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Summary for 419 Occidental AVE / Parcel ID 5247800280 / Inv #

Historic Name: Manufacturers Building/ Manufacturers Exchange Building/ Stewart and Holmes/ McKesson & Robbins Building Common Name: F. X. McRory Building/ McKesson and Robbins Building
Style: Commercial - Chicago School Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1906
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This building was designed by architects Saunders and Lawton and completed in 1906 and has had many names. Originally known as the Manufacturers Building, then as the Manufacturers Exchange Building (by 1912), it is now known by the name of the restaurant that is houses on its ground floor, F.X. McRory’s. A.B. Stewart and H. E. Holmes, druggists, had started their first business in Seattle in 1888 at the foot of Cherry Street and after the Fire of 1889, established a wholesale in addition to a retail drug business. From 1919 to 1977, they owned and occupied the building, but were taken over by McKesson and Robbins, Inc., a related company, who in turn, gave yet another name to the building, the McKesson and Robbins Building. Along with a number of other buildings in its vicinity, the F.X. McRory Building was erected during the time of economic and industrial growth in the heart of Seattle between 1900 and 1910. This period produced a second wave of building after the Fire of 1889 destroyed most of the area. This building, as well as the Crane Building and the former Chapin Building, the last two now part of Court in the Square and various manufacturing buildings in the blocks to the west of them, were close to a spur of the Great Northern Railroad line, which lay alongside and under Fourth Avenue. The general location of these buildings was desirable, because of the proximity of the railroad line and of Elliott Bay. This building is a handsome, but typical example of many of the well-designed warehouse buildings in the same neighborhood, although it has some distinguishing characteristics, such as the wide segmental arches that top the bays. It was also designed by a notable Seattle architecture firm, responsible for many warehouse buildings in Pioneer Square. The Saunders and Lawton partnership was formed in 1898 by Charles Saunders and his former draftsman, George Lawton. Saunders and Lawton also designed the Norton Building of 1904, The Goldsmith/ Crane Building of 1907, the Westland Building of 1907and somewhat later, the Polson Building of 1910. Saunders and Lawton were also supervising architects on the construction of Eames and Young’s Beaux Arts Alaska Building of 1904. For information on Charles Saunders earlier career, please see the Cultural Data section for the Crane/ Goldsmith Building (Field No. 171) or the Context Statement. The contractor for the building was James Black Masonry and Contracting Company, Seattle and St. Louis. The company’s first substantial contract in Seattle was the Alaska Building, with which Saunders and Lawton were also involved. This building was considered James Black Masonry and Contracting Company’s third major project in Seattle.
419 Occidental Avenue South is nearly square in plan, 110 feet by 111 feet, and has a flat roof with parapet. It has solid brick exterior masonry walls with an interior structure of heavy timber and cast iron. It has a basement in concrete with concrete foundations walls that sit on pile caissons. The building’s primary facades are to the east, on Occidental Avenue South and to the south, on King Street. It is a six story building, with new cladding mainly of wood at the ground level, topped by a generous stone belt-course and brick cladding for the five floors above. Above the ground level, the exterior appears to be intact up to the cornice level. The entry to the upper floors of the building is situated at the north end of the east elevation. It has a large arched masonry opening with a glazed area framed in wood. On the primary facades, the five upper floor elevations are each divided into six bays, framed by continuous projecting piers. Each bay ends at the sixth level in a wide brick segmental arch. Windows and intervening spandrels are inset between piers and the reveals of the segmental arches above. Each segmental arch also has an ornamental keystone at its center in stone. Inset circular medallions punctuate spaces between the segmental arches. Window openings are typically filled with a trio of double-hung windows. Above the sixth floor, the wall corbels out toward a stone belt course. This corbel table is broken up into smaller expanses, so that they appear like crenellations. Above the belt-course, there is now a brick parapet with simple coping, which resembles the stone used elsewhere on the facades. The corbel table originally supported a cornice.

Detail for 419 Occidental AVE / Parcel ID 5247800280 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Metal, Stone - Ashlar/cut, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: six
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry, Transportation
Changes to Windows: Intact
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Ochsner, Jeffrey and Dennis Andersen. Distant Corner: Seattle Architects and The Legacy of H. H. Richardson. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2004.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
Baist, William. Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Seattle, Wash. Philadelphia: W. G. Baist, 1905, 1908, 1912 and 1928.
The Conservation Company (Arthur Skolnik). “ 419 Occidental Avenue South, Historic Preservation Certification, Parts 1 and 2,” 1978. Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, State of Washington, Olympia, Washington, Microfiche File.

Photo collection for 419 Occidental AVE / Parcel ID 5247800280 / Inv #

Photo taken Jun 13, 2004
App v2.0.1.0