AKA: Metropolitan Building Company, Douglas Building, Metropolitan Tract, Downtown, Seattle, WA; University of Washington, Seattle, Douglas Building, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1903-1907, demolished 1956

4 stories, total floor area: 40,762 sq. ft.

4th Avenue and Union Street
Seattle , WA

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The southwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Union Street.

The US Army's First Regiment Armory occupied this site prior to 1903. The Post-Intelligencer Building was the first new office building erected in the Metropolitan Tract, the old site of the University of Washington's main campus; initially, the University Site Improvement Company, led by J.R. Stirrat, developed the building (1903-1904), but this group realized, after construction had begun, that they needed a lease longer than 30 years to make a profit. (They asked for, but didn't get, a lease of 50 years from the University of Washington's Board of Regents, who owned the property.) James A. Moore (1861-1929) put together a consortium of local and East Coast investors who completed the four-story brick building after it was stalled for almost two years. The Post-Intelligencer used this building for about 12 years.

By about 1921, the Post-Intelligencer Building was largely demolished, leaving the original structure to be refaced and the interiors redone. It was called the Douglas Building after 1921. The Douglas Building stood four stories high, and was a long thin rectangle, having 138 feet of frontage on 4th Avenue and 63 feet facing Union Street. Unlike most of the other buildings erected by the Metropolitan Building Company, the Douglas Building was constructed of a wood frame, not steel and reinforced concrete. In 1951, it possessed 22,139 square feet of rentable office space, 12,464 square feet of retail space, and a 6,159-square-foot basement, for a total of 40,762 net square feet. In 1951, Northwest Airlines leased space on the building's second floor, as did the Lee Loan Company. A Russell Stover candy store occupied the prime, corner, first-floor location at Union and 4th. Other retail businesses included a Western Union office and a Manning's Coffee Store. Soon after it was completely remodeled, the former P-I Building building was renamed for J.F. Douglas, Sr., (b. 1874), the influential President of the Metropolitan Building Company (MBC). Douglas was tireless promoter and developer of rental properties within the Metropolitan Tract, and, in his day, one of the most well-connected businessmen in the city.

Demolished; the Douglas Building was razed by the University of Washington in 1956.

PCAD id: 6076