HELIX – RETURN of the REDUX

04-07-05-01 banner

HELIX – The Return of the REDUX
From Paul Dorpat and Bill White
The five issues of Helix freshly posted below are a continuation of what was posted  previously – where we let off many months ago. With this return we embrace again our intention to post them all, although most likely with less rigor. It may be a month or more before we post another one. In this we also depend upon Ron Edge who has done the scanning, and so well. Bill and I hope that you will also respond and reflect on what you read – any or all parts of it. Record your comments on anything you read in these Helixes, and send the MP3 to Bill at BWhi61@hotmail.com by the end of April, at which time Bill will edit audio histories from the MP3’s he receives and post them here with the Helix issues. If you prefer to post a written commentary or response, please join our Helix Redux Facebook site, home of lively conversations on all things Helix and related. https://www.facebook.com/groups/217636941681376/

POSTSCRIPT:  MP3’s received after the end of April may be included in the next issue to be posted.

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Below is a photograph of the concert advertised at the bottom of the back cover of Vol. 4 No.8

Love Love U District Festival Oct 1, 1968 2k

 

Seattle Now & Then: Swedish Baptists in Ballard

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Built in 1910, Ballard’s big brick church on the northwest corner of 20th Avenue NW and NW 63rd Street lost the top of its soaring tower following the earthquake of Nov. 12, 1939.
THEN: Built in 1910, Ballard’s big brick church on the northwest corner of 20th Avenue NW and NW 63rd Street lost the top of its soaring tower following the earthquake of Nov. 12, 1939. (courtesy, Swedish Club)
NOW: Serving Ballard Baptist Church since 1981, minister Don Duncan here stands near the church steps on a bright March morning.
NOW: Serving Ballard Baptist Church since 1981, minister Don Duncan here stands near the church steps on a bright March morning.
A notice for the Ballard Baptist Church from The Seattle Times for Oct. 4, 1947.
A notice for the Ballard Baptist Church from The Seattle Times for Oct. 4, 1947.

There’s a popular and abiding Ballardian legend that when still young and independent of Seattle, the “shingle capitol of the world” had as many bars as churches – or, alternately, as many churches as bars.  Most of the dives were on Ballard Avenue, but churches seemed to be on every Ballard block. 

For instance: one of the many Lutheran churches in Ballard early in the 20th Century, but one which block, we have not as yet determined.  Perhaps a reader will peg it.
For instance: one of the many Lutheran churches in Ballard early in the 20th Century, but one which block, we still do not know. Perhaps a reader will peg it.

This week’s historical photograph was shared by Kristine Leander, the Executive Director of the local Swedish Club.  It is but one print of about ninety included in a large album of subjects recorded mostly in the 1920s by Klaes Nordquist, a professional photographer with studios both downtown and on Market Street in Ballard.  Many of the prints are of Swedish subjects, such as the Swedish Hospital, the Swedish Business Men’s Association posing at Snoqualmie Falls Lodge – with  women –  and this Baptist church.

The Swedish Hosptial ca. 1920 by Lin
The Swedish Hosptial at Columbia (in the foreground) and Summit, ca. 1920 by Klaes Nordquist, and courtesy of the Swedish Club.  (We have a feature or two treating on  the Swedish Hospital, should you like to key-word it.
Swedish Business Men's Association at the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge, May 14, 1921. By
Swedish Business Men’s Association at the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge, May 14, 1921. By K. Nordquist, courtesy of the Swedish Club.

When Director Leander and I first thumbed through the album I was startled by the size of this church and the sinking sense that in spite of having an enduring memory for churches, especially ones with soaring towers, and having bumped about Ballard for years, still I did not know it.  However, the name came quickly with the help of magnification and Nordquist’s fine grain print.  On the reader board to the right of the smaller door, far-right, the name, Ballard Swedish Baptist Church can be read.  

The side door to Ballard Swedish Baptist on 20th Ave. NW.
The side door to Ballard Swedish Baptist on 20th Ave. NW.

When the tall church was going up (for $20,000) in 1910 on the northwest corner of 20th Avenue NW and NW 63rd Street, the “superstructure” was touted as the “second largest in the state of Washington.”  While we may doubt that claim, we are still impressed.  In addition to the hundred-foot tower, the sanctuary featured a 900-seat auditorium for the then 200 ambitious and hopeful members of a different congregation, the Second Baptist Church. The Swedish Baptists were meeting two blocks south in a modest timber church built in 1904 at NW 61st Street.  Two years after Second Baptist’s dedication of their oversized sanctuary, the congregation was still struggling to pay the mortgage. In three years more they swapped this landmark, still with its tower intact, on 63rd with the flourishing Swedes on 61st.  The Swedes , of course, also assumed the debt on the house of worship for which they traded.  

An early sketch of the church on the eve of its construction, when it was still the First Baptist Church of Ballard.  The Seattle Times clipping is dated August 30, 1910.
An early sketch of the church on the eve of its construction, when it was still the First Baptist Church of Ballard. The Seattle Times clipping is dated August 30, 1910. CLICK TO ENLARGE

In the mid-1920s the church’s tradition of scheduling the Swedish service on Sunday mornings and the English for the evenings was reversed.  Of course, by then the church families were raising kids routinely using English in the public schools, and probably at home as well.  According to Don Duncan, minister at Ballard Baptist since 1981, “Swedish” was excused from the name in 1934. By the memory of Alice Anderson, the oldest member of Ballard Baptist, the ornate top of the tower was removed after it was damaged in the earthquake of Nov. 12, 1939.

A full page in The Seattle Times for Nov. 13, 1939 about the earthquake that while it did not topple it doomed it.
A full page in The Seattle Times for Nov. 13, 1939 about the earthquake that while it did not make note of the tower nor topple it still doomed it.  [By Every Means CLICK TO READ]

WEB EXTRAS

I’ll lead off by throwing down a couple of interior photos.

Rev. Duncan is justly proud of Ballard Baptist's stained glass
Rev. Duncan is justly proud of Ballard Baptist’s stained glass
Flags at the back of the church represent the many nationalities of the congregation
Flags at the back of the church represent the many nationalities of the congregation

Then I’ll up the ante with a shot of the spare church on 61st!

Formerly Swedish
Swedish Baptist, earlier version

Call, raise, or fold, fellahs?

Jean and Dear Readers.  While the former – Jean, for himself and his family – is off to the Islands for a vacation, the latter – Ron and I, while holding to the  mainland and working for the readers, will first put up eight or nine links to past Ballard subjects – Ballard and Phinney Ridge.   Surely those are not all we have, even of those cozy in our scanned library.  Like those in past blog features, these nine will proliferate with their own links and so on and on.  We will follow these with a few features so distant (to the rear or ago) that until now they have not made it into this useful, that is scanned, library.   All of it will be concluded first with a 1919 clipping of a few church alternatives, and last with a 2006 photograph of three members of the Ballard Sedentary Marching Band, standing in Meridian Park, ca. 2008, and so not in Ballard but rather here in Wallingford, the Gateway to Ballard.  And that’s it.

