J.P. Dean Building

3500-3506 Fremont Ave N.

The J.P. Dean Building was named for Mr. Joseph P. Dean, the original building owner. Mr. Dean was a millwright who lived at 1554 NW 50th St. He worked at the Fremont sawmill in the 1890s but later moved to Ballard and worked at the Seattle Cedar Lumber Manufacturing Company. He was promoted from millwright to foreman to master mechanic during his career at Seattle Cedar Lumber. His handsome Queen Anne style 1902 house still stands prominently at the NE corner of 17th NW & NW 50th in Ballard.

The J.P. Dean Building was built in 1912 by Alex Carter, an English immigrant who lived in Fremont at 3611 2nd Ave NW. He specialized in house moving, but he may have had additional skills. The building permit was issued on March 5, 2012. The cost to build the two-story building was estimated at $8,000. The building has a rusticated cast stone façade similar to that of the Fremont Hotel. Numerous permits were issued to allow alteration of the building for various tenants in 1914, 1917, early-mid 1920s, and again in the 1950s and 1960s.

The J.P. Dean building has been in Al Linden’s family since the early 1930s. Andy Linden, Al’s father, bought the building as an investment. He was born in Sweden and came to the United States in 1901. He was listed in the 1910 census as a cabinetmaker, living at 317 E. Thomas St. He operated Linden Furniture store from 1912 to 1948, when he retired. The furniture store was located along the Fremont Bridge in the early 20s but then moved to 940 N. 34th St.

The Fremont Confectionery appears to be the only tenant at storefront level in the 1937 photo. Fremont was economically impacted not only by the Great Depression, but also by the opening of the Aurora Bridge in 1932, which created a bypass. Mr. Klieros, proprietor of Fremont Confectionery, was born in Turkey. He came to the United States in 1914 and was a partner in a restaurant. He operated the Fremont Confectionery Company for 33 years. He lived at 722 N. 36th St. and later at 714 N. 46th St. He was a member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. His shop was located later at N. 34th and Fremont Avenue.

We interviewed Al Linden about the building and interesting stories he might know about it. He said the wood addition to the north (shown in the 1937 photo) was torn down for parking in the 1950s. The south side of the building was repaired in the 1940s. The City of Seattle’s North End Multiservice Center was located in the building in the 60s and70s, which is when the offices upstairs were last remodeled. Al Linden is an avid archivist and has collected early articles and artifacts from Fremont and plans to display them in the future. He told us that there were plans for a steam plant to be located south of the Fremont Hotel and showed us photos of a manhole in the sidewalk just outside of the record store in his building that contains pipes that he believes were supposed to connect to the steam plant. Al said that he likes the dry basement in his building (!).

Sources: Al Linden; Polk Seattle Directories; City of Seattle permit records; Historical Survey and Planning Study of Fremont’s Commercial Area, Carol Tobin, 1991; Theodore Klieros Obituary,10/24/1958 Seattle Times; Andy Linden Obituary, 10/4/1953 Seattle P.I.;U.S. Census, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website, Database of Historic Properties