Sodo Park

History

Built in 1907 for use by the Stetson-Ross Manufacturing Company, Sodo Park possesses a rich history that connects us to Seattle’s industrial era. The building’s preservation and reuse maintains the unique charm of the district and demonstrates ecological sustainability. Stetson-Ross manufactured planer-matchers, woodworking tools for ships. The factory floor is now Sodo Park’s dining area.  Our coat-check room was creatively repurposed from its original use as a vault for Stetson-Ross.

Harry Ross and G. W. Stetson originally formed the company before Harry changed his focus to a new lumber carrier he invented and left to form the Ross Carrier Co. Shortly after, Stetson changed the name to Stetson Machine Works. After Stetson and his son died in 1921, the company name was changed back to Stetson-Ross. At about that time, the company introduced the first planer-matcher designed from the ground up for direct-motor cutterhead spindles.

The SoDo area was originally named for its location South of the (King)dome, but since the stadium’s demolition in 2000, the name refers to South of Downtown. The name also deliberately echoes SoHo in New York City, where, during the 1970s artists converted cheap spaces vacated by factories into lofts and studios. SoDo has undergone a similar process. Some SoDo buildings remain in their original use, while others are being used as artists’ lofts, art galleries and an assortment of businesses.

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