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

Designers: Waldron and Pomeroy, Architects / AIA (firm); Gerald Charles Pomeroy (architect); Lawrence Galen Waldron (architect)

Dates: constructed 1969-1970

1410 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195

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Overview

Schmitz Hall was part of a University of Washington late 1960s building initiative, the "Northlake Urban Renewal" planning project that included construction of a new law school building on Campus Parkway and new highrise dormitories south of 40th Street NE. Schmitz Hall was completed in 1970, and Condon Hall #2, the new law school highrise, in 1973. The proposed highrise dormitories never proceeded past rudimentary site plans.

Building History

This "student services" building commemorated the UW Presidency of Henry Schmitz (1892-1965), who served from 1952 until 1958. This building has long contained the Offices of the University Registrar, Minority Affairs, Student Affairs, Student Counseling Center, and the Financial Aid Office. Its design was part of UW's late-1960s "Northlake Urban Renewal" planning project that was also to include highrise dormitories on a tract contained by 40th Street NE on the north, University Way NE on the east, Roosevelt Way on the west and NE Pacific Street on the south, Yamasaki's Law Center, and the new Student Services Building (aka "Schmitz Hall"). (See "U.W. Plans for Renewal Tract Shown," Seattle Times, 01/02/1967, p. 38.) The Law Center project went to the Philadelphia architects Mitchell / Giurgola and Schmitz Hall was completed by 1970, but the highrise dormitories were never undertaken in this location.

Designed by the recently formed Seattle partnership of Waldron and Pomeroy, Schmitz Hall had a Brutalist character that was au courant in the 1960s for institutional buildings. In form, Schmitz Hall owed something of a debt to Le Corbusier's Convent of Sainte Marie de La TouretteLa Tourette (Eveux-sur-Arbresle, France, 1960), that architect's last work. It shared the overall top-heavy massing of La Tourette and its bold, sculptural geometry. It also retained the rugged concrete frame that La Tourette displayed, a preference that became popular among ambitious architects of the 1960s. Another influence was likely Kallman, McKinnell and Knowles's Boston City Hall, erected between 1963 and 1968, on a red-brick piazza that resembled UW's later Red Square. The Boston City Hall retained the top-heavy massing, with an upper story cantilevering out over those below, and shared La Tourette's characteristic stark geometric forms all crafted from béton brut. Schmitz Hall demonstrated more regularity of massing than either La Tourette or the Boston City Hall, but still shared many basic features with these two highly-publicized projects.

Building Notes

Schmitz Hall resembled Kallman McKinnell's well-known design for the Boston City Hall (1963-1968), which itself referred to earlier works by Le Corbusier, most notably his béton brut Couvent Sainte-Marie de La Tourette near Evreux, France (1956-1960).

PCAD id: 5084