Tag Archives: Downtown National Historic District

Anderson, Olof House

Location: 410 Sherman St NW
Local register; Diversity: Scandinavians

olofanderson_1953Olof Anderson House, 1953, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOlof Anderson House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This large colonial revival house was built in 1935 by Olof Anderson, the youngest of the Anderson brothers who emigrated from Sweden and founded Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM made pre-cut homes that were sold throughout Olympia and the Pacific Northwest. Many of the homes in this northwest neighborhood are TLM homes, including the homes in the Rogers Street Historic Neighborhood  are are typically in the English Revival or Tudor Revival style. This house, however, is not a TRL home. Like his brother Edward, Olof chose a different style for his own home, which would have been much too large and unique to be included in one of the pre-cut catalogue designs. The home is well maintained and on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

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Baretich Building/Site of Olympia Cafe

Location: 116 4th Ave E
National Downtown Historic District, Local register, Wohleb

olympia cafeOlympia Cafe, 1914, photo by Robert Esterly, courtesy of Washington State Historical SocietyBaretich Building

Baretich building today (2012), photo by Deb Ross

Since Olympia’s beginnings, there have been small but popular commercial establishments along Fourth Avenue, including numerous cafes and bars. The Olympia Cafe pictured at above left was owned by John Baretich. In 1936, Baretich commissioned local architect Joseph Wohleb to design a stylish new building for the same location. Wohleb incorporated several of his signature features  into this charming building, including the fixed awning, clerestory windows and fancy carrera glass. For several years these features were hidden, but the building was restored recently and original features can now be seen and add to the characteristic look of Olympia’s downtown. The building is cited as a historic contributing building in the National Downtown Historic District and is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Washington State Historical Society photographs

enter the following catalog number in collection search box: 2010.149.28.1; Best Camera Store in 1950s or 1960s, C1986.43.0.269

Olympia Downtown National Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Capital Savings and Loan Building

Location:  222 5th Ave SE
mid-Century modern; National Register, State Heritage Register; Downtown National Historic District

capital savingsCapital Savings and Loan Building 1964, Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation files OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACapital Savings and Loan Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Inspired by the 1963 World’s Fair in Seattle, the local firm of Sibold and Nesland built this space-age building in downtown Olympia for the Capital Savings and Loan. It originally had a water feature just inside the entryway. It has been repurposed to a nightclub for several years.

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s modernism project. It was placed on the National and State Registers in 2018. 

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

Downtown Olympia National Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Capitol Center Building (Views on Fifth)

Location:  410 5th Ave NW
mid-Century modern

capitol place 1960sCapitol Center Building late 1960s, Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation collectionOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Capitol Center Building in 2014 before remodeling (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Widely criticized for a time, for its obstructing views and deteriorating condition, the Capitol Center Building was at one time the feather in local architect G. Stacey Bennett’s cap. Built in the late 1960s for $2 million, it featured cutting edge modernism with its glass curtain effect, termed the Miesian style, after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The foundation of the building is over seven feet thick, making it earthquake-proof despite its footing on fill. It is the tallest building in the city, surpassing the former “skyscraper” Security Building.  The building was the home to several state agencies: each floor contains over 8,000 square feet of space. The building has undergone extensive remodeling as an apartment complex, eliminating many of its original features, though retaining an echo of Bennett’s curtain wall. 

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s “Nifty from the Last Fifty” project.

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Capitol Lake Restrooms and Bath House

Location:  Water Street and Legion Way
mid-Century modern; Diversity: gay and lesbian history

restroomsCapitol Lake Restrooms, undated, Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation collection OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACapitol Lake restrooms today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

In late 1960, a civic group was formed named the Committee for the 60s, to study and recommend possible capital improvement projects for Olympia. Among the projects approved and funded was this bath house and restroom facility on the shores of Capitol Lake. The lake was at that time less than ten years old and was a popular swimming spot. The architect, George Ekval, reportedly created this mid-Century modern design, with its striking sawtooth roof, free of charge. The bath house portion of the facility is no longer used.

The building was a focus of a police campaign against gays in the 1970s and early 1980s, culminating in the arrest, in 1980, of a state legislator, director of a social service organization, and the president of Olympia Brewing Company.

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s “Nifty from the Last Fifty” project.

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

Olympia’s Gay and Lesbian History Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Centennial Park/Evans Centennial Tree/Rossell O’Brien House site

Location: 201 Union Ave SE
Heritage Tree

obrien

O’Brien home in the background, 1949, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACentennial Park today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Rossell O’Brien, an Irish immigrant, fought in the Civil War, and arrived in Olympia in 1870, appointed as revenue collector under Governor Salomon. He married Fanny Steele, daughter of Alden Hatch Steele, and the couple built a home at this site kitty corner to the Steele House. In 1890, O’Brien initiated the custom of standing for the Star Spangled Banner. The custom caught on and is now practiced everywhere. The 1940 photograph of the house at this site shows it to be a large and elegant 2 1/2 story structure. According to historian Bernice Sapp, it was still still standing in 1950, along with a smaller house on the property. Helen Aetzel, O’Brien’s daughter, and then Helen’s daughter, Virginia Aetzel Schmidt, inherited the house, so that it was owned by the same family for three generations. A fourth generation child, Nick Schmidt, was born in the home, according to a memoir by “Bink” Schmidt.

Some time around statehood in 1889, a coast redwood tree was planted here. By the state’s centennial, in 1989, it was fully mature, and was dedicated the Daniel J. Evans Centennial Tree in honor of former governor Daniel J. Evans, to recognize his efforts on behalf of environmental protection. In the photograph at above right, the tree can be seen in the background. The small park here is also named Centennial park. Remnants of the O’Brien home, the other house on the property, and the wall surrounding the lot can be seen at the site.

Additional resources:

Washington State Historical Society, photograph of O’Brien/Aetzel House, enter the following catalog number in collection search box  C1964.26.4.11.4

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years Ago

Article on Daniel Evans Tree

For more information on Rossell O’Brien, see the Residents section of this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christian Science Church/Temple Beth Hatfiloh/site of Rosenthal Home

Location: 201 8th Ave SE
Religious institutions; Diversity: Jewish heritage

Christian Science church, 1961, courtesy Washington State Historical SocietyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATemple Beth Hatfiloh (Christian Science building) today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

A group of Christian Science students began to meet in Olympia early in the 20th century. According to historian Bernice Sapp, they met in the Sparks home on Adams Street between Ninth and Tenth for a time; the inventory report also notes the Olympia Hotel as a temporary meeting place. In 1917, the group  was recognized as a branch of the Mother Church, and bought the Gustav Rosenthal home that was on this site. Rosenthal was an early merchant and oysterman. See McKenny Block, Turner Block, and Star Laundry Building for other sites associated with Mr. Rosenthal.

