Seattle Now & Then: Leary Way

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: With his or her back to the original Ballard business district, an unnamed photographer looks southeast on Leary Way, most likely in 1936.
THEN: With his or her back to the original Ballard business district, an unnamed photographer looks southeast on Leary Way, most likely in 1936.

NOW: On September 17th last Jean Sherrard took this “repeat” with the 2 Bit Saloon on the far left. It was the last day and night for the tavern, which timed its finale with that month’s Backfire Motorcycle Night in Ballard.

NOW: On September 17th last Jean Sherrard took this “repeat” with the 2 Bit Saloon on the far left. It was the last day and night for the tavern, which timed its finale with that month’s Backfire Motorcycle Night in Ballard.

We had two “thens” to choose from, and here follows the alternative.

The alternative also looks southeast on Leary Way to its first curves of three on its way to Fremont.
The alternative also looks southeast on Leary Way to its first curve of three on its way to Fremont.

This week we look south-southeast into a somewhat befuddling Ballard intersection where Leary Way, before curving to the east and ultimately heading for Fremont, meets 17th Avenue. N.W. and N.W. 48th Street. The photographer of this picture was working for the Foster and Kleiser billboard company, whose negatives we have used before, and will surely many times to come, the fates willing. So the intended subjects were the big signs on the far side of the curving Leary Way.

This snap in the billboard survey looks thru the same Leary curve but from the southeast end of it.  So it looks northwest on Leary.  The date, March 13, 1939 is recorded, bottom-left.  [A personal reflection to share: born in the fall of 1938, it was then barely babbling when this shots was recorded, and here and now nearly 76 years later, I blabber on and on.
This snap in the billboard survey looks thru the same Leary curve but from the southeast end of it. So it looks northwest on Leary. The date, March 13, 1939 is recorded, bottom-left . [Unless you are not dyslexic, then it is properly bottom-right. Another  personal reflection to share: born in the fall of 1938, I was then barely babbling when this shot was recorded, and now nearly 76 years later, I blabber on and on.

On the left of the featured photo at the top, between the Mobilgas flying horse (named Pegasus by the ancient Greeks) and the OK Texaco service station, 17th Avenue N.W. heads north.  In the early 1890s, 17th was the eastern border for Gilman Park, an early name for Ballard.  In 1936, the likely date of the photo, this intersection was obviously devoted to filling stations, billboards and power poles. The pavement, laid in 1930, is fairly fresh.  Unlike the many brick

A Seattle Times clipping from April 17, 1930.
A Seattle Times clipping from April 17, 1930.
An look northwest on the mostly brick Ballard Avenue during the 1916 Big Snow.
A look northwest on the mostly brick Ballard Avenue during the 1916 Big Snow.   Note the snow-capped city hall tower beyond the snow-bound trolley.  The bank building on the right also had a tower, and it was from that prospect that the next photo below was recorded on a 4th the July ca. 1910.   The clipping of that feature follow as well.
I have for this moment - a long lapsing one - misplaced the "now" negative for this "then."
I have for this moment – a long lapsing one – misplaced the “now” negative for this “then.”  But here is the text scanned from  a Times clip.
First appeared in Pacific Magazine April 5, 1992.
First appeared in Pacific Magazine April 5, 1992.

landmarks on Ballard Avenue, one block to the west, the buildings along Leary Way were mostly one- and two-story commercial clapboards and manufacturing sheds, like the one behind the billboards at the scene’s center, again, in the featured photo on top.  (Here we will insert three billboard photos taken on Leary Way in the three block run between N. W. Dock Place and Market Street.  (They do not all look in the same direction.)

This is captioned around the billboard, left-of-center, which sits "82 feet west of Ione Place.
This is captioned in reference to the billboard, left-of-center, which sits “82 feet west of Ione Place.
Leary way looking northwest to the billboards at Dock Place.  In the distance, across Market Street stands the Bagdad Theatre.
Leary way looking northwest to the billboards at Dock Place. In the distance, across Market Street stands the Bagdad Theatre.
The Bagdad then and during a recent Ballard Stret Fair.
The Bagdad then and during a recent Ballard Stret Fair.
Looking northwest on Leary Way to its intersection with Ione Place.  The caption makes not of its billboard subject as "100 feet west of Ione."
Looking northwest on Leary Way to its intersection with Ione Place. The caption makes note of its billboard subject as “100 feet west of Ione.” The captions “P-1″ and “R126″ are references we have not as yet cracked – nor tried to.

