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Summary for 35th AVE / Parcel ID 2489200285 / Inv # SPU018

Historic Name: SW Myrtle Street Tank No. 1 Common Name:
Style: Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Morgan Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1919
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.
The Seattle Water Department constructed this 500,000-gallon steel tank in 1919 in order to improve the storage capacity and the water pressure for this area of West Seattle. As early as 1916, the Water Department had recognized the need for two reservoirs in West Seattle and had acquired a large tract of land in the vicinity of SW Cloverdale Street and 8th Avenue SW for the purpose of constructing one of them. Despite the purchase of the land in 1916, the first reservoir at 8th Avenue SW and SW Trenton Street was not completed until 1932. Previously, West Seattle had been supplied by an assortment of storage facilities with water pumped to them from the two 1911 Beacon Hill reservoirs. Located at 40th Avenue SW and SW Charleston Street, nine wooden tanks, with a combined capacity of 450,000 gallons, were constructed between 1910 and 1918. Around the same time, an additional 50,000-gallon wooden tank had also been erected for emergency purposes on SW Thistle Street between 37th and 39th Avenues SW. In 1919, this 500,000-gallon steel tank was constructed at 36th Avenue SW and SW Myrtle Street on land acquired by the Water Department in 1912. This was the third steel tank constructed for the Seattle Water system and the only one of the three to remain extant today. In 1911, the original 250,000-gallon Magnolia Bluff Tank was built on a site at 38th Avenue West and West Dravus Street, which greatly increasing the water supply to Fort Lawton and the surrounding area. A new 1,000,000-gallon tank later replaced the original tank in 1947. In 1917, the 500,000-gallon Rainier Beach or South Leo Street Tank was built on a site at Beacon Avenue South and South Leo Street. This tank was retired from service and removed some time after 1965. In 1945, additional land was acquired adjacent to the 1919 tank on SW Myrtle Street at 35th Avenue SW for the purposes of constructing a reservoir and an elevated tank. The 1,000,000-gallon steel tank was completed in 1946 and the 7,000,000-gallon reservoir the following year. The SW Myrtle Street Tank No. 1 is significant for being the oldest steel tank still in existence in the Seattle water system and for its association with the growth and development of the system.
Completed in 1919, this small 500,000-gallon steel tank is situated on a hilltop site along SW Myrtle Street to the west of the larger 1,000,000-gallon tank constructed in 1946. This hill is at the southern end of a large grassy site between 35th and 36th Avenues SW and SW Myrtle and SW Willow Streets. The two tanks share the fenced site with a 7,000,000-gallon reservoir located down the hill to the north and accessible by a set of stairs. The tank is supported by a ring of eight steel posts set at intervals on individual concrete pads around a central supply pipe. Each post is constructed of two vertical I-beams, which are reinforced by a zigzag of small braces on the outer side. Horizontal I-beams connect these posts at the midpoint, while thick steel wires in tension provide diagonal bracing above and below the beams. Five horizontal bands of riveted steel plates comprise the upper portion of the tank below a conical metal roof topped with a finial ball at its peak. Reached by an enclosed ladder on the western side, a fenced external walkway, which is supported by the ring of posts, encircles the base of this upper half. The curved underside the tank is constructed of narrow vertical sections of riveted steel plates, which terminate at the supply pipe in the center. This tank, the smallest as well as oldest the in the city, is well maintained with excellent physical integrity.

Detail for 35th AVE / Parcel ID 2489200285 / Inv # SPU018

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Structure District Status:
Cladding(s): Metal Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Other Roof Material(s): Metal
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Waterworks Plan: Other
Structural System: Steel No. of Stories:
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Science & Engineering
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
McWilliams, Mary. Seattle Water Department History, 1854-1954: Operational Data and Memoranda. Seattle, WA: Water Department, City of Seattle, c1955.
Seattle Water Department. Annual report / City of Seattle, Water Department. Seattle, WA: 1908-1965.

Photo collection for 35th AVE / Parcel ID 2489200285 / Inv # SPU018

Photo taken Nov 13, 2000
App v2.0.1.0