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Summary for 1417 NE 42ND ST NE / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Historic Name: University Branch YMCA Common Name: Eagleson Hall
Style: Tudor Neighborhood: University
Built By: Year Built: 1925
Eagleson Hall retains a moderate to high level of integrity, and appears to meet National Register of Historic Places eligibility criteria A, for its association with social history, and C, for its architecture and design in the Tudor Revival style by prominent firm Bebb & Gould. 

Eagleson Hall, formerly home to the University Branch of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), is located just west of the University of Washington campus at the southwest corner of NE 42nd Street and 15th Avenue NE. The building was designed by prominent architectural firm Bebb & Gould in the Tudor revival style and was constructed in 1925. The University of Washington acquired the building in 1964; it currently houses the Social Work and Speech and Hearing Sciences programs.

In 1888, when the University of Washington was still located in downtown Seattle, the University Branch YMCA was the first campus student organization with primarily Christian overtones. The University Branch YMCA was founded and functioned separately from the Seattle YMCA. By 1910, the University Branch YMCA was housed in a log building (the Arctic Brotherhood building) on the current campus.  Members, including General Secretary Charles L. Maxfield, were very active and involved in University of Washington and community life, and soon needed a more permanent building, particularly in light of increasing interest in separating the religious organization from the public University of Washington in the 1920s. Mr. Maxfield actively campaigned to construct Eagleson Hall, including the procurement of a $10,000 grant from John D. Rockerfeller, which comprised approximately 10 percent of the total construction cost.

The building was named after former University of Washington student and World War I veteran James M. Eagleson, who died in uniform of influenza after returning to the United States from battle in France. A Seattle local, Eagleson had been active in the boys work division of the YMCA, and “typified the ideals and aims of the…YMCA” (Seattle Daily Times, April 2, 1922). 

The opening celebration was held on March 17, 1923, which was attended by hundreds of visitors. During the day, entertainment was provided by pianists Mrs. Frank D. Black and George Bailey, and soprano Mrs. D. Morgan Roderick; evening entertainment was furnished by the Orpheus Glee Club and the University Presbyterian Church’s orchestra (Seattle Daily Times, March 18, 1923).

Both nationwide and locally, the YMCA became increasingly radical during the 1930s, and actively campaigned for labor issues, global peace, and civil rights. The local Young Women’s Christian Organization (YWCA) was cohoused in Eagleson Hall in 1940, and the two groups worked closely together until the University of Washington acquired the building.

The organization found itself in the center of controversy when, in 1962, a group of students, faculty, and staff invited Gus Hall, the leader of the Communist party, to speak at Eagleson Hall. Mr. Hall had been the leader of the Communist party since 1959, after almost a 9-year prison sentence for plans to overthrow the federal government. Although not specifically invited by the University Branch YMCA, the organization’s “open platform policy” caused an uproar among neighbors and community members, including the Boeing Company, a major benefactor ( 

The YMCA and YWCA moved out of the building in 1964, in anticipation of the University of Washington’s acquisition of Eagleson Hall. The organizations moved to their new home at 4525 19th Avenue NE on January 1, 1964 (Seattle Times December 13, 1964). The University of Washington bought Eagleson Hall, and the adjacent wood house on 15th Avenue NE (now demolished) for $173,000. Eagleson Hall was promptly renovated by Summan and Aehle Architects in 1965. The building was used for classes by the University of Washington, and now houses the Speech and Hearing Sciences and Social Work departments. 


Johnston, Norman J. The Fountain to the Mountain - The University of Washington Campus, 1895 – 1995. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995.

Seattle Times archival database, accessed through Seattle Public Library website. 


University of Washington Facilities Services Records.  

University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections.

Eagleson Hall, designed in the Tudor Revival style, occupies a rectangular lot on the western half of the block bounded by 15th Avenue NE on the west, NE 42nd Street to the north, an alley to the west, and the School of Social Work building to the south. Eagleson Hall is a two-story building and is primarily rectangular in plan, with the primary entry placed on the north facade. The building includes steeply cross-gabled wings, which comprise the north and west facades; behind the gabled peaks, the roof is flat. The building is generally clad with coursed red, pink, and light brown brick veneer, and features cast stone accents, including quoins, sills, columns, coping, and rails.  The roof is clad with clay tiles. Windows are multi-light fixed and casement units with zinc bars.

The primary entry is placed off-center on the front (north) facade, accessed by a cast stone entry unit with a carved stone newel and brick stairs. The stone balusters are spaced relatively far apart and carved in a modified fleur de lis motif. The building name, Eagleson Hall, is inscribed in stone in gothic lettering, surrounded by a floral motif, and is affixed below the front doors above a stone medallion accent. The ground (basement story) is dominated by the entry unit, and also includes pairs of nine-light leaded casement windows with cast stone sills and details. The first story includes a pair of wood multi-light doors, which are placed below a stepped, gently arched cast-stone hood mold with inlay Moorish arched stone fanlights. The entry is flanked by a pair of tripartite leaded casement windows with zinc sash and cast stone sills and detailing. Above the entry floor is a centered gabled dormer, clad in clay tile featuring a pair of nine-light leaded glass casement windows. Clay tile-clad shed roofed dormers surrounded the gabled dormer, which replaced two original gabled dormers in the 1965 renovation. 

To the west of the primary entry is a two-story gabled bay with the same window arrangement as the entry bay, as well as a secondary arched entry with wood door. The easternmost bay on the front facade includes a dramatic two story bay window with multi-light leaded glass windows, which sits beneath a gabled roof. The center bay is a tripartite, flanked by pairs of windows, separated by carved stonework. The basement story are nine-light casement windows, below 18-light casements on the first story. Fixed 12-light transoms sit above the casements, all below a crenulated cornice. Beneath the gable peak is a ventilation opening surrounded by cast stone ornamentation.

The east facade, fronting 15th Avenue NE, continues the cladding, window configurations, and ornamentation as the front facade. However, this elevation includes a prominent brick tower with cast stone coping ornamentation. A single-door secondary entry at ground level is on the south end of the building, with a wood door and arched hood mold. A capped chimney is on the south facade. A standing seam metal roofed open walkway now connects the south facade to the School of Social Work building to the south. The west facade mimics style and materials seen on the east and north facades.

A 1965 renovation designed by Sullam and Aehle Architects resulted in alterations in the north facade dormers; shed dormers were created to fill the spaces between the gabled dormers. Also, minor alterations to windows and entries on the west and south facades were made at this time. 

Detail for 1417 NE 42ND ST NE / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Classication: District Status: NR, NR, NR, NR, NR, NR
Cladding(s): Brick, Stone - Cast Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Clay Tile
Building Type: Recreation and Culture - Sports Facility Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Education
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for 1417 NE 42ND ST NE / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jul 08, 2016
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