AKA: Nordstrom's, Incorporated, Shoe Store #1, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1937

5th Avenue and Pike Street
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98101

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Building History

This shoe store was co-founded by Carl Wallin and John W. Nordstrom, whose sons would later expand the concern into a chain of department stores. Wallin and Nordstrom, both Scandinavian immigrants, met while prospecting for gold in AK. Their first store occupied a 20-foot street frontage at 2nd Avenue and Pike Street, neighboring the larger MacDougall-Southwick Department Store. At this time, this area of 2nd Avenue contained the primary retail shopping district in the city.

By 1918, with the construction of the giant, 383,000-square-foot Frederick and Nelson Department Store #3, the central retail district began to migrate north and east, to the area near 500 Pine Street. This trend was strengthened when the Bon Marche opened its new store at 1601 3rd Avenue in 1929. In 1937, the Nordstrom Brothers, Everett, Elmer and Lloyd, moved their shoe store to a location near to this new retail nucleus, in the Ranke Building #2, at the corner of 5th Avenue and Pike Street.

John W. Nordstrom sold his store to his sons Elmer and Everett in 1928. In 1929, Carl Wallin sold his shares to the brothers. In 1930, this 2nd Avenue and Pike Street store was remodeled and renamed "Nordstrom's."

PCAD id: 8521