The Oldest Building In Kirkland

May 13, 2019

Kirkland is a city with a rich history that is still evident today in its many original buildings. If you take a drive down Market Street, the Victorian-era brick structures and unique architectural detailing will transport you back in time. One of the most notable buildings in this area is the Peter Kirk Building, which once belonged to Peter Kirk, the founder of Kirkland.


Peter was a British-born businessman that had the vision to turn what is now Kirkland into the steel capital of the West Coast. Unfortunately, the stock market crash of 1893 sent panic throughout the country and ultimately halted his vision.

Before this, Peter Kirk had built this building on Market Street as the main hub for his vision of the area. Although the building stayed occupied throughout the years, a lack of funds and attention to upkeep left the building in need of desperate renovations. Years of neglect ultimately led to a piece of history ready for demolition. However, in 1960, William Radcliffe, a local teacher, led a group of investors to purchase the property in hopes of creating a positive impact for the community. They ultimately saved the building from its doomed fate and restored it back to its historic standing, creating what is known as the Kirkland Arts Center.

Today, The Kirkland Arts Center stands as the oldest commercial building on the Eastside and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The center provides a space for community members to create and enjoy art through galleries featuring local artists and classes offered for everyone to enjoy.

“Kirkland Arts Center unleashes the power of art to ignite individual growth and self-expression, build community spirit, and cultivate cultural vibrancy.”

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, take a moment to admire the historic landmark that maintains its original qualities since the 19th century.

Interested in learning more or planning a visit? Learn more about the Kirkland Art Center and how you can get involved with this organization here!

Our goal at Windermere Kirkland is to be a resource for the community. Aside from helping you buy or sell your home, our team is dedicated to adding value to our city. Every other Tuesday we will be posting a blog post highlighting different people, businesses, communities, and more throughout Kirkland. Stay tuned!