AKA: University of Washington, Seattle, Bagley, Reverend Daniel, Hall #2, Seattle, WA

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

Designers: Bebb and Gould, Architects (firm); Loschky Marquardt and Nesholm (LMN), Architects (firm); Moore Ruble Yudell, Architects and Planners (firm); Naramore, Grainger and Thomas, Architects (firm); Teufel, George E., Company, General Contractors (firm); Waldron, Pomeroy, Polk and Smith, Architects (firm); Carl Freylinghausen Gould Sr. (architect); Clyde E. Grainger (architect); Robert B. Inverarity (artist); Charles Willard Moore (architect); Floyd Archibald Naramore (architect); William Polk (architect); Gerald Charles Pomeroy (architect); John Ruble (architect); Ragnar Smith (architect); Irving Harlan Thomas (architect); Lawrence Galen Waldron (architect); Robert Jonathan Yudell (architect)

Dates: constructed 1935-1937

4 stories

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West Stevens Way NE
University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

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The University of Washington's Chemistry and Pharmacy Building was one of the largest new classroom and research buildings erected on campus during the Depression Era. Brick-faced, like most of the rest of campus, its sober architectural style transitioned away from the overt Gothic / Jacobethan Revivalism of the 1910s and 1920s, toward unornamented Modernism. The architects created a traditional, symmetrical front building facade, with some ornamental flourishes above the entry way and at pilaster capitals, but it retained little of the predominant Gothic vocabulary. It resembled other government buildings erected during the 1930s in the US, in a hybrid style referred to as "WPA Moderne."

Building History

During the Depression, three Seattle architects Floyd Naramore (1879-1970), Clyde Grainger (1887-1958) and Harlan Thomas (1870-1953) associated with one another on the design of this large, new Chemistry Building on the University of Washington (UW) Campus. Grainger and Thomas had worked with each other since 1924. At a time when there was little new construction in Seattle, this job for the university would have been highly coveted. Thomas had taught in the School of Architecture at UW since 1926, replacing Carl Gould, Sr. (1873-1939). Naramore, Grainger and Thomas collaborated with Gould's firm of Bebb and Gould on the layout and placement of the building.

The earliest facilities for UW's Chemistry Department were located in Denny Hall during the 1890s. The department also maintained some space in the former UW Book Store Building (known as the "Chemistry Shack") that stood on the north side of campus near 45th Street NE between 1908 and 1922. Between 1909 and about 1937, the Department utilized what had been the Fine Arts Pavilion for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, designed by the San Francisco architectural partnership of Howard and Galloway. (This later became the Architecture and Physiology Building, and subsequent to this, the Architecture Building.) Between 1909 and about 1937, the former Fine Arts Pavilion was known as the first "Bagley Hall." When the Chemistry Department relocated to this building just west of Drumheller Fountain in 1937, the new building took on the name Bagley Hall, to also honor a founder of the University of Washington, the Methodist minister and coal magnate, Daniel Bagley (1818-1905)

The Chemistry Building cost $1,154,000 in the late 1930s, a considerable sum for the Depression Era. It contained 60 research laboratories and offices, 35 general laboratories, a stock room, study hall, library, 300-seat auditorium, 150-seat lecture hall, and three other lecture spaces.

Building Notes

Artist Robert Bruce Inverarity (1909-1999) produced the mosaics in the entryway, a Federal Art Project project of the Works Project Administration (WPA).

In the early-1950s, the Chemistry Library operated in Bagley Hall. (See "U. of W. Alumni Honor Dr. Byers," Seattle Times, 02/10/1952, p. 9)

Duane Dietz noted (1994) that Carl Gould of the Seattle architecture firm, Bebb and Gould, also participated in the design of Bagley Hall. (See Duane Dietz, "Floyd Naramore," Shaping Seattle Architecture, [Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994], p. 200 and 203.)

In 1965, the University of Washington Board of Regents approved over $5 million in revenue bonds to build an addition to Bagley Hall for a Chemical Engineering Building. Construction was contingent on the WA State Legislature's approval of the debt. The Seattle Daily Times reported in 03/1965: "The George E. Trufel Co. yesterday was awarded, conditionally, a $2,277,451 contract by the University of Washington Board of Regents for construction of the University's Chemical Engineering Building. To finance construction of the building and other projects, the regents accepted a bid from Blyth & Co., Inc., for the purchase of a %5.25 million issue of university general tuition-fee revenue bonds. The Chemical Engineering Building award hinges upon the Legislature's approval of the use of tuition bond funds to finance part of the cost. No appropriations from the state's general fund will be used in the construction. Financing will include $510,000 from a National Science Foundation grant. The four-story building, with a total cost of $2,760,700, will rise west of Bagley Hall on a site that formerly was part of the campus drug-plant garden. The Blyth bid carries an interest rate of 3.4735 per cent. The serial coupon bonds, with a maximum maturity of 30 years, will be paid out of student tuitions. In addition to the Chemical Engineering Building the money will pay for construction of Padelford Hall (Arts and Sciences Buildings) and campus utilities." (See "U.W. Building Pact Awarded," Seattle Daily Times, 03/27/1965, p. 26.) The UW Chemical Engineering was re-sited and built to the west of Bagley Hall across Okanagon Lane, not to the south. The new Chemical Engineering Building was renamed "Benson Hall," completed in 1966. This southern site was later built upon for an addition in the mid-1990s.


The firm of Waldron, Pomeroy, Polk and Smith, Architects, supervised the design and construction of an addition to Bagley Hall in 1980.

Moore, Ruble, Yudell and Loschky, Marquardt, and Nesholm (LMN) produced the Chemistry Building Addition in 1995.

In 2007, three areas in Bagley Hall were renovated: Bagley 290 (Undergraduate teaching lab), the West end of the third floor and the north side space currently allocated to Chemistry on the 4th floor.

PCAD id: 4775