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The Cook Building: From Hardware To Hard Rock

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

A Brief History of 991 Kenmore Boulevard.


102 years ago, workers were busy clearing the lot located on the northeast corner of Kenmore Boulevard and 15th Street for the construction of a new building.


Upon opening in 1919, the new structure bared the name G. L. Cook & Son Co. and by 1937 was known simply as Cook Hardware. The Cook family business would remain at 991 Kenmore Blvd. for 84 years.

Cook Hardware is remembered fondly by current and former Kenmore residents alike, including Kim Hamilton-Jenkins (KHS Class of ’75), who took the photograph to the right around 1983.


“I have so many memories of going to Cook Hardware with my father as a child and even as a young adult,” Kim recalls. “I would go there to buy balls of twine and maybe a few nails, which were sold for just pennies apiece. Most of the wares were loose items in bins and you’d gather up your purchases, take them to the counter and they’d everything put in a small brown bag.”


The closure of Cook Hardware in 2003 was an emotional experience for many longtime Kenmore current and former residents like Hamilton-Jenkins, however the closing of Cook only marked the end of the first chapter for 991 Kenmore Blvd., as the building still had a bright future ahead of it.


Seven years ago, the Cook Building became part of Kenmore's lush musical landscape when it became home to Thom Tadsen Live Album Recording Studio – where new memories are made on the BLVD every time Thom presses record.


Tadsen, a drummer and recording engineer, owns the 24 track live and 128 playback music studio and specializes in punk, metal, rock and rockabilly. The building’s 7,000 square foot footprint and 14 foot high ceilings make it perfect for tracking instruments – especially drums.


“I've carved out a niche tracking bands live in the studio producing records that really resonate with people,” Thom says. “There is magical quality to live band in the room hitting a great performance. You can't fake it.”


Connect with Thom Tadsen Live Album Recording Studio via Facebook.

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