Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Fisher and Clark, Architects (firm); George Clark (architect); Elmer Horace Fisher (architect)

Dates: constructed 1889

3 stories

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833 Water Street
Downtown, Port Townsend, WA 98368

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The Hastings Building occupied 833-839 Water Street.


There were two buildings named similarly--the Hastings Building and the James and Hastings Building--built nearby to each other at the same time in Port Townsend. Lucinda Bingham Hastings (1826-1894), the widow of Loren Brown Hastings (1814-1881), a local dry goods merchant, turned to real estate investment after her husband's death in 1881, and provided the capital for this building and half of the cost of the James and Hastings Building.

Building History

New Englanders Loren Brown (born in VT) and Lucinda Bingham Hastings (from NH) married on 05/21/1843 in Hancock County, IL, and had, by 08/04/1848 staked a land claim in Benton County, OR, becoming early Euro-American settlers in the region. .The US Census of 1850 indicated that they had migrated to Linn, OR, and, ten years later, they had moved again to Port Townsend, WA, a city that had incorporated in that year. (See Source Citation Year: 1850; Census Place: Linn, Oregon Territory; Roll: M432_742; Page: 61A; Image: 115,accessed 01/21/2016.) Loren opened a dry goods store, and according to the 1860 Census had already acquired a modest fortune. This document indicated that Loren and Lucinda had $10,000 in real estate and a $4,000 personal estate. At this time, they had had six children, four girls and two boys. (See, Source Citation Year: 1860; Census Place: Port Townsend, Jefferson, Washington; Roll: M653_1398; Page: 44; Image: 49; Family History Library Film: 805398,accessed 01/21/2016.) The 1870 US Census stated his occupation to have been "Ret Mercht. Genl. Mdze," a retired merchant, general merchandise. His amount of money in real estate dipped to $9,000 at this time, with a $4,000 personal estate. (See, Source Citation Year: 1870; Census Place: Port Townsend, Jefferson, Washington Territory; Roll: M593_1683; Page: 83B; Image: 171; Family History Library Film: 553182,accessed 01/21/2016.) The 1880 US Census, the last done while Loren was alive, indicated that his occupation was a "retired farmer," so he must have also had agricultural investments. (See, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Port Townsend, Jefferson, Washington; Roll: 1396; Family History Film: 1255396; Page: 212A; Enumeration District: 030,accessed 01/21/2016.)

After his death, Lucinda Hastings oversaw the family investments and put money into two commercial buildings in Port Townsend's prosperous downtown. She obtained the services of the busy Seattle architect Elmer H. Fisher, who had practiced briefly in Port Townsend c. 1887. Fisher and Clark, Architects were listed in the 1888 and 1889 Seattle City Directories, and were responsible for this work.

PCAD id: 19951