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Summary for 421 RAINIER AVE / Parcel ID 3320000555 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Common Name: Emerald City Health Clinic
Style: Modern - Wrightian Neighborhood: International District
Built By: Year Built: 1958
This modest one-story commercial building, comprising the addresses 417-19-21-23 Rainier Avenue South, was constructed in 1957 as a small medical clinic, drugstore and a retail store.The architect was H. E. Norquist and the original owner was Miss Ula Lani Saiki. Currently the Emerald City Clinic occupies the original clinic space and other tenants include Labor Systems Inc, a day laborer contracting firm, and a law office. The Mikado Japanese Restaurant occupies the basement level on the south side of the building.The property ownership appears to have remained in the same family.

Medical clinics emerged as a new small commercial building type of the post WW II-era, due to shifts in health-care practices and suburban development patterns associated with automobile oriented transportation. This modest building does not appear to be a unique or significant example of the type.

Rainier Avenue South extends south from Jackson Street into the Rainier Valley. As early as 1891, an electric railway built by J.K. Edmiston, connected downtown Seattle with the Rainier Valley, via Washington and Jackson Streets. The line was extended to Renton by 1896. The Rainier Valley became more accessible through the Jackson Street Regrade and the Dearborn Cut (1907-1909), which improved connections from the waterfront to the Rainier Valley, facilitating the transportation of people and goods to and from downtown and the valley. By the 1920s and 1930s the area continued as a significant transportation corridor with the additions of automotive sales and service-related businesses and commercial businesses associated with automobile transportation development patterns.

This small one-story commercial building is characterized by its low horizontal massing with flat roof and overhanging eaves, roman brick cladding, and three angled recessed storefront entries on the primary, east elevation. A fourth entry at the south end of this elevation, which is not recessed, provides a secondary entrance to the clinic. Most windows are single large plate glass type. The window on the north end of the primary facade is covered by a security metal rollup door.

Detail for 421 RAINIER AVE / Parcel ID 3320000555 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick - Roman, Concrete - Block Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Eaves Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Health Care- Clinic Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Mixed No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Health/Medicine
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
King County Dept. of Development and Environmental Services Parcel Locators- GIS Center

Photo collection for 421 RAINIER AVE / Parcel ID 3320000555 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Mar 15, 2007
App v2.0.1.0