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Summary for 229-235 BROADWAY / Parcel ID 6003501190 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Wilshire Building Common Name: Lota Building
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Year Built: 1903
This is one of the earliest extant buildings in the Broadway business district, dating from 1903, the year that Broadway was first paved and one year after nearby Broadway High School opened. The second floor was a sanitarium for many years, with access through the separate entry at the south end of the front façade. In the 1940s the upper floors became the Thompson Hospital, owned by Mrs. E. F. Thompson. The building and hospital were later purchased by the University of Washington. It has had a wide variety of other businesses over the years, including a pharmacy, a beverage store, a variety store and various restaurants. Dempsey's Pharmacy was a long-time occupant of the corner storefront, succeeded by the Broadway Rexall Pharmacy. In recent years it has had apartments upstairs and a variety of restaurants on the ground floor. The building is connected at the rear to a second building, constructed in 1982. The newer structure is compatible in style and is distinctly separate from this building. It does not compromise the integrity of the original building.

This vicinity was one of the first sections of Capitol Hill to develop.  It was platted by David T. Denny, the trustee for the estate of John Nagle, who filed the donation claim for the area.  In 1891 a streetcar line was extended from James Street, running north on Broadway to the city limits at E. Lynn Street, with direct service to downtown added on Pike Street in 1901.  Another major impetus to local development was the 1902 completion of Seattle (later Broadway) High School, the city’s first modern high school, which was located at the corner of Broadway and E. Pine Street.  Students came from throughout Seattle and even from across Lake Washington to attend.  Broadway, already an important street, flourished with new businesses, especially those catering to students, such as sandwich shops. By 1910 the area was largely developed, with small commercial buildings, numerous apartment buildings and single family homes.  Further apartment and commercial development occurred in the 1920s, when the Broadway district boomed to become one of the city’s premier shopping venues.  The Great Depression of the 1930s led to general stagnation, and the neighborhood changed significantly after World War II.  Broadway High School closed in 1946, replaced by Edison Technical School, a vocational training institution.  Many houses such as this one became rentals, often being converted to multifamily or being replaced by institutional uses.  The 1980s brought new development, as people returned to live in city neighborhoods. The Broadway district is now thriving with new stores and apartment buildings. 

This building is clad with brick, now painted gray, with metal and wood trim. Most features typical of early 20th Century design remain, including a gabled parapet and a semicircular bay window on each main elevation. Belt courses run above the display windows, and above and below the second floor windows. Pilasters run from the course above the storefronts to the cornice, with decorative plinths in the belt course. Arched windows (with dark metal replacement sash) on the second floor pierce another belt course; each window has a decorative arch above, with a terra cotta keystone. The second floor window at the rear is cut away from the corner. The separate entrance at the south end of the main elevation, set back from the street and up several steps, was the entrance to the sanitarium/hospital; a similar entrance is on the side elevation on Thomas Street. There is also a restaurant entrance on this side, with a wheelchair access ramp. The storefronts have been modernized with newer display windows and doors. Some of the original wood bulkheads remain. The original transoms are covered. The original large finials on the cornice have been removed, perhaps following the 1949 earthquake.

Detail for 229-235 BROADWAY / Parcel ID 6003501190 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Brick
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Health/Medicine
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
Williams, Jacqueline B. The Hill with a Future: Seattle's Capitol Hill 1900-1946. Seattle: CPK Ink, 2001.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.

Photo collection for 229-235 BROADWAY / Parcel ID 6003501190 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jul 12, 2010
App v2.0.1.0