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Summary for 525 DEXTER AVE / Parcel ID 198820-1215 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: People's National Bank of Washington Common Name: Seattle Strength & Performance
Style: Modern Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Built By: Year Built: 1948

This building was constructed in 1948 and is associated with the post-World War II developmental era in the South Lake Union area.  It was built for People’s National Bank of Washington, which occupied it until moving next door to 530 Dexter Avenue North in 1958 (Polk 1951, 1958). Seattle Seamen’s Center, a maritime ministry, took occupancy in 1959 and stayed for at least a decade (Polk 1959, 1970).  The building was subsequently occupied by a retail business called Goods for the Planet. The current tenant in Seattle Strength & Performance, a specialty gym.    

The building was designed by the architectural firm of McClelland & Osterman. Robert “Jack” Fulton McClelland (1892-1977) grew up in Seattle. After receiving partial architectural training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McClelland spent eight years as a draftsman before receiving his Washington State architectural license in 1922. The next year he formed a partnership with fellow architect Edward F. Pinneh. 

Notable designs include the College Center Building (1927) in the University District; the Dr. Hampson House in Ravenna; and the Silverstrom Building. In 1930, the two partners added Victor N. Jones to the partnership. Pinneh left the firm in 1933, and Jones remained with McClelland until 1946. The firms’projects include the Bremerton Ferry Terminal (1938); the Bremerton EstateTheater (1935); The Best Store (1937); the Nordstrom’s Store (1937); and the Seattle Labor Temple (1942). In 1935, the firm received an honorable mention for a drug store design for the “Modernize Main Street” competition sponsored by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company.

Hugo W. Osterman (1906-1996) received his formal architectural training from the University of Washington, from which he graduated in 1928 along with classmate Paul Thiry. He received his architectural license that same year. Osterman gained practical experience working in his father’s architectural firm, Osterman & Siebert and in the office of Arthur Loveless.  Osterman gained acclaim in 1935 for his design for the Fredrick & Nelson Family Homes project. In 1939 he joined the firm of McCelland & Jones as an associate and quickly began to take on increasing design responsibilities for the firm. In 1952, Osterman became partner after Victor Jones left the firm.

Notable designs by the firm McCelland & Osterman include the Florence Crittenton Home for Unwed Mothers (1953); the Gladding, McBean & Company Building in Seattle (1954); the Lundquist-Lilly Men’s Wear Store(1955); remodel of the downtown Nordstrom Shoe Store (1960); Foodland Store(1960); and an insurance office building on Belmont Avenue (1956).

During the 1950s and 1960s the firm specialized in the design of suburban banks and their designs can be found throughout the state.Within Seattle, bank projects include a number of new buildings and remodels for Peoples National Bank of Washington, including a new building for the Dexter branch (1957); a remodel for the Magnolia branch (1961); a new building for the Broadway (1965); a new building for the Peoples National Bank of Washington Computer Center (1968); the North West branch (1963); and the FirstHill branch (1965).  Bank projects outside of Seattle include the Dexter branch of Peoples National Bank of Washington (1957); the Seattle First National Bank in Olympia (1959); Mid- Columbia Bank (1953) in Pasco; and the Peoples National Bank (1964) in Kirkland. 

Both Mclelland and Osterman were active in the Seattle Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. McClelland was president for three terms (1934-1936) and Osterman served as president in 1961. McClelland passed away in Seattle in 1977. Osterman retired in 1976 and passed away in Seattle on March 30, 1996. McClelland passed away in Seattlein February 1977.  [Credit: DocomomoWEWA Webpage]

Bibliographical References:

Polk, R.L.

1951 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle

1958 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle

1959 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle

1970 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle

Washington State Department of Archaeology andHistoric Preservation Property Inventory Card, 2007 

King County Property Record Card (1937-1972), WashingtonState Archives

DocomomoWEWA Webpage:


This one story commercial building features a rectangular plan, a flat roof with a parapet, a poured concrete foundation and smooth stucco walls with knee high Roman brick cladding that projects slightly from the walls and serves as a bulkhead for the windows above.  Sited on a corner lot, the east facade faces Dexter Ave. N. and features three large groupings of metal frame windows. They are single light; the first set has 16 windows, the second set has 12, and the third set has 8.  A slightly projecting metal band runs across the top of the windows and entry. A simple recessed entry is located in the center of this facade. The north facade features a prominent, projecting covered brick entry with a flat roof supported by rectangular brick columns.  The same style of single light metal frame window groupings that are found on the east facade flank the north entry. The parapet on the east and north facades is topped by a narrow slightly projecting stucco band.

Detail for 525 DEXTER AVE / Parcel ID 198820-1215 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick - Roman, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Financial Institution Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Steel No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Storefront: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for 525 DEXTER AVE / Parcel ID 198820-1215 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 10, 2014

Photo taken Feb 10, 2014
App v2.0.1.0