Looking back: Early Everett commercial structure touted as fireproof

1910 construction of Commerce Building followed 1909 blazes that damaged many Everett buildings.

A Jan. 25, 1910 Herald article touted a unique aspect of the Commerce Building soon to be built on the northeast corner of Hewitt and Rockefeller avenues in Everett.

“With every modern architectural feature and thoroughly proof against fire,” began the front-page story announcing construction of what would become a cornerstone building of early Everett’s commercial hub.

Just months before, a string of fires had swept through city, burning down the Snohomish County Courthouse and several other buildings. Now, a group of Everett newcomers by way of Nebraska had swept in, purchased some of the fire-damaged property and revealed their plan.

Prominent Everett architect Benjamin F. Turnbull would design the five-story, semi-U-shaped building made of concrete, brick and steel at a cost of $100,000.

Once opened, the Everett Business School occupied the top floor and the Bank of Commerce did business in the large open area on the first floor.

“The location of the building is regarded as ideal for its purposes,” the bank’s president, William Stockbridge, told the newspaper.

“With the paving of Rockefeller, the corner will be further improved,” he said.

Other notable early tenants included Turnbull, who designed at least seven major commercial buildings in Everett’s central business district as well as several houses, and the Everett Women’s Suffrage Club, which fought that year for a woman’s right to vote in Washington, a full decade before the 19th Amendment granted that right nationwide.

Over the decades, the installation of fake wood paneling and drop ceilings altered the building’s interior.

The structure stood vacant when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, but has since been converted into commercial space and low-income housing.

More in Local News

Kamiak senior strives for career in acting and screenwriting

Paige Cox recently had an interview with Harvard. She’s the lead in both of this year’s school plays.

State Patrol trooper uses SUV to stop runaway truck on I-5

The driver thought it was parked until he got out and it rolled backward into traffic.

Vehicle hits pedestrians, killing one, hospitalizing another

A stretch of 196th Street SW. in Lynnwood was closed overnight during the investigation.

Swedish nurses, caregivers prepare to strike in Edmonds

The healthcare provider is flying in thousands of workers to fill in during the three-day protest.

Lawmakers renew attempt to reform Sound Transit car taxes

A Senate bill would bring some savings. Foes say it doesn’t go far enough and ignores will of voters.

Bill would eliminate most elections in odd-numbered years

Supporters say it would increase voting, opponents say it would limit the ability to file measures.

Looking back: 1974 road trip turns deadly

The Snohomish County sheriff, his wife and mother-in-law were killed while vacationing in Mexico.

Police looking for man who robbed gas station at gunpoint

The man acted like he was going to buy something. Then he pulled out a gun and demanded money.

Snohomish County inmate sues county, gets $110K — and freedom

Jimi Hamilton sued over a records request when the county cited a Jail Records Act that doesn’t exist.

Most Read