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Summary for 77 Yesler WAY / Parcel ID 5247800005 / Inv #

Historic Name: Yesler Hotel Common Name: Pioneer Square Hotel
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1914
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
Albert Wickersham, also the architect of the masterful Maynard Building of 1892, was the architect of this building, formerly known as the Yesler Hotel. It was completed in 1914 and was a “flophouse” by the 1930s. It was restored again in the mid-1990s to become the Pioneer Square Hotel, currently the only hotel in the Pioneer Square Historic District. The building was erected on the location of the tidal flats, an area which began to be reclaimed in the 1890s and where a significant industrial and commercial area was created, beginning in the 1900s. This building was part of the development of the area, after the economic and industrial upturn caused first by the Klondike gold rush, but then again with the increased industrialization of the area, as World War I approached. The building is located across the street from the Travelers’ Hotel, an even simpler building from 1913 and also designed by Wickersham. It is not far from a number of warehouse and industrial buildings erected during the same period, such as the Heffernan Engine Works Building of 1918. The design of the elevation, although from 1914, recalls elements of some of the older Victorian buildings in the area, such as the St. Charles Hotel or Our Home Hotel. Albert Wickersham arrived in Seattle in 1889 as a representative of A. B. Jennings, a New York architect. He was the Supervising Architect on the initial phases of the Denny Hotel in Seattle, later demolished thanks to the Denny Regrade. He had an independent practice by 1893. Despite the work on the Maynard Building, he appears to have received few commissions outside of this building and Seattle Hardware that allowed him to show off his full design capabilities. (The Seattle Hardware Building is also a located in the Pioneer Square Historic District at 83 King Street - See Field Entry 50). This building, very different from the Maynard Building and the Seattle Hardware Building, not only cleverly mimics earlier buildings in the district, but also manages to convey visual interest, with similar and simple repeated elements.
The former Yesler Hotel is rectangular in plan and four stories in height. The only street facing elevation is the main façade on Yesler Way. The building is clad in brick and has a projecting classical cornice. The ground floor level has several individual storefronts and an entry to the building. The design of the upper level consists of a series of repeated rectangular window openings, some big and others small. In fact, they can be seen as three bays and the rhythm of the façade, despite the repetition of similar window openings, is lively. Each bay starts with a smaller rectangular window, which is followed by five full-size window openings and then ends with a smaller window; then the pattern begins again with a small window followed by five full-size window and ends with a smaller window; ending with the third set of window openings. Windows are double-hung. The only approximation to ornament is the raised brick which occurs over the lintels and at the top of window jambs. Sills are of brick. Also of interest are the original balconies, made of flat iron pieces.

Detail for 77 Yesler WAY / Parcel ID 5247800005 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Block
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Hotel Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry, Social Movements & Organizations
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Ochsner, Jeffrey and Dennis Andersen. Distant Corner: Seattle Architects and The Legacy of H. H. Richardson. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2004.
Andrews, Mildred et al. Pioneer Square: Seattle's Oldest Neighborhood. Manuscript. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, forthcoming 2005.
Cliver, E. Blaine, Chief Appeals Officer,Cultural Resources, Letter to Bart Seidler, n.d., stamped received May 1996.

Photo collection for 77 Yesler WAY / Parcel ID 5247800005 / Inv #

Photo taken Jun 08, 2004
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