Reportedly constructed in 1900, this heavily altered wood-frame building was remodeled in 1926 and 1957; however, it is among the oldest historic buildings within the Ballard Avenue Landmark District. The Ballard Avenue Landmark District encompasses a particularly well preserved section of one of several successful small towns that flourished around the perimeter of Seattle in the late nineteenth century and would be subsequently incorporated into the metropolis. Ballard Avenue is lined with an intact collection of modest scale commercial buildings that reflect the development of the community’s main commercial street between 1890 and 1930. The character of this distinctive historic streetscape was primarily preserved because it was by-passed by Post-War era development that instead occurred along modern arterials - Market Street and 15th Avenue, to the north and east. In 1976, the Ballard Avenue Landmark District was formally designated a local historic district by the City of Seattle and was also listed in the National Register of Historic Places (Ballard Avenue Historic District).
This historic property is directly associated with a crucial era in the commercial and industrial development of Ballard (1900-1907) when the commercial district along Ballard Avenue was fully established and a significant number of permanent buildings were constructed. [It is also associated with the era of Post WWII changes that occurred along Ballard Avenue due to the impacts of the economic depression and the shift of commercial activity to Market Street. During this era the status of Ballard Avenue as the community’s principal business street was eclipsed and the lower or southernmost end of the street became increasingly more industrial in character.] By the early 1900s Ballard became known as the “Shingle Capital of the World” with approximately twenty lumber and shingle mills in full operation. In addition to the mill operations the industrialized shoreline included iron foundries, machine shops, paint manufactures, shipyards, pipe making plants and boiler works. Substantial commercial buildings were constructed along Ballard Avenue as the local population grew to over 10,000 residents (including 3,400+ school age children) by 1904. During this era Ballard Avenue functioned as a full service commercial street populated by numerous boarding houses, hotels and lodging houses, clothing merchants, banks, hardware dealers, druggists, dry good stores, laundry businesses, meat markets, restaurants, theaters and saloons. Gradually, the earliest wood-frame structures were replaced by more permanent – often architect designed – commercial buildings. Among the distinctive masonry and stone buildings that date from this era and most of which continue to characterize the streetscape are the G.B. Sanborn Block (1901, Portland Building (1901), Felt Block/Jones Building (1901, demolished), St. Charles Hotel (1902), Deep Sea Fisherman’s Building (1902), Scandinavian American Bank (1902), Matthes Block (1903), Kelsey Block (1903), Junction/Lombardini Block (1904), Kutzner Block (1904), Barthelemy Bros. Hardware Building (c.1904), Ernst Brothers Hardware Building (1904, demolished), A.L. Palmer Building (1905), Theisen Block (1905), Ballard Hardware Supply (1905), Peterson Hardware Co. (c.1905), Markussen Building (1905), and the Enquist Block (1906). In late 1906 Ballard residents approved annexation and the town became part of the City of Seattle on January 1, 1907. The boom era of major commercial construction began to lessen after the annexation.
[aka 5433-35 Ballard Avenue NW] Efforts to identify the original owner, builder or tenants of this historic property have been unsuccessful. According to historic 1905 insurance maps its original address was 341-343 Ballard Avenue. These maps indicate that c.1905 it served as a meat market and a print shop. City directories from 1904 indicate that the Ballard Bar was located at 343 Ballard Avenue.
Permit records indicate that the building owner of record as of July 24, 1907 was H.L. Maryott and that a two-story frame structure was located on the site. Tax records indicated that as July 1,1937 the building was a one-story wood-frame building with brick veneer cladding housing three stores. The tax record photograph shows the storefront designand facade composition that was typical of several other Ballard Avenue commercial buildings built between 1923 and 1927. The façade was common brick and included a simple stepped central cornice cap and storefronts with low bulkheads and modern aluminum window sash & doors. The building underwent a 1947 remodeling project; tax record photograph date 4-9-1958 recorded the modernized façade of Berg's Realty Co. with Roman brick cladding. [The parapet, display windows & transom lights had been removed.]. The facade has undergone additional alterations since that date.
Property Record Cards (1937-1972). Washington State Regional Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch, Bellevue, WA.
“Ballard Avenue Historic District” National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form (Prepared by Elisabeth Walton Potter, OAHP, April 1976.)
Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Seattle, Wash. Philadelphia: W.G. Baist, 1905, 1912.
Sanborn Insurance Maps, 1884-1951. Digital versions available via Seattle Public Library - www.spl.org.