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Summary for 3405 6TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666204155 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Link-Belt Co. Common Name: Alaskan Copper Works
Style: Modern, Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1946
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

Engineer: Melvin O. Sylliaasen

Although there may have been replacements in kind of some of the exterior materials, this industrial building still has an appearance very similar to what is shown in early photographs and original construction drawings. Along 6th Ave South, the building has a strong presence. Structural engineer M. O. Sylliaasen designed this building, which was granted a permit in early1946. Based on photos on the King County Tax Assessor’s Record Card, this is the only significant and reasonably intact building within the larger complex at 3405-15th Avenue South. The complex originally included other structures, which over time have been significantly altered and usually demolished. The original complex, which initially housed the Link-Belt Company, was apparently also completed in 1946. Sylliaasen made additions and alterations in 1952, as well.

Melvin O. Sylliaasen was a structural engineer of some importance in his day. During the 1930s, he was also the City Engineer for the City of Seattle. In 1931, he produced a report documenting the run-down condition of the wood planking, trestles and paving along Railroad Avenue, now Alaskan Way, and urged the construction of a seawall, which was completed in 1934. During the mid-1940s, he also was involved in the remodel of Pier 55.

Although Seattle Polk’s directories indicate that the Link-Belt Company was housed in the building and or complex until at least 1970, other records suggest that the Alaskan Copper Works may have already been associated with the building as early as the 1960s. In any case the directories definitely list “Alaska Copper (Fabrication Division)” at this location by 1980. The Alaska Copper Works is the present occupant. The distribution company for the Alaskan Copper Works is the Alaska Copper and Brass Company. The two companies operate as a “combined metal service center, manufacturer and fabricator of corrosion-resistant alloy products.” In the vicinity of this complex alone, both companies’ names appear on several buildings. Within the Industrial District, the two companies are a major landowner and, as of 2003, owned 19 acres. Morris Rosen founded the Alaskan Copper Works along Alaskan Way during the early Twentieth Century. The company has been run by at least three generations of the Rosen family.

Additional Sources

Frank Eugene Kidder and Thomas Nolan, The Architects and Builders Handbook, 17th edition, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1921, p 819,  available at <>, accessed April 17, 2010.

John F. Brewer, Chemical Engineering Staff, Sr., Lockheed Martin, “Appendix A, Technical Description of Robertson Protected Metal,” January 4, 2005, available at, accessed April 17, 2010.


This industrial warehouse building is part of a larger complex located on the southwest corner of 6th Avenue South and Hinds Street. The building is located on the southern end of the property and sited along 6th Avenue South. It is rectangular in plan, with its shorter dimension parallel to 6th Avenue South. The building façade presents a more or less central bay with a low-pitched monitor roof with clerestory. Two side bays, also covered by low angled roofing, flank the central bay. The composition is, in fact, slightly asymmetrical, with the south bay, slightly longer than the north one.

The building structure includes repeated steel trusses on the interior, concrete exterior walls, particularly on the north and south side elevations. There is also metal siding on some of the exterior, particularly on the facade. Early construction drawings indicate that the original metal cladding was “RPM corrugated steel,” that is Robertson Processed Metal corrugated steel. This type of processed steel sheeting, available at least by the 1920s, consisted of layers of gauge steel sheeting, which were enveloped by several layers of asphaltic material, put under pressure and then treated with a special waterproof coating. The present metal cladding is probably a replacement in kind.

Much of the building’s main façade, as well as the north and south elevations, stand out, however, because of the profusion of multi-pane steel sash. Although siding and even some metal sash may be replacements in kind, the building façade retains the same pattern of steel sash versus metal siding. A long band of steel sash runs across the façade at the clerestory level. Below the clerestory level, a larger rectangle of steel sash runs a good portion of the length of the façade. A large rectangular service entrance, set slightly off center, is cut into the rectangle. There is also another service entrance on the south side of the glass rectangle.

The north and south elevations, which are not entirely visible or accessible from the street, consist of even more steel sash, set above low concrete wall.

Detail for 3405 6TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666204155 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete, Metal Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet, Monitor Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Manufacturing Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Slight
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
Dorpat, Paul. Seattle Waterfront: An Illustrated History. Seattle, June 2005.

Photo collection for 3405 6TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666204155 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 02, 2010
App v2.0.1.0