The East side - The West side - The South side - The North side

The North facade

Until 1999, the North facade was also topped simply with a brick cornice and parapet but it was also little changed. Superficially, it offered a less "charming" period view.

Yet this elevation, as it was before the partial demolition sanctioned by Seattle's Landmarks Board, retained architectural keys to the building's identity. Not only did this facade - like all others - then retain its original brickwork. The north elevation also retained all but one of its original windows.

The single exception was near its lowest Southeast corner. Those windows were primarily four pane-over-four pane light double-hung wooden sash windows. Each of them had a single-brick sill.

Most important of all, this facade clearly displayed the only known set of extant steam laundry drying-room windows in north America. Prior to the loss of the North facade in 1999, Dr. Arwen P. Mohun (a Smithsonian advisor and the author of the 1999 reference book, "Steam Laundries") visited Seattle to record this extraordinary site. Dr. Mohun said she knew of no other drying room - indeed no other laundry of this period - so perfectly preserved.

(For more details of the now-destroyed North facade's importance, see the testimony offered to the Seattle Landmarks Board by preservation expert Charlene Roise.)

The array of windows along the North facade is of course a function of the laundry's need for ventilation. But it also suggests that the adjacent lot, to the North of the building, may have been at some point partially owned or controlled by the builder. The straight, steep stairway used by the laundry's initial workers could have become a central circulation system for a more expanded building to the North.

The slope of the North also exposed some of the basement windows, many of which also appeared to be original. These were smaller-paned, six-over-six wooden windows. Now, as with the rest of the North facade, they are lost from view - if not destroyed.

The North wall's destruction   and   The loss of the North facade

Back to main building description