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Summary for 1717 N Northlake PL N / Parcel ID 4088801930 / Inv # FAC006

Historic Name: Murphy-Francis Marine Common Name: Harbor Patrol Office
Style: Other - Industrial, Vernacular Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1928
King County assessor records indicate that this building was constructed in 1928 but moved here in 1958. This has not been substantiated as yet. This property has been in the ownership of the City of Seattle since 1910 when it was acquired as a general fund transaction from the Seattle Lighting Company, one of the predecessor companies of today’s Puget Sound Energy. From 1907 to 1956, the Seattle Lighting Company, which later became the Seattle Gas Company and then Washington Natural Gas Company, operated a gas manufacturing plant on a large parcel to the east. In the mid-1920s, the Water Department intended to construct a concrete building for its North End shops on some of this property but decided instead to build on a site north of Green Lake. In the mid-1930s, the city transferred the property to the Water Department, which then leased the property in order to recoup some of the costs of the acquisition. Over the next twenty years, a series of tenants occupied this site including the Puget Sound Tug & Barge Company, the Jakeway Distributing Company, and Griffin Fuel Company. Griffin Fuel operated a fuel yard in this location from about 1942 to 1958 in a succession of five-year leases. In 1958, the lease was terminated a year early, and a new tenant, Murphy-Francis Marine, occupied the property. As county assessor records indicate, the boat dealer and moorage business moved this 1928 wood frame building to the site for use in their business. However, it appears that Murphy-Francis Marine remained only for the duration of one five-year lease period, for city had other plans for the property. Since the closure of the adjacent gas works in 1956, the site had been considered as the location of a new city park. Before the Seattle Lighting Company had acquired the land in 1906, the Olmsted Brothers landscape firm had recommended this site as a park in their 1903 report to the city. Behind the leadership of Councilwoman Myrtle Edwards, the city began the acquisition of the site from the Washington Natural Gas Company in September 1962. With payments spread over a ten-year period, funding for purchase was provided by Forward Thrust, the Air and Harbor Patrol of the Seattle Police, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Although Gas Works Park did not open to the public until 1975, the Police Department’s Air and Harbor Patrol moved into this location by 1965. In December of 1877, the City of Seattle had established a Harbor Department to patrol the city’s waters. Under the leadership of the Port Warden, the Harbor Department had one patrol boat assigned to Elliott Bay, a second boat assigned to Salmon Bay and Lake Union, and a third boat assigned to Lake Washington in the summer time. In 1942, the Harbor Department was turned over to the Seattle Fire Department for administrative purposes. In July 1959, the City Council transferred the functions of the Harbor Department to the Seattle Police Department. It became known as the Seattle Harbor Patrol and was manned by specially trained police officers. In March of 1962, the City Council abolished the actual Harbor Department by an amendment to the City Charter. This building is significant for its associations with the development of the neighborhood and the Seattle Harbor Patrol.
This one-story wood frame structure is situated at the northern end of a large parcel located on the northern end of Lake Union to the immediate west of Gasworks Park. A driveway leads down from the street to the water’s edge. The site includes a helipad, parking areas, and several additional structures of more recent vintage. This side gable and flat roof building has a rectangular footprint, which measures 85 feet by 40 feet. Historic photographs indicate that there have been numerous alterations to the building’s cladding and to the door and window openings. Currently, horizontal wood siding clads the building, and wider boards outline the corners and gable ends. Shed roof porches cover entrances situated near the centers of the north, east, and south elevations. The north elevation has an additional entrance towards the eastern end. The east elevation has large picture windows at the center and the southern end on either side of the covered entrance as well as an addition double door entrance at the northern end. The west elevation has two narrow windows at the southern end. The south elevation has four small windows at the western end and three larger windows at the eastern end on either side of the entrance west of center. Due to the many alterations, this building has poor physical integrity.

Detail for 1717 N Northlake PL N / Parcel ID 4088801930 / Inv # FAC006

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat, Gable, Shed Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition, Unknown
Building Type: Transportation - Water- Related Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Entertainment/Recreation, Politics/Government/Law, Transportation
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: Extensive
Changes to Plan: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
McWilliams, Mary. Seattle Water Department History, 1854-1954: Operational Data and Memoranda. Seattle, WA: Water Department, City of Seattle, c1955.
"Police Unit For Harbor Efficient," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sunday, February 21, 1965, p. 4.

Photo collection for 1717 N Northlake PL N / Parcel ID 4088801930 / Inv # FAC006

Photo taken Nov 12, 2000
App v2.0.1.0