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Summary for 209 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800125 / Inv #

Historic Name: Hotaling Block/ Marathon Building Common Name: Marathon Building
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1889
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
With the New England Hotel, 213 and 211 First Avenue South, the Central Café and the J & M Café and Cardroom which make up the western block from Main Street to Washington Street, this building presents a unified façade and a powerful sense of early Seattle, right after the Fire of 1889. It was originally constructed in 1889 by the A. P. Hotaling Company of Puget Sound, who was its first tenant. Established in 1883, the A. P. Hotaling Company sold wholesale liquor. The July 25, 1889 issue of the Seattle Post- Intelligencer announced: “Work on the Hotaling Block on Commercial Street between Main and Washington was commenced yesterday. It is Captain John C. Nixon’s intention to crowd construction on the building. He is confident that he can complete the building inside of ninety days.” King County Assessor’s Records, which occasionally lack in accuracy, give the building a later date of 1899, but the composition of the facade is in keeping with that of the slightly earlier buildings on the block. The directness and simplicity of the design, on the other hand, is less Victorian and might reflect changes at a later date. The building, of course, is of the same construction type as the earliest buildings, constructed right after the fire: brick exterior walls with heavy timber construction on its interior. The building was later known as the Marathon Building. It is the typical three-story building with storefront on the ground floor and hotel on the upper floors, repeated on this block. During the Klondike Gold Rush, the building’s upper floors were apparently used as a brothel and the second level had a doorway that led into the second floor of 211 First Avenue to the south (which in turn had a doorway leading to the second floor of 213 Fist Avenue South). King County Assessor’s Records show that the building was owned by S. J. Kreielsheimer by the 1930s. Later records show that it was also owned by Solomon Shippers, who operated out of the storefront of 211 First Avenue South in the 1940s. By the 1960s, the connecting doorway to the second floor of 211 First Avenue South was bricked in. Records from the 1970s state that the building was being used as a warehouse in the 1970s. By this time, this building as well as 211 First Avenue South were owned by Arthur O. Epstein.
Situated between 211 First Avenue South and the Central Tavern, this building, once known as the Hotaling Block, has one street facing elevation on First Avenue South. It is three stories in height with a basement level. Its storefront has clearly been modernized, but based on historical photographs has retained the original division of the storefront into four parts and the wooden bulkhead. The upper floors are brick clad and have two trabeated windows per floor. Distinctively shaped trim pieces are set over the windows: They consist of a deep band with a small rising rectangle at its center, and returns on each side of the opening at right angles to it. While the shape of the trim is original, it may have been stuccoed or treated with some similar material recently, or at least painted beige. Other characteristic elements include the metal cornice with repeated metal bracket ornaments and a dentil band and the capitals and geometric ornament at each end of the façade over the storefront. Aside from the treatment of the trim, the overall appearance of the building seems to have changed little. The general design of the façade and its detailing is in keeping with the other buildings on the block between Main Street and Washington Street that also included the New England Hotel, 213 and 211 First Avenue South, the Central Café and the J & M Café and Cardroom, many of which were built at the same time in 1889, right after the Fire of 1889.

Detail for 209 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800125 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Metal, Other, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Plan: Intact
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: 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.
“The Wings of the Phoenix – Two New Brick Blocks on Commercial Street,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 25 July 1889,
“211 First Avenue South, a.k.a. Parker Building,” Part I, August 28, 2001.

Photo collection for 209 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800125 / Inv #

Photo taken May 24, 2004
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