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Summary for 1921 Minor AVE / Parcel ID 0660002210 / Inv #

Historic Name: Office and Service Building for Mr. Preston Faller Common Name: Modern Digital
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Denny Triangle
Built By: Year Built: 1947
This building was designed as an “office and service building” for owner Preston Faller in 1947 by architect Ralf (sic) Decker with J. Emil Anderson, as associate architect. Preston Faller’s business included a machine shop, which seems to have been located in the back half of the building, in the area corresponding to the flat parapet. The business apparently sold tractors or truck tractors. A display area was located in the front eastern portion of the building and had terrazzo flooring. The exterior concrete lintel is light colored, probably unpainted concrete, in an early photo. The original design drawing showed large signage letters “CLARK TRUCTRACTOR,” set on top of the lintel; but the early photo shows a sign with the name “Faller” in it. This signage has since been changed. Aside from the change in the signage, the building - especially the façade and the eastern portion of the building, as well as the odd gable-like shape of the side elevations - seems to be unchanged. Ralf Decker appears to be the same Decker who was later a partner in Decker Christiansen and Kitchin, which won several local chapter AIA awards, especially in the 1950s. Along with the firm of Bindon and Wright, that firm designed the demolished 1959 Seattle Public Library.
This is a one story building, with a combination of masonry and concrete clad exterior walls. The building has a rectangular footprint, 60 feet x 83 feet. The main, east façade is set along Minor Avenue and is 60 feet wide. The symmetrical facade includes extruded piers, which divide it into two wider bays, containing recessed storefronts set on a brick clad sill, as well as a narrower central bay, containing a recessed doorway. Visually, this creates a series of mainly brick-clad frames for recessed glazing and double doors. A continuous concrete lintel, currently painted dark blue, is set above the top of the storefronts and central doorway, virtually in the same plane as the exterior line of the piers. A brick clad parapet completes the facade. A view of the north, side elevation reveals an elevation influenced by the shape of the gable end of a typical house: the parapet angles up and then down, but becomes straight toward the back, west half of the elevation. The east portion of the fake gable is clad in brick and has no openings, while the western portion is clad in concrete. There are also has two levels of openings under the western portion of the fake gable and larger openings set under the horizontal parapet. Original drawings suggest that the front portion of the roof, which corresponds to the eastern portion of the fake gable, is flat and that the height of the building then rises for the remaining, western part of the plan. Although not necessarily visible from the street, the back portion of the building was designed with a continuous ribbon of east facing, clerestory windows, which rise above the main façade. The south elevation was designed to be the mirror image of the north elevation.

Detail for 1921 Minor AVE / Parcel ID 0660002210 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Glass - Curtain Wall Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Agriculture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Storefront: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
Marga Rose Hancock, “AIA Seattle Honor Awards: projects cited 1950- ,” database available at:

Photo collection for 1921 Minor AVE / Parcel ID 0660002210 / Inv #

Photo taken Feb 12, 2006
App v2.0.1.0