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Summary for 304 Alaskan WAY / Parcel ID 5247800140 / Inv #

Historic Name: Oregon and Washington Railroad and Navigation Company/ Otto Sturham & Sons Common Name: C & H Company
Style: Commercial, Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque, Various 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).
304 Alaskan Way South was completed in 1890, according to King County Tax Assessor records. It is typical of buildings erected in the “burnt district” right after the Great Fire of 1889, which destroyed the heart of Seattle’s earliest commercial district. This is true, both in terms of construction and in the design and detailing of the façade: the expression of the brick piers, the use of corbelling, the repeated segmental arched openings. From 1913 to 1954, the Oregon and Washington Railroad and Navigation Company owned the building, which was used to warehouse goods, transported by their trains. Based on an historical photograph from the 1930s, the building already had a loading dock and many signs that obscured its ground level. Judging by the signs in front of the lower level (over the edge of the loading dock), the building then housed a number of businesses, including “Hood Canal Auto Freight” and “A.B.C Storage Company.” Otto Sturham and Company purchased the building in 1954. Most historical studies do not give the building much credit, except for being part of the district, but it is, in fact, one of the few remaining buildings from as early as 1890 in the Pioneer Square-Skid Road National Historic District, also located close to the former tideflats. Only the former Lowman & Hanford Printing and Binding Building from 1890, (now the Washington Park Building), is located as close to the former tide flats. The St. Charles Hotel from 1889 is located one building to the east, but nearby. The building’s exterior is also virtually intact, particularly the upper floors. The makeshift wooden roof at the lower floor and the wood fire stairs make it hard to see some details, but the most important elements seem to be unchanged.
Located between South Main Street and South Jackson Street, this is a three story building with only one primary façade on Alaskan Way. It has brick exterior walls and an original interior structure of wood post and beam. It has a footprint of 50 feet by 110 feet with a parapet. It has a concrete foundation and basement. Above the ground level, the main façade is distinguished by three bays, each composed of two segmental arched openings per floor. Separating the three bays are brick piers. Corbelling visually closes off each of the bays and there is a corbelled band that runs the length of the façade. The first level is used as a loading dock and also has a low angled wood roof that has been added, making it difficult to see the openings. This much is obvious: to the north is a segmentally- arched doorway, followed by a window opening with a segmental arch, then a series of trabeated openings, including a main entry with double doors and two windows with multi-pane transoms, which look original.

Detail for 304 Alaskan WAY / Parcel ID 5247800140 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Transportation
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
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.
Brians, Ann Elizabeth. Indomitable Pioneer Square. Master of Urban Planning Thesis, University of Washington, Seattle, 1973.
19. Steinbrueck, Victor, “Inventory Nomination Form, Seattle Register of Historic Places, Item 20,” Hand-written draft, ca. 1969.

Photo collection for 304 Alaskan WAY / Parcel ID 5247800140 / Inv #

Photo taken Oct 26, 2004

Photo taken Oct 26, 2004
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