Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Nelsen and Sabin, Architects (firm); Stern, Richard M. and Associates (firm); Worthington, Skilling, Helle and Jackson, Structural Engineers (firm); Helge Joel Helle (structural engineer); Joseph F. Jackson (structural engineer); Ibsen Andreas Nelsen (architect); Russell B. Sabin (architect); John Bower Skilling (structural engineer); Richard M. Stern (architect); Gordon Bennett Varey (architect); Harold L. Worthington (structural engineer)

Dates: constructed 1960

2 stories

Rainier Avenue South
Seattle, WA

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Building History

Nelsen and Sabin's Associate, Gordon B. Varey (1931-1994), also worked on the Chief Seattle Council Service Center; Structural Engineer: Worthington, Skilling, Helle and Jackson; Mechanical Engineers: Richard M. Stern and Associates. The Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America need to provide space for administrators overseeing the 23 Boy Scout districts in the Seattle area at the time. To save money, volunteers donated both labor and materials to complete the administrative center.

Building Notes

Nelsen and Sabin's two-floor design for the Boy Scouts consisted of a large rectangle on the first floor, and a an L-shaped form atop it. Part of the L-shaped office space of the second floor overhung the main entryway, placed centrally on the long dimension of the first floor rectangle. Upon entering the building, the visitior moved into a double-height lobby, the building's circulation core. On one end of the first floor was an ample meeting room; on the other side offices lined the rectangle. The Western Architect and Engineer said of the building's purpose in its 04/1961 issue: "Core of Nelsen and Sabin's plan is therefore the large, two-story tall llobby, with a workspace for storage and preparation of printed matter directly behind the reception desk. Council offices are on the partial second story, district offices to one side of the lobby for easy public access. Opposite, where it may be used without interference to normal activities, is a large meeting room capable of serving as manay as 100. It and a staff dining room both open onto private, fenced courts." The midldle of the second floor also contained a conference room.

The Western Architect and Engineer said of the Scout building's brick and wood-frame construction: "This carefully organized space is enclosed within suitably rustic walls which sensitively combine wood, glass, and brick. The wood is roughsawn cedar in horizontal 1 x 4's with widely spaced battens. It contrasts with walls and piers of hard-burned clinker bricks, laid up in tow wythes with 4 in. of space between; the space was filled with concrete grout, reinforced with steel. The brick walls, exposed inside and out, work with the floor and roof diaphragms in providing lateral stability. The building's light frame--glulam beamrs, wood joists, wood and steel columns, rests on grade beams over piling, allowing a crawl space beneath." (See "Handsome Center for Seattle Boy Scouts," Western Architect and Engineer, vol. 221, no. 4, 04/1961, p. 38-39.)

PCAD id: 4847