David S. Dow: “A Man Among Men”

Our colleague Ellen recently was recently published in the database of the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation: a biography of Seattle contractor David S. Dow. 

Dow was a Scottish immigrant who came to Seattle in 1889 by way of Texas. He and his brother Matthew, both carpenters by training, became prominent contractors in Seattle. Dow was a colorful character (the Seattle Times once referred to him as “a man among men”), and his businesses constructed dozens of buildings throughout the city (examples below). 

You can read Ellen’s article here, and browse the DAHP’s database of Architect & Builder Biographies here. Scroll down to see an assortment of Dow’s work, from then and now:

Warehouse at 550 First Avenue S, built 1904 (Photo: King County Tax Assessor, 1937)

550 First Avenue S in 2019 (photo: Redco Development)

 The Eastern Hotel (far right), an early property of the Wa Chong Company, built in 1911 (photo: Elmer Ogawa, 1957. Courtesy of University of Washington Special Collections)

The Eastern Hotel was designated a City of Seattle Landmark in 1978 (photo: Joe Mabel)

E. N. Fobes Building, built 1904 (Photo: King County Tax Assessor, 1937)

E. N. Fobes Building in 2008 (photo: Joe Mabel)

Sheridan Apartments, now a City of Seattle Landmark, built 1915 (Photo: King County Tax Assessor, 1938)

Sheridan Apartments, partially obscured by the Monorail, 2016 (photo: Studio TJP)



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