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Summary for 1943 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666205150 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Earl B. Staley Equipment Co./ Eckert's Automotive Common Name: Star Rentals/ Elliott Tire & Service
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1930

This is a very altered building, which has nevertheless retained its overall shape and some significant architectural detailing on its main façade. It is also a good example of wooden industrial buildings in Seattle. It was originally built in 1930, with alterations made soon after to the façade in 1931. At that time, the owner of the building was Abe Sherman, who still apparently owned the building in 1941.

Abe Sherman was the founder of Sherman Supply, a well-known plumbing supplier in Seattle’s Industrial District. The company started out in a warehouse at 917 1st Avenue South (now demolished) and at the end of World War II, moved to 2456 1st Ave South, where the firm remained for “six decades.” It is not clear what relation this building at 1943 4th Avenue South had to the operation of Sherman Supply.

By the mid-1930s, the building actually housed “The Earl B. Staley Equipment Company,” as once indicated by a painted sign near the top of its façade. The company specialized in truck equipment, including “utility trailers,” “truck tanks,” and “utility six-wheel attachments,” as well as “steel and aluminum products.” All of these were advertised at the top of the façade. In 1941, a new loading platform and overhang were added at the south side. By 1949, Eckert’s Automotive Service advertised itself on the façade. Clarence Eckert had owned the building since 1944. As of this writing, the building houses Elliott Tire and Service Company.

Additional Sources

Dan Raley, Tidelands to Tomorrow, the History of Seattle’s SoDo, Seattle: Fairgreens Publishing, LLC, 2010, p 30-31


This is a typical industrial building, constructed out wood. The façade has been significantly altered, and apparently on multiple occasions, but the building has retained its overall shape. The building has a rectangular footprint, roughly 60’ by 150’. The shorter dimension is the length of the façade. The façade acts as a sort of a false front for the overall gabled structure, which also now includes an additional short overhang on the back part of the south elevation. Characteristic details of the facade included the raised parapet over what would have been the apex of a gable shape. The parapet is also raised at the ends of the façade.

Based on drawings from 1931, there was a central double door with multi-pane glazing, topped by a multi-pane transom. One large opening with multi-pane steel sash was set to each side of the doorway. Based on a photo from 1949, the central area of the façade was one large rectangular area with steel sash. By that time, there were one or more lower rectangular sections of glazing to each side of it. There is now a large rectangular area, with standard aluminum framed door and storefront, divided into three sections. The storefront to the north, as well as the two windows to the south correspond somewhat to original glazed openings. The same is true of the square opening, located at the second level and the south of the central doorway.

Detail for 1943 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666205150 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Metal, Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Metal
Building Type: Transportation - Road- Related Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Braced Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Transportation
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Storefront: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.
King County Assessor Property Characteristics Report, database at --parcel locator

Photo collection for 1943 4TH AVE / Parcel ID 7666205150 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 25, 2010
App v2.0.1.0