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Summary for 4535 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 338990-0075 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Jack Jones Furniture Common Name: Leisure Books/West 5/Discovery Shop
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1924
This building, constructed in 1924, is associated with early development of the West Seattle Junction business district. It has been completely remodeled at least twice. In 1937, it housed the Jack Jones Furniture Store in a brick-clad building with a stepped parapet and a recessed center entry. In 1950 it had three storefronts with a Vitrolite glass facade, large display windows and deeply recessed entries. The stores were Gallenkamp's Shoes, a laundry and an art supply store. It was remodeled again in 1964, when it housed Sportsland sporting goods, with a prominent canopy and sign. It once again has three businesses: a bookstore, a restaurant and a thrift store.

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 brick masonry building has three angled storefronts with glass-and-metal doors and large metal frame display windows. Cladding around the storefronts is brick and vertical boards; the areas above and below the windows are clad with ribbed metal with vertical board cladding at the ends. The rear elevation is clapboard clad with two entries and several small windows. The side elevation is brick.

Detail for 4535 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 338990-0075 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Metal, Vertical - Boards, Wood - Clapboard 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: Extensive
Storefront: 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 4535 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 338990-0075 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Mar 31, 2015
App v2.0.1.0