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Summary for 171 S Jackson ST S / Parcel ID 5247800745 / Inv #

Historic Name: Chapin Building, Fuller Building, Northcoast Building Common Name: Northcoast Building, Court in the Square
Style: Commercial - Chicago School Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1901
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
117 South Jackson Street was designed by architects Boone and Corner and completed in 1900/ 1901. It was built for Henry Chapin, an early investor in Seattle real estate and developer of retail and other commercial properties. The building was originally known as the Chapin Building. Chapin’s warehouse building was located in the vicinity of a number of other buildings erected during the time of economic and industrial growth in the heart of Seattle around the 1900s. This produced the second wave of building after the Fire of 1889 destroyed most of the area. The Chapin Building and the former Crane Building, also part of Court in the Square and various manufacturing buildings in the blocks to the west of them were all serviced by a spur of the Great Northern Railroad line, which lay alongside and under Fourth Avenue. The general location of the Chapin, the Crane and these other buildings was desirable, because of the proximity of the railroad line and of Elliott Bay. 117 South Jackson Street also came to be known as the Fuller Building, because, although Chapin was the developer of the building, the first tenant was W.P. Fuller & Company, a distributor of paints and related products. At the same time, the John Schram Company, a plumbing supplier was also a tenant. In 1937, the North Coast Electric Company moved to the building. They remained there until 1976. This provided the building with yet another name and it was known as the North Coast Building, sometimes spelled as the “Northcoast Building.” The North Coast Electric Company had operated as a wholesaler of electric supplies in Seattle since 1914. 117 South Jackson Street is a handsome, but typical example of warehouse buildings. There are several examples of buildings from the 1900s and the next decade, which display slightly recessed vertical bays with a simple rolled molding band which emphasized them. Boone and Corner were responsible for several well-designed warehouse/ manufacturing buildings in the former “burnt district.” Boone and Corner were also a notable architecture firm. W.E. Boone and James Corner, formed a partnership in 1900, which lasted until 1905, so this building dates from the beginning of that partnership. In the Pioneer Square-Skid Road National Historic District, Boone and Corner produced the Seattle Quilt Building, which also consists of vertical recessed bays, with rolled molding, as well as the U.S. Rubber Building; however, Boone’s career in Seattle goes back to around 1882 and he only retired from architectural practice in 1910. His architectural career is somewhat unique, because he had a known practice before Seattle’s Great Fire of 1889 and was a partner in several successful offices well after the fire, a rarity among the architects who contributed to the rebuilding of Seattle in 1889. Boone was responsible for many earlier buildings, including the pre-fire Yesler-Leary Building, which stood at the intersection of Yesler Avenue and First Avenue, the Merchant’s Café Building of 1889-90 (the former Sanderson Block) and the Globe Building. In partnership with William H. Willcox, he completed the now demolished but spectacular New York Building, (1889-1892), at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Cherry Street and designed the original four floors of the J.M. Frink Building (or Washington Iron Works Building), now the Washington Shoe Building. His subsequent partnership with James Corner, who had been in a previous partnership with Warren Skillings (designed the Union Trust Buildings), was also famous for the Broadway High School, now the Broadway Performance Hall in Seattle’s Capitol Hill. 117 South Jackson Street was part of the renovation by Ralph Anderson, then of Anderson Koch and Duarte, which linked the building to the Goldsmith Building (formerly the Crane building) by an enclosed atrium. That project was completed in late 1984 or early 1985.
171 S. Jackson Street is located on the southwest corner of South Jackson Street and Second Avenue South. The four story former commercial warehouse building is rectangular in plan and has a footprint of 120’ x 108’. It also has a full basement and the foundation is of brick and stone. Exterior structural walls are of solid brick, with sandstone veneer, particularly at the storefront level on Jackson Street. The interior structure is heavy timber post and beam. The first story is very high, about twenty feet high on the interior. The two street elevations face Jackson Street and Second Avenue South. The Jackson Street façade is divided into four bays. At the ground level, big piers at either end of the façade have rusticated bases in stone veneer, while the rest of the ground floor level is clad with a veneer of smooth sandstone. Most of the façade at the ground level is taken up by storefront, with very high transom windows. The storefront turns the corner onto Second Avenue and occupies the first bay to the north. The Second Avenue façade is divided into five bays. Above a simple belt course, the Jackson Street and Second Avenue South facades are similar. Unadorned piers rise above the simple belt-course and the bays between them are slightly recessed. The bays are also framed by a simple brick roll molding, a device that Boone and Corner also used on the Seattle Quilt Building. At each floor, trabeated window openings have a horizontal row of four windows. The horizontality of the composition is emphasized by sills and lintels of stone, between the piers as well as a band of corbelled bricks at the top of the parapet, which form a decorative frieze. The south elevation, in red brick, used to face a former railroad spur right-of-way and now faces the enclosed and glazed common atrium which this building shares with the building to the south, the Goldsmith Building, previously known as the Crane Building. Both buildings became part of a renovation (by Ralph Anderson), known as Court in the Square.

Detail for 171 S Jackson ST S / Parcel ID 5247800745 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Stone, Stone - Cast Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition, Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry, Science & Engineering, Transportation
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Ochsner, Jeffrey and Dennis Andersen. Distant Corner: Seattle Architects and The Legacy of H. H. Richardson. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2004.
Andrews, Mildred et al. Pioneer Square: Seattle's Oldest Neighborhood. Manuscript. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, forthcoming 2005.
The Conservation Company. “Chapin Building (North Coast Electric Building), 165-173 S. Jackson Street, Historic Preservation Certification, Part 1,” 10 December 1981. OAHP, State of Washington, Olympia, Washington, Microfiche File.
Hawthorne, Julian, editor. History of Washington, the Evergreen State, From Early Days to Daylight. New York: American Historical Publishing Company, 1893.
A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of the City of Seattle of the County of King, Including Biographies of Those Who Passed Away. New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.

Photo collection for 171 S Jackson ST S / Parcel ID 5247800745 / Inv #

Photo taken Jun 08, 2004
App v2.0.1.0