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Summary for 4400 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 0952006140 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Seattle Lighting Company Common Name: Dental Offices/Hotwire Expresso
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: West Seattle Junction
Built By: Year Built: 1910
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.

This complex is closely associated with the early development of West Seattle. It was built in 1910 for the Seattle Lighting Company, which provided gas lighting to the neighborhood. The brick barn and carriage house are unusual in Seattle. The facility was closed after electricity became the primary lighting source, and in the late 1930s the building was a branch office of the Works Progress Administration, a federal Depression relief program. In 1941, the office building (on the corner) was remodeled into the West Home Funeral Chapel; in 2001, it was remodeled again for use as a dental office. The brick barn became a residence. The brick carriage house appears relatively unaltered and is now an expresso cafe. Despite its alterations, the complex retains many original features and much of its original historic character.

The 1941 remodeling of the main building involved adding a large arched window to the north gable end and replacing the large display windows along California Avenue with smaller windows. The architect was William R. Grant, who, at about the same time, designed the Naval reserve armory on Lake Union (a designated City of Seattle landmark). 


This complex consists of a main building, a carriage house and a residence, surrounding a courtyard/parking area. They occupy a quarter block and are surrounded by a black wrought iron fence with brick columns. Cladding is red beveled brick with decorative brick inserts in the gable ends. The parapet and the eastern section have terra cotta coping.

The main building is rectangular with two gabled sections meeting at the northwest corner.  At the corner is a large gabled parapet with terra cotta coping and an oversized divided light arched window. To the east, under a suspended canopy, is the main entry, through double doors. Other windows have divided light wood sash and are placed high on the wall. 

The second building, at the southwest edge of the lot, is a brick garage or carriage house with a gabled roof with terra cotta coping and clay tile roofing.  A clapboard-clad gabled section at the rear is lower than the front portion. The small building has divided light wood sash windows and a pair of 9-light doors near the front.   

The third building, at the southeast corner, was originally a brick barn and was converted to a residence in 1941. It has two stories and a side gable roof. The north façade has a large divided light arched window on the second story and, on the first story, two newer (1941) windows with horizontal muntins. The west elevation, facing the courtyard, has deep eaves with corbels, two inset gabled dormers and an entry with a concrete stoop. The east elevation, on the alley, has three gabled dormers supported by large curved brackets and a brick chimney.



Detail for 4400 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 0952006140 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition, Clay Tile
Building Type: Industry/Processing/Extraction - Energy Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Masonry - Unreinforced No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Community Planning/Development, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Extensive
Changes to Original Cladding: 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 4400 CALIFORNIA AVE / Parcel ID 0952006140 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Mar 01, 2016

Photo taken Jan 10, 2016

Photo taken Jan 10, 2016

Photo taken Jan 10, 2016
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