Plat: Terry's 5th Addition, Block 8,
Alternate Address: 657 Dearborn St, (657 S. Dearborn St)
Based on original
construction drawings, Stuart and Wheatley, Architects and Engineers, designed
this building, whose address at the time was 657 Dearborn St, as a warehouse
for the Knickerbocker Company in 1926. The building has retained many
significant architectural features, but the change in fenestration and to the
main entry has altered its exterior appearance to some degree.
The firm of
Stuart and Wheatley is primarily known for elegant apartment and hotel
buildings in Seattle. This is an interesting example of how the firm adapted
its usual stylistic tendencies to the design of a more utilitarian building.
Based on the original drawings, the interior of the four floors was mainly left
open, with rows of columns visible.
By 1948, the
Crescent Manufacturing Company, (which had headquarters in what became the
Pioneer Square Historic District to at least the 1910s), occupied the building.
During the late 1940s, the Crescent Manufacturing Company apparently added a
cafeteria area, which involved additional interior construction in steel,
additional partitions for offices, as well as a sugar tank. The plant was
highly productive with a “capacity for roasting ten tons of coffee, per day,
packing 20,000 bottles Mapleine per day, 8000 cans of spices per day, and so
on.” By the early 1980s, Crescent Foods still occupied the building.
Manufacturing Company had actually been in existence in Seattle since 1883.
Early on, it was known as a purveyor of spices and seasonings, as well as
vanilla extract. During the Klondike Gold Rush, the company sold a popular
spice and preservation packet. By 1905, it also sold Mapleine, an imitation
maple flavoring. By the 1930s, Mapleine had become the company’s most
well-known and popular product. Don Weaver played an important role in the
company’s development, especially from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s. Under
his leadership, the company continued to prosper and change. In 1957, the
Crescent Manufacturing Company bought Gold Shield Coffee. It also began to
package and sell nuts, a very successful enterprise. In 1989, McCormick &
Company, a well-known spice manufacturing company, based in Baltimore, bought
Crescent Foods. Crescent Foods’ various Seattle facilities have since been
consolidated. As of 2004, their main headquarters were located in Kent, Washington.
Crescent Foods departure from the building, there have been a variety of
tenants in the building, including the Seattle Parks Department. The building
is now known as the RDA Building.
of Stuart and Wheatley was formed in 1925, not long before this building was
designed. The firm lasted until 1930. Bertram Dudley Stuart was born in
London in 1885. He apparently practiced architecture in Canada, in Edmonton,
Alberta and in Vancouver, B. C., before coming to Seattle in 1918. The firm’s
most well-known work includes the Exeter and the Marlborough Apartments on
First Hill; the Biltmore Apartments and its annex and the Roundcliffe
Apartments on Capitol Hill; and the Bergonian Hotel, now the Mayflower Park
Hotel in downtown Seattle.
R.Warren, “Crescent Manufacturing Company,” HistoryLink.org Essay 2006,
database at <www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=2006>,
January 1, 2000, revised September 13, 2004, accessed April 15, 2010.
“Guide to the
B. Dudley Stuart Architectural Photograph Collection
1920s-1940s,” database at : <www.lib.washington.edu/Specialcoll/findaids/docs/photosgraphics/StuartPHColl585.xml>,
accessed April 15, 2010.
South District Commercial Club, Seattle's South District: A Pictorial Study,”