The Woodsons were the first black developers in Seattle. Along with the subject property they were responsible for the development of at least 1 other property at 12th and Pike (now demolished) in the run up to the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exhibition of 1909.
In 1908, Zacharias and Irene Woodson built this apartment anticipating that the AYP would increase the demand for housing in Seattle. According to Esther Mumford's Seattle's Black Victorians, the Woodsons came to Seattle in 1897 and operated rooming houses during the first three decades of the century.'' Seattle City Directories list Zacharias as a "bootblack" in 1899. By 1903, however, Zacharias is listed as being the proprietor of a rooming house at 1216 Second A venue. In 1909, the Woodsons are listed as the proprietors of both the Woodson Apartments and a rooming house at 1530 Fifth Avenue." This property represents the growth Seattle experienced due to the AYP.