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Summary for 4900 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901640 / Inv #

Historic Name: Columbia Hotel Common Name: Lottie Mott's
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Columbia City
Built By: Year Built: 1892; 1904; 1914
Joseph Hellenthal originally constructed a portion of this three-story brick building, as a two-story residence in 1892. The Hellenthals had moved to Columbia City from Texas in 1891. The subject building was the first brick building in the town, and the only home built on Rainier Avenue between Edmunds Street and Hudson Street, as the town council designated those two blocks to be used for businesses only. The building became the Hotel Dakota by 1903. In 1904 a third story was added and the building expanded to the south, doubling its size. It was renamed the Columbia Hotel. In 1906, the building’s brick face was covered with stucco. The Columbia Hotel continued in business through 1920. In the early days of the community, the hotel was the place to get a 25 cent chicken or roast beef dinner, and many local residents’ names are found on the guest register. The most famous guest to sign the register was Buffalo Bill Cody. During the 1920s, the building was the location of the Jamieson Drug Store and the Bright Spot Tavern, later Slims Tavern. There were professional offices on the upper floors. The building had an additional storefront to the south, at 4902 Rainier Avenue S. This housed the Nash Pharmacy and in the 1930s, the Columbian, a dry goods store which was owned by Marshall Fields and Company. Today, it is a mixed-use commercial/residential building with a café in the former hotel dining room. The subject building was first renovated during the 1980s through private funding and the Seattle Housing Authority. In the late 1990s, Southeast Effective Development renovated the buildings with the approval of the Columbia City Review Committee and Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. The project cost 1.5 million dollars and created eight residential units and 3000 square feet of commercial space. The building is significant as one of the earliest buildings constructed in Columbia City. It retains its architectural integrity and is a large and imposing structure anchoring the southeast corner of the intersection of Rainier Avenue S. and S. Ferdinand Street, which was the center of the Columbia City commercial district. The building was an important community gathering spot for local residents during its first three decades of existence as it was a hotel and dining room.
This three-story commercial vernacular building is of frame construction and is supported by a concrete foundation. The building has an irregular rectangular plan and a flat roof with a pent roof projecting cornice. The northwest corner of the building is truncated to accommodate a corner entrance. The building is clad in stucco on brick veneer. The fenestration consists of one-over-one single hung windows. The windows on both the second and third stories are evenly spaced and separated by pilaster strips. The building has two storefront bays, which were renovated in the mid-1990s. The primary storefront consists of the corner entrance with three expansive glass windows on the main elevation, and a single window on the north side elevation. The second storefront consists of an inset entry with an angled window in the entryway, and a window flush with the façade. An entry to the upper floors is located on the southernmost end of the main elevation. Transom windows are located above both storefronts. The building began in 1892 as a two story wood frame house. It is unclear whether the building was originally clad in brick veneer. Early photographs show that the building had a mansard roof that accommodated a half story. In 1904 an addition was built on the south side elevation that carefully copied the fenestration, cladding and roof form of the original building. In 1906 the brick veneer was covered with stucco. In 1914 the half story was enlarged and the mansard roof was removed to accommodate a full third story.

Detail for 4900 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901640 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Stucco, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Eaves Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Brick No. of Stories: three
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Plan: 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.
Anderson, Buzz. “All You Can Eat for 25 Cents,” Beacon Hill and South District Journal, page 2, 1/3/2001.
Seattle Times. Obituaries, “Joseph Hellenthal, 88”, 6/2/1972.
Centennial History, Columbia City, Rainier Valley, 1853-1991, Pioneers of Columbia City. Seattle, Washington, 1992.
King County Tax Assessment Rolls, Washington State Archives.

Photo collection for 4900 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901640 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 22, 2004
App v2.0.1.0