McElroy, H.B. Store

Location: 414 Capitol Way S
Downtown National Historic District; Wohleb

hmcelroy_1964H.B. McElroy Store Building, 1964, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAH.B. McElroy Store Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This building was designed by Joseph Wohleb and erected in 1926. It originally housed a tavern and stores. The building was redesigned several times, always by Wohleb. The  green and black carrara glass features were added in the 1940 remodel. They lent an Art Moderne look to the building just as this style was going into decline. Thus, this building’s current facade can be considered one of the last Moderne-style buildings in downtown Olympia before the introduction of mid-Century architecture. The building is in the Downtown National Historic District and listed as Historic Contributing.

The builder, Harry McElroy, was a member of a distinguished pioneer family. His father, Thornton McElroy, founded the area’s first newspaper, the Columbian, before Washington became a territory. The McElroy House was nearby, across from Sylvester Park.

Links:

Olympia Downtown National Historic District

Olympia Heritage inventory

For more information on the McElroy family, see the Residents section of this website.

 

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