Leary Way was named for Seattle capitalist John Leary, who was the first president of the West Coast Improvement Company (WCIC), which through the 1890s shaped Ballard into the “Shingle Capitol of the World.”  Writing in 1900, pioneer Seattle historian Thomas Prosch called it the “most successful” real estate enterprise connected to Seattle.  The town was named for Capt. William Rankin Ballard, who with Leary was one of the WCIC’s principal developers. Ballard explained that in the first three months of the township venture he made 300 percent profit on the property that he had earlier “won” as a booby price in a “heads or tails” gamble with a friend.  Ballard did not live in Ballard, but recounted this from his First Hill mansion.

Not Ballard's home on First Hill, but Leary's on Capitol Hill, now home for Episcopalians.   (photo by Robert Bradley in 1969)
Not Ballard’s home on First Hill, but Leary’s on Capitol Hill, now home for Episcopalians. (1969 photo by Robert Bradley.)
The Yesler Leary Building at the northwest corner of Mill Street (Yesler Way) and Front Street (First Avenue.)  Leary's partnership in the 1884 construction of this Victorian showpiece is a sign of his local power at the time.
The Yesler Leary Building at the northwest corner of Mill Street (Yesler Way) and Front Street (First Avenue.) Leary’s partnership with Henry Yesler in the 1884 construction of this Victorian showpiece is a sign of his Seattle status then.
Scanned from Bagley's History of Seattle, Vol. 2
Scanned from Clarence  Bagley’s History of Seattle, Vol. 2

Behind the photographer of the featured photo at the top, the first Ballard street grid, a triangle of about a dozen blocks south of Market Street and west of 17th Avenue N.W., is aligned to the nearby Salmon Bay shoreline.  Otherwise, this rapidly growing, confident and, beginning in 1890, incorporated suburb followed the American practice – often written as law – of laying streets in conformity to the compass.

The grid of eastern Ballard - or Freelard aka Ballmonst - reveals with this April 25, 1947 aerial, courtesy of Ron Edge.  Upper right is Leary Way's last or most southeasterly section before turning (at the top) east into Fremont "proper."
The grid of eastern Ballard – or Freelard aka Ballmont – revealed from on high in this April 25, 1947 aerial, courtesy of Ron Edge. Upper right is Leary Way’s last or most southeasterly section before turning (at the top) east into Fremont “proper” on 36th Street.
The last (or first) curve on Leary where from this prospect 39th Street it turns east into Fremont.
That last (or first) curve on Leary where from this prospect near 39th Street it turns east into Fremont on 36th Street..
Queen Anne Hill neighborhood just west of Seattle Pacific College, seen across the ship canal and from a Fremont prospect near 39th Street and 2nd Ave. N.W.    nd
Queen Anne Hill neighborhood just west of Seattle Pacific College, seen across the ship canal and from a Fremont prospect near 39th Street and 2nd Ave. N.W. and so also above the curve where Leary merges with 36th Street.  nd

On Leary Way, another disruption of the greater Ballard grid follows soon after Leary passes east under the north approach to the Ballard Bridge. (The bridge’s trusses appear at the far-right.) At 11th Avenue N.W., Leary Way turns to the southeast cutting the shortest

Looking northwest to the Leary Way curve between N.W. 47th Street and 11th Ave. N.W..  Again, the photograph's own caption is preoccupied with its billboard.
Looking northwest to the Leary Way curve between N.W. 47th Street and 11th Ave. N.W.. Again, the photograph’s own caption is preoccupied with its billboard.

possible route to Fremont through a somewhat treeless neighborhood of grid-conforming streets, snuggly lined with well-tended workers’ homes.  There are cherished alternative names for this neighborhood just east of Ballard or just west of Fremont.   It is sometimes called Ballmont, and other times, Freelard.  Of course, both are good-natured popular names meant to calm anxieties along a border between neighbors.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Pro forma, Jean.  First a few links pulled by Ron Edge from past features followed by a stand-alone but not forlorn feature from the neighborhood: its Carnegie Library.   By this time some of the Edge Links will surely have been employed in this blog before, repetitions (we repeat) we are proud of and play like musical motifs in different contexts or on different staffs.  Remembering my mom – again again – “Repetition is the mother of all learning.”  Thank’s mom.

THEN: A Seattle Street and Sewer Department photographer recorded this scene in front of the nearly new City-County Building in 1918.  The view looks west from 4th Avenue along a Jefferson Street vacated in this block except for the municipal trolley tracks.  (Photo courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: Looking east from the roof of the still standing testing lab, the Lock’s Administration Building (from which this photograph was borrowed) appears on the left, and the district engineer’s home, the Cavanaugh House (still standing) on the center horizon. (Photo courtesy Army Corps of Engineers at Chittenden Locks)

 locks-fm-gn-brdg-early-web

THEN: Captioned Salmon Bay, 1887, this is most likely very near the eastern end of the bay where it was fed by Ross Creek, the Lake Union outlet. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan Vintage Posters and Photographs)

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Library-THEN-web

Library-NOW-WEB

First appeared in Pacific, June 12, 1994.
First appeared in Pacific, June 12, 1994.

Seattle Now & Then: Third Avenue Regrade

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THEN: Looking north from Columbia Street over the construction pit for the Central Building.  On the left is a rough section of the Third Avenue Regrade in the spring of 1907.  (Courtesy, MOHAI)
THEN: Looking north from Columbia Street over the construction pit for the Central Building. On the left is a rough section of the Third Avenue Regrade in the spring of 1907. (Courtesy, MOHAI)
NOW: Jean Sherrard moved a few yards east up Columbia Street from the unnamed historical photographer’s prospect in order to look north down the typical sixteen-foot wide central business district alley.
NOW: Jean Sherrard moved a few yards east up Columbia Street from the unnamed historical photographer’s prospect in order to look north down the typical sixteen-foot wide central business district alley.

Drivers and riders who continue to be confused and/or delayed by the city’s “Mercer Mess” south of Lake Union may find some consolation by reflecting on the Central Business District’s public works schedule a century ago.  This look north from Columbia Street, mid-block between Third and Fourth Avenues, is dated April 15, 1907.  At the far left, Third Avenue, at its intersection with Marion Street, has been cut (lowered) about fifteen feet.  All traffic on Third, Columbia, and Marion has, of course, been cut off as well.

Third Ave. Regrade 1906, looking north over Marion Street.  The Third Ave. Theatre, its tower half-decapitated, stands on the far side of the Madison Street Cable Railway trestle.  The upper-right corner shows the west facade of the Lincoln Hotel at the northwest corner of 4th Ave. and Madison Street.
Third Ave. Regrade 1906, looking north over Marion Street. The Third Ave. Theatre, its tower half-decapitated, stands on the far side of the Madison Street Cable Railway trestle. The upper-right corner shows the west facade of the Lincoln Hotel at the northwest corner of 4th Ave. and Madison Street.

Still, pedestrians could transcend the upheaval on Third by crossing the temporary, if spindly, viaduct, left-of-center. It passes high above the mess to reach a pre-regrade sidewalk that survives below the south façade of the Second Empire-styled Stacy Mansion, with both tower and roof-top pergola.  This grand residence was, however,

The Stacy Mansion at the northeast corner of 3rd Ave. and Marion Street, circa 1890.
The Stacy Mansion at the northeast corner of 3rd Ave. and Marion Street, circa 1890.
The Third Ave. regrade with the Marion Street pedestrian trestle on the left, the Stacy mansion, left of center, and the Standler Hotel, right of center.  Foundation work for the Central Building has yet to begin.  Note the Third Ave. Theatre with its full top, far-left.
The Third Ave. regrade with the Marion Street pedestrian trestle on the left, the Stacy mansion, left of center, and the Standler Hotel, right of center. Foundation work for the Central Building has yet to begin. Note the Third Ave. Theatre with its full top, far-left.

hardly a home.  It was built in 1885 by Elizabeth and Martin Van Buren Stacy, an often-warring couple who did not move in until 1887.  Following the migration up First Hill of Seattle’s most affluent families, the land-rich Stacys soon built another mansion at the northeast corner of Madison Street and Boren Avenue.  Martin, however, hardly moved. Preferring the acquisitive culture of the business district to the high society on the Hill, he lived mostly in hotels and clubs.

The steam shovel on the left seems to be cutting into bluff for the Trust company's Central Building.  This look south on Third Ave. was taken from the pedestrian overpass on Marion, seen twice above.
The steam shovel on the left seems to be cutting into bluff for the Trust company’s Central Building. This look south on Third Ave. was taken from the pedestrian overpass on Marion, seen three times above.

