||Seattle Auto Wrecking Company/ Far West Tires
||Juke Box City
Based on the King County
Tax Assessor’s Record Card, this building was constructed in 1916. Original
permit information and drawings do not seem to be available. A photo from the
1930s, also from the Record Card, shows that the building has been fairly
significantly altered. The present central doorway and the main double-hung
windows with false muntins were added, based on drawings from the late 2000s.
At the same time, the building retains enough of its original fabric and major
façade elements to be a presence on First Avenue South.
By the 1930s. the
building was owned by Joseph Glantz. In fact, “J. GLANTZ” was painted across
the upper and central portion of the stepped parapet. The building also
included a large sign above the large central entry and the first level of
windows, which indicated that it was the “SEATTLE AUTO WRECKING CO.” This sign
appeared as lighter lettering on a dark painted strip that extended across the
face of the building. A similar dark strip appeared above the second floor windows:
“PARTS FOR CARS & TRUCKS”. Under the first level windows, but above the
south end garage opening: “ORDERS SHIPPED ANYWHERE”
Finally, on the northern
side of the building façade, above the north garage opening and the small
doorway, there was a thinner strip with the words: “WE BUY and SELL CARS and
TRUCK PARTS and ACCESSORIES.”
Although the façade is
typical of many wooden utilitarian buildings in Seattle, at least by the 1930s,
it also functioned, perhaps more than others, as a billboard. In 1958, the
building was bought by Far West Tires Inc. for $ 28,000. Structural repairs,
including a new knee brace from the bottom chord of an existing wood truss to
an existing wood column at the wall, were made to the interior around that time. Far
West Tires remained in the building until at least 1970. By 1974, this tire
related business had been succeeded by a similar one, Anderson Tires, a
wholesaler and by 1990, Pottery Sales Inc, a retail and wholesale
Based on drawings from
2007, further structural and seismic upgrades were made on the interior of the
building, when the first level was taken over by Motor, a restaurant/ bar.
Architectural drawings by Stricker Cato Murphy from 2006 indicate that the
second floor use was changed from a “storage” classification to a series of
craft spaces for “factory/industrial” use. These craft spaces, each accessed by
an individual door, were set to each side of a common double
This building at 1950 1st
Avenue South is located on the east side of First Avenue S, slightly north of S
Walker St. The building, which is roughly 60’ by 150,’ has an original heavy
timber interior structure. This includes trusses – a variation on the Howe truss,
but very slightly angled toward the side elevations - at the upper level.
The basic shape of the roof, which is virtually flat and mostly not visible
behind the main façade, apparently reflects the truss shape. Important elements
of the façade, which acts like a false front, include its parapet, which steps
twice, and its wood shiplap siding.
The façade has a
symmetrical composition. At the first level, a wide central opening is flanked
to each side by a horizontal row of three windows. The end bays each include
one single opening. The configuration at the second level is similar, except
that the central opening consists of a row of three windows. There have been
changes made to the main elevation over time. The large central opening, which
was a garage doorway in the 1930s, now has a grand portal. The portal includes
an arched central opening in wood and a double door, with a clerestory level
above. All of this is a recent change. Original double-hung windows have also
been replaced by new double-hung windows, which appear to be multi-pane
windows, but, in fact, have flat muntins.
Below the first level of
windows, there is also the equivalent of a basement level. This level has
always included double hung windows at grade and a series of lower openings.
The windows have replaced by new double hung windows. There is one window at
grade, north of the main entry, and three similar windows, south of it. The two
end openings appear to have been low garage openings.