Location: 221 5th Ave SW
mid-Century modern; Religious institutions

first pres meeting placeSite of organization of First Presbyterian Church, photograph by Asahel Curtis, date unknown, United Churches of Olympia  

heritage bankHeritage Bank today (2012), photo by Matt Kennelly


The first church in Olympia was organized in 1854 at this location, a cooper’s shop owned by James Wood, pictured at above left before it was demolished. A small congregation, called by George Whitworth, gathered here for services the morning of November 12, and organized into a church the same afternoon. The first congregation had just seven members. After its initial organization here, the church met in various existing structures until the first purpose-built church was erected in 1862, the First Presbyterian Church building.

The building currently on this site, the Heritage Bank building, was an early example in downtown of Olympia of the Brutalist style of architecture. It was erected in 1972 and is one of several downtown mid-Century modern buildings associated with the banking and finance industry.

The parking lot adjacent to the building to the south was once the location of Eads Transfer, a long-time haulage company. (Note that the building identified as the Eads Transfer at 105 Columbia Street in WISAARD database appears to be the result of a mis-transcription)

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation report, property 48863

City of Olympia, mid-Century modern context statement

Washington State Historical Society image of Eads Transfer Company building, not scanned: enter the following term in search box: C2017.0.56.11

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross