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Summary for 3224 4th AVE / Parcel ID 7674800085 / Inv # SFD007

Historic Name: Fire Station No. 14 Common Name:
Style: Other, Spanish - Mission Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1927
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
Constructed in 1926-27, this large Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival-style fire station serves the industrial district south of downtown. Most of this large industrial area was created in the early years of the twentieth century when a large tidal flat located south of the downtown commercial district was filled. Stretching south to the Duwamish River delta near present-day Spokane Street, these swampy tidelands had limited construction south of Seattle’s initial townsite and required that the railroad and streetcar lines be built along the western base of Beacon Hill, sometimes on pilings over the water. When the early industries began to push out of the city center, many located their manufacturing plants along this transportation corridor. Construction in this area accelerated after statehood in 1889 when the legislature decided to sell publicly owned tidelands to private parties. While some tidal land had already been reclaimed on a somewhat haphazard basis, this legislation promoted the filling of the flats on a larger scale to allow for the beginnings of the redevelopment of the area by the early years of the 20th century. As the tidal flats were filled, this redevelopment eventually created the industrial district that is present today. As industries moved into the area, it was necessary to provide them with local fire protection services. In 1907, a two-story wood frame Fire Station No. 14 was constructed on the southwest corner of First Avenue South and South Holgate Street. This station was one of nine fire stations that were built between 1894 and 1908 using a similar design. Fire Station No. 19, located at 672 South Nevada Street near the south end of Harbor Island, was also constructed the same year using this design. In 1920, additional service was provided by Fire Station No. 31 in a new two-story reinforced concrete building located at the foot of South Massachusetts Street. With the 1927 opening of the new Fire Station No. 14, the old building was abandoned, and Fire Station No. 19 was closed as well when its engine company moved to the larger facility. The new building, much larger than the average neighborhood structures, became the primary fire station for the entire industrial district. The building is especially prominent with its five-story hose tower and its seven-story drill tower. This fire station is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of the Seattle Fire Department and the industrial district south of downtown.
Completed in 1927, this architecturally distinctive reinforced concrete building faces west and occupies a large corner lot on 4th Avenue South at South Horton Street. The one and two-story building has an irregular but mostly rectangular footprint, which measures approximately 100 feet by 84 feet. The building’s Mission and Spanish Colonial Revival stylistic influences include a stucco exterior, arched window and door openings, brick trim, and red tile roofs. The five-story hose tower and seven-story drill tower also display these influences. Set on a high concrete plinth, the building is primarily comprised of a one and two-story western half and a two-story eastern half. The hose tower is situated at the rear of the western half between the two sections. The taller drill tower extends from the southern end of the rear east elevation and measures 20 feet by 16 feet. The 1½-wing at the northern end of the east elevation measures 20 feet by 21 feet. Nearly all of the original windows have been replaced. On the principal west elevation, one-story side gable wings flank the two-story side gable block at the center. Higher parapet walls cover the gable ends of the center block and the wings as well as the projecting gabled pavilion at the center of the west elevation. This pavilion has a shed roof bay at the first story level, which originally housed an additional engine bay accessed by a pair of double doors. A large multi-paned window flanked by narrow multi-paned windows has filled the original opening. The second story of the pavilion has a similar window configuration. The north and south walls of the bay each have a small arched opening with a single entrance door. On either side of the pavilion, narrow brick panels frame the large multi-paned windows at the first and second story levels. Each wing has a small arched opening with a single entrance door adjacent to the center block and two large openings with overhead entrance doors on the outside. A concrete pier separates the two modern doors, which replaced the original pairs of double doors with heavy strap hinges. On the north and south elevations, the gabled end walls of the wings have a large arched window at the center flanked by two small brick panels. On each elevation, a side gable roof covers the rear portion of the engine bay and overhangs the wall, containing a band of windows in a single large opening with a continuous brick sill. The hose tower has a front gable roof covered by high parapet walls and wide brick panels on each elevation. On the east and west elevations, a single window is centered in the panel at the third through fifth story levels. The flat roof over the eastern half of the building contrasts with the gable roofs covering the western half. On the north and south elevations, the two-story block has a stepped parapet over three tall narrow windows located west of center on the upper floor level. A single window on the west and a pair of windows on the east flank these windows, which share a continuous brick sill. Flat bands of concrete line the lintels of all of these windows and wrap onto the side elevations. A similar band functions as an intermediate cornice at the first story level. On the south elevation, the block originally contained an additional engine bay with two large openings set with pairs of double doors. Both openings on the ground floor level have been filled with concrete, however the single entrance door and a small window remain extant. On the north elevation, the block has the same door and window plus two additional tall windows at the ground floor level. Nearly all of the window and door openings on the rear east elevation remain extant. On the upper floor level, large window openings at either end flank four bands of windows across the center, which share a continuous brick sill. The ground floor level has three large window openings at the northern end and a pair of overhead doors at the southern end. Separated by a narrow window set high on the wall, these openings may be a later alteration. The drill tower at the southern end of the elevation shares a similar design with the hose tower, including a front gable roof, brick panels on each elevation, and windows on the east and west elevations. On the south elevation of the tower, a one-story shed roof bay contains three tall arched openings. The east elevation has a single entrance door into this bay and a large arched opening at the base of the tower. A fire escape extends the length of the east elevation with balconies at each window. The wing at the northern has a plain concrete exterior with no openings on its north, east, and south elevations except for a pair of double entrance doors on the south elevation. Well maintained this architecturally distinctive building displays excellent physical integrity in spite of the later alterations.

Detail for 3224 4th AVE / Parcel ID 7674800085 / Inv # SFD007

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat, Gable Roof Material(s): Clay Tile, Unknown
Building Type: Government - Fire Station Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Politics/Government/Law
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
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 3224 4th AVE / Parcel ID 7674800085 / Inv # SFD007

Photo taken Nov 07, 2000
App v2.0.1.0