AKA: Seneca Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Combs, S.G., Building Contractor (firm); Loschky Marquardt and Nesholm (LMN), Architects (firm); Wright Runstad and Company (firm); S. G. Combs (building contractor); George Henry Loschky (architect); Judsen Robert Marquardt (architect); John Frank Nesholm (architect); H. Jon Runstad (developer); Howard S. Wright (building contractor/developer)

Dates: constructed 1898

2 stories

2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA

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Located on the west side of Second Avenue between Seneca and University Streets.

This low, 2-story brick retail building was built in three stages: 1898, c. 1900 and 1914. The Stone, Fisher and Lane Dry Goods Company, which began in Tacoma, WA, in 1891, rented space in the Brown Building's first two portions between c. 1900-1906, when it moved next door to larger quarters in the next-door Galland Building to the north on 2nd Avenue. Amos Brown (1833-04/1899), a New Hampshire-born lumberman turned real estate developer, lived to see the first portion of this building erected; his son, Alson Lennon Brown (1868-1942), an attorney, supervised his father's estate, which built the third and final addition made in 1914 to match the other two sections. G. Combs was responsible for its erection. (In a timeline of important local events of 1914, the Seattle Times noted that on 03/02/1914 the "Old landmark at 1209-1211 Second Avenue [was] demolished by wreckers." [See "Seattle and State Advance During Year 1914," Seattle Times, 01/03/1915, p. 24.]) Moses Prager (1863-1934), proprietor of Prager's Clothing Store, a fixture at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Seneca Street, bought the building in 1921. He and his family held the property until 1961, when Sam Israel (1899-1994) and his Samis Land Company purchased it. Samis went on c. 1969 to also buy the Galland Building. Samis leased the Brown (Seneca) and Galland (Stone-Fisher) Buildings to the developer Wright Runstad and Company who renovated and seismically upgraded the two in 1985. The City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Historical Sites Database has more information on this building:(Accessed 07/06/2009). The City of Seattle has given the Seneca and Galland Buildings the same parcel number, 197470-0175.

The Brown Building, built in sections, had an unornamented, utilitarian appearance; it stood two-floors high, with a brick exterior cladding, steel window sash and concrete sills and lintel. In 2012, it had three storefronts occupied by 1201 2nd Avenue Spirits and Wine, Harper's Hair Studio (1201-A), Queen Bee Nails and Spa (1203-A), entrances to upstairs offices (1205 and 1211), and Randstad Staffing and Recruiting (1209).

The Seneca Buiilding and Galland Building combined possessed 96,329 square feet for small retail businesses and offices. Together, they were renovated and seismically upgraded in 1985 by Loschky Marquardt and Nesholm (LMN), Architects. The renovation occurred contemporaneously with the construction of the Washington Mutual Tower across 2nd Avenue; it received a Merit Award from the Seattle Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

PCAD id: 7023