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Summary for 4736 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 75790-0075 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Pentecostal Church/Beulah Temple Common Name: Thunder Road Guitars
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1919

This is one of the oldest buildings in the Junction, dating from 1919. In the 1920s-1930s, it housed a church, variously called the Beulah Temple, the Full Gospel Mission and the West Seattle Bethel Temple. At that time, it looked like an auditorium building, with a recessed entry, a bank of doors opening up to the sidewalk and a stepped parapet. For many years afterwards, it was an auto supply store, and then Liberty Bell Printing from 1978 to 2011. In 1972, it was completely modernized with a straight parapet, a canopy and a typical glass storefront.

The Junction, West Seattle's primary commercial district, acquired its name in 1907 when a new street car line on California Avenue SW was extended south to Fauntleroy Park, crossing the Admiral streetcar line at SW Alaska Street. West Seattle, incorporated as a city in 1902, had built the Admiral line--the nation’s first municipally-owned streetcar line. At first, the Junction was just a swamp with a few real estate offices, but in 1907 West Seattle voted to be annexed to Seattle. Enhanced transportation and new amenities, accompanied by heavy promotion, encouraged a real estate boom, with new residents rapidly buying lots and building homes. Jefferson School opened in 1912, and had to be expanded in 1917. The 1920s brought significant growth, with major stores such as Ernst Hardware, Bartell Drugs, a J. C. Penney department store and two "five and dimes"--Woolworth's and Kress. Although development slowed during the Depression, the proximity of defense industries brought many new residents during World War II.  The Junction thrived into the 1950s with several modern retail buildings and larger stores. By the 1980s, however, competition from shopping malls made the Junction's stores less competitive. J.C. Penney left in 1987 and many other retailers selling common items such as clothing closed, generally replaced by restaurants, bars and service businesses. In 1985, a large retail/office/residential project was built on the former site of Jefferson Elementary School. In the early 1990s, the City of Seattle adopted a comprehensive plan that focused growth in "urban villages," including the Junction. By 2010, numerous single-story buildings were being replaced by six-story mixed-use structures with underground parking, significantly changing the district’s character.




This one-story wood-frame building has a modern aluminum storefront with a flush entry toward the north end of the façade. Cladding is stucco with slate accents at the corners. A suspended canopy extends the width of the façade.

Detail for 4736 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 75790-0075 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Stone, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Religion - Religious facility Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Entertainment/Recreation, Religion
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Storefront: Extensive
Changes to Plan: 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 4736 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 75790-0075 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Mar 11, 2016
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