||O. B. Williams Company
||1941 Lofts/ Cafe Macrina
||Beaux Arts - Neoclassical, Commercial
Siebrand and Heide
there are significant changes to the ground level storefronts, overall, the
building still presents the most important elements of its well-designed
façade. It is also associated with an early Washington State business, which
has endured to this day.
Avenue South was originally designed as a warehouse for client O. B. Williams,
based on drawings from March 1910. The drawing titleblock also shows the
architects as “Carl Siebrand - A. F. Heide.” The building directly
adjoined and still adjoins the now very altered timber complex – which now
presents itself behind one long wooden façade - at 1939 1st Avenue
S, to the north. Although the O. B. Williams Company, known for its
architectural woodwork, no longer uses or owns1943 1st Avenue South,
the woodworking company is still in existence and is still housed in the
adjoining building to the north. According to historian Clarence Bagley, O. B .
Williams, the founder of the company, died in 1924. Records indicate that the
building was still in the Williams family at least until 1937 and probably as
late as 1944. By 1956 until at least the mid-1960s, the MacDougall-Southwick
Company, a department store, occupied the building. By 1970, Harry Lumstead
Designs, furniture manufacturers, were in the building. Although vacant in
1974, by 1980, it housed Flowercraft Supply. By 1990, this business had been
succeeded by the Wiley-Bayley Agency.
seems to be relatively little information on the architectural partnership of
Siebrand and Heide. There is more information on the individual partners. Carl
Siebrand was born in Germany in 1866 and arrived in Seattle in 1889. He worked
as a draughtsman for Warren Skillings in 1893. Later, during 1894-5, he was
part of the partnership of Chamberlin and Siebrand. (Chamberlin is well-known
as a delineator and illustrator. He worked as an illustrator for many
well-known Seattle post-fire architects, such as Saunders and Houghton, John
Parkinson and William Boone). Sources suggest that, after 1896, Siebrand
practiced mainly independently. By 1895, he appears as a member of the newly
formed Washington State chapter of the American Institute of Architects,
although other sources give his AIA membership dates as 1919 to 1927. He was
also responsible for the Horace C. Henry House (1894) and buildings at the
Bremerton Navy Yard, also built during the late 1890s. He apparently died in
Franklin Heide is best known in Seattle as part of the partnership of DeNeuf
and Heide. (DeNeuf inherited Elmer Fisher’s practice, after Fisher apparently
decided to give up his architectural practice in 1891). Heide, however, is also
associated with the cities of Tacoma and especially Everett, Washington. August
Heide was born in Alton, Illinois in 1862. He appears to have studied
architecture in Chicago and, at least after moving West, first practiced in Los
Angeles. He arrived in Washington (Territory) in 1889. Early on, he did major
work in the cities of Everett and Tacoma, where he designed Harstad Hall (1892)
at Pacific Lutheran University. In 1891, Heide formed a partnership with
Charles Hove in Tacoma. In Tacoma, the two men made the acquaintanceship of
Henry Hewitt, sometimes described as the “father of Everett.” Hove and Heide
became architects for the Everett Development Company. They are generally
credited with shaping the development of early Everett and for the design of
major buildings as well as houses there. Heide designed his own home, which
dates from 1895, at 2107 Rucker Avenue, as well as the Butler Jackson House at
1703 Grand Avenue (1910), which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Heide also designed the Washington State Buildings at both the Pan Pacific
International Exposition, San Francisco and at the San Diego Exposition, both
completed in 1914. He died in 1943.
Siebrand and Heide were also responsible for the 1910 reconstruction and
redesign in the Mission Revival style of the fire damaged Snohomish County
Courthouse in Everett, Washington.
client, Owen Bullis Williams was the founder the O.B. Williams Company.
