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Summary for 1500 1st AVE / Parcel ID 1975700655 / Inv #

Historic Name: Broderick Building Common Name:
Style: Beaux Arts - Neoclassical, Commercial Neighborhood: Commercial Core
Built By: Year Built: 1922
This property is directly associated with the early twentieth century developmental era (1920-1930) when a significant number of commercial buildings were constructed and the modern downtown commercial district was fully established. In 1923, Seattle adopted its first ordinance that regulated specific geographic areas for specified uses; it allowed the most densely concentrated commercial development to occur in the downtown core. The economic prosperity of the 1920s stimulated the development of numerous major highrise commercial buildings, as well as smaller-scale bank and commercial buildings, major hotels and apartment hotels, club buildings and entertainment facilities, which were all typically designed by leading Seattle architects. During this era, the original residential district was entirely absorbed by commercial and other real estate development. By 1930, virtually all of the old residential properties - as well as many of the immediate post-fire era commercial buildings outside of Pioneer Square - had been demolished or removed. This building is one of a collection of extant two-story commercial block buildings (mostly dating from the 1920s) that share similar building form, scale, exterior cladding and ornate architectural treatment. Like commercial highrise construction of this era, they are typically located at a prominent corner of a downtown block with matching facades at each elevation; however, mid-block locations with a single façade were also commonly constructed. Their most distinctive features are glazed terra cotta cladding and/or other terra cotta components that both reveal the underlying structural system and allowed architects to utilize a wide range of eclectic architecture styles that were particularly popular during this era. In this case the details are drawn from the Classical design mode, which was heavily used in terra cotta design during the 1910s; whereas, in the 1920s a wider range of popular revival styles were designed and constructed. During this era, neighborhood commercial districts also flourished with similar building types. Other extant terra cotta clad two-story, commercial block buildings that are located downtown and fit within this category include: the Ames Building (Charles Bebb, 1914), Liberty Building (Nevins & Horrocks, 1922), Old National Bank Building (Henry H. James, 1922), Centennial Building (Henry Bittman, 1925), Mann Building/Embassy Theater (Henry Bittman, 1926) and the much altered/partly demolished Pande Cameron Building (Henry Bittman, 1928). Similar extant two-story, commercial block buildings that are partially clad or decorated with terra cotta ornament include: the S.J. Holmes Building (J. Lister Holmes, 1924); Jordan Building (Lawton & Moldenhour, 1920) and the Colony Club ((John Creutzer, 1928). This site appears to have been in use for commercial purposes as early as 1884, when a meat market and a cluster of small wood frame buildings were located here. A variety of commercial enterprises and lodgings – especially after the establishment of the nearby Pike Place Public Market in 1907 - were located here until the subject building was constructed. This building was constructed in 1922 for Henry Broderick, Inc, a well-known Seattle commercial real estate development and property management firm. It was designed by noted Seattle architect John Graham, Sr. and intended for retail and office use. The original major tenant and subsequent building owner was the Boston Drug Store Co. The building was purchased by Seattle First National Bank in 1943. A variety of retail shops and commercial tenants were historically housed in the building, including: cigar shop, drug store, bank, and shoe repair shop, haberdashery, jewelers, optician and grocery market. The upper floors are known to have housed dental offices and a restaurant. The architect, John Graham, Sr. (1873-1955), was one of the city's most prominent designers. Born in Liverpool, he apprenticed as an architect in England before settling in Seattle in 1901. He was responsible for many of the city’s most important landmarks. His work covered a wide range of building types, including a number of residences; the Ford Motor Company assembly plant (1913); office buildings - the Dexter-Horton Building (1921-24) and the Exchange Building (1929-31); institutions (four buildings at the University of Washington, 1927-28) and the U.S. Marine Hospital (1931-34); and department stores (Frederick & Nelson (1916-19) and the Bon Marche (1928-29), as well as churches, yacht clubs and apartments building. He also embraced a variety of styles, from the Tudor Revival used for the Victoria Apartments and the University buildings to the Art Deco masterpieces of the Exchange Building and the Marine Hospital. This building is a partly intact but altered example of a distinct downtown property type, a two-story, terra cotta clad commercial block. It is a notable example of commercial block design executed in the Classical mode utilizing glazed terra cotta cladding and other terra cotta components, which remain visible and in generally sound condition. Furthermore, it is associated with the career of a significant local architect, John Graham, Sr. [It may potentially meet local landmark criteria.]
Prominently located at the NE corner of First Avenue and Pike Street, this two-story commercial block continues to house retail and office uses. It measures 57’ x 111’ and exhibits classically-derived architectural ornament. The reinforced concrete structure is clad with ornate speckled cream-color (and green) glazed terra cotta and is further distinguished by an ornate terra cotta crested cornice and enframed window surrounds and trim at the 2nd floor level. The two-part commercial block façade is divided by green terra cotta clad pilasters into three bays on First Avenue and six bays on Pike Street. All of the original metal (copper?) upper floor level spandrel panels remain in place but have been painted. All of the original wooden windows have been replaced by a modern aluminum window product. The entire storefront level (with the exception of the structural/terra cotta clad pilasters) has been reconstructed with modern aluminum window and door assemblies. An original entry marquee at First Avenue has been removed and a modern steel and glass canopy has been installed along the entire storefront at both elevations. There do not appear to be any intact or architecturally significant interior building features, finishes or public spaces.

Detail for 1500 1st AVE / Parcel ID 1975700655 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Terra cotta Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Interior: Extensive
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Storefront: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.
Krafft, Katheryn H. "News Lane Block Report - Cultural Resource inventory Form," prepared 1995.
Aldredge, Lydia. Impressions of Imagination: Terra Cotta Seattle, Allied Arts of Seattle, 1986.

Photo collection for 1500 1st AVE / Parcel ID 1975700655 / Inv #

Photo taken May 23, 2006
App v2.0.1.0