Built in 1910, the Silvian has survived with its charms intact – most of them. Sometime between ‘now and then,’ the graceful four-story apartment house lost its four projecting bays facing Harrison Street and the playful symmetry of its queenly cornice. The ‘then’ was most likely photographed in its first year when the apartment’s agent, John Davis & Co., listed it in this newspaper as “this new and strictly modern apartment building; every known convenience, rooms well arranged; select neighborhood; good car service; convenient to markets and stores.” The “car” meant here is the trolley on Broadway, a half-block from the front door. And the Silvian was also promoted as “within walking distance.”
The Times soon included a sizeable photograph of the Silvian as the newspaper’s forty-first example out of fifty selections of “Seattle’s Progress.” The text for this April 2, 1911, applause included a direct summary of the Silvian’s vital statistics. “Recently completed on 10th Avenue and Harrison Street at a cost of $40,000, it occupies a ground space 56 x 96 feet in size, the lot being 60 by 100 feet . . . with a basement and twenty-eight apartments of two, three, four and five rooms.”
Jacqueline Williams, author of “The Hill With A Future,” our best history of Capitol Hill, describes the Silvian as a “Very desirable place for people to live, with amenities that some smaller homes might lack.” As a testimony to its desirable qualities, G.W. Wallace, the building’s owner, lived there when it opened. The Silvian also had a janitor (who perhaps also ran the building’s all night elevator service), public phones (probably in the lobby), rear entrances (historian Williams points out that such were useful for ice delivery), beds in the wall, and “many other attractive features.”
In 1927 the Silvian Apartments sold for $85,000, a sale illustrated by The Times with another photograph. On September 8, 1929 – a few weeks before the Crash – a classified offered a “2-room attractive corner apartment; overstuffed (furniture), elevator, phone service for $40. Just off Broadway.” A decade later an “attractive” two-room apartment in the Silvian could be had for $22, a depression-era bargain.
Today the Silvian is one of the many Seattle apartment houses owned and managed by Capitol Hill Housing, the organization that generates affordable housing, while also – and here the Silvian is an especially fine example – preserving neighborhood character.
Anything to add, lads? SURELY Jean. Ron Edge has pulled and put up ELEVEN past features, and they, as we know, are almost without excepted also holding other features and those features other features and so on and on. Imagine what chains we might have in five years or ten – assuming a lot, like the blogs and our survival. Ron’s last link below, which when one opens it, has, I believe, the title “Street Photography,” begins with the snapshot of our friend Clay Eals’ mother walking on 4th Avenue a half block north of Pike Street, and ends with a few examples of the photographs I took in 1976-77 of the bus shelter at Marketime on Broadway and Republican. I lived then in the second floor apartment of the corner structure showing immediately below, far-right in the photo with Pilgrim church and the road work on widening Broadway.
Here sits Joseph ”Daddy” Standley, one of the best-known self-promoters in Seattle history, relaxing in a real photo postcard beside his West Seattle home. The caption pasted to the print on the right names the home Totem Place. The name also appears on the column to the left of the stairs decorated with potted plants and two large shells.
Standley might be compared to three other local promotional players: Bill Speidel of the Underground Tours, Mark Mathews of First Presbyterian Church, and Ivar Haglund on Pier 54. All were accomplished storytellers and created most of their own publicity, largely by making themselves the news. “Daddy” Standley’s main stage, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, was on the waterfront, where it remains in Ivar’s Pier 54 (soon to reopen, with a remodel and new seawall.)
The curio merchant’s life-long passion for collecting aboriginal artifacts is testimony to the importance of children’s literature. For having the “neatest desk” in his third grade class, young Joseph won a book about Indian life, lore, and crafts. The tome enchanted him so that ultimately the youthful anthropologist, to quote his namesake grandson, Joseph James, “turned his hobby into his business.”
In 1899, the 45-year-old curio collector arrived in Seattle from Colorado with his wife and four children. In Denver he had operated a grocery store, with as much shelf space given to collectibles as to fruits and vegetables. After a few moves and name changes, Standley’s curious collections found a home on Colman Dock. In 1906 the family built a home in West Seattle on Duwamish Head with a clear view across Elliott Bay to Colman Dock with their shop, steamers and ferries.
