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Summary for this site is under review and the displayed data may not be fully up to date. If you need additional info, please call (206) 684-0464

Historic Name: Thurmond Building Common Name: Pacific Desserts & Family Custom Tailoring
Style: Modern - International Style Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built:
 
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.

This International style commercial building known as the Thurmond Building is in the Uptown neighborhood.

Building permit 431228 was issued in 1954 to construct an initial one-story office building along Mercer Street. The estimated value was $20,000 for the new building. This building was built in front of two existing wood frame duplexes that had been built ca. 1900. Architects William J. Bain and Harrison Overturf designed the building for O. E. Thurmond. Drawings are dated May of 1954.

This single-story building had a stairway at the west end. The stairway accessed the roof of this portion which had an aluminum guard rail around its outer edge. Everything from the marquee down (except the altered metal frame storefronts) was built in 1955; which is the brick, canopy, pilaster. This extended back the depth of the brick cladding along the east facade of the existing building. This building contained a central office for O. E. Thurmond, a general office for the Scripps League and another office for rent. Each had their own bathrooms and storage areas. The wood frame duplexes stood directly behind these on a raised grade (first floor was 15 feet above grade). The existing concrete wall on west side of the building has the remnant outline of the stairway showing the original height.

Then in 1961 a permit was issued (488990) to remove the two duplex buildings and that same year a permit issued to (488969) to construct an $80,000 addition to the existing office building. Architects William J. Bain and Harrison Overturf designed the 1961 addition to the building for O. E. Thurmond. Drawings were dated July of 1961 and revised through October of 1961. Virginia M. Bone and Charles M. Headrick were also listed on the title block on the interior partitions. H. L. Worthington was the structural engineer.

This building retains a high level of integrity despite storefront alterations along Mercer Street and is a notable example chronicling development patterns in the neighborhood from duplexes to small offices to World’s Fair influenced office growth.

Harrison Overturf and William J. Bain formed a partnership in 1946 through 1972. This partnership generally focused on residential projects and smaller scale commercial buildings, while Bain’s work at NBBJ encompassed larger commercial and institutional projects. Other commercial works include the John Doyle Bishop Stores (1954, 1968) in downtown Seattle and Southgate Mall, the Loomis Armored Car Service Building (1955), the L. H. Butcher Co. Building (1958), and the Bonney-Watson Mortuary Building (1961).

O. E. Thurmond started in the real estate business in the 1920s. He founded his own real estate company, Thurmond’s Central Realty Company ca. 1937 and was the owner and manager. In 1952 he hired John B. Philbrook as the new manager in order to step back his role. In 1954 the company opened a third office in Lake City at 12328 Bothell Way.

References:

Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Architect Biographies, “Harrison John Overturf” (Accessed July 19, 2018). https://dahp.wa.gov/historic-preservation/research-and-technical-preservation-guidance/architect-biographies/bio-for-harrison-j-overturf

City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.

Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed., Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Guide to the Architects (Seattle, University of Washington Press: 2014), 2nd edition.

King County Property Record Card (c. 1938–1972), Washington State Archives.

Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890–1996.

Seattle Daily Times, August 10, 1952: 29.

Seattle Daily Times, April 18, 1954: 26.

 
Appearance

Constructed in 1955 and 1961, this two-story commercial building features a rectangular plan. Located at the southwest corner of Mercer Street and Warren Avenue N, this building faces both north and east. A parking lot abuts the west side with an access driveway to the south. Three London Plane street trees grow along the east side in the planting strips.

A flat roof with a parapet shelters interior spaces. Rolled roofing clads the roof. Sheet metal caps the parapets. A fascia extends along the front north and east sides at the top of each facade.

A concrete foundation supports the concrete block structure. The south facade features decoratively patterned concrete block. Both the east and north facades feature glass storefronts at the first and glass walls at the second story. Both consist of aluminum frames with a row of tall fixed glass windows with a row of fixed glass transoms above, and insulated fiber cement bulkheads and headers. The north end of the east facade features stacked bond red-tan brick veneer that wraps around on the north facade at the storefront bulkheads. A projecting metal marquee marks the first to second story transition and wraps along the full width of the north facade and the north end of the east facade. The marquee features decorative reeding along the outer edge and rounded corners. This same reeding continues down a pilaster flanking the north doorway. A second flat marquee occurs on the east facade above the glass storefronts.

Windows consist of a variety of types. The north and east facades have predominately tall, fixed lites supported in aluminum frames. Spaced between these are three- and two-lite windows, with smaller operable sashes. The north end of the east facade has windows having a large fixed rectangular sash with smaller lower sash above a fiber cement panel. Narrow two-lite sash along the upper portion of the east facade provide day lighting.

Doorways within the storefronts consist of aluminum sash doors with a tall glass lite and an aluminum push bar. The east facade features four storefronts with two on the north facade.

The north entrance consists of an aluminum frame doorway and transom leading to a direct flight of stairs ascending to the second story. The building’s name is painted on the transom. The door features a single tall glass lite. The east entrance (at the south end of the facade) consists of a series of vertical glass panels set in an aluminum frame and enclosing a tall two-story volume with a single lite aluminum frame door providing access. Mail drop box is set in the relite adjacent the doorway. The two-story volume contains a stairway ascending to the second story. This is the primary access route to the second story.

Alterations replaced a window at the north end of the east facade, and at the storefronts along the north facade. In 1961, an office partition was installed in the building (permit 492242). In 1962 work constructed a sign (permit 497535). In 1964 work added another sign (permit 508560). In 1970 and 1972 work added a sign (permit 537966 and 545284). In 1976, architects Olson, Walker and Associates designed mechanical improvements for storefronts along Warren Avenue N. In 1982 the Pacific Dessert Company moved into the northeast corner of the building with tenant improvements. Architect Lee R. Woods designed these alterations.

Detail for this site is under review and the displayed data may not be fully up to date. If you need additional info, please call (206) 684-0464

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete - Block, Glass - Curtain Wall, Metal Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Rolled
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Block No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Integrity
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for this site is under review and the displayed data may not be fully up to date. If you need additional info, please call (206) 684-0464


Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Jan 01, 1900
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