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Summary for 4445 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 790470-0111 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Daniel & Brinton Undertakers/Carpenters Hall Common Name: J. F. Henry Cooking & Dining
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1908
 
Significance
This building, dating from 1908, is one of the oldest and most interesting buildings in the Junction business district and warrants more research. It has had numerous uses, including Daniels and Brinton undertakers (c. 1922-1941), a residence and a real estate office. The upper floor was used as the carpenters’ union hall and appears to have been used as a meeting place of other groups such as the Oddfellows. It has been altered several times and its original appearance is not known, but it has been restored to embodiment of an early 20th century commercial building.

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.

 
Appearance

This two-story wood frame building has a recessed center entry with double doors with transoms, flanked by paneled wood pilasters that extend to the top of the building, which has a gabled parapet. Paneled pilasters at the corners also extend to the cornice, which has dentils between the pilasters. The first story has large wood sash display windows with transoms and wood bulkheads below. The second story has four similar wood windows with wood sills and transoms; the south side has a single window and pilaster at the corner. Cladding on the upper level is wood shingles.  The rear elevation, clad with stucco, has an enclosed staircase added at an unknown date that extends diagonally across the façade with a door at the bottom. There is a single fixed window at the top of the stairs and four small windows with newer sash on the second story. The south façade of the building is clad with vinyl siding and has a row of fixed windows along the top.

 

Detail for 4445 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 790470-0111 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Stucco, Veneer- Vinyl Siding Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Rolled
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Social Movements & Organizations
Integrity
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Windows: Slight
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 4445 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 790470-0111 / Inv # 0


Photo taken Aug 17, 2015

Photo taken Aug 17, 2015
App v2.0.1.0