Seattle Quilt BuildingIn late 2018, Charter Construction began work on a refurbishment project on the historic Seattle Quilt Building in busy Pioneer Square. The name of the building refers to a time in the 1920s when the Seattle Quilt Company, makers of down jackets and sleeping bags, was located in the building. Today, the brick building is made up of 34 residential and 8 commercial units and is currently on the historical registry. Charter worked with the Department of Neighborhoods to ensure that the historical character of the building was maintained throughout the construction process.
Originally built in 1905, the Seattle Quilt Building’s aging brick exterior needed to be tuckpointed and sealed. Special care had to given to the historic advertising murals on the building’s exterior during this process. The penthouse level was also in need of some updates, including, new stucco, windows, and doors. All of the work on the building had to be completed without any access to the neighboring buildings’ roofs.
Charter developed a plan to install a platform, using Bosun’s chairs, on the exterior of the building to gain access to higher elevations. This platform allowed the Charter team to set up swing stages that could be used to access the upper floors of the building. During the stucco replacement, the penthouse level had to be completely encapsulated to protect the exposed walls from the elements. Cement board stucco was used instead of traditional stucco because it performs better in the cold, wet weather Seattle experiences in the fall and winter months.
Scaffolding had to be set up in an alley, which meant access to the alley had to be coordinated with the building residents and also with neighboring Seattle Pacific University. The residents stayed in the units throughout the construction process so extra precautions were taken to ensure their safety and Charter team members kept them apprised of the ongoing construction schedule.
Working in crowded Pioneer Square, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seattle, proved to be quite challenging for several reasons. The traffic is heavy from morning until night, making materials drop off, commuting to the job, and parking very difficult. Careful coordination of materials delivery and the construction schedule was required in order to be successful under those circumstances. Charter employees planned ahead to manage the traffic and parking issues associated with the downtown location.
Architect: Evolution Architects
Location: Seatte. Washington