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Summary for Building 632 / Parcel ID 1525039042 / Inv #

Historic Name: Post Chapel Common Name:
Style: Colonial - Georgian Revival Neighborhood: Magnolia
Built By: Year Built: 1942
Fort Lawton is located in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood, within the area that is now Discovery Park. Established as a U.S. Army post in 1898, the fort had been envisioned by local residents and businessmen as a major regimental post, with the hope that it would enhance the local economy and the city’s status in its ongoing competition with Tacoma to the south. Upon selection of the site, local landowners donated more than 700 acres for the fort. By 1900, construction of the first seven permanent, wood-frame buildings on the site was completed. While local aspirations for the fort were slow to be realized, initial construction continued through 1910, at which time there was an assembly of 25 buildings set around an oval-shaped parade ground. While Fort Lawton never became as large or influential as Seattle residents had anticipated, during World War II it was the second-largest port of embarkation on the West Coast. After the 1940s, the use of the fort declined again and many of the temporary and wartime buildings were removed. The Army stayed on until 1972, at which time it transferred ownership of a portion of Fort Lawton to the City of Seattle. A large portion of the post, including its historic core area, with 25 buildings and parade ground, was surplused by the Army and added to Discovery Park in the mid-1970s. The Fort Lawton Historic District was nominated to and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The City of Seattle designated Fort Lawton as a local historic district in 1988. The Fort Lawton Historic District is associated with the development and the history of the City of Seattle; and embodies the characteristics of military interpretations of American architectural styles of the 1890s and early 1900s, based on standard Quartermaster General building designs, as well as its planned site. The period of significance for the Fort Lawton Historic District extends from its inception in 1898 to 1945, based on the development of the post, with additional buildings and site features resulting from the Depression-era public works, and the fort's role in WWII. Building 632 is Fort Lawton's Post Chapel. Located southeast of the parade ground and south of Officers’ Row, it remains the only building of the World War II era within the Historic District. Similar to other buildings, it was constructed from standardized U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps plans (series 700-1800 or 800-550) using a traditional style. Hundreds of similarly-designed chapels were built on Army posts through the country at this time, including four at Fort Lewis and one at Fort Worden. By 1944, there were two additional chapels located within the fort. The “Chapel on the Hill” as the remaining building was identified, was for Protestants, while a similar “Chapel in the Pines” was constructed for Catholics near the east entry gate on Washington Avenue, and the “Chapel by the Sea,” for “Negro” troops was near the north gate on Lawton Road. Use of the chapel continued until 1974, and it was acquired for $67,750 by the City in 1978. The building and a nearby former Sunday school classroom facility (Building 631) were later used for day camp. The Chapel was designated a City of Seattle landmark in 2005 because of its historical association with the fort during World War II.
Building 632 – Post Chapel (Completed 1942) The area encompassing the Post Chapel, currently identified as the Chapel Grove, is an approximately three-acre, oval-shaped portion of the original fort site at the southeast edge of the District. It is enclosed by portions of Washington Avenue and Iowa Way. In addition to the chapel, the area includes Building 631 (ca. 1952 Educational Training Building/Sunday School) and Site 635 (a Korean War memorial). A grove of mature Ponderosa Pine and Birch trees are other features historic of this area. It also contains a recently constructed, curvilinear stone retaining wall. A vernacular structure with a few Georgian Revival stylistic details, the Chapel is set within a landscaped yard, partially enclosed by a recently-constructed stone wall. The wood-framed building has a concrete foundation and sits over a crawlspace, with the main floor approximately 2' above grade. The Chapel is front-gabled with a simple axial plan, measuring approximately 81'-6" by 37'-3". A slightly projecting gabled entry bay on the primary northwest façade has double doors and is reached by concrete steps. A 19'-wide, shed-roofed mechanical room projects approximately 14' from the back (southeast) of the building. A simple, square steeple with a steep hipped roof is located at the northwest end of the roof ridgeline. Exterior walls are clad with painted clapboard and the roof is composition-shingled. Fenestration on the northeast and southwest sides (long sides) of the chapel consists of five large, sixteen-over-sixteen light sash with a smaller six-over-six light sash window at each end. Some glazing is clear and some is goldish, pebbled glass.

Detail for Building 632 / Parcel ID 1525039042 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Religion - Religious facility Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Military
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Lentz, Florence, et al. "Historic American Buildings Survey, Fort Lawton." U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Pacific Northwest Region, 1981.
Kavanaugh, Major Robert E. "Fort Lawton." National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, January 1978.
Mann, Millegan, Morse and Ramsey. "Fort Lawton Buildings: A Survey and Report, Prepared for City of Seattle Parks and Recreation." August 15, 1975.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District. "Context Study of the United States Quartermaster General Standardized Plans 1866-1942." Report prepared for U.S. Army Environmental Ctr, Envir. Compliance Division, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Nov. 1997.
Johnson Partnership. "Fort Lawton 'Chapel on the Hill.'" Seattle Landmark Nomination Report, prepared for Seattle Dept. of Parks and Recreation, September 2004.

Photo collection for Building 632 / Parcel ID 1525039042 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 15, 2007

Photo taken Mar 15, 2007
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