Seattle Now & Then: The Bagley Mansion

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Constructed in 1885, the Alice and Clarence Bagley mansion was the first big home built on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill.  (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)
THEN: Constructed in 1885, the Alice and Clarence Bagley mansion was the first big home built on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)
NOW: Gus Holmberg built the first floor of his apartment house at 200 Aloha Street in 1945 and added the second floor in 1959. Since their use as a home-site in the 1993 ‘buried alive’ horror film, “The Vanishing,” the apartments have figured in local movie lore.
NOW: Gus Holmberg built the first floor of his apartment house at 200 Aloha Street in 1945 and added the second floor in 1959. Since their use as a home-site in the 1993 ‘buried alive’ horror film, “The Vanishing,” the apartments have figured in local movie lore.

This is the tower in which Seattle’s most prolific pioneer historian, Clarence Bagley, may have written his many-volume histories of Seattle and King County. I assume he used it so, for why else would such a writer-publisher-printer build such a tower with a full panorama of the city, if not for inspiration?   The Bagley mansion, designed by an eastern architect, was built in 1885 on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill on a block-sized lot now bordered by Second and Third Avenues North, and Aloha and Ward Streets.  One of the earliest homes on the Hill, and certainly the first oversized one, the mansion’s rooms had twelve-and-a-half foot tall ceilings, and a furnace and five fireplaces to warm them.  The tower was Clarence’s idea, and “he loved it.”  It was decorated with Bagley’s collection of rifles and muskets.

The big home was used for collecting and entertaining, perhaps as much as for raising a family of four daughters and one son. The Bagley library included what was at one time considered the largest collection of regional history. Clarence was generous with its uses, as when this newspaper, The Seattle Times, lost much of its library to a fire in 1913, he replaced its lost editions with his own. 

Clarence Bagley was sixteen-years-old when he and his parents arrived on the first wagon to roll into Seattle in 1860. With a few stops to visit friends along the way, the Bagleys’ jostled drive from Salem, Oregon, had taken fifteen days. Thomas Mercer’s wagon was the first to reach Seattle, in 1853, but he and his wagon had traveled from Steilacoom by boat. In 1852 the Bagleys and the Mercers had journeyed west together from their native Illinois. As part of a pioneer Oregon Trail wagon train, it took five months to reach Salem, Oregon.

On Christmas Eve 1865, Mercer’s youngest daughter, Alice, married Clarence in Seattle’s first church wedding. Friends since their childhood in Illinois, he was twenty-two and she seventeen. The Methodist church was white and so was the town, then under two feet of snow.  Their four daughters were married in the Queen Anne mansion’s front parlor with the bay window.  On Christmas Day in 1925 their children and friends filled the mansion for the celebration of the couple’s 60th Anniversary.

Alice Mercer Bagley died in 1926, and “Pop” Clarence lived on in their mansion until 1938, when he, too, died after nearly a half-century in his tower.  The big home was torn down early in 1944 to make way for apartments.

WEB EXTRAS

I’ll drop in a couple of alternate views of the apartment building on Aloha.

Looking south towards downtown
Looking south towards downtown
A pleasant view into the courtyard
A pleasant view into the courtyard

Anything to add, boys?

THEN:Carolyn Marr, Museum of History and Industry librarian and Anders Wilse expert, answers the joking caption on Councilman Reinhard’s pant leg with another example. “Wilse had a wry sense of humor. In one photo he took during the Great Northern Railroad construction project, a group of 4 men sit around a table playing cards with revolvers and glasses of liquid. He wrote on the photo ‘A Merry Christmas.’”  (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/crockett-7-w-row-then-mr1.jpg?w=1053&h=684

THEN: Long thought to be an early footprint for West Seattle’s Admiral Theatre, this charming brick corner was actually far away on another Seattle Hill.  Courtesy, Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

 

Seattle Now & Then: The Pontius Home

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The Cascade neighborhood, named for its public grade school (1894), now long gone, might have been better named for the Pontius family.  Immigrants from Ohio, they purchased many of the forested acres north of Denny Way and east of Fairview Avenue.
THEN: The Cascade neighborhood, named for its public grade school (1894), now long gone, might have been better named for the Pontius family. Immigrants from Ohio, they purchased many of the forested acres north of Denny Way and east of Fairview Avenue.
NOW: The Colwell Building at the northwest corner of Denny Way and Stewart Street opened in 2000.  It was named for Rev. David Colwell, the Congregational minister who is credited with starting the Plymouth Housing Group, which and builds affordable housing in Seattle for the homeless and working poor.
NOW: The Colwell Building at the northwest corner of Denny Way and Stewart Street opened in 2000. It was named for Rev. David Colwell, the Congregational minister who is credited with starting the Plymouth Housing Group, which and builds affordable housing in Seattle for the homeless and working poor.

This is the farmhouse where Margaret and Rezin Pontius raised their five children: three boys, Frank, Albert and Lincoln, and two girls, Mary and Emma.  The photographer was the prolific Theodore Peiser, whose pioneer studio was one lot south of the southeast corner of Marion Street and Second Avenue, or was until the Great Fire of 1889 destroyed it and most of his negatives. Either this print escaped the flames, or the undated subject was recorded after the fire. 

The Photographer Theo Peiser's advertisement in the 1887 Polk City Directory presents his case with wit which it is somewhat stretched is still a sincere exception to the  facile fun had with much contemporary huckstering.  It is also a good - if implied - recommendation from his primary teacher and the thousands of poems that were once regularly printed in the nation's periodicals.  It seems to me.
The Photographer Theo Peiser’s advertisement in the 1887 Polk City Directory presents his case with wit which if somewhat stretched is still a sincere exception to the facile fun now had with our merciless huckstering. It is also a good – if implied – recommendation from his primary school teacher and the thousands of poems that were once regularly printed in the nation’s periodicals. It seems to me.  CLICK CLICK TO ENLARGE

That’s Margaret posing near the front porch.  By this time the three sons were all grown and working in town.  Lincoln, the youngest, was a machinist, Albert a blacksmith, and Frank, the oldest, a druggist and for the  years 1887-88, King County Treasurer. The year for Peiser’s visit was, I’ll speculate, about 1890.  There are several homes climbing the Capitol Hill ridge on the horizon behind Margaret.  All of them were built on land that she, with her sons, had sold.  First settled by Rezin in the late 1860s and platted in 1880 as the Pontius Addition, north of Denny Way it extends east from Minor Avenue up Capitol Hill as far as 14th Avenue.

A detail from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map showing some of the reach of the Pontius additions.  CLICK-CLICK to ENLARGE.
A detail from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map showing some of the reach of the Pontius additions.   North is at the top.  CLICK-CLICK to ENLARGE.

