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Summary for 4868 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901075 / Inv #

Historic Name: Dodge Building Common Name: Ferdinand Street Building
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Columbia City
Built By: Year Built: 1908; 1928
This one story brick commercial block, containing three storefronts, was built in 1908 at a cost of $4000. Charles B. Dodge, a resident of the Columbia City area, owned the block. Dodge is listed in the 1906, 1908 and 1910 Polk Directory of Seattle as a real estate agent with offices in downtown Seattle. Prior to the construction of subject building, the northeast corner of Rainier Avenue and Ferdinand Street was the location of the Columbia Grocery, the first grocery store in Columbia City. The business opened in 1892, and was owned by a Mr. Groat. The northernmost storefront contained many local businesses over the years, including tenants that were located in the building for a time and then moved elsewhere in the district. The Gardner and LaPorte Barber Shop and Pool Room first occupied the building. The business moved to the middle storefront in 1917 and then south to 4906 Rainier Avenue. At the start of the partnership, Menzo C. LaPorte was 17 years old. He later married Lee Gardner’s daughter and continued as Columbia City’s barber until his retirement in the 1960s. In 1929 he built the one story brick building at 4910 Rainier Avenue S. and continued his business there through his retirement. The middle storefront was the location of the Rainier Valley Investment Company until the company built its own building at 4871-75 Rainier Avenue South in 1913. Other businesses at this location included Alexander B. Watson, Tailor (1915), Rainier Jewelry (1916), and the Gardner and LaPorte Barbershop (1917). The southernmost storefront was the location of Goebel’s Cash Grocery (1911). This storefront is located on the northeast corner of Rainier Avenue S. and S. Ferdinand Street. Goebel built the one story brick building on Ferdinand Street, adjoining the storefront to house a Ford Dealership. The Columbia Drug Store occupied the storefront at 4872 Rainier Avenue S. in the 1920s and 30s. The subject building retains its architectural integrity and is significant as an early commercial block that housed many community businesses over the years.
This single story commercial vernacular building is of masonry construction and is supported by a concrete foundation. The building features a flat roof with a simple cornice and has an irregular rectangular plan. The building is clad in solid brick. The building has three storefront bays, which have undergone extensive alterations. Transom windows run the length of the façade and remain largely intact, although partially covered with plywood. None of the storefronts retain the original windows and doors, and the southernmost storefront has been resided in stucco with small windows. The owners currently have plans to rehabilitate the storefronts under the supervision of the Columbia City Landmarks Board.

Detail for 4868 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901075 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: NR, LR
Cladding(s): Brick, Plywood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Rolled
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Storefront: Moderate
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Anderson, Buzz. “Columbia City Barber Shop was a Pool Hall, Sold Cigars and Candy,” Beacon Hill and South District Journal, page 1, 8/2/2000.
Centennial History, Columbia City, Rainier Valley, 1853-1991, Pioneers of Columbia City. Seattle, Washington, 1992.

Photo collection for 4868 Rainier AVE / Parcel ID 1702901075 / Inv #

Photo taken Mar 22, 2004
App v2.0.1.0