This property has been extensively altered. Based on field examination conducted in January-February 2014, this property exhibits poor physical integrity and does not retain sufficient historic building fabric or features to convey its history or potential significance.
The original building on this site was constructed in 1920. It was a one-story brick masonry and concrete shop building measuring 50 feet wide along Westlake Avenue and extending 68 feet to the west. It featured two large wooden sliding doors on the southern side of its primary facade and a storefront of wood-sash windows and a pedestrian entry door on the northern side. The business name was displayed in large letters painted on the raised parapet in the center of the facade. An 80 x 60 foot addition was added to the rear of the structure in 1943. The original building was demolished after 1990 and the existing building is the portion that was added in 1943 (The Johnson Partnership, Appendix A Report, 1271 & 1287 Westlake Ave. N., March 2013).
The original 1920 building on this site housed one of a string of automobile-related businesses that were established along Westlake Avenue in the 1920s and 1930s. By 1939 some 40 automobile related businesses could be found on the 12-block stretch of Westlake near South Lake Union (History Link.org Lake Union Walking Tour). The earliest recorded tenant was Cheadle Battery and Electrical Service (Seattle Daily Times, 1923). The Softky Bros. moved into the building in 1930 and operated an automobile repair and radiator shop in the building until at least 1990 (Polk 1930). Vorheis Welding may have shared the building with Softky during 1944 and 1945 (Seattle Daily Times, 1944 and 1945). The current tenant is Model Remodel, a general contracting firm.
Seattle Daily Times, Classified Advertisement for A. Cheadle, June 2, 1923, p. 48.
R.L. Polk Company, “Polk’s City of Seattle Directory,” 1930.
King County Property Record Card (1937-1972), Washington State Archives.
The Johnson Partnership, “Appendix A Report, 1271 & 1287 Westlake Avenue North, Seattle, WA,” March 2013.
HistoryLink.org Lake Union Walking Tour: http://www.historylink.org/cybertour/pdf/luwalkingtour.pdf, 2012, p. 12.