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Summary for 211 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800115 / Inv #

Historic Name: Parker Building/ Silver Bow Hotel/ Portland Hotel Lodgings/ Killion Building Common Name: Lucky Hotel/ Killion Building
Style: Commercial, Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque 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).
Originally known as the Parker Building, the building, like the ones constructed next to it, was built in 1889, right after the great Fire of June 6, 1889, which had destroyed all of Seattle’s early buildings (except perhaps for one). Like its present neighbors, it housed a store on the ground level and a hotel, sometimes a brothel, on the second and third floors. It is almost intact and/or renovations have been very sensitive to the original design and materials. The detailing in brick and metal is distinctive. In design and detailing, 211 First Avenue South is also typical of many of buildings erected in what became the Pioneer Square-Skid Road National Historic District right after the Great Fire of June 6, 1889. With other buildings on the same block, particularly the New England Hotel and 213 as well as 211 First Avenue, it forms a powerful ensemble of buildings from that time. At the same time, it appears, however, to be one of the most intact buildings on the block. During the Gold Rush years, the hotel was called the Silver Bow Hotel and then the Portland Hotel. It is thought that at least during the Gold Rush years, the second floors of 213, 211 and 209 First Avenue South were connected, and functioned as brothels. These connections would have allowed easy traffic between the three brothels or hotels. Subsequently, probably in the 1930s, 211 and 213 First Avenue were combined as the Lucky Hotel Lodgings, which provided fifteen cent beds. By the 1930s, the King County Assessor’s Record card described either the third floor or both upper floors as “two lofts filled with cots.” Ground floor businesses included the International Card Room Beer Parlor and the International Café. In the 1940s, Solomon Shippers Supplies Company occupied the ground floor of the building, advertising its name and some of its wares in printed letters on the storefront windows. The company also occupied the basement level of the building and expanded into the areaway beneath the sidewalk. Meanwhile, the connections between this building and its neighbors were bricked in, probably during the 1960s. By 1970, as a result of the catastrophic Ozark Hotel fire, which caused several deaths, the Seattle Building Department began enforcing more stringent regulations in the Pioneer Square area. Many of the old hotels were not up to code and could not afford to renovate. A 1975 rehabilitation only really dealt with the ground level. The upper floors remained empty until 1980, when artists’ live/work spaces were created.
Rectangular in plan, this is a three story building clad in brick with stone trim. At its ground level, it retains the most striking elements of its original metal storefront and the detailing of the transom above a main doorway . The only street elevation faces First Avenue South. The building is similar in size and width to 213 First Avenue South to the south and to 209 First Avenue South to the North. The present cornice, although striking, appears to have been added later, since the building had a striking pedimented metal cornice, which has been lost. The central spandrel below is decorated with a series of inset rectangles, as are the spandrels of the flanking bays to each side of it. Below are two floors of double-hung windows. These are arranged so that the central bay is wider and has two windows per floor, whereas each side bay only has one window per floor. Lintels and window sills are of rusticated stone and the belt course just above the storefront level doubles as a sill for the second floor windows. A comparison with older photographs suggests that where the storefront has been rebuilt, it has been carefully replicated based on the original storefront design, or it may be mostly original. The storefront takes up most of the width of the ground floor level, with an entrance to the upper floors located to the south. Thin metal pilasters with acanthus-like capitals divide the remaining storefront into three bays. The pilasters do not line up with the central brick piers which define the bays of the upper floors. The storefront also has clerestory windows, organized in sections of four panes each, with two of these sections per storefront bay.

Detail for 211 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800115 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Metal, Stone - Ashlar/cut Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Hotel 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 Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: 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.
Johnson, G. Rodney, Owner. “Luck Hotel, 213 First Avenue South, Parts I and II,” 10 October 1985 and 18 April 1986, (includes related drawings by Mithun Architects and Stephen Peters, Architect and correspondence).
“211 First Avenue South, a.k.a. Parker Building.” Part 1, August 28 2001.

Photo collection for 211 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800115 / Inv #

Photo taken Oct 26, 2004

Photo taken May 24, 2004
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