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

Designers: Carlson, Eley, and Grevstad, Architects (firm); Miller Hayashi Architects (firm); Paul Gordon Carlson (architect); Frederick Richard Eley (architect); Barney Elmer Grevstad (architect); Bruce Hayashi (architect); Bradley Miller (architect)

Dates: constructed 1964

2 stories

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3800 SW Findlay Street
Southwest, Seattle, WA 98126

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Taking its name from a Philadephia neighborhood, Fairmount Park received its second elementary school in 09/1964. Seattle Public School administrators contracted with architects Carlson, Eley and Grevstad to design the building that operated until 2007. Closed for several years, it underwent a thorough renovation during 2013-2014, opening in fall of the latter year.

Building History

This was the second Elementary school to serve this neighborhood, the first comprised of an ensemble of portable classrooms put in place in 1955. This prefabricated school was at first considered an annex to the Jefferson Elementary School nearby, but became an independent entity by 1957. It served for seven years until 06/1964.

Fairmount Park Elementary School #2 was designed by Carlson, Eley and Grevstad, Architects, and opened in 09/1964. It occupied a 3-acre site. Carolyn Marr and Niles Thompson observed in their 2002 study on the history of the Seattle Public School System: "When the permanent school opened in 1964, two classrooms were unoccupied, but they were filled by two classes from Alki when an earthquake damaged their school in April 1965. That September enrollment exceeded 500 pupils." Schools are often the first schools to be closed and replaced following earthquakes, as the safety of children is a paramount concern for parents, teachers and administrators.

The Fairmount Park Elementary School was one of eight properties being considered for sale or long-term lease by the Seattle Public School Administration in 2007. It closed in 2007 and reopened seven years later following a full-scale renovation.

Building Notes

Tel: 206.252.9300 (2015).


Beginning in 05/2013 and concluding by 09/2014, the Seattle Public Schools spent approximately $20 million to renovate the 1964 Fairmount Park Elementary School and add a new building providing 200 classroom seats. The Seattle architectural firm of Miller Hayashi Architect designed the 20,000-square-foot addition. The firm's web site said of the addition: "The design complements the mid-century modern school and enables advanced educational initiatives including Science & Technology curriculum, Special Education and flexible Performance Arts and Art & Technology rooms. An on-site bus drop-off was created to reduce neighborhood impacts. Miller Hayashi coordinated the Landmarks nomination process and the design of the addition adjacent to a Steep Slope Environmentally Critical Area." (See "Education," Miller Hayashi Architects, accessed 12/07/2015.)

The $20 million paid for the removal of extraneous campus buildings, reconfiguration of the existing building's interior plan, and inclusion of energy-saving windows. Seismic upgrades included rebuilding the roof and adding a roof diaphragm, enhancing connections between roof and walls and stiffening lateral bracing. New HVAC, electrical and plumbing, and clock/public address systems were added, and the school's data networks and wi-fi became state-of-the-art. Fire alarms and sprinklers were brought up to code. All furniture was replaced and a new bus stop/student loading zone and loading dock were created. Contractors also repaved and repainted the school playground and parking lot. (See "Fairmount Park Recent Updates," Seattle Public Schools, accessed 12/07/2015.)

PCAD id: 8596