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Summary for 600 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 0939000115 / Inv #

Historic Name: Hartford Building, "Store and Lofts for the First Realty Company" Common Name: Hartforfd Building
Style: Art Deco Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1929
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This small, compact building, built in 1929, is a wonderful example of Art Deco in the Pioneer Square-Skid Road National Historic District. Although little appreciated in early studies of the district, it was nevertheless described as being of “secondary” significance and therefore was not ruled out as a contributing building. Not noted in any of these previous studies is that it was, in fact, designed by the famous Seattle architect, John Graham, Sr. for the First Realty Company. By the 1920s, the center of Downtown Seattle was moving north from the original heart of the city. At the same time, in 1928, a major public works project, the extension of Second Avenue, cut a diagonal swath from Yesler Way to slightly South of Jackson Street. This had a major effect on the buildings and urban spaces of what became the Pioneer Square historic district. Several buildings in the path of this great force were demolished, while others lost facades and storefronts and needed new ones. The new facades were often representative of the styles of the time and are often done in Art Deco style. The Hartford Building is located about a block north of the actual extension, but the diagonal Extension appears to have spurred changes to other buildings, close its path. This is represented by the Art Deco façade of the Hartford Building and seems to be tied the Art Deco changes to several buildings along Jackson Street, which were reclad in the 1920s with Art Deco flourishes. John Graham (Sr.) practiced architecture in Seattle from 1901 to the 1940s. Born in Liverpool and initially trained in architecture in the United Kingdom through apprenticeship, his body of work in Seattle includes such gems as the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant of 1913, the Frederick and Nelson Department Store Building of 1916-1919 (now Nordstrom’s), the Dexter Horton Building of 1921-4 and the Exchange Building of 1929-31, an Art Deco masterpiece completed slightly later than the much smaller Hartford Building. His independent practice was started in 1910. It became a thriving and well-established firm in Seattle, which remained in business until the 1970s. John Graham’s son, John Graham, Jr. joined the firm in the 1930s. In the 1940s, the father began to transfer the practice to his son. The firm lasted to sometime in the 1980s.
This two story building has reinforced concrete walls, which are faced in ornamented cast-stone on the Second Avenue and James Street facades. The other two elevations do not face the street. The building has a footprint of 60 feet by 108 feet and a basement level. The longer façade is on James Street, which despite its length, seems like a secondary façade and also accommodates a side entry to the upper floor of the building. The building is composed of three bays on Second Avenue and six on James Street. The Second Avenue façade is composed of three typical bays, framed by ornamental pilasters that rise to the top of the second level and are ornamented with long vertical grooves and stylized Art Deco floral motifs at the top. The base level of the façade is storefront while each bay at the second level has three rectangular openings. The typical decorated bay is a distinguishing feature of the entire building and is repeated in the first three bays of the James Street façade, counting from the west. On the Second Avenue elevation, pulled back from the decorated cast stone bays, is a low parapet with the words “HARTFORD BUILDING,” at the center of it. The storefronts feature elements of the original Art Deco metal storefront frame, which have been painted over, as well as a low granite bulkhead along Second Avenue.

Detail for 600 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 0939000115 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition, Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
Brians, Ann Elizabeth. Indomitable Pioneer Square. Master of Urban Planning Thesis, University of Washington, Seattle, 1973.
Graham, Sr., John, “Store and Lofts for the First Realty Company.” Drawings, 1929. City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Library.

Photo collection for 600 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 0939000115 / Inv #

Photo taken Aug 04, 2004

Photo taken Jul 27, 2004
App v2.0.1.0