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Summary for 1410 NE CAMPUS PKY NE / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Schmitz Hall Common Name: Schmitz Hall
Style: Modern - Brutalism Neighborhood: University
Built By: Year Built: 1970
Schmitz Hall was built in 1970, during the presidency of Charles E. Odegaard and a "crescendo of construction in the first part of the 1970s" (Johnston, p. 111). It was a time when the Collegiate Gothic style had been rejected as the campus design standard. Architects throughout the nation were exploring Modern designs, and specifically Brutalist style architecture. Other examples of Brutalism include Gould Hall (1972) and Condon Hall (1974), which are located farther west on Campus Parkway. Waldron & Pomeroy's design for Schmitz Hall recalls early Brutalist work by Le Corbusier and two English architects, the Smithsons, who sought realistic responses to urban conditions. Schmitz Hall specifically echoes the design of Boston City Hall (1963-69), with its expanse of exposed concrete, isolation in a surrounding plaza, and especially the "inverted ziggurat" or reverse stepped massing.

The original designer, Waldron & Pomeroy Architects, was the predecessor of the current firm of Waldron Pomeroy Smith Foote & Akira, which specializes in the design of educational facilities. In its earliest incarnation, the firm was known as Waldron & Dietz, founded by partners Lawrence Waldron and Robert Dietz.

The building was named in honor of UW alumnus and former President Henry Schmitz, who served from 1952 to 1958. The building has long contained major administrative offices for student services, such as the University Registrar, Student Counseling Center, Financial Aid Office, and Admissions.

The building appears to retain architectural integrity and was determined eligible for National Register listing in 2013.


BOLA Architecture + Planning. “UW Educational Outreach, Historic Resources Addendum.” April 2005. (Inventory 3—Schmitz Hall)

King County Assessor Records, Puget Sound Regional Archives. 

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

University of Washington Facilities Services Records. 

Schmitz Hall occupies the entire block bounded by NE 41st Street to the north, 15th Avenue NE to the east, NE Campus Parkway to the south, and University Way NE to the west. The site slopes down slightly from northeast to southwest.

A raised, level plaza surrounds the building, accessed by a very wide set of stairs on the south side. The structure has a rectangular footprint, but each of the upper floors is larger than the one below, with the exception of the much smaller fifth floor penthouse. The flat-roofed building appears as an inverse stepped mass. Thin concrete piers provide an exterior structural frame, but the predominant feeling is horizontal, with wide bands of concrete alternating with aluminum-frame ribbon windows. 

The Brutalist style of this building is characterized by the use of exposed, poured-in-place concrete, the massiveness of the structure, and deeply shadowed window openings. The fifth floor is not visible from the street, so it does not detract from the appearance of ever-increasing levels. Stairs rise from the southeast corner of the plaza, leading up to a pedestrian bridge that crosses 15th Avenue NE to the Henry Gallery and main campus.

Detail for 1410 NE CAMPUS PKY NE / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Classication: District Status: NR, NR, NR, NR, NR, NR, NR
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Education - College Plan: Square
Structural System: Concrete - Block No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Education
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for 1410 NE CAMPUS PKY NE / Parcel ID / Inv # 0

Photo taken May 27, 2016
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