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Summary for 1561 ALASKAN WAY / Parcel ID 7666207695 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: U. S. Army Terminal Warehouse Common Name: U. S. Coast Guard Headquarters (part of)/Pier 36
Style: Modern - Brutalism Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1941

This Modernist building is now part of Pier 36.  It was built as the U. S. Army Terminal Warehouse between 1940 and 1941 and now is part of the U. S. Coast Guard headquarters. By the late 1970s, the building functioned as a laboratory and ground floor openings had already been altered.  Since that time, openings at other levels have been filled in and/or altered. The building is mainly interesting as a significant vestige of the U. S. Army’s presence at Pier 36, beginning in 1940 to the 1960s. Among other functions, the building now serves as a repository for surplus government equipment and seized property. From 1975 to 1995, it housed of the U. S. Customs Patrol and Marine Unit. Also, during the 1980s, the southeast corner of the warehouse began to serve as the St Martin de Porres shelter, run by Catholic Community Services.

The entire area of Pier 36, the former Seattle Port of Embarkation, was originally created on tideflats, slightly more than one hundred years ago, from dirt obtained from a variety of regrade projects, administered by City Engineer Reginald H. Thomson. The Centennial Flour Mill and the Moran Brothers shipyard, followed by the Skinner & Eddy Shipyard, and then the Pacific Coast Steamship Company (1924 to 1940), as well as Hooverville shacks during the Great Depression, occupied what became Pier 36, before the tenure of the U. S. Army. The Port of Seattle acquired Pier 36 during the 1960s and in 1973, leased it to the United States Coast Guard. It is now officially known as the “U. S. Coast Guard Integrated Support Command Seattle.”

Additional Sources

Paul Dorpat, “Pier 36 ---Seattle Waterfront,” Essay 4149,

www.HistoryLink.Org, accessed July 2010.

F. K. Lentz, “Pier 36, Alaskan Way South,” Seattle Inventory Field Form, 1979, Washington State Deparment of Archeology and Historic Preservation Website, <>

, accessed July 2010.

Mimi Sheridan,  “1519 Alaskan Way South,” Survey Form, (mainly photos), 2003, Washington State Deparment of Archeology and Historic Preservation Website, <>, accessed July 2010


This building is now part of Pier 36. Irregular in plan, it is a massive, concrete structure, with many banks of windows, not a few of which have been altered or filled in. It is visually prominent. There is a barbed wire fence on its south side.

Detail for 1561 ALASKAN WAY / Parcel ID 7666207695 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Defense - Military facility Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: four
Unit Theme(s): Military, Politics/Government/Law, Social Movements & Organizations, Transportation
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Paul Dorpat, Seattle Waterfront: An Illustrated History, Seattle, June 2005.

Photo collection for 1561 ALASKAN WAY / Parcel ID 7666207695 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Apr 11, 2010
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