Location: 317 4th Ave E
Local Register; Popular culture

Olympia Vocational Technical Institute, from South Puget Sound Community College website Ward BuildingWard Building today (2012) photograph by Matt Kennelly

The buildings leading eastward on Fourth Avenue from the core of downtown Olympia remained solidly retail-oriented up to the bridge to Swantown in the early 1900s. 

In 1928 the current building, the Ward Building, was erected using a commercial vernacular design, with the over-the doorway transom windows that are so characteristic of downtown Olympia. It was originally built to house the Montgomery Ward store, one of the first chain stores in Olympia. Over the years it has also housed a forerunner of South Puget Sound Community College — the Olympia Vocational Technical Institute –several restaurants, and other businesses. The building is listed in the local register.

Additional links:

Olympia Heritage inventory

History of South Puget Sound Community College

Looking Back photo of typing class at Vocational Technical Institute

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross