(click to enlarge photos)
What, we wonder, motivated this photographer to move off the sidewalk and use these mid-block weeds in her or his composition. Was it, perhaps, to keep the brand new stone apartment on the left in the picture? The address is 1425 Harvard and the apartment is fittingly named the Boston Block. It opened its flats to renters in the summer of 1903. The location was certainly convenient but the monthly fee of $37.50 was not especially cheap for even the five room flats it was renting.
However, the primary subject here is probably the “vaguely Romanesque” but also new Seattle High School on the nearby horizon. It opened in 1902. On the evidence of a short stack of snapshots of which this is one, the likely year for this recording is 1903 or ’04. With the photographer’s back near Union Street, the prospect looks two blocks north to the school’s south façade on the north side of Pine Street.
That, of course, puts Pike Street at the bottom of the hill, less than a block away in the draw between First Hill – with the photographer – and Capitol Hill with the school. Soon motorcars and their servers would crowd the sides of Pike with show rooms and parts stores for Seattle’s first “auto row.” The domestic clutter here of what appear to be single family residences would for the greater part be either replaced with business blocks, converted into boarding houses or succeeded by substantial apartment houses like the one on the left.
Lincoln, Seattle’s second high school, opened in Wallingford in 1911 the year Seattle High Changed its name to Broadway and first opened night classes. This Broadway diversity was extended with skills schools like Edison Tech and “self-help” courses during the 1930s. In 1946 Broadway was given over entirely to adult education including classes for veterans returning from World War Two.
After pioneer architect William E. Boone’s grand stone pile was sold in 1966 to Seattle Community College, Dr. Ed Erickson, the school’s president, publically hoped that “nostalgia and emotions will not get in the way” of College plans to raze what some of the high school’s activist alums still lovingly called the Pine Street Prison. Alums and architects on both sides were enlisted for the battle that followed to preserve or pull down Broadway Hi. Second only then to the fight to save the Pike Place Market, the Broadway effort managed to keep only the school’s auditorium.
Anything to add, Paul?
Because of the lingering ghost or ghosts in our blog machine we will keep it short Jean. When these spirits are exorcized – or these problems answered – we can return to offering good-’n-big additions to our features. We love this recycling of years of features written and old photos collected and interpreted. But for now we will wait, except we will also not wait. That is, I’ll attach a few other photographs of the new High School, understanding that at least a few of our readers will have discovered the temporary trick for reaching the latest offerings on this blog, which is to go fir to its archive, aka its past pages. There the ghost is temporarily restrained.