Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 311-1/2 Occidental WAY / Parcel ID 5247800355 / Inv #

Historic Name: Waltham Block Common Name: Waltham Block/ Occidental Building
Style: Commercial, Italian - Italian Renaissance, Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1890
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This significant building dates from 1890, according to King County Tax Assessor Records, although Lange and O’Brian give a slightly later date of 1892. In any case, it dates from the first wave of construction right after the Fire of 1889. It was constructed for the original owner, M. H. Young, who haled from Waltham, Massachusetts, hence the name of the building. It is significant because of the fine architectural detailing both at the storefront level and on its upper floors
This is a three story building. The ground floor is clad in stone and has a cast-iron storefront and the upper floors, mainly clad in brick with some stone trim, are distinguished by the delicacy of their brick ornamental detailing. The building is rectangular in plan and has a roof that is not visible from the street as well as a parapet. The building has only one major public façade which fronts on Occidental Mall. The ground level is divided into two major bays which are divided into three by tall cast-iron pillars. These pillars have deep bases, ornamented with lozenge shapes and circular as well as semi-circular ornamentation on their shafts. Another distinguishing feature is that each central storefront section is set back from the other two. The glass of the storefront’s clerestory level is divided into multiple small, square lites, some of which are decorated with intersecting circles, curves and squares and are stamped as having being produced by “LUXFER. ” Above the first level, is an ornamental stone belt course, which includes a dentil band surmounted by a continuous frieze of running wave motifs. Each of the two major bays at ground level are surmounted at the upper level by three two story bays, so that the façade is now divided into a total of six bays, corresponding to the tripartite division of the storefronts. Each bay is marked by brick pilasters with stone bases, which rise two floors to ornamental capitals detailed in brick, and support (at least visually) semi-circular arches. Windows, which occur in each of these bays are typically framed in pairs of two. They are double-hung windows and also have clerestories consisting of small square panes. This is also true of the semi-circular clerestory windows on the third level. Raised and curved bands of ornamental brick follow the shape of the semi-circular openings. Inset circular medallions ringed by thin circular brick bands punctuate the spandrels between the arches. Repeated corbelled brick ornamental shapes dot the top of the wall. There is no cornice, but the top of the parapet has been replaced by concrete coping.

Detail for 311-1/2 Occidental WAY / Parcel ID 5247800355 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Metal, Stone 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: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Lange, Greg and Tim O’Brian, “Virtual Pioneer Square,” unpublished manuscript, 27 October 1996.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.

Photo collection for 311-1/2 Occidental WAY / Parcel ID 5247800355 / Inv #

Photo taken Nov 27, 2004

Photo taken May 24, 2004

Photo taken May 24, 2004
App v2.0.1.0