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Summary for 400 Occidental WAY / Parcel ID 5247800735 / Inv #

Historic Name: J. M. Frink Building/ Washington Iron Works/ Washington Shoe Mfg. Company Building Common Name: Washington Shoe Building/ Washington Shoe Company Building/ "The Shoe"
Style: Art Deco - Zig Zag, Commercial, Other, 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 first four floors of the building were designed by the firm of Boone and Willcox as the Washington Iron Works Building for John M. Frink and completed in 1892. The building, used as a manufacturing/ warehouse building, was also known as the J. M. Frink Building, at least until 1895, when the owners of the building, including John M. Frink and Abbie Frink, (as well as James and Annie Readman) gave up the building during the course of a legal suit alleging that they had failed to make good on promissory notes or to pay property taxes for the years 1892, 1893 and 1894. The top two floors were added by Blackwell and Baker in 1912. The ground floor Art Deco cladding was added , according to some sources in the 1920s, and, according to others, in 1936 by Harold H. Ginnold Architects for the Detroit Investment Company. By the 1930s, the building was used as an office building. Aside the Art Deco cladding at the ground floor, which adds another layer of interest and the loss of the parapet as a result of the 1912 addition, the building’s first four floors seem to be reasonably intact. The building retains the important features from 1892, while reflecting the subsequent economic and industrial growth in the neighborhood by the addition of the floors from 1912. In the Art Deco flourishes of the storefront level, it also reflects the tastes of later business owners, who used the building as an office building after 1920. Born in Pennsylvania in 1830, one of the main architects of the building, W.E. Boone, was described in his 1921 obituary in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, as a direct descendant of Daniel Boone. His architectural career in Seattle is interesting, because he had a known practice before Seattle’s Great Fire and was a partner in several successful offices well after the fire, a rarity among the architects who contributed to the rebuilding of Seattle in 1889. He was responsible for many buildings in what is now the Pioneer Square Historic District, including the pre-fire Yesler-Leary Building, which stood at the intersection of Yesler Avenue and First Avenue, the Globe Building (the former Marshall Walker Block) , and the Seattle Quilt Building. In partnership with William H. Willcox, he completed the now demolished but spectacular New York Building , (1889-1892), at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Cherry Street and designed the original four floors of the J. M. Frink Building (or Washington Iron Works Building), now known as the Washington Shoe Building (1891-1892), at the southeast corner of Occidental Avenue South and Jackson Street. Before the formation of Boone and Willcox in 1890, William H. Wilcox (born 1832; not to be confused with W. R. B. Willcox) practiced in New York, Chicago, Nebraska and Minneapolis-St. Paul and published an eighty four page booklet entitled: Hints to Those Who Propose to Build – Also a Description of Improved Plans for the Construction of Churches. The Boone and Willcox partnership lasted until 1893. Wilcox then practiced architecture in Los Angeles from 1893 to 1895 and architecture and surveying in San Francisco in the 1900s and 1910s. He died in California in 1929.
The Washington Shoe Building at 400 Occidental South was originally built as a four story building. Two stories were added subsequently and completed in 1912. The building is rectangular in plan and mainly has a flat roof and parapet. Its street elevations face north on Jackson Street and west on Occidental Avenue South. The ground floor street elevations are clad in sandstone with Art Deco motifs, while the floors above are mainly clad in brick with rusticated stone belt courses. The current interior structure consists of steel frame completely enveloped in concrete with floors of heavy timber beams and joists. At the second and third levels, the street facing elevations have trabeated window openings. Each elevation consists of five bays, with three window openings each. Above the third floor, the walls corbels out and is inscribed with a painted sign running the length of the north façade, “THE WASHINGTON SHOE MFG CO.” A smaller sign, with the same information occurs on the first half of the west façade. The fourth level of the building is clad in rusticated brick. Both north and west elevations have five bays consisting of 3 arched window openings. These are topped by a thin stone belt course, which is rectangular and shallow in section. Here, vertical wall space between grouped windows has a distinctive profile which curves out and then in and sits on a projecting stone base, which is more or less flush with the wall below. Another distinctive detail: the radiating and intersecting brick patterns above each series of wall openings. On the fifth and sixth floors, each bay consists of a double set of window openings, with an arched window on the 6th floor set directly above a fifth floor rectangular one. Each paired set of windows is separated by a thickened wall which resembles a shallow pilaster. Each of the “pilasters” disappears toward the top of the wall into the corbelled top of the wall parapet. The ground floor Art Deco cladding around the storefronts of the street facing elevations dates from the 1930s. It is distinguished by a series of decorative fluted pilasters on smooth bases. The pilaster capitals consist of ellipses set within elongated polygons, resembling stylized shields. Stylized floral motifs adorn each side of the “shield” shapes. A continuous frieze with faceted zigzag decoration runs the length of north and west elevations above the storefronts. The storefronts themselves sit on a black tile base, with small gold tiles occurring below the first row of black tiles.

Detail for 400 Occidental WAY / Parcel ID 5247800735 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Ceramic tile, Stone - Ashlar/cut Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: six
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Storefront: Extensive
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
“Three Fine Buildings Almost Finished,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2 April 1892, p 5.
“To Foreclose on the Building,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 24 March 1895, p 5.
“Washington Shoe Building, 400 Occidental Avenue South, Historic Preservation Certification Application, Part 1,” 7 January 2001.

Photo collection for 400 Occidental WAY / Parcel ID 5247800735 / Inv #

Photo taken May 24, 2004

Photo taken
App v2.0.1.0