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Summary for 401 S Jackson ST S / Parcel ID 8809700000 / Inv #

Historic Name: Oregon and Washington Station/ Union Pacific Station/ Union Station Common Name: Union Station/ Sound Transit Headquarters
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1911
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The building is a National Landmark as well as a local landmark. Union Station was designed by D.J. Patterson of San Francisco. It was also originally called the Oregon and Washington Station, after the Union Pacific line that ran through Seattle and sometimes, Union Pacific Station. While the neighboring King Street Station served James J. Hill’s Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads, which extended service into Oregon, Union Station served Edward Henry Harriman’s Oregon-Washington Railway, a subsidiary of his Union Pacific. King Street Station, built in 1906 was the first example of a showpiece train station of a type heretofore unseen in Seattle; but Union Station employed classical detailing and composition on its exterior to even greater effect and was considered the “handsomest on Harriman’s lines.” Its interior barrel vaulting, in particular, reflects a time when the design of American train stations was frequently inspired by the architecture of Roman baths. Construction began in January 1910 and was completed by May of 1911. For a time, Hill and Harriman had been rivals, but by this time, were beginning to collaborate: Hill’s and Harriman’s lines agreed to share tracks between Portland and Seattle. The building is significant because it marked a new elegance in train station design and also reflects the use of new structural technology: steel frame and concrete, and concealed steel trusses to create a large, but light filled, barrel vault. It is also important in the history of the Western United States and particularly in Seattle history, because it marks Seattle’s early importance as a major railroad terminus. The building was built on reclaimed tidal flats and sited to have an easy connection to cargo ships berthed on the waterfront. During this same period, the original heart of the commercial district had expanded and new buildings, many warehouses, began to fill the area not far from Union as well as King Street Station, while the tide flats were also being built up. Union Station (or Union Pacific Station) saw a peak passenger year in 1945, as a result of World War II and the demobilization of troops stationed in the Pacific. With the increased popularity of the car and air travel, rail travel declined. The building was independently listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, but the railroad terminal was closed in 1971. In 1976, the main vaulted space was renovated to serve as an antiques storehouse and “mall.” In 1999, a major renovation of the Union Station building was completed. This renovation won a National Trust Award in 2001, although it had to be partially reworked, after the damage caused by the February 2001 Nisqually Earthquake. It currently serves as the headquarters for Sound Transit.
Union Station is rectangular in plan and roughly 150 feet by 220 feet. Its structure is steel frame with concrete walls. It has red brick veneer and terra cotta and cast stone classical ornamental trim, as well as the continuous rusticated stone foundation courses that tend to mark the ground level of all the elevations. Its central longitudinal core is four stories and topped by a gable roof. At each side of the central core, the building volume drops down to three stories (above the ground level), which are covered by a hipped tile roof. At the south end, there is a single story passenger entry, distinguished on the west elevation by two wide segmental arches supported on piers with brick shafts and cast-stone bases and capitals. The primary elevations of the main building face north, east and west. The symmetrical primary north façade on Jackson Street is distinguished by the gable of the central portion of the elevation and overhanging cornices -Doric entablatures- at the roof level and just above the second floor (above the ground level). The second story entablature continues along all four exterior elevations. The central portion of the Jackson Street façade has three similar central bays. These consist of three sets of triple entrance doors with transoms, which are surmounted by a wide wooden canopy, then three pairs of double hung windows, a Doric entablature and then a balcony which includes a railing with thick interlocking swirls. Above this, centered on the parapet gable, is a large round clock. Still within the central portion, to each side of the tripartite central section, are single bays with rusticated brick and smaller, single window openings at the first and second levels. To each side of the central portion of the Jackson St elevation are two wider side bays, slightly set back and topped by the hipped roofing. These have the continuous rusticated stone foundation courses at the ground level of all the elevations ( and in the case of the east elevation, the two basement level floors), and rusticated brick. The east and west elevations are terminated by bays which are similar to the side bays of the Jackson Street elevation and frame eight bays of paired windows at three levels. East and west elevations have similar detailing: the continuous cornice/belt-course above the second floor and a heavy cornice with a running band of anthemions (anthemia) just below the hipped roof. The south elevation’s most distinguishing feature is the glazed semi-circular lunette, which provides light to the major interior vaulted space and is clearly visible from that space. In fact, Union Station is perhaps most notable for this spectacular interior barrel vaulted space, which has glazed skylights, arched ribs, engaged classical pilasters, garland and Greek key decoration, green glazed tile wainscoting and tile floors in white, black and grey-green. While metal frame roofing systems and structural frames made the entire structure possible, concealed steel trusses were the structure behind the striking vaulted interior, one way in which large vaulted spaces were achieved in early Twentieth Century architecture.

Detail for 401 S Jackson ST S / Parcel ID 8809700000 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Concrete, Stone - Ashlar/cut, Stone - Cast, Terra cotta, Brick - Common Bond Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable, Hip Roof Material(s): Clay Tile, Other
Building Type: Transportation - Rail-Related Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Steel No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Transportation
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Andrews, Mildred et al. Pioneer Square: Seattle's Oldest Neighborhood. Manuscript. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, forthcoming 2005.
Potter, Elizabeth Walton. “Pioneer Square Historic District Expansion Amendment.” December 1976.
Corley, Margaret. “Union Station- 4th South and South Jackson, National Register of Historic Places Inventory- Nomination.” July 1969.
Crowley, Walt and Heather MacIntosh. The Story of Union Station in Seattle. Seattle: Sound Transit, 1999.
Hanford, C. H. Seattle and Environs. Chicago: Pioneer Historical Publication Company, 1924.
MacIntosh, Heather. “Railroad Stations: Their Evolution in Seattle.” HistoryLink, 1 October 1999. Database on-line. Available from http:// www.
“Union Station Redevelopment.” Progressive Architecture. January 1986, pp. 125-127.

Photo collection for 401 S Jackson ST S / Parcel ID 8809700000 / Inv #

Photo taken Jun 08, 2004
App v2.0.1.0