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Summary for 4546 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 095200-6350 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: S. & H. Kress & Co. Common Name: Matador/Jak's
Style: Art Deco Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1930

This building, constructed in 1930, was one of the most prominent and ornate elements of the Junction commercial district when it opened. It was built for S. H. Kress & Company, which remained here until the 1970s. It has been significantly altered, but the buff brick cladding with Art Deco terra cotta detailing is still visible on the upper level; the name "Kress" has been covered over. The northern part of the façade has been largely covered with stucco, and both storefronts have been greatly altered

This store was part of a nationwide chain of “five-and-dime stores” started in 1896 by Samuel H. Kress to provide quality merchandise at the lowest possible price. The chain grew to became one of the most successful retail operations of the twentieth century. Kress envisioned his stores as works of public art that would contribute to the cityscape, taking pride in well designed and constructed stores. The company had an architectural division from 1905 until 1944 and, by the late 1920s, had more than 100 people working on store designs. They designed more than 220 stores throughout the country, using high quality materials and a wide range of façades to fit the scale and context of specific streetscapes. A consistent part of their image was the lavish use of terra cotta and prominent “KRESS” letters or logo, a perpetually distinctive element displayed high upon the building, its doors and windows. Edward F. Sibbert, the company’s chief architect, designed a distinct group of streamline and Art Deco modern store facades between 1929 and 1944. All of the Kress stores used a systematic floor plan to efficiently display goods and direct customer circulations.  In the 1960s, the company expanded to suburban shopping malls. The Kress Company evolved into what is now the K-Mart group of shopping mall retail outlets.





This two-story building is of reinforced concrete construction clad primarily with buff brick. On the main (west) façade, the southern storefront has a curved fabric awning and recessed windows behind large window boxes sitting on a concrete base. The northern restaurant has newer windows and doors with extensive decorative metal work beneath a shed roof. Stucco cladding covers the brick cladding and second-story windows.  Above this and on the south part of the façade the original buff brick with terra cotta ornament.  The tall, narrow steel sash windows are bordered with terra cotta with terra cotta medallions in the spandrels. The parapet is accented with corbelled brick. The rear elevation has two rear entries and modern metal window sash.

Detail for 4546 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 095200-6350 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Specialty store Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Extensive
Changes to Windows: Slight
Storefront: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
West Seattle Herald. West Side Story, 1987.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.

Photo collection for 4546 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 095200-6350 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Mar 31, 2015

Photo taken Nov 11, 2015

Photo taken Mar 31, 2015
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