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Summary for 4741 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 149530-0085 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Tradewell Common Name: Sleepers in Seattle
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1939
This relatively large store, from 1939, was a Tradewell supermarket and later a Wigwam store. It is associated with World War II-era development and was one of the first of the larger stores to be built in the Junction, taking the place of the small groceries and meat markets.   

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 one-story masonry building has as updated storefront with newer metal sash windows extending to the ground. The recessed entry, with double doors, is at the north end of the main façade. A deep metal-clad wood canopy extends the width of the façade. The rear façade has the original brick cladding with a small loading dock, a rear entry and four small windows placed high on the wall.

Detail for 4741 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 149530-0085 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Stucco Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Specialty store Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Storefront: Moderate
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 4741 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 149530-0085 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Nov 11, 2015
App v2.0.1.0