Ford and Pacific McKay Block Seattle, Washington
The unique assemblage of terracotta-clad Ford and Pacific McKay auto showrooms dates from the 1920s. These landmark buildings were under the threat of demolition, as a result of the City’s proposed expansion of Mercer Street, to create a wide tree-lined boulevard.
From 2005 - 2010, BOLA provided services including landmark nominations, rehabilitation design, feasibility studies, and complex design reviews with local, state, and federal preservation agencies. BOLA’s team undertook structural reviews and examined options to preserve the buildings by relocating or salvaging them. An unusual project resulted in the salvage of exterior and interior elements, including stone and terracotta cladding; large leaded and stained glass windows; a carved wood entry surround and transom windows; decorative interior plaster, terracotta fountain, wood staircase and balustrade and wood doors and windows. High density scan techniques were used to document the facades and the showroom volume with the goal of reconstruction.
Extensive documentation and repairs of individual terracotta pieces was undertaken during salvage phase to prepare for reconstruction of the facades, which occurred in 2013 - 2015, on a new structural frame. One especially beautiful showroom volume was also reconstructed using salvaged and new matching materials, and portions of the historic building facades and interior volumes were integrated into a new development for the Allen Institute for Brain Science. BOLA provided the design detailing and construction administration for the reconstructed terra cotta and interior portions.