Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 450 S SPOKANE ST S / Parcel ID 7666204145 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Washington State Highway Department Common Name: Washington State Department of Transportation
Style: Art Deco - PWA Moderne Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1931
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

450 S Spokane Street is a fairly large complex. It has a major presence along the west side of Spokane Street, as well as the adjoining north side of Spokane St. The complex is comprised of several buildings and a good portion is currently off limits to the public; however, the buildings described stand out not only because of their overall design, but because the buildings have retained a fair degree of integrity.

Based on drawings from early 1931, the maintenance shop building located along 6th Avenue South, as well as Spokane Street, (Building A), and the office building, which faces Spokane Street, (Building B),were both designed for the State of Washington Highway Department. The architect was D. H. Moodhe of Spokane and the completion date is also given as 1931. A simpler, frame storage building, also with the signature raised parapets, was also completed in 1932. A closer look at the 1931 drawings reveals that, although what is left of the 6th Avenue façade of the maintenance building has retained a fair degree of integrity, the façade has been altered. Apparently, there were originally fourteen bays following the south end bay, as well as a similar end bay on the north side of the façade.


The building complex at 450 Spokane Street is comprised of several utilitarian buildings, most of which have been significantly altered.  One set of buildings, includes the office and the maintenance shop buildings for the State of Washington Highway Department. These stand out because of the quality of design and architectural integrity. Concrete walls with an exterior coat of light colored stucco, brick trim, and original multi-pane windows are some of the salient characteristics of these buildings. There are many raised parapets, which frequently end in a gable shape, and are often set between engaged pilasters. Contrasting brick trim is consistently used at the top of the parapet, to emphasize the overall shape. Similar trim is also used to mark the lintels of window openings. Incised brick diamond-shapes and related ornament are also used at select locations, often set at the centerline of a window below it.

A courtyard, not currently accessible to the public, separates two facades along Spokane Street. The Spokane Street facades, which face south, exhibit many of the characteristics already described. In particular, the façade of the separate western building, originally described as the “office" along Spokane Street has a symmetrical composition. There is a raised gable shape at the end bays and over the central entry, where the raised parapet is higher than that of the end bays. Aside from the entrance bay, each one-story bay includes one window, topped by brick trim. Two bays, with a straight parapet flank the central entry bay and, in turn, are followed, to each side, by an end bay with a raised parapet.

The south façade to the east and closer to 6th Avenue South is two-stories in height.  The façade belongs to a building designed as the maintenance shop building. Here, end bays, each topped by a gable shape, which are set between two tall engaged pilasters, flank three central bays, separated by lower engaged pilasters. Typically, there is a band of brick trim at the top of each of the lower pilasters, which is set slightly above the brick trim that marks the lintels of the window openings.  In the three central bays, windows are paired. This façade is contiguous to the longer east façade along 6th Avenue South. A two-story end bay, topped by a gable shape, which is also set between two tall pilasters, marks the south end of the 6th Avenue façade. Ten bays, with multi-pane glazing and marked by lower pilasters, follow.

Detail for 450 S SPOKANE ST S / Parcel ID 7666204145 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Site District Status: LR, INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet, Gable, Varied roof lines Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Government - Government office Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: Various
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Politics/Government/Law, Transportation
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 450 S SPOKANE ST S / Parcel ID 7666204145 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 02, 2010

Photo taken Feb 03, 2010

Photo taken Feb 03, 2010
App v2.0.1.0