THEN: The Ballard Public Library in 1903-4, and here the Swedish Baptist Church at 9th and Pine, 1904-5, were architect Henderson Ryan’s first large contracts after the 20 year old southerner first reached Seattle in 1898.   Later he would also design both the Liberty and Neptune Theatres, the latter still projecting films in the University District. (Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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

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)

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FOUR MORE CHURCHES RELATED EITHER TO BALLARD OR SWEDES

The Finish-Evangelical Church at 1709, NW 65th Street.  This too is from the Swedish Club album.
The Finish-Evangelical Church at 1709, NW 65th Street. This too is from the Swedish Club album.
The Finish sanctuary was later converted into a residence and it survives as such.  I visited it in the late 1990s as part of a party for a dinner that was remarkable, and is still remembered.  The party was also entertained with a performance on the couples grand piano of several Chopin piano compositions, although I can not longer name them.
The Finish sanctuary was later converted into a residence and it survives as such. I visited it in the late 1990s as part of a party for a dinner that was remarkable, and is still remembered. The party was also entertained with a performance on the couples grand piano of several Chopin piano compositions, although I can not longer name them.   The “now” here was borrowed courtesy of Google Earth, Street Views.

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As the real photo postcard artist Oakes captions it, this is the First Presbyterian Church of Ballard at
As the real photo postcard artist Oakes captions it, this is the First Presbyterian Church of Ballard at the northeast corner of Market Street and 17th Avenue Northwest.
First appeared in Pacific for the May 10, 1996 issue.
First appeared in Pacific for the May 10, 1996 issue.   If you read it you may note that I used these Presbyterians the same proverbial wit about Ballard’s bars and churches that I used for today’s feature.  And I also leaned again on the well-wrought and well-worn hyperbole identifying Ballard as the “Shingle Capital of the World.’  Given a chance I’d do the same for the Buddhists.

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Bethany Lutheran Church at the northeast corner of   . This is another contribution by the Swedish Club.  Note that this Nordquiist print, while similar to the one in the clipping that follows is not the same.
Bethany Lutheran Church at the northeast corner of . This is another contribution by the Swedish Club. Note that this Nordquist print, while similar to the one in the clipping that follows is not the same.
This feature first appeared in Pacific April 25, 1999.
This feature first appeared in Pacific April 25, 1999.
Looking across Latona to the Bethany Lutheran sanctuary.  Given the vintage of the cars of the street, could these repairs on the steeple have something to do with the 1949 quake?
Looking across Latona to the Bethany Lutheran sanctuary. Given the vintage of the cars of the street, could these repairs on the steeple have something to do with the 1949 quake?

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First-Covenant-Church-c1902-WEB

First published in Pacific on Feb. 3, 2000.
First published in Pacific on Feb. 3, 2000.
Another Nordquist print used courtesy of the Swedish Club.
Another Nordquist print used courtesy of the Swedish Club.

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BALLARD BRIDGE – FIRST AND LAST TRACK-BOUND TROLLEYS

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First  appears in Pacific, Dec. 9, 1990
First appears in Pacific, Dec. 9, 1990

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A sampler of religious attractions published in The Times for Sept. 27, 1919.
A sampler of religious attractions published in The Times for Sept. 27, 1919.  By Every Means – CLICK TO READ   Click Twice on MACS.

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FRESH AND LOOSE from Ballard, three members of the Ballard Sedentary Marching Band before - or perhaps after - a concert at the Good Shepherd's Bandstand in Wallingford.   The well decorated veteran on the left may not be a member of the band.  I remember him better from the pubs of Pioneer Square.  This dates from about 2007 and was taken during my daily Wallingford Walks then.
FRESH AND LOOSE from Ballard, this brass quartet has been pulled from the Ballard Sedentary Marching Band before – or perhaps after – a concert at the Good Shepherd’s Bandstand in Wallingford. The well decorated veteran on the left may not be a member of the quartet or marching band.  I remember him better from the pubs of Pioneer Square. This dates from about 2007 and was taken during my daily Wallingford Walks then.  The photo recalls the maxim “Give a man a horn and he will soon want a uniform.:

 

 

 

 

 

Seattle Now & Then: St. Vinnie’s in Belltown

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: St. Vincent de Paul’s first storefront opened in 1926 in Belltown’s grand clapboard hostelry at the corner of First and Battery.  Originally the Bellevue Hotel, it’s reduced here to the “house keeping and transient rooms” of the Bay State Hotel.  (MOHAI)
THEN: St. Vincent de Paul’s first storefront opened in 1926 in Belltown’s grand clapboard hostelry at the corner of First and Battery. Originally the Bellevue Hotel, it’s reduced here to the “house keeping and transient rooms” of the Bay State Hotel. (MOHAI)
NOW: One of the four St. Vinnie’s red trucks now running picks up some donations from the proprietors of the Sarajevo Lounge, a trendy Belltown Balkan dining establishment at the corner once home to St. Vincent de Paul’s first storefront thrift store.
NOW: One of the four St. Vinnie’s red trucks now running picks up some donations from the proprietors of the Sarajevo Lounge, a trendy Belltown Balkan dining establishment at the corner once home to St. Vincent de Paul’s first storefront thrift store.

Here stands, and it seems also poses, the St. Vincent de Paul’s truck in front of its thrift store at the southeast corner of First Avenue and Battery Street.  With help from MOHAI librarian Carolyn Marr, we know the date of this Webster and Stevens studio photo is1926.  And from Jim McFarland, director of communications for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County, we learn that on the first of April of that year the Society opened its Salvage Bureau in Belltown.  This first storefront was in the grand hotel that Seattle pioneer William Bell built in 1883.  Aside from its busy months following the city’s Great Fire of 1889, the Bellevue Hotel, with its distinguishing central tower, never flourished, nor did the Belltown neighborhood.

The Bell Hotel at the southeast corner of First Ave. (formerly Front St.) and Battery Street in the late 1890s.  The Asa Bell Building stands beside it.
The Bell Hotel at the southeast corner of First Ave. (formerly Front St.) and Battery Street in the late 1890s. The Asa Bell Building stands beside it.
A panorama of three photos taken by Charles Morford in 1887-88.  Someday we will narrow it down.  The photos were taken from the rear of the  Bell (or Bellview) hotel.  If you click the pan you should be able to read the text.  That's Queen Anne Hill on  most of horizo, and Battery Street leading east on the right with the Denny School (1884) at the northeast corner of 5th and Battery.
A panorama of three photos taken by Charles Morford in 1887-88. Someday we will narrow it down. The photos were taken from the rear of the Bell (or Bellview) hotel. If you click the pan you should be able to read the text. That’s Queen Anne Hill on most of horizon, and Battery Street leading east on the right with the Denny School (1884) at the northeast corner of 5th and Battery.

We may prefer to imagine that this delivery van is painted red, the color now long-associated with St. Vinnie’s rolling stock.  The truck is packed with items we might still expect to find in a St. Vinnie’s thrift store: a bird cage or two, some furniture, and, probably for the presentation of this portrait, a man’s coat and vest hanging unbuttoned above the rear wheel.  Through the windows of the Salvage Bureau we can find more of the things commonly available from this not-for-profit economy, noted for its low prices, useful employment, and array of charitable services.  The china, utensils, books (on the table) and framed art (on the wall) are the first examples of what by now for eighty-eight years have been effectively transformed into the Society’s social services, often carried to families in need by the Society’s more than 1000 volunteers here in King County.

A clip - P-I, Sun or Times, I'm not sure - from April 12, 1937.
A clip – P-I, Sun or Times, I’m not sure – from April 12, 1937.

In 1931, from its location in Bell’s hotel, by then renamed the Bay State (razed in 1937), St. Vincent conducted a clearance sale here while preparing to move its Salvage Bureau, first to a warehouse at Valley Street and Taylor Avenue, then on to a home many of us still fondly remember: St. Vinnie’s sprawling market of thrift at the southeast corner of Lake Union.  (The very last of the Edge Links, attache below, is of a Times now-and-feature about the Lake Union St. Vinnies.)

Here I will make something like a full disclosure by noting a ‘family resemblance’ that Jean Sherrard and I share.  Both Jean’s father Don and my oldest brother Ted and sister-in-law Klarese shopped for household goods at St. Vinnie’s while attending the UW Medical School and interning at Harborview Hospital.  Both families made their first homes, conveniently and inexpensively, at the nearby Yesler Terrace. That was in the early 60s for Don and the 1950s for Ted.  St. Vincent de Paul now runs thrift stores in Kent, Burien and Kenmore and in Seattle at 575 Rainier Avenue North and at 13555 Aurora Avenue North. You can either carry your donations to any one of the Society’s stores or call 206 767 3835 for a visit from the bright red truck.

WEB EXTRAS

I’ll include a snapshot from our First Avenue session with the Red Truck:

Right to left: Jim McFarland, Sarajevo manager, and Ben
Right to left: Jim McFarland with the manager of the Sarajevo and Ben the driver

Anything to add, boys?  Yup.  With four hands Ron and I have pulled up ten links that are filled with Belltown Neighborhood links, the last one generously considered, as noted, on the south shore of Lake Union.   Ten links yes, but only on the face of it.  If they are explored, they include among them more than 55 features including a few Belltown waterfront essays pulled from our illustrated history of the Seattle Waterfront, which can be explored in-toto through our books botton – somewhere on this page.   After the links – if time allows – we’ll put a up a few more relevant brevities.  We begin it all again with a snapshot found while searching for this and that.  Just below is the famous “Dude” and I at the Belltown Cafe across First Avenue from the hotel in 1979 or perhaps 1980.   Note the wonderful rendering of an business-sized stove above Jeff’s head.   And my one-of-a-kind down vest designed and sewn by Kathy Hope.  The Belltown Cafe is remember with great fondness by many.

A Booth in the Belltown Cafe, ca. 1979 (or 80) across First Avenue from the site of the old Bell Hotel (razed in 1937) in Belltown, of course.  Jeff Down on the left and Paul Dorpat, otherwise.
A Booth in the Belltown Cafe, ca. 1979 (or 80) across First Avenue from the site of the old Bell Hotel (razed in 1937) in Belltown, of course. the celebrated ‘The Dude”Jeff Down on the left and to the side, or otherwise Paul Dorpat.

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THEN: In 1910, a circa date for this look north on First Avenue across Virginia Street, the two corners on the east side of the intersection were still undeveloped – except for signs.  The Terminal Sales Building, seen far right in Jean Sherrard’s repeat, did not replace the billboards that crowd the sidewalk in the “then” until 1923.  (Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN:  Louis Rowe’s row of storefronts at the southwest corner of First Ave. (then still named Front Street) and Bell Street appear in both the 1884 Sanborn real estate map and the city’s 1884 birdseye sketch.  Most likely this view dates from 1888-89.  (Courtesy: Ron Edge)

THEN: A circa 1912 look at the Wall Street finger pier from the foot, not of Wall, but Battery Street. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: A float for the 1911 Potlatch parade carries piggyback a smaller 1897 version of a Polk City Directory on a much bigger 1911 copy.  The fourteen years between them is meant to symbolize the growth of the city since the Alaskan/Yukon gold rush of 1897 that the Golden Potlatch of 1911 was created to commemorate.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/bell-st-bridge-then-web1.jpg?w=1079&h=647

THEN: Werner Lenggenhager's recording of the old St. Vinnie's on Lake Union's southwest shore in the 1950s should remind a few readers of the joys that once were theirs while searching and picking in that exceedingly irregular place.

The turned investigator investigated, another side of Stephen Lundgren.
The turned investigator investigated, another side of Stephen Lundgren.

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BELLTOWN CA. 1887 – LOOKING NORTH From SECOND & BLANCHARD

BELLTOWN with the Bell home and the hotel too with its mansard roof and tower at the northeast corner of Front (First) and Battery, ca. 1887.
BELLTOWN with the Bell home and the hotel too with its mansard roof and tower at the northeast corner of Front (First) and Battery, ca. 1887.  CLICK THE ABOVE AND THE BELOW

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WATKINS look into Belltown from Denny Hill.  Compare this 1882 view with the one above it.  CLICK to ENLARGE
WATKINS look into Belltown from Denny Hill. Compare this 1882 view with the one above it. CLICK to ENLARGE

Below: FURTHER UP THE HILL and LATER: APRIL 13, 1912  (Courtesy MOHAI)   CLICK to ENLARGE

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The BELLTOWN P-PATCH and its COTTAGES

cottages, Seattle,-Vine-Street-bungalows-Belltown-WEB

First published in Pacific Northwest, Nov. 30, 1997.
First published in Pacific Northwest, Nov. 30, 1997.

cottages Seattle-Vine-Street-Bungalows,-back,WEB-Belltown

cottages - dorpat-Belltown-P-Patch10_27_97-WEB

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Seattle Now & Then: “Murder” on Aurora

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Like violence in a classic Greek play, the carnage suggested by this 1934 crash scene on the then new Aurora speedway was kept off stage, either behind the city’s official photographer, or in the county morgue.   (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive.)
THEN: Like violence in a classic Greek play, the carnage suggested by this 1934 crash scene on the then new Aurora speedway was kept off stage, either behind the city’s official photographer, or in the county morgue. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)
NOW:  In the mid-1970s the three- mile long “Jersey Barrier,” named for the state where it was first used, was installed down the center-line of Aurora Avenue, north of the Battery Street subway, to the southern boundary of Woodland Park.  Each of the barrier’s pre-cast 20-foot long segments weighed about three tons.
NOW: In the mid-1970s the three- mile long “Jersey Barrier,” named for the state where it was first used, was installed down the center-line of Aurora Avenue, north of the Battery Street subway, to the southern boundary of Woodland Park. Each of the barrier’s pre-cast 20-foot long segments weighed about three tons.

Few Seattle streets – perhaps no other Seattle street – have accumulated such a record of carnage as its first “speedway,” Aurora Avenue.  From Broad Street north to the then new Aurora Bridge, the speedway opened to traffic in the spring of 1933.

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ABOVE: Looking north from the new speedway’s beginnings just north of Denny Way, and thru one of the city’s busiest  intersections where both Broad and Mercer Streets crossed Aurora through traffic lights, years before both streets were routed below Aurora and its only stop-and-go light south of the Aurora Bridge.   BELOW: The nearly new Aurora Bridge, the north end of the speedway’s first section, the one opened in 1933, although this record was made later – late enough for the speedway to be extended through Aurora Park.

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A traffic expert from Chicago described this nearly two-mile long speedway as “the best express highway in the U.S.”  Its exceptional qualities were the six lanes – eight counting the two outside lanes for parking or rush hour traffic – and the speed limit of 30 mph. Still, Aurora had the arterial worries of cross-streets, left turns, and head-on traffic, plus the extraordinary risk of pedestrians negotiating the ninety feet from curb to curb.  For these endangered pedestrians traffic engineers built what they called “safety islands.”   You see one above (at the top), looking north from the Crockett Street crosswalk in 1934.  Just below is the same (if I’ve figured it correctly) island, only looking at it from the north and four years later on Sept. 21, 1938.

Looking south along the not-so-safe center-line of Aurora towards the Crockett Ave. safety island.  Below, is a detail from the same 1938 negative.
Looking south along the not-so-safe center-line of Aurora towards the Crockett Ave. safety island. Below, is a detail from the same 1938 negative.
A detail of the subject above it.
A detail of the subject above it.

No pedestrian was injured in the mess recorded at the top.  It was made around 2:30 in the morning on January 19, 1934.  Rather, it was 37-year-old Carl Scott who, heading south from the Aurora Bridge in his big Packard, crushed the north reinforced concrete pole of the safety island.  The Times, then an afternoon daily, explained front page: “Autoist Dies Instantly in Terrific Crash.”  Photographers from both The Times and the city’s department of public works reached the island after Scott’s body had been removed, but not the scattered parts of his sedan. In the accompanying photo at the top, the city’s photographer aimed north with his back to the intact south pole, possibly with its red light still blinking.    Interested readers will find The Times photos in this newspaper’s archive for the date of the crash.  (Ask your Seattle Public librarian – the archive can be accessed with a computer and a library card number.)

Some of The Seattle Time Jan. 19, 1934 coverage of
Some of The Seattle Time Jan. 19, 1934 coverage of Carl Scott’s crash and death.
The same section of speedway recorded in the primary photo at the top.
The same section of speedway recorded in the primary photo at the top.
A long Seattle Times clip from Dec. 8, 1937, which seeks and finds a variety of local opinions of what to make of the "safety islands."
A long Seattle Times clip from Dec. 8, 1937, which seeks and finds a variety of local opinions of what to make of and do about the “safety islands.”   CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE

After a few more speedway accidents and deaths (see more clips below), The Times turned from seeking advice on how to improve and protect these imperfect pedestrian bulwarks to a campaign for getting rid of these targets for “the brotherhood of bad drivers . . . careless, reckless, defective, drunken and sleeping.”  Headlines for the December 2, 1937, issue read, in part “Stop Murder On Aurora – Center-Pillars Are Death Magnets.”  The following March, after another motorist lost his battle with a safety island, the newspaper’s librarian calculated that thirty-eight persons had died in Aurora Ave. traffic accidents since the highway was opened in 1932.  Eighteen of these were killed hitting “safety” islands.  By then, Times reporters were instructed always to put safety in quote marks when running with island, as in “safety” island.

Most of Times reporter
Most of Times reporter Robert A. Barr’s Feb. 14, 1973 summary of safety island history on the eve of the installation of the “Jersey Barrier” down the center of the by then forty year old speedway.   Directly below is a detail of a section of center-stripe that was meant to alert drivers with a grid of raised bumps.   This subject dates from July 25, 1945.
The installation of this bumpy center strip failed to stop the carnage.
The installation of this bumpy center strip failed to stop the carnage.
From The Times, May 30, 1949.
From The Times, May 30, 1949.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?

Jean as sure as something has to give, we will too.  Below, Ron Edge has again put up some fertile links: eight of them, and we may add one or two  more tomorrow.   If you click to open the first of these, which features the Arabian Theatre, it will include (as we hope some of you will already anticipate) its own “web extras.”  We will name these added features as lures to clicking.  They are illustrated stories about the nearby intersection of Aurora and 84th Ave., a feature about the swath of clear-cutting that ran through Woodland Park in prelude to cutting the park in two with the paving of Aurora Avenue.  Next you will find the story of the Twin T-P’s restaurant, a local landmark which was razed in the night, unannounced.  Green Lake’s northwest swimming beach follows, and then also the story of Maust Transfer’s original flatiron quarters (before moving to Pier 54) at Winona and 73rd.

Continuing our promotion of links, the Signal Station story below, includes within it features about two once cherished speedway cafes: the Igloo, and the Dog House.   It includes as well features on the Aurora Speed Bowl and the pedestrian overpass between Fremont and Wallingford – although some Fremont partisans will insist that it is between two Fremonts: Central and East.   And as a lesson in our oft-quoted mother’s truism that “Repetition is the mother of all learning.” Ron has included down below the overpass link on its own.  It will surely have other links within it.   After the links we will finish with a few more Times clips and more speedway photos too.  A trip to nighty-bears follows, and eight hours more some proof-reading too.

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Not to click for more story - only to enlarge.  The subject here is below the viaduct and on its east or Wallingford* side.  * aka East Fremont.
Not to click for more story – only to enlarge. The subject here is below the viaduct and on its east or Wallingford* side. * aka East Fremont.

THEN:

THEN: Far-left, Playland’s Acroplane, a carni’ flight-simulator, stands admired by future pilots in 1932. Behind them sprawls the amusement park’s fated Fun House. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: Chalk-written real estate notices to the sides of Seattle’s Aurora Speedway in 1937 prelude by several decades the profession’s book and computer listings and the expectation of some that an agent will now be driving a Mercedes.  (Courtesy, Washington State Archives, Bellevue Community College branch.)

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Roughed at its foot but not fallen, an Aurora Safety Island on Dec. 3, 1937.  (Courtesy the Seattle Times)
Roughed at its foot but not fallen, an Aurora Safety Island on Dec. 3, 1937. (Courtesy the Seattle Times)
Today's Traffic Lesson on March 27, 1939.
Today’s Traffic Lesson on March 27, 1939.
Looking south on Aurora thru Roy and more safety islands on Dec. 8, 1938.
Looking south on Aurora thru Roy and more safety islands on Dec. 8, 1938. {Click to Enlarge]
A Seattle Times clip frm January 22, 1940.
A Seattle Times clip from January 22, 1940.
Aurora, looking north towards Ward Street on June 19,1940.
Aurora, looking north towards Ward Street on June 19,1940.
The Seattle Times, August 18, 1941
The Seattle Times, August 18, 1941
A City Light Clerk's shunned solution.
A City Light Clerk’s shunned solution.
North towards Valley and Aloha, on August 26, 1940
North towards Valley and Aloha, on August 26, 1940
Again near Crockett, this time two injured.  In The Times, August 25, 1950.
Again near Crockett, this time two injured. In The Times, August 25, 1950.
I expect by some its rarity but cannot prove it with any convincing negtive evidence (but it ever?) that such a press photo as this one for our local daily that depicts or reveals or exposes a victim-corpse is rare. The photo was printed on July 28, 1950.
I suspect but cannot prove that such a press photo as this that depicts or reveals or exposes a dying victim that has met an  irresistable object, including a safety island, is rare. The photo was printed in The Times on July 28, 1950.

CONCLUDING with a planned wreck from 1979.

Can you dear reader place this?
Can you dear reader place this?

 

 

Seattle Now & Then: Anderson Hall

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Named for a lumberman, and still home for the UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the upper floor’s high-ceilinged halls, including the Forest Club Room behind Anderson Hall’s grand Gothic windows, were described for us by the department’s gregarious telephone operator as “very popular and Harry Potterish.”   (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)
THEN: Named for a lumberman, and still home for the UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the upper floor’s high-ceilinged halls, including the Forest Club Room behind Anderson Hall’s grand Gothic windows, were described for us by the department’s gregarious telephone operator as “very popular and Harry Potterish.” (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)
NOW: With many new campus structures built nearby along Stevens Way, Anderson Hall holds to its elegance while waiting for its turn at restoration.
NOW: With many new campus structures built nearby along Stevens Way, Anderson Hall holds to its elegance while waiting for its turn at restoration.

While driving West Stevens Way, the loop that nearly circles within the UW’s original interlake campus, both Jean and I were startled by the campus’s many new, and to us, seemingly instant landmarks – until we reached the familiar charms of Anderson Hall. There we settled down and Jean took this “repeat.”

With the Columns on the right holding the southeast border of the Sylvan Grove Theatre, the unnamed photographer looks southwest on S.Stevens Way NE to the east facade of Anderson Hall.
With the Columns on the right holding to the southeast border of the Sylvan Grove Theatre, an unnamed photographer looks southwest on S.Stevens Way NE to the east facade of Anderson Hall.
Another early view of the Columns in a ritual enactment of ecstatic dance exposed under a full moon.  The flower, we don't know.
Another early view of the Columns in a ritual enactment of ecstatic dance exposed under a full moon. The flower, we don’t know.

The hall is an exquisite example of Collegiate Gothic design.  It holds it pose at the most southern point in the loop, where West and East Stevens Ways merge. From Jean’s prospect, the landscape around the now 90-year-old Anderson Hall has been allowed to flourish, creating a fitting milieu for what was first called the University’s Department of Forestry but is now its School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. The Hall rests just west of Rainier Vista, that nearly 1500-foot-long green sward that opens and protects the University’s view of “The Mountain,” as seen from Drumheller Fountain.

Another Academic Gothic creation on the U.W. campus, but this time - 1928-29 - not by Bebb and Gould but by John Graham, Sr.
Another Academic Gothic creation on the U.W. campus, but this time – 1928-29 – not by Bebb and Gould but by John Graham, Sr.     Note the Engineering Department’s Sieg Hall on the far left.  It was a modern effort to keep the on-campus Gothic going.  It has not worn well, and yet survives.
Sieg Hall photographed by Victor Lygdman in the early 1960s, when it was new.
Sieg Hall photographed by Victor Lygdman in the early 1960s, when it was new.
Sieg Hall's Gothic variations resemble those used in the early 60's for the construction of Seattle Center's Science Center for the 1962 world's fair.  To one writer* the texture and coloring imply another variation, one of a Formica countertop or ashtray.   *this writer.
Sieg Hall’s Gothic variations resemble those used in the early 60’s for the construction of Seattle Center’s Science Center for the 1962 world’s fair. To one writer* the texture and coloring imply another variation, one on a Formica counter-top or ashtray.  On the inside, the windows “work,” but so does the commonplace wit that students have learned to use for this building, when asked how they liked it.  The answer, of course, being that inside Sieg Hall one does not have to look at it.  The first use of this joke may have been, if memory serves, by some famous Parisian, when asked what he thought of the Eiffel Tower when it was new.   *this writer.
Robert Bradley's ca. 1955 look southeast in line with the campus' Rainier Vista.
Robert Bradley’s ca. 1955 look southeast in line with the campus’ Rainier Vista.
I snapped this look back towards the center of campus from Stevens Way in 1985, I think.  Or near it.  I was on my was to Hub's parking lots for a rear approach to the Suzallo Library.  On such a snow-bound day, I figure, surely the campu police would not be checking my lack of credentials for parking in that most - of all - convenient lots.
I snapped this record of Rainier Vista with my back to the mountain, looking back towards the center of campus from Stevens Way in 1985, I think. Or near it. I was on my way to the Hub’s parking lots for a rear approach to the Suzallo Library. On such a snow-bound day, I figured, surely the campus police would not be checking anyone for credentials for parking in that most  convenient of lots.   And there was room.  And I got away with it.   Here, if we were to to pivot to the left and look west on Stevens Way we would be looking over the prospect used in our feature this week for both the Webster and Stevens and Jean Sherrard recordings.

Anderson Hall was a gift to the UW by Agnes Anderson, a Vassar graduate, who, it seems loved both higher education and her 6’5” tall husband, the “lumber king” Alfred H. Anderson. They came west in 1886, settled first in Shelton where they helped form the Simpson Logging Company, and then moved to Seattle’s somewhat exclusive First Hill. There they erected a big home made from lumber of many sorts, including panels of Honduran mahogany, rosewood, and Siberian oak.  (The Anderson home is featured in one of the Edge links below.)  Perhaps most famously, although rarely seen, was a marble bathroom with a ten-foot long bathtub for Alfred.  A hole was cut in the outer wall to install it.

To a trained eye - and by now your's too - Anderson Hall can be locateed in this 1937 aerial
To a trained eye – by ow your’s – Anderson Hall can be locateed in this 1937 aerial just below the subject’s center.   Note also the long swath of green lawn running southeast from the campus Drumheller Fountain, aka  Frosh Pond.
A 1939 vertical aerial of the campus, Anderson Hall included
A 1939 vertical aerial of the campus, Anderson Hall included.  A golf course covers the South Campus now given to the health sciences, and the wetlands of Union Bay are still free of the east campus parking – parking not nearly as convenient as that beside the HUB.
An Ellis aerial looking east over the UW campus
An Ellis aerial looking east over the UW campus in the 1950s.   Anderson Hall shows to the right.  Early conversion of the Montlake Dump for UW parking proceeds on the far left.
An aerial with a splendid witness to Anderson Hall on the left and the new UW Medical School above it.  Can you name the ship resting on Portage Bay?  Watch for clues on local billboards.
An aerial with a splendid witness to Anderson Hall on the left and the new UW Medical School above it. Can you name the ship resting on Portage Bay? Watch for clues on local billboards.

After her Alfred died in 1914, Agnes turned to philanthropy.  Among her beneficiaries is the on-going Agnes Healy Anderson Research Fellowship and, in 1925, Anderson Hall, her tribute to her husband.  Anderson Hall is one of the eighteen buildings that architect Carl Gould completed on the UW campus between 1915 and 1938.  Gould founded the school’s Department of Architecture in 1914.

The entrance off Red Square into the Suzzallo Library, March 1987.
The entrance off Red Square into the Suzzallo Library, March 1987.

Suzzallo Library (1922-27) and Anderson Hall (1924-25) are probably the most admired examples of Collegiate Gothic buildings that distinguish the campus core. University Press recently release a ‘bigger and better’ second edition of Shaping Seattle Architecture, edited by Jeffrey Karl Ochsner.  Authors T. William Booth and William H. Wilson, the book’s essayists on Gould and his partner Charles Bebb, describe Anderson Hall as the partners’ “most suavely detailed” contribution to the campus.

Album art for the Husky Cello Sextet's live dedicatory performance of Bachiana Brasileiras  in the U.W. underground parking lot below Red Square.  Good acoustics and free parking for the players who brought their own instruments.
Album art for the Husky Cello Sextet’s live dedicatory performance of Bachianas Brasileiras in the U.W. underground parking lot below Red Square. The event featured both good acoustics and free parking for the players.  And they brought their own instruments. (dedicated to Stephan Edwin Lundgren)

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?

Yes, but first Jean congratulations on your successful stage direction this Saturday afternoon of composer and librettist Jay Hamilton’s opera “The Map” in the Cornish auditorium – the one we fondly remember and still serving in the school’s old plant on Harvard Avenue.   Your good taste and stoic strengths have again proven themselves up for moving singers around the stage in, to complete its name,  this “opera with moments of comedy and Epicurean philosophy.”

This week, like others,  Ron Edge has put up several links to past features.  Again, some of them will be repetitive, like operatic leitmotifs, but others will be new to the blog.  Most will feature subjects from the U.W. campus.

As you know, in preparation for the book we hope to publish later this year, we have just completed making a list of all the weekly Pacific features we have put up since the early winter of 1982.  Of the – about – 1700 features handled, roughly fifty of them were about UW campus subjects.  Perhaps for a while we should slip out of that gown and keep to the town.    And yet fifty in thirty-three years only amounts to about one and one-half a year.  We’ll keep the robes on.  The campus deserves it.

THEN: An estimated 50 percent of the materials used in the old Husky Union Building were recycled into its recent remodel.  The new HUB seems to reach for the roof like its long-ago predecessor, the AYP’s landmark Forestry building.  (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Above Lake Washington’s Union Bay the Hoo-Hoo Building on the left and the Bastion facsimile on the right, were both regional departures from the classical beau arts style, the 1909 AYPE’s architectural commonplace. Courtesy John Cooper

THEN: For the four-plus months of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the center of commerce and pedestrian energy on University Way moved two blocks south from University Station on Northeast 42nd Street to here, Northeast 40th Street, at left.

THEN: The Gothic University of Washington Campus in 1946 beginning a seven-year crowding with prefabricated dormitories beside Frosh Pond. In the immediate background [on the right] is Guggenheim Hall.  (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/wash-state-bldg-then-mr1.jpg?w=812&h=463

======

Seattle Now & Then: The SINGULAR TRAFFIC TOWER at FOURTH and PIKE

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Looking west on Pike Street from Fourth Avenue, the variety in the first block of this retail district includes the Rhodes Bros. Ten Cent Store, Mendenhall’s Kodaks, Fountain Pens and Photo Supplies, Remick’s Song and Gift Shop, the Lotus Confectionary, Fahey-Brockman’s Clothiers, where, one may “buy upstairs and save $10.00”.  (Courtesy, MOHAI)
THEN: Looking west on Pike Street from Fourth Avenue, the variety in the first block of this retail district includes the Rhodes Bros. Ten Cent Store, Mendenhall’s Kodaks, Fountain Pens and Photo Supplies, Remick’s Song and Gift Shop, the Lotus Confectionary, Fahey-Brockman’s Clothiers, where, one may “buy upstairs and save $10.00”. (Courtesy, MOHAI)
NOW: Celebrating its centennial, the Joshua Green Building (1914), on the left at the southwest corner of Fourth and Pike, still lights up the corner with its brilliant terra-cotta tile facade.
NOW: Still celebrating its centennial, the Joshua Green Building (1914), on the left at the southwest corner of Fourth and Pike, brightens the corner with its terra-cotta tile facade.

A good date for this Webster and Stevens Studio photo is July 20, 1925, a Saturday. The Seattle Times had announced (more than reported) on the preceding day: “Traffic Ruler To Mount Tower, New System In Use Tomorrow – ‘Stop’ And ‘Go’ Signals For Blocks Downtown Will Be Regulated From Fourth And Pike – Pedestrians Must Obey, Too.”

A 1924 traffic jam at the south end of the Fremont Bridge.
A 1924 traffic jam at the south end of the Fremont Bridge.

By 1925 motorcars had been on Seattle streets for a quarter-century, but except for frightening horses, their disruption was tolerable through the first decade of the 1900s.  But then the horseless carriers got faster, heavier and multiplied at a rate that even then famously booming Seattle could not match.  Especially following World War I, having one’s own car became a matter of considerable urgency for both modern mobility and personal status.  Quoting from “Traffic and Related Problems,” a chapter in the 1978 book Public Works in Seattle, the citizen race for car ownership was revealed in the records for the 15-year period between 1922 and 1937, when “the number of motor vehicles increased by 211 per cent, as against a 22 per cent increase in population.”  Fatal accidents became almost commonplace.

Hardly a statistic, it made it to the driveway - somewhere on First Hill, perhaps.
Hardly a statistic, it made it to the driveway – somewhere on First Hill, perhaps.

