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Summary for 3201 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666205515 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Nalley's Inc. Common Name: A C Automotive
Style: Spanish - Mission Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1930
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).

Builder: George Schuehle

This building was originally designed as a “Warehouse and Office Building” for Nalley’s Incorporated, based on drawings, which date from September 5, 1929. Builder George Schuehle obtained a permit to build on September 29, 1929. Schuehle may also have been responsible for the design and drawings. Although this information is available, microfilm copies of the original drawings are extremely faded. The original clay tile roofs are partially visible on the drawings and little else. Other drawings and records suggest that Nalley’s Inc. was still in the building until at least 1956, when a south addition was made. In fact, Nalley’s remained in the building at least until 1970. By 1980, B & E Equipment, which specialized in auto parts, occupied the building.

Although the north elevation has been clearly altered over time, the northern portion of the building, aside from an office bar along 4th Avenue South, has served as a garage at least since the 1950s; so these changes are perhaps not that surprising. At present, the building is occupied by A. C. Automotive, which was responsible for changes to the north façade, as well as the addition of signage to both the south and north elevations in 2001. The previous occupant, B & E Equipment, made some of the changes to the façade around 1979. The main elevation retains original architectural features, as well as many vestiges of others. Despite these alterations, as a Mission Revival Building, which originally functioned as a warehouse and office building, the building still has a presence on 4th Avenue South.

This appears to have been the Seattle warehouse for Nalley’s Incorporated, founded by Marcus Nalley in 1918. Marcus Nalley, whose original name was Marko Narancic, was from the district of Lika in Croatia. In 1903, while still an adolescent, he followed his brothers to New York. He then worked at several jobs – in a steel mill, as a meat packer at Anaconda, and then in several kitchens - before making his way to the Pacific Northwest. Stories vary somewhat as to when and where he first began to make “Saratoga chips.”  In 1913, he became a chef on the first “Olympian” of the Milwaukee Railroad, which ran from Chicago from Tacoma. He may have subsequently learned to make “Saratoga chips” at the Bonneville Hotel in Tacoma. He later began to make the chips at home, bag them and sell them door to door. In 1918, he rented a small space behind his apartment, where he expanded production. The Tacoma Chamber of Commerce named him a first citizen of Tacoma in 1931. Needless to say, Nalley’s Fine Foods became very successful. Marcus Nalley died in 1962.

Additional Sources

Adam S. Eterovich, “Potato Chips, Bananas and Oranges,” 2002, database at <>, accessed April 2, 2010.

Vladimir Novak, Photo Collection, notes, database at <,-part-2>, accessed April 2, 2010.

Marcus Nalley, Tacoma Public Library Photo Collection, notes, database at's,%20Inc.%20and%20Tacoma%20, accessed April 2, 2010.


This building is located on the southwest corner of 4th Avenue South and South Hanford St. The building is basically rectangular in plan and is one story in height. It has a flat roof and parapet. The main façade’s original design was symmetrical, but an addition with a straight parapet and a large service door was built at its southern end during the 1950s. Despite changes over time, the original façade - its symmetrical design, its trios of openings, topped by arches, its arched entry door and terra cotta tile work – are significant architectural features.

The parapet of the original façade is stepped and is further enhanced by angled sections of terra cotta tile roofing, (false roofs). The terra cotta tile work occurs in fairly large sections at each end of the original façade.  These terra cotta sections line up with a series of openings on each side of the façade below: a trio of blind arches set over three rectilinear window openings. Original drawings are not legible, but it seems likely that originally the arches may have also included glazing. Shorter segments of tile roofing also occur at the parapet level and are set closer to the original centerline of the main façade. They are placed above two very small arched openings, which contain glazing.

The parapet steps to its highest level and is angled at the original centerline of the facade. An incised oval, set below the angled portion of the parapet, further emphasizes the symmetrical pattern and the entrance below. Another short section of angled terra cotta is set above the main doorway to line up horizontally with the lower arches of the trio of window openings at each end of the façade. The entry doorway and corresponding door also arched. There is also a circular glazed opening, set in the top portion of the door.

The other major, but less important elevation faces north. It has been considerably altered over time. It mainly consists of a series of service entrances. In addition, there are two bays close to 4th Avenue South. The first includes a series of three blind arches, similar to those on the façade, and set over replacement windows. The second is  a relatively new entry with replacement double glazed doors, sidelights and hardware.

Detail for 3201 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666205515 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet, Other Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition, Clay Tile
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Storefront: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
King County Tax Assessor Records, ca. 1932-1972.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 3201 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666205515 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 25, 2010
App v2.0.1.0