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Summary for 3909 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7886100625 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Olympic Foundry Sales/ Woodtape Incorporated Common Name: Somerset Building/ Olympic Foundry Sales
Style: Commercial, Modern Neighborhood:
Built By: Year Built: 1908

Plat: South Seattle Addition, Block: 13, Lot: 4

Although the building façade has been significantly altered at the ground level, the building stands out on Airport Way South. No original drawings seem to be available. The King County Tax Assessor’s Record Card gives the building a completion date of 1908; however, the nature of the design, including the façade divisions and the corbelling, is reminiscent of  buildings which date from slightly earlier. At least by the late 1930s, this building was a factory. A metal overhang, with classical detailing, was formerly attached toward the top of the parapet. There was also a bas-relief sign with the words “NEWMAN” just above the top corbel band. In other respects the top part of the façade has changed little. By 1974, Woodtape Incorporated, listed as involved in wood manufacturing, appears to have occupied the building. By 1980, it had apparently been succeeded by the Olympic Sales Foundry.


This building is located on the west side of Airport Way South, mid-block between S Bradford and S Andover Streets. It is rectangular in plan, approximately 40 feet by 100 feet. Two stories in height, it has exterior brick walls. Its original interior structure includes a central row of 10 x 10 columns, as well as wooden beams and joists. The main elevation has been seriously altered at the ground level. The second level has kept the most important elements of its original design. Here, the façade is divided into three bays, each including two paired but separate double-hung windows. The actual window bays are slightly recessed and separated from each other by delicate engaged pilasters, topped by simple capitals. Corbelling, particularly above the bays, is also a distinguishing feature of the façade. The three corbel bands are topped by a roll moulding, which is surmounted by a fairly deep parapet. The ground level has relatively new custom made wood multi-pane storefront. Previously the ground level had plate glass storefront with two recessed doorways, with the whole topped by six tall bays of multi-pane transom lights.

Detail for 3909 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7886100625 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Brick, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Manufacturing Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Community Planning/Development, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Slight
Storefront: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 3909 AIRPORT WAY / Parcel ID 7886100625 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 20, 2010
App v2.0.1.0