrusive, are made of cast stone. The west elevation, although detailed and clad much like the main facades, is now obscured by a neighboring building. Although they differ from each other in the number of bays, east and south facades consist of repeated, identical and unadorned elements: piers, spandrels and rectangular window openings. Above the ground level, bays are separated by continuous engaged piers, which are slightly extruded and clad in ceramic tile. The piers appear as long thin, vertical elements in the façade design. At each bay, fenestration takes up the entire bay, with unadorned spandrels, also clad in ceramic tile, creating thicker horizontals. On the east, Stewart Street façade, which consists of six wider bays, each opening has six windows. Here, there is a characteristic pattern for the windows: most are single fixed glazing, except for the second and fifth windows, which are 1 over 1. The Stewart Street façade is divided into fourteen identical bays, with a fifteenth bay, which is narrower and functions as a stair tower, with its own entrance at street level. It also has a smaller, almost square, punched opening with no glazing at each level. There is also a more central, recessed main entrance, also marble clad and located at the eighth bay, counting from the south. This entrance has two double doors. It is surmounted by a distinctive, cantilevered marquee. Clad in metal, the marquee curves up and out from the brown marble cladding toward Terry Avenue. The rest of the marble clad ground level is distinguished by punched openings with fixed glazing. Because of an east-west change in grade, north of the main entrance, the exposed ground floor/ marble clad elevation becomes deeper and the glazed openings are taller. Above the ground level, the standard bays, clad in tile, are narrower than on the Stewart Street façade. The rhythm of fixed versus operable 1 over 1 windows is adapted to this new width. Standard window openings are filled with five windows. While most windows are fixed glazing, but this time, the second and fourth windows are 1 over 1. While few obvious changes have been made to the main facades, original drawings suggest that the secondary, north elevation (facing Virginia Street) was altered, perhaps recently, to allow for fenestration.

Detail for 1915 Terry AVE / Parcel ID 0660001255 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Ceramic tile, Metal, Stone Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Professional Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories:
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Communications, Science & Engineering
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
“Local Architect Named Associate Firm Member,” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, April 24, 1928, p 1, (concerning John Paul Jones)
UW Libraries Catalog, Database available at:

Photo collection for 1915 Terry AVE / Parcel ID 0660001255 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 24, 2006

Photo taken Mar 27, 2006
App v2.0.1.0