This six-story building, designed by architect W.D. Van Siclen, was constructed in circa 1907 for use as the Frederick & Nelson Department Store warehouse. It is a good example of a Chicago style commercial warehouse from the early part of the 20th Century. Similar warehouses are more concentrated in Pioneer Square. Located in the former Seattle tidelands area, this building is directly associated with the historic development of the area as a transportation-related industrial manufacturing and commercial warehouse district. Especially between 1900 and 1910, the city experienced rapid commercial development and economic prosperity that fostered the outward expansion of the commercial core of Pioneer Square. The tidelands were filled through a series of successive grading and fill projects between 1895 and 1929, creating developable land that made the expansion of railroad and port facilities possible and fostering the development of the area for commercial use that supported significant economic progress of the city in the early 20th century.
This building has served as a warehouse for General Western Electric (1912-1914), Sears Roebuck Warehouse (1920) and Taylor Edwards Warehouse & Transfer Company (1928 thru at least 1937). The building was initially owned by Judge A. L. Palmer. Palmer had arrived in Seattle from Nebraska in 1882. In addition to his legal career, Palmer became a successful real estate investor and developer, acquiring property in both Seattle and Tacoma. In 1910 Palmer constructed another notable warehouse, known as the A.L. Palmer Building, at 1000 First Avenue South. The Palmer Building (designed by George C. Dietrich) is a contributing resource in the Seattle Pioneer Square Special Review District (It is not part of the NR district) and is notable for its decorative Beaux-Arts terra cotta details.
William Doty Van Siclen (1865-1951) was born in Michigan, and practiced architecture in San Jose California before arriving in Seattle in 1901. He initially worked as a draftsman with James Stephen and Saunders & Lawton. From 1902-1912, he managed his own practice in Seattle before moving to Vancouver, B.C. His most notable works in Seattle include the Eitel Building (c. 1904), the San Remo Apartment Building (1907), and the Northern Bank & Trust Company Building / Seaboard Building (c.1906), all of which are designated as Seattle Landmarks.