This building, constructed in 1920, is associated with
early development of the West Seattle Junction.
The original building, a simple brick-clad structure, is largely intact,
but there is a large addition on the north end. The building is still in use by
Centurylink as a telephone equipment building.
This is a typical example of the telephone switching
centers constructed in Seattle neighborhoods in the 1920s; similar buildings are
located in Queen Anne, Wallingford and the Rainier Valley. It was built in 1920
by the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company (PT&T) and initially housed
both telephone switching equipment and operators to put calls through. However,
in 1923, the dial system came into use in West Seattle, eliminating the need
for operators for local calls. Based on information on similar facilities, this
building was probably built to a standard design by the Office of the Chief Engineer
in PT&T’s San Francisco office.
PT&T was the predecessor to the Pacific Northwest Bell
Company, a subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T),
which evolved to become Pacific Telesis and US West, now Qwest. Pacific
Telephone Company was an early California-based telephone and telegraph
communication company that gradually acquired numerous smaller telephone companies
along the Pacific Coast, such as the local Sunset Telephone Company, which they
acquired in 1917. AT&T had been formed
to provide long distance service, but in 1899 it became the parent company of
the Bell System, which included Western Electric (manufacturing), Bell
Laboratories (research and development), AT&T Long Lines and the regional
Bell operating companies. In 1984 the
system broke up into eight companies by agreement between AT&T and the U.S.
Department of Justice. The regional company, Pacific Northwest Bell, became
Centurylink, which bought Qwest in
2011. (http://www.telcomhistory.org/vm/histories.shtm) (PT&T Garfield Exchange Seattle Landmark Nomination BOLA Architecture and Planning, 2016)