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Summary for 81 S Washington ST S / Parcel ID 5247800065 / Inv #

Historic Name: St. Charles Hotel Common Name: St. Charles Hotel
Style: Commercial, Queen Anne - Richardsonian Romanesque Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
Built By: Year Built: 1889
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
Part of the property of early settler Dr. David Maynard, this building was built in 1889 right after the Fire of 1889. Like many of the buildings of this time, it has a brick façade, divided in Victorian fashion by a grid. It uses two similar but different window openings and its chief adornment is brick corbelling in addition to a modest amount of stone trim. It is typical of buildings erected in what became the Pioneer Square- Skid Road National Historic District right after the Fire and yet has its own distinctive architectural quality. Its original name is the St. Charles Hotel and it operated as a hotel for a long time. The St. Charles Hotel can be seen in later historic photographs of the elevated Seattle Municipal Street railway, which was completed on September 4, 1919. The elevated railway line ran east and west along Washington Street from and to the former Railway Avenue, now Alaskan Way, past what is now the Lutheran Compass Center, the St. Charles Hotel (still its name in 1919), the “little Collins Building” which in 1919 housed the C. M. & St. P. Employment Agency and the J & M Café. The railway was built in large part to speed the arrival of workers involved in shipbuilding in Seattle’s southern harbor, which was heavily involved in building ships for the war effort during World War I.
This is a three story building with exterior walls in red brick and interior structure in heavy timber post and beam, dating from right after the Fire of 1889. It has one façade on Washington Street. The façade has an implied symmetrical composition, although the last bay to the east is wider than its counterpart to the south. There is a central bay with a single arched doorway at the ground floor, a single window opening with a segmental arch at the second floor, and a single window opening with an arched opening at the third floor. This is topped by a raised portion of the parapet with a sign with “1889” emphasized by a special thickening of the brick wall on each side with corbel decoration. To each side of the central bay are two bays of storefront. These are surmounted at the second level by two separate windows topped by segmental arches. All of the openings at this level are framed the top by smooth stone with decorative keystone motifs that protrude out of the frame. Corresponding to the second floor openings, are the arched third floor openings, with stone frames around the arched portion of the opening in rusticated stone. Of note are the engaged brick piers that vertically separate the bays and the decorative corbelling which runs the length of the Washington Street façade. The east elevation, facing the alley is visible from the street and has regular window openings topped by segmental arches. In general, windows are wood frame and double-hung.

Detail for 81 S Washington ST S / Parcel ID 5247800065 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Stone Foundation(s): Brick, Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Hotel Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Social Movements & Organizations, Transportation
Changes to Plan: Intact
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
Dorpat, Paul."101 The Railroad Avenue Elevated." Seattle, Now and Then. Seattle: Tartu Publications, 1984.

Photo collection for 81 S Washington ST S / Parcel ID 5247800065 / Inv #

Photo taken Oct 26, 2004
App v2.0.1.0