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Summary for 2200 Western AVE / Parcel ID 1977200605 / Inv #

Historic Name: Union Livery Stables/ Grunbaum Brothers Furniture Common Name: 2200 Western Avenue
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Downtown Urban Center
Built By: Year Built: 1908
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The Union Stables building was constructed in 1908, not far from the site of several livery stables. For instance, in the block south of the future Union Stables, the 1905 Baist Map indicates that there was a livery stable at 2114 Western Avenue, which, in fact, is still standing and by the 1930s served as the “Armory Garage.” Although this last building, completed in 1902, is more Victorian in general appearance, it also has a raised triangular parapet. Also indicated on the same map were livery stables, located on two lots on the west side of Western Avenue, between Blanchard and Lenora Streets. A wagon works was also noted on the north side of the same block north of the future Union Stables in 1905. The larger and more stately Union Stables was also completed not long after the neighboring Pike Place Market was also opened. As in the case of other extant stable buildings of its kind, this building has also at times served as a garage. A photo from roughly 1935 shows the building with several garage signs painted or hanging from it, as well as one on the roof. In the 1940s, however, the building, considered a warehouse, was remodeled to house Grunbaum Furniture by architect B. Marcus Priteca. His drawings, which date from 1942, indicate that even in the 1940s, there were still vestiges of the building’s earliest function. On one of these drawings, notes indicate: “Hay loft at this space to be vacated. Ladder to be removed.” Earlier in 1942, structural engineer M. O. Sylliasen also designed a new chimney for the building. In 1949, the main floor of the building was transformed back to a use that partially reflected its original function: architect Raymond Holmes Peck converted the first level of the building for owner, Mrs. Augusta Henry, to a garage. Metro Volkswagen appears to have occupied part or all of the first floor around 1950 and not long after, in 1952, a sprinkler system was added for “Bill’s Towing.” Meanwhile, a listing in Polk’s Directories indicates that the upper floors housed the “Armory Apartments” during the 1940s. By 1978, Whiteley Jacobson Architects Engineers produced drawings for repairs and changes to the main floor for Continental Furniture, after the “warehouse” had been damaged by fire. These changes included a new double door and canopy at the Western Avenue storefront level. The building is one of the best examples of a well built stable building, although it has since been used for a variety of functions. Despite the fact that the real windows are in large part covered up (or demolished), it remains a well-designed building. All the other important elements of its original design appear to be intact. In addition, the terra cotta medallion/ horse bust is unique.
 
Appearance
This four story building, originally the Union Stables, is sited on the northeast corner of Western Avenue and Blanchard Street. The building is sited west of the Martin Block/ Lewiston Hotel, which is located on First Avenue. The building footprint is 120 feet by 120 feet. The original structure includes 16” thick exterior brick walls and an interior heavy timber, post and beam structure. The building’s original main façade was along Western Avenue and the secondary elevation along Blanchard Street. As is the case with many of the buildings in the vicinity, the Blanchard street elevation reflects a significant grade change from west to east: the ground level openings at the street level disappear as one moves east from Western Avenue to First Avenue. Aside from this difference and the raised parapet on the Western Avenue façade, the two elevations were originally designed to be almost identical. The building appears to have a partially flat roof and mostly features a straight parapet; however, the Western Avenue façade, at its center, has a distinctive raised triangular parapet, which seems to mask a raised portion of the roof, as well as a chimney. The raised parapet, which is mainly clad in brick, is distinguished by a light colored terra cotta medallion at its center. The medallion features a somewhat lifelike representation of a horse’s head, turned slightly to the south. A cartouche motif, which tops a vertical garland of hanging fruit, all in light colored terra cotta, appears to spill out from the bottom edge of the medallion. This terra cotta ornamentation, in fact, is inset within the brick cladding. There are two, slightly recessed, trabeated openings to each side of the horse medallion. The brick clad and depressed area above the openings is adorned with brick corbelling, and the corbelling is also visibly expressed in profile at the top of each of the openings, making them not quite rectangular. Two header courses toward the top of the raised parapet also emphasize its angled shape. Below the raised parapet of the Western façade, the elevation is divided into six four story bays, which are slightly recessed between engaged piers. The four central bays are topped by wide, semi-circular brick arches. Whether semi-circular or rectangular, all the glazed areas were originally divided into three or four major parts and had transom lites. The windows of the four central bays were divided into four major parts, while the windows of the flanking bays had a tripartite division. Within these larger divisions, the multi-pane glazing also had a tripartite division. Currently, above the ground level, the original glazing appears to be covered over with painted representations (on wood?) of multi-pane glazing. From a distance, the overall effect is similar to that in original photos. The Blanchard Street elevation, on the whole, has the same elements as those described for the main Western Avenue façade. Despite the fact that most of the original glazing is covered up, the building exterior retains the essential characteristics of its original design and the horse’s head medallion is of high quality and integrity. In general, there are a number of other buff colored terra cotta ornaments on the two elevations. These include smaller circular medallions, with elongated diamond shapes, set between the arched bays (toward) the top of these bays; and, in addition, two sets of well spaced and smaller diamond shapes, flanked to each side by even smaller terra cotta squares. Each these ornamental pairs occur above the end bays of each of the elevations. Finally, two rectangular, buff colored terra cotta pieces, include initials (including an S), that may refer to the original name of the building, the Union Stables.

Detail for 2200 Western AVE / Parcel ID 1977200605 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Transportation - Road- Related Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Arts, Commerce, Transportation
Integrity
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Baist, William. Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Seattle, Wash. Philadelphia: W. G. Baist, 1905, 1908, 1912 and 1928.
Sheridan, Mimi. “SR 99: Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Project Historic Resources Inventory.” Draft, ca. 2004.

Photo collection for 2200 Western AVE / Parcel ID 1977200605 / Inv #


Photo taken Jul 31, 2006

Photo taken Jul 31, 2006
App v2.0.1.0