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Summary for 105 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800046 / Inv #

Historic Name: Schwabacher Building Common Name: Schwabacher Building/ Gatzert and Schwabacher Building
Style: Commercial, Italian - Italian Renaissance, Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1892
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The original building was designed in 1889-1890 by Elmer Fisher. The Yesler Way façade dates from the original design by Fisher. In June 1892, the building suffered a major fire. Emil DeNeuf, who had originally worked in Fisher’s office, by this time was an architect in his own right and designed the First Avenue South elevation. This accounts for the difference in the design of the two elevations; the Yesler Way elevation appears more Romanesque Revival in derivation, whereas the First Avenue South elevation shows a Renaissance influence. Also, DeNeuf often used light colored bricks in his work, as demonstrated also in the façade of the Lowman and Hanford Building, also in the Pioneer Square Historic District. The building was designed for the Schwabacher Brothers, grocery wholesalers, who had been in business since 1869 on this site. They continued to have a thriving business in this area and also later commissioned the Sullivanesque Schwabacher Hardware Company Building at First Avenue S. and Jackson Street, designed by Bebb and Mendel. The 1892 fire in the Schwabacher Building is reported to have cost the business $ 425,000; however, the fire was contained and illustrated the success of the new building regulations as originally set forth in Ordinance No.1147. This building is the work of two architects who contributed to the rebuilding of the “burnt district,” as the Pioneer Square area was known right after the Fire of 1889 and particularly near Pioneer Place. Elmer Fisher is considered the most prolific of the post-fire architects. He came to the Pacific Northwest in 1886 and designed buildings in Vancouver, Victoria and Port Townsend, before coming to Seattle in 1889. His most well-known work in Seattle is the Pioneer Building, which he designed for Henry Yesler. By 1891, despite the accolades the Pioneer Building received in 1892, he had abandoned his career as an architect to run the Abbott Hotel in Seattle, which he had also designed and built. Emil DeNeuf arrived in Seattle in 1889 and began his career as a draftsman in Elmer Fisher’s office. He had an independent practice by the end of 1891. He was retained by Henry Yesler to complete the Mutual Life Building, originally the “Yesler Building,” which Fisher had begun. He also was the designer of the Lowman and Hanford Building. His partnership with Augustus Heide, with whom he designed the Lowman Building (ca.1906), lasted from 1901 to 1906. (For additional information on Fisher and DeNeuf, please see the Context Statement). The building, commonly known as the Schwabacher Building, is also known as the Gatzert-Schwabacher Building, after Bailey Gatzert. Bailey Gatzert, who had married into the Schwabacher family and became the head of the Schwabacher business, was also mayor of Seattle in the 1870s.
The Schwabacher Building is a four-story building with brick wall, as well as rusticated stone at the storefront level of its Yesler Way façade. Its plan is L-shaped and its façade on Yesler Way dates from 1889-1890, while its First Avenue east façade was altered as a result of a fire and completed in 1893. The Yesler Way façade mainly clad in red brick, is organized as three bays of tall arches, which are three stories in height and inset between brick pilasters. The arches are set over a clerestoried storefront which takes up the length of the lower level and is flanked on each side by blocks of rusticated stone. At the top of the façade, directly under each arch are a semi-circular window and a set of paired double-hung windows at each level. Distinctive elements include the decorated spandrels, particularly a weave pattern above the second floor, Romanesque Revival pilaster capitals and raised decorative bands, one set consisting of egg-and-dart motifs – which follow the semi-circular shape of the arches below. The First Avenue South façade is clad in cream colored brick with stone trim and is four stories in height. The facade consists of three bays of rectangular openings at the second and third levels, set over a storefront, with, at the top level, a triad of smaller semi-circular arches at each bay separated by short columns with decorative capitals. Raised bands also emphasize the curve of the arches below. The wall below the projecting stone cornice is decorated by a somewhat intricate pattern of brick in lozenge shapes, often punctuated by raised circular shapes at their centers. The stone lintels above the third floor window openings and the stone spandrels between second and third floor windows contrast in color with the cream-colored brick.

Detail for 105 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800046 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Stone - Ashlar/cut Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: L-Shape
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Plan: Intact
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Luxton, Donald, editor,, Building the West: the Early Architects of British Columbia. Vancouver B.C.: Talonbooks, 2003, 244-5.
Ochsner, Jeffrey and Dennis Andersen. Distant Corner: Seattle Architects and The Legacy of H. H. Richardson. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2004.
“The Lowman Building, 107 Cherry Street, Historic Preservation Certification Application, Part 1,” 5 February 2004. Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, State of Washington, Olympia, Washington, Microfiche File.

Photo collection for 105 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800046 / Inv #

Photo taken May 24, 2004

Photo taken May 24, 2004

Photo taken Jul 21, 2004
App v2.0.1.0