After a century in business, Crown Hill Hardware is closing

One of Seattle’s oldest small businesses, Crown Hill Hardware on 15th Ave. NW is closing at the end of the month.

“I’ve been here a long time. It just has sentimental value,” says the store’s owner Dennis Palmer.

Palmer says his mom passed away a week ago, which triggered a requirement to sell the property, which is in a trust along with several other families. He said he expects there will be lots of bids, and he can’t afford to buy it himself.

Crown Hill Hardware first opened for business on 85th St. more than century ago, moving to its current location in the mid 1950s, Palmer said. His dad bought the store in 1976, and Palmer bought the business from his father in 2000.

“I’ve seen it change so much through the years. Small businesses just aren’t supported very much anymore,” he said.

Similar to central Ballard a few years ago, the 15th Ave. corridor is now peppered with brand new apartments and fenced-off lots awaiting new developments. “It’ll sell pretty quick,” Palmer said.

The store has been a Crown Hill institution for decades, but Palmer said business dropped during the last recession and never really recovered. “I’m doing more business now that I’m closing than when I’ve been open,” he joked to a regular customer.

“Sad to see you go,” the customer said.

Crown Hill Hardware will be open until the end of the month, and prices are marked down 30%.

“It was a good ride,” Palmer said.

(Thank you Amber for the tip.)


47
Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Peter Pan
Guest
Peter Pan

Change is good.

Brian P odell
Guest
Brian P odell

Peter Pan, regarding your comment on change, bah! humbug.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Wow, way to be brutally cruel, Peter Pan. Why don’t you march on over there, spit on the owner and kick him in the privates while cursing his deceased mother while you’re at it. New Ballard…

Dtwodoors
Guest
Dtwodoors

Change is good but not when it forces closures of long time small businesses and runs it citizens out of town because of development run rampant, astronomical housing costs!!! ☹️

Leigh
Guest
Leigh

Peter Pan: that’s such a mean and unnecessary comment to a neighbor who has been a wonderful asset to our neighborhood for many years. Shame on you.

Mr. Palmer, Condolences from a neighbor. I wish you and your family the best.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

I’m sorry for his loss. Regarding the business however, it’s about time. This store never had anything I needed. It’s not that small business doesn’t get support. I tried over and over again. I’m a small business owner and I know it’s hard. It’s even harder if you don’t stock any products.

Mike Wilson
Guest
Mike Wilson

Went by there easily a couple thousand times from 1950 on. I remember it for the Sherwin-Williams “Cover the Earth” sign.

Mike Wilson
Guest
Mike Wilson

Likewise….. 15th is the new 24th or the new 8th. Both used to have small businesses from 85th to Market but now are just apartments.

Jess
Guest
Jess

Hmmmm “change is good?” I’m just gonna assume you are a transplant, sounds like a comment from someone that was not born and raised in Seattle….

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

Peter Pan, I imagine you don’t own a home in our neighborhood. You might rent an apartment since you just moved here? Don’t like the fact they don’t sell growlers and let you bring your dog in?
They’ve been a great neighborhood hardware store since we’ve lived here the past 28 years.
Sorry for the loss of your mom Mr. Palmer.

Steve A.
Guest
Steve A.

I’m sad to hear they’re closing, but count me in as another local homeowner who has tried over and over again to shop for supplies in that store, only to discover they hardly stock anything.

Over the summer, I went looking for some namebrand circuit breakers for my electrical panel to replace some old ones. I tried CrownHill Hardware first, but ended up going to Home Depot, because CH didn’t have what I was looking for. That’s happened almost everytime I shop there, sadly.

Jay
Guest
Jay

Called there a couple years ago to see if they had a part in stock, and got hung up on. Called back and no one answered.

Family businesses have a hard time surviving across generations. They had a good run and will get a good payoff selling the property.

Brian
Guest
Brian

I am sad to see them go–I actually found what I was looking for there many times and was grateful to have a hardware store in the neighborhood.

Ted C
Guest
Ted C

went here many times in the 20+ years living nearby. Usually for those “in-a-pinch” items, a fastener, caulk, etc. Enjoyed it most when all 3 kids were working the store as we lived across the street from one of ’em.

Yes, Peter Pan = New Ballard = Inconsiderate.

Hayduke
Guest
Hayduke

“change is good.”

Yeah just what we need! Another one of those oversized Kleenex boxes stuffed full of 200 sf cubicles with no on-site parking for people who are living there for a year or so before passing through the neighborhood.

What next? Hardwick’s finally closing its doors is “progress?”

Hayduke
Guest
Hayduke

“change is good.”

Yeah just what we need! Another one of those oversized Kleenex boxes stuffed full of 200 sf cubicles with no on-site parking for people who are living there for a year or so before passing through the neighborhood.

What’s next? Hardwick’s finally closing its doors is “progress?”

Mina M Atri
Guest
Mina M Atri

Thank you for being here , you gave glass each time the kids broke a window by accident, paint brush to paint ,the babies rooms and repaint and repair their rooms you knew our old houses and how to fix them . Bless

Mina M Atri
Guest
Mina M Atri

Thank you for being here , you gave glass each time the kids broke a window by accident, paint brush to paint ,the babies rooms and repaint and repair their rooms you knew our old houses and how to fix them . Bless you and your family ,so sorry for the loss of your mother

Kim Mulligan
Guest

Sorry to see you go. I have had several screens repaired there through the years. The last one I was charges $3.00! Never had the feeling you were there to make money, just to be of service. We will miss you!

snayasharma
Guest

Hmmmm “change is good?” I’m just gonna assume you are a transplant, sounds like a comment from someone that was not born and raised in Seattle…its really important. Thanks for sharing!

Steve "Big Dog" Drake
Guest
Steve "Big Dog" Drake

Change isn’t always progress. Bigger isn’t always better. I tried shopping there when I could, but usually couldn’t find what we needed. Shopping in the big box stores can be an afternoon all to itself. So many of us just use Amazon knowing we may have to wait a day to get what we want. Goodbye Crown Hill Hardware, hello apartments/condos/apodments!

Pam Burton
Guest

We posted this article about Crown Hill Hardware on our KBFG radio 107.3fm website. These are the kind of stories we plan to cover on our new radio station that can be heard in Ballard, Fremont and Greenwood. Like My Ballard, we are community-powered and invite your participation. As the comments to this article demonstrate we all share many thoughts and feelings about the changes that are happening to our community. We plan to be a radio station where we can come to grip with the changes that we are living with.

About Time
Guest
About Time

This is progress. I doubt that anyone blindly defending this store has tried to ship there in the past 5 years.

They don’t stock anything. Everything is covered in an inch of dust, their inventory is random and ancient. The owner clearly gave up on running a real business a long time ago.

This is a good change for everyone.

Salmon Bay
Member
Salmon Bay

I too tried to support them, they were always my first stop, but they rarely had what I needed. Now I usually go to Stone Way Hardware down my the Ballard Bridge, another small and local operation.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Not sad to see these guys go, sometimes a business just has to move on. Small businesses are not automatically great, and this one was (at least recently) sad, unhelpful, and understocked. I understand they might have been good at screens, but they should have just focused there. I would so much rather shop at Morgan’s or Stoneway than Crown Hill Hardware.