This building was constructed in 1922 for the Mack International Motor Truck Corporation and is directly associated with an important era of development in the South Lake Union area related to automobile manufacturing and auto-oriented businesses. Later auto-related uses in the building include Jules’ Auto Glass (Seattle Times Archives, 1962) and Frank Kenney’s Sports Import Classics (Seattle Times Archives, 1979).
During the immediate post World War I era, industrial land use patterns began to change as the South Lake Union area attracted commercial business, particularly automobile showrooms and auto-related products or maintenance. While most of Seattle’s earliest auto showrooms and auto-related businesses had been located in the Pike-Pine corridor, the presence of the Ford Motor Assembly Plant and Showroom (1913), the central location of the district and still undeveloped land in the neighborhood appears to have caused a shift. By the mid-1920s, a string of automobile related businesses, several housed in architect-designed and elaborately decorated terracotta buildings, had been erected along Westlake Avenue. Chief among these was William O. McKay Ford Sales and Service Building completed in 1925. Adjoining this building was the Ford Auto Sales and Garage Building. Other distinctive buildings that are known to have been associated with this theme and located along Westlake Avenue N.are the Durant Motor Co. Building (1928), the Firestone Tire Building (1929), a building constructed for O. M. Gaudy Company Auto Dealer (1925) and a former Buick auto showroom (1925). Manufacturing facilities of Kenworth Motor Truck Co., were also located in the district at 1275 Mercer St. Elsewhere in the district were numerous other garages and auto-related businesses established during this era that have yet to be fully documented. Of note also are several distinctive small warehouses and combination showroom/warehouse facilities that were designed by recognized architects and constructed in the neighborhood during this era. Often utilitarian in character, they are a representative property type that is characteristic of the changing land use patterns in South Lake Union during this era.
This building has retained strong integrity in the northern portion, displaying original folding wood garage doors in three bays on the east facade and painted wall signage from its use as a Mack Truck showroom and repair shop on the rear (west) facade. This portion of the building now houses parking and a Ducati Motorcycle showroom and a parking garage. The southern portion, at the corner of 9th Avenue North and Roy Street, has been altered considerably, likely for its new use as a restaurant. Original plate glass windows in each bay have been changed out to smaller-scale windows with modern sash and stucco-clad infill walls. These changes to the southern portion of the building have diminished the building’s overall integrity.
Washington State Dept. of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Historic Property Inventory Report, 2007.
King County Property Record Card(1937-1972), Washington State Archives
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps,Seattle, WA, Volume 4 1917-June 1950, sheet 439.
Seattle Times Historical Archive, April 13, 1962, p. 64.
Seattle Times Historical Archive,June 8, 1979, p. 64.