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Summary for 316 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800335 / Inv #

Historic Name: Walker Building Common Name: Seattle Quilt Building
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical, Commercial - Chicago School Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1905
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The Seattle Quilt Building is in many ways typical of warehouse buildings designed in the former “burnt district,” at a time of economic and industrial growth in the area and in Seattle in general after the Klondike Gold Rush. The building was designed by Boone and Corner in 1904 -5 for Cyrus Walker and was known as the Walker Building. Cyrus Walker was a very successful Puget Sound lumberman, involved in real estate in Seattle. He was the head of the Puget Mill Company in Port Ludlow and of the Pope and Talbot Lumber Company. He also developed other properties in the “burnt district.” He was the primary developer of the Marshall-Walker Block, now called the Globe Building, two buildings north on First Avenue South. He may also be responsible for the current “Al & Bob’s Saveway,” which is a one story building by Boone & Willcox, originally projected as a four story building and also called the “Walker Building,” in articles in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer at the time of its construction. The architects of the building, W.E. Boone and James Corner, formed a partnership in 1900, which lasted until 1905, so this building dates from the end of that partnership. Boone’s career in Seattle began around 1882 and he only retired from architecture in 1910. His architectural career is interesting, because he had a known practice before Seattle’s Great Fire of 1889 and was a partner in several successful offices well after the fire, a rarity among the architects who contributed to the rebuilding of Seattle in 1889. W.E. Boone was born in Pennsylvania in 1830, and described in his 1921 obituary in the Post-Intelligencer, as a direct descendant of Daniel Boone. He was responsible for many buildings in what is now the Pioneer Square- Skid Road National Historic District, including: the pre-fire Yesler-Leary Building, which stood at the intersection of Yesler Avenue and First Avenue, the Merchant’s Café Building of 1889-90 (the former Sanderson Block) and the Globe Building. In partnership with William H. Willcox, he completed the now demolished but spectacular New York Building , (1889-1892), at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Cherry Street and designed the original four floors of the J.M. Frink Building (or Washington Iron Works Building), now the Washington Shoe Building. His subsequent partnership with James Corner, who had been in a previous partnership with Warren Skillings (designed the Union Trust Buildings), was famous for the Broadway High School, now the Broadway Performance Hall in Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The Seattle Quilt Company, makers of down jackets and sleeping bags, first located in what is now the Globe Building in 1924. Several years later, it moved to this building. The name of the company stuck to the second building, hence its current name. The building is currently a mixed use building, which includes apartments as well as office space, with retail at the ground level. It was restored by the architect Charles Bergmann in 1979.
This is a six story building with exterior brick walls, an interior structure of heavy timber and a basement level in concrete. Its only street facing elevation is on First Avenue South. This façade is divided into two major bays. It is mainly of red brick, with ornamentation and other elements in cast stone and terra cotta. At the ground level, the bays contain storefronts and are framed by columns clad in granite block (probably a veneer) with very thin mortar joints. The second, third and fourth floor bays each consist of three rectangular window openings with pivot windows. Each bay at the second, third and fourth floors, is slightly recessed and framed by thin masonry roll molding, a detail which the architects, Boone & Corner, also used in the Chapin/Goldsmith Building at 171 S. Jackson Street. The top floor is an undifferentiated horizontal row of rectangular openings. Four ornamental medallions occur in the spandrels above the top window. The whole is topped by an ornamental cornice in cast stone and terra cotta. Frequent modillions, as well as ornate brackets to each side of the façade, occur below the projecting cornice. The design clearly follows the Chicago School model for warehouse buildings. It has a clear base, middle and top and its two recessed bays are made up of simple openings. The whole is capped by a more ornate cornice. Although the actual ornamentation is more Beaux Arts than Sullivanesque, the general composition has been compared to buildings by Louis Sullivan from the same period.

Detail for 316 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800335 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Stone, Stone - Cast, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition, Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan:
Structural System: No. of Stories:
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Hawthorne, Julian, editor. History of Washington, the Evergreen State, From Early Days to Daylight. New York: American Historical Publishing Company, 1893.
A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of the City of Seattle of the County of King, Including Biographies of Those Who Passed Away. New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.
Bergmann, Charles A. “Correspondence and Report, Re: Seattle Quilt Building,” 1982. OAHP, State of Washington, Olympia, Washington, Microfiche File.
Lange, Greg. “Written on the Occasion of the Elliott Bay Book Company’s Twentieth Anniversary in 1993.” Database on-line. Available from
“Nonagenarian Kin of Famous Scout Dies in Seattle.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 31 October 1921, n.p. Architects’ File, Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Washington.
Tobin, Carol. Downtown Seattle Walking Tours. Seattle: City of Seattle, 1985.

Photo collection for 316 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800335 / Inv #

Photo taken Jun 08, 2004

Photo taken Jun 08, 2004
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