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Summary for 1000 1st AVE / Parcel ID 7666206676 / Inv #

Historic Name: A. L. Palmer Building Common Name: Palmer Building
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical, Commercial Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1910
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The A. L. Palmer Building was designed by George C. Dietrich, who acted as both architect and builder. The building was completed in 1910. Built on the site of a former sawmill, it is one of the largest, but also one of the most carefully detailed and elegantly ornamented warehouse buildings erected south of King Street along First Avenue South. It was completed at the end of the 1900-1910 period, which was marked by the explosive growth of Seattle’s original commercial core, as well as railroad and port expansion. The 11, 000 square foot warehouse was built as a warehouse and used for manufacturing purposes and has mainly housed hardware and furniture businesses. It was built for Alfred L. Palmer, a former attorney and county judge who came to Seattle from Nebraska in 1882. Alfred Palmer took advantage of favorable opportunities for real estate development in Seattle and Tacoma and acquired a substantial amount of property. Before the Fire of 1889, he built the Palmer House and after the Fire, the York Hotel on First Avenue. He also developed another warehouse at 1522 First Avenue South for the Western Electric Company, an apartment building in Ballard and various residences. The building is listed as contributing in the City of Seattle’s 1988 Boundary Increase to the Pioneer Square Historic District, but is not considered as part of the National Register District.
 
Appearance
This six story warehouse building is rectangular in plan, 80 feet by 130 feet, and has exterior walls of brick with an original interior structure of heavy timber post and beam. Its major facade is distinguished by a combination of red brick and a large amount of white (speckled with dark green, on close observation) terra cotta ornament at the base and covering most of the top level. The façade is divided into four vertical bays. At the ground level, piers have terra cotta bases and are striated with repeated terra cotta moldings representing foliage entwined with cross-lacing. Capitals, also of terra, include Greek key patterns. Above each pier, is a circular terra-cotta medallion with the letter P, standing for “Palmer.” Storefronts have wood frames and transoms with circular patterns. Just below the second story sill, is a terra-cotta molding with a running wave motif. At the second, third, fourth and fifth levels, each bay has one wide rectangular opening per floor, typically with a terra-cotta sill and filled with a trio of double-hung windows with multi-pane transoms. Spandrels above the second, third, fourth and fifth level openings include rectangles, ornamented with a diaper pattern in red and dark brick. The window openings at the top level are segmental. Above the top sill level, the façade is richly clad in white terra cotta, with pier capitals beginning at the level of the terra cotta sills and floral moldings framing the window openings above the capitals. A classical metal cornice runs the length of the façade. Just below it, ornamental shields are set between window openings and terra cotta brackets appear over the center of each of the segmental arches. Above the cornice is a parapet, which rises to a low arched shape above the two central bays. It is also clad in terra cotta tile and at its center are large letters with the sign: “THE A. L. PALMER BUILDING 1910.” The more utilitarian Occidental Way South elevation also has a two-part composition with four bays and continuous piers. Above the ground level, a typical bay has three separate segmental window openings per floor.

Detail for 1000 1st AVE / Parcel ID 7666206676 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: six
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Integrity
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Bagley, Clarence. History of Seattle from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1916.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.
Krafft, Katheryn Hills. “Pioneer Square – Skid Road Historic District (Boundary Increase).” submitted 15 December, 1987 and approved 6 May, 1988.

Photo collection for 1000 1st AVE / Parcel ID 7666206676 / Inv #


Photo taken Jul 26, 2004

Photo taken Jul 26, 2004

Photo taken Jul 26, 2004

Photo taken Jul 26, 2004
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