Location: 119 N Capitol Way
Downtown National Historic District, Popular Culture
Woodruff Block around 1891, Edward Lange etching from Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue 1891, Washington State Library
Woodruff Block/Labor Temple today, with Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project (2011) Photo courtesy of Deb Ross
The Woodruff Block was built in 1887 by local developer Sam Woodruff, a member of the pioneer Woodruff family. As evident in the left-hand image, it originally had elaborate projecting bays and a parapet. The building was badly damaged in the 1949 earthquake and the facade is now unadorned.
Over the years, this building has housed several stores on the ground floor, and businesses and clubs above. Its current nickname, the Labor Temple, reflects its longstanding status as host to labor unions. The Brotherhood Lounge, an historic watering hole for union members and now a popular nightspot, is located on the first floor (2012).
On the north side of the building is the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project, celebrating the sister city relationship with Rafah in Palestine and with over 150 community participants.
For further information and links, see the following:
Washington State Historical Society Photos (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box): C1996.6.2 (earthquake damage); C19188.8.131.52.2; C1952.284.11 (building in foreground right); C1949.1301.31.10; 2010.149.29.2 (Lee Baker Wine store at this location)
Woodruff family, see Residents section of this website
Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross