Please See 333 Westlake Ave N. [Pande Cameron Building – Durant-Star Co./Dunn Motors Showroom] for Westlake Avenue N. – Historic Context Statement.
This commercial building was designed by architect W.H. Whorely and constructed in 1955. It originally housed the offices of Hosea T. Wolfe, accountant (Polk’s City of Seattle Directory, 1955). Subsequent tenants included Jafco Premium Goods Distributors (Polk’s City of Seattle Directory, 1960, 1963), and Sunbeam Supply Service Electrical Repair (Polk’s City of Seattle Directory, 1965, 1970).
This building was designed and constructed during the post-World War II era, which was an important period of industrial, commercial and warehouse development in the South Lake Union area. It displays characteristics of the Mid-Century Modern or simply Modern style. The Modern style grew out of construction techniques and materials technologies that developed during and immediately after World War II in response to the need to build economical and easily assembled structures. While these techniques were initially used in the construction of military and mass housing structures, they quickly spread to other building types. Characteristics of Modern commercial vernacular buildings during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s modular building systems with cladding materials that could be pre-fabricated and assembled on-site. Common cladding materials included brick (frequently Roman brick), formed concrete, simulated stone, aluminum, Vitrolite (opaque glass), glass block, and small mosaic tile. Modern commercial storefronts often featured an “open front” design, which celebrated the display window as the most prominent storefront element in contrast to earlier storefront designs which placed more emphasis on the wall that framed the windows. Windows were typically plate glass with narrow aluminum frames. Plate glass afforded large, uninterrupted expanses of windows that could extend from floor to ceiling, ideal for displaying merchandise. Storefront bulkheads and enframements were commonly clad in brick, stone, or tile.
This building featured the following characteristics of the Modern commercial style: “open front” storefronts with large aluminum sash windows flanking a center, recessed glazed entry, stone bulkheads and enframements and structural glass panels cladding the wide facia above the storefront windows. It has been extensively altered: the original windows, doors, storefronts and cladding have been replaced with modern materials. This building does not retain sufficient historic building fabric or features to convey its history or potential significance.
Jackson, Mike, FAIA. “Storefronts of Tomorrow.” Preserving the Recent Past 2. Eds. Deborah Slaton and William G. Foulks. Washington DC: Historic Preservation Education Foundation, National Park Service, Association for Preservation Technology, 200. 57-65.
R.L. Polk Company, “Polk’s City of Seattle Directory,” 1955, 1960, 1963,1965, 1970.
King County Property Record Card (1937-1972), Washington State Archives
Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Property Inventory Card, 2004