Olympia Press building/Burmeister Saloon site

Location: 120 Capitol Way N
State Register, National Downtown District, Wohleb


olympiapressPress room of the Daily Olympian 1910, photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society  Olympia PressOlympia Press Building today (2012), photo by Matthew Kennelly

The Olympia Press Building (also known as Old Olympian Building), at the corner of Capitol and State, was one in a long line of downtown structures that housed the newspapers of Olympia, including the Washington Standard building that was two blocks away.

The Daily Olympian, now called the Olympian, has occupied a number of buildings, including the Thurston County Courthouse building on Franklin Street, and the Reed Building. In 1910, when the above photograph was taken, a Sanborn Map shows the newspaper building on this location, at the southeast corner of State Avenue and Capitol Way. The newspaper occupied this site for many years. In 1930, the Olympia Press Building, also known as the Olympian Building, was erected here, in Joseph Wohleb’s iconic Mission Revival style. While the Olympian no longer has a physical presence in Olympia, the Wohleb building remains one of the more important downtown commercial structures. Its exterior has been scrupulously maintained.

The site was once occupied by Charlie Burmeister’s popular saloon. Originally a wooden building, it burned down in the 1870s in a fire that took other commercial structures as well. Burmeister then built a two-story brick structure at the same location.

More information:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Olympia Downtown National Historic District

Washington  State Historical  Society photographs

(enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box):  C1947.2.4 (remains of fire, Burmeister saloon); C1949.1242.4 (above photo)

For more information on Burmeister, see the Residents section of this website.



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