Table of Contents

Home & Dry Gazette
A one-page map of the basic site information

Building description of the Seattle Empire Laundry
A guide to the landmark building's facades, floors and distinctive features as they were preserved through 1998.

Main building description
The building's architect
The East facade
  Original entrances  
The West facade
The South facade  
The North Facade
The basement
 The abandoned coal chute
The first floor
The second floor
The third floor

A Preservationist's Presentation
A presentation on the architectural and historic value of the Seattle Empire Laundry building by Charlene K. Roise, President of Hess Roise Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, prepared for the landmark designation hearing held July 1, 1998 in Seattle, WA.
The Context of Industrial Buildings
Commercial Laundries: Their Operation and Design
The Facilities Built by Steam Laundry Titans
The Seattle Empire Laundry's Basic Construction
The Unique Bricks of the Seattle Empire Laundry
The Distinctive Features of the Seattle Empire Laundry
On the Issue of Historical Integrity
In Conclusion

The History of the Seattle Empire Laundry
Preface:

Building an Icon for the Laundry Industry in 1913
A Singular role in History and a Double Significance

The story of Seattle Empire:

Background of the struggle to unionize
1914-1917

Life Inside the "power laundry"
Seattle Empire's boss battles against unions
1914-1917

The laundry girls take action
The strike of 1917 begins

The workers go public and win
Summer 1917

The laundries breed antagonists
1917-1924

The rise of laundry driver Dave Beck
1917-1924

The vision of the laundry owners
Seattle laundries make national waves
1925-1926

A pious celebrity helps broker peace
1925-1926

Bitter fruit: The strike of 1932 begins
Seattle Empire Laundry saves the union
1932

The Viaduct and the end of an Empire
1951
A new roadway brings a special role in the fur trade

Davy Crockett caps are made in the building
1951-1953

Crockett mania sweeps nation,Seattle Empire supplies caps
1951-1953
From labor history and media icon to artists' housing
1974-1998

Seattle's other power laundries

The landmark New Richmond steam laundry


The "Laundry Girls"
Women worked in laundries only out of desperation; they constituted a unique population. The lot of the women at Seattle Empire typified their difficult and hazardous situation.
  The singular work culture of female laundry employees
  Sanitary facilities at Seattle Empire laundry
  A Seattle laundry girl tells her story
  Activist laundry girls

Research Credits & Support
The Seattle Empire Laundry was nominated as a landmark by Scott Kuhlman.
Principal research for its nomination and designation was done by Greg Lange.
He was assisted by Cynthia Rose, who wrote the nomination and created the Web site. Additional research was carried out by Scott Kuhlman, Bryan Yeck and Steve Sampson, with invaluable help from:

Karen Adair, author of "Organized Women workers in Seattle, 1900-1918", MA, University of Washington, 1990
Peter Liebhold, Specialist, History of Technology, The National Museum of American History (Smithsonian Institution)
Dr. Margaret Jane King, author of "The Davy Crockett Craze: A Case Study in Popular Culture", PhD. dissertation, American Studies, University of Hawaii, 1976, and a cofounder of Cultural Studies & Analysis, a Philadelphia-based think tank that decodes how consumers determine value in products, concepts, and ideas.
Dr. Arwen Palmer Mohun, author of "Women, Work & Technology: the Steam Laundry Industry in the United States and Great Britain" (Case Western Reserve University) and Steam Laundries (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999); University of Delaware
Charlene K. Roise, President of Hess Roise Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Many others contributed important information, support and letters of endorsement

Footnotes to the text

The text of the Seattle Empire Laundry's landmark nomination with all sources footnoted. Please note this is raw text and a longer download (97K).

 
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