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Summary for 210 BOREN AVE / Parcel ID 1986200370 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Boren Building Common Name: Boren Building
Style: Modern - International Style, Modern - Northwest Regional Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Built By: Year Built: 1954
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

This property is no longer extant. Based on field examination conducted in January - February 2014, it has been demolished. Specific demolition date has not been established.

This Northwest Modernist building was designed by the architecture firm of Waldron and Dietz in two phases. In 1954, the shorter version of the T plan was built. The south and north wings were much shorter and the plan appeared more symmetrical. In 1956, the second phase was completed. This version of the building lengthened the north wing by about 60 feet, turning the building into a long, elegant bar building. Aside from the final north bay, which has an uninterrupted bank of six windows at the end of the north wing, the design of the second and first phases is completely seamless, and even the new bank of windows has to be analyzed, before it is noticeable. The architecture firm of Waldron and Dietz, which lasted from 1952 to 1957, won several awards and was well-known for its educational, commercial and residential work. The firm also designed 230 Fairview Avenue N. (1959) in the Cascade neighborhood, but that building was subsequently remodeled and does not display characteristic elements of Northwest Modernism. Robert Dietz studied at both the University of Washington (B.Arch., 1941) and MIT (M.Arch., 1944). He held posts at MIT and at Princeton before returning to Seattle to teach and become Dean of the University of Washington College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He also formed architectural practices with J. Lister Holmes (1947-52), in addition to his partnership with Lawrence Waldron. Lawrence Waldron later formed the Seattle firm of Waldron Pomeroy Smith Foote and Akira, now Waldron Akira.
This is a two story building, built in both wood frame and concrete block, with a flat roof and mainly no parapets. It is basically T-shaped in plan, with the vertical part of the T, representing a very short area, corresponding to stair tower, which projects out toward the east. The horizontal portion of the T is really a long bar, which a longer north wing. The building is a classic Northwest Modernist office building. There are no other well designed buildings of this particular type in South Lake Union and none or few near downtown Seattle. Typical elements include the cantilevering of the second story over the first, along the main elevation and on the back west elevation; related exposed dark wood beams on the exterior of the building (above the first floor); dark, vertical wood plank siding in select locations; simple metal sash windows, in pairs of two, between exposed beams at the first level, and more uninterrupted rows at the second level; the exposed concrete block at the first level of the windowless south elevation, with vertical wood siding at the second level. Another interesting element is the relation of the roof of open garage space and a related marquee/overhang. Adding to the width of the east wing is a an open garage, with a flat roof supported to the north by a concrete block wall and to the south by an exposed beam running west-east and supported on a free standing post in line with the southeast corner of the stair tower. The roof wraps around the north and east side of the stair tower, providing both a garage space to the north and a large rectangular opening to the south of the garage and just east of the stair tower, for a tree (still standing). The roof then becomes a less wide overhang along the east and the south sides of the stair tower, with the entry to the building and to the stair tower occurring at the end of the marquee along the south elevation, at the inner corner between the tower and the south wing. . The general massing and the contrast between solid and void, light and dark, transparent versus opaque define the building in interesting ways.

Detail for 210 BOREN AVE / Parcel ID 1986200370 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete - Block, Vertical - Boards Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat, Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Professional Plan: T-Shape
Structural System: Concrete - Block No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
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.

Photo collection for 210 BOREN AVE / Parcel ID 1986200370 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 08, 2005
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