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Summary for 1555 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666204990 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Henry Disston & Sons, Inc. Common Name: Filson
Style: Commercial, Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1924
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

This building, which dates from around 1924, is a substantial and well-designed industrial building from its time. On the other hand, it is far from intact. In particular, changes to the cladding and the loss of the steel sash windows have altered the overall appearance. The façade, in particular, still retains the basic composition and some architectural elements of its original design. In addition to the sign on the top of the façade, by the mid-1930s, the south elevation sported another large sign for Henry Disston & Sons, Inc.  Another smaller sign set between the first and second floors also advertised : “Philbrick Cutter Head/ Norton Grinding Wheels.” There was also a water tower located close to the 4th Avenue South /alley corner. No original drawings or original permits seem to be available. By the late 1940s, the building housed the Howard-Cooper Corporation, which specialized in road machinery. By the late 1980s, the building was listed in local directories as an office building, with tenants such as Rainier Color Lab.

Filson, a dealer in outdoor wear, which moved from the Pioneer Square area during the1990s, currently occupies the building. It maintains a retail store at the ground level.


This two-story building with exterior concrete walls has a flat roof and parapet. Its footprint is 120’ by 150’, with the short dimension facing 4th Avenue South. The original interior structure is heavy timber. The main façade is divided into five bays, marked by engaged concrete piers. These are expressed on the exterior of the facade by angled caps at the same level as the top of the second floor windows. The engaged piers, which flank the end bays, extend up to the parapet level and each end in an angled shape. There are several reveals below the parapet coping as well as a long, inset rectangular shape over the three central bays. This used to hold a sign for Henry Disston & Sons, Inc.

Below the parapet, each bay has one large window opening at the second level. At the ground level, the same is true, except in the case of the central entrance. Windows at the second level were once multi-pane sash, but this is no longer the case. Original photos, although not entirely clear, suggest that the same was true for the ground level window openings. Each opening is framed by brick veneer trim, while the rest of the façade appears to have been given a skim coat of stucco.

The longer elevation, which faces a parking lot, has seven bays. The first bay close to 4th Avenue South resembles its neighbor on the main façade: engaged piers, which extend to the parapet level, brick trim around the window openings, stucco coating over the areas of the wall that do not have brick trim. The rest of the elevation is much simpler, with few engaged piers expressed, as well as replacement windows. Part of the interest of this elevation, which is a secondary one, was the multi-pane steel sash windows, but these have been replaced.

Detail for 1555 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666204990 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Stucco Foundation(s): Other
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Manufacturing Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Community Planning/Development, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Storefront: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 1555 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666204990 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 10, 2010
App v2.0.1.0