AKA: First Methodist Episcopal Church #2, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Nestor, John, Architect (firm); Stokes, William R., and Company (firm); John Nestor (architect); William R. Stokes Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1887-1889, demolished 1889

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Marion Street and 3rd Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA

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Building History

Architectural historians Ochsner and Andersen in their book, Distant Corner, (p. 36), indicated that the original architect for the 1st Methodist Episcopal Church #2 was the Portland architectural firm of William R. Stokes, Sr., (1854-1935) and Company, with Seattle architect John Nestor (1836-1912) assisting as the local superintendent for construction; the congregation hired Stokes in 06/1887 but released him by 08/1887, allowing Nestor to finish the project. (At this time, Stokes worked closely with the little-known designer Richard L. Zeller, who became a full partner in 1910.)

The Stokes/Nestor design had a cruciform plan with a tall, corner bell tower appended to serve as a highly visible and audible church marker. Gothic detailing was very ornate, suggesting the congregation's prosperity. Notable were the two rose windows lighting two ends of the cruciform plan. Like a High Gothic cathedral, the design had an emphatic verticality; its roofline had an active profile with its soaring tower, many projecting pinnacles, crocketing and crucifixes.

Building Notes

The building occupied a sloping lot, located on the southeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Marion Street.


The 1st Methodist Episcopal Church #2 was razed when City Engineer R.H. Thomson (1856-1949) regraded 3rd Avenue in 1908. Completed in 1910, the 1st Methodist Episcopal Church #3, designed by Seattle architects Schack and Huntington, replaced it. The third church was located at 811 5th Avenue.

PCAD id: 5362