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Summary for 4918 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901675 / Inv #

Historic Name: Skaggs Safeway Common Name: Tutta Bella
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Columbia City
Built By: Year Built: 1928
The one story brick commercial block was built in 1928. The three storefront building was built after the Rainier Valley Dairy moved from the building previously on the site. One of the first tenants of the subject building was Skaggs Safeway. Other tenants included an ice cream parlor during the 1930s and a Christian Science Reading Room. The subject building is the second structure to stand on the site. An earlier frame, two story structure was the home of the Rainier Valley Dairy, from 1919 through the mid-1920s. The dairy, owned and run by Smith Wilson, began as a farm on Beacon Hill. Wilson’s commitment to the purity of his product, and his astute business sense, led to the growth and expansion of his dairy business during the 1910s and 1920s. When he moved the business to 4918 Rainier Avenue S., he changed what had been a paint shop to a milk bottling plant. The Rainier Valley Dairy won a first place score in a citywide milk contest in 1924, 1925 and 1926. Due to its growing business, the dairy moved again, to Rainier Avenue South and South Adams Street, and became the basis for the Darigold Cooperative Milk Processing Plant that is still in operation there today. The subject building was restored during the 1990s with the approval of the Columbia City Review Committee and Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. It is significant as an intact example of a 1920s commercial block and contributes both architecturally and historically to the historic district.
This intact single story commercial vernacular building is of frame construction and is supported by a concrete foundation. The building has a square plan and a flat roof. The building is clad in brick veneer with brick trim. The building originally had four evenly spaced storefront bays with inset entrances each flanked by expansive plate glass windows. The corner storefront has a window on the south side elevation, also with transom windows above. The storefronts were recently combined into a single storefront space. The original multi-pane transom windows run the length of the main elevation.

Detail for 4918 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901675 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat 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
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Storefront: Intact
Changes to Windows: 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.
Balch, Mary Ann. “Rainier Valley Dairy was a Pioneer in its Field,” The Beacon Hill News/South District Journal, page 10, 5/15/1996.
Centennial History, Columbia City, Rainier Valley, 1853-1991, Pioneers of Columbia City. Seattle, Washington, 1992.

Photo collection for 4918 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901675 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 22, 2004
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