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King County Archives

A repository of county government records
King County Archives
1215 E. Fir St.
Building A
Seattle, WA 98122

206-296-1538
archives@kingcounty.gov

Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

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Building Plans

 
King County government buildings: historical structures
The King County Archives holds original and reproduction drawings of many former and existing county structures. Degree of detail may vary (full architectural or structural drawings, elevations, sections and detail drawings; or just simple site plans or outline sketches). Some structures represented in these collections are:

Building plans are also present among the historical maps and plans in the Road Services Division's Map Vault collection. Scanned images include:

  • Boeing Field structures
  • Bridges
  • County maintenance shops and other facilities
  • Health and social services facilities at Georgetown, south Seattle (indigent shelter, tuberculosis hospital, crematorium)
  • Hospitals
  • Juvenile detention facilities
  • Park and recreational structures
  • Sand and gravel bunkers
  • Schools
  • Wharves, docks, and ferry passenger waiting rooms and shelters

The King County Archives holds the original full-size drawings in its collections.  Please contact the Archives if you are interested in seeing hard-copy original drawings.

King County's former Building and Land Development (BALD) Division maintained a collection of building plans (PDF, 80KB) which is now held at Puget Sound [state] Regional Archives in Bellevue.

 
Commercial and residential buildings in King County and Seattle

Properties in unincorporated King County:

King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER) 
  • Residential buildings, 1987 - present (some plans may be available from 1970)
  • Commercial buildings, 1970 - present

Properties in the city of Seattle:

City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) (external link)

  • Single-family residential buildings, 1974 - present
  • Commercial and multi-family residential buildings, 1974 - present
    (Some microfilm plans exist for structures dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.)

Properties in other incorporated areas:

Check with the municipality in question.

Other sources of commercial and residential plans

The King County Assessor's Property Record Cards may contain a small sketch of the exterior plan of buildings (including dimensions). The cards do not contain detailed floor plans or blueprints. These cards are held at the Puget Sound [state] Regional Archives (external link), a branch of the Washington State Archives in Bellevue.

The University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division maintains a collection of plans of buildings designed by local architects, dating from 1889 to the 1980s. Search this collection using the online search engine (external link).

The King County Archives also holds the following records from the 1960s. Most of the plans are outline sketches of basements or other protected areas:

Department of Public Safety - Seattle-King County Office of Civil Defense fallout shelter records, 1962-1968.
During the Cold War era of the mid-twentieth century, national, state and local governments cooperated in identifying and preparing spaces in public and residential buildings which could be used as shelter in case of a nuclear attack. The Seattle-King County Office of Civil Defense served as the local government liaison with state and federal civil defense agencies.

The records in this series are copies of state and federal documents prepared using local data, and returned to local authorities for their reference and use. They consist of records of the National Fallout Survey (Phases 1 and 2), and additional facility sketches and state reports. Record information from Phase 1 (1962) shows area population; shelter capacity; and total buildings; shelter location; identification information; use if any as a school; owner; physical vulnerability to nuclear attack; year built; survey method; and protection factor code. Phase 2 (1968) record information includes name of structure and address; identification information; number of stories; existing spaces; assessment of shielding, ventilation, and electrical power needs and sources; shelter dimensions; average mass; and distance to center of shelter from its peripheries.

These records are arranged by facility number (FN). Additional records, 1967-1968, include photocopied shelter floor plans, plus records for "non-qualified" buildings; and computer printouts. Record information may include the name and address of shelter, identification information, protection factor, amount of space, ventilation improvements needed, license date, and stocked spaces (i.e., with survival supplies). Contact the King County Archives for information regarding these records, or to schedule a viewing appointment.