The Stacy mansion, sitting at the center of the featured photograph, at the top, might be considered the intended subject.  It is not.  Rather, it’s the private work of cutting and hauling for the Trustee Company’s Central Building excavation site.  In the pit a steam shovel feeds a circle of horse teams waiting their turns and pulling high-centered dump-wagons. Far right, in the alley, the company’s sign stands above its construction office.

x-STimes-Oct.-7,-1906-full-page-on-Central-Bldg-WEB

A half year earlier in The Seattle Sunday Times of October 7, 1906, the Trustee Company shared its intentions with a full-page advertisement.  The Central Building promised to be “the most impressive and commodious office building in the Pacific Northwest.  Including the offices in the tower section, this building is to be twenty stories in height.”

x-Paul-A,-Central-Bldg-1906-WEB

With its tower centered high above Third Avenue, hand-colored postcards of the completed Central Building are still common and can be readily acquired, often cheaply, in stores selling historical ephemeraParts of the Central’s first four floors show to the left of the alley in Jean Sherrard’s repeat at the top.  The completed Central continues with four stories more to its full height of eight floors, and not twenty.  While not so grand as the Trustee Company had planned, the Central is still a cherished survivor of what through the first third of the twentieth century was Seattle’s affection for elegantly clad terra-cotta buildings.

A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map compliments of Historic Seattle and Ron Edge. (Ron scanned the complete map.)  Columbia Street runs along the bottom, while Third Avenue runs bottom-to-top left-of-center.
A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map compliments of Historic Seattle and Ron Edge. (Ron scanned the complete map.) Columbia Street runs along the bottom, while Third Avenue runs bottom-to-top left-of-center.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul? Ron? Jean?  Well . . . Ron Edge has put up five apts links directly below.   There is lots more on the neighborhood, some of it seen from the waterfront.   For instance, the first link below looks south on Third Avenue from near Spring Street and so through Madison Street and beyond to the Marion Street intersection, where right-of-center the Gothic Revival First Methodist Church stands with its spire at what would soon be the northwest corner of the Central Building at the southeast corner of Marion and Third.    But now we confess that we are almost broken down.  This computer or the program for running the blog is gummed.   We will  return tomorrow to find, we hope, that it has recovered some speed.   Meanwhile please explore the links below.

THEN: The city's regrading forces reached Sixth Avenue and Marion Street in 1914. A municipal photographer recorded this view on June 24. Soon after, the two structures left high here were lowered to the street. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)

THEN: Looking north from Seneca Street on Third Avenue during its regrade in 1906.  (Photo by Lewis Whittelsey, Courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

SETTINGS FOR A FALLEN LEAF

I’ve grown fond lately of returning to the snapshots I took of the neighborhood during my nearly daily Wallingford Walks between 2006 and 2010.  (I should probably still be at it.)   I’ll share (or push) some of these over the next few days or longer, and find a general name for them all later.    Here is No.1, which is really twenty settings I made for a fallen Wallingford leaf in 2008.   [click to enlarge]

20redLEAFsettingsGRAB-12_13_8-WEB

Seattle Now & Then: Roll on, Columbia Street

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: In this 1887 look up Columbia Street from the waterfront is the bell tower of the fire station, tucked into the hill on the right. It would soon fail to halt the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. The station and everything between it and Elliott Bay were reduced to ashes, smoldering bricks and offshore pilings shortened like cigars. (courtesy, Kurt Jackson)
THEN: In this 1887 look up Columbia Street from the waterfront is the bell tower of the fire station, tucked into the hill on the right. It would soon fail to halt the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. The station and everything between it and Elliott Bay were reduced to ashes, smoldering bricks and offshore pilings shortened like cigars. (courtesy, Kurt Jackson)
NOW: After the Great Fire, the waterfront was extended farther into Elliott Bay, first above pilings and eventually on fill packed behind a seawall.
NOW: After the Great Fire, the waterfront was extended farther into Elliott Bay, first above pilings and eventually on fill packed behind a seawall.

Charles Morford, who migrated with his parents from Iowa in the spring of 1887, was 20 years old when he recorded this unique Seattle cityscape a few months later. Morford’s subject looks east up Columbia Street from the Seattle waterfront as far as the Coppin water works at Ninth Avenue. The four-story tower’s open First Hill observatory stood 300 feet above Morford’s prospect. The well below it supplied most of the neighborhood, and its bored-log pipes reached down the hill at least as far as James Colman’s mansion. Its Italianate tower also breaks the horizon, here at the southeast corner of Columbia and Fourth Avenue.

We may be confident that the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway baggage/express car, at the bottom, is new. By historian Thomas Prosch’s reckoning in his “Chronological History of Seattle” (1901), the car was delivered in September 1887. This timing is in fine coincidence with the construction scaffolding attached to the Toklas and Singerman Department Store, on the right. The rough lumber is soon to come down. The store was completed on Sept. 28, although the formal opening waited until Nov. 9.