The congregation began by remodeling the Rosenthal home into a church, Sunday school, and reading room. Then, the current imposing Greek Revival Building was erected between 1925 and 1947 by the First Church of Christ Science. It served as the home of that congregation until 2004. Then, as another round-and-round-we-go example of “musical pews” in Olympia, it was sold to Temple Beth Hatfiloh, which moved here from its former location on Adams Street, a stone’s throw from the Christian Science congregation’s first meeting place, and perhaps an even more fitting new site, given Gustav Rosenthal’s Jewish heritage. (For more background on the “musical pews” phenomenon, see the listing for the nearby Gloria Dei congregation). The Christian Science congregation is now located on Evergreen Park Drive in West Olympia.

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

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Washington State Historical Society photograph from 1961, enter the following catalog number in Collections Search box: C1986.43.61.1.26.1.3

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years ago

Article: Temple Beth-Hatfiloh is 75!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Church of the Brethren

Location: 2129 4th Ave E
Religious institutions

brethren1911Church of the Brethren congregation, in front of their original building at this location, in about 1911, used by permission
???????????????????????????????Church of the Brethren building today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

The Christian denomination Church of the Brethren, sometimes referred to as the Dunker Church, was founded in Germany in 1708. The Olympia congregation of Brethren was formed in about 1897, under the lay leadership of the Boone family, who arrived here from Virginia. Regular services and sermons began in 1906 under the leadership of J.S. Secrist, whose descendants still serve churches in Olympia five generations later. The congregation acquired this property a year later, first erecting a small wooden building, shown at above left. The current building at this location dates from 1913 and served the congregation until 1956, when they moved to Lacey, where the congregation is now called the Lacey Community Church. The Brethren denomination is known for community service, a simple lifestyle, and pacifism.

Thank you to Dennis Roth for additional information. For more information and photographs, you may contact Dennis at orwahist [at sign] aol.com

Additional resources:

Congregation history

Olympia Heritage inventory

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Cunningham House

Location: 311 19th St SE
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

cunningham house_1941Cunningham House, 1941, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACunninghan House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Cunningham House is an unusual and beautifully preserved example of an Art Moderne style home in the South Capitol neighborhood. G.B. Reishus was the architect for the home, which was built in 1940 for the Cunningham family. The Cunninghams owned the historic Cunningham’s store downtown. The home is on the local register and in the South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory (note the incorrect 1945 construction date: above photograph was taken in 1941 shortly after construction)

South Capitol Neighborhood National Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dawley, L.E. House

Location: 119 22nd Ave SW
Local register; South Capitol National Historic District

ledawley_1956)L.E. Dawley House, 1956, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAL.E. Dawley House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This beautifully maintained Spanish Colonial home was built in about 1929 by Leo E. Dawley, one of the two Dawley Brothers contractors who were responsible for many of the buildings downtown and elsewhere (see, e.g., the Dawley Building Hart-Dawley House). Mrs. Dawley, nee Elgia Witiwer, was a noted musician. The home is on the local register and in the South Capitol National Historic District.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deane Apartments

Location: 515 Adams St SE

deane_1964Deane Apartments, 1964, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Deane Apartments today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This handsome Mission-style apartment building was erected in 1935, and has changed very little since then. It is known for the palm trees that complement the tropical appearance of the building.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Looking back feature, construction worker at new building

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Farquhar Store-Legislative Building, Lobby, Armory

Location: 7th Avenue and Adams St

farquhar store Farquhar Store, Jeffers Photograph of earlier drawing of unknown date, Susan Parish Photograph Collection, 1889-1990, Washington State Archives OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFarquhar site today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Alexander Farquhar immigrated from Scotland and settled in Olympia in 1858. He worked for several years for Charles Williams at the Olympia Hardware Store, then went into business for himself at a location near here. Historian Bernice Sapp states that an earlier building just east of here, on the Swantown Slough, collapsed during a storm and that the building shown at above left was built on slightly higher ground.

After Farquhar’s death, this building served several functions. It was a stopgap location for the legislature after the original Territorial Capitol Building became unfit for occupation, and before the legislature was able to move into the  Old State Capitol Building (now the Superintendent of Public Instruction building) in 1903. After that, it was known for some time as The Lobby, a sort of informal annex to the legislature, and also served as an armory and social hall.

Additional resources:

Digital Archives image above

Washington State Historical Society, Enter the catalog number in the Collections Search Box: C1951.284.3

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years Ago

For more information on the Farquhar family, see the Residents section of this website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First Christian Church

Location: 701 Franklin St SE
Religious institutions; Wohleb; Local register

firstchristian1897First Christian around 1897, from Lawson, 100 Years of Christian Witness.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst Christian Church today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Disciples of Christ (also known as Christian) denomination arrived in Thurston County in the very earliest years of American settlement, when the Longmire family founded a small church in Yelm. Another Christian church was established in Olympia but failed to thrive. Several decades later, the current congregation, First Christian, was founded about 1890. Following the common practice, it met in several public buildings, including the Washington School and Columbia Hall.  This congregation met with immediate success, purchased land at the corner of Adams and Union, and built a church structure there. In 1895, in another instance of “musical pews,” that building was moved to the location of the current church, at Seventh and Franklin, where it is pictured at above left. (For more on the musical pews phenomenon in Olympia, see the Gloria Dei listing)

The current structure at this location was built in 1928. Architect Joseph Wohleb demonstrated his virtuosity and range by adopting a Gothic style, with its characteristic buttresses and arched windows. The longer one-story extension to the south was added in the 1960s. The church is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years ago

Pioneer History Churches of Christ in Thurston County

Washington State Historical Society photograph from 1961,

Enter the catalog number in the Collections Search Box: C1986.43.61.1.26.1.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First United Methodist Church-Legion Way/Henry tree

Location: 1224 Legion Way SE
mid-Century modern; Religious institutions; Landmark Tree

FUMCOFirst United Methodist Church around 1952, photo from First United Methodist websiteOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst United Methodist Church today (2013) photograph by Deb Ross

The church building located at the corner of Boundary Street and Legion Way is the third purpose-built location of the First United Methodist Church. Earlier locations are shown on Where Are We? pages Cunningham’s Building/First Methodist and First Methodist Church-5th Avenue. The sequence of moves is an example of the “musical pews” movement of Olympia churches from the downtown core out to residential neighborhoods (see Where Are We? Gloria Dei for other examples). The building and location of this church were hastened by the 1949 earthquake that made the Fifth Avenue location unusable. The mid-Century design was originally intended for a location to the north of the original Capitol Campus, but the state appropriated that land for the General Administration building that sits on that site now.

The First United Methodist congregation is the oldest in Olympia, having been founded in 1852. The current building was dedicated exactly one hundred years later. It was built in Modern style with architecture by Donald Edmundson. The stained glass windows in the sanctuary were designed by one of the church’s pastors, Reverent Walter A. MacArthur and were hand installed by members of the congregation.

The church is located at the site of the Dudley Story Bradstreet (DSB) Henry family. “Dud” and his wife Fanny Talcott Henry were both descended from early Olympia pioneers. He was an engineer, eventually becoming U.S. Deputy Surveyor for this area. Dud and Fanny planted the Garry oak that is located at the corner of the church’s parking lot and has been lovingly maintained by the congregation. The oak tree is one of three “Landmark Trees” officially recognized by the City of Olympia.

First United Methodist history webpage

Mid-Century Modern context statement (see page 62)

Washington State Historical Society,

Enter the catalog number in the Collections Search Box: C1986.43.61.1.26.1.32

For more information on the Henry and Talcott families, see the Residents section of this website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Firs Point-Blankenship House site (demolished)

Location: 513 Flora Vista Dr NE
Women’s history; Religious institutions

Five Firs (lower right, cropped from photo that includes Floravista bulb farm), 1947, courtesy Kathy Farr

???????????????????????????????Five Firs Point today (2014) photograph by Deb Ross

In the late 19th and early 20th century, it was not uncommon for Olympia’s social elite to own summer homes or land to which they would retreat during the heat of the season (see also, for example, Butler’s Cove). George and Georgiana Blankenship established Five Firs Point here just north of Priest Point Park, in 1910. Their winter home was the Blankenship House near Capitol Campus. The house was on property previously owned by the oblate mission that gave Priest Point its name. The home was a classic craftsman style structure and, according to the City of Olympia inventory, well maintained prior to its acquisition by the City and annexation to Priest Point Park. The home was demolished some time after 2001.

The Blankenships were a well-known Olympia couple: they were both writers on local history. George Blankenship was a member of the pioneer Thurston County Yantis family. Georgiana was a journalist and writer, originally from Spokane, who took on the task of interviewing the aging pioneer families of Thurston County. Five Firs Point was a popular visiting and stopping point for the Blankenships’ friends and relatives, who typically would sail or row out to spend the day or a weekend.

Thank you to Kathy Farr, whose parents acquired Five Firs and the adjacent property developed into the Floravista bulb farm. 

More information:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fleming House

Location: 1717 Jefferson St SE
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

fleming_1942Fleming House, 1942, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFleming House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Fleming House was built about 1941 for John Gragg, a member of the Olympia Veneer cooperative. It was bought shortly after by the Fleming family, who owned Fleming-Harvey Motors for many years. The home is a well maintained example of the Dutch Colonial style. It is on the local register and in the South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Forsberg, Gust and Nanny House

Location: 1908 Washington St SE
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

forsberg_1939Gust and Nanny Forsberg House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGust and Nanny Forsberg  House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Gust and Nanny Forsberg House is a good and well-maintained example of the English Builder style, built about 1936. Forsberg was a native of Sweden and worked at Tumwater Lumber Mills, but the local Heritage Inventory does not show this as a Tumwater Lumber Mills home. It is on the local register and in the South Capitol National Historic District.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Free Methodist Church

Location: 1431 Legion Way SE
Local register; Religious institutions

Free Methodist church, 1961, courtesy Washington State Historical SocietyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFree Methodist Church building today (2013) photograph by Deb Ross

The Free Methodist Christian denomination was founded in the 1860s as an offshoot of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The denomination is considered more conservative and evangelical than the United Methodist Church, of which First United Methodist is a member. The first building of Olympia’s Free Methodist congregation was erected on this site in 1913. At the time, it would have been far out of town, just as the port area was beginning to be developed. Its likely members would have included many of the working families living in the neighborhood.  The current building was larger, erected in 1933. The congregation moved to an even larger facility in 1957, and this building is now a privately owned wedding chapel. The building is on the local register.

Olympia Heritage inventory

Washington State Historical Society,

Enter the catalog number in the Collections Search Box: C1986.43.61.1.26.1.27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gottfeld’s

Location: 213 4th Ave E
Downtown National Historic District, Wohleb, Transportation

Fourth Avenue4th Avenue looking east, mid 1940s, with Gottfeld’s halfway down on right,  Private Postcard Collectiongottfeld'sGottfeld’s Building today (2012) photograph by
Matt Kennelly

The Gottfeld Building was erected in 1908 by local businessmen Millard Lemon and Henry Mallory (see also Mallory House). In later years it was a men’s and boys’ clothing store. In 1971 it was renovated by Wohleb Architects. It is one of several commercial buildings that lined Fourth Avenue as it progressed eastwards towards the Swantown Slough and beyond. The photograph at left shows Fourth Avenue in the days when it was two-way. Traffic was heavy here, as this was part of Route 99, the main north-south thoroughfare in the Pacific Northwest. Traffic was changed to one-way following the 1949 earthquake.

In recent years, this part of downtown Olympia has transitioned to include numerous small restaurants and cafes like the one at this location, making this part of town popular with the late-night crowd

Additional links:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Downtown National Historic District

Link to larger left hand image 

Washington State Historical  Society (not scanned): C1964.26.4.18.2

For more information on Millard Lemon and the Lemon family, see the Residents section of this website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greyhound Depot/Site of Harris house

Location: 107 7th Ave SE
Transportation; Diversity: Jewish heritage; National Downtown Historic District

parade with harris houseParade for dead Spanish-American war soldiers, 1900, with Harris house in background, photo courtesy of Washington State Historical SocietyGreyhound Station

Greyhound station today (2013), photo by Deb Ross

The Isaac Harris house was built in 1880 at an important location on the corner of Main Street (Capitol Way) and Sylvester Park. It was one among several large homes and mansions built along the Main Street corridor south of the park. (The park and the Old State Capitol Building can be seen in the background of the photograph at above left.)  Isaac Harris was one of the most important merchants in Olympia, arriving here in 1870. His sons Mitchel and Gus carried on the business and built the Harris Dry Goods store a block and a half away. In addition to this mercantile business, they were investors in many important commercial ventures, as well as being prominent members of the Jewish community. Mitchel Harris was a three-time mayor of Olympia.

According to historian Bernice Sapp, the Harris House was moved to a location at 7th Avenue and Adams Street, possibly the hip-roofed apartment building currently (2014) at that location.

