AKA: University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Science Hall, Seattle, WA; University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Parrington, Vernon L., Hall, Seattle, WA

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

Designers: Cardwell/Thomas and Associates, Architects (firm); Josenhans and Allan, Architects (firm); Schacht | Aslani Architects (firm); Norris Best Allan (architect); Richard Cardwell (architect); Timotheus Anton Christof Josenhans (architect); Cima Johnett Malek-Aslani (architect); Walter A. Schacht (architect)

Dates: constructed 1901-1902

3 stories

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4105 George Washington Lane NE
University of Washington Campus, Seattle, WA 98105

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University of Washington, Seattle, Campus.


The Seattle architectural firm of Josenhans and Allan designed this Science Building early in the history of the University of Washington's second Lake Washington campus, opened in 1895. Just previous to the Science Building, the firm also designed the two original men's and women's dormitories, Lewis and Clark Halls, completed in 1899. In form, its T-shaped plan echoed that of Saunders and Lawton's plan for that of Denny Hall, the first building on campus. In fact, all of these buildings, Denny, Lewis, Clark and Science Halls all had this same footprint.

Building History

An early building on the second campus of the University of Washington (developed after 1895), the Science Building occupied a site to the west of the first building on the site, Denny Hall. Architects, Josenhans and Allen, designed the Science Building to harmonize aesthetically with Denny Hall, as it retains a similar plan, but has a less expensive brick exterior without stone trim.

Between 1900 and 1910, natural speciments owned by the Washington State Museum (authorized by the legislature in 1899), were stored and displayed in UW's Science Hall.

The Sanborn Insurance Map of 1905 (Map #463) indicated that an underground tunnel (probably for steam pipes) linked the Science Building to Denny Hall. Additionally, an underground tunnel connected the Science Building to the then-new Power House located to the southeast of it.

The Science Building was later taken over by the English Department and renamed for the Pulitzer Prize-winning faculty member, Vernon Louis Parrington (b. 04/28/1913-d. 12/19/1974). Althought Parrington won a 1928 Pulitzer Prize for history, he was a member of the University of Washington's English Department and a renowned literary critic who produced the landmark work, "Main Currents in American Thought."

In more recent years, Parrington Hall has been used by the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, a graduate school named in 2015 for the former US Senator (1983-1989) and three-time WA Governor (1965-1977), Daniel Jackson Evans (born 10/16/1925).


A renovation in 1988-1989 was supervised by Cardwell Thomas, a firm specializing in historic preservation projects. They also worked on the seismic renovation of Suzzallo Library. Cima Malek-Aslani, while a Cardwell Thomas employee, worked on this late 1980s restoration. According to the firm Schacht | Aslani web site: "In 1988, Parrington’s 40,000 SF interior was reorganized to meet its contemporary program and comply with present-day building codes. The four corners of Parrington’s central core were returned to their original use as classrooms, while the rotundas, which once housed science labs, were converted into office spaces. The third floor rotunda rooms became a meeting room and a library. Upgraded mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications systems were carefully added to preserve the grand spatial volumes of the historic building. A new elevator was provided for barrier-free access." (See State of Washington A/E Reference File 2016, "Parrington Hall Renewal Feasibility Study," accessed 04/05/2018.) Originally, the red bricks were painted over, but it was removed to reveal the original color.

Additionally, Cardwell Thomas completed a second restoration phase on the building completed in 1996, again with Malek-Aslani working on the project. Schacht | Aslani described this work: "In the second phase of the project completed in 1996, the overall structure was enhanced to resist seismic events and the exterior was restored. Seismic braces were carefully threaded through the interior and take advantage of the existing, massive masonry foundations. The exterior renovation included the installation of new window sashes, a new roof and repointing of the historic masonry façade." (See State of Washington A/E Reference File 2016, "Parrington Hall Renewal Feasibility Study," accessed 04/05/2018.) Pamela Stewart was the UW point of contact on this 1988 restoration.

She would return to work on the building as a Partner in the firm of Schacht | Aslani of Seattle. They described the extent of this work: "In 2013, Schacht Aslani was asked to evaluate the feasibility of renovating Parrington Hall for the next 25 years of use by the Evans School. The numerous small classrooms no longer supported the School’s pedagogical needs and there were no collaborative faculty or student gathering spaces. To serve its 21st century program, Parrington Hall will be renovated to provide classrooms for 60–70 students, 48 students, and 36 students all in various configurations for active learning. Faculty wings will be reconfigured to provide informal collaborative work and study spaces. Schacht Aslani is currently working converting one of the rotunda rooms to an active learning classroom." (See State of Washington A/E Reference File 2016, "Parrington Hall Renewal Feasibility Study," accessed 04/05/2018.) This last restoration planning phase was completed in 2015 with Erica Neely serving as the UW point of contact for the work. Construction work had not yet begun as of 2018.

PCAD id: 7527