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Summary for 1003 6TH AVE / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Armour Company Warehouse Common Name: PFI Warehouse
Style: Other, Other - Utilitarian Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1928

This masonry industrial building was constructed in circa 1928 by the Armour Company as a meat packing house.

R. C. Clark, who appears to have been a company architect, designed this building as a “branch house” for Armour and Company of Chicago. Although altered, particularly with respect to its windows, this building has retained important elements of its original design. The building has retained its original shape and masonry walls, many original openings, as well as interesting features, such as corbelling and original masonry chimneys. In particular, as viewed from Vermont St, the building has a real presence. The building is also significant as a rugged masonry building, constructed for a very functional purpose and as a local branch of a company of some national reputation.

Not surprisingly, the building operated primarily as a meat processing plant. At the first level, along the Vermont Street elevation, room functions included a cooler,  “bacon slicing,” a freezer, a beef cooler, a screen room and an assembly floor. The basement level also included many functions, including a butter cooler. In addition to exterior changes to windows in 1940, other interior changes were also made in 1938, when a forced draft smoke house was built. Sausage making facilities in the basement included rooms with walls covered with cork. (KML)


This building is located on the southwest corner of 6th Avenue South and Vermont Street, close to Airport Way South.  It is two stories in height with a basement, although it only presents a one-story elevation along 6th Avenue South and at the eastern end of the longer elevation along Vermont St. The plan is virtually rectangular, roughly 250 feet by 80 feet. There is a slight jog at the east end of Vermont Street elevation: the shorter elevation along 6th Avenue is about 70 feet in length and then is set back for the remaining 7 feet that meet Vermont Street. Exterior walls are of solid brick masonry. The original interior structure is  of wood post and beam construction. The building has a flat roof and parapet with tile coping.

The longer main north (northwest) elevation faces Vermont Street and a large open area, which now includes parking. The grade rises to the east, so that the very end of the elevation to the east only presents one story. The elevation is characterized by an almost continuous row of separate double-hung windows at the second level, followed, to the west, by a windowless expanse of wall that currently features only one entry. This portion of the building probably corresponds to the smokehouse. Five masonry chimneys, that rise above the roof and above the windowless western portion of the elevation are key elements. Each of the chimneys is square in plan and is topped by a small “roof” with deep overhangs. At the first level, many openings are original.

Clearly there have been changes to the fenestration, particularly at the first level over time. Many window openings were filled with steel sash glazing during alterations in 1940. The openings now feature a variety of new glazing. Several original openings on the eastern side of the elevation were also bricked up during the same round of alterations.

The neighboring and shorter west elevation also features no window openings and, in general, few openings. There is currently an exterior metal stair that leads to an entry at the second level. At the ground level, there is a loading dock with entry. A large metal overhang surmounts the loading dock.

Although currently more prominent in relation to 6th Ave S, the shorter east elevation has always presented few architectural features of interest; however, important elements include the brick wall itself and the continuous corbel band near the top of the wall. Based on a photo from around 1936, the elevation had three large trabeated openings, with the northern opening being the narrowest. The openings allowed vehicles to enter and exit. The trabeated openings still remain, but have been filled in with contrasting (and reversible) elements.  The central opening has been filled in by additional wall, which also includes a door and long vertical sidelight. This infill, which is slightly recessed within the original opening, is currently painted white. The large service opening to the south now includes a new garage door. The narrower northern opening has been filled in with new storefront. (KML)

Detail for 1003 6TH AVE / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Metal, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Processing Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.

Photo collection for 1003 6TH AVE / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 23, 2010

Photo taken Jan 23, 2010

Photo taken Jan 23, 2010
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