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Summary for 1550-1560 E Olive WAY E / Parcel ID 7449500045 / Inv # CH012

Historic Name: Olive Way Improvement Co. Building Common Name: Supercuts
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Built By: Lawton & Modlenhour Year Built: 1924
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This is an ornate and intact commercial building at the prominent intersection of Denny Way and East Olive Way. Particularly notable is the terra cotta trim, including urn finials; most such finials in Seattle were destroyed in the 1949 earthquake, or were removed for safety reasons. The storefronts are largely in their original condition. The building has always housed a variety of local retail and service businesses--a drugstore, cleaners, a florist, shoe repair, and beauty shops. At one time it had an auto repair garage on the lower level; later a popular dessert restaurant and bakery was located there for may years. This is one of two adjacent buidlings designed in 1924 by Lawton and Moldenhour for the Olive Way Improvement Company. (The other buidling is at 1510 East Olive Way.) George W. Lawton and Herman A. Moldenhour were partners between 1922 and 1928, during which time they designed many large apartment buildings, office buildings and institutional structures. One of their best known works is the Fourth and Pike Building (1927). Lawton had come to Seattle from Wisconsin in 1889, when he worked as a draftsman for the firm of Saunders and Houghton. Between 1898 and 1914 he was in partnership with Charles W. Saunders, one of the city's most prominent architects. He practiced on his own from 1915 until 1922, when he completed the design of the Masonic Temple (Egyptian Theater). Moldenhour worked as an office boy for Saunders and Lawton before beginning practice as an architect. Lawton died in 1928, a few years after this building was constructed. Moldenhour practiced independently after his death, and died in 1949.
This brick masonry structure is one story, with a second level down the slope on Denny Way. The cladding is wire-cut brick, with terra cotta ornament above each display window. The coping is also terra cotta with an urn finial on a scroll base at each comer and between each window bay. All except one of the storefronts are intact with recessed entries, wood-and-glass doors, wood-framed display windows and marble bulkheads. Each display window is edged with twisted terra cotta, joining together in a floral medallion above the window.

Detail for 1550-1560 E Olive WAY E / Parcel ID 7449500045 / Inv # CH012

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.

Photo collection for 1550-1560 E Olive WAY E / Parcel ID 7449500045 / Inv # CH012

Photo taken Aug 21, 2001
App v2.0.1.0