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Terry Avenue Building

Terry Avenue Building
Best Rehabilitation Project
320 Terry Avenue North

Terry Avenue Building after rehabilitation / Photo: Michael Walmsley

The Best Rehabilitation Project Award goes to Vulcan Real Estate and its supporting partners for its exemplary approach to renovating a vernacular, brick warehouse/office building by providing needed enhancements and new uses while respecting the integrity of the original design of a Seattle Landmark.

Supporting Partners: Vulcan Real Estate, master developer; Amazon, owner; Tom Douglas Restaurants, client/tenant; Callison, exterior design; Graham Baba Architects, interior design; GLY Construction, general contractor; Coughlin Porter Lundeen, structural engineer

Good preservation doesn’t always mean preserving grand landmarks. The rehabilitation of the industrial vernacular Terry Avenue Building in the South Lake Union neighborhood is an excellent example of an adaptive reuse project that preserves a historic structure in its entirety while also incorporating it into a larger contemporary development—’s corporate campus. The building houses two popular Tom Douglas restaurants—Cuoco and Bravehorse Tavern, on the first and second floors, and office/support space in the basement. The architectural heritage of South Lake Union is an eclectic one. The presence of warehouses and commercial buildings that are indicative of the light industrial history of this area is particularly important for telling the story of one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods. The Terry Avenue Building, in its latest incarnation, continues telling the story of South Lake Union.

1937 view of the Terry Avenue Building / Photo: Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Region Branch

Designed in 1915 by architect James H. Schack, the Terry Avenue Building was originally built as a warehouse. Over the decades, uses have included wholesale warehouse; hardwood cabinet and flooring shop; and professional offices. As the developer, Vulcan Real Estate had the vision to both preserve the character of the historic Terry Avenue Building—a viable structure with “good bones,” and create a new vibrant retail/restaurant hub. The overall architectural design strategy was to respect what was old, and clearly identify that which is new.

The project involved updating the building to meet current building code including seismic/structural upgrades and accessibility improvements; meeting energy code while retaining historic fabric/features; restoring original features and finishes on the exterior; removing non-historic features and finishes and replacing with compatible new design; adding new contemporary windows and doors to animate the south facade, providing building access and allowing natural light into dining spaces; creating a new public plaza; and transforming a former service alley space into a gracious second-level terrace. On the interior, the project retained the building’s original character by exposing and re-using original materials and revealing the full volume of the original building. The building also features a green roof, the first of its kind on a project with Landmark status in Seattle. The property was sold to in December 2012. The Terry Avenue Building will continue to thrive and be a community asset.










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