Prudential Building (Fred Cole Building)
The Prudential Building likely was built between 1902 and 1905, a time of great prosperity and growth in Seattle. Part of the city's rapid expansion was related to the arrival of settlers and businesses who hoped to do business in the Klondike region of the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. This factory building is one of many examples of the influence of the Chicago School architectural style.
Backstory and Context
Soil from the regrading of the Seattle’s hills was used to fill in the swamplands bordering Elliott Bay, which is where the Prudential building resides. The population boom fostered in an era where residents significantly altered the center of Seattle's topography, often for the purposes of allowing the all-important railroads, a vital need for any city in the late 19th century.
Some argue that it was one of the biggest urban alterations in history. Today's Pioneer Square originally existed as a swampy, low-lying island. The regrades leveled the land, making it easy to construct roads and trains. In the process, Denny Hill was virtually destroyed, as was much of what was once Jackson HIll. In total, nearly 45,400,000 tons of earth from what amounted to 60 regrades provided landfill for the city's waterfront and the land that served the industrial district, where the Prudential Building sits.
Morse, Kathryn Taylor. The Nature of Gold: An Environmental History of the Klondike Gold Rush. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003.
"Seattle Historical Sites." Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, http://web6.seattle.gov/DPD/HistoricalSite/QueryResults.aspx?QRY=ATTR&YEBUS=&YEBUE=&ST=Commercial+-+...=
Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Seattle_-_Prudential_Building_pano_01.jpg