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Summary for 5400 E MARGINAL WAY E / Parcel ID 1722802695 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Argo Blower & Manufacturing Co. Common Name: Argo Blower & Manufacturing Co.
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1932
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

This is “Building A,” the most intact of two buildings apparently first constructed in 1932, although even this building has been significantly altered. It is a typical, but slightly later example of wood frame industrial buildings, found in Seattle’s Industrial District. By 1937, Argo Blower and Manufacturing Company owned the property. By 1943, “ARGO BLOWER & MFG. CO.” was painted on the gable front of this building, just above the first level openings. The building currently has an equivalent sign hung in the same location. The company still owns this building, as well as the larger property.

The Argo Blower Company has been in existence since the 1930s, when it began making “sawdust shaving removal systems for lumber mills, furniture and moulding/siding manufacturers.”

Additional Sources

Argo Blower Manufacturing Company, information,, accessed July 5, 2010.


Argo Blower Manufacturing Company, website at, accessed July 5, 2010.


This building is located on the south side of Brandon Street, off of and slightly east of East Marginal Way South. The original and main part of this building has a rectangular plan and is topped by a gable roof. To the back and south of it, there is a similar and slightly lower gabled extension, which also appears in early photos. Based on these early photos and records, the building, which is one story, with a basement level, was faced in wood flush siding. The siding and an original window opening at the top of the main north elevation still remain, as well as four basement windows, set in wood surrounds. The top window opening features a row of three multi-pane windows set in a wood surround, currently painted brown. Also original are the slightly extended rafter tails, also painted brown.

Originally, the main façade had a central and elevated door, probably over a loading dock. To the east side of the door, there were two, separate double hung windows and to the west, paired double-hung windows. These openings have been replaced by three new window openings and glazing, as well as a new door placed to the side of a new central window. A new addition with a flat roof obscures the long east elevation, which used to include continuous bays of wood frame windows with multi-pane sash. The west elevation, although mostly covered in fairly recent corrugated metal siding, still retains four bays of original wood frame windows with multi-pane sash, similar to those shown in photos from around 1941 and 1943. In many respects, this building is very altered, although it still retains elements of its original appearance.


Detail for 5400 E MARGINAL WAY E / Parcel ID 1722802695 / Inv # 0

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

Photo collection for 5400 E MARGINAL WAY E / Parcel ID 1722802695 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 28, 2010
App v2.0.1.0