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Summary for 307 3rd AVE / Parcel ID 5247800875 / Inv #

Historic Name: Mottman Building/ Norris Safe Building/ Norris Common Name: Mottman Building
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical, Commercial, Commercial - Chicago School Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1906
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The Mottman Building was built in 1906 and designed by architects Saunders and Lawton. Originally a central frieze panel carried the title “Norris Safe Company,” and the building was, for a long time, known as the Norris Safe Building. The building is a somewhat eclectic interpretation of the Commercial style, more commonly used in the 1900s, with its use of Ionic capitals at the top of piers and the Italianate cornice with the paired ornamental brackets. The angled façade is associated with the 1928-1929 public works project, the Second Avenue Extension, which cut a huge swath from Yesler Way to past Jackson Street, near the train terminals, slicing into buildings in its path, including the neighboring Cannery Building. It seems to be carefully based on the design of the original façade and adds to the already eclectic nature of the building. This is an interesting variation on the standard warehouse building designed by one of Seattle’s important architecture firms. The Saunders and Lawton partnership was formed in 1898 by Charles Saunders and his former draftsman, George Lawton. Saunders and Lawton were responsible for warehouse buildings in the Pioneer Square-Skid Road National Historic District, including the Norton Building of 1904, the F. X. McRory Building (formerly the McKesson and Roberts Building) of 1906, the Westland Building of 1907, the Crane/ Goldsmith Building of 1907 (part of the Court in the Square), and somewhat later, the Polson Building of 1910. Saunders and Lawton were also supervising architects on the construction of Eames and Young’s Beaux Arts Alaska Building of 1904. For additional information on Charles Saunders and E. W. Houghton, please see the Context Statement or the Cultural Data section for the Terry Denny Building (Field No. 32).
 
Appearance
This is a five story building. It has brick exterior walls, which have an exterior layer of lighter pressed brick on the primary facades. In fact, it has an irregular configuration, particularly on its primary façade, or facades. There are three bays on Third Avenue South and one angled bay between Third Avenue South and Main Street. The two southern bays of the primary Third Avenue South façade have the same design. At the first floor, piers, currently painted mustard yellow, frame storefronts with transom windows. Above this, at the second level, each bay has “Chicago windows,” with one larger central window with at each side, a less wide, vertically pivoting window. Surmounting this, is a belt-course which runs the length of the Third Avenue South and continuous along the length of the angled façade. Above the belt-course, are three story brick piers with brick bases and Ionic capitals in terra cotta. Between these piers, at the third, fourth and fifth levels,each bay has two single trabeated openings with stone lintels. The fifth floor lintel is distinguished by a keystone at its center. At these levels, windows within the openings are single and double-hung. Surmounting all of this is an overhanging cornice, with modillions and below it a dentil band. Double ornamental brackets occur at the ends of the facades and at the transition between the Third Avenue bays and the single angled bay, where the piers below are also doubled. Single brackets occur about the intervening piers. The third bay on this angled façade is similar to the first two bays, but has only one single window per floor. The angled bay has an entry to the upper floors at the ground level. This opening has a transom with multi-pane lights. Above this, the distinguishing features are the single openings with double-hung windows at the third, fourth and fifth floors. Other elevations, north and west, are not meant to be seen from the street. The west elevation can be seen from a parking lot and has regular segmental arches in red brick.

Detail for 307 3rd AVE / Parcel ID 5247800875 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Metal, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat, Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition, Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: five
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Manufacturing/Industry
Integrity
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Slight
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Ochsner, Jeffrey and Dennis Andersen. Distant Corner: Seattle Architects and The Legacy of H. H. Richardson. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2004.
Lentz, Florence. “Apex Building, 200-201 S. Washington Street, Historic Certification Application, Part 1,” 24 August 2003.
Lentz, Florence K.“Hambach Warehouse – NW Supply- 212 Second Avenue, Historic Preservation Certification, Part 1,” 28 August 2003.
Potter, Elizabeth Wdalton. “Pioneer Square Historic District Expansion Amendment.” December 1976.

Photo collection for 307 3rd AVE / Parcel ID 5247800875 / Inv #


Photo taken Jun 11, 2004
App v2.0.1.0