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Summary for 8956 Aurora AVE / Parcel ID 0993000595 / Inv # AU001

Historic Name: Smith's Grocery Common Name: Aurora Grocery
Style: Commercial Neighborhood: Aurora-Licton
Built By: Year Built: 1916
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This is a rare wood-clad corner grocery store from the early period of development on Aurora Avenue North. Very few such buildings remain anywhere in the city. The area north of 85th Street, the long-time city limits and the end of the streetcar line was slow to develop until interurban rail service began in 1906. With that, growth slowly increased and in 1913 Aurora Avenue was paved with bricks to facilitate travel. A scattering of corner groceries, some with apartments, appeared to serve the increasing population. This is the most intact of those remaining structures in this area, and the only one still in use as a store. The fact that it has apartments above indicates that this is an early store, as alter examples (seen elsewhere along the street and throughout the city0 were usually single-use structures, usually of brick. Aurora Avenue changed significantly as the automobile replaced the interurban line, especially during the 1930s when the George Washington Memorial Bridge and the "speedway" through Woodland Park were completed. The resulting development replaced virtually all of the original wooden structures from the pre-automobile era, making this one a rare survivor. Although some of the windows have been boarded up and the storefront has been slightly altered, its appearance is largely the same as it was in 1937.
This simple wood vernacular building is a two-story corner grocery with an apartment above. Rectangular in plan, it has a flat roof with no cornice. The tripartite windows on the second floor are intact, with one-over-one double hung sash flanking a fixed-pane center section with an operable upper section. The recessed entry and the storefront appear to be largely intact, although the display windows have been boarded up and modern door has been installed. Siding is clapboard, either original or similar to the original. The entry to the apartment level is at the south end of the west elevation. The rear (east) elevation has a two-story wood porch and 16-light wood sash with some one-over-one sash with eared wood surrounds.

Detail for 8956 Aurora AVE / Parcel ID 0993000595 / Inv # AU001

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Specialty store Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Commerce, Community Planning/Development
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
Berlow, Alexa, Enduring Elements of Neighborhood Urban Form: The Case of the Corner Store in Wallingford, Seattle, M.U.P. thesis, University of Washington ,1994.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Sheridan, Mimi and Carol Tobin. Licton Springs History, 2001.

Photo collection for 8956 Aurora AVE / Parcel ID 0993000595 / Inv # AU001

Photo taken Nov 17, 2001
App v2.0.1.0