Consequently, on this Saturday in the summer of 1925 the nearly desperate hopes of Seattle’s traffic engineers climbed high up the city’s one and only traffic tower with the officer (unnamed in any clippings I consulted), seen standing in the open window of his comely crow’s nest.  Reading deeper into the Friday Times, we learn that this ruler would have powers that reached well beyond this intersection.  From high above Fourth and Pike he was assigned to operate all the traffic signals on Fourth Avenue between University and Pine Streets, and on Pike Street between First and Fifth Avenues, while watching out for disobedient pedestrians.  And no left turns were allowed.  Were you heading north on Fourth here and wanting to take a left on Pike to reach the Public Market?  Forget it. You were first obliged to take three rights around the block bordered by Westlake, Pine, Fifth, and Pike.

Wreck-Blog-#1-WEB

It was primarily the “morning and evening clanging of the bells,” about which the pedestrians and merchants of this retail district most complained.  The hotels particularly objected. The manager of the then new Olympic Hotel, two blocks south of the tower, described customers checking out early and heading for Victoria and/or Vancouver B.C. rather than endure the repeated reports of the “traffic ruler’s bells.”  As Seattle’s own “grand hotel,” when measured by size, service and sumptuous lobby, the Olympic was heard. (See the Thurlby sketch, three images down.)

Olympic Hotel Lobby
Olympic Hotel Lobby
A Seattle Times clipping from December, 7, 1923
A Seattle Times clipping from December, 7, 1923  [Click to ENLARGE]

In early June, 1926 after a year of irritating clanging at Fourth and Pike, Seattle’s Mayor Bertha Landes summoned heads of the street, fire, and municipal trolley departments to dampen the cacophony escaping from both citizens and signals.  The three executives’ combined acoustic sensibilities first recommended brass bells.  These would report “a much softer tone, and more musical too, than the harsh, loud-sounding bell now in use.”   J. W. Bollong, the head engineer in the city’s streets department, advised that the new bells ringing be limited to “two short bells at six-second intervals,” instead of a long continuous ball.  The new bells would also be positioned directly underneath the signals to help muffle the sound.  Bollong noted, that with the bells and lights so placed both pedestrians and motorists would get any signal’s visual and audible sensations simultaneously.  Putting the best construction on this package of improvements, Bollong concluded, “That’s like appreciating the taste of a thing with the sense of smell.”

Time's Bell coverage from July 13, 1926, with a sketch from the paper's then popular political cartoonist, Thurby.
Time’s Bell coverage from July 13, 1926, with a sketch by the paper’s then popular political cartoonist, Thurby. [Click to ENLARGE]
Bertha Landes shaking hand of Mayor Ed.Brown whom she defeat in the 1926 mayoral election.
Bertha Landes shaking hand of Mayor (and dentist)  Ed.Brown whom she defeated in the 1926 mayoral election.
Nearby traffic light at Westlake and Pine,
Nearby traffic light at Westlake and Pine.
Taffic light at 5th and Olive, looking north from Westlake Ave., 1939.
Traffic light at 5th and Olive, looking north from Westlake Ave., 1939.

Also in 1926, the city’s public works figured that the its rapidly increasing traffic had need of “stop-and-go lights” at 50 intersections. Engineer Bollong had done some traveling, and concluded that Seattle was lagging.  “Los Angeles now has 232 lights, or one to every 3,000 citizens. Seattle has only 30 lights, one for every 16,000. “

Some years after this photograph was recorded looking north on 15th Ave. NW from 64th Street, the next intersection at 65th was determined by crash statistics to be the most dangerous in Seattle.  It cannot be seen here if the intersection has, as yet, a stoplight in 1938.
Some years after this photograph was recorded looking north on 15th Ave. NW from 64th Street, the next intersection at 65th was determined by crash statistics to be the most dangerous in Seattle. It cannot be seen here if the intersection has, as yet, a stoplight in 1938.

While Seattle’s traffic lights proliferated along with its traffic, the towers did not. By 1936 there were 103 traffic signal controlled intersections in the city – none of them with towers.  Much of the left-turn nuisance was ameliorated in 1955 when the city’s one-way grid system was introduced.

Not finding a 1955 example I substituted this snapshot I made in the late 1970s under the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Not finding a 1955 example I substituted this snapshot I made in the late 1970s under the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys?    Jean, yes.  We are startled about how much attention we have given to this intersection over the years.  Recently, within the last year or two, two or more features have been contributed for subjects either directly on this five-star corner or very near it.  Here Ron Edge has put up links to eight of them.  The top two are recent, indeed.

THEN: This rare early record of the Fourth and Pike intersection was first found by Robert McDonald, both a state senator and history buff with a special interest in historical photography. He then donated this photograph - with the rest of his collection - to the Museum of History and Industry, whom we thank for its use.  (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: A motorcycle courier for Bartell Drugs poses before the chain’s Store No. 14, located in the Seaboard Building at the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Pike Street, circa 1929.  (Courtesy Bartell Drugs)

THEN: We are not told but perhaps it is Dora and Otto Ranke and their four children posing with their home at 5th and Pike for the pioneer photographer Theo. E. Peiser ca. 1884.  In the haze behind them looms Denny Hill.   (Courtesy Ron Edge)

THEN:  Built in 1888-89 at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street, the then named Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church marked the southeast corner of Denny Hill.  Eventually the lower land to the east of the church (here behind it) would be filled, in part, with hill dirt scraped and eroded from North Seattle lots to the north and west of this corner.  (Courtesy, Denny Park Lutheran Church)

=======

SEATTLE, 1924 aerial looking north over business district to Lake Union and Green Lake.
SEATTLE, 1924 aerial looking north over business district to Lake Union and Green Lake.  [Click to Enlarge]
Seattle, 1925 Birds-eye
Seattle, 1925 Birds-eye [CLICK – twice maybe –  to ENLARGE]
Mid-20's chorus line - or posing players - at one Seattle's busiest vaudeville stage.  [Courtesy, MOHAI]
Mid-20’s chorus line – or posing players – at one of Seattle’s busiest vaudeville stages then. [Courtesy, MOHAI]

Seattle Now & Then: Going Postal at Marion & Western

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Arthur Denny named both Marion and James Streets for his invalid brother, James Marion Denny, who was too ill to accompany the “Denny Party” from Oregon to Puget Sound in 1851.  (Courtesy, Gary Gaffner)
THEN: Arthur Denny named both Marion and James Streets for his invalid brother, James Marion Denny, who was too ill to accompany the “Denny Party” from Oregon to Puget Sound in 1851. (Courtesy, Gary Gaffner)
NOW: The Colman Annex was razed for a parking lot in the 1970s, but the Colman Building survives with the four brick stories added to its brownstone base in 1909.  The year the Marion Street pedestrian viaduct to Colman Dock was also added.
NOW: The Colman Annex was razed for a parking lot in the 1970s, but the Colman Building survives with the four brick stories added to its brownstone base in 1909. The year the Marion Street pedestrian viaduct to Colman Dock was also added.

