AKA: Pacific Medical Center, Beacon Hill, Seattle, WA; Amazon.com World Headquarters, Beacon Hill, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - public buildings - hospitals

Designers: Bebb and Gould, Architects (firm); Graham, John and Company, Architects and Engineers (firm); Wright Runstad and Company (firm); Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) Partnership (firm); Charles Herbert Bebb ; Robert J. Frasca (architect); Carl Freylinghausen Gould Sr. (architect); John Graham Sr. (architect/engineer); Brooks R. Gunsul (architect); H. Jon Runstad (developer); Howard S. Wright Jr. (building contractor/developer); Norman Cunningham Zimmer (architect)

Dates: constructed 1930-1933

16 stories

1131 14th Avenue South
Beacon Hill, Seattle, WA 98144

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14 Avenue South and South Judkins Street.

A previous U.S. Marine Hospital operated in Port Townsend, WA, from 1855-1933. The U.S. Public Health Service moved the location to Seattle, WA, in 1933. The distinguished Seattle architecture firm Bebb and Gould, designed the building, assisted by the John Graham Company. This hospital originally had 312 beds, and served U.S. Armed Forces veterans, merchant seamen, personnel from the U.S. Light House Service and the poor, referred to as "Federal compensation cases." See "A Short History of the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority,"Accessed 07/31/2009. In 1998, the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority (PHPDA) signed a 99-year lease with the Seattle development firm, Wright Runstad, who attracted a private firm, Amazon.com, the online retailer, to rent offices in the hospital tower. Amazon.com occupied 190,000 square feet in the hospital between 1998-2008 before moving to new offices in South Lake Union. Amazon paid about $1.5 million in rent per year, which, in turn, the PHPDA spent on medical care services for the indigent.

A variety of dates are given for the construction of this hospital, ranging from 1930-1934. The exterior was done by 03/14/1933, and the U.S. Public Health Service moved into the facility in 1933. T. William Booth and William H. Wilson, in their authoritative essay "Bebb & Gould," in Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, Shaping Seattle Architecture, (Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1994), p. 179, indicated dates of 1930-1932.

Altered. In 1987, King County citizens passed a regional health bond measure appropriating $9.3 million to seismically update the U.S. Marine Hospital. As part of this project, Portland-based architects, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF), designed a north addition to the hospital, between 1991-1994. According to a Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority web site: "Rather than retrofit the entire structure with new support beams and trusses, the architects decide to build a structure on the north side of the building, creating a buttress to the Tower while also providing additional clinic and office space. When completed, the building receives an honor from the American Institute of Architects for being 'utterly responsive to the original building' and 'a wonderful seismic solution.'" See "A Short History of the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority,"Accessed 07/31/2009.

Seattle Historic Landmark (1992): ID n/a

National Register of Historic Places (December 21, 1979): 79002543 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 6459