Union Stables

2200 Western Ave

Union Livery Stables, Seattle, 2014, Photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Union Livery Stables architectrural details, Seattle, 2015, Photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Horse architectrural detail, Union Livery Stables, Seattle, 2014, Photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Union Liverly Stables, Seattle Daily Times, February 27, 1910, p. 55

2200 Western Ave

In 1890 Scott W. Benjamin opened a livery, feed and stable business, the Pony Stables, at 5th Avenue and Pine Street. In 1899 V.D. Maddocks joined as a partner, and in 1903 they also took over the Union Stables at 3rd and Pine. As the city and their businesses grew, the men acquired some lots within Arthur Denny’s original land claim – and between Western Avenue and Blanchard Street – and in 1910 consolidated their operations into this impressive new five-story brick and fir and concrete building. Built to house 300 workhorses – those tasked with pulling fire engines, street cars, and delivery wagons used at the nearby Pike Place market – the facility was state-of-the-art. The Seattle Times noted, “every stall is well lighted and ventilated … and the sanitary equipments … preclude the possibility of contagious diseases” and that “there is absolutely no possibility of loss by fire.” (ST 2.7.10 p.55)

Designed so that carriages and wagons were wheeled onto the first floor, and the horses hoofed it up ramps to the floors above, while the roof held a hayloft. Many years later the building, was converted to a furniture emporium, but after a fire torched the roof in the 1970s, it fell into disrepair. Finally remodeled by new owners, Allegra Properties and Lease Crutcher Lewis, in 2014, Union Stables was listed as a local landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. After the $9.5 million overhaul, general contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis and project architect Weinstein A+U moved in as occupants. The original road-brick façade, and the terra cotta horse head near the top the facade were beautifully restored.

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