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Summary for 4414 Woodland Park AVE / Parcel ID 7821200401 / Inv #

Historic Name: Western Washington Corporation of Seventh Day Adventists Common Name: American Heart Association
Style: Modern - International Style, Modern - Miesian Neighborhood: Wallingford
Built By: Year Built: 1956
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This office building was erected in 1955-56. It was built for the Western Washington Corporation of Seventh Day Adventists, and designed by Robert J. Burman (3708 86th Avenue S. E., Mercer Island, Washington). The builder is not identified in the permit history maintained by the City. The new structure replaced existing residences built in 1902, 1909 and 1914. A parking lot and loading dock approach are located south and east of the building. Lee Mitchell was hired to install sun control projections for the Washington Corporation of Seventh Day Adventists in 1967. In 1978 or 1979, the American Heart Association acquired the structure after determining that conversion to Heart Association offices would not constitute a change of use at the site (the religious offices of the Seventh Day Adventists were only permitted as a conditional use in this part of the Wallingford neighborhood, which was zoned primarily for multi-family housing when the structure was permitted). A freight elevator was added to the structure in 1990-91. The Heart Association apparently had trouble with overheating, despite the installation of the sun control devices noted above, and the Association hired McKinistry Company to install air conditioning units in 1994. This structure had been unoccupied for some time when it was surveyed in 2004 but appears to have remained in fairly good condition. This structure is significant as the most clearly Miesian style structure in the Wallingford neighborhood and exemplifies many of the best and worst characteristics of the style. The structural system is clearly expressed and the materials are generally employed in a manner that makes the most of their inherent qualities and capabilities. The building’s delicate character may have reduced the impact of the structure on the surrounding single family neighborhood when the structure was built. However, its location at a corner on Woodland Park Avenue (an exceptionally wide street that once served as an important street car route), at a point where there is a clear shift or jog in the street grid, gives it a commanding presence despite the recent addition of several large apartment structures to the area. Folke Nyberg and Victor Steinbrueck, identified this building as a structure of significance for the entire city that should be considered for landmark designation in "Wallingford: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources."
 
Appearance
This is a two story, structural steel and concrete office building on a concrete foundation over a full basement. The slender profile of the projecting horizontal elements, the regular structural bays delineated by evenly spaced and clearly expressed structural steel columns, the banded mirrored glass windows and concrete panel spandrels, the asymmetry of the facades despite the regular structural module, the “natural" expression of materiality, the use of supposedly “off-the-shelf” components, the informality of the “L” shaped footprint, and the integration of landscape components into the design of the building are all characteristics of the Miesian version of International Style architecture employed by American proponents of the Modern Movement. The southern leg of the “L” is five bays long and three bays wide. The bays are defined by structural steel columns that appear to be left exposed at the skin of the building and stretch from the top of the concrete foundation to the base of the roof overhang. At the southwest and southeast corners of the structure, it is apparent that the columns are steel wide-flange sections. At each floor level, the upper three-fifths of each bay is clad with mirrored glass divided into three vertically oriented rectangular panels. Originally an operating sash was located at the base of the central panel of each three-panel group; however, several of these operating sash have now been replaced with wall mounted air conditioning units. The lower two-fifths of each bay is clad with what appears to be a textured cast concrete spandrel or stucco clad, framed spandrel. The basement windows, at the west and south elevations of the southern leg, follow the general pattern of the windows at the upper two floors, but the glazed panels of each bay spans from the top of the foundation to the bottom of the first floor spandrels. The glass at basement level is figured and not mirrored. Grade has been adjusted at the west wall to allow light to reach the windows although the sidewalk rises several feet above the top of the foundation wall at this elevation Slender horizontal planar elements extend a few feet from the face of the structure at the top of the first and second story windows. Although the element near the top of the building initially appears to be an extension of the roof plane, it seems instead that these are probably added elements intended to shade the windows and reduce solar heating. A metal exterior stairway, probably a required second exit, is constructed of standard steel sections and applied to the central bay of the southern leg’s east façade. The southern leg of the building abuts a rectangular structure at the north end of the site. This structure is also three bays wide and five bays long, although the long side of this northern wing extends east and west rather than north and south. The abutting bay at the south leg of the structure is the building’s main entry (at the first floor level, the design of the northernmost bays of the southern leg at both the west and the east elevations, are modified to provide for an entry). At the southwest corner of the northern wing, a stair tower is flanked and framed by two brick walls and extends toward the street forming a protected space in front of the main entry. The west façade of the stair tower is almost entirely glazed and metal mullions divided the glass in a large-scale symmetrical Mondrian-like pattern. The stair tower itself is less wide than one of the structural bays. Rather than place a partial bay immediately north of the stair tower, the designer has shifted the next two structural bays (at the west end of the northern wing) to the south. As a result, a steel column does not occur at the northwest corner of the building, but is instead set in a few feet to the south. The designer has cleverly utilized this misalignment to provide a notch for another entry at the main level and provide an excuse for a dramatic glass corner at the upper level. Across the rest of the north elevation, the column line returns to the skin of the building and the articulation of the bays follows the pattern established at the facades of the south wing. The east end of the northern wing is a blank masonry wall. The south wall of the northern wing consists of two bays articulated in a manner similar the north wall except that a loading dock and large overhead door have been worked into the façade at the first floor level Exterior masonry walls and landscaping are integrated into the building scheme at the two entries to architecturally mark them and direct visitors to the interior The added sun control devices and relatively new air conditioning units are discussed above. No other significant modifications are apparent

Detail for 4414 Woodland Park AVE / Parcel ID 7821200401 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Glass, Metal Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Organizational Plan: L-Shape
Structural System: Steel No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
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.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.

Photo collection for 4414 Woodland Park AVE / Parcel ID 7821200401 / Inv #


Photo taken Mar 10, 2004
App v2.0.1.0