Joseph James has taken his grandfather’s place for Jean Sherrard’s repeat and also for the upkeep of Ye Old Curiosity Shop’s traditions, both commercial and cultural. Joe grew up in Totem Place and remembers fondly how the house became a second museum for Standley’s collections. Its wide lawn was a sanctuary for his second passion, gardening. A sculpture garden for about fifteen large totem poles and a “six-foot high mound built with shells from the seven seas” were an attraction for both the children of the neighborhood and sight-seeing busses.
Next Sunday, June 28, Totem Place again becomes an attraction when the Southwest Seattle Historical Society assembles there its experts, exhibits – including “totems on loan” – for “Ye Olde Home of Joseph “Daddy” Standley. It is this year’s offering for the Society’s annual event, “If These Walls Could Talk.” For details, call the Log House Museum at (206) 938-5293, or visit loghousemuseum.info.
Anything to add, boys (and that includes Clay Eals)? BY GOLLY YES Jean, but not so timely, except if my excuse for being behind time might be found also in our subject: history. No way that we can fill in this blog by 3AM this Sunday morning. I must write the next Pacific feature for the Times by then as well. The research notes are abundant – too abundant, but what a delight to gather them. So hopefully tomorrow I will return and add to this many neighborly features that can be manufactured with a little scanning of clips.
Scanned clips to follow – sooner than later, we hope.
A helpful caption pasted to the back of this pioneer print describes its subject as “workers and guests at hotel run by Mrs. Baker.” Sarah Frances Baker sits near the scene’s center in a striped dress, holding a soft smile, (which is unusual for Victorian era photo posers, who were more often expressionless.) By the authority of Clara Berg, the Collections Specialist for Costumes and Textiles at the Museum of History and Industry, “with its stripes and darker colors, Baker’s outstanding dress takes its cue from formal men’s wear,” although, she adds, “not from what these men are wearing on this occasion. Rather, they are dressed informally for the warmer season.” The caption agrees; the print is dated June 25, 1895. Note that there are no stiff collars among them; they are all soft. And three of these men are topped with straw boaters, a jaunty hat fashion that was introduced about this time, and stayed popular well into the 1920s.
The quoted caption is a long one. Besides the proprietor a few more of these posers are identified, some by role, like the dishwasher, far left, and a few by name, including William Talcott, the man top-center with a big moustache on a thin face. With help from Ann Ferguson, the Curator of the Seattle Collections at the Seattle Public Library, we learn that in 1891 the then twenty-eight year old Talcott came to Seattle, hired as Chief Engineer for the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad. In 1895 the Virginian was still with the SLSE, regularly riding the route that we know and enjoy now, in part, as the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail.
Sarah Baker rests her right hand on her married daughter Edith’s right shoulder, and the proprietor’s son-in-law, William Hickman Moore, stands on the left. That he is holding or supporting the boy in stripes is evidence of the chumminess of this group. The boy is not William and Edith’s only son. Rather, their five-year-old son Vincent Moore is sitting under his firemen’s hat bottom-center, some distance from his parents.
By 1921 Vincent would become Seattle City Light’s chief operating engineer for its Skagit River dam project. By then his father, William Hickman Moore, had already proved to be one of Seattle’s most steadfast politicians, first appointed to the King County Superior Court in 1897 and winning many elections as a state senator, city councilman, and between 1906 and 1908 as the mayor of Seattle. For this last, Moore campaigned as an advocate of the public ownership of utilities. With the split Republican Part fighting within itself, the progressive Democrat Moore won by a total of 15 votes. A few months before his sudden death in March 1946 at the age of 84, the then Deputy Prosecutor for King County credited his enduring vitality to the maxim “Don’t worry and live long.”
WILLIAM HICKMAN MOORE DEATH & LECTURE NOTICES
THE SEATTLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE tenant in the STACY MANSION – Before SARAH BAKER and her HOTEL.
