AKA: West Seattle School District, West Seattle Grammar and High School, West Seattle, WA; Seattle Public Schools, Lafayette Elementary School #1, West Seattle, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - elementary schools

Designers: Naramore and Brady, Architects (firm); Stephen, James, Architect (firm); Clifton J. Brady (architect); Floyd Archibald Naramore (architect); James Stephen (architect)

Dates: constructed 1893, demolished 1949

3 stories

2645 California Avenue SW
West Seattle, Seattle, WA 98116

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Building History

The West Seattle Central School, serving all student grades, opened its first wing in 1893. This building was originally three stories tall, contained 8 rooms and occupied a 2.3-acre site. West Seattle was annexed into the City of Seattle in 1908; the following year, James Stephen designed an addition to the West Seattle School. In 1917, the school was renamed first the "West Seattle Elementary School," and, in 1918, for the Marquis de Lafayette. Extensive use of portable buildings had been used at this school in the twentieth century; eight portables were in use in 1923. Acreage for the school increased in 1946, as plans were made to make a modern addition. A new school was placed on the site, designed by the firm of John Graham and Company.

Building Notes

The building was also known commonly in West Seattle as the "Brick School."


The building's third floor, at one time the site of the gym and auditorium, was no longer used after 1923, because its exit ways were not deemed safe. (West Seattle High School provided a temporary building to serve as a gym in 1925.) In the same year, school officials demolished the school's bell tower.

The Seattle architecture firm of Naramore and Brady designed a gymnasium addition to the Lafayette Elementary School. This addition survived the 1949 Quake.


A strong earthquake occurred in Seattle, WA, on 04/13/1949, a temblor that caused a brick gable to fall from the roof of the Lafayette School. Due to extensive structural damage experienced in the 1949 Quake, all of the 1893 school and most of the 1909 addition were demolished. Fortunately, no students were injured, as it occurred during a spring vacation.

PCAD id: 15619