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Summary for 411 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800200 / Inv #

Historic Name: Seller Building Common Name: Seller Building/ Hambach-Seller Building (grouped with Hambach Building)
Style: Commercial - Chicago School Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1906
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
Originally called the Seller Building, and for a time named after its tenant, the West Coast Wholesale Drug Company, the building was designed by A. Warren Gould in 1906. Its strong ground floor base level, trabeated openings, recessed vertical bays and strong cornice show the influence of the Chicago School of Architecture and of its neighbor, the Schwabacher Hardware Company Building. In fact, it was completed only a few years after that building. This building and those in its vicinity, (from Washington to King Streets), were part of the extension of the “heart of Seattle,” originally located closer to Pioneer Place. The Alaska Gold Rush and the railroads are credited for this growth. This is an early Seattle work by A. Warren Gould, just as the Schwabacher Hardware Company Building by Bebb and Mendel was completed early in their architectural careers in Seattle. The Seller Building is an example of a simple and elegant design, influenced by the Chicago School, although A.W. Gould also often used Neoclassical and Beaux Arts flourishes in his work. It also reflects A. Warren Gould’s experience with steel and steel frame construction and other construction materials and methods. A. Warren Gould was born in Nova Scotia in 1872. There is evidence that he received some education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but he began his career in Boston as a contractor. In the late 1890s, he practiced architecture in Boston, producing, for instance, the Neoclassical Phillips Brooks School. He arrived in Seattle in 1903 and clearly had a good knowledge of the latest construction techniques. An early project in Seattle was the steel framed Standard Furniture Company Building, one of Seattle’s earliest skyscrapers, completed in 1906 (later destroyed by implosion in the 1970s). A. W. Gould’s architectural career in Seattle was thriving but varied. It included an almost three-year partnership with Edward Frere Champney , (beginning in 1909), civic activism and support of the Bogue Plan, expulsion from the Washington State AIA over a purported breach of ethics in securing the King County Courthouse Commission, the design of the lower floors of the King County Courthouse and of the terra-cotta-clad Arctic Building and of many other notable Seattle buildings. He also became the President of the Washington State Society of Architects. He died in 1922.
This is a seven story building, whose only street facing elevation in on First Avenue South. It is rectangular – almost square - in plan, 107’ by 119.’ It is located between Bebb and Mendel’s Schwabacher Hardware Company Building to the north and the Hambach Building to the south. The First Avenue South façade is divided into six long vertical bays. It presents a stone clad ground floor level, topped by 6 floors of recessed window bays, constructed with steel columns and spandrels clad in brick. Windows take up the width of the bay and are emphasized by cast-stone sills. The long vertical columns clad in brick have cast- stone bases and at the top level, unadorned capitals. The façade is surmounted by a projecting classical cornice in metal. The Seller Building is an interesting mix of construction types: The front wall was constructed of steel spandrels and columns, clad in brick. The original rear wall, now replaced by the new glazed wall of the 1985 rehabilitation and the south party wall were of concrete. The interior columns of the first two floors are of steel and covered with concrete. These parts of the structure reflect A. Warren Gould’s experience with steel frame construction and a sophisticated knowledge of structural engineering, given the period; although the interior structure also includes heavy timber posts at the upper levels and wooden beams and flooring, the traditional structural system used in buildings erected in the former “burnt district.” The rear elevation of the building is a modern glazed addition that was added along what began as an alley, when this building, along with the Schwabacher Hardware Company Building, the Schwabacher Hardware Annex Building and the Hambach Building were rehabilitated as part of Merrill Place in 1985. A related fountain was also added in the former alleyway and is located to the west of the building.

Detail for 411 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800200 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Stone Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: seven
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Brians, Ann Elizabeth. Indomitable Pioneer Square. Master of Urban Planning Thesis, University of Washington, Seattle, 1973.
R. D. Merrill Company. “Merrill Place, Historic Preservation Certification, Part 1,” 18 May 1983. OAHP, State of Washington, Olympia, Washington, Microfiche File.

Photo collection for 411 1st AVE / Parcel ID 5247800200 / Inv #

Photo taken Jul 21, 2004
App v2.0.1.0