AKA: 209 5th Avenue SE Building, Downtown, Olympia, WA; Buck, Donald, Building, Downtown, Olympia, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Wohleb, Joseph, Architect (firm); Joseph Henry Wohleb (architect)

Dates: constructed 1924

2 stories, total floor area: 4,660 sq. ft.

view all images ( of 2 shown)

209 5th Avenue SE
Downtown, Olympia, WA 98501


Olympia architect Joseph Wohleb designed this long retail/office building located at 209 5th Avenue SE, known historically as the Donald Building. The architect also designed the Jeffers Photography Studio next door, creating a cohesive pair of Mission Revival-incluenced buildings.

Building History

Designed by architect Joseph Wohleb (1887-1958), for the Olympia developer James Martin, this six-bay, two-story commercial building had retail stores on its first floor and offices on the second. Its two end bays had rounded parapets and the middle four bays had a non-structural parapet roof supported by large knee brackets, suggesting the influence of the Mission Revival Style. Next door, the 1912 Jeffers Photography Studio, on the southeast corner of 5th Avenue SE and Washington Street SE, also by Wohleb, utilized the style about 12 years earlier.

Martin may have named this building for his son, Donald; he had already named two buildings for himself in Olympia, one a two-story retail/office building at 113-119 5th Avenue SE and one a warehouse at 115 State Avenue NE.

The building at 209 5th Avenue SE, also known as the Donald Building, had murals painted on its facade at a later date.

Building Notes

The Donald Building was a contributing component to the Downtown National Historic District.

It was owned by the Buck Family in 2016. The owner name was the Donald Buck Building, Incorporated, and its taxpayer was Anne Buck. It covered a 0.06-acre lot, and contained 2260 square feet on level one and 2400 square feet on level two.

It had a six-bay design, its fenestration consisting of doors and shop windows for first-floor storefronts and six pairs of double-hung windows on the second.


The early 1960s Washington State Archives photo showed the Donald Building to be painted white. More recently, the edges of each bay were painted green and the interior portions covered in a brown color. Various ornaments--leaves, floral motifs, and birds--have been painted over much of the brown portion's surface.

Thurston County Assessor Number: 99002078840

PCAD id: 20311