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Summary for 414 8TH AVE / Parcel ID 198820-1590 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Built By: Year Built: 1955

This commercial building was constructed in 1955 for owner William Greer. Polk City of Seattle Directories indicate that the first commercial tenant in the building was Thor Power Tool Company, which inhabited the building between 1960 and 1970 (Polk 1955, 1956, 1960, 1965, 1970).  The building 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 systems with 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 moderate alterations to its storefronts it does not exhibit any noteworthy architectural details nor is it significant for historical association.

Bibliographical References:

Polk, R.L.

1955 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle

1956 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle

1960 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, Association for Preservation Technology, 200. 57-65. 



This one story commercial building features a rectangular plan and flat roof with a low parapet. The facade is divided into two storefronts, both with large expanses of windows canted outward from bottom to top with square aluminum frames and concrete masonry unit bulkheads. The northern storefront door is solid wood with a concrete masonry unit wall surround and flanking piers. The southern storefront door is glazed with an aluminum frame and a metal canopy above. 

Detail for 414 8TH AVE / Parcel ID 198820-1590 / Inv # 0

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

Photo collection for 414 8TH AVE / Parcel ID 198820-1590 / Inv # 0

Photo taken May 01, 2014
App v2.0.1.0