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Summary for 7304 Greenwood AVE / Parcel ID 3363400200 / Inv # SFD011

Historic Name: Fire Station No. 21 Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Greenwood/Phinney
Built By: Year Built: 1951
Completed in 1951, this modern brick veneer fire station serves the Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods in north Seattle. 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. 21 had been built in 1909 on the same corner lot. This two-story wood frame building extended fire protection services to the Phinney Ridge district. Previously, this area had been served by Green Lake’s Fire Station No. 16 built four years earlier in 1905. At the time of its construction, the original Fire Station No. 21 was located twelve blocks south of the city limits at North 85th Street. This area did not see residential or commercial development until the later 1910s and the 1920s. 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. 35 in Ballard. 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. This fire station is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of the Seattle Fire Department and the Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods.
Completed in 1951, this one-story flat roof structure occupies a corner lot at the intersection of Greenwood Avenue North and North 73rd Street. Featuring a roman 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, measuring 55 feet by 72 feet. A wing housing the crew quarters occupies the northern third of the building and adjoins the taller engine bay at the center. The office wing occupies the southern third of the building and has a lower basement level accessible by a stairwell along the south elevation. The wider engine bay dominates the principal west elevation and contains a pair of overhead entrance doors separated by a brick clad 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 1986 renovation, the height of the apparatus doors was raised, which also necessitated a higher roof, and two separate doors were installed. A prominent 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 northern end of the elevation and a projecting entrance bay at the southern end, which measures 12 feet by 4 feet. Multi-paned windows wrap two sides of the projecting bay with an entrance door on the third side, which faces south. Two single windows and four pairs of windows line the north elevation, which faces onto a small parking area. The main floor level of the south elevation has four pairs of windows, while the basement level has a long narrow opening adjacent to entrance door. Three large multi-paned windows cover the rear east elevation of the center engine bay. The northern end of this elevation has an entrance door accessed by a flight of stairs. The southern end has a pair of windows in a single opening at the center. Well maintained, this building retains good physical integrity.

Detail for 7304 Greenwood AVE / Parcel ID 3363400200 / Inv # SFD011

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 & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Politics/Government/Law
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: 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 7304 Greenwood AVE / Parcel ID 3363400200 / Inv # SFD011

Photo taken Aug 14, 2000
App v2.0.1.0