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Summary for 4453 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 790470-0116 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: E. H. Savage Realty Common Name: Allstate Insurance/Red Cup Espresso
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1960

This small building, built in 1960, is associated with mid-century development in the west Seattle Junction. It has housed several real estate and financial agencies since it was built in 1960. A narrow addition along the north side accommodates an espresso bar.

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 concrete building has new aluminum-frame display windows extending almost to the ground with a modern door at the north end.  Along the entire north side of the building is a narrow addition housing an expresso café.  A shingle-clad tower with the entry is at the front corner.  A band of large wood-sash windows with a concrete bulkhead extends along the façade to the rear of the building.


Detail for 4453 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 790470-0116 / Inv # 0

Status: No - Altered
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete, Shingle Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce
Changes to Plan: Moderate
Changes to Original Cladding: Moderate
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 4453 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 790470-0116 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 10, 2016

Photo taken Jan 10, 2016
App v2.0.1.0