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Summary for 5424 BALLARD AVE / Parcel ID 276770-2870 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Enquist Block / Anderson Furniture Co. Common Name:
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Crown Hill/Ballard
Built By: Year Built: 1906


Constructed in 1906 for Frank and Arthur Enquist, the Enquist Block is among the oldest, well-preserved and architecturally significant historic buildings within the Ballard Avenue Landmark District. The Ballard Avenue Landmark District encompasses a particularly well preserved section of one of several successful small towns that flourished around the perimeter of Seattle in the late nineteenth century and would be subsequently incorporated into the metropolis. Ballard Avenue is lined with an intact collection of modest scale commercial buildings that reflect the development of the community’s main commercial street between 1890 and 1930. The character of this distinctive historic streetscape was primarily preserved because it was by-passed by Post-War era development that instead occurred along modern arterials - Market Street and 15th Avenue, to the north and east. In 1976, the Ballard Avenue Landmark District was formally designated a local historic district by the City of Seattle and was also listed in the National Register of Historic Places (Ballard Avenue Historic District).

This historic property is directly associated with a crucial era in the commercial and industrial development of Ballard (1900-1907) when the commercial district along Ballard Avenue was fully established and a significant number of permanent buildings were constructed. By the early 1900s Ballard became known as the “Shingle Capital of the World” with approximately twenty lumber and shingle mills in full operation. In addition to the mill operations the industrialized shoreline included iron foundries, machine shops, paint manufactures, shipyards, pipe making plants and boiler works. Substantial commercial buildings were constructed along Ballard Avenue as the local population grew to over 10,000 residents (including 3,400+ school age children) by 1904. During this era Ballard Avenue functioned as a full service commercial street populated by numerous boarding houses, hotels and lodging houses, clothing merchants, banks, hardware dealers, druggists, dry good stores, laundry businesses, meat markets, restaurants, theaters and saloons. Gradually, the earliest wood-frame structures were replaced by more permanent – often architect designed – commercial buildings.  Among the distinctive masonry and stone buildings that date from this era and most of which continue to characterize the streetscape are the G.B. Sanborn Block (1901, Portland Building (1901), Felt Block/Jones Building (1901, demolished), St. Charles Hotel (1902), Deep Sea Fisherman’s Building (1902), Scandinavian American Bank (1902), Matthes Block (1903), Kelsey Block (1903), Junction/Lombardini Block (1904), Kutzner Block (1904), Barthelemy Bros. Hardware Building (c.1904), Ernst Brothers Hardware Building (1904, demolished), A.L. Palmer Building (1905), Theisen Block (1905), Ballard Block (1906). In late 1906 Ballard residents approved annexation and the town became part of the City of Seattle on January 1, 1907. The boom era of major commercial construction began to lessen after the annexation.


[aka 2219-2221 Market Street NW]  In 1898, Swedish merchant tailors Frank and Arthur Enquist opened their first tailor shop in the Swanson Block, which was located at the south end of the street -  5140 Ballard Avenue. They had this building constructed in 1906 to house their successful business. Efforts to identify an architect or builder associate with the design/construction of this distinctive commercial block have been unsuccessful. It included a narrow storefront and entrance from Broadway (Market) Street at a canted rear corner of the building. The earliest identified known tenant is believed to have been Loyal Photo Studio (Seattle Times, 5-9-08, pg.8) and the building was clearly identified on the 1912 Baist’s real estate map as the “Enquist BLK”. By 1915, the Enquists had opened a hall for public use within the building, probably at the upper floor level. Frank Enquist was involved in Ballard politics and served as a councilman for the 2nd ward in 1907. By the 1920s Anderson Furniture and Carpeting Co. (proprietor G.R. Anderson) had acquired the building and it was in operation as a furniture store and warehouse (at the upper floor level and rear addition). The business continued to operate here for three decades. The building was purchased by Albert W. Swanson 6-15-1945.  


Property Record Cards (1937-1972). Washington State Regional Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue, WA.

“Ballard Avenue Historic District” National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form (Prepared by Elisabeth Walton Potter, OAHP, April 1976.)

Ballard Historical Society, Ballard Avenue Landmark District Plaque Project records.

Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Seattle, Wash. Philadelphia: W.G. Baist, 1905, 1912.

Sanborn Insurance Maps, 1884-1951. Digital versions available via Seattle Public Library -

Two story, two-part commercial block façade composition. Brick masonry and concrete structure with basement. Rectangular footprint with canted corner and entrance at NW Market Street. One story rear addition. Clad with variegated brick masonry units laid up with Flemish bond.  Symmetrical façade divided into four structural bays and two storefront bays that flank a central entry bay. Entry bay altered to create recessed vestibule providing access to each of the storefront bays.  Second floor exhibits intact original fenestration with four individually set and recessed window openings accentuated by engaged piers. Current three-part, multi-pane casement window sash does not appear to be historic building fabric; however, similar to original sash configuration. Prominent bracketed sheet metal terminal cornice at brick parapet. Storefronts at both bays have been only slightly altered. Intact mezzanine windows, display window and low bulkheads. Tax records indicate original bulkhead was wooden; current bulkhead clad with blue ceramic tile. The entrance from NW Market Street at the canted rear corner of the building has been modernized and does not appear to retain any historic building fabric or features.

Detail for 5424 BALLARD AVE / Parcel ID 276770-2870 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick - Flemish Bond Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References

Photo collection for 5424 BALLARD AVE / Parcel ID 276770-2870 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Oct 08, 2015

Photo taken Jan 14, 2016
App v2.0.1.0