Location: 500 Washington St SE
Local, State and National Registers, Downtown National Historic District, Wohleb

jeffers thenJeffers Building around 1914, photograph by Joe Jeffers, courtesy of Washington State Historical Society jeffers nowJeffers Building today (2012), photo by Matt Kennelly

The Jeffers Building, erected in 1913 on the corner of Washington and Fifth Avenue, is one of the first, and most iconic, buildings of architect Joseph Wohleb. Wohleb brought the Mission style of architecture up from California and incorporated it into many buildings in downtown Olympia and elsewhere. But recognizing Olympia’s weather, he also incorporated the fixed awnings that still permit Olympia’s downtown shoppers to dodge the raindrops throughout many of the streets. The building was the studio of the Jeffers dynasty, consisting of Joseph and his brother H.W., and later Vibert and Wenzell Cusack Jeffers. The building is on the Local, State and National Registers of Historic Places and is also part of the Olympia Downtown National Historic District.

The building replaced an earlier wood-framed building at the same location. 

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Olympia Downtown National Historic District

Washington State Historical Society photographs (enter the following catalog number in the Collections Search box), C2010.227.7; earlier building C1949.1242.8

Looking Back feature with photo of hunters in front of earlier building

For more information on the Jeffers family, see the Residents section of this website, and the Jeffers House.

Thank you to Susan Parish for identification of the photographer for above left photograph.

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross