Then and Now

Now Then

3501 Fremont Ave N – I.O.O.F. Building

The International Order of Odd Fellows Building is located at the main intersection of downtown Fremont, at Fremont Ave and Fremont Place/N. 35th. The building was designed by John T. Mattson and constructed in 1927. The cornerstone at 3509 Fremont indicates that it was dedicated On June 1, 1927 for the Fremont International Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal organization. It housed the Fremont Lodge No. 76, International Order of Odd Fellows. Prior to the construction of this brick building, the I.O.O.F. had a wood-frame building on this site that was built in 1891.

Auditorium Cleaners was a long-time tenant, from 1930’s to 1990’s. At the time of the 1937 photo, Auditorium Cleaners was called “Auditorium Dye Works”. The building was also houses a florist, a cleaning service, and vacant spaces. The interior includes an auditorium with a small stage that was used for meetings of the I.O.O.F., reached by the staircase at the 3509 Fremont entrance. Empty Space Theatre was a long-time occupant until recently. The space is now vacant. Today the street level shops include new and used clothing shops, a restaurant, a jeweler, and a coffee shop.

Michael Peck bought the building from the I.O.O.F. in 1978. He was a tenant in the property at that time. He said the condition of the building was similar to how it is today, although he did some cleanup inside and out. However, months after the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake, the parapet structure facing Fremont Place collapsed. This necessitated the rebuilding of walls, re-bricking, new windows and a steel marquee. Peck had these features restored in the style of the original.

Mr. Peck said he likes the triangular shape of the building and its “center of the universe” location.

Sources: Michael Peck
Historical Survey and Planning Study of Fremont’s Commercial Area, Caroline Tobin, 1991
1937 photo courtesy of Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch