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Summary for 109 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800041 / Inv #

Historic Name: Terry Denny Building/ Northern Hotel Common Name: Terry Denny Building/ Northern Hotel
Style: Italian - Italian Renaissance, Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1891
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
Commissioned by early Seattle settlers, Charles Terry and Arthur Denny in 1889 and described in the 1889 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the building was designed by the office of Saunders and Houghton and was completed in 1891. It housed the Northern Hotel on its upper floors. During the Klondike Gold Rush, this was a popular hotel for miners and loggers on their way to Alaska. During the 1920s and 1930s, the hotel was described as a “Prohibition oasis,” where liquor could be obtained. Its exterior is virtually intact, except for changes to the storefronts and the loss of an upper part of the cornice that once included a pediment-like piece and a delicate railing. The architects, Saunders and Houghton did a number of projects for William Bailey, including the more restrained, but well composed Bailey Block, now the Broderick Building, also in the district. The Terry Denny Building is from around the same period as the Broderick Building, also begun in 1889 and completed in 1892, but seems more Victorian in style: It has a grid-like composition and an interesting juxtaposition of ornamental elements. The difference in the designs of these two buildings suggests the variety in the work of Saunders and Houghton. In any case, this building has definite roots in the history of Seattle’s development right after the Fire of 1889 and the arrival of those who saw great opportunity in the rebuilding of Seattle at this time. This is an early design by two Seattle architects who were to make important contributions to Seattle and later had established architectural practices. Charles Saunders appears to have first come to Seattle in 1889 as a result of his association with William Elder Bailey, whom he had met in California. William Bailey, the son of a leading Pennsylvania iron and steel manufacturer, was involved in the rebuilding of Seattle right after the Fire and provided capital for many local ventures in real estate, railroads and newspapers. Bailey was sometimes involved in business ventures with other Seattle businessmen, such as Thomas Burke. Saunders had grown up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He practiced architecture for a time, from 1886 to 1889, in Pasadena, California, along with his wife, Mary, before moving to Seattle in June 1889. By September of 1889, he had formed a partnership with Edwin Houghton, whom he may have also met in California. Edwin Houghton was born in Hampshire, England in 1856 and came from a family of quantity surveyors and architects. He was apprenticed in the London architectural office of Thomas Houghton, his brother and in Chelsea. Before arriving in Seattle in September 1889, he had first worked as a farmer outside of El Paso, Texas. He then opened an independent architectural practice in Pasadena, California. He moved with his family to Port Townsend, Washington in early 1889. One of the other early projects of the firm and designed for Bailey was the now demolished Washington Territory Investment Company (1889-90), which, like the Terry-Denny Building exhibited a combination of Victorian composition and Richardsonian Romanesque. It had more similarities with the Terry-Denny Building than the Bailey Building. Saunders and Houghton also designed the Olympic Block, once located on the corner of Yesler and First Avenue South, which collapsed famously and dramatically in 1972. The Saunders and Houghton Partnership dissolved in around 1891, when Saunders established an independent practice. It was around this time that Saunders designed Denny Hall, the first building on the present University of Washington campus. In 1898, Saunders formed a partnership with George Willis Lawton. In Pioneer Square, Houghton also designed the original Cannery Building on the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue Extension, which lost one its original facades as a result of the Second Avenue Extension.
This is a five story building located mid-block between Washington Street and Yesler Way on the west side of First Avenue South. It is located between the Maynard Building by Albert Wickersham to the south and the First Avenue elevation of the Schwabacher Building to the north. Its only street facing elevation faces First Avenue South. Its façade is divided into five bays until the fifth floor and is clad in red brick with stone trim. The composition of the façade is symmetrical, with a prominent central portal at the ground floor. This has a wide archway and distorted classical elements, including a broken pediment with scrolls and griffins to each side of a mysterious urn-shape, set on piers of rusticated stone. To each side of the portal are clerestoried storefronts, with a metal cornice overhead. The central bay, slightly recessed, continues up the building for three floors, with rectangular openings, inset with a triad of three double-hung windows, each surmounted by a stone lintel. At the top and fifth level is a large semi-circular window, decorated at its perimeter with circular panes along the arch and with rectangular lites along the base. This window is then topped by a remarkable cornice with repeated brackets that runs the length of the façade and features a woman’s head, set between the names “TERRY” and “DENNY.” The other bays, also slightly recessed from the second to the fourth levels, each have three individual rectangular openings, also surmounted by a continuous stone lintel. At the fourth level, however, each stone lintel has a segmental arch shape. Ornamental terra cotta panels occur typically at the spandrels separating the second from the third floor and the third floor from the fourth floor and also in the spandrel below the central semi-circular window. At the top level, the bays are not differentiated; the windows to each side of the central bay are single arched windows, with decorated terra cotta keystone shapes and raised bands that follow the shape of the arched window below.

Detail for 109 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800041 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Stone, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Hotel Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: five
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Ochsner, Jeffrey and Dennis Andersen. Distant Corner: Seattle Architects and The Legacy of H. H. Richardson. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2004.
"The Northern Hotel – ‘It had personality.’ ” In “Pictorial,” The Seattle Times, 16 April 1972.

Photo collection for 109 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800041 / Inv #

Photo taken Jul 21, 2004

Photo taken May 24, 2004
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