Olympia Motors Building

On a recent trip to Olympia, WA, I had my first taste of Nitro Coffee at Olympia Coffee Roasting Company. Yum! On my approach to the building, I saw this gem across the street:Rambling JacksI was in awe of the detail all over the building. It is currently home to Ramblin Jack’s Restaurant, but it’s obvious that this was not the original tenant of the building. This ornate facade is an unusual sight in Washington.

Olimpia Motors building sideIt took a bit of searching online, but I was able to find out that it was originally built as the Olympia Motors Building, an automotive dealership, in 1923. Here is the description from the Olympia Historical Society website:

The Olympia Motors Building is a flamboyant celebration of America’s love affair with the automobile. Built in 1923 and designed by local architect Joseph Wohleb, the ornate Gothic terra cotta reliefs at the roofline create a sort of cathedral to the automotive industry. The building was originally a Ford dealership acquired by Leon Titus (see Titus House); later on it was a Chevrolet dealership, and now houses a popular restaurant at the edge of downtown Olympia. The dealership was located on the 4th Avenue corridor, at the time part of Route 99 that was the main north-south thoroughfare for Washington State and the west coast.

They also had this photograph of the building from 1942:

Olimpia Motors Building circa 1942

Even in black & white you can tell how glorious 520 4th Ave E must have been.

I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1995. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Professional Child Development. In my free time, I love LEGO, ballet, ballroom dancing, eating out, traveling, history, architecture, genealogy, and people.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *