From a University of Washington library to a 33-unit apartment in Queen Anne, Seattle has plenty of buildings made of that baked-earth material known as terra cotta.
That's no accident. After the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, builders turned to terra cotta more in an effort to make structures more fire resistant. It also didn't hurt that the clay in the region was found to be very good for the kind of precise action required to create ornamental terra cotta. As a result, there was a boom of terra cotta buildings through the city in the early 20th century.
You can thank architects like Charles Bebb and Louis Mendel for churning out iconic structures adorned with terra cotta ornaments and features. And many of these buildings are still around.
In the midst of another building boom, Seattle is trying to cling to its past by preserving many of these terra cotta structures, or at least the facades that remain. Here is a map of some of the most notable examples.Read More