||"Office & warehouse for Carl Belmont,"/ Burke Concrete Accessories
||Phil Smart Auto Repair
||Modern - International Style
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.
AIA Historical Directory
of Architects, <http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/Browse%20O.aspx>
, accessed May 16, 2010.
,“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.
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.
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
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.