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Summary for 2326 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7666202945 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Lee & Eastes (office & freight terminal) Common Name: Honolulu Freight Service
Style: Modern - International Style Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1948 & ca. 1957
 
Significance
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

Young and Richardson, with Bliss Moore, Jr., as associate architect, designed this building as an “Office and Freight Terminal” for Lee and Eastes. Lee and Eastes Tank Lines is now located in a neighboring building along Airport Way South. The original drawings date from late September 1947. The building was completed in 1948. Based on drawings from July 1957, Young and Richardson’s successor firm, Young Richardson and Carleton, subsequently extended the north wing of the front part of the building. Like many Modernist buildings in Seattle’s Industrial District, the building combines office space with more utilitarian areas. In this case, the main bar that faces Airport Way was designed as a variety of office space, with the freight terminal mostly hidden behind it.

Changes to the building, at least what was originally the long office bar of the building, are minor. The same architecture firm made most of these changes, about a decade after the building was first constructed. The building has retained its architectural integrity.  This is a well-designed Modernist building, with Prairie style overtones, as reflected in the long horizontal lines of the overhangs and continuous bands of windows, as well as the use of brick. A Seattle firm, which has a long reputation, also designed the building. This is perhaps one of the more pleasing examples of their early Modernist work.

The partnership of Young and Richardson was a successor to Schack, Young and Myers (1920-1929), one of Seattle’s most successful design firms during 1920s. After David J. Myers departure in 1929, Arrigo M. Young and James H. Schack continued the practice until Schack’s untimely death in 1933.  Originally educated as a structural engineer, Young later obtained an architectural license and practiced architecture and engineering independently before forming a partnership with Stephen H. Richardson in 1941. The firm transitioned from its early work, clearly influenced by historical styles, to Modernism. From 1941 to 1950, the firm was called Young and Richardson. Other partners, including William Carleton, joined the firm. William Hodder Carleton attended Stanford University and obtained a M. Arch. from the University of Washington.  For a the time after Young’s death in 1954, the firm was briefly known as Young, Richardson, Carleton and Detlie and by 1956, as Young Richardson and Carleton. It later became the Richardson Associates and then simply TRA. Over a long period, it remained one of Seattle’s preeminent architecture firms, responsible for major public buildings not only in Seattle, but throughout the United States and even abroad, until its demise in the 1990s.

A series of freight or trucking related businesses have occupied the building. By the late 1960s, the Railway Express Agency, Incorporated was in the building. The Office of the Chief Engineer for Railway Express Agency made interior changes to the building, but the biggest change affecting the exterior was the addition of wire mesh screens on the interior of window openings. These seem to be now gone. The Railway Express Agency remained in the building until at least 1974. By 1980, local directories indicate that the building housed a trucking company, Transcon Lines Incorporated. The Honolulu Freight Service currently occupies the building.

Additional Source

Ken’s Goudy’s Collection, “Lee and Eastes Collection,” (photos), www.hankstruckpictures.com/kg_le.htm, accessed July 2010.

 
Appearance

2326 Airport Way S is located on the east side of Airport Way S, north of Stacy Street. A long rectangular portion, designed essentially as an office wing, faces directly along Airport Way. The long rectangular office bar is set in front of an attached freight shed, which is also rectangular in plan and set at a right angle to the office wing. The resulting overall plan is a T-shape. The office wing includes exterior frame walls, mostly covered in brick veneer, as well as continuous rows of windows. In contrast, the back freight shed has a steel structure, with additional elements, such as a continuous monitor roof, apparently built in wood.


The long office wing and particularly its main façade are the most significant elements. The wing includes a basement, first floor and mezzanine levels. The basement level was designed to accommodate a variety of service functions, such as storage, a boiler room, a locker room and a driver’s room. The basement also included unexcavated areas, including a long central unexcavated area, set directly beneath the large central office area at the first level. Above grade, the entire wing presents itself as two smaller rectangular areas that bookend the central open plan “General Office.” The south bookend was designed to include smaller office spaces, including “Mr. Eastes’ Office” and “Mr. Chamberlin’s Office.” The north bookend was initially designed to include offices for “Accounting” and “Bookeeping,” in addition to a lunch room, women’s lounge and toilet, at the north end. 


The south bookend projects out about four feet from the face of the rest of the wing. A grand stair set between brick clad walls, and located between the south bookend and the more central “General Office area,” leads to a recessed entry. The concrete stair steps begin inside the building, skirting an angled Roman brick clad wall on the north, and cascade out. On the exterior, the steps wrap around at a right angle to meet the façade of the south bookend. The façade of the south bookend is primarily clad in brick veneer over wood frame wall construction. There is a continuous band of ten windows framed in wood, located at the upper mezzanine level. There are also two punched openings at the lower basement level. This portion of the larger wing has a flat roof with an overhang.


Moving north, past the main entry and cascading steps, the central portion of the wing includes a base clad in brick over wood construction, which is topped by a continuous row of eighteen windows, also set in wooden frames. The windows openings correspond to the “General Office” area, located at the first level and are therefore set lower than the openings of the southern portion of the building, already described. As in the case of the windows of the north bookend, the windows alternate between single panes and single panes, set over smaller operable windows, (probably hopper windows, hinged at the bottom). Above the long row of windows, there is a long overhang, topped by a corresponding wooden band, originally of cedar. The overhang is also set lower than the roof overhang of the neighboring southern wing.


Based on drawings from the late 1940s, the façade of the north bookend originally had no openings and was almost square in plan. It was extended slightly during the late 1950s. There is a row of five windows, serving what appears to be the mezzanine level, on the north side of the wing. This is consistent with the 1957 drawings. Currently, there are two sets of paired double-hung windows, punched into the lower brick clad portion of the elevation. Based on plans from 1957, these may have replaced two single punched, hopper windows in roughly the same location.

Although it is possible that actual glazing may have been replaced in kind, overall, the façade has changed little.

Detail for 2326 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7666202945 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Brick - Roman, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Eaves Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Transportation - Road- Related Plan: T-Shape
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: Various
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Transportation
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.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.

Photo collection for 2326 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7666202945 / Inv # 0


Photo taken Feb 16, 2010
App v2.0.1.0