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Summary for 408 8TH AVE / Parcel ID 198820-1585 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Wm. H. Gore Co. Steel Shelving Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Built By: Year Built: 1952
This commercial building was constructed in 1952. It originally housed William H. Gore Company Steel Shelving (Polk 1953). By 1960 it was the location of The Glidden Company Wholesale Paints, which inhabited the building until at least 1970 (Polk 1965, 1970). It is currently vacant. 

This building was constructed during the post-World War II era,which was an important period of industrial, commercial and warehouse development in the South Lake Union area. It displays characteristics of the Mid-Century Modern or simply Modern style. The Modern style grew out of construction techniques and materials technologies that developed during and immediately after World War II in response to the need to build economical and easily assembled structures.  While these techniques were initially used in the construction of military and mass housing structures, they quickly spread to other building types. Characteristics of Modern commercial vernacular buildings during the 1940s,1950s and 1960s include modular building systemswith cladding materials that could be pre-fabricated and assembled on-site.Common cladding materials included brick (frequently Roman brick), formed concrete, simulated stone, aluminum, Vitrolite (opaque glass), glass block, and small mosaic tile. Modern commercial storefronts often featured an “open front”design, which celebrated the display window as the most prominent storefront element in contrast to earlier storefront designs which placed more emphasis on the wall that framed the windows.  Windows were typically plate glass with narrow aluminum frames.  Plate glass afforded large, uninterrupted expanses of windows that could extend from floor to ceiling, ideal for displaying merchandise. Storefront bulkheads and enframements were commonly clad in brick, stone, or tile.

Although this building remains largely intact with slight alterations to its windows, it does not exhibit any noteworthy architectural details nor is it significant for historical association.

Bibliographical References:

Polk, R.L.

1953 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle

1965 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle

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

Jackson, Mike, FAIA. “Storefronts of Tomorrow.” Preserving theRecent Past 2. Eds. Deborah Slaton and William G. Foulks. Washington DC:Historic Preservation Education Foundation, National Park Service, Associationfor Preservation Technology, 200. 57-65.  


This one story commercial building features a rectangular plan, a flat roof with parapet, large plate glass storefront windows with light-weight aluminum sash, and glazed aluminum frame double storefront doors. The front facade is clad in stucco with a low bulkhead clad in Wilkenson stone. The north end of the facade is recessed and has a larger expanse of solid wall clad in stucco and a smaller aluminum frame window. 

Detail for 408 8TH AVE / Parcel ID 198820-1585 / Inv # 0

Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stone, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for 408 8TH AVE / Parcel ID 198820-1585 / Inv # 0

Photo taken May 01, 2014
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