Location: 120 4th Ave E
Local register; Downtown National Historic District; Diversity: Gay and Lesbian history
Boardman Building, 1964, State Archives, Thurston County Assessor
Boardman Building 2013, photograph by Marisa Merkel
The Boardman Building at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Washington Street stands at one of the more important commercial intersections in Olympia from its earliest days. The Olympia Heritage inventory is confusing in showing a construction date of 1925. An earlier date seems more likely, since a 1914 photograph of the adjacent cafe clearly shows the incised M’s, clerestory windows, and fixed awning of this building. In any case, the building’s vernacular style harmonizes well with the architecture of downtown and is listed as a contributing historical structure to the National Downtown Historic District, as well as being on the local register. Over its years, it has served a number of commercial tenants.
From 1975-1985 this was the home of Hard Rain Printing Collective, a progressive small print operation that was friendly to gays and lesbian productions.
Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross