Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 12705-12707 30th AVE / Parcel ID 3834500065 / Inv # SFD018

Historic Name: King County Fire District No. 5 Station Common Name: Fire Station No. 39/Neighborhood Service Center
Style: Modern Neighborhood: North District
Built By: Year Built: 1949
This fire station, which serves Lake City and northeast Seattle, was constructed in 1949 by King County Fire District No. 5. At the time of its construction, the City of Seattle had yet to annex the unincorporated neighborhood in the northeast corner of the city. Since 1891, the city’s northern limits had been set at 85th Street between 8th Avenue NW and 15th Avenue NE, then considered a great distance from the center of town in Pioneer Square. Twenty years later, the city had annexed Ballard on the west and portions of Ravenna and Laurelhurst on the east. Over the next thirty years, the city’s population shifted further to the north and to the northeast, pushing into the unincorporated areas. This eventually resulted in further annexations by the city of these neighborhoods, including Lake City in 1954. The later 1940s and early 1950s had brought a building boom to Lake City as veterans of the Second World War built new homes, however the area was without many city services. As part of the annexation, the city acquired the facilities of several King County fire districts in the north end. On January 18, 1954, the Seattle Fire Department opened Fire Station No. 39 in the former county owned facility to serve the newly annexed Lake City district. Four years later, the building was extensively remodeled, including the addition of a small office on the southeast corner of the building. At that time, the large office at the north end of the building was occupied by the Civil Defense. The civil defense program, as codified in the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, made the defense of civilians a joint federal-state responsibility. While the planned methods for defense changed over the years, proponents of civil defense continuously portrayed it as a sincere effort to protect the population from the destruction of nuclear war, as an important part of the country’s strategy of deterrence, and as an effective tool in crisis management. During the 1950s, the City of Seattle participated in this program and appropriated money for a special "Civil Defense Fund." Today, this office houses the Department of Neighborhood’s Lake City Neighborhood Service Center. This building is significant for its associations with the development of the Seattle Fire Department and the Lake City neighborhood.
Completed in 1949, this one-story brick building occupies the eastern half of a large lot bounded by 28th and 30th Avenues NE above NE 127th Street. This flat roof building has experienced few exterior alterations since extensive renovations were completed in the late 1950s. The building’s irregular plan measures approximately 96 feet by 73 feet. The alterations of the 1950s reconfigured the interior layout of the building in order to accommodate a new facility for the Civil Defense. Originally, a larger engine bay occupied the entire southern half of the building and contained three separate overhead entrance doors on the principal east elevation. Offices and crew quarters were located in the adjoining northern half of the building. As a result of the renovations, the crew quarters were relocated to the southern third of the engine bay, where a new office wing extended from the original southern door opening. The remaining two door openings were combined into a single large opening with one overhead entrance door. On the south elevation, the original openings were filled in order to accommodate new windows into the crew quarters. Alterations since that time have once again reconfigured the engine bay openings on the principal east elevation. Currently, the engine bay has two higher openings separated by a brick clad pier trimmed with stone. The recessed openings contain modern overhead doors. Multi-paned windows with brick bulkheads line the south and east elevations of the office wing below the flat overhanging roof. The eastern end of the office’s north elevation has additional windows and a glass entrance door situated adjacent to a blank brick wall at the western end. At the center of the building’s south elevation, a stone surround contains four pairs of windows separated by bands of roman brick. The surrounding roman brick contrasts slightly with original roman brick at the edges of the wall, providing evidence of the alterations to the original openings. The west elevation of the crew quarters has a pair of windows at the center in a single opening. The taller roof of the engine bay extends over the wide center portion of the northern half of the building, which is adjoined by lower one-story wings on the east and west. Narrow windows line the upper walls of this section’s east, north and west elevations above lower roofs of the adjoining wings. The office wing projects slightly at the northeast corner of the building and has a recessed entry at the southern end of the east elevation, which contains double glass doors. At the northern end of the elevation, the brick wall frames a band of six multi-paned windows. The wing at the northwest corner of the building has two single entrance doors flanking a window on its north elevation as well as a window, which wraps the northwest corner. There are no other openings on the remainder of the building’s north elevation. The wing has additional windows and an entrance door on the west elevation. Capped by a flat roof, the large hose tower dominates the rear west elevation of the building. The substantial reinforced concrete column at the southeast corner contrasts with the horizontal and vertical siding, which clad the wood framing of the remainder of the structure. On the west elevation of the tower, the pairs of window at the second through fourth story levels have been covered with plywood panels. A single entrance door on the north elevation provides access to the tower from the exterior. Despite the alterations noted above, this well-maintained building retains good physical integrity.

Detail for 12705-12707 30th AVE / Parcel ID 3834500065 / Inv # SFD018

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Stone, Stucco, Vertical - Boards, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Government - Fire Station Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Unknown No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Politics/Government/Law
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
City Council Bills and Ordinances, Seattle City Clerk's Office Legislative Databases (
Seattle Fire Department, Centennial Commemorative, 1889-1989. Portland, OR: Taylor Pub. Co., c1989.

Photo collection for 12705-12707 30th AVE / Parcel ID 3834500065 / Inv # SFD018

Photo taken Nov 03, 2000
App v2.0.1.0