Ford and Pacific McKay Building Facades

601 Westlake Avenue N

Ford and Pacific McKay Building Facades, Seattle, Photo by Jean Sherrard
Ford and Pacific McKay Building facades, Allen Institute, Seattle, August 13, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Pacific McKay Building facade entranceway, Seattle, August 13, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Pacific and McKay Building, Seattle, 1975, Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives (179806)
William O. McKay Co. Lincoln Sales & Service Garage, Mercer Way and Westlake Ave., n.d.

By 1939, some 40 automobile-related businesses could be found on the 12-block stretch of Westlake Avenue near Lake Union. Little trace remains of Westlake’s thriving neighborhood of dealerships and repair shops except for the facades of William Osborne McKay’s glamorous terra-cotta-clad showrooms. The larger Ford McKay building went up in 1923 and featured a repair shop with “the latest and best machinery,” according to the Seattle Times. Two years later McKay opened his second dealership, which sold Lincolns.

Designed by architects Harlan Thomas, who also designed the Sorrento Hotel and the Corner Market Building at Pike Place Market, and Clyde Grainger, McKay’s second showroom featured a vaulted ceiling and interior terra-cotta fountain. McKay was an active civic booster, one of the founders of Seafair, and a major property owner in the Cascade neighborhood.

In 2006, the exteriors of both Pacific McKay and Ford McKay and portions of their interiors were designated city landmarks by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. When the new Allen Institute was erected in 2015, it included the façade, which had been deconstructed and then rebuilt for the new structure.

Download the App

Visit HistoryLink.Tours in your mobile browser to download our web app!

HistoryLink Tours App

To add this web app to your device, tap the share icon and select Add to Home Screen.

HistoryLink Tours App

To add this web app to your device, tap the overflow button (three vertical dots) and select Add to Home Screen.