In about 1937, the North Coast Lines built the art moderne building that stands at this location. North Coast was one of the many subsidiaries of Puget Sound Power and Light, begun in 1922 to provide electrically-powered transportation up and down the coast, but soon branching out into motorized transportation. With the completion of Highway 99, which ran down Capitol Way and turned onto Fourth Avenue, this corner was a key surface transportation hub for the city and its surrounding areas. Today it is the home of Greyhound Bus Lines and has retained most of its original art moderne features. In the 2000s, the Art Deco Society of Olympia, in collaboration with the Olympia Downtown Association, acquired funds to repaint the building, along with its iconic motto: “See America By Bus the Modern Travel Way.” However, the building is currently in decline. It is in the National  Downtown Historic District but not individually registered.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

National Downtown Historic District

Washington State Historical Society (images in bold are scanned): 2012.0.345; C1947.7.5; C1945.141.2

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years Ago

For more information on the Harris family, see the Residents section of this website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grimm Brothers brickyard site/Le May grocery

Location: 1027 4th Ave E

eastside brickyardGrimm Brothers brickyard, ca. 1880, State Library CollectionOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Le May Market building now (2013) photograph by Deb Ross

Brickyards existed in and around Olympia from its earliest days. Early bricks were made by mining the extensive clay beds around Olympia’s shores, molding them, building wooden kilns to hold them and then setting the kilns on fire to bake the bricks.

The brickyard at the corner of Fourth and Eastside was one of at least two in East Olympia. It was owned by the Grimm brothers, and then by William Burchett and Christopher Baker until early in the 20th century.

The building currently at this site was erected in 1929, according to the Thurston County assessor. It was one of many commercial buildings built at the dawn of the automobile era, after the Carlyon Fill eased the way for Fourth Avenue to become a major east-west arterial through Olympia. The city directory for the following year shows this was a grocery store, the Le May Sanitary Market, owned by the Le May family (see also Le May House , Le May/Hedges House, Le May/Leonardson House, and Le May Meat Market on Capitol Way).

Eastside Neighborhood Brochure, City of Olympia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hamley House

Location: 3008 Lorne St SE
Local register

hamley_1941Hamley House, 1941, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHamley House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Hamley House was built in 1940 for Frederick Hamley, a lawyer, public official, and judge. While most of his professional career was in Seattle and later on in San Francisco as a member of the 9th Circuit court of appeals, he lived for several years in Olympia as an attorney for the Public Service Commission and later a member of the Supreme Court, which he chaired in 1955 and 1956. While in Olympia he researched the availability of Unitarian churches in the area. Finding none, he was instrumental in founding the Olympia Unitarian Fellowship, which continues to this day as the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Community.

This home is described as a minimal traditional style, but includes “modern” features such as the corner window, glass block by the entryway, and a large chimney facing the street. The home is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Frederick Hamley papers at University of Washington

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Jacaranda (Genoa’s) Restaurant (demolished)

Location: 1675 Marine Drive NE
mid-Century modern

Jacaranda Restaurant near opening day, 1964, photo courtesy of Washington State Historical Society 

Anthony’s Hearthfire today (2020), courtesy Anthony’s

For the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Douglas Fir Plywood Association created a model home called the Century 21 Plywood Home of Living Light. After the fair was over, the building was purchased and floated down Puget Sound, where it was remodeled and opened as the Jacaranda Restaurant. Perched at the northern end of the central Olympia peninsula, the restaurant had several domed rooms and outdoor seating areas overlooking the inlet. The building burned in 2002, and the site is now (2019) the home of Anthony’s Hearthfire Restaurant. 

Additional resources:

WSHS, catalog, search C1986.43.64.3.31.4.1

Vintage postcard posted on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jeffers Building

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 Societyjeffers 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.

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jeffers, Hugh House

Location: 218 19th St SW
South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

hughjeffers_1939Hugh Jeffers House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Hugh Jeffers House today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

The Hugh Jeffers House is one of many in this neighborhood using the Tumwater Lumber Mills precut designs. It is in one of their pleasingly symmetrical Dutch Colonial styles, built in 1922. (see Harmon House entry for more on Tumwater Lumber Mills).  Hugh Jeffers was the brother of photographer Joseph Jeffers (see Jeffers House, Jeffers Studio). He was in the laundry business and owned and operated Capital City Laundry. He was also an avid aviator.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

 

South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jeffers, Joseph House

Location: 2109 East Bay Drive NE
Local register?, Wohleb

jeffers_houseJoseph Jeffers House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesJeffers HouseJoseph Jeffers House today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

Joseph Jeffers arrived in Olympia as an infant and took an interest in photography from a very early age. He established his own studio in 1904, and hired preeminent architect Joseph Wohleb to design a photography studio, the Jeffers Building at 4th and Washington, in Wohleb’s signature Mission style, but with a large north-facing light at the roof line. Joseph Jeffers’s home here was built in 1922, also with a Wohleb design. Unfortunately, he lived in the home only two years, dying in a mountain-climbing accident in 1924. His wife continued to live here and continued in the photography business with their son Vibert until the 1970s. The home is one of the finest on East Bay Drive, and has been listed in the local register. It is a Craftsman style building, but current owners have installed a tile roof that echoes Wohleb’s signature Mission style.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

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Kelly House

Location: 430 Percival St NW
Local register

Kelly House_1939Kelly House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Kelly House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Kelly House is one of several homes on Percival and nearby streets in the northwest neighborhood  that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Andersen brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the DAHP listing linked below. This house is on the local register. Note its striking similarity to the Winters House, just a block away, as well as the way decorative features made each of these homes unique.  The house was built about 1932. James Kelly worked for the Department of Education.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

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KGY Building

Location: 1700 Marine Drive NE
mid-Century modern; Wohleb

KGYKGY Building, 1960s, KGY ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKGY Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The KGY Building is one of the city’s most distinctive mid-Century modern buildings. The radio station is one of the oldest in the United States, licensed in 1916. It was originally run by Father Sebastian Ruth, and located on the campus of St. Martin’s College in Lacey. It then moved to the Capitol Park (“1063”) building at 11th and Capitol, and then to the Rockway-Leland Building in 1941. Eventually it outgrew this location, and in 1960 architect Stacey Bennett, a member of Robert Wohleb and Associates, was hired to design an “ultra-modern” building over the water at the far northern tip of Olympia’s central peninsula.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory (includes an excellent and comprehensive history of the radio station)

 mid-Century Modern Walking Tour

Looking Back feature: Dick Nichols welcomed to KGY

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Lassen House

Location: 424 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

lassen_1937Lassen House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALassen House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Lassen House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Anderson brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the inventory listing linked below. This house is well maintained and is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built about 1930 and first owned by Irving Lassen. Lassen co-owned the Bergstrom sport shop on Fourth Avenue and later went into the electrical contracting business, Lassen Electric, which is still in business. Lassen also endowed the Lassen Foundation which provides financial assistance to Thurston County’s needy citizens.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Rogers Street Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lee, Elizabeth and Ralph House

Location: 118 19th Ave SW
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

Elizabeth and Ralph Lee House, ca. 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesElizabeth and Ralph Lee House today (2018), photo by City of Olympia

This Dutch Colonial style home was built some time between 1909 and 1924 in the South Capitol Neighborhood. It is on the local register. 

