AKA: Arcade Plaza Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - department stores

Designers: Thomas, Grainger and Thomas, Architects (firm); Clyde Grainger (architect); Donald Partridge Thomas (architect); Irving Harlan Thomas (architect)

Dates: constructed 1927

6 stories

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1339 2nd Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98101

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Building History

Albert James Rhodes separated from his older merchant brothers William, Henry and Charles Rhodes in Tacoma, WA, to operate the Rhodes Company Department Store in Seattle as its President and Manager. In 1908, Albert Rhodes served as the President / Manager of his own Seattle department store at 1321-1325 2nd Avenue and at 1322 1st Avenue, but also remained as a Vice-president of the Tacoma-based Rhodes Brothers Ten Cent Store at 1315 2nd Avenue in Seattle. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1908, p. 1094.) Both were located in the mammoth Arcade Builidng, that occupied an entire block bounded by 1st Avenue on the west, University Street on the south, 2nd Avenue on the east and Union Street on the north. This store occupied space in the Arcade Building until about 1924, when its northern half was razed, and a new Rhodes Department Store #2 was erected on the site.

According to an advertisement extolling Seattle's construction rate in 1927, the Rhodes Department Store cost $1,700,000 to erect. (See "Seattle 'the City that is ever Building!'" Seattle Daily Times, 07/09/1928, p. 34.)

Seattle retailer, M. Lamont Bean, purchased the Rhodes Store in 1965, operating this downtown landmark for 3 years before closing it in 1968. Other Rhodes stores operating in the Seattle area were rebranded as "Lamont's" stores in 1970. These operated until 1994, when the 52-store chain was digested by the department store chain, Gottschalk's.

Building Notes

In 1908, Albert J. Rhodes resided in the Washington Hotel Annex in Seattle. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1908, p. 1094.)

A pipe organ played for Rhodes of Seattle shoppers, similarly to the live piano music that played for Nordstrom customers. The Rhodes Department Store later housed a Kinko's Copy store and Seattle's Best Coffee outlet.

An advertisement of 1939, called the Rhodes Department Store "Seattle's Home-Owned Department Store," (see Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1939, p. 692), in contrast to Seattle's Bon Marché. which was purchased by Hahn Stores of Chicago, IL, in 1929, which, in turn, was bought by Allied Stores in 1934.

In the mid-1950s, two radio transmitting towers stood on the roof of the Rhodes Department Store #2.

Demolition

The Rhodes of Seattle Department Store #2 was demolished in 2005 to make room for the Washington Mutual (WaMu) Tower #2. The block on which the Arcade Block stood was later replaced by the WaMu Tower #2, the Seattle Art Museum #2 and the Seattle Art Museum #3.

PCAD id: 6246