Accounts concerning the founding of the company and the year of its creation
vary somewhat. According to the present O.B. Williams Company website, Owen
Williams founded the company in Everett, Washington in 1889. On the other hand,
both Clarence Bagley in the History of King County and C.H. Hanford in Seattle
and Environs give a different account. After leaving his home state of
Michigan at about age 15, O. B. Williams moved to Tacoma. He worked first in a
lumber yard and then for a glazier and became very proficient in that trade. In
1889, he opened a store in Fairhaven (now Bellingham), but then moved to
Canada. Between 1894 and 1895, he was involved in placer mining in British
Columbia. He also worked as a contractor in Rossland, British Columbia, where
he was very successful for a time, but then suffered huge losses.
to the Bagley and Hanford accounts, he only returned to Seattle in 1899, when
he invested in a “stock of sash, doors and glass.” He opened a store,
apparently selling these types of items, at 400 Main Street. He then moved to
1010 Western Avenue and became involved in the actual manufacture of sash and
doors. Both accounts mention that he bought the property at 1943 First Avenue
in 1910 and “there erected a three story cement building containing more than
an acre of floor space.” So clearly, based on the Bagley and Hanford accounts,
1943 1st Avenue South was the original building constructed for the
O. B. Williams Company.
the present O.B. Williams website, Hannah Williams,
O. B. Willliams’ wife, took ownership after her husband’s death and a legal
battle. During the 1940s, Ray McCoy became president and by 1946, owned
the company. During the late 1950s, he was succeeded by his son, Leon McCoy,
and then in 1992, by his grand daughter Susan McCoy. David Wick is the
company’s present owner and president, but the O. B. Williams company and name
endures to this day. One of their most recent and well-known jobs is the
interior millwork in Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
Williams website, http://obwilliams.com/
This three-story building
is rectangular in plan, 150 feet along First Avenue South and 78 feet in depth.
It has concrete exterior walls and a heavy timber interior structure, which
includes a regular grid pattern of heavy timber columns.
The main façade along First
Avenue South has a classical, symmetrical composition. Three interior bays are
flanked at each end by a wide end bay. The central bay is also the same width
as the end bays. A raised, stepped parapet further emphasizes each end bay with
an angled shape. Continuous concrete piers mark the bays. At the ground level,
the piers are expressed as pilasters, topped by Doric capitals. Historically
storefront or entryways, topped by vertical bands of clerestory window, and
then a low set of windows, which may have been operable, filled the first level
bays. At present, there are new storefronts, which, from their appearance,
clearly date from a recent renovation around the late 2000s. At the north bay,
there are presently tall wooden doors. Although these doors appear to be fairly
old, based on a photo from around 1937, the original ground level bay was
actually filled with storefront.
Based on the historical
photo from the late 1930s, a deep belt course in concrete topped the ground
floor level. The belt course consisted of a flat band divided into three
thinner horizontal bands above the ground level end bays. Above these, there
was a dentil band, which in turn was topped by slightly projecting fillet mold
(slightly projecting band). These elements were cut away above the interior
bays, to accommodate a large sign. The belt course remains the same today. A
similar configuration occurs at the cornice level of the façade.
Above the ground level and
belt course, as described previously, the two upper floors are divided into
bays by the continuous piers. Groups of recessed window bays are set between
the piers. At each upper floor, the central and end bays consist of a group of
three double hung windows, while the intervening bays consist of a horizontal
double row of double hung windows. Based on original drawings, the historical
photo from the late 1930s and the present condition of the building, the double
hung windows are original or excellent replacements in kind.
A cornice consisting of
three horizontal bands, with each band projecting out slightly above the one
below, is topped by a dentil band and then a projecting fillet mold. This
cornice, which is set above the third level, offsets the stepped parapet above.
It too is cut away above the three central bays and once accommodated a large
and slightly canted sign bearing the words: “SASH & DOORS.” Another sign
attached to the central portion of the parapet, just above the lower sign,
advertised “ O. B. WILLIAMS CO.” A thickened band also outlines and further
emphasizes the shape of the stepped parapet.
Although the signs are
gone, the rest of the upper façade is very close to its historical appearance.
In general, aside from these changes and the modernized storefront, the most
important architectural elements of the main façade have been retained. Another
feature, which makes the overall appearance differ somewhat from the original
is a rather wild paint job, in black and white. It appears to represent shadows
cast by imaginary fire escapes.
The north and south
elevations, which were not meant to be seen from the street, have no openings
or architectural ornament.
The back, west elevation,
has a composition, detailing and ornament, which are very similar to the main
elevation. The main differences are the new multi-pane clerestory windows at
the three central bays and new metal garage doors, of varying sizes,
particularly at the first, second bays and fourth bays, counting from the
north. Above the ground level, windows are double-hung and appear to be
original. The parapet is somewhat simpler and only features rectilinear shapes,
with a central raised parapet over the three central bays.