[Please CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE]
Anything to add, lads? Certainly Jean. First within the five links that Ron Edge has pulled and placed directly below you will uncover more features from the neighborhood and or near it. For instance, in the first link below we spy the Stacy Mansion on the far side of the construction pit made for the Central Building, which took the place – and more – of the First Methodist Church that used to rise from the southeast corner of Marion and Third, directly across Marion from the Stacy home and later Sarah Baker’s hotel. The Edge link following that is another recent offering, one centering on a neighbor also form the mid-1880s, and showing a similar architectural urge. Following that we’ll put up some more features, ones from the more distant Pacific past. Those we will scan from their magazine clippings, as is our convenient way.
LA MAISON BLANC BEFORE & AFTER THE FIRST OF APRIL 30 FIRE, 1960.
Now one hundred and thirty years old, the oldest Lutheran congregation in Seattle has moved only once, and that only eight blocks. It has, however, had four sanctuaries, and in Jean Sherrard’s kitty-corner recording we can see the latest of these with the first three floors serving the congregation and the top five affordable housing. Abutting to the south (right) is the surviving chancel of the third sanctuary, which was dedicated in 1954. The prospect looks east across the intersection of 9th Avenue and Stewart Street.
The Swedish Lutherans dedicated their first church in 1885 on the east side of Third Avenue, one lot north of Pike Street. It was the southern slope of Denny Hill and the neighborhood was then decidedly residential. By 1901, when the congregation moved those eight blocks to this corner, their first location was rapidly turning commercial, and the sale of that property helped finance the changes.
With its first and only move the church avoided the many years of confusion wrought by the Denny Hill Regrade. It did not, however, escape the regrading of Stewart Street. In 1910 the city instructed the church to lower their Gothic sanctuary fourteen feet. The results of that cutting are shown here (in the featured photo at the top) on both the far right, with an exposed hill, and far left, with the long steep stairway to the front door of the church’s parsonage, home of its then pastor, Martin L. Larson.
The Steward Street regrade put the growing congregation more emphatically “on the map” when the improved Stewart was linked to Eastlake Avenue, making a joined arterial that was one of the city’s primary routes to the north. (On a 1916 map of the city’s auto routes, both Stewart and Eastlake are emphasized with a widened dark line and bold lettering.) The building in 1927 of the city’s Central Stage Terminal (Greyhound Depot), across 9th Avenue from the church, also emphasized the centrality of Gethsemane’s location. [See the links below and Jean’s added photos there as well for photographs and stories featuring the depot.]
The 1921 dedication of Gethsemane’s Lutheran Hospice for Girls on Capitol Hill prefigured Mary’s Place, the day shelter for women and children that are also tenants of the new sanctuary. Other “open and affirming” Gethsemane services include the meals programs of Hope Center,
The featured photograph of Gethsemane’s second sanctuary at the top was copied from an album of photos taken by Klaes Lindquist, and shared with us by the Swedish Club. It dates from about 1920, a year in which the city directory lists twenty-two Lutheran churches, six of them in Ballard and five, including Gethsemane, here in the greater and then quite Scandi-Cascade Neighborhood.
Let me add a few snaps here which illustrate a few of the vast changes underway around 9th and Stewart:
Anything to add, boys? Certainly. More links from Ron Edge and pixs and clips from our robust archives, and all in sympathy to this week’s primary subjects: Swedes (some of them Lutherans), and this interstitial neighborhood on the fringe of downtown. First, eleven links to past features, which will include their own links and those theirs . . . [Nifty “now” Jean.]
FOLLOWS – A FEW PAST FEATURES SCANNED FROM CLIPPINGS
Once upon a time dragons wagged their long tongues from open jaws on the roof of Norway Hall in Seattle’s Cascade Neighborhood. The hall’s sponsors, the Daughters and Sons of Norway, respectively the Valkyrien and Leif Erikson Lodges, dedicated their new hall in 1915, on May 17, Norwegian Constitution Day.
Dennis Andersen, one of our distinguished historians of Northwest architecture, and himself of Norwegian descent, notes that the hall’s architect, the native Norwegian Englehart Sonnichsen, “knew the revival modes of his country very well.” Andersen continues, “In the 1880s and 1890s, as Norway was working toward independence from Sweden, art and architecture trends lifted up traditional folk art forms — some of it rather fanciful. The dragon-shaped eaves of Sonnichsen’s Norway Hall recall this so-called ‘dragon style’ (dragestil). It was commonly used on resort hotels, pavilions, and restaurants.” (And, Andersen notes, on the Andersen family silver.)
Here (at the top) on an early photograph of the hall, an unnamed retouch artist has enhanced its surrounds with lawns sown with grass in place of a clutter of other structures (aside from the roof of a modest home across Denny Way behind the trees on the far right). The national flags of Norway and the United States have been rendered to flutter artfully, lifted by a southeasterly breeze. The painted stones beside the sidewalk, far left, resemble stacks of Norwegian rye bread more than river rocks.
The architect’s brother, Yngvar, adorned the interior of Norway Hall with murals depicting several sagas of Norse history, including the discovery of Vinland – North America – by the lodge’s namesake, Leif Erikson, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus reached The Bahamas. The U.S. Postal System agreed, issuing a six-cent stamp in 1968, commemorating the Icelandic explorer’s Newfoundland (it is thought) landing.
Today at 2015 Boren Avenue the Norwegians and their dragons are long gone. After selling their hall in the late 1940s, the growing Sons and Daughters twice moved to new quarters, first to Lower Queen Anne in 1951 and later in 1986 to Ballard, both times carrying their murals with them. In the early 1970s the old Norway Hall barely
escaped being razed by a developer, who explained “there is pressure for more parking in the area.” It was saved, however, and is now Raisbeck Hall, the performing arts venue on Cornish School of the Arts’ main campus.
Noe å legge til, gutter ? (Anything to add, boys?)
Ja Jean. Med hjelp igjen (og igjen) fra Ron Edge og mer hjelp fra Christine Anderson, historiker for Leiv Eiriksson Lodge 2-001, Sønner av Norge, og også fra Fred Poyner IV, samlinger manager på Nordic Heritage Museum. Vi har lagt ved et par linker og tidligere funksjoner som liksom er knyttet til kjennetegnet Norge Hus første dedikerte i Seattles Cascade Neighborhood 100 år siden, noe som sikkert har noe å gjøre med at vi viser det seg nå. Vi kaster også i noen dansker, men ingen svensker, med vilje. Vi lagrer dem til senere. Vi må også takke Google Translate, for selv om både du og jeg er velfylt med Scandi-gener, verken vi lese eller snakke norsk til godt. Vel, du kan bli med igjen, “Snakk for deg selv Paul.” La de som er kjent med norsk dommer kapasiteten til Googles innsats.
Yes Jean. With help again (and again) from Ron Edge and more help from Christine Anderson, historian for Leif Erikson Lodge 2-001, Sons of Norway, and also from Fred Poyner IV, Collections manager at the Nordic Heritage Museum. We have attached a few links and past features that somehow relate to the featured Norway House first dedicated in Seattle’s Cascade Neighborhood 100 years ago, which surely has something to do with why we are showing it off now. We also throw in a few Danes but no Swedes, intentionally. We are saving them for later. We also need to thank Google Translate, for although both you, Jean, and I are well-stocked with Scandi-genes, we neither read nor speak Norwegian so well. You might rejoin, “Speak for yourself Paul.” Let those familiar with Norwegian judge the capacities of Google’s efforts.
CAPITOL HILL & The CASCADE PLATEAU from DENNY HILL
Englishman Charles Louch first crossed the Seattle waterfront, it seems, in 1885, and for many reasons, including the “bag of money” he reportedly carried, prospered and stayed for eighteen years. He returned to England in 1903 with enough American assets to purchase an estate near Southhampton, which he shared with his two single sisters.
Louch first opened a stand for “fancy fruits” on the east side of Front Street (First Avenue) but soon expanded his fare to the “cigars, tobacco, groceries and provisions” that are indicated on the sign above his front door located on the third lot north of Union Street. It is these “groceries and provisions” that are first noted in the 1885-86 Polk City Directory, where Louch is listed as one of twenty-two Seattle grocers.
