Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 2900 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666204180 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Milwaukee Sausage Company Common Name: Rivers West/ The Parts Works Inc.
Style: Art Deco - PWA Moderne, Modern Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1937
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

Architect: W. C. Jackson

Despite changes over time, and even a small addition at its south end, this simple building has changed relatively little. Its main facade retains many of its original and most important architectural features. Based on drawings from 1936, Architect W. C. Jackson originally designed the building for the Milwaukee Sausage Company. The building was completed in 1937. The original façade was symmetrical, but an addition was made at the southern end, as well as to the back of the existing plan, during the mid-1950s. 

At that time, the building was still occupied by the Milwaukee Sausage Company. Plans by architecture firm Mattson & Putnam from 1955 clearly show space for a new sausage room, packaging room, smoke houses and cookers and other functional areas. The building continued to be used for similar purposes at least until the mid-1970s.  Based on drawings from 1974, Architect Tennys Bellamy made alterations for K & N Meats, sot that the building would “comply with the Federal Meat Inspection Act and Wholesome Meat Act, Department of Agriculture Handbook No.1.”

Rivers West, which sells outerwear and the Parts Works Incorporated, a plumbing specialty wholesaler, currently occupy the building.

Additional Sources

The Parts Works Incorporated, website accessed April 10, 2010

Rivers West,, accessed April 10, 2010.


This one story concrete building is located on the southeast corner of 4th Avenue South and Forest Street. It was originally designed as a sausage factory during the mid/late1930s. It is typical of warehouses and similar industrial buildings of the 1920s and 1930s. It was originally 130 feet by 100 feet in plan, but was augmented during the mid-1950s to be slightly closer to a square in plan- about 161feet by146 feet. It retains a flat roof and parapet. The addition was made to the south end of the plan, so that the main façade retained many of its original elements, but was slightly longer. The bulk of the addition occurred at the back of the building.

The main elevation along 4th Avenue South is really the building’s most important feature. The original virtually symmetrical façade included and still includes a stepped parapet at the north end of the building. This stepped parapet, which actually steps multiple times, also corresponds to the entry bay below.  The entry bay included and still includes a central doorway flanked by a window opening on each side, with a concrete sill below it. Concrete steps, also shown in early photos, still lead to the doorway. This was and is followed by five large rectangular openings. A raised portion of the parapet tops the fifth opening. This is originally where the main façade ended.

The later addition added three similar large openings under a straight parapet. There are also some relatively unobtrusive basement level windows, both in the new wing, and a few, set directly below the windows of the original façade. Steps also lead down to the basement level near the fifth large window of the old wing, but this does not substantially alter the overall sense of the façade.  Overall, the addition is pretty seamless, but still gives a sense of the original façade’s composition.

Predictable changes have also occurred in the fenestration. The large rectangular openings of the original facade formerly contained multi-pane steel sash, divided into three subsections. These have been replaced by simpler windows with fewer panes. Large blue awnings partially obscure the fenestration. Also, the original façade openings appear to have been very slightly recessed within very shallow frames, incised in the concrete. These are no longer evident and may have been covered over by a later concrete skim coat. Presently, the large windows of the south addition are in large part filled with glass block.

Detail for 2900 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666204180 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: LR, INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Glass - Glass Block Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Processing Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 2900 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666204180 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 25, 2010
App v2.0.1.0