Projects

  2009

Governor’s Conference Room (Main table, side table and chairs)

The executive offices were done in what the architects and newspapers referred to as “Class A” furniture specially built by the W. & J. Sloane Company of New York.  The 1928 Governor’s Conference Room featured a handsome mahogany and walnut conference table, chairs and matching bookcases.  The chairs were manufactured by Johnson Chair Co., Chicago, and supplied by the West-Made Desk Company of Seattle.

Time and both usual and unusual wear and tear have taken toll on the furnishings within the room.  The conference table has been restored but that work needs to be re-addressed as the table top is “bubbling” and peeling.  The 18 main conference chairs and numerous other side chairs are in desperate need of attention.

The Capitol Furnishings Preservation Committee restored a side table brought in to support the activities in the room in late 2009.  The Committee anticipates restoring the main conference table in 2010 and restore and refurbish the leather-clad chairs in groups over the next few years.

2008

Secretary of State Reception Room Chairs (8)

Thirteen oak and leather chairs for the Reception Room of the Secretary of State were listed among the “Class B-1 Furniture” purchased for the new Washington State Legislative Building in 1926.  Twenty-nine chairs of this style were ordered and placed in the building.

The chairs were manufactured by Johnson Chair Co., Chicago, and supplied by the West-Made Desk Company of Seattle.  At some point in time, a number of the chairs were reupholstered in naugahyde, and though sturdy, all were showing the effect of years of active use.

The Capitol Furnishings Preservation Committee restored the set of 8 remaining chairs with leather and refinished wood to more closely match the original.

Wood restoration by Nelson Furniture, Olympia Washington
Leather upholstery by Richard’s Upholstery, Olympia Washington

 

Roll Top Desk (1)

Thirty 5’0” oak roll- top desks, and eleven 6’0” roll-top desks were ordered for the Legislative Building in 1926, from the West-Made Desk Company of Seattle.  They were destined for work rooms, stenographers’ rooms, and committee rooms; for accountants, assistants, clerks and secretaries in the House, the Senate, and the “four corners” of the Legislative Building (Governor, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State).

This particular desk most recently supported the work of historians and curators at the Washington State Capitol Museum.  How it got there is a mystery, but when Museum staff were ready to part with it the Capitol Furnishings Committee restored it and brought it home to the Legislative Building.

It has been placed in the Assistant Treasurer’s Office, where the Committee has embarked on a project with the Assistant Treasurer to restore the furnishings of that office as closely as possible to the original condition and configuration.

Wood restoration by Nelson Furniture, Olympia Washington.

 

2007

State Executive Chair (1)

The Committee retrieved from storage and restored one of five custom-designed swivel chairs purchased by the State of Washington in 1926 to furnish the new Legislative Building, at a cost of $210.00 each.  Identical chairs embossed with the seal of the State of Washington were ordered for the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Treasurer, and Speaker of the House of Representatives.  A sixth chair ordered for the Governor is larger and more ornate than the others.  Four of the five smaller executive chairs remain in the State’s collection, with the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and this one (now on display in the Auditor’s office).  One remains unaccounted for.

The Auditor chair was donated to the Washington State Historical Society in 1949 by Mrs. Vivian Martin after the death of her husband, Albert C. Martin, who served as the State Commissioner of Public Lands from 1933 to 1941.  As Lands Commissioner, he was also the Secretary of the State Capitol Committee.  How the chair came into his possession remains a mystery.  His office was never located in the Legislative Building.

The executive chairs were custom-made by W&J Sloane, Inc., constructed of walnut and leather.  They are among the “Class A” furnishings ordered for the Legislative Building.  The cushions and upholstered seat back were originally stuffed with high quality horsehair.  The seat cushion on this chair is a replica of the original.

Restoration by Alexis Kane Studios, Seattle Washington.

Courtesy of the Capitol Furnishings Preservation Committee
in cooperation with Washington State Historical Society
Office of the State Auditor
Department of General Administration

 

Senator’s Desk (1) from the Chamber in the Old State Capitol

State Capitol 1903Former Secretary of State Ralph Munro donated a member desk used in the Senate Chamber of the Old State Capitol.  The Chuckanut stone building served as the state capitol from 1905 through 1928.  The desk now holds the guest book in the main entry of the Temple of Justice. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2005

1930’s era Secretarial desk

A typing desk and chair, typewriter, rotary telephone, and wire voice-recorder placed in the Lt. Governor’s reception space, remnants of a life without Blackberries, laptops, or cell phones.

2002 – 2004

State Executive Desks

Restored desks used by six (6) of the State’s executive officers and legislative leaders.

Restoration by Alexis Kane Studios, Seattle Washington.