Register application

South Capitol National Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lucas House

Location: 420 Carlyon St SE
Local register

Lucas House, 1953, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesLucas House today (2018), photo by City of Olympia

This home in the Carlyon neighborhood is a well-preserved example of a Tudor Revival cottage, common to the area. The home was built in 1926; it is well maintained and on the local register. The first owner, Howard Lucas, was a director of Capital National Bank. 

Additional resources:

Register application

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Mann’s Seeds Building/Rainy Day Records

Location: 301 5th Ave E
Popular culture

mannsseeds_1964Mann’s Seeds Building, 1964, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMann’s Seeds Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The utilitarian structure at the corner of Franklin and Fifth was built in 1945 and housed Mann’s Seeds. According to historian Bernice Sapp, this was the location of the home of Champion Bramwell (CB) Mann. CB Mann ran a pharmacy in the Turner Block building, was from an early pioneer family, and acted as territorial librarian for a time. His most significant contribution to us, however, was the initiative he took in the early 20th century to locate and survey Thurston County’s original pioneer families, recording how they arrived here, who they came with, where they settled, and other information. This material is now on line as the Thurston County Pioneers Project.

The building now houses a popular and long-standing record store business. The building has not been inventoried.

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

Additional resources:

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years ago

Looking Back image and article

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marathon Park

Location: Deschutes Parkway
Women’s History

1984marathonStart of first women’s marathon trials, near Marathon Park, 1984, courtesy The OlympianOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMarathon Park today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Marathon Park, first created in 1970 out of fill that extended the park into Capitol Lake, was renamed in 1984 to commemorate an historic event.

In 1981, the International Olympia Committee finally decided to introduce a women’s marathon at the upcoming 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Major cities immediately began vying for the opportunity to host the first trials for the event. In a move reminiscent of the City’s famous campaign to become the state capital, then-Supreme Court Justice Gerry Alexander, along with Slade Gorton, traveled to Philadelphia and wooed the committee with a hospitality room filled with food and beverages from Washington State, including the eponymous Olympia beer. The city easily won out over its larger competitors. It remains the only city under 120,000 to host marathon trials for men or women.

The 1984 trials attracted thousands of participants and spectators. Joan Benoit, later Joan Benoit Samuelson, easily won the trials and went on to become the first women’s marathon winner in Olympic history.

Although Marathon Park is named for that historic event, the trials actually began ended a little south of the park at the Thurston County courthouse. The park is owned by the Department of Enterprise Services, a department of the State of Washington.

Additional resources:

DES webpage for park

Olympian article on the trials (accessed November 14, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Medical Arts Building

Location:  1015 4th Ave SW
mid-Century modern

med arts picturePerspective of Medical Arts Building, about 1962, Department of Archaeology and Historic PreservationOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMedical Arts Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Medical Arts Building was commissioned in 1962 by doctors E.V. Olson and William Bigelow. It was completed in 1966. The building was adjacent to St. Peter’s Hospital on Sherman Street, on the West Side,  and housed a variety of medical practitioners, including a pharmacy. The doctors hired noted local architect G. Stacey Bennett to produce a modern, yet practical building whose beauty and utility continue remarkably intact nearly fifty years later.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

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Metropolitan Life Insurance Building

Location:  1006 4th Ave NE
mid-Century modern

metropolitan lifeMetropolitan Life Insurance Building 1960s, Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation files OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMetropolitan Life Insurance Building (Crain’s Office Supply) today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This small Miesian style building was designed in 1958 by architect Kenneth Ripley and served as the Olympia office of Metropolitan Life until the 1970s. Its distinctive low profile and windows reaching up to the eaves were accentuated by beams that held up the flat roof. These have now been obscured by a metal parapet.

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s modernism project.

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory,  property 102772 

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moore House

Location: 3811 Pifer Rd SE
Local register; Women’s History

johnmoore_1939Moore House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMoore House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

John and Olivia Moore built this unusual stucco bungalow in 1927. At the time, the location on Pifer Road was far in the outskirts of Olympia, past the Cloverfield farm. John Moore was a local contractor and designed and built the home. Olivia Moore was an organizer for the waitress and cooks union and held national office in the union during a time when women were just being recognized for their contributions to the union movement. The home is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the 20th Century

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Munson House

Location: 2112 Capitol Way S
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

munson_1939Munson House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMunson House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Munson House was built in 1924 by the Munson family. Fred G. Munson was a member of a prominent Olympia pioneer family (see Munson store). He owned a drug store downtown.

This English revival home is on the local register as well as located in the South Capitol National Historic District.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District listing

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Neuffer, Paul and Catherine House

Location: 510 O’Farrell St SE
Local register

A vintage photograph has not been located; if you have one to share, please contact us OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPaul and Catherine Neuffer house today (2013) photo by Deb Ross

This home, built about 1922, was one of the first residences built in the new Wildwood subdivision, which was platted that year by J.T. Otis, a local real estate developer and businessman. It is in the Craftsman/bungalow style popular at the time, distinguished for its cobblestone fireplace and features. It is on the local register.  The house was built for Paul C. Neuffer and his wife, Catherine. Paul was the adopted son of Paul H. Neuffer, who owned Neuffer Jewelers. Paul H’s home, the Neuffer House, in the South Capitol neighborhood, is also on the local register. Paul, Jr. was one of the so-called “doorstep babies” who appeared on citizens’ thresholds in the late 1800s.

Olympia Heritage inventory

PCTV/TCTV video on Bigelow Highlands neighborhood, recounting Doorstep Baby phenomenon

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New Caldonia building

Location: 116 5th Avenue
Downtown National Historic District

Proffitt’s Department Store, 1970, Susan Parish Collection, Washington State ArchivesNew Caldonia building today (2017) photograph by Deb Ross

According to its owner, the building now called the New Caldonia building was the site of the Caledonia Hotel in the 1870s. By 1914 it was the home of a hardware store, and a Sanborn map still shows that a hardware store was at that site in the 1920s. It was remodeled or rebuilt in 1941 to become part of the Proffitt’s store chain. It has been remodeled at least twice since that time and now houses a variety of small stores. The building is located in the National Downtown Olympia historic district, but is listed as non-contributing.

