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Summary for 1912 Warren AVE / Parcel ID 0809001800 / Inv # DPR021

Historic Name: East Queen Anne Playfield Shelter House Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1951
This modern brick shelter house, which serves the adjacent children’s play area, was constructed in 1951 to replace an earlier wood frame comfort station located on the lower eastern half of the park. After acquiring the small block of property in 1910, the Parks Department immediately began improvements to the site located in a residential neighborhood at the top of Queen Anne Hill. Due to the topography, the park, known for many years as "Little Howe," was graded into two levels. The upper level contained two tennis courts and a combination basketball/play court while the lower level featured a frame comfort station, wading pool and children’s play area, all completed by 1911. Over the next forty years, few improvements were made to the park except for the replacement of the tennis courts with a small athletic field in the southwest corner. In the early 1940s, the City Council received a petition to turn over the playground to Children’s Orthopedic Hospital then located two blocks to the north. However, the Parks Board refused to relinquish the playground site without a suitable exchange of property. Ten years later, the hospital moved to its present location in Laurelhurst. By the early 1950s, the construction of a new shelter house was authorized to replace the deteriorated comfort station but relocated to the upper level. Beginning in the later 1920s, the Parks Department had constructed brick shelter houses at many of the city’s playgrounds and playfields. These buildings housed large rooms for organized recreation activities in addition to public restroom facilities. Office space for recreation instructors was also provided. The Parks Department continued to construct new shelter houses into the later 1930s due to the availability of labor and funding from state and federal relief programs, such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA). However, shortages of labor and materials brought on by the Second World War halted construction of any new park buildings for most of the 1940s. In 1951, the city hired former Park Board architect Alfors V. Peterson and his partner John W. Adams to design three new shelter houses at East Queen Anne, Beacon Hill, and University Playfields. Peterson and Adams later designed the 1964 Fire Station No. 8 on Queen Anne Hill. The shelter houses at East Queen Anne and Beacon Hill are very similar to each other. The modern design of these 1950s shelter houses is in contrast to the earlier buildings, which generally exhibited Craftsman or period revival stylistic features. In 1970, the shelter house was remodeled when the entire playground was redeveloped to its present configuration as part of the Forward Thrust program. This building is significant for its design and for its associations with the development of East Queen Anne Playfield.
Completed in 1951, this brick shelter house occupies a site along the eastern side of the upper western half of East Queen Anne Playfield. Stairs beyond the north and south elevations lead down to the lower field level. The one-story building has a rectangular plan and a side gable roof with deep overhangs on the east and west elevations and slight overhangs on the north and south side elevations. Vertical boards cover the wide gable ends of the low-pitch roof. The Modern building faces west towards a children’s wading pool and contains a large recreation room at the center flanked by restrooms at the ends. The brick wall on the principal west elevation extends beyond the end walls and screens the restroom entrances on the north and south elevations. Modern metal gates have replaced the original single entrance doors to the restrooms. At the center of the west elevation, a large opening contains double entrance doors flanked by glass block sidelights within a wood surround. Originally, multi-paned windows filled this opening within a center section framed by projecting brick piers. The single doors adjoining the piers were the original entrances into the recreation room. Although the opening remains intact, the original paneled doors have been replaced. A large low brick chimney straddles the peak of the gable roof at the northern end of the recreation room where a fireplace is located. In addition to the restroom entrances, the north and south elevations each have a horizontal band of windows lining the upper wall below the roofline. At the center of the rear east elevation, a large opening contains a wide multi-paned window with narrow windows on either side. This is identical to the original opening on the west elevation. Because of the extensive window alterations, this building retains only fair physical integrity.

Detail for 1912 Warren AVE / Parcel ID 0809001800 / Inv # DPR021

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Vertical - Boards Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Metal - Standing Seam
Building Type: Other Plan: Triangular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
"$50,000 Orchid Gift Accepted By Park Dept." Seattle Times, May 24, 1951, p. 21.

Photo collection for 1912 Warren AVE / Parcel ID 0809001800 / Inv # DPR021

Photo taken Nov 10, 2000
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