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Summary for 1927 5th AVE / Parcel ID 0659000430 / Inv #

Historic Name: Eclipse Neckwear Manufacturing Co. Common Name: Icon Grill
Style: Commercial, Tudor - Composite Neighborhood: Downtown Urban Center
Built By: Year Built: 1923
 
Significance
This property is directly associated with the early twentieth century developmental era (1920-1930) when a significant number of commercial buildings were constructed and the modern downtown commercial district was fully established. In 1923 Seattle adopted its first ordinance that regulated specific geographic areas for specified uses; it allowed the most densely concentrated commercial development to occur in the downtown core. The economic prosperity of the 1920s stimulated the development of numerous major highrise commercial buildings, as well as smaller-scale bank and commercial buildings, major hotels and apartment hotels, club buildings and entertainment facilities, which were typically designed by leading Seattle architects. During this era, the original residential district was entirely absorbed by commercial and other real estate development. By 1930, virtually all of the old residential properties - as well as many of the immediate post-fire era commercial buildings outside of Pioneer Square - had been demolished or removed. In order to create additional industrial land areas to the south of the commercial district, as well as opportunities for commercial expansion further northward, major regrading efforts began in 1895. Under the direction of City Engineer R.H. Thompson, various projects were initiated with the intention of reducing the steepest slopes and eliminating the obstructing hills and filling tidelands. In 1897, First Avenue was further regraded and paved north from Pike Street to Denny Way. This was followed in 1903 when Second Avenue began to be extended and paved northward. By 1908, the major task of removing all of Denny Hill began in earnest. It would take over twenty years to completely remove Denny Hill; in the process Fourth Avenue at Blanchard Street would be lowered in elevation by some 107 feet. Most of Denny Hill to the west of Fifth Avenue had been removed by 1911; however, the lengthy civic debate over the Bogue Plan (that was ultimately rejected by voters in 1912) delayed real estate development in the vicinity. The anticipated major commercial development to the north of Stewart Street was slow to occur. With only a few exceptions, it was not until the early 1920s that sizable hotel and apartment house construction occurred. With the adoption of a zoning code in 1923, several multi-story, store and loft buildings that could accommodate light manufacturing and publishing purposes were also constructed, as were numerous automobile-related businesses and parking facilities. The building permit for a three-story “store and loft” building was issued to the Alvin Investment Company on January 8 1923. The permit indicates that the building was to be constructed by the Standard Construction Company at an anticipated cost of $30,000. It appears to have been built for real estate investment purposes and was designed by the Seattle architectural firm of Schack, Young and Myers to accommodate retail, office or warehouse/light manufacturing uses. The design included three to four retail shops at the ground floor level with open and flexible upper floor levels. By 1937, the two upper floor levels were in use by the Eclipse Neckwear Manufacturing Company with prominent advertising signs at the parapets of the Fifth Avenue and Virginia Street elevations. Another clothing manufacturing enterprise was located nearby at 2003 Fourth Avenue; the Standard Cloak and Suit Company operated there for many years. Prior to the 1920s most light manufacturing activities were concentrated along the west side of First Avenue or Western Avenue and near Madison Street. After the mid-1910s, publishing companies were located in Belltown and the newly regraded areas to the north of Stewart Street including the nearby Puget Sound News Company Building (1931 Second Avenue, 1916). In 1937, the storefront level was in use by International Business Machines (IBM). By 1949, this company had expanded to an adjacent two-story commercial building at 1923 Fifth Avenue. The subject building was remodeled in 1951 and 1954 and by then was used entirely for company offices and the sales and service of IBM products. This building was designed by the notable architectural firm of Schack, Young and Myers. Schack, Young and Myers were a prolific local firm and are credited with numerous commercial, residential and institutional projects during this era, including: the College Club (with Harlan Thomas 1920-21, destroyed); Eldridge Buick dealership (now University Center, 1925-26); and Civic Auditorium (now Seattle Opera House, 1925-28. James Hansen Schack and David John Myers were architects, and Arrigo M. Young was an engineer. The firm was founded in 1920, and Myers left the firm in 1929. Most designs by Schack, Young & Myers were in academic eclectic styles. This is a partly intact example of a rather uncommon downtown property type, a store and loft building used for light manufacturing purposes. It is a modest example of an academic eclectic design incorporating Gothic-derived ornamentation and was designed by a notable architecture firm, Schack, Young and Myers. It is also directly associated with the history of IBM in Seattle.
 
Appearance
Located at the SW corner of Fifth Avenue and Virginia Street, this three-story commercial block was designed and constructed for retail and loft/storage purposes. It appears to have been used for light manufacturing purposes and now houses a large restaurant operation. It measures 60’x 108’ and exhibits a two-part commercial block façade composition and some distinctive cast stone ornament treated in a simplified Tudor Gothic manner. The reinforced concrete structure includes a concrete foundation and partial basement level and is primarily clad with wire-cut brick at the upper floor levels and cast stone ornament at the base that has been painted. The Fifth Avenue façade is divided into three bays and the prominent north elevation is divided into five bays. The base continues to exhibit original stylized cast stone panels and corner blocks; however the original retail storefronts have been entirely altered and replaced with modern aluminum window and door assemblies. Originally each bay had a retail storefront with prominent display and transom windows, and granite bulkheads. The shaft continues to exhibit original stylized brick piers and pier caps, and brick spandrels and window surrounds. Non-historic decorative panels have been added to the face of each of the structural piers. All of the original double-hung, 1/1 wooden window sash have been replaced with modern aluminum window units dissimilar to the original windows. The building is capped by a denticulated cast stone cornice and brick parapet wall with cast stone coping and minor decoration. The parapet is slightly raised at the center of the façade and continues to include a cast stone cartouche. Original diamond-pattern brickwork at the parapet wall has been covered over or removed and a central cast stone finial is no longer in place. The façade has been fairly significantly altered and is somewhat difficult to view due to the close proximity of the Monorail tracts and pylons running along Fifth Avenue. There do not appear to be any intact or architecturally significant interior building features, finishes or public spaces.

Detail for 1927 5th AVE / Parcel ID 0659000430 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick - Common Bond Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Manufacturing Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Integrity
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Storefront: Extensive
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.
Seattle Monorail Greenline EIS - Historic Resource Form prepared by ENTRIX (2003).

Photo collection for 1927 5th AVE / Parcel ID 0659000430 / Inv #


Photo taken May 25, 2006
App v2.0.1.0