In the 1879 Pitt’s Directory for Seattle, Margaret is listed as a “farmeress” on the “Lake Union Road.”  By 1890, the Pontius farmhouse was also a real estate office, and the family’s fortune multiplied with an influx of neighbors, of which there was a growing swarm following the fire.  By then, Rezin was long gone, having disappeared after an argument with Margaret.  Thereafter, by Margaret’s authority, he was a forbidden subject.  When needed, she listed herself as a widow.  After Margaret’s death, Rezin was reunited with his children, living out his life with Frank in Bothell.

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ABOVE:  With some of Mother Rhyther’s children on the porch and front steps and BELOW without them.

Pontius-mansion,-Denny-Way-SEPIA

First appeared in The Times on Feb. 5, 1995.
First appeared in The Times on Feb. 5, 1995.  CLICK-CLICK to ENLARGE
Until the Amazon and Vulcan developments accelerated throughout the neighborhood, both the Pontius Farmhouse and its nearby mansion were on blocks thirteen and 24 of the Pontius 4th Addition just north of Denny Way.  The footstep of the mansion shows in the lower-left quarter of the Baist map on lots 8 & 9 of its 13th Block.  By 1908 the farmhouse was gone.
Long before the Amazon and Vulcan developments rocketed through the Westlake and Cascade neighborhoods, both the Pontius Farmhouse and the nearby mansion were on blocks thirteen and 24 of the Pontius 4th Addition just north of Denny Way. The footprint of the mansion shows in the lower-left quarter of the Baist map printed above on lots 8 & 9 of its 13th Block. By 1908 the farmhouse was long gone.  The mansion was later razed for the Greyhound garage, which is now no more.  When I photographed the “now” I was, I turns out, about one lot east of the proper prospect.  Note the alley crossing north and south  through block 13 between John and Denny Way in the map.   Most likely that is the alley figuring in the above look at Greyhound across Denny Way.  The “now” shot dates from the mid 1990’s when it was used in The Times for the feature on the big home, which is printed again immediately above this “now” shot.  Immediately below this caption we’ve inserted the thirty-first of the Times feature writer Margaret  Pitcairn Strachan’s well-wrought study of fifty-two Seattle mansions.  Some were still standing when she produced her weekly series in 1944-45.  I have covered many of these same big homes in the last 34 years and confess to having often borrowed from Strachan.
Margaret   feature on the Pontius family, their homes, enterprise and often stressed family life.  CLICK CLICK CLICK THIS and there is at least a chance that you can read it.)
Margaret Strachan’s feature on the Pontius family, their homes, enterprise and often stressed family life. CLICK CLICK CLICK THIS and there is at least a chance that you can read it.)

In 1889 Margaret built the family a Gothic mansion with a landmark tower about a hundred feet west of the farmhouse.  Margaret was known for her conflicting passions of great charm and violent temper, which were conditioned by her charities.  She gave much of her steadily increasing wealth to the care of children.  After her death in 1902, the Pontius Mansion became the Mother Rhyther Home for Orphans in 1905 and continued so until 1919. 

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Above a Dec. 1, 1899 adver for Pontius lots and below it a Dec. 30, 1910 notice regarding the removal of a house in the way of extending Stewart Street to Eastlake Avenue and so at least in part through the site of the Pontius farm house and garden.

A Dec. 30, 1910 clip from The Times.
A Dec. 30, 1910 clip from The Times.
An investiment opportunity that leans on the salesman's understanding that the expected "extending of Stewart Street making a  boulevard from Westlake to Eastlake" will double the values of lots nearby.
An investment opportunity that leans on the salesman’s understanding that the expected “extending of Stewart Street making a boulevard from Westlake to Eastlake” will double the values of lots nearby.

If I have figured correctly, with the help of other photographs and real estate maps, the Pontius farmhouse originally rested both beneath and beside the footprint for the Colwell Building, a six-story apartment with 124 units for low-income tenants, seen in the “now.”  Opened in 2000, it was named for Reverend David Griffith Colwell, the Congregational minister who helped found the Plymouth Housing Group in 1980, which now manages one thousand units of low-income housing in twelve structures.  With his death in 2001, Colwell left a legacy of good works, including twenty years of helping the homeless in Seattle.

David Colwell in The Seattle Times report of September 7, 1967 on his first sermon before his then new - to him - Plymouth Congregational congregation.
David Colwell in The Seattle Times report of September 7, 1967 on his first sermon before the  Plymouth Congregational congregation.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys?  Surely Jean.  Ron Edge has found a half-dozen links from the neighborhood, much of it  the Pontius domain, which climbed up Capitol Hill to its summit on 14th Avenue.  We used only a few of the stories we have told from that real estate kingdom.   Below these links I’ll introduce a few earlier ones and three McDonald panoramas from the early 1890s that include the Cascade neighborhood – and much else.  In all three the Pontius mansion can be found and in one of them their farm house as well.  Their quite close to each other.  Ron also appears below – in the second link- if our readers open it.  It is a Peterson & Bros pioneer photo Ron found of another farm in the neighborhood.  Jean posed Ron in the “now.” Together we, Ron, Jean and I,  figured out the farm’s location a few blocks north of the Pontius farm.

THEN: An early portrait, circa 1911, of The Silvian Apartments, one of Capitol Hill’s abiding architectural jewels.  (Courtesy, Bill Burden)

THEN: The now century-old Norway Hall at the corner of Boren Avenue and Virginia Street opened in 1915, on May 17, Norwegian Independence Day.  (Courtesy, Nordic Heritage Museum)

THEN: Swedish Lutheran (Gethsemane) Church’s second sanctuary at the northeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Steward Street circa 1920, photo by Klaes Lindquist.  (Courtesy, Swedish Club)

THEN: Photographed in the late 1950s, the floating restaurant’s huge on deck hooligan got no competition as yet from the Space Needle (1962) in breaking the horizon.

THEN: We have by three years or four missed the centenary for this distinguished brick pile, the Littlefield Apartments on Capitol Hill.  (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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THREE OLD MCDONALDS

1. From FIRST HILL

This early 1890's McDonald pan looks north from near Union Street and Terry Avenue on First Hill.   Wallingford is on the far shore of Lake Union. Above the center of the subject and a little to the left, the Pontius mansion tower breaks the horizon.  About two large lots to the east you can also find the farm house that is feature at the top of all this.   It was this pan that solved the frustrating problem for me of locating the earlier Pontius home.  There it is!  And just below is a detail of that telling part of McDonald's helpful pan.
This early 1890’s McDonald pan looks north from near Union Street and Terry Avenue on First Hill. Wallingford is on the far shore of Lake Union. Above the center of the subject and a little to the left, the Pontius mansion tower is seen with the lake. About two large lots to the east you can also find the farm house that is featured at the top of all this. It was this pan that solved the long abiding and frustrating problem for me of locating the earlier Pontius home. There it is! And just below is a detail of that telling part of McDonald’s helpful pan.  CLICKCLICKCLICK to enlarge.

