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Summary for 14100 Linden AVE / Parcel ID 1926049009 / Inv # SPU005

Historic Name: Bitter Lake Reservoir Pump Station Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Broadview-Bitter Lake-Haller Lake
Built By: Year Built: 1958
The Seattle Water Department constructed this one-story stone-clad pump station in 1957-58 on the eastern side of the 21,500,000-gallon reservoir just inside the northern city limits. By the early 1950s, the City’s population center had shifted to the north, especially after extensive annexations north to 145th Street between 1950 and 1954. The Water Department already provided 60% of this newly annexed area with direct service to the retail customers. However, a new reservoir in the north end would be necessary in order to serve those without city water service and in anticipation of future growth in residential and commercial customers. The Water Department was also developing plans for a new water source from the Tolt River, which would serve both northern suburbs and north Seattle, requiring additional storage capacity in the area. In 1954, the Water Department proceeded with the acquisition of the site for a distribution storage reservoir and pump station at Linden Avenue North and North 143rd Street. At this time, there were also plans to construct an elevated tank, which were not realized. Between 1910 and 1939, this stretch of Linden Avenue North had been the route of the Interurban Railway between Seattle and Everett. The reservoir site was also just north of Bitter Lake and Playland, a popular family amusement park, which operated from 1930 to 1961. Playland’s giant wooden "Dipper" was the largest roller coaster in Seattle at the time. The reservoir site was mostly vacant except for a large wood frame dance hall constructed about 1930, possibly in connection with the opening of Playland. By 1957, the pump station was under construction and scheduled for completion before May of 1958. The following year, the reservoir and the pump station were put into service to serve the area south of North 143rd Street. This reservoir pump station is similar in design and materials to the Lincoln Reservoir and Warren Avenue North Pump Stations built at the same time in 1957. Though modest in design, the Bitter Lake Reservoir Pump Station is significant for its association with the growth and development of the Seattle water system.
Completed in 1958, this one-story building is located on the eastern side of the 21,500,000-gallon Bitter Lake Reservoir. Situated within a high berm, which slopes steeply on all sides, this reservoir occupies a large grassy site roughly bounded by Fremont Avenue North on the west, by Linden Avenue North on the east, by North 143rd Street on the north, and North 138th Street on the south. This pump station is located outside the fenced area at the base of the slope along Linden Avenue North. The L-plan building consists of a side gable main portion, which measures 40 feet by 30 feet, with a smaller side gable wing, which extends from the south elevation and measures 24 feet by 18 feet. An attractive roughcut stone set in random-coursed ashlar masonry covers much of the concrete structure. The uppermost portions are covered with wood panels connected by metal battens. On the principal east elevation, the wing has a single opening at the center, which contains a pair of metal louvers. There is a band of the same metal louvers, which wraps the southeast corner of the main portion of the building and terminates at an en trance door. The entrance door immediately adjacent to this one was a later alteration added between the original door to the south and the small louver at the center. The third door near the northern end of this elevation is also original, as is the adjacent louvered opening. The south elevation of the wing contains double entrance doors at the center and two louvered openings. The north elevation has larger double entrance doors set at a truck loading level as well as a single entrance door reached by a short flight of stairs. The rear west elevation has a band of louvers at the center. A circular drive leads from the road to the front of the building and side entrances. With its few alterations, this well-maintained building exhibits good physical integrity.

Detail for 14100 Linden AVE / Parcel ID 1926049009 / Inv # SPU005

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stone, Vertical - Board and Batten Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Metal - Standing Seam
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Waterworks Plan: L-Shape
Structural System: Unknown No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Science & Engineering
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
HistoryLink Website (
McWilliams, Mary. Seattle Water Department History, 1854-1954: Operational Data and Memoranda. Seattle, WA: Water Department, City of Seattle, c1955.
Seattle Water Department. Annual report / City of Seattle, Water Department. Seattle, WA: 1908-1965.

Photo collection for 14100 Linden AVE / Parcel ID 1926049009 / Inv # SPU005

Photo taken Nov 01, 2000
App v2.0.1.0