Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 1950 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 7666206275 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Seattle Auto Wrecking Company/ Far West Tires Common Name: Juke Box City
Style: Commercial, Vernacular Neighborhood: Duwamish
Built By: Year Built: 1916

Based on the King County Tax Assessor’s Record Card, this building was constructed in 1916. Original permit information and drawings do not seem to be available. A photo from the 1930s, also from the Record Card, shows that the building has been fairly significantly altered. The present central doorway and the main double-hung windows with false muntins were added, based on drawings from the late 2000s. At the same time, the building retains enough of its original fabric and major façade elements to be a presence on First Avenue South.

By the 1930s. the building was owned by Joseph Glantz. In fact, “J. GLANTZ” was painted across the upper and central portion of the stepped parapet. The building also included a large sign above the large central entry and the first level of windows, which indicated that it was the “SEATTLE AUTO WRECKING CO.” This sign appeared as lighter lettering on a dark painted strip that extended across the face of the building. A similar dark strip appeared above the second floor windows: “PARTS FOR CARS & TRUCKS”. Under the first level windows, but above the south end garage opening: “ORDERS SHIPPED ANYWHERE”

Finally, on the northern side of the building façade, above the north garage opening and the small doorway, there was a thinner strip with the words: “WE BUY and SELL CARS and TRUCK PARTS and ACCESSORIES.”

Although the façade is typical of many wooden utilitarian buildings in Seattle, at least by the 1930s, it also functioned, perhaps more than others, as a billboard. In 1958, the building was bought by Far West Tires Inc. for $ 28,000. Structural repairs, including a new knee brace from the bottom chord of an existing wood truss to an existing wood column at the wall, were made to the interior around that time. Far West Tires remained in the building until at least 1970. By 1974, this tire related business had been succeeded by a similar one, Anderson Tires, a wholesaler and by 1990, Pottery Sales Inc, a retail and wholesale business. 

Based on drawings from 2007, further structural and seismic upgrades were made on the interior of the building, when the first level was taken over by Motor, a restaurant/ bar. Architectural drawings by Stricker Cato Murphy from 2006 indicate that the second floor use was changed from a “storage” classification to a series of craft spaces for “factory/industrial” use. These craft spaces, each accessed by an individual door, were set to each side of a common double loaded corridor.


This building at 1950 1st Avenue South is located on the east side of First Avenue S, slightly north of S Walker St. The building, which is roughly 60’ by 150,’ has an original heavy timber interior structure. This includes trusses – a variation on the Howe truss, but very slightly angled toward the side elevations -  at the upper level. The basic shape of the roof, which is virtually flat and mostly not visible behind the main façade, apparently reflects the truss shape. Important elements of the façade, which acts like a false front, include its parapet, which steps twice, and its wood shiplap siding.

The façade has a symmetrical composition. At the first level, a wide central opening is flanked to each side by a horizontal row of three windows. The end bays each include one single opening. The configuration at the second level is similar, except that the central opening consists of a row of three windows. There have been changes made to the main elevation over time. The large central opening, which was a garage doorway in the 1930s, now has a grand portal. The portal includes an arched central opening in wood and a double door, with a clerestory level above. All of this is a recent change. Original double-hung windows have also been replaced by new double-hung windows, which appear to be multi-pane windows, but, in fact, have flat muntins.

Below the first level of windows, there is also the equivalent of a basement level. This level has always included double hung windows at grade and a series of lower openings. The windows have replaced by new double hung windows. There is one window at grade, north of the main entry, and three similar windows, south of it. The two end openings appear to have been low garage openings.

Detail for 1950 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 7666206275 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: LR, INV
Cladding(s): Wood Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Business Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Braced Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Manufacturing/Industry
Changes to Plan: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Changes to Windows: Moderate
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.
Polk’s Seattle Directories 1920-1926

Photo collection for 1950 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 7666206275 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jan 10, 2010
App v2.0.1.0