 

A detail that shows the Pontius mansion, on the left, and the Pontius farm house on the right.  (Courtesy, MOAHI aka The Museum of History and Industry.)
A detail that shows the Pontius mansion, on the left, and the Pontius farm house on the right. (Courtesy, MOAHI aka The Museum of History and Industry.)

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2. From DENNY HILL  (This McDonald pan was given its own feature on June 29, 2003.)

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clip McDonald Capitol-Hill-fm-Denny-Hill-NOW-2003-WEB

One can fine the Pontius mansion on the far left of this detail taken from the above McDonald pan from Denny  Hill.   But not, I think, the farm house.
One can fine the Pontius mansion on the far left of this detail taken from the above McDonald pan from Denny Hill. But not, I think, the farm house.  The grading beyond and up Capitol Hill follows, I believe, the line of John Street.

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3. From QUEEN ANNE HILL  (It is more difficult to find the Pontius big home in this McDonald pan to the southeast from Queen Anne Hill, but it is there on the far right if you click-click-click.)

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FOLLOW A FEW FEATURES FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD (Or Near It)

First appeared in Pacific, April 14, 2002.
First appeared in Pacific, April 14, 2002.

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First appeared in Pacific, March 21, 2002.
First appeared in Pacific, March 21, 2002.

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First appeared in Pacific, Sept. 11, 1988.
First appeared in Pacific, Sept. 11, 1988.

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Gethsemane Lutheran, nearby at 9th and Stewart.
Gethsemane Lutheran, nearby at 9th and Stewart.

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Zion Lutheran (German) at Stewart and Terry, and back-to-back with the Swedes.
Zion Lutheran (German) at Stewart and Terry, and back-to-back with the Swedes.

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The Greyhound depot, nearby at 8th and Stewart.
The Greyhound depot, nearby at 8th and Stewart.

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The WARD home at Boren and Pike.  First appeared in Pacific, January 3, 1999.
The WARD home at Boren and Pike. First appeared in Pacific, January 3, 1999.

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Fini: THE WAY OF ALL FLESH – AND PROPERTY

A March 30,  1902 Times report on the Margaret Pontius funeral.
A March 30, 1902 Times report on the Margaret Pontius funeral.
Her son Albert follows in the spring of 1914, leaving his portion of the family wealth to his oldest brother Frank, who was once the city treasurer.   Which may suggest to some of us that it is time to think of giving our stuff up while we can still describe it, and give much of it outside the family, that is  with love, which is philanthropically.
Her son Albert follows in the spring of 1914, leaving his portion of the family wealth to his oldest brother Frank, who was once the city treasurer. Which may suggest to some of us that it is time to think of giving our stuff up while we can still describe it, and give much of it with love outside the family, that is philanthropically.

Seattle Now & Then: Fire Below the Market

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The 1974 fire at the Municipal Market Building on the west side of Western Avenue did not hasten the demise of the by then half-century old addition of the Pike Place Market.  It had already been scheduled for demolition.  (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)
THEN: The 1974 fire at the Municipal Market Building on the west side of Western Avenue did not hasten the demise of the by then half-century old addition of the Pike Place Market. It had already been scheduled for demolition. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)
NOW: Jean Sherrard describes this as “about the easiest repeat I have taken.” Both views look north on Western Avenue towards Virginia Street.
NOW: Jean Sherrard describes this as “about the easiest repeat I have taken.” Both views look north on Western Avenue towards Virginia Street.

For a half century, the Municipal Market Building sat at the northwest corner of the Pike Place Market.  Perhaps you do not remember it, although the shoe-box shaped structure with its crenelated roof somewhat resembled a fort. Here the effect is made sensational with a fire and enveloping smoke.  The alarm was rung mid-afternoon on Wednesday, September 25, 1974.  The fire was started by a cutting torch used with abandon by a lone worker salvaging steel tracks in the by then condemned and abandoned building.

A Seattle Times clipping from Sept. 26, 1974.
A Seattle Times clipping from Sept. 26, 1974.
Not the same fire! And earlier one and another Times clip, this from Nov. 11, 1961.
Not the same fire! And earlier one on Western Ave. –  and another Times clip, this from Nov. 11, 1961.

The Municipal Market Building was constructed on the west side of Western Avenue in the 1920s as a way to keep the market in the market. We explain. Combined traffic from north and south, Elliott and Western Avenues, respectively, reached Pike Place at Virginia Street.  Already crowded with farmers’ stalls, the Market’s namesake Pike Place was increasingly used as a short cut to and from the business district.  In this protracted battle between farmers and motorists, the city’s traffic engineers wanted to move the market to another uptown site, but Kitsap and King County farmers and their customers protested.  They wanted it to stay on the scenic bluff.

The Municipal Market building can be found in this early 1930s aerial by first finding the armory building near the lower-left corner (just above the "Wn." in the photo's own caption) and moving from the armory up and to the right.  There's the show-box shaped Municipal Market Building and its bridge over Western Ave. to the long row of Market stalls on the west side of Pike Place.   Note the long gaps parallel to the bay in Railroad Avenue.  The 1934-36 seawall construction has not started.  Harborview hospital, 1930, is on the First Hill horizon.
The Municipal Market building can be found in this early 1930s aerial by first finding the armory building near the lower-left corner (just above the “Wn.” in the photo’s own caption) and moving from the armory up and to the right. There’s the show-box shaped Municipal Market Building and its bridge over Western Ave. to the long row of Market stalls on the west side of Pike Place. Note the long gaps parallel to the bay in Railroad Avenue. The 1934-36 seawall construction has not started. Harborview hospital, 1930, is on the First Hill horizon. [We recommend DOUBLE-CLICKING to enlarge.]

The political balance was tipped in favor of Pike Place, in part because of the addition of the Municipal Market Building.  Parking on the roof enlarged its service, and the lot was reached directly from Pike Place over Western Avenue via the Desimone Bridge, seen here (at the top) in both the ‘now’ and ‘then.’

The Armory seen from near the entrance to the RR tunnel.
The Armory seen from near the entrance to the RR tunnel.

This mid-20s addition to the Market was given its modest military design to compliment the fortress-like Washington State National Guard Armory (1909-1968), its neighbor to the north across Virginia Street.  In a Seattle Times advertisement from October 9,

From the Oct. 9, 1923 issue of The Times.
From the Oct. 9, 1923 issue of The Times.

1923, the new Municipal Market was not ‘up in arms’ but umbrellas, “a thousand or two” of them.  Seattle’s street railway was holding a “Going, Going, Gone” auction for six months worth of unclaimed items left on the trolleys. Also in its first decade, visitors were lured over the Desimone Bridge with vaudeville performances staged in the Municipal Market Building.  A 1946 feature in The Times noted “the eternal rummage sales in the Municipal Building.” 

I took this roughly merged 360 degree pan from the Desimone Bridge ca. 1980, and so about five years after the razing of the Municipal Market Building. (Dorpat)
I took this roughly merged 360 degree pan from the Desimone Bridge ca. 1980, and so about five years after the razing of the Municipal Market Building. CLICK TWICE!!  (Dorpat)
The Muncipal Market Building can be found here just above the Alaskan Way Viaduct and left-of-center.  A few cars are parked on the roof.  Work on the First National Bank building, far-right, is approaching its topping off, ca. 1967-8.
The Muncipal Market Building can be found here just above the Alaskan Way Viaduct and left-of-center. A few cars are parked on the roof. Work on the First National Bank building, far-right, is approaching its topping off, ca. 1967-8.  CLICK-CLICK.

What the fire of 1974 could not consume, which was most of it, demolition crews soon took. The site was then groomed for parking – steep parking.  After forty years of oil-stained pavement, the Public Market is now enlivened with new visions for the old Municipal Market space.  It will be joined with land freed by the razing of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  Some of Seattle’s usual progressive choices will be involved in the about three-fourths of an acre development, including a promenade or walkway to the waterfront, more market shops, more senior housing, a new public plaza on top and more covered parking below.

A Market full-page ad from the Seattle Times for nov. 19, 1953.
A Market full-page ad from the Seattle Times for Nov. 19, 1953.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys?  Jean we figure it is about time now for you to wake-up in London, perhaps in that charming little Youth Hostel two blocks of three above the north bank of the Thames and two or three blocks more to St. Paul’s – if memory serves me from 2005.  Ron has put up directly below a few of our by now usual suspect, past features from the neighborhood around the Pike Place Market.  For the space below those links, I’ll find a few more distant features and scan their clips.

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THEN: In this April morning record of the 1975 “Rain or Shine Public Market Paint-in,” above the artists, restoration work has begun with the gutting of the Corner Market Building.  (Photo by Frank Shaw)

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: The Hotel York at the northwest corner of Pike Street and First Avenue supplied beds on the American Plan for travelers and rooms for traveling hucksters. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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Left of center - or right of the left border - the Hotel York shows why it was advertized as a "scenic hotel."  This pan - courtesy of Ron Edge, again - was taken in the late 1890s so all of what shows in the way of waterfront docks are short-lived contributions from the 1890s.  This includes the Ainsworth Pier at the foot of Pike Street.  It was replace ca. 1900 with the pier we have now, the one that anchors the Waterfront Park and is home to the aquarium.
Left of center – or right of the left border – the Hotel York shows why it was advertized as a “scenic hotel.” This pan – courtesy of Ron Edge, again – was taken in the late 1890s so all of what shows in the way of waterfront docks are short-lived contributions from the 1890s. This includes the Ainsworth Pier at the foot of Pike Street. It was replace ca. 1900 with the pier we have now, the one that anchors the Waterfront Park and is home to the aquarium.  [CKICK-CLICK]
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This 1907 look north up Pike Place must be considered the market classic.  The stalls are yet to be built, so most of the commerce is done from the farmer's wagons.  The Hotel York, victim of the railroad tunnel below it, has left a hole on the right - behind the billboards.  (Courtesy, Oregon Historical Society)
This 1907 look north up Pike Place must be considered the market classic. The stalls are yet to be built, so most of the commerce is done from the farmer’s wagons. The Hotel York, victim of the railroad tunnel below it, has left a hole on the right – behind the billboards. (Courtesy, Oregon Historical Society)
First appears in Pacific on April 25, 1982.
First appears in Pacific on April 25, 1982.  CLICK-CLICK

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First appeared in Pacific, May 24, 1987.
First appeared in Pacific, May 24, 1987. CLICK-CLICK

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First appeared in Pacific, June 3, 2007.
First appeared in Pacific, June 3, 2007.
The featured photo in the insertion just above was photographed from the Standard Furniture Co. building, which can be found in the accompanying 1904-5 Sanborn map on the west side of Western Avenue, second lot north of Pike Street.  Some of the "cheap cabins' sketched north of the furniture co. building match - with some imagination - the modest dwelling showing in the featured photo between Standard Furniture and the Seamen's Institute.
The featured photo in the insertion just above was photographed from the Standard Furniture Co. building, which can be found in the accompanying 1904-5 Sanborn map on the west side of Western Avenue, second lot north of Pike Street. Some of the “cheap cabins’ sketched north of the furniture co. building match – with some imagination – the modest dwelling showing in the featured photo between Standard Furniture and the Seamen’s Institute.  CLICK-CLICK
It should look familiar.  Western Avenue, and the Pike Street pedestrian crossing, 1975. [Photo by Frank Shaw]
It should look familiar. Western Avenue, and the Pike Street pedestrian crossing, 1975. [Photo by Frank Shaw]
Pike Place to the right and Western Ave. to the left of the parkets long shelter for its stalls. The Seamen's Hall is in the shadows far left, and the typical armory profile is center-horizon.  Compare to the 1912 Baist map directly below.
Pike Place to the right and Western Ave. to the left of the parkets long shelter for its stalls. The Seamen’s Hall is in the shadows far left, and the typical armory profile is center-horizon. Compare to the 1912 Baist map directly below.   CLICK-CLICK
A detail of the Pike Place Market neighborhood lifted from the 1912 Baist Map.  Note the furniture warehouse, bottom-center, from which the look up Western showing three photos of it was captured.
A detail of the Pike Place Market neighborhood lifted from the 1912 Baist Map. Note the furniture warehouse, bottom-center, from which the look up Western showing three (and five) photos of it was captured.
A portrait of the Seamen's Institute across Western Ave. from the Market.
A portrait of the Seamen’s Institute across Western Ave. from the Market.

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1903 excavation of the bluff below Virginia Street for the north rortal of the railroad tunnel.
1903 excavation of the bluff below Virginia Street for the north rortal of the railroad tunnel.
First appeared in Pacific January 30, 2000.
First appeared in Pacific January 30, 2000.
The tunnel's north portal ca. 1904, when still a work-in-progress.
The tunnel’s north portal ca. 1904, when still a work-in-progress.
Work at the north portal, ca. 1903-4.  The tunnel workers' dormitories are lined up above the opening.  Later the Municipal Market Building would nestle on that ledge.
Work at the north portal, ca. 1903-4. The tunnel workers’ dormitories are lined up above the opening. Later the Municipal Market Building would nestle on that ledge.

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First appeared in Pacific, May 6, 1990.
First appeared in Pacific, May 6, 1990.

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clip-pliny-Pike-Place-lk-s-fm-Virginian-nowWEB

First appeared in Pacific, August 17, 2003
First appeared in Pacific, August 17, 2003

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First appeared in Pacific, Nov. 17, 1991.
First appeared in Pacific, Nov. 17, 1991.

Seattle Now & Then: The Seattle Fire, Three Weeks Later

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Looking north-northeast from the corner of Main Street and Occidental Avenue two or three weeks after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889.  (Courtesy the Museum of History and Industry – MOHAI)
THEN: Looking north-northeast from the corner of Main Street and Occidental Avenue two or three weeks after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy the Museum of History and Industry – MOHAI)
NOW: The two-story brick structure that was built on the corner a few years following the Great Fire housed the Carrolton Hotel upstairs and a variety of small businesses at the street level.  The building was razed first for parking in the 1960s.  In 1971 the parking lot was transformed with cobble stones as a part of Occidental Park.
NOW: The two-story brick structure that was built on the corner a few years following the Great Fire housed the Carrolton Hotel upstairs and a variety of small businesses at the street level. The building was razed first for parking in the 1960s. In 1971 the parking lot was transformed with cobble stones as a part of Occidental Park.

I am writing this on June 6, 2015, the 126th anniversary of Seattle’s Great Fire.  Most likely you are reading it about one month later.  That places you closer to the 126th anniversary of this subject, which in 1889 was still Seattle’s primary business district, reduced to charred rubble.   The scene was photographed, I surmise, late in the month of June or perhaps even in early July.

Some of the same tents and brick piles show in this view that looks northeast across Main Street to Second Ave. (Occidental Ave.).  The County Courthouse at Third and Yesler appears on the right and the Yesler Mansion on the east side of Third, high-center.  Part of Central School at Madison and 6th Ave. , fills the upper-left corner.  (Courtesy, MOHAI)
Some of the same tents and brick piles show in this view that looks northeast across Main Street to Second Ave. (Occidental Ave.). The County Courthouse at Third and Yesler appears on the right and the Yesler Mansion on the east side of Third, high-center. Part of Central School at Madison and 6th Ave. , fills the upper-left corner. (Courtesy, MOHAI)
The corner of Second (Occidental) and Main appears, in part, upper-left in this look to the southwest from the front porch of the King County Courthouse, later to known as the Katzenjammer Kastle during its long run as  Seattle's city hall. (Courtesy, MOHAI)
The corner of Second (Occidental) and Main appears with tents, far-left, in this look to the southwest from the front porch of the King County Courthouse, later to known as the Katzenjammer Kastle during its long run as Seattle’s city hall. (Courtesy, MOHAI)
The Post-Fire ruins and tents, this time from the Katzenjammer tower.  Mill Street (Yesler Way) crosses to the right from the lower-left corner.  Jefferson Street meets it from the lower-right corner. West Seattle is on the horizon. "Our corner" of Main and Second (Occidental) is upper left, below the tall ships.
The Post-Fire ruins and tents, this time from the Katzenjammer tower. Mill Street (Yesler Way) crosses to the right from the lower-left corner. Jefferson Street meets it from the lower-right corner. West Seattle is on the horizon. “Our corner” of Main and Second (Occidental) is upper left, below the tall ships.  The temporary tent that crowds bottom-left in the photo above this one, appears here also at the bottom, right-of-center.  A contemporary repeat for this would be taken high in the trees along the west border of City  Hall Park.

With the help of the many surviving photographs of the ruins, it is easy to determine from what prospect this scene was recorded.  The unnamed photographer stood on Main Street looking north by northeast over Main Street’s northwest corner with Second Avenue (later renamed Occidental.) It is a typical post-fire cityscape that reveals a layering of ruins, temporary tents, and some of the surviving city blocks that were not among the 35 or so destroyed by the conflagration in its seven hours of wind-driven destruction.

First Methodist at the southeast corner of Marion and Third.
First Methodist at the southeast corner of Marion and Third. [CLICK to ENLARGE]

Of the ten or so landmarks with towers that break the First Hill horizon we’ll note but three.  First, far left, stands the Gothic spire of First Methodist Church at the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Marion Street.  Next, at the scene’s center and farther up the hill, are the two towers of Central School on the south side of Madison Street, where now passes the Seattle Freeway (I-5) ditch.  Much closer to the photographer, to the left of the scorched power pole, the Yesler mansion faces Third Avenue, on the north side of Jefferson Street.  It was saved with a combination of soaked blankets spread on the roof and volunteers who extinguished the flying embers. Nearby, just right of the same power pole, another battle on the shingles saved the King County Courthouse. After the murder trail then underway was adjourned by Judge Hanford, buckets of water were lifted with a rope borrowed from the flagpole to drench the roof. 

Appeared first in Pacific, March 21, 2002.
Appeared first in Pacific, March 21, 2002. [CLICK to ENLARGE]

By the 10th of June, four days following the fire, over one hundred permits had been issued to erect temporary tents.  Like those shown here, most of the tents were stretched on sturdy frames and anchored to heavy planks.  Months later some of these canvas quarters were still standing and being used as store fronts. 

Looking south to a tideflats lined with rows of pilings placed speculatively as property lines in the hopes that the first state legislature would look upon them such squatters and jumpers markings as keys to owning the land below the tides.   Second Avenue - now Occidental - is right-of-center.  Much of the neighborhood is well along with the construction of brick business blocks, but a neighborhood cluster of temporary tents endures too.  [Courtesy MOHAI]
Looking south to a tideflats lined with rows of pilings placed speculatively as property lines in the hopes that the first state legislature would look upon such squatters and jumpers markings as keys to owning the land below the tides. Second Avenue – now Occidental – is right-of-center. Much of the neighborhood is well along with the construction of brick business blocks, but a cluster of temporary tents endures too. [Courtesy MOHAI]

Most of the pre-fire neighborhood south of Yesler Way was built of wood.  Brick structures were rare.  So the orderly piles of bricks here [in the featured photo at the top] encroaching on the street, right-of-center, is – or was – an inviting mystery.  Except that almost certainly these bricks were salvaged from the wreckage of the large but short-lived Squire Building, here at the northwest corner of

A circa 1888 panorama of the neighborhood  south of Mill (Yesler Way) taken from near 6th and Washington before the 1889 fire.  Some day we will determine if the brand new and short-lived
A circa 1888 panorama of the neighborhood south of Mill (Yesler Way) taken from near 6th and Washington before the 1889 fire. Some day we will determine if the brand new and short-lived Squire Building is among the larger business blocks showing right of center.
A detail from the 1888 Sanborn Real Estate Map showing the northwest corner of Main and 2nd (Occidental), bottom-right, prepared for the construction of the three-story tall Squire Block, the source also of our brick piles after the Great Fire.
A detail from the 1888 Sanborn Real Estate Map showing the northwest corner of Main and 2nd (Occidental), bottom-right, prepared for the construction of the three-story tall Squire Block, the source also of our piles of salvaged bricks at the corner of Main and Second (Occidental) after the Great Fire.
A Pioneer Square neighborhood detail from a 1925 real estate map.  We have centered the detail on the Ca
A Pioneer Square neighborhood detail from a 1925 real estate map. We have centered the detail on the Carrolton Hotel at the northwest corner of Occidental and Main.

Main Street and Second Ave. (Occidental).  In the 1888 Sanborn real estate map this corner lot is captioned “Excavation for Brick Block to be three stories.”  For his research on Pioneer Square neighborhood structures, Greg Lange found in the 1889 Polk Directory more than thirty tenants renting quarters in Watson Squire’s namesake block. Once the fire, heading south, reached Yesler Way around six pm, Watson’s renters must have already started gathering what they could before scrambling up First Hill.

A hand-color look north on Second Ave. (Occidental) in the mid-1870s from near Washington Street.  The Occidental Hotel, between Mill (Yesler Way) and James Street, interrupted the grid.
A hand-color look north on Second Ave. (Occidental) in the mid-1870s from near Washington Street. The Occidental Hotel, between Mill (Yesler Way) and James Street, interrupted the grid.  Jeweler-photographer Bob Bradley did the coloring directly on the 35mm slide, most likely in the 1950s.

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MORE POST-FIRE RUINS, TENTS & RECONSTRUCTION

The serviceable ruins of the Dexter Horton Bank (Seattle First National) show at the bottom-center at the northwest corner of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) and Washington Street.  Some of the skyline here can be found in the top featured view too.
The serviceable ruins of the Dexter Horton Bank (Seattle First National) show  bottom-center at the northwest corner of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) and Washington Street. Some of the skyline in this West Shore magazine rendering can be found in the top featured view on top.
The Dexter Horton bank before the '89 fire, at the northwest corner of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) and Washington Street.
The Dexter Horton bank before the ’89 fire, at the northwest corner of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) and Washington Street.
And after.
And after.  For more on this bank, see the last of Ron’s links at the bottom.

===

1889-Fire-Ruins-lk-north-on-Post-from-Mill-w-horses-&--Wagon-WEB

Looking north on Post Alley (or Street or Avenue) from Mill Street (Yesler Way) following the Great Fire.
Looking north on Post Alley (or Street or Avenue) from Mill Street (Yesler Way) following the Great Fire.    [First appeared in Pacific on April 22, 2007.]
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Occidental Hotel ruins looking south from Front Street, (First Ave.) north of James Street.
Occidental Hotel ruins looking south from Front Street, (First Ave.) north of James Street.
First appeared in Pacific, June 6, 2004.
First appeared in Pacific, June 6, 2004.

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Yesler Wharf ruins looking east from the end of the dock.  Compare the line-up of ruined buildings
Yesler Wharf ruins looking east from the end of the dock. Compare the line-up of ruined buildings with those showing in two clippings up.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, fellas?   Yes Jean, but first Ron and I – and now the readers too – wish you and yours a happy farewell as you fly away to Europe with twenty-five (about) Hillside students and your protective cadre of instructors to visit first London and then Paris, and surely some of the same sites that you and I explored together in 2005.  I will send you – as you have instructed – some shots I took when first visiting the same cities as a teenager in 1955, for your intentions to repeat them now sixty years later – gadz.  Perhaps we can sneak them into Pacific – one or two of them.  It will depend, I think, on how sentimental the editors are feeling at the time of submission, and the pun is intended.   Bon  Voyage Jean and carry our love to Berangere, who, I know, will be helping you in Paris.  Often I’d just like to move there and follow BB around those ancient blocks with a bag of bon bons and one light weight digital camera.

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THEN: The ruins left by Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, included a large neighborhood of warehouses and factories built on timber quays over the tides.  Following the fire the quays were soon restored with new capping and planking.  A close look on the far-right will reveal some of this construction on the quays underway.  (Courtesy, Seattle Public Library)

THEN: Sitting on a small triangle at the odd northwest corner of Third Avenue and the Second Ave. S. Extension, the Fiesta Coffee Shop was photographed and captioned, along with all taxable structures in King County, by Works Progress Administration photographers during the lingering Great Depression of the late 1930s.  (Courtesy, Washington State Archive’s Puget Sound Branch)

THEN: Seen here in 1887 through the intersection of Second Avenue and Yesler Way, the Occidental Hotel was then easily the most distinguished in Seattle.  (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

Seattle Now & Then: Golden Potlatch on the Waterfront

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: From boxcars and rooftops to the planks of Railroad Avenue, excitement builds for the ceremonial re-enactment of the S.S.Portland’s 1897 landing with its “ton of gold” on the Seattle waterfront, the city’s first Golden Potlatch Celebration.  [Courtesy, Michael Maslan]
THEN: From boxcars and rooftops to the planks of Railroad Avenue, excitement builds for the ceremonial re-enactment of the S.S.Portland’s 1897 landing with its “ton of gold” on the Seattle waterfront, the city’s first Golden Potlatch Celebration. [Courtesy, Michael Maslan]
NOW: From boxcars and rooftops to the planks of Railroad Avenue, excitement builds for the ceremonial re-enactment of the S.S.Portland’s 1897 landing with its “ton of gold” on the Seattle waterfront, the city’s first Golden Potlatch Celebration.  [Courtesy, Michael Maslan]
NOW: The Maritime Building (1910) on the left survives a century later, but the Alaskan Way Viaduct (1953) “has seen better days” and prepares now for its razing. 

This subject is, almost certainly, the formal opening of the Golden Potlatch on the afternoon of Wednesday July 19, 1911. To find the ceremony itself we would need to go out-of-frame, far-right, following the attentions of those packed atop the long line of boxcars on the left.  This rolling stock was often used as convenient bleachers through the many years that the waterfront, where “rail meets sail,” was stage (or platform) for local celebrations. With his or

Above and below: The Marion Street viaduct over Railroad Avenue (Alaskan Way) then and now - nearly now.
Above and below: The Marion Street viaduct over Railroad Avenue (Alaskan Way) then and now – nearly now.

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Posing on the Marion Street viaduct, Mach 3, 1911.  The scene looks east.
Posing on the Marion Street viaduct, Mach 3, 1911. The scene looks east.

her back to Madison Street, the photographer looks south on Railroad Ave (Alaskan Way) to the also packed Marion Street overpass.  It was built by the railroads to permit safe passage for the hordes of locals and visitors here in 1909 for the city’s Alaska Yukon and Pacific Exhibition (AYP).  The Golden Potlatch was, in part, an attempt by local boomers to recapture some of the civic splendor and hoopla that had accompanied the summer-long AYP.  And the Potlatch had its own reverberations.  As the first citywide, multi-day, summer festival, the several Potlatches were precursors for the now retirement-age annual Sea Fair celebration.

4 POTLATCH-BUG-WEB

Part of the armada of steamers for the 1911 Potlatch - looking back from the Bay to Railroad Avenue.
Part of the armada of steamers for the 1911 Potlatch – looking back from the Bay to Railroad Avenue.

Another prospect for watching the opening day ceremonies, from both the windows and the roof of the Maritime Building, on the left, fills the block between Madison and Marion Streets and Railroad and Western Avenues and rises five stories above the boxcars.  It was filled with the offices and warehouse spaces for distributing the daily needs for foodstuffs and such brought here from distant lands (like California and Mexico).  Built of reinforced concrete with lots of windows for light, the big building’s architect, contractor and builder was Stone and Webster, one of the nation’s great commercial octopi, with its tentacles already active in Seattle’s trolleys, interurbans, and power plants.

The Maritime Building on the right photographed from the Marion Street viaduct to Colman Dock.
The Maritime Building on the right photographed from the Marion Street viaduct to Colman Dock.
An artist's rendering of the Maritime Building appearing in the Seattle Times for June 29, 1910.
An artist’s rendering of the Maritime Building appearing in the Seattle Times for June 29, 1910.
Railroad Avenue from the Marion  Street viaduct during the 1916 "Big Snow."  The Madison Street north end of the building appears on the far right.
Railroad Avenue from the Marion Street viaduct during the 1916 “Big Snow.” The Madison Street north end of the Maritimes Building appears on the far right.

A gust from a mid-summer breeze flaps the American flag, top-center on the featured photo, posted above the southwest corner of the Maritime Building.  Every corner had one.  More evidence of the wind is the woman in the dazzling white blouse heading toward the photographer and holding tight with both hands her oversized hat.  However, none of the men here seem worried for their own crowns. 

Looking northwest and down on the intersection of Western Ave. and Madison Street from the nearly new Rainier Grand hotel on First  Avenue.  Note the Madison Street Cable Car approaching the intersection.  Beyond the tall ships, a trestle for moving the mud of Denny Hill reaches into the bay.   The new Maritime Buildings northeast corner appears far left.
Looking northwest and down on the intersection of Western Ave. and Madison Street from the nearly new Rainier Grand hotel on First Avenue. Note the Madison Street Cable Car approaching the intersection. Beyond the tall ships, a trestle for moving the mud of Denny Hill reaches into the bay. The new Maritime Buildings northeast corner appears far left.
A Municipal Public Works department image looking north on Western from the Marion Street viaduct.
A Municipal Public Works department image looking north on Western from the Marion Street viaduct.  The Maritime Building is on the left.
Lawton Gowey's June 20, 1965 "repeat" of the Municipal photo above it.
Lawton Gowey’s June 20, 1965 “repeat” of the Municipal photo above it.

What are they watching?  The ceremonial mish-mash of Kings and Queens, and performers acting as Alaskans landing aboard the “ton of gold” ship, the S.S. Portland, followed by a double line of navy ships, tooting Puget Sound “mosquito-fleet” steamers, and northwest yachts. Meanwhile overhead Curtiss aviators Ely and Winter flew back and forth.  At two o’clock, the Gold Rush flotilla was scheduled to reach the Grand Trunk Pacific Dock, the largest wooden pier on the coast and in 1911 brand new.  With fireworks, fireboat displays, and band concerts from the pier, the rubbernecked folks on the boxcar roofs were entertained until midnight. 

A Pacific clipping from July 1, 1990 showing some of the Potlatch's Railroad Avenue action, but in 1912, not 1911.
A Pacific clipping from July 1, 1990 showing some of the Potlatch’s Railroad Avenue action, but in 1912, not 1911. [CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE]

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  MOSTLY waterfront features Jean.  More to come tomorrow, perhaps.  Proofreading too.

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: The driver, lower left, leads his team towards First Avenue up a planked incline on Madison Street.  (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: The S. S. Suveric makes a rare visit to Seattle in 1911.  (Historical photo courtesy of Jim Westall)

THEN: The ruins left by Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, included a large neighborhood of warehouses and factories built on timber quays over the tides.  Following the fire the quays were soon restored with new capping and planking.  A close look on the far-right will reveal some of this construction on the quays underway.  (Courtesy, Seattle Public Library)

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

Seattle Now & Then: The Silvian Apartments

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: An early portrait, circa 1911, of The Silvian Apartments, one of Capitol Hill’s abiding architectural jewels.  (Courtesy, Bill Burden)
THEN: An early portrait, circa 1911, of The Silvian Apartments, one of Capitol Hill’s abiding architectural jewels. (Courtesy, Bill Burden)
NOW: Now the beautiful brick apartment house, at the northwest corner of Harrison Street and 10th Avenue East, is home for low-income tenants with thirty-two affordable units.
NOW: Now the beautiful brick apartment house, at the northwest corner of Harrison Street and 10th Avenue East, is home for low-income tenants with thirty-two affordable units.
Evidence for my good intention to do a repeat for the Silvian as early as the 1980s.
Evidence for my good intention to do a now-and-then  for the Silvian as early as the 1980s.

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.” 

A TIMES classified for the nearly new Silvian from May 12, 1912.
A TIMES classified for the nearly new Silvian from May 12, 1912.
A detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map including here the red footprint for the brick Silvian Apartments.
A detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map including here the red footprint for the brick Silvian Apartments (near the center).  Note the Pilgrim Congregational Church on E. Republican, which can also be seen, in part, on the right of the featured “then” photo at the top.

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.” 

A Times real estate promotion from April 2, 1911 featuring the Silvian as it 41st example
A Times real estate promotion from April 2, 1911 featuring the Silvian as it 41st example of 50 views revealing ” Seattle’s Progress.”    CLICK TO ENLARGE

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.”  

