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Summary for 2931 S Mt. Baker BLVD S / Parcel ID 0003600035 / Inv # SFD014

Historic Name: Fire Station No. 30 Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: North Rainier Valley
Built By: Year Built: 1949
Completed in 1949, this modern brick veneer fire station was one of the first to be built in Seattle after a fifteen-year construction hiatus. The combination of financial difficulties due to the economic depression of the 1930s and shortages of labor and materials brought on by the Second World War halted construction of any new fire stations during this period. By the later 1940s, many of the department’s older wood frame fire stations were very much in need of replacement. The original Fire Station No. 30 had been built in 1914 at the northeast corner of Hunter Boulevard South and South Spokane Street. Seattle City Architect Daniel R. Huntington most likely designed this large two-story wood frame fire station, built in the Dutch Colonial Revival Style. Located in the Mount Baker neighborhood, this fire station served a large area at the northern end of the Rainier Valley. In 1907, the same year the city annexed much of the Rainier Valley, the Hunter Improvement Company began selling lots in its new Mount Baker Park development. In order to enhance the visual appeal of the neighborhood, the Olmsted Brothers landscape firm had been hired to design the tract’s curvilinear streets and park-like boulevards, which utilized the natural contours of the land. The developers envisioned an exclusive residential area, and applied restrictive covenants to that end, establishing minimum prices to discourage cheap construction and setting restrictions on setbacks and style that were considered revolutionary at the time. As a result, Mount Baker became one of Seattle’s earliest planned residential communities. The tract also included a large, linear parcel of land dedicated forever for park purposes, which was developed into Mount Baker Park. With its attractive amenities and restrictive covenants, the neighborhood quickly developed into a popular and exclusive neighborhood of single family residences. The original Fire Station No. 30 was constructed to serve the new residential district as well as the northern end of the Rainier Valley. When the fire department decided to replace the old wood frame station, they chose a site located a few long blocks to the north and several blocks to the west. The new site on South Mount Baker Boulevard at 30th Avenue South was situated just to the west of Franklin High School and within a block of Rainier Avenue South. Architect Fred B. Stephen prepared a Modern design for the new building, one of the first to be built in this mode. Frederick Bennett Stephen was the son of the prominent Seattle Architect James Stephen, best known for his work as the primary architect for the Seattle School District from 1899 to 1909. In 1908, Fred Stephen entered into partnership with his father after earning an architectural degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Stephen & Stephen designed school buildings throughout Washington as well as numerous commercial and residential buildings. In 1917, William G. Brust, a former classmate of Fred Stephen, joined the partnership, which continued for another ten years. After James Stephen retired in 1928, his son pursued an independent practice. During the 1950s, Fred Stephen designed all six of the new fire stations built in Seattle. This fire station is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of the Seattle Fire Department and the Mount Baker neighborhood.
Completed in 1949, this one-story flat roof structure occupies a small parcel on the south side of South Mount Baker Boulevard just east of Rainier Avenue South and west of Franklin High School, which is situated on a rise to the east. Featuring a roman brick exterior, this building’s appearance is similar to the other fire stations built during the late 1940s and the 1950s from designs by Architect Fred B. Stephen. The building is comprised of three sections, creating a rectangular footprint, measuring 46 feet by 70 feet. A small wing extends from the northern end of the west elevation and measures 22 feet by 16 feet. A taller engine bay occupies the northeast corner of the building. A one-story office adjoins the engine bay and also occupies the wing at the northwest corner of the building. The remaining one-story L-shaped portion, which wraps around the southwest corner, contains crew quarters with a basement level accessible by a stairwell on the west elevation. On the principal north elevation, the engine bay’s brick side walls flank a pair of overhead entrance doors recessed within a concrete surround and separated by a concrete pier. The office block at the center has a small recessed area, which contains two full-length windows and a glass entrance door. A single band of three windows is the only opening within the brick clad western end of the elevation. The west elevation of the office wing has a single window opening at the center. The south and west walls at the rear of the building are lined with a series of windows set individually and in pairs at the first story level. The west elevation also has a flat roof covering the basement level entrance. The east elevation of the engine bay has three tall narrow window openings with multi-paned sash. Well maintained, this building retains excellent physical integrity.

Detail for 2931 S Mt. Baker BLVD S / Parcel ID 0003600035 / Inv # SFD014

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Government - Fire Station Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Unknown No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Politics/Government/Law
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Plan: 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.
Seattle Fire Department, Centennial Commemorative, 1889-1989. Portland, OR: Taylor Pub. Co., c1989.

Photo collection for 2931 S Mt. Baker BLVD S / Parcel ID 0003600035 / Inv # SFD014

Photo taken Nov 09, 2000
App v2.0.1.0