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Summary for 4314 ALASKA ST / Parcel ID 338990-0205 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Bank Common Name: Wells Fargo Bank
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1975
 
Significance

This bank building, dating from 1975, reflects the increased emphasis on the automobile that significantly changed the Junction's character in the post-World War II years. 

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

The concrete building sits on a corner lot landscaped with groundcovers and small shrubs. On the south is a deeply recessed entry approached by broad concrete stairs. Another entry and the ATM machine are on the north, facing the parking lot. Cladding is exposed aggregate panels framed by bands of concrete. A group of tall, narrow windows is in the center of the south façade, with a single window on the south and others on the north.

Detail for 4314 ALASKA ST / Parcel ID 338990-0205 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Concrete Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Financial Institution Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce
Integrity
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
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 4314 ALASKA ST / Parcel ID 338990-0205 / Inv # 0


Photo taken Feb 27, 2015
App v2.0.1.0