Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)

Structures

United States Public Health Service, Marine Hospital, Beacon Hill, Seattle, WA

ID: 6459
Alt. Name: Pacific Medical Center, Beacon Hill, Seattle, WA
Amazon.com World Headquarters, Beacon Hill, Seattle, WA
Construction Date: Start Date: 1930
End Date: 1933
Notes: A variety of dates are given for the construction of this hospital, ranging from 1930-1934. The exterior was done by 03/14/1933, and the U.S. Public Health Service moved into the facility in 1933. T. William Booth and William H. Wilson, in their authoritative essay "Bebb & Gould," in Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, Shaping Seattle Architecture, (Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1994), p. 179, indicated dates of 1930-1932.
Alteration Note: Altered. In 1987, King County citizens passed a regional health bond measure appropriating $9.3 million to seismically update the U.S. Marine Hospital. As part of this project, Portland-based architects, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF), designed a north addition to the hospital, between 1991-1994. According to a Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority web site: "Rather than retrofit the entire structure with new support beams and trusses, the architects decide to build a structure on the north side of the building, creating a buttress to the Tower while also providing additional clinic and office space. When completed, the building receives an honor from the American Institute of Architects for being 'utterly responsive to the original building' and 'a wonderful seismic solution.'" See "A Short History of the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority," <http://www.phpda.org/reports/History_web.pdf> Accessed 07/31/2009.
Building History: A previous U.S. Marine Hospital operated in Port Townsend, WA, from 1855-1933. The U.S. Public Health Service moved the location to Seattle, WA, in 1933. The distinguished Seattle architecture firm Bebb and Gould, designed the building, assisted by the John Graham Company. This hospital originally had 312 beds, and served U.S. Armed Forces veterans, merchant seamen, personnel from the U.S. Light House Service and the poor, referred to as "Federal compensation cases." See "A Short History of the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority," <http://www.phpda.org/reports/History_web.pdf> Accessed 07/31/2009. In 1998, the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority (PHPDA) signed a 99-year lease with the Seattle development firm, Wright Runstad, who attracted a private firm, Amazon.com, the online retailer, to rent offices in the hospital tower. Amazon.com occupied 190,000 square feet in the hospital between 1998-2008 before moving to new offices in South Lake Union. Amazon paid about $1.5 million in rent per year, which, in turn, the PHPDA spent on medical care services for the indigent.
Structure Size: Number of Floors: 16
National Register Status: National Register Added: 12/21/1979
National Register Number: 79002543
City Landmark Status: City Landmark Added: 1992
City Landmark City: Seattle City Landmark
Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings
built works - public buildings - hospitals
Locations: Structure:
1131 14th Avenue South
Seattle, WA
USA
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