Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 300 3rd AVE / Parcel ID 198920-0620 / Inv #

Historic Name: Norway Center Common Name: The Mountaineers
Style: Modern - International Style Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1950
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.
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
This building is notable both for its architect, Edward L Mahlum, and for its association with three organizations important in Seattle history, the Sons of Norway, the Daughters of Norway and the Mountaineers. Seattle was a center of early Scandinavian immigration in the early 20th Century, and was the hoem of several early cultural organizations. The Sons of Norway of the Pacific Coast (Leif Erickson Lodge #1) was first established in Seattle in 1903. The Daughters of Norway of the Pacific Coast (Valkyrien Lodge #1) was established in 1905, the first of the organization’s 41 lodges. These two groups joined together to build Norway Hall on Boren Avenue (now a Seattle landmark), which opened in 1909. When more space was needed, these two lodges joined with two other Norwegian groups to build this facility, known as Norway Center; it was dedicated on April 7, 1951. In 1984, the groups sold the building to the Mountaineers, and the organization formed by the four groups, known as Norway Center, Inc., dissolved. The Sons of Norway, with participation by the Daughters of Norway, then built a new Leif Erikson Hall in Ballard. The Mountaineers organization was founded in Seattle in 1906 with the purpose to “explore, study, preserve, and enjoy the natural beauty of the outdoors." It has grown to more than 15,000 members, one of the largest such organizations in the United States. It organizes a wide variety of outdoor activities, such as backpacking and kayaking trips, climbing, skiing and sailing. It also publishes books about nature and outdoor activities, and lobbies on conservation issues. The organization purchased this building in 1984 when its earlier headquarters was acquired for construction of the Washington State Convention Center. Edward K. Mahlum, the building’s architect, was born in Seattle in 1909 but was raised in Norway, returning in 1927 to attend college in the Midwest. After working as an architect in Minnesota, he returned to Seattle in 1940 to work with Naramore & Brady. He worked as an independent architect from 1948 until 1968, during which period he designed this building (1950, in association with Naramore & Brady), the Norse Home (1952), Queen Anne's McClure Middle School (1961-62), the Hearthstone Retirement Home (1960-66) and North Seattle Community College (1966-70). Working in later partnerships he designed Group Health Eastside Hospital in Redmond (1970-75). He won numerous design awards and was very active in both the Norwegian community and professional activities. His firm, now known as Mahlum Architects, still exists.
This Modernist building is L-shaped in plan, built around a small corner parking lot. The main portion, along the east side, is three stories, with banks of horizontally-divided windows and two set of doors on the ground floor. At the north end a new entry and canopy has been added, allowing direct entry from the parking lot to a bookstore. The second floor has similar horizontal sash, while the top floor has large windows with vertical mullions. First and second floor windows appear to be original aluminum sash; the third floor windows have been replaced but are similar to the originals. Cladding between the first two floors, and on the entire south elevation, is random-laid sandstone in various shades of tan. Cladding above is concrete. The short section of the ell, toward the north, has double entry doors on the first floor on the parking lot. Above this is the building’s main entry, located at the angle of the ell. It is covered by a wide canopy, extending across the entire building from the street to the entry. The two pairs of large double doors are carved wood. The walls above this canopy and on the west side of the ell are clad with sandstone. The north and east (alley) walls are clad with concrete, with secondary entries and a small loading dock.

Detail for 300 3rd AVE / Parcel ID 198920-0620 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Social - Meeting Hall Plan: L-Shape
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Ethnic Heritage, Social Movements & Organizations
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Thompson, Nile, and Carolyn Mar. Building for Learning: Seattle Public School Histories, 1862-2000. Seattle School District No. 1, 2002.

Photo collection for 300 3rd AVE / Parcel ID 198920-0620 / Inv #

Photo taken Sep 29, 2004
App v2.0.1.0