Additional links (note that the Downtown National Historic District incorrectly place the Ray Theatre at the site of this building):

Washington State Historical Society (enter catalog number in Collections Search box), C1986.43.0.269

Downtown National Historic District

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Paine House

Location: 428 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

paine_1937Paine House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPaine House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Paine House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Anderson brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the Heritage inventory listing linked below. This house is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built about 1929. The cross-timbered detailing on the exterior qualifies the home as a “Tudor Revival” style rather than the English Revival style of its neighbors.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Rogers Street Local Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Potts House

Location: 418 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

Potts_1937Potts House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPotts House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Potts House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Anderson brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the inventory sheet linked below. This house is well maintained and is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built in 1929 and first owned by Harold and Gertrude Potts. Harold Potts was a school principal at the nearby Garfield School.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

Rogers Street Local Historic District

 

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Preston, Josephine Corliss House

Location: 1502 Columbia St SW
South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood; Women’s History

preston_1937Preston House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Preston House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Josephine Corliss Preston House was erected in 1907, a well-preserved Craftsman style house in the South Capitol Neighborhood, very close to Capitol Campus. The house is associated with Josephine Corliss Preston, the first woman elected to the statewide position of Superintendent of Schools. Preston had nationwide prominence as an advocate for remedial classes and kindergarten. The house’s proximity to Capitol Campus makes it a popular venue for lobbyists during Legislative Session.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District

Women’s History Walking Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rabeck Building

Location: 311 4th Ave E
Local register; Popular culture

rabeck thenRabeck Music Store (in next block to the east), Piano Trade Magazine, 1915OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARabeck Music Store building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Ammon T. Rabeck arrived in Olympia in 1888, and after working in the mills for several years, opened up a small organ store at the current site of the Ward Building next door. That location later became the home of a rival, the Taylor Music Store. Rabeck moved at least twice more, always on Fourth Avenue, and expanded his business to include the first dealership for phonographs, as well as sheet music, some of his own composition. The drawing at above left shows the extent of his business in 1916, which was then located between Jefferson and Adams Streets; the Fourth Avenue trolley line can be seen approaching from the west. He then moved a block to the west. The current building, which appears much smaller than the 1916 building, was erected in 1927. It is a modest masonry structure with attractive crenelated parapet. The business was sold to Yenney’s in the 1940s, and this building has had several occupants since then. The building is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

For more information on A.T. Rabeck (including a brief biography from the 1916 Piano Trade Magazine), see the Residents section of this website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ralph’s Thriftway

Location: 1908 4th Ave E
mid-Century modern

9-13-14ralphsRalph’s Thriftway, 1958, Susan Parish Collection, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Ralph’s Thriftway today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Ralph’s Thriftway opened at its present location on State Avenue in 1956. It was a showcase for the very latest in grocery stores. It was also one of the largest stores in the northwest, and included a children’s play area, clothing department, and two leased areas, Bailey Pharmacy and Blue Ribbon Meats. This photograph, taken in 1958, shows the soda fountain and the pharmacy.

Additional resources:

mid-Century Modern Context Statement, City of Olympia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Raymond House

Location: 1130 East Bay Drive NE

raymond_1939Raymond House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Raymond House today (2015) photograph by Deb Ross

Perched on a bluff overlooking Budd Inlet, the Raymond House was built in 1922 by George Raymond, a contractor, to serve as his own residence. The stucco facade of this bungalow is relatively unusual for Olympia, earning it a place in the city’s inventory of important structures.

Additional sources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ray Theatre/Timberland Bank

Location: 423 Washington St SE
Downtown National Historic District, Popular Culture

raytheaterRay Theatre, 1914,  Robert Esterly photo courtesy of Washington State Historical SocietyTimberland BankTimberland Bank building today (2012) photograph from Timberland Bank website

In about 1914, the Zabel family, who owned several theaters downtown, built the Ray Theatre here, pictured at above left, at the corner of Fifth and Washington. In this same year, Robert Esterly took the picture as part of his series featuring Olympia businesses and their owners. The theater later boasted a Wurlitzer organ, as did others owned by the same family. This theater was closed when the Capitol Theatre was built nearby.

Adjacent to the theater was the B&M Cigar Store, pictured in the link below. 

This location is now the Timberland Bank, formerly Capitol  Savings and Loan. According to the Thurston County assessor, this is the same building as the Ray Theatre, although it clearly has lost most of its elements. The fixed canopies along Washington and Fifth Avenue are a nod to the original design and the overall architectural themes of downtown Olympia. The building is located in the Downtown National Historic District, but the building itself is not considered to be contributing to the district’s historic flavor. However, long-time employees at the bank confirm that above the dropped ceiling there are still remnants of cinema wall decorations. 

According to historian Bernice Sapp, the property at northern side of this building on Washington Street was the home of pioneer Jacob Ott and family, and on the southern side was the home of the Tilleys (see Tilley Stable site).

Additional links (note that both the Cinema Treasures and Downtown National Historic District incorrectly place the Ray Theatre at the site of the current New Caldonia building):

Cinema Treasures: Ray Theatre

Downtown National Historic District

Washington State Historical Society photographs (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box): 2010.149.4.1; 2010.149.7.1

Sapp, Olympia 100 years ago

Thank you to bank employee Jacquie for memories of cinema decorations above dropped ceiling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mustard House

Location: 1617 Capitol Way S
South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood; Women’s History

mustard_1936Mustard House, 1936, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMustard House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Mustard House on Capitol Way in the South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood is one of the most prominent homes in the neighborhood. Designed in the Queen Anne style, it was built around 1886 and may have been originally located in what is now the Capitol Campus. By the early 20th century, it was located here and occupied by a husband and wife doctor team, Jack and Flora Mustard. Flora Mustard was a daughter of Olympia mayor A.H. Chambers, from an eminent pioneer family (see also nearby Chambers House and Chambers Block, both owned by A.H.). The home has retained most of its original features. It is not on a heritage register, but has been inventoried.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District listing

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sears Building/Site of First Presbyterian Church and Manse- Franklin St.

Location: 600 Franklin St SE
Religious communities; Downtown National Historic District;  mid-Century modern

First Presbyterian Church and Parsonage (pg 16)First Presbyterian Church and manse, Franklin Street around 1891, Olympia Tribune Souvenir Edition, Washington State Libraryfirst pres nowSears Building in 2003,  photograph by Ed Echtle (2003)

The First Presbyterian Church was the first church in Olympia, and the first Presbyterian church north of the Rockies. It was organized in 1853 in a cooper shop (now location of Heritage Bank) and met there until the construction of the building at the corner of Legion Way and Franklin Street in about 1860. This building was used by the congregation until 1908 when it built an larger brick building on the same spot. After First Presbyterian merged with First Congregational to form the United Churches of Olympia, the two churches continued to meet here until the 1949 earthquake. At that time the building was considered unsafe and demolished. the congregation met at the Liberty Theater until the current building at 11th and Capitol was erected in the early 1950s.

The wooden building that was replaced by the brick building was moved to the nearby corner of 5th and Adams and became the first permanent home of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, and then the Salvation Army (without its steeple), yet another example of the “musical pews” phenomenon described in the listing for Gloria Dei.

