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Summary for 1100 Olive WAY / Parcel ID 0660002030 / Inv #

Historic Name: Smith Gandy Ford Building Common Name: 1100 Olive Building, Targeted Genetics
Style: Modern - Contemporary, Modern - International Style Neighborhood: Denny Triangle
Built By: Year Built: 1946
This building was designed as an automobile repair garage for Smith Gandy Ford. Originally called the Smith Gandy Ford Building, it was designed by Stuart and Durham Architects in 1946 and completed in 1947. The structural engineering was done by Powell and Woelber. The building was remodeled and modernized in 1979 by Charles Kober Associates, the same firm responsible for the neighboring building for Metropolitan Savings and Loan Association and Martin Selig. Large signage letters, spelling “S M I T H G A N D Y,” originally graced the overhangs of the Boren Avenue and Olive Way corner and of the Olive Way façade. Original drawings indicate that the building’s windows and glass block, very significant elements of the original design, have been altered to a great degree. For instance, the garage door ensemble along Howell Street was topped by a corresponding expanse of glass block at the second level. To each side of the glass block were multi-pane windows, each with a central, square operable window. The glass block was replaced by clear plate glass and the multi-pane windows by repeated single, metal frame windows. This kind of window replacement occurred all over the building exterior. Although the actual curved corner at Boren Avenue and Olive Way has changed little, the rest of the Boren Avenue façade, the longest elevation, has again lost the rhythm created by the original multi-pane windows, which have been replaced by a string of repeated single, metal frame windows. Another lost feature is what appears as a tall, vertical slab, embedded in, but set perpendicular to the recessed portion of the Olive Way façade. This element, typical of International Style architecture, was designed for additional signage and was apparently removed during the early 1980s remodel. This building began as a well-designed example of International Style architecture. Several elements, which made the building typical of mid-1940s International style architecture have been lost, although the overall shape of the building indicates what the building once was. Because of the early 1980s remodel, the architectural integrity of the building is now questionable. The original architectural firm is of some note. The career of its partners shows the change in design approaches, exhibited in the work of architects whose careers spanned from the mid-1920s to at least the mid-1940s. Bertram Dudley Stuart formed a partnership with Robert Durham in 1941, which lasted until 1954, when Stuart retired. Stuart had previously been a partner in the firm of Stuart and Wheatley, which was in business from 1925 to 1930. That firm was responsible the Bergonian Hotel of 1926, now the Mayflower Hotel, apartment buildings on First Hill, the Marlborough Apartments and the Exeter House Apartments, (1927) and more utilitarian buildings, such as 334 Boren Avenue (1925) on Fairview Avenue in the South Lake Union. Robert Durham was born in Seattle, grew up in Tacoma and educated at the University of Washington, where he obtained the B.Arch. After Stuart’s retirement, Durham joined with David R. Anderson and Aaron Freed to form Durham Anderson and Freed, which lasted until 1980. Although the building is far from intact, its construction is part of the apparent post World War II extension into Denny Triangle of the second auto row, located north of Denny Way, mainly along Westlake Avenue (South Lake Union area). During the same post war period, S. L. Savidge and Company also built its showroom at 2101 9th Avenue in 1948 and in 1947, Westlake Chevrolet expanded into the Beaux Arts inspired store building at 2120 Westlake Avenue and built another building the south.
This concrete building is two stories in height and has a flat roof and parapet. Its site is located between Olive Way, Boren Avenue, Howell St and an alley. (The alley is adjacent to the building designed for the Metropolitan Savings and Loan Association and Martin Selig during 1979 and completed in the early 1980s). The building is basically trapezoidal in plan, with the angled side following the angle of Howell Street. The exterior walls are also of concrete and include long rows of identical fenestration in metal frames, as well as glass block. The building’s rounded corners, located on Boren Avenue and Olive Way and close to Olive and the alley, in addition to the chamfered corner at Howell and Boren, are distinctive features of the building exterior. The interior building structure includes a grid of regularly spaced concrete columns.

Detail for 1100 Olive WAY / Parcel ID 0660002030 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Transportation - Road- Related Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Transportation
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
Cathy Wickwire, “S. L. Savidge Inc., 2021 9th Avenue,” City of Seattle Historic Neighborhood Inventory Database, October 30, 2000.
Cathy Wickwire, “Waterfront Fire Station, 925 Alaskan Way, City of Seattle Historic Neighborhood Inventory Database, October 30, 2000.

Photo collection for 1100 Olive WAY / Parcel ID 0660002030 / Inv #

Photo taken Feb 27, 2006
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