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Summary for 317 1st AVE / Parcel ID 2285430000 / Inv #

Historic Name: Squires Building Common Name: Squire Building
Style: Commercial - Chicago School, Italian - Italian Renaissance Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1900
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The Squire Building or Squires Building was designed by Charles Bebb in 1900. The building was commissioned by Samuel E. Squires, who had become rich during the Klondike Gold Rush and was originally known as the Squires Building. Over the years, the “s” was dropped and the building been known as the “Squire Building.” Not only is this building associated directly with the area’s economic and physical growth as a result of the Klondike Gold Rush, but it is interesting in terms of Charles Bebb’s career. It dates from Bebb’s early practice before the Bebb and Mendel partnership was formed in 1901. The building appears to be virtually intact. Its architectural interest derives in part from the original use of metal panels and the detailing of the loggia at the top of the façade, in addition to the general proportions of its elements. It is an important contributing building. Charles Bebb, later one of Seattle’s pre-eminent architects, was born in England in 1856 and educated in London and at a preparatory school in Switzerland before attending the University of Lausanne. He also studied engineering at the School of Mines in London. He then worked as a railroad engineer in South Africa. After returning to England, he departed for the United States. By 1888, he had been hired by Adler and Sullivan in Chicago as the chief superintendent architect on the building of the Auditorium Building. In 1890, he was sent by Adler and Sullivan to superintend the building of the Seattle Opera House. The project was never built and later in 1890, Bebb, still in the employ of Adler and Sullivan, returned to Chicago. He came back to Seattle in September 1893 and became a designer for the local Denny Clay Company. His work there is credited with making the Denny Clay Company a leading producer of terra cotta on the West Coast. By 1898, he had an independent architectural practice and by 1901, a partnership with Louis Leonard Mendel, originally a native of Mayen, Germany. The firm of Bebb and Mendel produced several Seattle architectural gems, including the Hoge Building in downtown Seattle, just outside Pioneer Square and the Schwabacher Hardware Company Building, in the district and at the southwest corner of First Avenue South and Jackson Street, not far from the Squire Building. It also produced the Washington State Pavilion at the Seattle Alaska Yukon Exposition in 1908 (no longer standing). After the Bebb and Mendel Partnership dissolved, Bebb formed a successful partnership with Carl Gould, producing more Seattle gems, such as the Times Square Building in downtown Seattle and Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington. Over the years, the building has come to be known as the Squire Building, possibly as a result of a confusion of Samuel E. Squires with the former Governor of Washington State, Watson Squire (who was one of the partners responsible for the Squire Latimer Building, now Grand Central on the Park). In fact, there is no relation of Samuel E. Squires to Watson Squire; however the Squire name has stuck to the building. In 1984, the Squire (Squires) Building and the neighboring Smith Building were rehabilitated as a one property, a condominium complex.
Rectangular in plan and mainly clad in light gray and buff colored brick with a fair amount of ornamental metal trim, this is a four story building with parapet. There is also a basement level, which is not visible from the exterior. The only street facing elevation is on First Avenue South. It has a high clerestoried storefront level, surmounted by a projecting metal band ornamented by a repeated pattern of thin, curving and crossed bands, which define longer pointed ellipse shapes. The second and third levels have one slightly recessed bay, with two horizontal sets of paired windows per floor. The windows are separated by what appear to be ornamental metal pilasters. The top level has a projecting metal band, rectangular in cross-section, surmounted by a loggia-like arrangement in stone: four windows separated by circular stone columns, with simple Doric capitals, and Doric piers at the ends. A spiritedly ornamented band and cornice top the stone lintel of the loggia: There are fairly large pointed ellipse shapes, interlaced with circular shapes, for instance, on the deep metal band just above the top windows. The projecting loggia cornice, below the current coping of the façade, is ornamented with smaller irregular polygonal shapes, which are variations on squares and rectangles, but also include curves.

Detail for 317 1st AVE / Parcel ID 2285430000 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Metal, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Hotel Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: five
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Woodbridge, Sally and Roger Montgomery. A Guide to Architecture in Washington State. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1980.
Lange, Greg and Tim O’Brian, “Virtual Pioneer Square,” unpublished manuscript, 27 October 1996.
Crowley, Walt. National Trust Guide: Seattle. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.
"The Smith Building, Historic Preservation Certification, Part 1," OAHP, State of Washington, Olympia, Washington, Microfiche File.

Photo collection for 317 1st AVE / Parcel ID 2285430000 / Inv #

Photo taken Nov 27, 2004
App v2.0.1.0