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Summary for 3434 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 7666205862 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Viking Automatic Sprinkler Company Common Name: Viking Automatic Sprinkler Company
Style: Modern - International Style Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1964

Seattle architect Richard Bouillon designed this building for the Viking Automatic Sprinkler Company, which still currently occupies the building. The building dates from 1964. The two-story portion of the building is a good example of Modernist architecture from the 1960s, particularly in the horizontal division of the bays, and the vertical subdivision of each bay: metal frame windows, framed vertically by rectangular panels. Original elements, including the aluminum frame windows, of the main building appear to be relatively intact, although in some cases, concrete panels may now be overlaid with metal sheeting. Paint hides most possible material alterations.

Richard Bouillon, a Seattle architect, is chiefly known as a Modernist architect. Born in 1928, he graduated in architecture from the University of Washington and received his architectural license in 1954. Although his career appeared to be promising, it was cut short by his relatively early death. He had an early professional association with architect Joseph Williams and formed his own firm, Richard Bouillon Associates, in 1959. He did win an award from Practical Builder Magazine for the Crescent Apartments in Rainier Valley. Other known projects included: a Washington Mutual bank branch, which dates from 1969, in Renton and the former Olivetti-Underwood Office Building, which dates from 1966. His firm also won a special citation from the Seattle chapter of the AIA in 1969 for a fountain and alterations to University Chevrolet, located along at Northeast 45th Street. Architect Harry Rich worked with Bouillon for a short time, not long before Bouillon’s death. The firm has endured and is now known as Lance Mueller & Associates.


This building is located on the east side of First Avenue South, slightly north of Spokane Street. Its structure includes exterior concrete tilt-up walls. Although this building actually has a larger footprint and had a very utilitarian function, its most architecturally interesting and visible portion presents itself as a two-story Modernist box, eighty feet by forty feet. The main elevation along First Avenue is comprised of ten bays, marked by slightly protruding vertical elements. Each bay is also subdivided into two vertical sections. The corresponding side elevations of the two-story portion of the building each have five similar bays, also subdivided into two vertical sub-bays.

The bays are also divided geometrically in the vertical direction by solid panels, which alternate with aluminum framed windows. A subsidiary rhythm is partially set up by windows, which have an additional, lower (and probably operable) pane. For instance, moving from north to south, across the main elevation, the first two bays are visually paired, because the inner windows at both levels have the additional lower pane. The same is true of the following two sets of bays, which follow the entry bay and so on. The very last bay sits by itself. A similar pairing occurs on the north elevation with the first two sets of bays, leaving a single bay at the end, which includes a window with a lower, pane at the last vertical subdivision and a door below it.

This two-story portion of the building was designed to include offices, drafting, printing and lunchrooms. The back or eastern portion of the building was designed as a warehouse and shop and a one-story space. The back of the building presents itself merely as a utilitarian concrete box. It also now has an outdoor shed addition along its northern elevation.


Detail for 3434 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 7666205862 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete, Metal, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Manufacturing Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Intact
Storefront: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 3434 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 7666205862 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 10, 2010
App v2.0.1.0