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Summary for 1902 S Main ST S / Parcel ID 3319500445 / Inv # DPR073

Historic Name: Continental Baking Company Garage and Shop Common Name: Pratt Fine Arts Center
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Central Area
Built By: Year Built: 1920
This concrete and brick building was originally constructed in 1920 to house a retail bakery owned by Soren N. Sorenson. At the time, the Seattle Baking Company, makers of "Butternut" and "Holsum" breads, was located diagonally across the street at 1805 South Main Street. Sorenson, who also dabbled in real estate, died within a few years. In 1926, the Continental Baking Company, makers of "Wonder Bread," purchased the building and remodeled it into a garage and shop facility. The building underwent a subsequent remodel in 1953. At the time of its construction, the surrounding Yesler Way neighborhood featured a mixture of residential, institutional, and commercial uses. The ethnically diverse residential population, which included a significant Jewish community, lived in older wood frame homes and small multi-family dwellings. In 1906, the Seattle School District had purchased the adjacent block bounded 18th and 19th Avenues and Washington and Main Streets for the purpose of constructing a frame and stucco school building. Designed by School District Architect James Stephen, this school was named the Franklin School but became known as the High School Annex because it housed the overflow of students from nearby Broadway High School. Within a few years, it became Franklin High School and offered a two-year program. In 1912, Franklin High School moved to its new building in the Mount Baker neighborhood, and the old building became Washington Elementary School. Over the next fifty years, the building housed a variety of school programs until 1963 when it became an Occupational Guidance Center after the district moved the Washington Middle School to a new building located nearby. In the early 1970s, the bakery garage and the school district property were acquired by the Seattle Model City Program as part of a purchase of a four-block area for the purpose of developing a housing and park complex. The Seattle Model City Program was funded primarily through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development under authority of the federal Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966. The City’s Executive Department administered the program, whose goals and objectives were to reduce social and economic disadvantages in designated neighborhoods, provide maximum training and employment opportunities, and establish health services for residents. On August 19, 1968, the Seattle Model City Program outlined its master plan for the Central District. Four years later, the Planned Variations Expansion allowed extension of the program to three other disadvantaged neighborhoods until Model City funding ended in 1974. After acquiring the property, the Model City program developed the Bryant Manor housing complex and traded parcels, which included the garage and the old school, to the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation in exchange for the nearby Collins Playfield property. The Parks Department eventually remodeled the former garage into a Fine Arts Center, and demolished the school buildings to create a park adjacent to the housing complex. In 1976, the newly developed park was named for Edwin T. Pratt, a prominent African American community leader, who had been assassinated in the doorway of his own home in 1969. Before his death, Pratt, Executive Director of the Seattle Urban League from 1961 to 1969, had founded the Central Area Motivation Program and the Seattle Opportunities Industrialization Center, among his many accomplishments. Initiated as a city facility in 1979, the Pratt Fine Arts Center, along with other art programs, was cut from the city budget in 1982. A private non-profit group, City Art Works, was formed to continue the operation of Pratt and its many programs. This building is significant for its associations with the development of the Yesler Way neighborhood.
Completed in 1920, this large one-story brick building occupies a corner site at the intersection of South Main Street and 19th Avenue South at the southern end of Pratt Park. The flat roof building has a rectangular plan, which measures 80 feet by 120 feet, with a later addition north of center on the west elevation. On the south elevation facing the street, wide brick piers divide the façade into five bays below a cornice embellished with patterned brickwork and a continuous band of concrete. This band extends across this elevation and continues along the west elevation. Originally, the bay at the eastern end contained an overhead door within a large opening. Each of the four remaining bays contained three multi-paned wood windows below three multi-paned wood transoms and above a brick bulkhead with a brick sill. Large multi-paned modern sash windows have replaced the original door within an enlarged opening in the eastern end bay. The center three bays retain the original openings but have modern sash replacements. The enlarged opening filling the western end bay has double entrance doors set within a full height window wall. On the west elevation, the façade was originally divided into a higher northern section and a longer southern section. The same decorative cornice and concrete band tied both sections together visually. The northern section featured three large overhead doors between narrow piers. The southern section presented five bays between wide brick piers, identical to the south elevation. The same multi-paned wood windows filled the outer bays on either side of an overhead entrance door in the center bay. The bay north of center also contained a single entrance door. The later addition covers the southernmost bay of the northern section and the northernmost bay of the southern section. This one-story structure has an irregular plan with a flat roof over the brick restroom block on the north and a shed roof over the glassed in entrance lobby on the south. The two bays north of the addition still contain large overhead wood doors, which appear to be the originals. The four bays south of the addition feature the same modern sash replacements as on the south elevation. In contrast to the face brick on the south and west elevations, common brick and hollow clay tiles cover the minor north and east elevations. On the north elevation, a shed roof extends over the eastern two thirds of the façade and covers a storage area enclosed by a chain link fence. A small brick addition at the western end of the elevation contains an overhead door. On the east elevation, the parapet wall steps up twice along the higher northern section, which contains a single entrance door below a covered transom adjacent to a large opening with an overhead metal door. Ivy covers the southern end of the elevation, while a chain link fence encloses the northern end, creating an outdoor storage area. A surface parking lot adjoins the east elevation. Due to the substantial alterations and additions, this Commercial Vernacular building retains little physical integrity.

Detail for 1902 S Main ST S / Parcel ID 3319500445 / Inv # DPR073

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Other Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat, Shed Roof Material(s): Unknown, Metal - Corrugated
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Specialty store Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Unknown No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Arts, Commerce, Community Planning/Development, Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Sherwood, Don. Seattle Parks Histories, c. 1970-1981, unpublished.
Erigero, Patricia. Seattle Public Schools Historic Building Survey Summary Report. Seattle, WA: Historic Seattle PDA, 1990.

Photo collection for 1902 S Main ST S / Parcel ID 3319500445 / Inv # DPR073

Photo taken Nov 08, 2000
App v2.0.1.0