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Summary for 600 S SPOKANE ST S / Parcel ID 7666203825 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Scientific Supplies Company Common Name: Consolidated Press
Style: Modern - International Style Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1954
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

This is a fairly intact example of the work of an early Seattle Modernist, Albin Shay. Shay designed the main portion of the building, including the distinctive 6th Avenue South and Spokane Street elevations, in the fall of 1953. The building, designed as a warehouse for the Scientific Supplies Company, was completed in 1954. Sigurd Ivarsson was the structural consultant. On the interior, the second level was originally a balcony that overlooked part of the lower level. The lower level originally included a large general office, set toward the center and east side of the plan, with smaller offices and a lunch room, along the west wall. At a later date, an addition was also apparently made to the building. This addition appears to post-date the minor changes made to the interior plan in 1960. The interior of the entire complex was more extensively remodeled for Dinner and Klein during the early 1970s. McKinstry made mechanical changes for the same client in 1993.  By then, the business was known as Consolidated Press.

The elevations at the corner of 6th Ave S and Spokane Streets are relatively intact. Although designed during the early 1950s, the design and detailing are somewhat original.  Although Modernist, they perhaps echo the early training and work of its architect. Albin Aurelius Shay, born in Ohio in 1889, was educated at the University of Washington and the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received a Bachelor of Architecture in 1922. Early on, Shay was employed by the New York firms of Warren and Wetmore and George B. Post. In 1924, Shay began working for Bebb and Gould in Seattle. Three years later, he started his own practice and in 1935 went into partnership with Paul Thiry. The resulting projects were some of the earliest Modernist works in Washington State, including the Percival Nichols House (1936). After World War II, Shay again had a solo practice. Although the work from this later period is not generally well documented, this particular building is generally cited as an example. Shay retired in 1964 and died in Seattle in 1984.

 

Additional Source

“Albin Aurelius Shay,” DOCOMOMO WEWA website, database available at <http://www.docomomo-wewa.org/architects_gallery.php>


 
Appearance

600 S Spokane St is located on the northeast corner of 6th Avenue South and Spokane Street, just north of the Spokane Street Bridge. This building rises to two stories in height and is rectangular in plan.  It has concrete exterior walls, but the original roof structure was built primarily of wood. Plans indicate that the roof was also designed with sawtooth skylights, but these do not seem to be visible from the street. The western façade, facing 6th Avenue South, begins on the northern side of the lot with a slightly lower wall, which has few openings. The southern portion of the west façade is more distinctive. In particular, it presents a flat roof with fairly generous overhangs, that are both slightly curved and angled at the exterior.

There is also a continuous overhang, which ties together the first floor fenestration along both the west elevation and the neighboring south elevation along Spokane Street. The overhang includes a particularly large area over the projecting main entrance on Spokane Street. There are also thin projecting bands, just below the windows. These visually tie the windows together at both levels.

At each level, the west elevation has five long vertical window openings, flanked by larger openings at the end bays. All the second level openings are taller. At this level, each large opening is divided into two by a central, vertical element or mullion. There are also thinner horizontal muntins, which each mark a row of three vertical panes.  The more central windows are relatively long and thin and also divided into three panes.  At the first level, the openings are more squat and divided into two unequal panes, rather than three panes. The lower panes tend to be close in height to one smaller pane at the second level.

The general architectural vocabulary of the main and west portion of the Spokane Street elevation is consistent with that of the 6th Avenue South elevation.  It includes five large openings at the second level. The first level includes the main entrance, which is centrally located. The main entrance is flanked by two large openings to each side. In general, at both levels, the large openings include two central panes, flanked by multi-pane windows, in vertical rows of three. Of these, the top and bottom windows were originally operable, while the central window was longer and fixed.

Detail for 600 S SPOKANE ST S / Parcel ID 7666203825 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: LR, INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Eaves, Flat with Parapet, Other Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Block No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry, Science & Engineering
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.
DoCoMoMo-WeWa.org/architects

Photo collection for 600 S SPOKANE ST S / Parcel ID 7666203825 / Inv # 0


Photo taken Feb 02, 2010
App v2.0.1.0