Central Blood Bank
130 Andover Park E
The Central Blood Bank is in a heavily industrial area of Tukwila surrounded by malls, hotels, industrial factories, and the Green River. The massive four-story, institutional project is a stylistic change for Benjamin F. McAdoo Jr. A brutalist pre-cast concrete structure is nearly unrecognizable to his smaller residential works. Pre-cast concrete panels clad all four elevations of the rectangular building bringing an almost eerie and daunting repetition. Recessed entry portals are placed on each side, with the main entrance south facing onto a semi-circular driveway. The Central Blood Bank showcases bare, exposed aggregated concrete and structural elements, including permanent, rectangular planters flanking the entryways. The planters are a artifact of his signature residential designs which prioritized the natural landscape and surrounding vegetation.
Facing 68th Ave S, the blood bank leases the west side of the building to commercial businesses and banks. While the east of the first floor, and the entirety of the second and third floor are still actively utilized as a blood bank.
In 1946, Benjamin F. McAdoo Jr. graduated from The University of Washington with a B.A. in Architecture. Following this formal education in architecture, McAdoo would become Washington state’s first Black licensed architect. After graduation, McAdoo established his practice, Benjamin F. McAdoo & Company, working from a home office in his garage. In the first five years of his budding career, he would complete 205 projects. These projects ranged in scale from small additions to expensive single-family homes.
As his career developed, McAdoo spent time designing low-income housing in Jamaica and worked for the office of Housing and Urban Development in Washington D.C. before returning to Seattle in the late 1960s. His later career shifted to include larger scale, institutional buildings – like the Central Blood Bank – which were often executed by racially-diverse contracting, consulting and design teams.