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.
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.