Looking back: Early Everett commercial structure touted as fireproof

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.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville Pilchuck High School senior Katelyn Leary is a recipient of the 2020 Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement Award. (Marysville School District)
Marysville Pilchuck senior wins Bronze Cross achievement

Goodie bags in Granite Falls connect teacher with her students Missing the… Continue reading

Marc Lamont Hill will speak about race, politics and American life in an online presentation Wednesday as part of Everett Community College's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. (Everett Community College)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy to be honored in new ways

Pandemic means changes in how the community will celebrate. Virtual and drive-by events are planned.

Man and cat die in Everett apartment fire

Firefighters responded to a smoky second-story unit. A cigarette may have set a mattress on fire.

Man shoots alleged intruder in Everett

Police were investigating after a male was shot and hospitalized.

County leaders push state to move up in vaccination phases

In a letter to Gov. Inslee, they are seeking the authority to begin vaccinating more people.

$300 unemployment supplement headed to bank accounts

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will be available for up to 11 weeks.

Everett firefighter’s lawsuit alleges racist actions were ignored

Jason Anderson was allegedly told to “suck it up” after reporting the conduct to his supervisor.

The Lynnwood Link light rail extension breached the 25% milestone for construction in Mountlake Terrace shot on Wednesday December 16, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Sound Transit projects ahead could need another $11.5 billion

Costs for construction and property have soared as revenue dropped during the pandemic.

A Mob City jammer, "CMonster," skates in a holiday scrimmage at the Everett Skate Deck on Dec. 9, 2018. An online fundraising effort has been started to help support the skating venue during the pandemic. (Anthony Floyd photo)
Skate Deck hopes to open for customers, not take donations

A roller skating coach has launched an online fundraiser, wants to help the place he fears may close.

Most Read