Location: 1417-1419 Columbia St SW
Women’s History 

louise hansonLouise Hanson Duplex (White House Press Building), 1969, Thurston County assessor, Southwest Regional Archives
louise hanson
Louise Hanson Duplex today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

Louise Hanson, wife of Olympia Oyster Company co-founder Ole Hanson (see O.C. Hanson House) commissioned Elizabeth Ayer to design this rental duplex in 1936. Ayer was the first female to graduate from the University of Washington’s architecture school. She is noted for her classical architecture with understated, graceful, decorative features (see, for example, Westhillsyde). This building is much less decorative than some but does reflect Ayer’s use of classical architecture in its Colonial style.

In the early 1960s many homes in this area were razed or moved to make way for expansions of Capitol Campus. This building and the adjacent Carlyon House were spared, to become offices for the press. They are now surrounded by gravel parking lots. The press and politicians refer to this building as the White House Press Building. As of 2022, this building is slated for demolition or moving as part of a Capitol Campus update. 

Olympia Heritage inventory

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross