Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 420 Pontius AVE / Parcel ID 6849200065 / Inv #

Historic Name: 428 Pontius Avenue N. Common Name: Outdoor Emporium
Style: Modern, Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Cascade
Built By: Year Built: 1919 +1955
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).
The architectural interest of 420 Pontius North is its industrial nature, the obvious changes and additions made to an early 1919 building over time and the industrial sash windows, which are a continuous thread in the design of the street facing elevations. Its 1954-55 addition was made by the firm of Lamont and Fey, a successor firm to Loveless, Fey and Lamont, whose most well-known partner was Arthur Loveless. As an associate and then partner of Loveless, beginning in the 1930s, Daniel Fey was responsible for many well-known Seattle buildings, including the Studio Building, often called the Loveless Building, of 1930-33, the Delta Gamma Sorority House (1936-37) and the Arboretum Gatehouse (1937). Lamont joined the Loveless and Fey office in 1940 and is generally credited with the design of the Colman Pool for the prominent developer, Lawrence Colman, a project that showed the firm’s tendencies toward Colonial detailing. By the 1950s, Lamont and Fey worked on remodels and additions to several industrial buildings around the Cascade neighborhood. The street side envelope created for the original 1919 building seems to be the most complete example of this kind of work. It is a utilitarian building that uses an industrial idiom, based on the repeated use of industrial sash windows, and with some skill. The original building was constructed in 1919. Kroll Maps from 1920 and 1928 indicate that it was a garage building for the adjacent Supply Laundry Building (1908 and after), which later became the New Richmond Laundry, Plant 2, to the east (1265 Republican St/ 433 Yale Ave. N.). By at least the 1950s and probably a decade before, 420 Pontius Ave. N. itself was a laundry and owned by the New Richmond Laundry. It was apparently seen as additional but separate space for the New Richmond Laundry, Plant 2 and there was a basement tunnel between the two buildings. In 1954-55, the Lamont and Fey building addition was made and street facing exterior walls were rebuilt. In 1961, Lamont & Fey, now named Nickum Lamont and Fey, Industrial Engineers, added a monitor roof to the older portion of the building. A dry cleaning room was also located on the interior of the building at the southeast corner. In 1981, a new entrance, presumably the one cut into the Pontius street elevation, was added. In 1981, the building’s use was also established, according to City of Seattle records, as a wholesale sales office and warehouse. As of this writing, the “Outdoor Emporium,” a wholesale warehouse for hiking and fishing equipment, is the current tenant. They are scheduled to leave in May 2004. The building was owned by New Richmond Supply until the year 2000.
This is an industrial building constructed in two parts: an original two story building, square in plan, 80’ by 80’ and constructed on the southeast portion of the lot. An addition, L shaped in plan, about 40 feet wide, was made on two sides, and faces west on Pontius Avenue N and north along Republican Street. On Republican Street, the building is at first two stories, and then steps down toward Pontius Avenue North. The entire plan of the building forms a square that is 120’ feet on each side. Both portions of the building appear to have flat roofs with parapets, although there is also a monitor roof in the older portion of the building and there is evidence from the inside of the older structure that the roof may not be entirely flat. The older two story building had brick walls, still visible from the alley side on the south and east elevations and on the interior of the building. It also has a heavy timber interior structure. From the interior, the former exterior brick north and west walls of the older building show signs of the original arched window openings. These openings have been filled in. The exterior walls of the newer portion of the building have concrete block masonry walls, painted white. The main elevations face Republican Street and Pontius Avenue N. Both elevations are distinguished by wide rectangular window openings, with industrial sash. The Republican Street elevation does not have a very regular composition. It is composed on the second level of two thinner windows, 2 panes wide and 3 panes deep, flanking three wide rectangular windows. Each of these wide upper windows are subdivided into three portions: two portions, two panes wide and three panes deep, flank a central portion, which is four panes wide and of the same depth. The ground floor level of the elevation has another small window, similar to and directly below the one above, a door entry, then a garage door entry, followed by a wide window below the third top large window, counting from the east. This lower wide window type is also used throughout the Pontius Avenue façade. It is similar to the previously described window, but is four panes in depth. The lower part of the Republican Street elevation has a smaller window, a door opening and then another typical wide industrial sash window. The main entry elevation on Pontius Avenue North has four wide windows with industrial sash, an entry surrounded by industrial sash window and leading to the recessed front door, and finally another typical wide window. The south elevation shows the transition from concrete block to the brick masonry wall of the older building. The east elevation facing the alley also shows a transition from the old masonry to the newer and higher concrete block wall to the north. There is still evidence of a wide door opening with a segmental arch in the older portion of the east elevation, as well as several wide window openings, filled in with concrete block.

Detail for 420 Pontius AVE / Parcel ID 6849200065 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Concrete - Block Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet, Monitor Roof Material(s): Other
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Square
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Manufacturing/Industry
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.

Photo collection for 420 Pontius AVE / Parcel ID 6849200065 / Inv #

Photo taken

Photo taken Oct 23, 2003
App v2.0.1.0