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Summary for 3200 6TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666203765 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Los Angeles Seattle Motor Express Common Name: Alaskan Copper Works
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1948
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).


This building apparently replaced a previous heavy timber, one story warehouse constructed for the Seattle Barrel and Cooperage Company during the early 1930s. The present building also began as a one-story building. It was initially constructed around 1945 as an office building for the Los Angeles Seattle Motor Express Company, which at this location until at least 1965.The initial design was by Seattle architect W. G. Brust, who was also responsible for the later 1948 design, also for the same client. Based on drawings from July 1948, Brust added an additional floor and the present gabled roof, set over heavy timber trusswork. The main façade along 6th Avenue South, as well as the overall shape of the south elevation, are very close to what is presented in the 1948 original drawings. On the other hand, there appear to be additional bays both to the north and south of the main entrance. Also, original window openings and multi-pane windows on the south elevation, as shown on W. G. Brust’s 1948 drawings, are gone, except for one, which is centrally located on the elevation. It is not clear when the additional bays were added to the main façade. Since the actual design of the present windows is consistent with architect W. G. Brust’s design of 1948, it seems possible that he may have been responsible for yet a third modification of the initial design. The modification may have also occurred in the field during construction, although there do not seem to be any record drawings.

Based on Polk’s Seattle Directories, the building was vacant in 1970. Toward the end of 1970, Marshall Barr and Pacquer, Consulting Engineers, made interior structural modifications to the building for the Alaskan Copper Works. In particular, overhead trusses were modified and interior columns removed, probably to allow for more uninterrupted spans within the building.

The Alaskan Copper Works still owns and uses the building. The distribution company for the Alaskan Copper Works is the Alaska Copper and Brass Company. The two companies, as described on the Alaska Copper Works website, continue to operate as a “combined metal service center, manufacturer and fabricator of corrosion-resistant alloy products.” Within the Industrial District, the two companies are a major landowner and, as of 2003, owned 19 acres. Morris Rosen founded the Alaskan Copper Works along Alaskan Way during the early Twentieth Century. The company has been run by at least three generations of the Rosen family and retains many experienced workers who have been with the company for over thirty years.

W. G. Brust, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, opened his architectural practice in Seattle in 1927. Prior to that time, he worked during the 1910s in the office of architect E. F. Champney. Between 1920 and 1927, he was in partnership with James Stephen and his son, Frederick Bennett Stephen, another University of Pennsylvania graduate, in the firm of Stephen, Stephen and Brust. That firm was particularly well known for its school designs. Brust was mainly known as a church designer during the 1930s and 1940s. He designed the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church (1929), Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (1946-47) and Hope Lutheran Church (1948). He also designed industrial related buildings. In addition to 3200 6th Avenue South, Brust was the architect for two neighboring buildings in the Cascade neighborhood for contractor O. E. Turnquist. 434 Yale Ave North, which shows an Art Moderne influence, was designed during the late 1940s, while its neighbor, more typically Modernist, was completed during the late 1950s. W. G. Brust died in Seattle in 1969.

Additional Sources

Richard Seven, “How Goes SODO?,” Seattle Times, Pacific Northwest Magazine, October 19, 2003, database at :<>, accessed March 2010.

Alaskan Copper website,


This two-story wood frame building is located on the northeast corner of 6th Avenue South and Horton St. It began as a one-story building, but was shortly modified, during the late 1940s, to its overall present shape. It has a rectangular plan and a gable roof, which initially sat above a series of repeated heavy timber Howe trusses. Drawings suggest that these trusses were also subsequently modified. The south elevation now only has one multi-pane window, more or less centrally placed on the elevation. Based on drawings, the elevation may have originally included two levels, with two such windows at each floor; however, the somewhat distinctive shape of the south elevation has not changed. In fact, by 1958, the elevation only had the one window and looked as it does today. The window itself includes two vertical rows of four rectangular panes and thin muntins and is very similar to those shown in original drawings.

Based on early drawings, by the time of the first modification, (about three years after the construction of the one story building for the Los Angeles Seattle Motor Express), the main, west façade along 6th Avenue had a symmetrical composition, with three sets of multi-pane windows set to each side of a central entry. Each window also included two vertical rows of four panes each. Presently the façade has five rows to the north and four rows of such windows to the south of the main entrance. On the other hand, the window openings and the actual design of the present windows is completely consistent with architect W. G. Brust’s design of 1948.

Detail for 3200 6TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666203765 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete, Glass - Glass Block, Metal, Shingle - Concrete/Asbestos Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Transportation - Road- Related Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Braced Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Manufacturing/Industry, Transportation
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.

Photo collection for 3200 6TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666203765 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 05, 2010

Photo taken Feb 05, 2010
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