West Seattle past and present: 4808 Alaska

January 1, 2008 at 11:42 pm | In West Seattle history | 11 Comments

Just west of The Junction, and a couple houses west of Ercolini Park, you’ll find this deteriorating old home whose current appearance doesn’t hint much at its vital past as a neighborhood market — unless you look at the “past” photo sent by neighbor Bill Leaming (who also sent the “present” one below):

frakerthen.jpg

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If you had trouble reading the inscription on the “past” photo of Fraker’s Grocery, it’s from 1956. County property records show the building dates back to 1926. City records don’t show anything new currently proposed for the site. Thanks to Bill for sharing the past/present photos; we love history tidbits here, so they’re always welcome. (Speaking of neighborhood markets, our Alki Urban Market update will be published first thing tomorrow morning.)

11 Comments

  1. sad to see it like that. Anyone else here remember the Kenyon St. Market? At least the remodel on that house came out nicely.

    Comment by grr — 5:40 am January 2, 2008 #

  2. Love to see the old pics–thank you!

    Comment by Kayleigh — 6:27 am January 2, 2008 #

  3. Thanks for posting that – I lived down the street and always saw a coca cola sticker on the window and wondered…

    Comment by eileen — 8:29 am January 2, 2008 #

  4. Thanks for posting this. My family knew Dean Fraker and his wife Patricia and we visited the family in the 1960s at their home in the back of the store. Brings back lots of memories.

    Comment by Dale Roose — 8:54 am January 2, 2008 #

  5. does anyone know why it has gone into disrepair?

    Comment by dq — 1:00 pm January 2, 2008 #

  6. This is very cool. It looks like they have the same siding, and maybe roof as 1956. And what happened to the ground? That’s a lot of settling, for the sidewalk to go from horizontal to sloped.

    Comment by acemotel — 2:57 pm January 2, 2008 #

  7. It has been purchased as an investment property by someone in the neighborhood. They haven’t decided exactly what to do with it yet (at least its not townhomes…)

    Comment by BB — 8:29 pm January 2, 2008 #

  8. Growing up in that neighborhood, I recall that we kids were scared of the “mean” man inside (don’t know if I ever dared to go in). Instead we bought our penny candy at Aske’s grocery at 49th & Dawson.

    Comment by Jerald — 11:07 am January 3, 2008 #

  9. acemote got me curious–is the building sinking or is the ground rising? Was the camera level or was it tilted to match the building?

    Comment by Dale Roose — 6:48 pm January 3, 2008 #

  10. The building is collapsing. I lived around the corner until 6 months ago and walked by it almost every day. I thought some recluse lived in there; I knew it was an old corner market and always wished it still was. With Ercolini park becoming a reality, it may still be viable as such, if it hasn’t been zoned out from non-use.
    Hmm, “purchased by someone in the neighborhood” — well, Doris (Banana Pages) Richards’ house shares that alley… Pure speculation.

    Comment by DrDimentico — 11:30 pm January 3, 2008 #

  11. My own version of the “mean” neighborhood grocery owner when I was little and we lived at 38th & Manning, was Mrs. Beck, of the aptly named Beck’s Grocery at Belvedere & Hinds.

    Of course, it was kids like my older brother that antagonized her and probably made her cranky.

    One thing that sticks out in my mind, was that if I paid for my penny candy with a Canadian quarter or whatever, she’d make me wait a moment while she dug into her seperate stash of Canadian coins to give me my change.

    Our other nearby choices were Hinds Streeet Market at 40th & Hinds, or to go on down to California & Hinds to Mac’s and see good ol’ Lew.

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 12:00 am January 6, 2008 #

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