AKA: Gordon Building, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Nestor, John, Architect (firm); John Nestor (architect)

Dates: constructed 1889-1890

5 stories

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627 1st Avenue
Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA 98104

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The Gordon Hardware Building #2 had two storefronts at 627 and 629 Front Street (later 1st Avenue).


The Gordon Building was one of the many commercial buildings rebuilt in Pioneer Square following the devastating fire of the old, wood-frame central business district on 06/06/1889. Following this blaze that gutted 25 city blocks, the City of Seattle passed ordinances mandating the use of brick and other fire-proof materials in its downtown area.

Building History

In 1889, the five-story Gordon Building stood on the west side of 1st Avenue opposite Cherry Street. (See Polk's Seattle Directory Company's Seattle City Directory, 1889, p. 516.)

In 1890, Frank J. Burns served as President of the Gordon Hardware Company, George B. Adair, the Treasurer and Manager, and Frank H. Hardwick, Secretary. Irish-born architect John Nestor (1836-1912) produced this design for Burns, et al., following the Great Fire of 1889. Polk's Seattle City Directory of 1890 noted that the Gordon Hardware Company Building stood at 627-629 Front Street (later renamed 1st Avenue). The numbers 627 and 629 are visible in an Arthur Churchill Warner photo taken c. 1895 held in the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division. According to Ochsner and Andersen, in their book, Distant Corner, the previous Gordon Hardware location was at 927 Front Street (p. 299).


The top three floors of the Gordon Hardware Company Store #2 have been removed. Most of the first two floors remain in a highly altered state. The width of the building has been narrowed to make extra space for the parking garage next door.

PCAD id: 4633