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Summary for 201 1st AVE / Parcel ID / Inv #

Historic Name: J & M Hotel. J & M Bar and Cardroom, Jamieson & Moffett Saloon, (Jamieson & McFarland, Proprietors) Seattle Bar Saloon Common Name: J & M Hotel
Style: Commercial, Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1889
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The lower two floors of the J & M Café, also known as the J & M Hotel Building, were originally built in 1889 for Captain J. H. Marshall. The King County Assessor’s Records also indicate that there was an alteration in 1900, which may correspond to the third level of the building. Another report gives the date for the third floor addition as 1903. The original J. H. Marshall Building was designed for a wholesale business by Comstock and Troetsche, known mainly as San Diego architects, who were also responsible for the Squire Latimer Building, now “Grand Central on the Park.” The decorative band at the top of the second level is most probably the cornice of the original 1889 building. The July 25, 1889 Post Intelligencer made clear that this was to be a utilitarian building: “Captain J. H. Marshall will erect a brick building on the southwest corner of Commercial and Washington Streets, which will be used by a wholesale business house…It will be built in a most substantial and durable manner and will present a massive and imposing appearance rather than ornamental. Architects Comstock and Troetsche are preparing the plans. The building will cost about $ 20,000. According to records at the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, in 1895, a permit was issued to Frye and Bruhn, allowing them to build a “two story” building, with a 10’ by 20’ footprint at this address. This probably refers to the small structure to the west of the main building, known as the “J & M Annex,” and which is still standing (# 34). In any case, it indicates that Charles Frye and his associate Charles Bruhn, who in 1891 created the Frye and Bruhn Meat Packing Company, owned the building in 1895. The Frye and Bruhn Meat Packing Company Headquarters are thought to have occupied 15 acres of tideflats on the present site of Seahawks Football Stadium. They also gained possession of the building, originally commissioned by Cyrus Walker, on Occidental Avenue South, that currently houses “Al & Bob’s Saveway.” Not long after, by the time of the Klondike Gold Rush, this building, like all the buildings on the block was occupied by a business on the ground floor and a hotel on the top levels. The building is typical of the buildings that were erected in 1889, right after the Great Fire of June 6, 1889. The shape and detailing of its second floor window openings, in particular, have a Victorian quality, characteristic of many buildings of this period in Seattle (and its environs). With the other buildings on the western block from Main Street to Washington Street, this building presents a unified façade and a powerful sense of early Seattle, as it rose from the ashes right after the Fire of 1889. The building, of course, is of the same construction type as these buildings: brick exterior walls with heavy timber construction on its interior. Its ground floor business, at some point abbreviated to “J & M,” has been a bar and card room (when the Seattle was a “wide-open” city and allowed card playing), since the Gold Rush. During the “wide-open” times, from 1906 to 1916, it was known simply as the “J & M Saloon.” Several versions of what “ J & M” stands for are documented: “Jamieson & Moffett,” “Jamieson and McFarland” (around 1901) and then “Joe and Mary McConagin.” In any case, the “ J & M” name appears to have been associated with the building for some time. Located on a block which included several hotels, in particular 213, 211 and 209 First Avenue, popular during the Gold Rush, its hotel, housed in the upper stories, also served the same sort of clientele. By 1921, the J & M Café sold “soft drinks” and meals. From 1936 to 1970, the hotel was officially known as the J & M Hotel. Comstock and Troetsche were known mainly for their work in San Diego, where their practice thrived in the mid 1880s.As a result of an acquaintanceship with Judge Thomas Burke, an important early Seattle figure, they also opened a Seattle office. They contributed to the rebuilding of Seattle after the Fire of 1889, although their partnership dissolved in 1890, so that the 1900 alteration is probably not by them.
This is a three story brick clad building with a small amount of stone trim. It is located on the southwest corner of First Avenue South and Washington Street. The plan of the building is rectangular. Its roof is not visible and it has a parapet, enhanced by a thin projecting cornice. The main elevation on First Avenue has a storefront with stained glass windows in the clerestory. On the second floor, the First Avenue facade consists of six single double-hung windows topped by segmental arches. The arches are further emphasized by ornamental keystone shapes in stone and small stone rectangular trim pieces on each side of the window opening. Thin raised bands link these rectangles visually and also follow the upper contours of the segmental shapes of the windows. Above the second floor, is a band of arched corbelled forms, topped by a series of slightly projecting bands. This was probably the original cornice of the 1889 portion of the building. Surmounting this, is a third level with six paired double-hung windows, surmounted by flatter segmental arches. The Washington Street elevation has similar window configuration and detailing in its eastern bay, but then has mainly paired windows with flat segmental arches on the second and third levels. The composition of this elevation is less regular. The ground level has several irregularly placed arched openings and two large trabeated openings toward the west. The interior of the café is known for its period metal ceiling.

Detail for 201 1st AVE / Parcel ID / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Stone - Ashlar/cut 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: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Lange, Greg and Tim O’Brian, “Virtual Pioneer Square,” unpublished manuscript, 27 October 1996.
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 Wings of the Phoenix, Two New Brick Blocks on Commercial Street,” Seattle Post Intelligencer, 25 July 25 1889, p 4.
Raffin, Melina and Shelley Krueger. “ 201-221 1st Avenue South.” Report for URBDP 586 A. University of Washington, 2003. City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods, Historic Preservation Program Files.

Photo collection for 201 1st AVE / Parcel ID / Inv #

Photo taken Oct 26, 2004
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