Seattle.gov Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

This application will be offline for Maintenance Saturday Feb 4th from 6am to noon

New Search

Summary for 4910 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901660 / Inv #

Historic Name: Rainier Valley Barber Shop Common Name: Big John's Barber Shop
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Columbia City
Built By: Year Built: 1926
 
Significance
Menzo LaPorte constructed this one story building in 1926 for $1500. LaPorte had been a barber in Columbia City since 1907. He started in partnership with Lee Gardner, and Gardner and LaPorte’s Rainier Valley Barber Shop had been in several prior locations on Rainier Avenue within the historic district, including 4866, 4870 and 4906 Rainier Avenue South. At the start of the partnership, Menzo C. LaPorte was 17 years old. He later married Lee Gardner’s daughter and continued as Columbia City’s barber until his retirement in the 1960s. The subject building is significant as a well-preserved example of a 1920s commercial building and for its continuous use as a barbershop. It is also significant for its association with its original owner, Menzo LaPorte, who was a barber in Columbia City for over 50 years.
 
Appearance
This small, single story commercial vernacular building is of wood frame construction and is supported by a concrete foundation. The building has a rectangular plan and a flat roof with a low parapet. The building is clad with stucco siding with glazed green and yellow tile trim. The fenestration consists of small multi-pane canopy windows, evenly spaced on the south side elevation. The single storefront consists of an offset metal-framed door on the south end of the main elevation next to an expansive wood frame plate glass window. The building has a metal frame canopy that covers intact transom windows. A large wood frame window with transom windows above and tile cladding below is located on the westernmost end of the south side elevation. A decorative molded medallion is located above the transom windows on the front elevation.

Detail for 4910 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901660 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Ceramic tile, Stucco, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Integrity
Changes to Windows: Intact
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Anderson, Buzz. “Columbia City Barber Shop was a Pool Hall, Sold Cigars and Candy,” Beacon Hill and South District Journal, page 1, 8/2/2000.
Centennial History, Columbia City, Rainier Valley, 1853-1991, Pioneers of Columbia City. Seattle, Washington, 1992.

Photo collection for 4910 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901660 / Inv #


Photo taken Mar 22, 2004
App v2.0.1.0