In the Polk’s citizen section, Louch is recorded as living at the same address, almost surely in the back of the store. Based on the evidence provided by the 1888 Sanborn real estate map, Louch later installed both a “Sausage Room” and a “Smoke House” in his former living quarters. Louch’s ‘1888 Brand’ smoked hams were a long-time favorite and not just locally. During the Alaska Gold Rush, beginning in the late 1890s, many of the hams were shipped north.
In 1888 Louch began promoting his hams by distributing to his customers a mounted photograph of his store, as seen from an upper window of a nearby building at Front and Pike. This second photo featured a panorama of Seattle rising above a roof top sign reading “Chas Louch” and running at a right angle to Front Street. Set on the crest of the roof, the corner of that sign is barely seen here above the “cigars and tobacco” sign that faces the street.
The city’s great fire of 1889 was also good to Louch and his hams and sausages. As the fire moved north up the waterfront and Front Street it was stopped less than two blocks south of Louch’s grocery. About one-half of the 36 groceries listed in the year’s city directory we consumed. Also in 1889 Louch moved into a mansion-sized Beacon Hill home he had built on Othello Avenue overlooking Rainier Valley.
After partnering in 1889 with M.B. Augustine, a traveling food salesman from Nevada, the ambitious pair moved into the much grander post-fire quarters of the Colman Building, (still at First Avenue and Columbia Street.) There they became famous for their “upscale” specialty foods and the dozen wagons needed to make free deliveries throughout the city. After Louch returned to England, Augustine took on a new partner and the company was renamed Augustine and Kyer. It grew to five locations, with the last one, in the University District, holding on through the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Anything to add, boys? Yes Jean, more of the neighborhood and also a look up Front Street from Pioneer Square, which is the second Edge-Link that Ron has put in place immediately below. After Ron’s links we’ll pull a few clips from past “now and then” features. They are also from the neighborhood. Well Jean, you know this well, for this week it was you who did the scanning of the clips having nearly completed your inventory of all 1700-plus features on the way to publishing later this year another collection – which might even be permitted the cheesy title “100 Best.”
EIGHT PAGES from the AUGUSTINE & KYER BULLETIN, from 1912. click to enlarge
Lawton Gowey was a regular visitor to the demolition scene of the Seattle Hotel. His collection of Kodachrome slides records nearly the entire process of the destruction of the 1890 landmark. Gowey dated this slide June 8, 1961. The demolition work began with the interior on the third of April, and here, two months later, most of the top floor is gone.
The removal of the ornate cornice at the top of the five and one-half story landmark got an early start with the city’s 1949 earthquake. For safety, and probably for economy too, much of it was removed following the quake. Still, the hotel stayed opened until the spring of 1960, when its closure was announced. It was widely assumed that it would soon be razed – not renovated. The same was expected for its then still on the skids Pioneer Square, the city’s most historic neighborhood.
Citizen response, however, was surprising. In an attempt to save the hotel, a local cadre of preservationists quickly formed. Although that battle was lost, the enthusiasts for local heritage won the war by saving the neighborhood. The city’s new Department of Community Development, the DCD, formed the Pioneer Square Historic District in 1970.
By this time the four-floor parking lot that was built on the hotel’s flatiron footprint was commonly called the “Sinking Ship Garage.” It is still one of our best local jokes. The garage’s architect-engineers, Gilbert Mandeville and Gudmund Berge, were fresh off their 1959 success as local consultants for the Logan Building at Fifth Avenue and Union Street, the city’s first glass curtain box. Here, in Pioneer Square, they added what they and its owners considered a compliment to the historic neighborhood: a basket-handle shaped railing made of pipe, a kind of undulating cornice, that ran along the top of the concrete garage.
Lawton Gowey loved the Smith Tower. His juxtaposition of the well-wrought tower, the injured hotel, and the wrecker’s crane is at once elegant and ambivalent.
Anything to add, lads? Golly Jean, yes. Ron Edge has put up two links to past features. Both are rich with references to this triangle. Following that are few more relevant clips cut from past Pacifics.