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Summary for 1918 Minor AVE / Parcel ID 0660002285 / Inv #

Historic Name: Haloid Xerox Common Name: Kroesen's
Style: Modern - International Style, Other - Utilitarian Neighborhood: Denny Triangle
Built By: Year Built: 1958
This is a typical and unremarkable Modernist warehouse building, although the rhythm of its curtain wall has some merit. Built in 1958, it was built as an “office and warehouse” for “Leroy M. Backus and Manson F. Backus Trustee” by Otis E. Hancock and Associates. Both the architect and original owner of the building are linked to the history of Seattle, although this building is perhaps not particularly representative of their history or legacy. Born in 1893 in Duluth, Minnesota, Otis E. Hancock came to Seattle with his family in 1907. After attending Carnegie Institute of Technology and serving in the U. S. Navy during World War I, he was employed by several well-known Seattle architects, including Arthur Loveless, from 1920 to 1922 and B. Marcus Priteca from 1922 to 1923. He established an independent practice which lasted from 1925 to 1927 and then an architectural partnership in Seattle with Frederick V. Lochman from 1925 to 1933. This building dates from the period during which he apparently established a second independent practice, which was begun in 1933. He retired in 1971. Based on his early training and work, he was conversant with historical styles, but later examples of his work, particularly 500 Dexter Avenue North and this building, suggest that by the 1950s, he had adopted the 1950s Modernist esthetic. While less is known about Leroy M. Backus, Manson F. Backus was a well-known and successful banker and businessman, who came to Seattle not long after the Great Fire of 1889. He commissioned the M. F. Backus Warehouse at 1014-1016 First Avenue S in the Pioneer Square Historic District. With E.O. Graves, he established the Washington National Bank, which became the National Bank of Commerce in 1906 and then Rainier National Bank. He served as President of the bank until 1932 and was associated with a large number of trust, timber and land enterprises throughout Washington State. The building itself housed Haloid Xerox in 1958 and currently houses Kroesen’s Clothing/ Uniforms.
This is a utilitarian, one story, concrete block and stucco building, typical of the 1950s. It has a rectangular footprint, 70 feet by 60 feet, as well as a flat roof and parapet. The main façade is set along Minor Avenue and faces west. A glazed wall, with an aluminum frame, takes up much of this façade, which was built in wood with stucco cladding. The geometry of the glazing subdivisions is the only element of any visual interest. A typical vertical bay consists of, at the bottom, a square, which is topped by a golden section, (or a shape close to that), based on the dimensions of the square below; and the top section is a rectangle half the width of the original square. Six of these arrangements flank a central doorway with a transom and sidelights, which themselves, are half the width of a typical bay.

Detail for 1918 Minor AVE / Parcel ID 0660002285 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete, Concrete - Block, Glass - Curtain Wall, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce
Storefront: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
Seattle Public Library Biography File, M. F. Backus File.
Katheryn Hills Krafft, “Pioneer Square – Skid Road Historic District (Boundary Increase),” submitted 15 December, 1987 and approved 6 May, 1988.
City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods, Historic Preservation Program Files.
“1014-1016 First Avenue S,” “Pioneer Square,” City of Seattle Historic Neighborhood Inventory Database, 2004.

Photo collection for 1918 Minor AVE / Parcel ID 0660002285 / Inv #

Photo taken Feb 12, 2006
App v2.0.1.0