AKA: Squire Building #2, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Bebb, Charles, Architect (firm); Charles Herbert Bebb

Dates: constructed 1900

317 1st Avenue South
Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA 98104-2505

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Building History

The IL-born businessman Samuel Edwin Squires (c. 1863-1959), who derived his wealth from gold mining, commissioned the English-born architect Charles Herbert Bebb (1862-1942), to design this business block for him, completed in 1900. According to the Seattle City Directory of 1905(p. 1132), Squires was the Vice-President of the Swift River Gold Mining Company. Utilizing much Chinese labor, the Swift River Gold Mining Company owned hydraulic gold mining operations on the Swift River in Central Britsh Columbia. (For more on gold mining in this region, see N. Eyles and S.P. Kocsis, "Placer Gold Mining in Pleistocene Glacial Sediments of the Cariboo District, British Columbia, Canada 1858-1988,” Geoscience Canada, vol 15, no. 4, 1988, p. 293-301.)

According to the City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods, Historical Sites Summary for 317 1st Avenue: "The building was commissioned by Samuel E. Squires, who had become rich during the Klondike Gold Rush and was originally known as the Squires Building. Over the years, the “s” was dropped and the building been known as the 'Squire Building.'" (See City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Historical Sites Summary for 317 1st AVE, Accessed 09/03/2010.) The Samuel Squires Building and the building part-owned by Watson Carvosso Squire (1838-1926), the Squire-Latimer Building (1890), located at 208 1st Avenue South, have frequently been confused.

In 1984, the Squires Building was consolidated with the L.C. Smith Building #1 (at 80 South Jackson Street) to create a condominium building.