Labor Temple History

Early History

The Woodruff Building, also known as the Labor Temple was built as a two-story structure in 1887 by Sam Woodruff.

The building housed some of Olympia's early businesses. Van Epps Music was located here and Michael O'Conner had a stationary store with a post office in the rear.

Governor Ferry reviewed militia from there on his inauguration day November 18, 1889 celebrating Washington statehood. President Harrison spoke from the balcony floor on a visit to Olympia.

Union Purchase

In 1926, the building was purchased by local unions and managed by a board of trustees, known as the Labor Temple Association. Each craftsman contributed one day's pay for initial down payment.

Many fraternal and patriotic organizations used this hall as a meeting place and many speakers addressed groups from the balconies.

Labor Union

Modern Appearance

Severely damaged in the 1949 earthquake, the building lost its original facade of projecting bay windows, cast iron columns and ornate parapet, to be restyled in the Art Modeme fashion you see today.