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Summary for 2015 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7666205265 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: "Office & warehouse for Carl Belmont,"/ Burke Concrete Accessories Common Name: Phil Smart Auto Repair
Style: Modern - International Style Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1957
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

Architect: Oliver W. Olson

Based on original drawings, Architect Oliver W. Olson initially designed this building as an Office and Warehouse for Mr. Carl Belmont in 1956. It was completed in 1957. Its main elevation along Airport Way South has retained its integrity. The facade is typical of Modernist buildings of its time. Like many buildings in Seattle’s Industrial District, the building combines elements of 1950s office buildings, particularly at its façade, with more industrial elements, such as interior bow trusses, which create the curved roof on the building exterior.

A 1939 architectural graduate of the University of Washington, Oliver William Olson was licensed as an architect by 1949. Until his death in 1993, he had an office on Market St in the Ballard neighborhood. Little seems to have been written concerning his work, but he did design Trinity Lutheran Church at 1200 10th Avenue East on Capitol Hill (1951). Around 1946, he was briefly one of the principals of a firm founded with architect John Ripley, who became fairly well known in his day. Later in life, Olson established “Ollie's Little Doll House Factory,” in his office. He and a group of friends worked on well-crafted doll houses. In 1993, an arson fire burnt the “factory” along with twelve doll houses. Oliver Olson died a few months later.

By 1965, Burke Concrete Accessories occupied the building. Christie Lambert was also an early owner of the building and still owned the building in 1972. By 1982 to at least the late 1980s, Starbuck’s Coffee was associated with the building. The company commissioned a replacement of the HVAC system by McKinstry in 1983. By 1990, Color and Design was the owner of the building. That firm also made alterations to the HVAC system. Phil Smart Auto Repair is presently in the building.

Additional Sources

AIA Historical Directory of Architects, <http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/Browse%20O.aspx> , accessed May 16, 2010.

Kay Kusumoto ,“Oliver W. Olson, Ballard Architect, Found His Love In Doll Houses,” Seattle Times, April 1, 1993.

“Oliver W. Olsen,”(sic), ID:4879, Pacific Coast Architecture Database, <https://digital.lib.washington.edu/architect/architects/4879>, accessed May 16, 2010.

AIA, Amercican Architects Directory, 1970, <http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/American%20Architects%20Directories/1970%20American%20Architects%20Directory/Bowker_1970_O.pdf>, accessed May 16, 2010.


 
Appearance

This building is located on the west side of Airport Way South, mid-block between S Holgate and S Walker Streets. The plan is virtually rectangular in plan, roughly 90 feet by 270 feet. The south elevation steps back roughly at its midpoint and at the back or west side. A variety of materials were used in the construction of the building: walls tend to be concrete and in many cases tilt-up panels, while the back wall is apparently of brick. There is also brick veneer cladding, which projects out as a thin wall, one wythe thick, on the front part of the south wall. Most of the building is topped by a series of wooden bow trusses. Other interior structural elements are wood joists and glu-lam beams. The curved roof above the bow trusses is mainly visible, when viewed from the north or south, but less so from Airport Way S. In plan, the very front of the building, close to Airport Way South, was designed as office, while the rest was designed to be warehouse space. 


The most important elevation is the façade, which corresponds to the shorter dimension and faces east and Airport Way S. Brick wall projects out to each side of the façade and frames it, although, on the north side, the brick is part of what looks like a partly free standing chimney, that was probably designed to hold signage. A wood overhang also helps to frame the recessed façade. The composition of the façade itself is symmetrical. Thin concrete concrete piers, topped by wood joists, which support the overhang, (and thus form an L-shape), are also used to visually set up the bay divisions. To each side of the entrance, there are four similar bays. Each of these bays is typically heavily glazed and divided into two panes in the horizontal direction. In the vertical direction, the panes or solid panels alternate in height, although there are recurring sizes and shapes. The lowest panes are narrow in height and topped by longer, rectangular glazed panels, which, in turn, are surmounted by similar narrow panes. Slightly, above eye level, there is a band of solid panels, which are square in shape. Completing the façade, there are narrow panes, topped by medium sized panes and then narrow panes. The relatively thin metal mullions reinforce the pattern. The size and shape of the rectangles and squares may be related to the Golden Section or some similar proportioning system.

 

The entry area is established by deeper pier/overhang supports which frame two glazed bays. Here the bays are similar to what has already been described, although, at the transom level and above, the pattern of glazing varies somewhat. The glazed double door is located in the north (right) bay.

 

Other elevations, although very long, are architecturally very simple with no (or very few) openings. The front portion of the very long south elevation has brick veneer and a parapet, which almost hides the curved roof. The back part of the elevation is concrete and has no brick veneer. Here the parapet is lower and the curve of the roof more visible. The south elevation has no openings, but a somewhat spectacular trompe l’oeuil mural, painted fairly recently on the brick.

Detail for 2015 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7666205265 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: LR, INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Glass - Curtain Wall, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Eaves, Other, Varied roof lines Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
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 2015 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7666205265 / Inv # 0


Photo taken Feb 15, 2010

Photo taken Feb 15, 2010
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