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Summary for 83 Columbia ST / Parcel ID 7666202580 / Inv #

Historic Name: Journal Building Common Name: Journal of Commerce Building/ Daily Journal Building
Style: Commercial - Chicago School Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1898
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The building bears a plaque that says that it was erected in 1898, but according to the King County Record Assessor’s record cards, the Daily Journal of Commerce Building was completed in 1914. While the Tax Assessor Records, at least as they relate to Pioneer Square, seem occasionally inaccurate, according to oral tradition at the Daily Journal of Commerce, in fact, the first floor was completed in 1898, while upper floors were added later at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, possibly around 1914. City of Seattle directories, however, suggest that the Daily Bulletin, the Daily Journal of Commerce’s predecessor, only definitely became associated with the building in 1918 ( At that time, according to advertisements, the Daily Bulletin had been in existence for 26 years). By 1921, the paper now called the Daily Journal of Commerce had headquarters in the building, as did other newspapers such as a weekly, called the American. In any case, the building was built on the tidal flats, an area which began to be reclaimed in the 1890s and where a significant industrial and commercial area was created, beginning in the 1900s. This building was part of the development of the area, after the economic and industrial upturn caused first by the Klondike gold rush, and is again associated with the increased industrialization of the area, as World War I approached. The building is architecturally distinguished and appears to be intact at the upper floors, with perhaps some changes to the wooden doors and street frontage at the ground level over the years.
The Journal Building at 83 Columbia Street is a four story masonry building with parapet. The main, north elevation faces Columbia Street, while the west elevation faces Western Avenue and the east elevation Post Alley. The ground floor story is clad with rusticated stone cut in large blocks and the three upper floors are clad in brick. On these floors, the lintels over window openings are marked by stretcher bricks sets vertically. The ground floor openings -storefront and doorways - are trabeated and have clerestory windows. Storefront and door frames and cladding are of wood. Openings at the ground level are generally of the same overall width as the sets of windows on the floors above, except at the second bay of the north elevation, (counting from the east), which instead has two doorways. The main doorway, located on the north elevation, is gently emphasized at the clerestory level by a curved element which flairs out at the top of each of the stone jambs. The other doorway, to the east of the main doorway, is more utilitarian and detailed in a manner similar to the other wood elements of the storefront. On the ground floor level, another interesting detail is that the large central stone blocks of the lintels are often cut in the shape of keystones. On the upper floors, all the windows are double-hung and arranged in triple or double sets. The north elevation is divided into 5 bays, with five sets of triple double-hung windows; the west elevation has four sets of triple windows and then two sets of double windows. The east elevation has 5 sets of double windows and then one triple set of windows near the northeast corner of the building. Just below the parapet, the west, north and a portion of the east elevations are marked by a generous overhanging metal cornice with well-sized dentils.

Detail for 83 Columbia ST / Parcel ID 7666202580 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Metal, Stone - Ashlar/cut Foundation(s): Stone
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Communications, Science & Engineering, Transportation
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Interior: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
King County Tax Assessor Rolls (1892-1910), Washington State Archives
Brown, Phil, Owner,Daily Journal of Commerce. Telephone Interview by Karin Link, 2 September 2004.

Photo collection for 83 Columbia ST / Parcel ID 7666202580 / Inv #

Photo taken Nov 27, 2004

Photo taken May 24, 2004
App v2.0.1.0