AKA: Drexel Hotel, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA; Normandy / Drexel Building, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Josenhans and Allan, Architects (firm); Norris Best Allan (architect); Timotheus Anton Christof Josenhans (architect)

Dates: constructed 1888

3 stories

519 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-2304

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The masonry first floor of the Drexel Hotel was designed by Josenhans and Allan probably just before the Great Fire of 06/06/1889. Although there is some uncertainty about its dating, some have stated that this may have been one of the few wood frame buildings to survive the fire; in 2006, Historian Paul Dorpat considered the Normandy / Drexel Building the oldest remaining business building in Downtown Seattle, WA.

The Drexel Hotel's wooden upper stories have been rebuilt at least twice. This practice of building wooden upper stories on top of a masonry ground floor was fairly common in 19th century Seattle; recently, too, mixed-use buildings have resumed this pattern of building up to 6 story wooden structures on top of reinforced concrete first floors. 3rd Avenue was raised in the early 1900s, requiring building owners to retrofit their facades to meet the new grade.

PCAD id: 6851