A Redtail worker pulls a loose piece of metal off of the remaining building structure of the Judd & Black appliance store as it gets demolished Friday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A Redtail worker pulls a loose piece of metal off of the remaining building structure of the Judd & Black appliance store as it gets demolished Friday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Demolition moving fast on historic Judd & Black building

Built in 1892, the building burned last year in an unsolved arson. Now its walls are coming down for good.

EVERETT — Demolition crews have all but finished tearing down the Judd & Black Appliance building that was charred beyond repair in a September 2018 fire.

With each brick, a part of Everett’s history is disappearing.

By Tuesday, it will be gone.

The building, which has provided many different livelihoods over 127 years, has been around longer than the city itself. It’s served as a landmark of sorts for folks passing through Everett along I-5, the familiar letters of the family-owned business shining through fog, rain and night sky like a lighthouse.

“The Long family and Judd & Black staff are all saddened to see our ‘home away from home’ demolished,” Bob Long, president of Judd & Black Appliance, said in an email Friday. “Even though fire destroyed the building several months ago, the reality of watching the demolition brings back strong feelings of loss for many of us … Personally, I continue to miss seeing the big red ‘Judd & Black’ rooftop sign as I pass by on I-5.”

Built in three months during 1892, the building on the 3000 block of Hewitt Avenue has been an unfortunate eyesore since the fire. Generations of customers found their way to the store to buy refrigerators, stoves and other appliances.

The contractor, Redtail LLC, expects the structure to be demolished by Tuesday at the latest, and for cleanup to be completed by the end of next week.

“It’s kind of sad to see an old building be destroyed like this,” said Skip Kack, foreman in charge of the demolition.

A Redtail worker pulls a piece of wood out of the rubble of the Judd & Black site on Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A Redtail worker pulls a piece of wood out of the rubble of the Judd & Black site on Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kack said a woman, whose ancestors helped to construct the building, came by to take a few bricks as a relic.

The Bast Building, the structure’s original piece, was named for a brick manufacturer. Before it was stocked with appliances, it hosted storefronts, apartments, a dentist’s office, a saloon, a motorcycle shop, a hardware store and hotels.

Judd & Black occupied the space for 57 years.

The 6,000-square-foot structure burned through the night of Sept. 21.

The three-alarm fire was ruled an arson with losses estimated at $3.5 million. Police have yet to make an arrest.

Judd & Black Appliances has since moved to a 17,000-square-foot facility in south Everett. The new location at 510 SW Everett Mall Way opened in March.

A painting can be seen along one of the remaining structure walls of the Judd & Black building Friday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A painting can be seen along one of the remaining structure walls of the Judd & Black building Friday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kari Goepfert, a senior communications officer, said the city of Everett has received no plans for the site on Hewitt.

“While we have found a temporary location at 510 Everett Mall Way, there has been no decisions made on our final Everett store location,” Long said. “We will continue to work through the process and hope to make the best decision for our company and our employees … While we are sad to see the building go, we are happy knowing that its removal will help bring back normalcy to the immediate area around the site.”

The right northbound lane of Hewitt Avenue will remain closed during the demolition.

Ian Davis-Leonard: 425-339-3449; idavisleonard@heraldnet.com. Twitter: IanDavisLeonard.

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