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Summary for 1300 N 97th ST N / Parcel ID 4310701070 / Inv # SCL010

Historic Name: North Service Center Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Aurora-Licton
Built By: Year Built: 1958
Construction of the North Service Center occurred over a nearly two-year period between 1956 and 1958 from the initial site preparations to the final completion. Occupying a 6.7-acre site, the new plant included extensive shop, garage, warehouse, and pole-storage facilities, which supplemented similar facilities at City Light’s main Warehouse and Shops on Fourth Avenue South at South Spokane Street. In addition, the facility included headquarters space for overhead construction crews, station constructor crews, range servicemen and metermen working in the north half of the service area as well as customer service operations. When first completed, nearly 200 employees worked in or out of the center, which also featured a 240-person capacity auditorium and an adjacent employee lunchroom. In the thirty years since the construction of the original south end facility in 1924, the City’s population center had shifted further north, especially after extensive annexations north to 145th Street between 1950 and 1954. During that period, the number of customers and the amount of supplies and equipment required for meeting their needs had also increased significantly. The new facility provided needed additional service headquarters and facilitated City Light operations in the rapidly growing northern part of the service area. The architects, Young, Richardson and Carleton, made efforts to design the center in keeping with the adjacent area in consideration of its effect on the surrounding community. City Light also made improvements to the adjacent streets by grading, installing water mains, and constructing sidewalks. The architecture firm of Young, Richardson and Carleton was a continuation of the successor firm to the Schack, Young and Myers partnership (1920-1929), one of Seattle’s most successful design firms of the 1920s. After David J. Myers departure in 1929, Arrigo M. Young and James H. Schack continued the practice until Schack’s untimely death in 1933. Originally educated as a structural engineer, Young later obtained an architectural license and practiced architecture and engineering independently before forming a partnership with Stephen H. Richardson in 1941. The firm added two new partners in 1950, John S. Detlie and William H. Carleton, and continued to carry Young’s name after his death in 1954. Although Detlie left the firm in 1956 while plans were being prepared for this facility, the partnership continued until 1967 when it became known as The Richardson Associates, and then simply TRA. As Young & Richardson, the firm had designed the new headquarters for the Seattle Parks Department (1948-49) in Denny Park. During the 1950s, the firm completed a number of large-scale projects, which demonstrated their expertise in designing for public and institutional clients. These included Terry Hall/Lander Hall for the University of Washington (1950-57) and Group Health Cooperative Hospital (1958-60). With this project, the architects skillfully integrated a very large public utility office and warehouse facility into a residential neighborhood through the use of brick cladding and a matching brick wall surrounding the yard, which helped to unify the appearance of the site. This architecturally distinctive complex is significant as an example of the work of a prominent local firm and for its association with the growth and development of City Light, especially in the era following the Second World War.
Completed in 1958 after two years of planning and construction, this complex extends along two sides of a large site bounded by North 97th and North 100th Streets and Stone and Ashworth Avenues North. Loading, outdoor storage, and off-street surface parking areas occupy the remainder of the nearly seven acre site. Seattle City Light occupies additional buildings and parking lots located on the two blocks west of Stone Avenue North. The steel frame structure has a masonry fill with a variegated buff and red brick veneer on the two sides adjacent to the street. This brick matches the wall enclosing the northern and eastern margins of the site. The use of an L-plan for the one and two-story flat roof building was intended to permit future expansion into a U-shaped structure with the least possible interruption of work schedules. The longer one-story wing along Stone Avenue North houses the warehouse, which features a loading dock extending the length of its east elevation. A high cantilevered canopy covers the truck bays of the loading dock. Metal panels line the upper wall of the west elevation above the brick veneer. Seven sets of four multi-paned metal sash windows are set at intervals within this band of panels. Near the southern end of this elevation, a new set of stairs and a wheelchair accessible ramp lead up to a new entrance. The connected structures of the shorter wing along North 97th Street house a variety of functions, including a one-story auditorium, a two-story office block, and a two-story construction shop and repair garage, which encloses a one-story volume of space. The original auditorium block at the southwest corner of the building is connected to the south elevation of the warehouse wing by a covered hallway. A large opening filled with tall narrow windows dominates the auditorium’s south elevation, which also contains a band of three shorter windows at the eastern end. A shallow marquee covers this band and wraps around the corner, where extends over the double glass entrance doors of the glassed in lobby. The two-story office block is situated at the southeast corner of the warehouse wing and adjoins the eastern side of the lobby. On the east and west elevations of the office block, the brick walls frame a large opening with bands of windows along the first and second stories. Metal panels separate the two bands, forming a continuous spandrel. The south end wall of the office block has a recessed entrance at the first story below a single window at the upper floor level. A small one-story service block connects the office block to the large repair garage at the eastern end. Set on a high concrete base, the garage has large multi-paned windows on the west and south elevations and bands of three multi-paned windows set within the metal panels lining the upper walls. A shed roof canopy covers an entrance near the center of the south elevation. At the southern end of the east elevation, a small one-story wing lies at the end of a ramp, which extends from the rear of the building. A later addition adjoins the north elevation of the repair garage with a large overhead door set in its east elevation. With few alterations, this well-maintained building retains good physical integrity.

Detail for 1300 N 97th ST N / Parcel ID 4310701070 / Inv # SCL010

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Metal Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Other
Building Type: Government - Government office Plan: L-Shape
Structural System: Unknown No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Conservation, Politics/Government/Law, Transportation
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Seattle Department of Lighting. Annual report / City of Seattle, Department of Lighting. Seattle, WA: 1910-1974.
Seattle City Light: North Service Center Open House, March 28, 1958. Seattle, WA: Seattle City Light, 1958.

Photo collection for 1300 N 97th ST N / Parcel ID 4310701070 / Inv # SCL010

Photo taken Nov 02, 2000
App v2.0.1.0