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Summary for Building 631 / Parcel ID 1525039042 / Inv #

Historic Name: Sunday School, Educational Training Building Common Name:
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Magnolia
Built By: Year Built: 1952
Fort Lawton is located in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood, within the area that is now Discovery Park. Established as a U.S. Army post in 1898, the fort had been envisioned by local residents and businessmen as a major regimental post, with the hope that it would enhance the local economy and the city’s status in its ongoing competition with Tacoma to the south. Upon selection of the site, local landowners donated more than 700 acres for the fort. By 1900, construction of the first seven permanent, wood-frame buildings on the site was completed. While local aspirations for the fort were slow to be realized, initial construction continued through 1910, at which time there was an assembly of 25 buildings set around an oval-shaped parade ground. While Fort Lawton never became as large or influential as Seattle residents had anticipated, during World War II it was the second-largest port of embarkation on the West Coast. After the 1940s, the use of the fort declined again and many of the temporary and wartime buildings were removed. The Army stayed on until 1972, at which time it transferred ownership of a portion of Fort Lawton to the City of Seattle. A large portion of the post, including its historic core area, with 25 buildings and parade ground, was surplused by the Army and added to Discovery Park in the mid-1970s. The Fort Lawton Historic District was nominated to and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The City of Seattle designated Fort Lawton as a local historic district in 1988. The Fort Lawton Historic District is associated with the development and the history of the City of Seattle; and embodies the characteristics of military interpretations of American architectural styles of the 1890s and early 1900s, based on standard Quartermaster General building designs, as well as its planned site. The period of significance for the Fort Lawton Historic District extends from its inception in 1898 to 1945, based on the development of the post, with additional buildings and site features resulting from the Depression-era public works, and the fort's role in WWII. Building 631 is located near the Post Chapel and was reportedly used as a Sunday school for the children of Fort Lawton's Protestant personnel. The building was constructed after the period of significance of the Fort Lawton Historic District and is therefore a non-contributing building. The building and Chapel served as a day camp facility for Seattle Parks and Recreation between the late 1970s and 1998.
Building 631 – Educational Training Building, Sunday School, Day Camp (Constructed ca. 1952) The building is located in the southeast portion of the District, southeast of and perpendicular to the Chapel. The one-story, wood-frame structure sits on a post-and-pier foundation and has a gabled roof. The building measures approximately 25' by 80', with the southwestern portion having a slightly lower roof. Exterior walls were sided with painted asbestos cement board; this siding was removed at some point between mid-January and mid-March 2007, exposing a layer of asphalt cladding. Another, earlier layer of cladding may lie beneath the asphalt. The main entry to the building is located near the center of the southeast façade, and three additional doors are located on the northwest side of the building. Fenestration is irregular and consists of double-hung and fixed horizontal wood sash windows. The following interior conditions were documented in 2004 in the Johnson Partnership's "Appendix A" report: a classroom is located at either end of the building, with offices, mechanical systems, and toilet rooms arranged toward the center of the building. Walls are plaster or wallboard, floors finished with vinyl/asbestos tile, and window and door trim is simple, painted 1x wood. The two different roof heights suggest there was an addition at some point. The Johnson Partnership's report notes that some military records list a 1904 construction date for the building, while a 1976 survey indicates the early date seems erroneous (p. 9-10). The building's fenestration is consistent with late 1940s to early 1950s style.

Detail for Building 631 / Parcel ID 1525039042 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Other Foundation(s): Post & Pier
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Religion - Church School Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Community Planning/Development, Military
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
Lentz, Florence, et al. "Historic American Buildings Survey, Fort Lawton." U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Pacific Northwest Region, 1981.
Kavanaugh, Major Robert E. "Fort Lawton." National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, January 1978.
Mann, Millegan, Morse and Ramsey. "Fort Lawton Buildings: A Survey and Report, Prepared for City of Seattle Parks and Recreation." August 15, 1975.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District. "Context Study of the United States Quartermaster General Standardized Plans 1866-1942." Report prepared for U.S. Army Environmental Ctr, Envir. Compliance Division, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Nov. 1997.
Johnson Partnership. "Appendix A - Three Buildings in Discovery Park." Prepared for Seattle Dept. of Parks and Recreation, September 2004.

Photo collection for Building 631 / Parcel ID 1525039042 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 15, 2007
App v2.0.1.0