The manse (pastor’s home) to the right of the church building in the above left photograph was built around 1884. It was moved to the southwest corner of 8th and Adams when a newer Foursquare style manse was erected on the same location in 1910. After the Presbyterian church was demolished in 1950, that newer manse was moved to Jefferson Street between 9th and 10th, and no longer exists. A newspaper photograph shows the older and newer manses in one picture as the newer manse was being moved. After the move, the congregation purchased a home on Carlyon Street to serve as its manse.

In 1951 or 1952, former Wohleb employee George Ekvall designed the Sears Building now at this location. According to the heritage inventory, the location and design were an attempt by Sears to compete with the Miller’s store at the corner of Capital and Legion. The building is located in the Downtown National Historic District and is listed as an historic contributing building. It has recently been renovated into apartments and retail facilities.

Additional resources:

Washington  State Historical Society (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box), C1959.8.7, C1959.2.9(brick building), C2013.18.6 (brick building), C1952.18.3 (moving of Foursquare manse, with older manse in background, not scanned)

Bird’s Eye View of Olympia, 1879

Olympia Heritage inventory (Sears Building)

Downtown National Historic District

DAHP mid-Century modern Walking Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seattle First National Building/site of first brewery

Location:  210 5th Ave SW
mid-Century modern

Seattle first National 1960sSeattle First National Building 1960s, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeattle First National (Bank of America) Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Seattle First National Bank Building in downtown Olympia is similar to a building erected in the Denny neighborhood in Seattle for the same institution. Architectural historian Michael Houser speculates that Seattle architects Frank McClellan and Hugo Osterman were asked to alter that building’s design to suit Olympia conditions. It was erected in 1959. The building employs “Roman bricks,” skinnier than standard bricks, a glass curtain wall, and a curved entryway. Note the mosaic of the Legislative Building inside the entryway, just  visible in the photograph to the right.

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s modernism project.

According to historian Georgiana Blankenship, this was also the site of the first brewery in Olympia. 

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory

Olympia Heritage inventory

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spar Restaurant/Site of Oxford Saloon

Location: 114 4th Ave E
National Downtown Historic District, Local register, Wohleb

 

 

Oxford SaloonOxford Saloon, 1914, photo by Robert Esterly, courtesy of Washington State Historical Society

 

The Spar

The Spar today (2012), photo by Deb Ross

 

There has been a restaurant or saloon at this location in downtown Olympia since 1860. The current occupant, the Spar, was opened in 1935, taking the place of its predecessor the Oxford Saloon between the Chambers Block and the establishments to the east which included baths, a barber shop, a cafe and other commercial establishments. Like its neighbor the Baretich Building, the Spar is an iconic Joseph Wohleb building with its fixed awnings and clerestory windows. The interior of the Spar retains many of its early features, including its long counter with swiveling chairs that have hooks to hang one’s hat on, as well as a fountain dispensing water from the artesian well beneath the building. The building is cited as a historic contributing building in the National Downtown Historic District and is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Olympia Downtown National Historic District

Washington State Historical Society photographs (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box), 2010.149.40.1 (Oxford)

McMenamin’s article about the Spar

Looking Back feature on demise of sports postings at the Spar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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State Theater/Site of Thurston County Courthouse, 4th Avenue/Burmeister saloon and residence

Location: 202 4th Ave E
National Downtown Historic District; Wohleb; Popular culture;  mid-Century modern

courthouse-columbiahallThurston County Courthouse-4th Avenue, 1905, postcard private collectionState TheaterState Theatre today (2003), photo by Ed Echtle

The northeast corner of Fourth and Washington was once occupied by a wooden structure built in about 1853, at a time when the center of Olympia was north of State Avenue. At one time that building was the home and business location of saloonkeeper Charles Burmeister, see Looking Back photo linked below. Burmeister later moved his saloon to the corner of State and Capitol (see Burmeister Saloon). (Confusingly, a C. Burmeister later owned a cigar store across the street at the southwest corner of Fourth and Washington; the relationship between this C. Burmeister and the saloonkeeper is unclear, as the saloonkeeper died in 1885.)

The wooden structure was moved at the turn of the 20th century to make way for the building shown at above left,  the second purpose-built Thurston County Courthouse and jail. It was erected around the turn of the 20th century after the county sold the  Old State Capitol Building to the state in 1902. The building also replaced the existing deteriorating county jail and featured state of the art security systems. As can be seen in the photograph, it was also conveniently located next to the Columbia Hall, and was close to the heart of downtown Olympia. In 1930 a new courthouse was built on Capitol Way (the Old Thurston County Courthouse-Capitol Way building) and this building was abandoned.

The Art Moderne-style State Theater currently at this location was built in 1949 and designed by local architect Joseph Wohleb. It was converted from a movie theater into a performing arts center in the 1990s. The building is included as a contributing building in the Downtown National Historic district.

The wooden structure that originally stood on this spot was moved to the area now occupied by the Martin Building, and was torn down when that building was erected.

Additional resources:

Looking Back image of the original Burmeister saloon at this location

Olympia Heritage inventory

Olympian Downtown National Historic District

Cinema Treasures listing

Washington State Historical Society photographs (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box), C1950.1330.1,  C2019.0.145 (Burmeister saloon)

Olympia Lore article, accessed April 25, 2014

Sapp, Olympia 100 years ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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United Churches of Olympia

Location: 110 Eleventh Ave SE
Religious institutions

united churches 1950United Churches of Olympia, around 1960, United Churches of Olympia collectionOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnited Churches of Olympia today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The United Churches of Olympia is a federated congregation  of the First Congregational Church of Olympia and the First Presbyterian Church of Olympia. Both of these institutions are among the earliest in the city. First Congregational’s original building was near this location, at 10th and Capitol Way. First Presbyterian was located on the corner of Legion and Franklin, where the Sears Building is. The federation occurred in 1915, and the congregations began meeting in the First Presbyterian church’s newer brick building at its original location. The Congregationalists used proceeds from the sale of their original structure to purchase the First Sunset Insurance building across the street from the Franklin Street church.

The church acquired the current location through a donation by the Lemon family and the purchase of adjacent property in 1939. The 1949 earthquake made the previous location unusable, and the congregation met at the Olympia Theater until the basement of the current building was completed, stowing away the Tiffany stained glass windows for later installation. The congregation then met in the basement pending construction of the rest of the building. The main part of the current building was dedicated in 1955. The side chapel and other extensions were completed in the 1970s, and the original Tiffany windows that had been in the First Presbyterian building were installed there.

Although built in the 1950s, the church building is traditional in form, with a steeple and tall stained glass windows running along its length, and a rose window on the west side.

