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Summary for 4438 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 095200-6215 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Snow Ball Ice Creamery Common Name: Green Tree Animal Hospital
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1945
This building, constructed in 1945, is associated with World War II-era development of the West Seattle Junction business district. It was first a small delicatessen selling ice cream. From the 1960s to the 1980s, it housed the West Seattle Rent-It shop. It has been altered and expanded greatly and is now an animal hospital.

The Junction, West Seattle's primary commercial district, acquired its name in 1907 when a new street car line on California Avenue SW was extended south to Fauntleroy Park, crossing the Admiral streetcar line at SW Alaska Street. West Seattle, incorporated as a city in 1902, had built the Admiral line--the nation’s first municipally-owned streetcar line. At first, the Junction was just a swamp with a few real estate offices, but in 1907 West Seattle voted to be annexed to Seattle. Enhanced transportation and new amenities, accompanied by heavy promotion, encouraged a real estate boom, with new residents rapidly buying lots and building homes. Jefferson School opened in 1912, and had to be expanded in 1917. The 1920s brought significant growth, with major stores such as Ernst Hardware, Bartell Drugs, a J. C. Penney department store and two "five and dimes"--Woolworth's and Kress. Although development slowed during the Depression, the proximity of defense industries brought many new residents during World War II.  The Junction thrived into the 1950s with several modern retail buildings and larger stores. By the 1980s, however, competition from shopping malls made the Junction's stores less competitive. J.C. Penney left in 1987 and many other retailers selling common items such as clothing closed, generally replaced by restaurants, bars and service businesses. In 1985, a large retail/office/residential project was built on the former site of Jefferson Elementary School. In the early 1990s, the City of Seattle adopted a comprehensive plan that focused growth in "urban villages," including the Junction. By 2010, numerous single-story buildings were being replaced by six-story mixed-use structures with underground parking, significantly changing the district’s character.



This heavily-altered building has an irregular plan with one story in the front section and a two-story addition at the rear. Both sections have prominent wood-shingle clad Mansard roofs. The entry, with concrete stairs is near the southwest corner; a secondary entry is farther east. The front façade has picture windows and an arched recessed area that appears to have been a restaurant entry. Cladding is used brick below window level and vertical boards above and on the rear section. The north façade is concrete block.

Detail for 4438 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 095200-6215 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Concrete - Block, Vertical - Boards Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Mansard Roof Material(s): Wood - Shingle
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Restaurant Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Commerce
Changes to Plan: Extensive
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: Extensive
Major Bibliographic References
West Seattle Herald. West Side Story, 1987.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.

Photo collection for 4438 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 095200-6215 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 10, 2016
App v2.0.1.0