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Summary for 805 S Charles ST S / Parcel ID 6834700175 / Inv # FAC003

Historic Name: DAS Vehicle Maintenance Shop Common Name:
Style: Other - Industrial Neighborhood: International District
Built By: Year Built: 1950
The Seattle Engineering Department constructed this large garage facility in 1949-50 as a new shop for its Maintenance Division. After its completion, this shop performed maintenance and repairs on the equipment in use by all general fund departments. The City Council had appropriated funds for the project in 1945 based on the Engineering Department’s recommendations for a five-year program of construction. Covering an entire city block, the site selected for the new facility was located about a block to the east of their old building on Charles Street. Situated just to the south of what is known today as the Chinatown/International District, the surrounding neighborhood was a mixture of older residential buildings and mostly newer industrial and warehouse buildings. No delays in the project were originally anticipated, however plans and specifications were not completed until early 1949. This delay was most likely due to the continued shortages of manpower and materials in the years immediately following the Second World War. By the end of 1949, construction on the new building was nearly finished with the expectation that it would be ready for occupancy early in 1950. By this time, shop personnel were eager to move into their new facility, as their old building had become extremely overcrowded due to the increasing fleet of equipment for which they were responsible. On April 1, 1950, the Engineering Department moved into their new repair shop with the expectation of greater efficiencies due to the vast improvement in working conditions. The older facility was eventually demolished, and the Engineering Department proceeded to develop a six-block area into their Charles Street Shops complex. Construction of this facility began a city-wide program of improvements to upgrade the Engineering Department’s aging physical plant. Over the next five years, several new facilities were constructed, including the Hillman Garage, Office and Crew Headquarters in the Rainier Valley, the Traffic Engineering Shops in Wallingford, and the West Seattle Shops. This industrial vernacular building is significant for its association with the development of the Seattle Engineering Department.
Completed in 1950, this large reinforced concrete structure occupies an entire city block bounded by South Charles and South Plummer Streets and by 8th and 9th Avenues South. This block is situated within the eastern half of the Charles Street Shop facility. This large complex of buildings covers six city blocks between South Dearborn Street and South Royal Brougham Way and 7th and 9th Avenues South. The flat roof industrial structure has a rectangular plan, which measures 240 feet by 256 feet, and two large rooftop penthouses. The western penthouse covers two-thirds of the roof while the eastern penthouse covers the remaining third. Both are set back from the roof edges on the north and south ends. Multi-paned windows line the northern end of these penthouses. Seven large window openings line the west elevation and contain the original multi-paned industrial steel sash. Three small window openings are set high on the wall at the northern end of the elevation above a large vehicle opening. The north elevation has a large recessed opening towards the western end, which contains a vehicular entrance. A pair of double metal entrance doors is located to the east of this opening, while a single entrance door is located to the west. Variously sized windows line the remaining portions of the north elevation. A flat roof canopy extends across two thirds of the south elevation below two large window openings at the western end, each with five multi-paned sash. Two additional window openings above the canopy have been filled with concrete. A large overhead door is situated near the eastern end, which contains additional door and window openings. The east elevation is lined with the same type of windows present on the west elevation. This utilitarian structure retains good physical integrity.

Detail for 805 S Charles ST S / Parcel ID 6834700175 / Inv # FAC003

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Other
Building Type: Transportation - Road- Related Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Conservation, Politics/Government/Law, Transportation
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Seattle Engineering Department. Annual report / Engineering Department, City of Seattle. Seattle, WA: 1944-1964.

Photo collection for 805 S Charles ST S / Parcel ID 6834700175 / Inv # FAC003

Photo taken Oct 22, 2000
App v2.0.1.0