Coughlin Porter Lundeen
Coughlin Porter Lundeen is proud of their role in preserving some of Washington’s most iconic historic buildings, bringing new life and purpose to more than 70 projects, some more than a century old. For projects such as the Allen Institute, Starbucks Center, and the featured Union Stables, we appreciate the value that historic structures provide to the character of our communities. We take care to understand the crucial role these buildings play in their surrounding neighborhood, shaping the community’s sense of identity and invigorating interaction from the internal users to the external, adjacent developments.
The restored building has reclaimed its prominence overlooking the waterfront.
The original terra cotta horse head sculpture maintains his watch over the building that once concealed more than $25,000 of liquor during prohibition.
As a designated Seattle landmark originally built in 1909, Union Stables was constructed as a home for 300 horses that pulled Seattle’s streetcars and fire engines. Coughlin Porter Lundeen provided structural design for renovation and seismic upgrades to repurpose the four-story brick building into five stories of office space with potential restaurant space at ground level, ensuring the building’s seismic safety for another 100 years.
The project successfully preserved much of the original timber framing, combining it with unreinforced brick masonry bearing walls and steel braced frames to meet current seismic requirements and support the addition of a fifth-story penthouse. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building maintains its historic character while embracing modern functionality. The renovation included the addition of a central stairwell in place of the central hay loft, modernized office space, and updated systems. In addition to approval from the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, the design met the stringent Secretary of the Interior standards that enabled it to receive Federal historic rehabilitation tax credits for a certified rehabilitation of a certified historic structure. The project also won a 2015 Outstanding Achievement in Historic Preservation award by the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.
The masonry restoration reused every brick from the original building, as road brick is no longer made. Counters, desks, benches, and flooring were milled from 127,000 feet of timber, and the two original front entry door frames, wide enough for horses and carriages to pass through, were retained. Columns were also preserved, bearing chewing and rubbing marks made by the horses. The original terra cotta horse head sculpture above the building entry was restored and remains in place to celebrate the building’s first identity. Union Stables was a success in a number of areas. Above all, it is a tribute to the combined efforts of the design team and the owner to maintain the building’s history and character for modern day use.
Steel braced frames provide seismic reinforcement while brick, timber beams, and original flooring preserve the historic character.