History of the District

In the 1950's (years before the City of University Place was incorporated), University Place began to grow rapidly. As suburban living became the trend following World War II, University Place, with lots of available land, began growing rapidly. 27th Street was the commercial core of University Place at that time.

The Pine Cone Cafe had its beginning at that time, and the name was inspired by the pine cone motif that graced the original dinner plates. In the 1960's, in became the University Place version of a diner, with Naugahyde booths and counter dining. Although larger today, with more dining area, the Pine Cone is still in operation and retains much of its 1960s flavor.

The first shopping center in University Place was located on the corner of 27th Street and Grandview Drive, which was also the location of Thomas Brothers Foodliner, the first grocery store in Unviersity Place. The shopping center eventually included Samuelson's Apparel, a laundry facility, a nursery, a photography studio, a Dairly Queen, and a Washington State Department of Licensing location for testing and renewal of drivers' licenses. Today several businesses are housed at this center, including Lefty's, Raevan's Den, U.P. Station Bar and Grill, Redzone Sports, and Happy Days Daycare and Preschool.

In the mid-1030s, several tomato growers in University Place formed the University Place Growers Association. They built a tomato packing shed near 27th Street and Grandview Drive. Growers from all around the area brought their tomatoes to be packed and shipped. When the University Place Volunteer Fire Department started in 1941, the tomato shed was converted into the first fire station in University Place. It was later used by many area churches as a place to worship while their sanctuaries were being built. The building now houses the University Place Senior Center.

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Information from Images of America: University Place, by Arne Handleland.