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Summary for 600 W Olympic PL W / Parcel ID 387990-1925 / Inv #

Historic Name: Skyline House Common Name: Skyline House
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1956
 
Significance
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.
Skyline House set new standards for height and design when it was built on Queen Anne hill's south slope in 1956. It is located across from Kinnear Park, in an area that had had many apartment buildings since early in the century. Skyline House was owned and built designed by Ellsworth Lovell, owner of the Lovell Construction Company. Its striking modernistic appearance with unornamented concrete walls and a center wing cantilevered above the entry drive contrasted with nearby buildings. Articles of the time noted its extra-large picture windows, large lanai decks, spectacular views and proximity to downtown. Its treatment of the main entry and garage illustrated the importance of the automobile, with the front of the building cantilevered above the driveway and garage entry. It has 85 units. The building won an AIA Seattle Honor Award in 1956. This is one of the earlier works of the partnership of Durham, Anderson & Freed (1954-1980). Robert L. Durham, a Seattle native, received his degree in architecture from the University of Washington in 1936 and began work as a draftsman for B. Dudley Stuart, a noted designer of apartment buidlings in the 1920s. After a period of work as a cost engineer for the Federal Housing Authority, he re-joined Stuart in the partnership Stuart & Durham, doing wartime housing and commercial structures. After Stuart's retirement in 1954, the partnership was reorganized as Durham, Anderson & Freed, taking on major projects such as schools, banks, churches and buildings for the University of Washington and Evergreen State College. Their work included at least one other multifamily project, the Horizon House Retirement Home (1971). They also did master plans for Evergreen State College and U.S. Naval Base Bangor. Durham was an active an honored AIA member, serving a term as national president and receiving the AIA Kemper Award and AIA Seattle Medal.
 
Appearance
This 8-story building is of reinforced concrete construction with an asymmetrical T-shaped plan. It consists of a large rectangular volume along the rear with a front projecting wing. One of the most notable features for the time was the extensive use of balconies. The entire fa├žade of the front wing has two large balconies on each floor, enframed by the concrete structure to emphasize the verticality of this prominent element. The main section of the building to the rear has smaller balconies. The front wing sits on angled concrete columns above the driveway entering the underground garage. This also provides a covered drop-off entry or modern porte cochere to the glass entry pavilion. Windows throughout are sliding aluminum sash, with sliding doors opening to the balconies.

Detail for 600 W Olympic PL W / Parcel ID 387990-1925 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Eaves Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Domestic - Multiple Family Plan: T-Shape
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: seven
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Integrity
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 600 W Olympic PL W / Parcel ID 387990-1925 / Inv #


Photo taken Jun 27, 2006

Photo taken Jun 27, 2006
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