1427 11th on left (now Modera Apartments) next to Lorraine Apartments (the one with Wildrose). 1937 photo via Brendan McKeon, housed at Washington State Archives. 2015 by Rob Ketcherside.
“An old house with an old man.” That was the cryptic suggestion for this month’s Re:Take, from a three-year-old.
To fulfill the request, I turned to the fantastic work of Brendan McKeon. A while back he scanned all of the old assessor photos of Pike/Pine, and he recently put them up on HistoryPin for us to browse. While looking through them, this modest 11th Ave storefront caught my eye. It was the old house as asked, but with a retail facade. And it was a building I’d never seen, destroyed 65 years ago.
The long and short of it: built as a home, it was turned into a grocery store in 1912; the family who ran it moved south of the city and continues selling food to this day; a Japanese family took over the store and spent WW II as prisoners in Minidoka; the building was destroyed for a parking lot in 1949.
Now for just the long of it.
It was built in 1899 as the north end of a series of quadruplicate houses. All of the buildings were apparently developed by Alexander Burns, who lived in 1423 briefly. Burns moved his family from there to the Thistle Apartments which he built on the 1415 parcel in 1902. His family bounced through a series of addresses for the prior decade, each of which I suspect he built and then lived in while finishing and then renting or selling after the family moved. His profession was listed as lather, but I know of a number of properties he owned and rented, including a fourplex facing this on the other side of the street. He is once listed as a boss, not just a tradesman, and must have captured a windfall in the post-Fire construction boom.
1421 to 1423 11th, 1937. This is what the grocery looked like originally, the southern three of the four houses. Image harvested from Brendan McKeon on HistoryPin, who scanned it at the Washington State Archives.
One of the four houses — the one we care about, at 1427 11th — was purchased immediately in 1899 by Frank Salle. He shared it with his brother Dominick, sister-in-law Santa and three nephews James, Antonio and Lewis. Frank and Dominick ran the Salle Brothers “cigar and fruit” store at the corner of 3rd and James in the Drexel Hotel starting in 1897. Within a few years of moving their home from 23rd and Spruce to here at 11th and Pike, Dominick had his own grocery at 6th and Pike, he and his family moved two door south to 1417, and Frank married fellow Italian Cristina Depasquale and started a family of his own. Continue reading