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Summary for 35th AVE / Parcel ID 2489200285 / Inv # SPU019

Historic Name: SW Myrtle Street Tank No. 2 Common Name:
Style: Other - Industrial Neighborhood: Morgan Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1946
The Seattle Water Department constructed this 1,000,000-gallon steel tank in 1946 and a 7,000,000-gallon reservoir the following year on a site adjacent to a 500,000-gallon tank built in 1919. As early as 1916, the Water Department had recognized the need for two reservoirs in West Seattle and had acquired a large tract of land in the vicinity of SW Cloverdale Street and 8th Avenue SW for the purpose of constructing one of them. At the time, six wooden tanks at 40th Avenue SW and SW Charleston Street served the entire West Seattle area with a combined capacity of 300,000 gallons. Within a few years, the construction of three more wooden tanks at SW Charleston Street and a new steel tank at 36th Avenue SW and SW Myrtle Street increased West Seattle’s capacity to almost a 1,000,000 gallons. Despite the purchase of the land in 1916, the first reservoir at 8th Avenue SW and SW Trenton Street was not completed until 1932. The Depression of the 1930s and the shortage of labor and materials during the Second World War prevented the Water Department from carrying out their plans to construct the second reservoir until 1945. In that year, additional land was acquired adjacent to the 1919 tank on SW Myrtle Street at 35th Avenue SW for the purposes of constructing a reservoir and an elevated tank. The tank was completed in 1946 and the reservoir the following year with connections to the West Seattle Reservoir to the south and the SW Charleston Street Standpipe to the north. The Water Department retained the earlier tank on the site. The new 1,000,000-gallon tank was the first of three elevated tanks of the same size to be built by the Water Department over the next three years. The 1947 Magnolia Bluff Tank replaced the original 250,000-gallon tank built on the site in 1911, while the 1949 Maple Leaf Tank replaced two smaller tanks on the site with a combined capacity of 150,000 gallons. The SW Myrtle Street Tank No. 2 is significant for its association with the growth and development of the Seattle water system.
Completed in1946, this 1,000,000-gallon steel tank is situated on a hilltop site along SW Myrtle Street to the east of a smaller 500,000-gallon tank constructed in 1919. This hill is at the southern end of a large grassy site between 35th and 36th Avenues SW and SW Myrtle and SW Willow Streets. The two tanks share the fenced site with a 7,000,000-gallon reservoir located down the hill to the north and accessible by a set of stairs. Two rings of steel posts set at intervals around a large central supply pipe support the steel tank and rest on individual concrete pads. Horizontal braces at the midpoint connect the ten posts in each ring and interconnect the two rings. Thick steel wires in tension provide diagonal bracing above and below the braces. Two horizontal bands of riveted steel plates comprise the upper portion of the tank below a curved metal roof topped by a small cupola. Reached by an enclosed ladder on the western side, a fenced external walkway, which is supported by the outer ring of posts, encircles the base of the tank’s upper half. The curved underside the tank is constructed of smaller vertical sections of riveted steel plates, which terminate at a raised steel ring around the supply pipe in the center. Radiating steel beams within this ring reinforce the tank and create supports for the inner ring of posts. This tank is well maintained with excellent physical integrity.

Detail for 35th AVE / Parcel ID 2489200285 / Inv # SPU019

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Structure District Status:
Cladding(s): Metal Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Other Roof Material(s): Metal
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Waterworks Plan: Other
Structural System: Steel No. of Stories:
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Science & Engineering
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
McWilliams, Mary. Seattle Water Department History, 1854-1954: Operational Data and Memoranda. Seattle, WA: Water Department, City of Seattle, c1955.
Seattle Water Department. Annual report / City of Seattle, Water Department. Seattle, WA: 1908-1965.

Photo collection for 35th AVE / Parcel ID 2489200285 / Inv # SPU019

Photo taken Nov 13, 2000
App v2.0.1.0