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Summary for 4000 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 6172900075 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Van Waters & Rogers, Inc. Common Name: Cascade Designs Inc.
Style: Art Deco, Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1937
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

Plat: Northern Pacific's 1st Ave Industrial Sites, Block: A, Lots: 15-20

Although the materials are basic, this is an interesting example of the Art Deco style, as applied to the design of a warehouse. King County Tax Assessor Record information gives the initial completion date of the building as 1937, with subsequent alterations occurring in 1940, 1950, 1951, 1953 and 1956. Extant photos from 1937, 1938 as well as early 1952 photo show the First Avenue South facade much as it is today. Plans also suggest that the largest wing of the building, which corresponds to the First Avenue South façade, dates mainly from 1937. A small addition was also made to the second story portion of the building close to the corner of First Ave S and S Dakota St in 1951.  On the other hand, the south elevation along S Dakota St has clearly been altered. Additions were also made on the back west side of the building in 1950, 1953 and 1956.

The building began as the warehouse and offices of Van Waters & Rogers, Inc., which remained in the building at least into the1970s. As once advertised on the north side of the building and shown in a 1938 photo, Van Waters & Rogers, Inc. manufactured “laundry and dry cleaning supplies,” and also dealt in “raw materials and industrial chemicals.” By 1980, the nature of the businesses that occupied the building had changed considerably: Puget Sound Sandwiches and Totem Foods Incorporated occupied the building.


This building is located south of Spokane Street, on the east side of First Avenue South, between S Andover and S Dakota Streets. It incorporates one and two story volumes, including the southern two-story portion of the building, located just north of S Dakota Street. The northern one-story building facade presents a long one-story bar, marked by three long, continuous bands of glazing, separated by shorter bays with raised parapets. While the long bands of glazing appear to be original and intact, the two shorter bays have both been altered. The northern one includes a new doorway with sidelight.  At the southern end of the façade, which is two stories in height, a key feature is the entry, which is topped by a concrete awning, set parallel to the ground. The awning, which reflects the Moderne influence, includes a central semi-circular portion, with two narrow rectangular wings. A variety of ornamental bands, both horizontal and vertical, reinforce the Art Deco nature of this building.

The south elevation along Dakota Street is marked by a central doorway, flanked by two levels of large trabeated window openings, filled with new glazing set in new metal frames. There is also a large glass block expanse, which is relatively new, set above the entry. In general, this elevation has retained fewer of its original elements. Based on partial views as shown in the King County Tax Assessor’s Record Card, this elevation used to include two levels of long window openings, filled with multi-pane sash and has clearly been altered.

Detail for 4000 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 6172900075 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete, Glass, Glass - Glass Block Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Processing Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: Various
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Community Planning/Development, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
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 4000 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 6172900075 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jul 10, 2010

Photo taken Jul 10, 2010
App v2.0.1.0