Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

This application will be offline for Maintenance Saturday Feb 4th from 6am to noon

New Search

Summary for 4707 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 149530-0010 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Save-Mor Drugs Common Name: Pharmaca/Great Harvest
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1920
This building dates from 1920 but has been significantly altered. It housed a succession of drug stores including Sav-More and Morton's. The southern storefront, as today, has usually had a restaurant or delicatessen. It was a typical brick-clad commercial building but has been entirely remodeled with modern materials.

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 building has a very modern appearance with synthetic stucco cladding. The southerly storefront has a recessed entry flanked by metal-framed large display windows; the area below the windows is clad with corrugated metal. The other storefront has a recessed entry and a large bank of display windows. The parapet has cresting and several light fixtures.  The rear façade also has synthetic cladding and rear doors to the businesses.

Detail for 4707 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 149530-0010 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): 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: Slight
Storefront: 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 4707 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 149530-0010 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Apr 26, 2015
App v2.0.1.0