Location: 610 and 612 4th Ave E
Transportation; Popular culture

OFT buildingTresner Auto and Anderson Auto buildings, 1965, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives
Tresner Auto and Anderson Auto buildings today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

At the advent of the automobile age, state planners began to see the need for “good roads” (a term of art) to facilitate traffic through the state and beyond. They relied on old stagecoach routes, themselves often based on ancient Indian trails, designating Pacific Highway 1 as the main north-south thoroughfare through the state. Federal funds became available in 1916 to pave the highway. A part of Route 1 (later, in 1926, re-numbered Route 99) ran through downtown Olympia on Capitol Way, then turned onto 4th Avenue and on to Lacey and north. Automobile-related businesses such as repair shops, restaurants and hotels took advantage of the increased traffic through town. The two buildings shown above were both erected in 1920 and have strictly utilitarian structures designed to accommodate automobile repair and parts fabrication. The buildings now host commercial and retail operations as well as a school and theater.

Olympia Heritage inventory, Tresner Building; Anderson Building