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Summary for 2203 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 7666207175 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Eyres Transfer and Warehouse Company Common Name: Outdoor Research
Style: Commercial, Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1926
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

This building was designed for the Eyres Transfer & Warehouse Company. The construction drawings, which date from July and August 1926, are by builder David Dow, while the engineer was Hall and Stevenson, Engineers. No name of an architect appears on any of these original drawings, so Dow may have been the designer.


The Eyres Transfer & Warehouse Company also commissioned the warehouse building at 2245 1st Avenue South, located not far away. By the late 1930s, 2245 1st Avenue South was considered “Eyres Storage # 2.”  Presumably, this building may have functioned as Eyres Storage # 1, although no available documentation explicitly states this. The building was listed in Polk’s Directories as the Eyres Transfer Warehouse at least until 1956, although, at that time, it had other tenants including the Doughnut Corporation of America.


David Dow was a well-known Seattle builder. He died in 1928, so this project came at the end of a career that lasted about four decades. He was born in Breahead, near Glasgow (Scotland) in June of 1855. Along with his family, he moved to Glasgow, when he was nine years of age. Before moving to Seattle, Dow worked alongside his brother Mathew (sic) as contractor in Texas. They were responsible for the “Baylor Female College” in Fort Worth. Dow arrived in Seattle shortly before the Great Fire of 1889. According to Clarence Bagley, early Seattle work included the Phoenix Hotel, the first brick building erected after the Great Fire and the St. James Hotel, as well as work in the “Chinese section.” Whether this means the old Chinatown near 2nd Avenue S or close to Maynard Avenue S and 6th S is not entirely clear; however,  between 1909 and 1911, Dow was involved in the construction and possibly the design of the Eastern Hotel, which still stands today in the present Seattle Chinatown International District.  He is credited with laying the first planks on 3rd Avenue from Yesler Way to Pike St and along Rainier Avenue and for erecting freight sheds for the Great Northern Railway Company. He was apparently involved in the “Second Avenue improvement,” presumably the creation of the 2nd Avenue Extension, which occurred close to the time of his death.


At least by 1915, the Eyres Storage and Distribution Company, subsequently known as the Eyres Transfer & Warehouse Company, was part of a larger nationwide consortium, the American Chain of Warehouses. Warehouses played a very important role in the shipping and transportation industry. An advertisement in a 1915 edition of Traffic World, published by the Traffic Service Corporation, listed Eyres Storage and Distribution Company as the local Seattle company, within a long list of warehouse companies across the nation. Its name still appeared in various shipping related publications during the 1940s, but the company appears to have endured to at least the early 1970s.


By 1970, however, the West Coast Paper Company occupied the building and by 1980, a company listed in Polk’s Seattle Directories as the Paper Finance & Brokerage Company. By 1990, the building housed the Interstate Supply Company Incorporated, which specialized in dairy equipment.

 

Additional Source

Traffic World, Vol. XVI, Washington D.C. and Chicago: Traffic Service Corporation, Nov 20, 1915, p 1083.

 
Appearance
 

This is a seven story building with concrete exterior walls and a regular grid of concrete columns. The main elevation along 1st Avenue South consists of six bays, similar in width. Engaged piers and wide rectangular window openings, originally filled with multi-pane industrial sash define the bays. The north, side elevation has a similar arrangement, except that there are seven bays and an additional bay to the back or west, which is much narrower and has narrow openings located on the east side of the bay, close to the preceding, seventh bay.


Although window openings have mostly not been altered, currently the storefront level windows, those at the second level, as well as the windows at the top level have been replaced.  Most of multi-pane industrial sash windows at the third, fourth, fifth and sixth levels remain, although between the ground floor and the upper level, windows at the fifth bay (counting from the east – or the corner of 1st Avenue), have also been filled in.


Other characteristic features are the stylized pediments over the doorways at the third and fifth bays of the main façade, as well as similar opening at the second bay of the north façade. The engaged piers extend slightly above the parapet level and each one is individually capped. Geometric shield-like motifs – essentially a rectangle augmented by a triangular shape below it, with a depressed rectangle at its center – further emphasize each of the  piers below the cap. The remaining multi-pane windows, which are numerous, as well as the restrained ornament serve to give the building an interesting presence along First Avenue South.


Another change, perhaps relatively minor in the context of the entire building, is that a portion of the ground level on the north side of the building is covered by a low metal structure. Based on a 1937 photo, formerly the visible openings in this area were wide garage openings with metallic garage doors.

Detail for 2203 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 7666207175 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Industrial Storag Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: seven
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Storefront: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Bagley, Clarence B. History of King County, Washington. Seattle: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at http://www5.metrokc.gov/ --parcel locator

Photo collection for 2203 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 7666207175 / Inv # 0


Photo taken Jan 10, 2010
App v2.0.1.0