Additional resources:

Washington State Historical Society, enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box: C1986.43.61.1.26.1.19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ward, Samuel House

Location: 137 Sherman St NW
Local register, Women’s history

Ward House_1970Samuel Ward House, 1970, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASamuel Ward House today (2009), photo by Deb Ross

The Samuel Ward House was built by a member of the pioneer Ward family, which owned a lumber mill on the Deschutes River in Tumwater. The home was built in 1889, with a design by architect Mary Page. Miss Page was the first female architect in Olympia, and the only woman to rate a listing in the 1891 Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue. The home is one of the finest examples of Queen Anne style in Olympia and sits on a bluff overlooking Budd Inlet. It is located in the area of West Olympia platted by Samuel Woodruff, also from a pioneer Tumwater family. Interestingly, Samuel Ward’s son, Samuel, Jr., himself became a noted local architect, responsible for the Robert Yantis home, among others.

The home was owned for several years by Vic Meyers, musician and Secretary of State.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Washington State Historical Society photograph, unscanned, enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box: C1964.26.4.8.8

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ward-Levenhagen House

Location: 432 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

Ward Levenhagen_1937)Ward Levenhagen House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWard Levenhagen House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Ward Levenhagen House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Andersen brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for over fifty homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House. This house is well maintained and is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built in 1929 and first owned by Charles and Jennie Ward, later by the Levenhagen family.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

Rogers Street Local Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Warmoth House

Location: 1801 4th Ave E

warmoth_1966Warmoth House, 1966, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Warmoth House today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

The Warmoth House was erected by George Warmoth, a railroad freight operator, in 1910. It is built in an interesting and unique combination of Prairie and Craftsman styles, earning it a place in Olympia’s inventory. It is well preserved and now used as an office, along with most of the former residences along the busy Fourth Avenue East.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Warnica and Warnica

Location: 202 9th Ave SW

warnica and warnicaWarnica and Warnica Building, 1966, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archiveswarnica and warnicaWarnica and Warnica Building today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

This building was erected as a mortuary by A.O. Warnica and his son Earl, in 1923. The Warnicas arrived here in 1905. Except for the enclosing in of the diagonal porch entryway, the building has been well preserved in its original condition. It is currently operated as a bank.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weidner Auto Court/Ouellette House site

Location:  915 Capitol Way S
local register; Wohleb; transportation

weidner auto court_1965Rear view of Weidner Auto Court, on 10th Avenue, 1965, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWeidner Auto Court buildings today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Pacific Highway in Washington State was designated in 1910, at the advent of the automobile age, to connect the cities of Washington State. In 1926, it later became part of U.S. Route 99, the major north-south route on the West Coast. In Olympia, the Pacific Highway proceeded along Capitol Way and then turned onto Fourth Avenue. Along with the highway’s establishment came the need for automobile-oriented businesses. Olympia obliged by creating and promoting several eating establishments, hotels, and automotive services along the route. It also was one of the first cities in the west coast to create one-way street pairs through the city, State and Fourth Avenues.

Ernie Weidner (brother of O. Weidner who owned the Weidner Rummy Club) commissioned architect Joseph Wohleb to create one of the area’s first motels, the Weidner Auto Court, in 1929. Its two Capitol Way facades are decorated in mock-Tudor style, and its rooms stretch along an inner courtyard. Built on an L-shaped lot that faced both Capitol Way and 10th Avenue, the motel wrapped around the Congregational Manse. The view at above left shows the 10th Avenue side of the motel in 1965. The building has been well preserved and is on the local heritage register.

The portion of the court facing 10th Avenue was the site of the Louis P. Ouellette House. Ouellette was an important figure in early Thurston County history. He founded the Puget Sound and Chehalis Railway, one of the early logging railroads, and was surveyor general for Thurston County.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

The Historic Pacific Highway in Washington

Highways of Washington State – US 99

Washington State Historical Society photograph (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box), C1952.226.67 (Ouellette House, not scanned)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wildwood building

Location: 2822 Capitol Way SE
mid-Century modern, Wohleb, Transportation

wildwood 1950Wildwood Building, 1950, advertisement in Olympia Centennial Souvenir program,  Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWildwood Building today (2013) photo by Deb Ross

The Wildwood Building (also known as the G.C. Valley Shopping Center) was the first shopping center built in Olympia, in 1938. The building was designed for owner G.C. Valley by Olympia architect Joseph Wohleb, as he transitioned from his signature Mission style into his later Art Moderne style. In this he was reflecting the changing tastes in American architecture at the cusp of the mid-Century modern style.

The Wildwood Building was located at the edge of the Wildwood Park subdivision that had been platted just a few year before. In locating a shopping center here — with a grocery store, pharmacy, and flower shop — G.C. Valley astutely anticipated the desire of families to shop in their own “suburban” neighborhoods, rather than relying on downtown markets. This may have been particularly true during the Depression years, when automobile use declined from the 1920s, only to rebound after World War II.

Washington State Historical Society, enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box, C1986.43.0.269

Olympia Heritage inventory

mid-Century modern context statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wiman/Jackson House

Location: 313 Quince St SE
Local register

We have not located a vintage photograph of this home.If you have one to share, please contact us.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWiman/Jackson House today (2014) photo by Deb Ross

The Wiman/Jackson House was built before 1887 in what is now known as the Bigelow neighborhood on Olympia’s east side. (Thurston County assessor records provide an 1890 construction date, but a city directory shows Samuel P. Wiman living here in 1887.) Samuel P. Wiman was an early pioneer logger in Olympia. This home is in a simple pioneer style but contains decorative elements, as do many homes of a similar date in this neighborhood. The home is just outside the boundaries of the Olympia Avenue Local Historic District. It is on the local register. Verner E. Jackson lived in this home for many years.

Olympia Heritage Inventory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winters House

Location: 436 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

Winters_1937Winters House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinters House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Winters House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Anderson brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the DAHP listing linked below. This house is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built about 1931. It is distinguished from its four neighbors to the south by having a T-shape with a small turret entrance, suitable for its corner location.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

Rogers Street Local Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wright Building

Location: 222 4th Ave W
National Downtown Historic District

parrott harterParrott and Harter, Wright Building, 1914, photo by Robert Esterly, courtesy of Washington State Historical SocietyWright Building

Wright building today (2012), photo by Deb Ross

The Wright Building at the corner of Water Street and Fourth Avenue was constructed in 1908 and was one of the first concrete buildings in Olympia, possibly the first to be constructed for commercial purposes. It originally housed several commercial operations on the first floor and was a hotel on the second floor. The photograph at above left, part of the series taken by photographer Robert Esterly in 1914, shows the Parrott and Harter Engineering Company (still in existence in a nearby location) and the  Farmer’s Cooperative Creamery. Because of its early adoption of concrete for commercial use, the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation has recommended it be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. It is included as a contributing building in the National Downtown Historic District.

Additional resources:

National Downtown Historic District

Olympia Heritage inventory

Washington State Historical Society photographs (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box), 2010.149.16.1; 2010.149.34.1 (grocery store on ground floor with adjacent entrance to Tacoma Hotel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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