Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 231 Dexter AVE / Parcel ID 1991200930 / Inv #

Historic Name: 231 Dexter Avenue North Common Name: Speedy Auto Glass
Style: Modern, Other - Industrial Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Built By: Year Built: 1950
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
231 Dexter Avenue North was designed by architect Max van House as a warehouse building for client Robert L. Rapp and built in 1950. The builder was MacLean Warehouse Construction Company. This is not an exceptional building, but it is a well-designed and functional warehouse building from the early 1950s. The raised stepped parapet and the symmetrical composition of the Dexter Avenue North façade also hark back to earlier South Lake Union warehouses, which date from the 1920s or 1930s; however, there are no pilasters or other ornament and the main exterior wall material is concrete block Original construction drawings show that the storefront glazing that flanked the central entry on the Dexter Avenue North façade, was designed, (but perhaps never built), to be divided into four vertical sections; however, a photo from 1952 shows that the storefronts were divided into three sections, as they are today. Drawings and early photos also show that the entrance originally consisted of two angled and glazed walls, which, in plan, formed the sides of an isosceles triangle, with the base of the triangle occurring along the plane of the façade. Each wall, recessed behind the plane of the façade, had a separate door. This has since been replaced by the present entrance bay, which is a short glazed wall, set in the same plane as the façade wall. In general, aside from this change and the possible replacement of a garage door along Thomas Street, the building appears to be reasonably intact. Although the present tenant is a car repair shop, it appears that one of the earliest tenants of this building was a pharmaceutical products company, known as Breatheasy Distributors Incorporated. The architect of the building, Max van House, also designed the 1925 stack for the Supply Laundry Building at Yale Avenue North and Republican Street, currently considered part of the Cascade neighborhood, or the eastern portion of the South Lake Union area.
Description Located on the southwest corner of Dexter Avenue North and North Thomas Street, this is a simple, one story warehouse building with exterior walls of concrete block. The main elevation faces east on Dexter Avenue North. Behind raised, stepped parapets on the east and west elevations, the building has a curved roof, supported by interior bow trusses. The main Dexter Avenue North façade is laid out in a symmetrical manner: two glazed storefronts on low sills flank a central glazed entry bay, which includes a metal door. The other street facing elevation is along Thomas Street and merely reflects the original functional layout of the interior spaces: The bay closest to Dexter Avenue North has similar storefront glazing, followed by a garage door opening and then by three well spaced punched openings with ten over ten industrial sash window. The west, back alley elevation has three symmetrically placed openings, with two divided into rectangular multi-light sections, which are three panes in the horizontal direction and four panes in the vertical direction. The third opening has replacement window. The interior is distinguished by original wood bow trusses, also shown in the original construction drawings.

Detail for 231 Dexter AVE / Parcel ID 1991200930 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: LR
Cladding(s): Concrete - Block Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Block No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Health/Medicine, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 231 Dexter AVE / Parcel ID 1991200930 / Inv #

Photo taken May 07, 2005
App v2.0.1.0