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Summary for 625 S LANDER ST S / Parcel ID 7666203710 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Mill & MIne Supply Co./ Polson Implement Co. Common Name: Contract Fixtures, Supermarket Services
Style: Modern - International Style Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1953 & 1963
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

Architect: Ibsen Nelsen.

This is a good Modernist example from the 1950s. Although original drawings for this building do not seem to be available, a variety of sources give the initial date of completion as 1953. Permit information for the lot, (Block 253 A, Lots 21-22-23), although tied to an alternate address, suggests very strongly that the front wing of the building was initially designed in 1953 by architect Ibsen Nelsen for the Mill and Mine Supply Company and that the contractor was the Rumsey Construction Company. This is also confirmed by the King County Tax Assessor’s record card. The building was constructed as a warehouse and office for the Mill and Mine Supply Company. A subsequent addition was completed in 1963 for the Polson Implement Company. The Polson Implement Company still occupied the main building in 1977, when additional air conditioning ductwork was added.

The Polson Implement Company, originally known as the Polson Implement and Hardware Company, has been existence since 1885, when founders Perry Polson and T.S. Poole began selling farm implements in LaConner, Washington. The company later opened branches in Seattle, as well as Wenatchee.

Ibsen Nelsen was a well-known architect, who became active in Seattle during the 1950s, shortly after his graduation from the University of Oregon in 1951. Assuming that he designed this building, this is a very early work. In fact, upon graduation, Nelsen worked for NBBJ and then had an independent practice in 1953. Shortly thereafter, in 1954, he formed the firm of Nelsen and Sabin. Nelsen designed new buildings, but also worked on the restoration of historic buildings. He also played an important role as a member of the Seattle Design Commission, Allied Arts and the Seattle Arts Commission, all of which he helped to create. His later work includes Arntzen Hall (1972), the Social Sciences Building and the Northwest Environmental Sciences Center at Western Washington University, a rehabilitation of the New England Building (Pioneer Square), the Inn at the Market in the Pike Place Market (1975-1982) and the Merrill Court Townhouses (1981-86) in the Harvard Belmont District. He became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1981.

Additional Sources

“Nelsen, Ibsen A. (1919-2001),” in “ docomomo-wewa, Embracing Northwest Modernism,” website at <>, retrieved May 9, 2010.

Marga Rose Hancock, Hon. AIA, Curator, “AIA Seattle Medalist 1989: Ibsen Nelsen FAIA,” <>, retrieved May 9, 2010.

“Polson Implement and Hardware Company, Photo, January 2, 1904 & Notes, Pacific Northwest Collection, University of Washington Libraries website,, accessed May 9, 2010.


The building is sited on a lot, which is located on the southwest corner of 7th Avenue South and Lander Street. It is also located to the west of a one-story pre-fab steel “butler building,” sited directly along 7th Avenue South. Exterior walls are of concrete, while the original interior structure, at least of the earlier wing, is supposed to be of heavy timber construction. The plan is rectangular. Although the building appears to be two stories in height, it actually includes two and three story portions within the same envelope. There is apparently no basement.

The main Lander St façade faces north. Exterior concrete cladding, a tripartite division, as well as almost full height glass walls characterize the main facade. The façade is divided into three basic parts, with each bay defined by a concrete frame. Within the first frame, the first bay presents a blank wall. The second bay includes recessed metal and glass wall, set to each side and above a glazed double-door, also set in metal frame. The glass wall takes up most of this bay. In the vertical direction, each glazed bay includes a long rectangle of glass, set above a concrete base. This is topped by a smaller rectangle, which, in turn is topped by another long rectangle of glass, of roughly the same height as the lower pane. This configuration of glazing is also repeated in the east portion of the third bay, which is framed in concrete. To the west, another narrower side entry, also topped by glazing completes this third bay.

The main part of the west elevation is also divided into three bays, defined by multi-pane windows, set in metal frames. There appears to be a lower addition to the back.

Detail for 625 S LANDER ST S / Parcel ID 7666203710 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: LR, INV
Cladding(s): Concrete, Glass - Glass Block, Metal Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: Various
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Storefront: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.

Photo collection for 625 S LANDER ST S / Parcel ID 7666203710 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 09, 2010
App v2.0.1.0