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Summary for 1933 Minor AVE / Parcel ID 0660002195 / Inv # FAC002

Historic Name: Fire Station No. 15 Common Name: DAS Communications Shop
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Denny Triangle
Built By: Year Built: 1951
This modern brick veneer building was constructed in 1951 as the new home of Fire Station No. 15, which served the Cascade neighborhood south of Lake Union. Until 1949, the combination of financial difficulties due to the economic depression of the 1930s and shortages of labor and materials brought on by the Second World War had halted construction of any new fire stations for a fifteen-year period. By the later 1940s, many of the department’s older wood frame fire stations were very much in need of replacement. The original Fire Station No. 15 had been built in 1905 on the same corner lot. This two-story wood frame building extended fire protection services to the Cascade neighborhood, a largely residential community of working class families. Previously, this area had been served by fire stations located in Belltown and the downtown commercial district. Three years later in 1908, the Fire Department used nearly the same Mission Revival style design for its new Fire Station No. 8 at the top of Queen Anne Hill. When the fire department decided to replace the old wood frame station, they chose to build the new station on the existing site, which forced the station’s engine company to move into temporary quarters with Station No. 2 in Belltown. Architect Fred B. Stephen prepared a Modern design for the new building. Frederick Bennett Stephen was the son of the prominent Seattle Architect James Stephen, best known for his work as the primary architect for the Seattle School District from 1899 to 1909. In 1908, Fred Stephen entered into partnership with his father after earning an architectural degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Stephen & Stephen designed school buildings throughout Washington as well as numerous commercial and residential buildings. In 1917, William G. Brust, a former classmate of Fred Stephen, joined the partnership, which continued for another ten years. After James Stephen retired in 1928, his son pursued an independent practice. During the 1950s, Fred Stephen designed all six of the new fire stations built in Seattle. On March 27, 1972, Fire Station No. 15 was closed when its engine company was discontinued. The building was later converted for use as the City’s radio repair shop. This fire station is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of the Seattle Fire Department and the Cascade neighborhood.
Completed in 1951, this one-story flat roof structure occupies a corner lot at the intersection of Minor Avenue and Virginia Street. Featuring a buff brick exterior, this building’s appearance is similar to the other fire stations built during the late 1940s and the 1950s from designs by Architect Fred B. Stephen. The building is comprised of three sections, creating a rectangular footprint, which measures approximately 68 feet by 56 feet. A small wing, which measures 12 feet by 11 feet, extends from the rear south elevation. The wing housing the crew quarters occupies the eastern third of the building and adjoins the taller engine bay at the center. The office wing occupies the western third of the building and has a lower basement level accessible by a stairwell along the west elevation. The wider engine bay dominates the principal north elevation and contains a pair of overhead entrance doors separated by a wide pier and covered by a shallow flat roof. Originally, this bay featured a single large opening covered by a continuation of the overhanging roof on the adjacent wings. During a renovation, the height of the apparatus doors was raised, which also necessitated a higher roof, and two separate doors were installed. A wide brick pier between the crew quarters and the engine bay extends several feet beyond the façade, providing a strong vertical emphasis in contrast to the horizontality of the low-slung building. The large openings at the center are balanced by a blank wall at the eastern end of the elevation and a projecting entrance bay at the western end, which measures 15 feet by 4 feet. Clad with flat and fluted terra cotta tiles, the bay contains a large multi-paned window at the center of its north elevation and an entrance door on the eastern side. The east elevation has a row of windows along its length set in twos and threes, while the west elevation has four pairs of windows above the stairwell to the basement level. On the rear south elevation, a single overhead entrance door accesses the center engine bay. This opening is located immediately west of the small wing, which contains a large multi-paned window at the center of its south elevation. The eastern end of this elevation has an entrance door and additional window openings. The western end has a pair of windows in a single opening at the center. Well maintained, this building retains good physical integrity despite its closure as a fire station and its conversion to another use.

Detail for 1933 Minor AVE / Parcel ID 0660002195 / Inv # FAC002

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Government - Fire Station Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Unknown No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Politics/Government/Law
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Seattle Fire Department, Centennial Commemorative, 1889-1989. Portland, OR: Taylor Pub. Co., c1989.

Photo collection for 1933 Minor AVE / Parcel ID 0660002195 / Inv # FAC002

Photo taken Oct 30, 2000
App v2.0.1.0