This building is actually two adjoining structures, the south portion was built in 1924 and the north portion was built in 1955. The earliest recorded tenant was Truck Welding & Equipment Company), which occupied the 1924 building and then appeared to expand into the 1954 building, occupying both through at least the 1970s (Seattle Daily Times, 1935 and Polk 1955, 1963, 1969, 1975, 1979). The current tenant is Maaco Auto Painting.
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, the central location 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 terra cotta 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). 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.
Both buildings have been extensively altered with non-compatible replacement windows with new metal sash. The earlier building appears to retain original wood folding garage doors with divided uppers at the south end of the primary facade.
R.L. Polk Company, “Polk’s City of Seattle Directory,” 1955, 1963, 1969, 1975, 1979.
Seattle Daily Times, Classified Advertisement for Truck Welding & Equipment Co. at 730 9th Ave. N., July 28, 1935, p. 46.
King County Property Record Card (1937-1972), Washington State Archives
Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Property Inventory Card, 2009