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Summary for 5201 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 5263300985 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: A. B. Corliss Inc. Common Name: Pope Machinery Co.
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1927

Plat: McAllister's Add, Block: 17, Lots: 3-10
There seem to be no original drawings for what appear to be the two original buildings, set respectively along First Avenue S and along Dawson Street. Permit information tends to be spotty, as well. The King County Tax Assessor’s Record Card suggests that the main building along First Avenue South may have been completed in 1927, with alterations made to it in 1936. The north wing is also apparently older, but permit information does not seem to be available. There is record of a permit, issued in April 1936 for “alterations,” probably to the building along First Avenue South. The small two-story addition on the south side of the complex apparently dates from 1954 and another small addition was built behind it (that is just north of it) in 1958. Over the years, in the courtyard created by the buildings already described, other structures and/or additions have come and gone. The only really significant building is the wing along First Avenue and its most important feature is its main First Avenue façade.

The main building has a real presence along First Avenue and is the only building with any real architectural integrity. The detailing of its siding, as well as the steel sash windows are important character defining features and make the building stand out. This building is an excellent example of heavy timber industrial construction in Seattle’s Industrial District.

The main building was originally built as a machinery warehouse for William C.  Pope in 1927, with alterations made for the same client in 1936.  At the end of the 1940s, the Pope Machinery Company, as well as the Poppleton Electric Company were listed in Polk’s Directories at 5201 1st Avenue S. (By the mid-1960s, Poppleton Electric remained and stayed in the building until at least 1980). On the other hand, in 1954, P.A.R.C. Incorporated was the owner. The small two-story building was meant as an office building for P.A.R.C. Inc. Another office addition, set just north of this one, was added for the same client in 1958. In 1962, a 26-gauge metal “Butler building” was added by P.A.R.C. Inc. for Mill Equipment Incorporated in the interior courtyard created by the previous buildings. Although these buildings are architecturally less interesting and have often lost integrity as well, they are typical of this kind of utilitarian complex.


The main building, located along First Avenue South, between Dawson and Bennett Streets is a frame building, which is one story in height. Its rectangular footprint is about 200 feet by 30’-5, ” with the long dimension set along First Avenue South. The building has a heavy timber interior structure, a mostly flat roof and a straight parapet.

The most architecturally significant elevation is the main façade, most of which, with the exception of its northern end, has kept its integrity. Ten large rectangular window openings, with thin wood surrounds and filled with multi-pane steel sash, constitute a good portion of the main façade. Another characteristic is the weathered drop siding, which is mostly painted light gray, with a blue band about a foot or so below the top of the parapet.

The north end of the façade has been more significantly altered. The altered area, mostly topped by an awning, includes smaller window openings in aluminum frames, set to each side of a replacement door, followed by a row of three similar glazed openings. The awning extends onto the north Dawson Street elevation, which also includes five similar windows. This part of the north elevation has also been altered and has little architectural character.

The building complex has also been augmented incrementally over the years. This is especially obvious on the south elevation. There is a large service doorway with tall double doors, two regular sized doors, as well as paired windows set higher up on the elevation. This part of the elevation was part of a later remodel. The south elevation also presents a small two-story frame addition, added around 1954. This portion of the elevation is set very slightly back from the main wing. It has vertical board and batten siding on the first level and horizontal siding on the second level. There are four double hung windows at the second level and corresponding openings at the first floor, including a doorway set below the second window at the second level, (counting from the east). The rest of the openings at the first level are double-hung windows. This part of the elevation is simple and utilitarian, but, although added during the 1950s, not out of keeping with the main façade.

Other small buildings, including metal butler buildings, have been added over the years in the open area created by the older buildings. Most are not visible from the street and of little significance.

Detail for 5201 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 5263300985 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: LR, INV
Cladding(s): Wood, Wood - Drop siding Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Manufacturing Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Braced Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Storefront: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 5201 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 5263300985 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 28, 2010
App v2.0.1.0