Location: 403 Capitol Way S
Downtown National Historic District, Diversity: Jewish Heritage, Mid-century
|McKenny Block around 1891, Drawing by Edward Lange from Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue 1891, Washington State Library||Goldberg’s Building today (2012) photo courtesy of Deb Ross|
The McKenny Block was built in 1889 by General T.I. McKenny, a prominent Olympia businessman. It housed a number of state offices, particularly during the years between the acquisition of the Thurston County Courthouse by the state and its conversion to the [Old] State Capitol building. For a number of years it operated as the Kneeland Hotel, an upscale lodging with its very convenient location near the State Capitol and the center of downtown Olympia.
The building, however, was so badly damaged in the 1949 earthquake that it had to be completely razed.
The current building was erected the following year, in 1950, and housed Goldberg’s Furniture. Goldberg’s was owned by the Goldberg family, then as now a prominent Jewish-American family in Olympia. Designed by local mid-Century architects Bennett and Johnston, the building incorporated the latest design features. It later was the Schoenfeld Furniture and is currently (2012) vacant.
Next door to the Kneeland Hotel was Crane’s Cafe. The Cafe survived the 1949 earthquake but later was razed, and the building at this location, originally the Yenney’s music store, is an extension of the Shoenfeld Furniture building.
For further information and links, see the following:
Washington State Historical Society Photos (items in Bold Face include scanned images, others detailed descriptions): C1972.37.15 (view from rooftop); C19184.108.40.206.1; ; C1996.6.19 (earthquake damage); C1986.36.108 (Clark’s Crane cafe); C19220.127.116.11.20.1 (demolition of cafe in 1962)
McKenny family, see Residents section of this website