AKA: Times Square Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA; Seattle Times Newspaper Building #3, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Bebb and Gould, Architects (firm); Charles Herbert Bebb ; Carl Freylinghausen Gould Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1914-1916

5 stories, total floor area: 73,399 sq. ft.

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414 Olive Way
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98101

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The "Times Square Building" in Seattle stood between 4th Avenue and 5th Avenue between Olive Way and Stewart Street

Overview

Architects Bebb and Gould designed one of the finest and most delicately scaled buildings in Seattle's Downtown area. It has the look of an Italian Renaissance palazzo, but its flat-iron, trapezoidal shape was dictated by its slice of property, a splinter of land floating in the intersection of two of the street grids that make up the central business district. All of the labor for the building was to be supplied by Seattle contractors and laborers, as per the wishes of the newspaper's recently deceased publisher, Alden J. Blethen (1845-1915). This was an important political issue for the Seattle Times, as it needed to be seen as a protector and champion of local businesses.

Building History

The original drawings for this building were done by Charles Bebb's preceding firm, Bebb and Mendel, in the Gothic Revival Style. Bebb and Gould reworked it to resemble an Italian Renaissance palazzo. A permit for excavating the Times Building's foundations was granted on 03/18/1914, initiating the construction process. (See "Seattle and State Advance During Year 1914," Seattle Times, 01/03/1915, p. 24.)

Bebb and Gould worked with the A.W. Quist Company, the building contractor, as well as with the Vulcan Manufacturing Company of Seattle (steel producer) and the Denny Renton Clay and Coal Company, Seattle, (terra cotta producer), and the Washington Portland Cement Company of Concrete and Seattle, WA. Quist's contract was bid at $225,985, which included contracts for the subsidiary suppliers and craftspeople. (See "Times' New Building Contracts Let," Seattle Times, 10/17/1915, p. 1.)

Building Notes

On a smaller scale, the building's triangular profile suggested the Flatiron Building by D.H. Burnham and Company, New York, NY, 1902, a building the New Yorker Carl Gould, Sr., (1873-1939) would have known well. (The notion of calling this the "Times Square Building" referred to Times Square in New York City.) In 1920, the Times Square Building's east facade had the "Times Square Automatic Baseball Player Board," which provided play-by-play coverage of the World Series. In 1973, the Beverly Hills-based firm, the Churchill Group, owned the Times Square Building. This company petitioned the City of Seattle to "permit...a portion of the exterior of the building for a flower-stand operation. This request was denied." (See Joseph O. Lampe, "Feedback," Seattle Times, 04/15/1973, p. D3.) According to In 2011, the building occupied a 10,240-square-foot lot, and had 73,399 gross square feet, 59,615 net.

Alterations

Alterations have occurred over the east entrance; a pediment was removed over the door and a steel awning was put up to shield pedestrians from inclement weather. The Churchill Group's General Partner, Joseph O. Lampe indicated in 1973 that "...$90,000 was expending in improving it since our purchase including the removal of a dingy restaurant, the renovation of the space and the operation, today, by the lessee, of a bright, cheerful and clean establishment." (See Joseph O. Lampe, "Feedback," Seattle Times, 04/15/1973, p. D3.)

Seattle Historic Landmark (1984-09-10): ID n/a

King County Assessor Number: 0659000385 Department of Assessments eReal Property GIS Center parcel report GIS Center parcel viewer GIS Center iMap viewer

PCAD id: 6231