A Seattle Times clipping from February 13, 1927, CLICK to ENLARGE for the text on the Silvian's sale for $85,000.
A Seattle Times clipping from February 13, 1927. CLICK to ENLARGE for the text on the Silvian’s sale for $85,000.

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.   

The Silvian's tax card for 1938.  (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, Bellevue College branch)
The Silvian’s tax card for 1938. (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, Bellevue College branch) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

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. 

A TIMES Clip from March 6, 1960.   CLICK to ENLARGE
A TIMES Clip from March 6, 1960. CLICK to ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

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.

THEN:  Looking across Capitol Hill’s Broadway Avenue during its 1931adjustments. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: Both the grading on Belmont Avenue and the homes beside it are new in this “gift” to Capitol Hill taken from the family album of  Major John Millis. (Courtesy of the Major’s grandchild Walter Millis and his son, a Seattle musician, Robert Millis.)

THEN: We have by three years or four missed the centenary for this distinguished brick pile, the Littlefield Apartments on Capitol Hill.  (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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THEN: The brand new N&K Packard dealership at Belmont and Pike in 1909.  Thanks to both antique car expert Fred Cruger for identifying as Packards the cars on show here, and to collector Ron Edge for finding them listed at this corner in a 1909 Post-Intelligencer. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry.)

THEN: Revelers pose on the Masonic Temple stage for “A Night in Old Alexandria,” the Seattle Fine Art Societies annual costume ball for 1921. (Pic courtesy of Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink)

Seattle Now & Then: Ye Olde Totem Place

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Totem Place, at 1750 Palm Ave. S.W., was home for Joseph Standley proprietor of Ye Old Curiosity Shop on Colman Dock. His death notice in The Seattle Times for Oct. 25, 1940 described the 86-year-old “Daddy” Standley as “almost as much a part of Seattle’s waterfront as the waves that dash again the seaweall.”
THEN: Totem Place, at 1750 Palm Ave. S.W., was home for Joseph Standley proprietor of Ye Old Curiosity Shop on Colman Dock. His death notice in The Seattle Times for Oct. 25, 1940 described the 86-year-old “Daddy” Standley as “almost as much a part of Seattle’s waterfront as the waves that dash against the seaweall.”
Joseph James, “Daddy” Standley’s grandson, will welcome visitors next Sunday to Totem Place for “If These Walls Could Talk” Southwest Seattle Histoircal Society’s popular yearly program of opening homes for inspection and story-telling.  The homes present owners Katy and Erik Walum will do some welcoming as well.
Joseph James, “Daddy” Standley’s grandson, will welcome visitors next Sunday to Totem Place for “If These Walls Could Talk” Southwest Seattle Histoircal Society’s popular yearly program of opening homes for inspection and story-telling. The homes present owners Katy and Erik Walum will do some welcoming as well.
A turned alternative photographed on the same sitting, it seems.
A turned alternative photographed AT the same sitting, it seems.

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. 

Bill Speidel: reporter, promoter, publisher - before the Underground Tour.  (S. Times)
Bill Speidel: reporter, promoter, publisher – years before the Seattle Underground Tour. (S. Times)
A Presbyterian pastor and a Knights Templar too, ca. 1925.
A Presbyterian pastor and a Knights Templar too, ca. 1925
Ivar Haglund, the orientalist keeping cool.
Ivar Haglund, the orientalist keeping both clam and cool.
Daddy Standley standing with two of his totems and never once thinking "icons."
Daddy Standley standing with two of his totems and never once thinking “icons.”

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.)

On Colman Dock (Courtesy Waterfront Awareness)
On Colman Dock (Courtesy Waterfront Awareness)
Daddy Standley somewhat earlier, known as "Curio Joe."
Daddy Standley somewhat earlier, known as “Curio Joe.”

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.” 

I found this among prints left to me by an old friend, the sign painter Arthur Link Lingenbrink.  Link had other photos of his "girl friend" - some "figure studies included."  Here, accompanying Link on one of his celebrity searches, she posed with Daddy in the late 1930s.
I found this among prints left to me by an old friend, the sign painter Arthur Link Lingenbrink. Link had other photos of his “girl friend” – some arty figure studies included.  Here, accompanying Link on one of his celebrity searches, she posed with Daddy in the late 1930s outside his Shop.

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. 

Daddy's grandson, Joseph James, posing at the former site of the  Shop's first home  on Madison Street, near Western Ave. (see below)
Daddy’s grandson, Joseph James, posing at the former site of the
Shop’s first home on Madison Street, near Western Ave. (see below)
The first location for Ye Old Curiosity, on Madison near Western, ca. 1899.  (Courtesy, the Shop and Joe James.)
The first location for Ye Old Curiosity, on Madison near Western, ca. 1899. (Courtesy, the Shop and Joe James.)

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. 

The Rubydeaux, one of the attractions for his children and their friends, which Daddy built on the big lot of Totem Place.
The Rubydeaux, one of the attractions for his children and their friends, which Daddy built on the big lot of Totem Place.   The contemporary repeat (from 2006) is below.

TOTEM-PLACE-TEAHOUSE-NOW-9_28_6-web

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.

We have superimposed Sylvester, one of the Shop s ancient stars,onto its stationary crom about 1940.  Note the list of services on the left.
We have superimposed Sylvester, one of the Shop’s ancient stars, onto Shop stationary from about 1940. Note the list of services/attractions on the left.   [CLICK to ENLARGE]
A wider view of Totem Place.  Although blasted by back light both Daddy Standley, near the center, and his tall sculpture made of shells, far right, are apparent.  (Courtesy John Cooper)
A wider view of Totem Place. Although blasted by back light both Daddy Standley, near the center, and his tall sculpture made of shells, far left, are apparent. (Courtesy John Cooper)

WEB EXTRAS

 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.

THEN: The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge was built on a road, in a neighborhood, and near a public school all named for the developer Carlisle Gatewood, who also lived in the neighborhood.  The three women posing in the third floor’s open windows are the Clark sisters, Jean, Dorothy and Peggy, members of the family that moved into the home in the late 1930s.

THEN: The Seattle Times in its lengthy coverage of the then new Seattle Steel in the paper’s Magazine Section for Sept. 10, 1905 – the year this photograph was recorded – noted that “the plant itself is a series of strong, substantial, cavernous sheds, built for use, not for beauty.”  (Courtesy, MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: In 1852 many of Seattle’s first pioneers removed from Alki Point by dugout canoe for the deeper and safer harbor along the east shore of Elliott Bay (our central waterfront).  About a half-century later any hope or expectation that the few survivors among these pioneers could readily visit Alki Beach and Point by land were fulfilled with the timber quays and bridges along Spokane Street. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

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Scanned clips to follow – sooner than later, we hope.

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Now & Then here and now

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