While none of the names for this team and the driver of this U.S. Post wagon are known, the intersection is. The view looks east-southeast  on Marion Street and across Western Avenue, in about 1903, to a three-story stone structure advertising the Seattle Hardware Company(The business was so prosperous that it required an 1100-page hard-bound catalog to cover its inventory.) James Colman built the rustic stone structure across narrow Post Alley from his Colman Building, and named it, perhaps predictably, the Colman Annex.  The Puget Sound News Company, a retailer of stationary, books and periodicals, was the Annex’s first tenant. The hardware store soon followed, the tenant until 1906 when the Imperial Candy Company moved in after Seattle Hardware moved to its own new home at First Ave. S. and King Street.  With its popular Societe Chocolates, Imperial became the Colman Annex’s most well-known and abiding tenant.

A detail selected from the 1884 Birdseye of Seattle to look down at the intersections of Front Street (First Ave.) and Marion (left w. "9" written on it) and Colubmia, right.  In 1884 the northwest corner of Marion and Front was grandly improved with the Frye Opera House, which kitty-korner the future site for the Colman Building was a long line of commercial sheds given a sometimes unifying front facade.  From the bottom of this detail to two block east at Second Avenue, the 1889 fire consumed it all.
A detail selected from the 1884 Birdseye of Seattle to look down at the intersections of Front Street (First Ave.) and Marion (left w. “9” written on it at the original location of Arthur and Mary Denny’s cabin and so the community’s first post office.) and Colubmia, right. In 1884 the northwest corner of Marion and Front was grandly improved with the Frye Opera House, which kitty-korner the future site for the Colman Building was a long line of commercial sheds given a sometimes unifying front facade. From the bottom of this detail to two block east at Second Avenue, the 1889 fire consumed it all.
An unidentified photographer has climbed a ruin on the west side of Front Street (First Ave.) to look north along the waterfront following the Great Fire of 1889.  The already filled street ends on Columbia and Marion are evident just north or beyond the ruins.
An unidentified photographer has climbed a ruin on the west side of Front Street (First Ave.) to look north along the waterfront following the Great Fire of 1889. The already filled street ends on Columbia and Marion are evident just north or beyond the still somewhat standing ruins.  Columbia street cuts thru the photograph left-right just above its its center.   Upper-right stands the tower of the Stetson-Post Block, a subject recently covered here.

After the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, most of the streets between Yesler Way and Madison were extended east into Elliott Bay, as far as the fire’s dumped rubble would support themSoon both Post Alley and Western Avenue were extended off-shore and between the streets on rows of pilings driven into the tideflats.  More than pilings, heavy stone and/or brick structures like the Annex also needed a hard packing of earth for their foundations.  Colman built his Annex from stone delivered around the Horn that was intended for a new central post office at Third and Union, but the stone was rejected as too soft for a government building.  Colman got it cheap.

Central Post-Office at the southeast corner of Union Street and Third Avenue.  This is the accepted Chuckanut stone, while the Colman Annex is made of the first stone ordered for the P.O., but then rejected by the Feds.
Central Post-Office at the southeast corner of Union Street and Third Avenue. This is the accepted Chuckanut sandstone, while the Colman Annex is made of the first stone ordered for the P.O., but then rejected by the Feds.

We’ll note that this “studio” location for a mail wagon’s portrait has a fine coincidence.  Arthur Denny, the city’s first postmaster, built his family’s cabin two short blocks to the east of this intersection, at the northeast corner of First Avenue (originally Front Street) and Marion Street.  It was also the first Post Office. The party of pioneers led by the Dennys, Bells and Borens had moved over from Alki Point early in 1852 to mark their claims.  The first mail to arrive in Seattle came later that year by canoe from Olympia.  Robert Moxlie, the mailman, may have paddled his dugout through this intersection.  The future foot of Marion Street was a low point on the beach where it was easy to step ashore. When Arthur and David Denny’s parents later joined them from Oregon, they built their home at the southeast corner of Union Street and Third AvenueIn 1908 the new Post Office and Federal Building opened on that corner.  It was made of nearby Chuckanut sandstone, apparently harder stuff than that salvaged by James Colman.

In this look east on Marion from Railroad Avenue, work on the Colman Annex (above the team) is still progressing.  The Methodist spire stands at the southeast corner of Third Ave. and Marion Street.
In this look east on Marion from Railroad Avenue, work on the Colman Annex (above the team) is still progressing. The Methodist spire stands at the southeast corner of Third Ave. and Marion Street. [CLICK TO ENLARGE]
A clipping from Pacific: the Methodists at the southeast corner of Third and Marion.  This Gothic head piece (for the corner) was built in the late 1880s and survived the 1889 fire, but not the regrade on Third Avenue, 1907.
A clipping from Pacific: the Methodists at the southeast corner of Third and Marion. This Gothic head piece (for the corner) was built in the late 1880s and survived the 1889 fire, but not the regrade on Third Avenue, 1907.

The Polson Implement Hardware Company, far-right, prospered by facing the Great Northern Railroad’s tracks on Railroad Avenue, here out-of-frame.  Established in 1892, Polson sent its farm machinery throughout the west by rail.  By 1906, the year this rudimentary structure of corrugated iron was replaced with the brick building on the right in our “now,” Polson had moved south to another train-serviced warehouse on the tideflats.

Some of the Post-Office rolling stock that replaced the teams.   (This first appeared in Pacific, Nov. 24, 2002)
Some of the Post-Office rolling stock that replaced the teams. (This first appeared in Pacific, Nov. 24, 2002)
[Courtesy, Carol Gaffner]
[Courtesy, Carol Gaffner]
The mid-1880s Mail line leading into the pioneer P.O. on Mill Street (Yesler Way) between Post and Western.
The mid-1880s Mail line leading into the pioneer P.O. on Mill Street (Yesler Way) between Post and Western.
POST OFFICE ON COLUMBIA
POST OFFICE ON COLUMBIA

POST-OFFICE-on-Columbia-clipping-WEB

[DISREGARD the video order DIRECTLY above.  I’ve changed my box from the University District to Wallingford where it is Box 31636, which I must right down for I have had a hard time memorizing it. ]

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, history hucksters?  Hubba-hubba-hubba Yes Jean, and once again Ron starts it by rolling out some relevant links.  Please Click Them.

THEN:In late 1855 the citizens of Seattle with help from the crew of the Navy sloop-of-war Decatur built a blockhouse on the knoll that was then still at the waterfront foot of Cherry Street. The sloop’s physician John Y. Taylor drew this earliest rendering of the log construction.  (Courtesy, Yale University, Beinecke Library)

THEN: Looking south on First Avenue from its northwest corner with Madison Street, circa 1905.  (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

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: Frank Shaw’s late winter composition of waterfront landmarks at the foot of Madison Street in 1963.  (Photo by Frank Shaw)

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To be continued sometimes on Sunday, March 8 . . .

Now & Then here and now

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