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Known as the Nordic Heritage Museum for more than three decades, Webster School is undergoing transformation to once again serve its intended purpose as a Ballard Neighborhood school.
Built in 1908, Daniel Webster Elementary is a stately, three-story brick building with an H-shaped floor plan. Brick construction from 1930 wraps the main building with a low, enclosed play court/kitchen addition to the North and a two-story classroom/auditorium/dining room addition to the East. The school’s compact, 1.55-acre, parcel places the building near the street on three sides and abuts a small public park to the West. The Nordic Heritage Museum’s plan to relocate served as the catalyst for Seattle Public Schools to bring this building back into its intended use as a school.
Play courts will be removed, and replaced by a new 8,000 SF activities wing to the West of the building. The remaining 43,000 SF of the structure will undergo a major repair and upgrade to meet current standards for safety, functionality and energy efficiency.
The building has been well cared for over time. Webster has several features deemed “significant” by the City’s Department of Landmarks, including; exterior facades, two intricate stairways that open onto wide central corridors, and a 1930’s dining room and library. Many period details are intact, yet are installed upon clay tile walls that require reinforcement or replacement. Most interior walls will have plaster removed to accommodate structural improvements and new routing of plumbing, ducting and conduit. The approach to replacement and re-installation of interior details is based on a strategy that showcases significant features while incorporating simple, colorful, contemporary elements that appeal to all ages.
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