An iconic North bend building is going back to its roots and embracing history that dates back nearly a century.
At the busy corner of North Bend Way and Bendigo Blvd stands the Sunset Garage, a building that Snoqualmie Valley historian Gardiner Vinnedge says “is a symbol of the era when the towns in the Snoqualmie Valley were largely self-sufficient.”
Harry Snyder opened Sunset Garage in 1922 – in a wooden building that had once been Peter Maloney’s ‘North Bend Livery.’ It began as a repair shop and auto parts supplier. By 1925 the garage was also a Durant Motors dealership, selling Flint Six and Star automobiles.
Vinnedge, whose great-uncle was Snyder, said, “I believe he was first a dealer selling the Star Car, a sedan built between 1922 and 1928, by Durant Motors as a rival to the Model A. Durant had launched his own brand after he was eased out of General Motors.”
Around 1929 the wooden Sunset Garage was torn down and the current concrete building was constructed. According to the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum, the building held its grand opening in October of 1929, just as the stock market crashed.
Snyder’s granddaughter told the museum that the garage held on through the Depression because of her grandfather’s reputation as a mechanic who could keep older cars running.
About the time the new Sunset Garage opened, it became a Buick dealership, with Durant Motors going out of business a couple of years later. Snyder’s granddaughter said the garage was the first Buick dealership on the Eastside.
In the 1960’s Harry Snyder sold his Buick-Pontiac dealership, but his successors continued to sell Buicks from the iconic building. During that decade the building was purchased by the Glazier family, who still own it today.
The building was mostly empty for the past few decades. In the 1990’s, Twin Peaks used the second floor, filming the jail scenes there according to residents. It’s corner window also served as a display window for a local business. Then in 2014, D Squared Energy moved in – and after that Compass Outdoor Adventures joined them..
Last month Carbonite Properties – owned by Craig Glazier – began a historic renovation of the iconic building. Craig manages the various Glazier family properties in downtown North Bend and the name Carbonite represents some of the historic properties the family owns which have been ‘frozen in carbonite’ for decades.
Craig, who recently joined the North Bend Economic Development Commission, is working to renovate and restore the properties in an effort to help create a more vibrant downtown area.
The Sunset Garage is first on the list. After that the former Glazier Dry Goods Store on North Bend Way will be rehabbed and become the new home of Volition Brewing, with a target opening date in 2019.
So far historic front entrance to the Sunset Garage has been restored and the window that once covered it removed. The building overhangs are also back and the tile accents restored.
It’s looking more like its old self – like a going back in time makeover. Enjoy some photos of Sunset Garage from the vault of the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum.