AKA: City of Seattle, Queen Anne/Magnolia Neighborhood Service Center, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA; City of Seattle, Temporary Homeless Shelter, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Harmon, Pray and Detrich, Architects and Engineers (firm); Miles, R.B., Construction Company, Incorporated (firm); George C. Dietrich Jr. (building contractor); Craig A. Harmon (architect); Richard Baker Miles ; Roland Gilbert Pray Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1963

2 stories, total floor area: 12,122 sq. ft.

157 Roy Street
Uptown, Seattle, WA 98109

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Seattle City Light and Power utilized this Power Control Center in the city's Uptown neighborhood between 1963 and 1995, when it was replaced by a new facility in the Ballard area.

Building History

The unorthodox Seattle architectural firm of Harmon Pray and Detrich produced the design for this Power Control Center for the municipally-owned Seattle City Light utility in 1963. The building project was originally called the "System Operations Headquarters," but was early on rechristened the "Power Control Center." As noted by Michael J. Herschensohn in a 2016 landmark nomination for the building: "City Light constructed this now retired Power Control Center in 1962-63 on the site of a previous distribution substation built in 1926 by Puget Sound Power & Light Company as part of their private electric utility operations within the City of Seattle. In 1951, following a city-wide referendum approving the purchase [of the Seattle assets of] Puget Sound Power & Light..., City Light acquired the Queen Anne distribution substation at the intersection of Warren Avenue North and Roy Street near today’s Seattle Center. The construction of I-5 required the demolition late in the summer of 1963 of City Light’s original power control center which had been housed at the former Yesler Substation at 7th Avenue and Yesler Way. A site City Light had used since 1905. In response to the freeway construction, City Light chose to reuse the subject site and to relocate the Power Control Center there. The architecturally distinctive building was designed to harmonize the many new buildings built for the 1962 Century 21 Exposition, in which City Light had been an enthusiastic participant. The Power Control Center entered seamlssly into service on October 1, 1963." (See Michael J. Herschensohn, Queen Anne Historical Society.org, "City of Seattle Landmark Nomination: 157 Roy Street," published 02/08/20216, accessed 02/08/2016.)

Harmon, Pray and Detrich collaborated with R.B. Miles Construction Company of Seattle on the Power Control Center.

Seattle City Light and Power commissioned the construction of an addition to the original octagonal building in 1985. This addition was meant to create new space for Transmission and Generation Operations and Resource Scheduling divisions.

The utility rented out the octagon to a local Easter Seals Washington in 2002. Subsequently, in 2015, it became a homeless shelter

Building Notes

This two-floor, hexagonal-sided, reinforced concrete office building housed a City of Seattle Neighborhood Service Center in c. 2011. It occupied a 15,360-square-foot site. The total value of land and improvements in 2011 stood at $3,115,600.


A new addition was made in 1985. This consisted of building onto the original octagon and enlarging basement space.