Seattle.gov Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

This application will be offline for Maintenance Saturday Feb 4th from 6am to noon

New Search

Summary for 301 S Jackson ST S / Parcel ID 5247801160 / Inv #

Historic Name: King Street Station/ Union Passenger Depot (not current Union Station) Common Name: King Street Station
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical, Commercial, Italian - Italian Renaissance 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).
This a National as well as a local landmark. King Street Station was constructed between 1904 and 1906 and was the first of two train stations built at the edge of Seattle’s original commercial district. It was designed by Reed and Stem. King Street Station was the first example of a showpiece train station in Seattle. It was built for James J. Hill’s Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads. In 1910-1911, another railroad magnate and rival Edward Henry Harriman would build the Union Station, not far from King Station. Union Station served Harriman’s Oregon-Washington Railway, a subsidiary of his Union Pacific. By the completion of Union Station, Hill and Harriman agreed to collaborate and share tracks between Seattle and Portland. King Street Station was erected at a time of major economic and industrial growth in Seattle’s commercial district and in Seattle in general (1900 to 1910’s). During this same period, the original heart of the commercial district had expanded and new buildings, many warehouses, began to fill the area not far from King Street Station. Like Union Station, King Street Station was sited on reclaimed tidal flats, which had been filled by materials from the excavation of Seattle’s regrading projects. This site was chosen because of the easy connection to cargo ships berthed on the waterfront. King Street Station, in addition to Union Station, is also important in the history of the Western United States and particularly in Seattle history. It marks Seattle’s victory in the competition to become the major railroad terminus over Tacoma, Port Townsend and Mukilteo. Its original waiting room was beautifully designed and covered with ornamented plaster. Remodels in 1950 and 1964 removed the plaster below a hung ceiling, but much of the ornamented plaster still remains above it. In addition, Reed and Stem were the premier American railroad station designers in their day. Charles Reed was born near Scarsdale, New York in 1858 and was an architectural graduate of MIT. He gained experience as a railroad architect for several lines, including the Chicago Great Western, Northern Pacific, Norfolk & Western, the New Haven and the New York Central Railroads. In 1891, with Allen Stem, he formed the Reed and Stem partnership in St. Paul, Minnesota. One of the firm’s most well-known works is New York’s Grand Central Terminal, which Reed and Stem designed with Warren and Wetmore. Unfortunately, Reed died of a heart attack in 1911. Allen Stem, born in Van Vert, Ohio in 1856 and educated at the Indianapolis Art School, continued a successful architectural career with Roy H. Haslund until retirement in 1920. He died in 1931. The Reed and Stem firm were responsible for depots in the New York area and in what were then far-flung places like Seattle. Other projects included the Detroit Union Station, depots for the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific at Devils Lake and Bismark, North Dakota, and civic buildings, such as the Lewis and Clark Court House in Helena, Montana and the Civic Auditorium in St. Paul. When King Street Station was built, its campanile became a major landmark. In the 1910s, the campanile and Smith Tower defined Seattle’s early skyline.
 
Appearance
King Street Station has a concrete ground story, faced in granite, upper walls of pressed red brick with terra cotta and cast stone trim and a tile roof. It consists of a three story building, 135 feet by 220 feet, with a high 120 feet high tower or campanile set inside the southwest corner of the L-shaped plan. The campanile, with its prominent clock, is the building’s most distinguishing feature and is based on the campanile on the Piazza San Marco in Venice. The north elevation of the three story portion of the building includes projecting piers and trabeated openings set in recessed bays, with ornamental trim at sills and lintels and a classical entablature, just below the hipped roof. Lighter colored trim, (cast stone or terra cotta), contrasts with the red brick throughout the design.

Detail for 301 S Jackson ST S / Parcel ID 5247801160 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Stone, Stone - Cast, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip, Pyramidal, Varied roof lines Roof Material(s): Clay Tile, Other
Building Type: Transportation - Rail-Related Plan: Irregular
Structural System: No. of Stories: Various
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry, Science & Engineering, Transportation
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
:
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Andrews, Mildred et al. Pioneer Square: Seattle's Oldest Neighborhood. Manuscript. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, forthcoming 2005.
Baist, William. Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Seattle, Wash. Philadelphia: W. G. Baist, 1905, 1908, 1912 and 1928.
“Union Station Square.” Sherwood History Files, Seattle Parks and Recreation. 1972-77. Database on-line. Available from www.CityofSeattle.net/parks/history/sherwood.atm
MacIntosh, Heather. “Railroad Stations: Their Evolution in Seattle.” HistoryLink, 1 October 1999. Database on-line. Available from http:// www. historylink.org/
Corley, Margaret. “Union Station- 4th South and South Jackson, National Register of Historic Places Inventory- Nomination.” July 1969.
Crowley, Walt and Heather MacIntosh. The Story of Union Station in Seattle, Seattle: Sound Transit, 1999.
Hanford, C. H. Seattle and Environs. Chicago: Pioneer Historical Publication Company, 1924.
Potter, Elizabeth Walton. “Pioneer Square Historic District Expansion Amendment.” December 1976.
“Reed and Stem Papers,” (Autobiographies of Charles A. Reed and Allen H. Stem). Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota. Database on-line. Available from http:// special.lib.unm.edu/findaid/html/mss/nwaa0087.html

Photo collection for 301 S Jackson ST S / Parcel ID 5247801160 / Inv #


Photo taken Nov 27, 2004
App v2.0.1.0