This building was constructed in 1952 for Pitney-Bowes Inc.,business machines (Polk 1953) and accommodated sales and service areas and office space. It later housed Associates Discount Corporate Financial Management and Associates Loan Company (Polk 1955, 1965). It currently houses an art gallery called Winston Wachter Fine Art.
The building architect was Henry W. Bittman (1882-1953), who is known to have designed over 250 new and/or remodeled building projects in Seattle, Washington State and Alaska. Bittman studied engineering at Cooper Union and then worked briefly in Chicago as a bridge engineer. He came to Seattle In 1906 and practiced briefly with architect William Kingsley. By 1908 he had established an independent structural engineering practice where he specializing in the design of structural steel skeletons constructed in Seattle. He is known to have served from 1914 until 1919 as representative of Puget Sound and Alaska Powder Company, an explosives supplier. In 1923, Henry Bittman became a licensed architect in Washington State and went on to become a successful and highly respected commercial architect.
This building displays characteristics of the Modern style, which 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 store front 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.
The building appears to be quite intact, although the transoms on the aluminum sash windows have been altered. Although it was designed by a notable architect and built during a period of important industrial, commercial and warehouse construction in the South Lake Union area, it lacks noteworthy architectural details and historical associations.
1953 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle
1955 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle
1965 City Directory of Seattle. R. L. Polk &Co., Seattle
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historic Guide to the Architects.Seattle: University of Washington Press. 1994, 1998, 2014.
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.
Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Property Inventory Card, 2011
King County Property Record Card (1937-1972), Washington State Archives
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.