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Summary for 3815 5th AVE / Parcel ID 4206900225 / Inv #

Historic Name: Freeway Hall Common Name:
Style: Other - Industrial, Other - Utilitarian, Vernacular Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1940/1958
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Assessor's record indicates the at this industrial vernacular warehouse structure was built in 1940. The permit history indicates it was moved to its present site in 1958 (it had previously been located at 3815 6th Ave. N. E., according to the city's records). A garge erected on the site in 1936 by V. A. Garton for T. Spencer appears to have been torn down in 1958, perhaps to make room for the present structure. After the move, the building was occupied for a time by Kincaid's Cabinet Shop. In 1964, the building became a social hall with a caretaker's apartment for the "Seattle Social Science Club," in fact the offices of the Seattle branch of the Socialist Party. The local group later split from the national organization to become the Freedom Socialist Party. The building became a center for protest organizers in the politically turbulent 1960s and early 1970s but also continued to serve as a social hall and meeting space for a number of local groups. The building was owned for a time by prominent restaurant owner Ivar Haglund who attempted to evict the FSP in order to demolish the building. FSP's effort to raise funds for a new meeting space resulted in another internal party dispute, and a lawsuite filed by a disaffected party was only resolved after FSP successfully defended its right to maintain the privacy of its minutes and and other records on appeal. Despite the building's compromised intgrity, it remains significant because of its unique character (compared with other work sheds populating Wallingford's industrial waterfront), because of its association with the activities of the Freedom Socialist Party and other local left wing political organizations, and because a dispute affecting the building's survival let to a successful defense of the FSP's right to privacy.
When moved to its present site in 1958, this small, wood clad, frame industrial shed was placed on a post and pier foundation. There is no basement. An open warehouse / shop space takes up most of the main floor of the structure. A part of this space is reduced in height by a upper level apartment which occupies the front (easternmost) quarter of the building. In the early years of the building's life, a partition separated the northeast corner of the main floor (about a third of the floor area under the apartment) from the remainder of the work space, forming an office.The main floor may have been further subdivided in recent years; its current configuration could not be observed. The Assessor's record still lists the uses as warehouse and apartment. The eave line of the gable roof over the back three quarters of the structure intersects the apartment only a few feet above floor level. Because of this, two shed roof dormers seem to "pop up" at the east end of the building's north and south elevations. A gutter extends the eave line at the back of the building to the front wall and two windows lighting the apartment sit above this line at the north and south elevations. The street fa├žade is symmetrical and originally featured minimal federal revival detailing at the doors and windows; however, the eased corners of the prominent street side parapet (which surmounts the middle half of the street elevation and provides the building with a false front) and the "wrap-around" windows at the two front corners of the building give the structure a somewhat "moderne" look, befitting the era of its initial construction. The door and window details have been modified; some of the windows and both of the entry doors have been replaced. T1-11 panel siding appears to have replaced the orginal cladding at the south elevation. The "FREEWAY HALL" sign, once was a prominent feature of the street elevation parapet, has been removed; only a shadow of the word "hall" remains.

Detail for 3815 5th AVE / Parcel ID 4206900225 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood, Wood - Drop siding, Wood - T1-11 Foundation(s): Post & Pier
Roof Type(s): Gable, Shed Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Social - Meeting Hall Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Social Movements & Organizations
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.

Photo collection for 3815 5th AVE / Parcel ID 4206900225 / Inv #

Photo taken Aug 05, 2004
App v2.0.1.0