Workhouse Creative recently moved to a new location in the heart of Seattle’s Central District, nestled between bustling Capitol Hill and the vibrant International District. We’re settling in nicely on the corner of 14th and Yesler but didn’t know how much history we’d discover here at our new home.
The building dates back to 1901, when the foundation was created for the St. George Hotel. Since the hotel was erected in 1910, the building has maintained a rich, eclectic history.
Above ground, the St. George began as an apartment building, offering “the lowest rent in the city in a respectable, first-class building,” as it was phrased in a 1915 ad for the Seattle Times.
The property later transitioned into a variety of retail spaces, ranging from barber shops and laundry cleaners to grocery stores and billiard halls. A later issue of the Seattle Times, in 1916, features another advertisement for the St. George Hotel offering storage space in the large concrete basement and describing the hotel as a “splendid, modern building’.
During prohibition, the basement continued to serve the community as a speakeasy.
The St. George continued to house retail spaces and various tenants up until 1973, when the St. George converted from apartments to office spaces. In 1975, the Seattle Urban League and other civil rights groups, including the NAACP, opened offices to serve the communities of the Central District. Today, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle still serves the Seattle area, providing education, housing and employment programs for historically under represented groups throughout the city.
We’re happy to be joining a great community here at the St. George and know we’ll be right at home here for years to come. Construction on Workhouse Creative’s new space is currently underway on the ground floor, with plans to move in early 2015. Keep posted for more updates on the build-out.