Pacific Tower Condition Assessment


Project Facts


$49 million

2013 – 2016

Pacific Tower is a 15-story tower constructed in the Art Deco style. It was designed by Bebb and Gould in collaboration with John Graham as a hospital serving specific populations including veterans, the U.S. Coast Guard, and indigents. The building was originally symmetrical, with the primary entry facing south and two 8-story wings extending towards the south. In 1953, the first addition was constructed consisting of a 3-story volume along the east side of the site housing outpatient clinics. In 1980 a 2-story addition was made to infill the area between the original tower and the 1953 addition. A 1985 emergency room addition was constructed just south of the 1953 addition. Seismic improvements between 1991 and 1994 included the addition of a large 10-story north-side tower addition designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca and new north stair towers where the wings meet the tower body. Primary exterior materials include masonry, terra cotta, pre-cast concrete decoration, and a combination of both steel windows and wood windows.

The hospital site includes the tower building and a group of 2-story brick residential buildings south of the tower that were originally officers’ quarters. Parking garages were added in 1992 and 2001. The remainder of the site is generally open surface parking areas to the north of the tower with landscaped grounds south of the tower.


PMA performed a partial condition assessment of the masonry façade and provided an assessment of over 700 windows including steel frame, aluminum casement, and wood double hung units. We prepared repair documents for the installation of new sill flashing and prepared specifications for repair of the wood sashes. In-Place repairs to the all existing wood windows will include: new perimeter sealant; new paint to match existing; and frame repaired as necessary. New sill flashing will be installed at all wood windows as shown in subsequent illustrations. Additionally repairs will be performed as necessary throughout the 1930’s Building and the 1950’s Addition.

The majority of the historic steel windows have been replaced with new aluminum sashes that don’t match the original units in either operability or profile. Additionally, at these windows, significant corrosion is occurring at the steel frame due to water intrusion. Other replacement types include aluminum IGU window sashes, and new steel window sashes.

Historic Tax Credits
PMA assisted the Owner, the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services, in applying for federal historic tax credits by writing an amendment to the Part I National Register of Historic Places Nomination, completing the Part II application for tax credits, and filing the Part III Certification.

Landmarks Review Process
The process of gaining design review approval for replacing historic windows is very demanding towards specific criteria required. The applicant must demonstrate in the request for approval a well-researched photographic history of the building and original features, a thorough documentation of existing conditions, and data analysis that demonstrates replacement of original windows is justified.

Historic design review is a subjective decision process, and PMA’s analysis and assessment methodology provides a systematic approach resulting in objective data supporting a replacement option. The process includes a thorough understanding of historic window material and current window manufacturing and products in order to assure the most appropriate window replacement is presented during the review process.



Next Steps
For replacement windows, PMA worked directly with the manufacturer for custom aluminum replacements matching original steel window profiles. The existing aluminum units are primarily (85%) windows that were previously replaced. The replacement windows vary in type. However, none match the historic steel window profiles.


Few original steel window units remain in place. The majority are in poor condition, significantly corroded, and leaking. The original steel windows were not uniformly replaced and the existing replacement windows do not match the historic character of the original building. The design intent is to provide new replacement windows that match this historic steel units in order to re-establish a uniform look around the building. Additionally, replacement windows will facilitate the installation of new flashing to prevent water intrusion and preserve the surrounding masonry.