A few days after the opening of the department store, which was then the highest building in Seattle, the railway was also celebrating. On Thanksgiving Day it gave 108 locals a free round-trip ride to its then new end-of-the-line in Bothell.

Included among Morford’s surviving glass-plate negatives are several more of the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern. At what point Morford also became an employee of this railway is unclear. But in the fall of 1887 he would not yet have known that most of his gainful employment here would be with the retail business behind the scaffolding. Morford became a clerk, first, with MacDougal Southwick, the partnership that bought out Toklas and Singerman in 1892. Morford soon became the store’s general manager and one of its stockholders.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  The solo feature that Ron Edge pulled and placed directly below includes several subjects that relate to this week’s feature.   The “lead” feature, printed here below, shows the Toklas and Singerman department store completed, and so without the scaffolding that hides its north facade in the prime feature at the top.  The reader may wish to search the several other features that can be found by clicking on the link.   Please give special attention to one about the 1884 snow as seen looking east up the waterfront from close to the same prospect that Morford used for his shot at the top.   Much has changed in these three short years that felt both the lingering effects of the 1883 recession and the general excitement of the completion of the Norther Pacific to the northwest, also  in 1883.   Seattle’s boom years were at the front door, which is to say, both on the waterfront and heading this way from Chicago, Portland and, resentfully from Tacoma too, across the tideflats south of King Street on rails.

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FOLLOWS NOW (soon) A FEW MORE PHOTOS OF THE WATERFRONT AT or NEAR COLUMBIA STREET

A Peterson and Bros. photograph taken from the end of a dog-legged Yesler Wharf and looking up Columbia Street on the right in 1878.  Note the tower for the "White Church" on the right, the Methodist Episcopalian congregation that was the first in Seattle.  It sits there at the second lot south of Columbia on the east side of Second Avenue.  Also note that for the most part First Hill has been denuded of the virgin forest that still covered this skyline as late as 1872.
A Peterson and Bros. photograph taken from the end of a dog-legged Yesler Wharf and looking up Columbia Street on the right in 1878. Note the tower for the “White Church” on the right, the Methodist Episcopalian congregation that was the first in Seattle. It sits there at the second lot south of Columbia on the east side of Second Avenue. Also note that for the most part First Hill has been denuded of the virgin forest that still covered this horizon as late as 1872.
Seattle's first church the "White Church" and the Methodist Episcopalian parish home to this side of it on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and Columbia in the 1870s.
Seattle’s first church, the “White Church,” and the Methodist Episcopalian parsonage to this side of it on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and Columbia in the 1870s.
The waterfront ca. 1884 with an early Colman Dock on the left, Columbia Street on the right, and a short feature essay below the contemporary repeat photographed officially - only - in the anxious glow of 911 by Shawn Devine, and employee of the Washington State Ferries.
The waterfront ca. 1885 with an early Colman Dock on the left, Columbia Street on the right, and a short feature essay below (after I search and find it tomorrow), and the contemporary repeat photographed officially – only – in the anxious glow of 9/11 by Shawn Devine, an employee of the Washington State Ferries.

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COLMAN DOCK AND THE WATERFRONT ca. 1886 (text to come)

Seattle's Great Fire of June 6, 1889 reaches the foot of Columbia and the depot for the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway, and will soon consume it and everything south of it to the tideflats.
Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889 reaches the foot of Columbia and the depot for the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway, and will soon consume it and everything south of it to the tideflats.

McManus-1889-fire,-prob-Columbia-st-WEB

Columbia Street looking west from the waterfront in the first year following the 1889 fire.  The new Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern depot is on the right, and the rear facade of the new Toklas and Singerman Department Sore rise five stories behind it. Photo taken by the Nothern Pacific Railroad's official photographer, F. J. Haynes. (Courtesy, Tacoma Public Library and Murray Morgan)
Columbia Street looking west from the waterfront in the first year following the 1889 fire. The new Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern depot is on the right, and the rear facade of the new Toklas and Singerman Department Sore rises five stories behind it. Photo taken by the Northern Pacific Railroad’s official photographer, F. J. Haynes. (Courtesy, Tacoma Public Library and Murray Morgan)
Horace Sykes' (or possibly Robert Bradley's) look east up Columbia Street from the top of the new - and as yet not used for traffic - Alaskan Way Viaduct aka Freeway.
Horace Sykes’ (or possibly Robert Bradley’s) look east up Columbia Street from the top of the new – and as yet not used for traffic – Alaskan Way Viaduct aka Freeway in 1953.

 

 

Now & Then here and now

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