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Summary for 65 S ATLANTIC ST S / Parcel ID 7666207030 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Bemis Brothers Bag Company Common Name: Bemis Building
Style: Commercial, Other - Industrial Neighborhood:
Built By: Year Built: 1904
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.

This manufacturing warehouse building was constructed in c.1904-1906 for the Bemis Bag Company. It is a good example of an industrial building from the early 20th century, and one of the largest and earliest examples in the area. Located in the former Seattle tidelands, it is associated with the development of the area as a significant transportation-related manufacturing and warehouse district. The tidelands were filled through a series of successive grading and fill projects between 1895 and 1929, creating developable land that made the expansion of railroad and port facilities possible and fostering the development of the area for commercial and industrial use that supported significant economic progress of the city in the early 20th century.

The Bemis Company was founded in St. Louis Missouri by Judson Moss Bemis in 1858. They opened their first branch factory in Minneapolis in 1881 and then expanded to include nine additional factories across the United States by 1906. The Seattle branch was started in 1903 and construction on the Seattle factory began in 1904. By 1917, the first addition had been made, creating its current street façade on Atlantic Street. Another addition was made on the south side after the 1949 earthquake destroyed part of the building. The Seattle plant originally manufactured textile and open mesh bags, especially for flour products, which were milled from Eastern Washington wheat by Seattle mills. In 1942, the factory became a major supplier of small paper bags. The Bemis Company, which continues in business with corporate offices in Wisconsin, sold the property in 1995.  The building has been converted for use as live/work apartment/studios and office units.


This is an imposing four story concrete and brick structure with clearly articulated bays and ornamental detailing on the main northernmost brick-faced building, which was constructed in 1917. The internal structure is of post and beam construction. The concrete, rear section was constructed in 1949.

The main façade (north) has 13 bays separated by brick piers. The corner bays are wider and are topped by a gabled parapet with terra-cotta or cast stone corbels and coping. The outer bays retain original paired 36-light steel industrial sash windows, while inner bays are newer metal sash of six lights, which are compatible with the originals. One loading bay with a roll-up garage door is located at the northwest corner bay first story, while the primary office entry is located in the northeast corner bay. The recessed entry consists of two pairs of newer doors and is sheltered by a suspended metal canopy. Original terra cotta signage above the entry displays the company name “Bemis.”

On the west elevation, the junction between the older brick section and the concrete section added on the south in 1949 is visible. The older, northern portion of the west elevation is composed of four bays, with four loading bays with older roll-up doors, located at the first story. The three stories above retain the original 36-light steel industrial sashes. The southern white-painted concrete portion, constructed in 1949, is set back from the older brick section. At the first story is a cantilevered canopy across the full length, sheltering three loading bays with roll-up doors, two six-light metal sash windows and a small entry at the southeast corner. The upper floors have six window bays. At the second floor, windows are arranged in groups of four 12-light metal industrial sash, flanked by pairs in the end bays. Windows at the third and fourth floors are newer, but compatible metal sashes.

 The rear, south elevation is composed of eight bays. Each bay has a large window of newer 20-light metal sash with operable casements. There are two loading bays with roll-up doors and four windows of older 12-light metal sash. The east, alley elevation of the concrete section is composed of eight bays. The rear concrete section has original 36-light industrial steel sashes on the first two stories and newer compatible metal sashes on the third and fourth stories, similar to those in the south elevation. An original loading dock has been removed and the bay opening infilled with CMU. A small loading door remains at the south end. The 1917 northern brick section of the east elevation is similar to the north primary façade with original industrial steel sash windows.

Detail for 65 S ATLANTIC ST S / Parcel ID 7666207030 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Manufacturing Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Sheridan, M. Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Project DEIS, Historic Resources Inventory

Photo collection for 65 S ATLANTIC ST S / Parcel ID 7666207030 / Inv # 0

Photo taken
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