Seattle Now & Then: Secular Conversions at Third & Pine

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Sometime between early December 1906 and mid-February 1907 an unnamed photographer with her or his back about two lots north of Pike Street recorded landmarks on the east side of Third Avenue including, in part, the Washington Bar stables, on the right; the Union Stables at the center, a church converted for theatre at Pine Street, and north of Pine up a snow-dusted Denny Hill, the Washington Hotel.  (Used courtesy of Ron Edge)
THEN: Sometime between early December 1906 and mid-February 1907 an unnamed photographer with her or his back about two lots north of Pike Street recorded landmarks on the east side of Third Avenue including, in part, the Washington Bar stables, on the right; the Union Stables at the center, a church converted for theatre at Pine Street, and north of Pine up a snow-dusted Denny Hill, the Washington Hotel. (Used courtesy of Dan Kerlee )

 

 

NOW: Within six years following the completion of regrading on Third Ave as far north as Pine Street and Denny Hill in the spring of 1905, the hill was removed and the avenue graded and paved as far north as Denny Way.
NOW: Within six years following the completion of regrading on Third Ave as far north as Pine Street and Denny Hill in the spring of 1905, the hill was removed and the avenue graded and paved as far north as Denny Way.

In an effort to pack his namesake Taylor’s Castle Garden for opening night, Charles A. Taylor, Seattle’s then popular producer of farce and melodrama, paused to boast before the local press.  Taylor explained that the seven days required to transform the recent home for the Methodist Protestant Church into his “amusement resort” as well as rehearse the new acts for his show and advertise them too, “that no such time record has hitherto been made in the country.”  With his claim the popular playwright-performer added theatre statistician to his by then sixteen years with the Third Ave. Theatre. Whatever, the promoter’s figures worked. The Times review of the Dec. 1, 1906 opening revealed that for Taylor’s program of “extravaganza and vaudeville, with few exceptions every seat in the big playhouse was filled.” [Although not easy to read we will attach a clipping of this review at the bottom of this feature.]

The opportunity of turning the church at the southeast corner of Pine Street and Third Avenue into a sensational stage first opened to Taylor’s company when Seattle’s second oldest congregation moved out.  Facing a street regrade that would leave the Gothic-arched entrance into their sanctuary no longer at the sidewalk but rather one floor up, the Methodists moved to a new stone church – still Gothic – on Capitol Hill.

1905 Sanborn real estate map showing the footprints for structures including those then to be short-lived ones on the east side of Third Ave. between Pike and Pine Streets.
1905 Sanborn real estate map showing the footprints for structures including those then  short-lived ones on the east side of Third Ave. between Pike and Pine Streets.

For opening night the opportunist Taylor staged exhibits and sideshows in the new street-level first floor, while about 12 feet up he directed the “spectacular ‘Children’s Fairyland’ with a chorus of singers and dancers numbering more than 100”, all of it supported by the “difficult dancing” of Linnie Love, a “well-known Seattle girl” with her own stage name.

3rd-Ave-theatre-Taylor-Co.-3rd-Madison

Another of the Third Ave. Theatre at it original home on the northeast corner of 3rd Ave. and Madison Street.
Another of the Third Ave. Theatre at it original home on the northeast corner of 3rd Ave. and Madison Street.

The corner’s rapid conversion from Gothic-sacred to Castle-secular was both ironic and short-lived.  First the irony: Taylor and his players had been earlier forced into their 6-block move up Third Ave from Madison to Pine, when their long-accustomed venue, the Third Avenue Theatre at the northeast corner of Madison Street, was schedule for conversion into kindling by another regrade on Third Avenue. The return to melodrama –  after some managerial squabbling with one of his supporters, Taylor’s Castle at 3rd and Pine closed, and flipped to being a stage for farce and melodrama.  The name it had abandoned months earlier with the splinters at the northeast corner of Madison and Third was then moved north to Pine Street and used again.

A clip addressing Taylor's difficulties as at least in part the result of acute bad health. May be and maybe not.
A clip addressing Taylor’s difficulties as at least in part the result of acute bad health. May be and maybe not.
Somewhat late in its stay in the converted church at 3rd and Pine.
Somewhat late in its stay in the converted church at 3rd and Pine.  The razing of Denny Hill’s front hump aka South Summit between Pine and Virginia Streets, is well underway.

For two years more, it was as the Third Ave. Theatre that shows were put up in the not-so-old church (1891), while north across Pine Street, Denny Hill came down, and another “castle,” the landmark Washington Hotel, revealed here (on top) in part far left, with it.

Later that year (1907) a remnant of the hotel, and the new Fire Station on the right.
Later that year (1907) a remnant of the hotel, and the new Fire Station on the right.
The Seattle Times review of the Castle Garden's opening, printed in the Dec. 2, 1906 edition.
The Seattle Times review of the Castle Garden’s opening, printed in the Dec. 2, 1906 edition.  This is not easy to read even in the original.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?

Sure Jean 1, 2, 3.

1. I just returned from a Salmon House dinner with our blog’s distinguished anatomist, John Sundsten.  (With a KEY WORD search on Sundsten  the reader may visit again a few of John’s instructions in the coincidences of human anatomy, Green Lake morphology and walkers.)  It is now 8 pm on Sat. Sept 28th, I’m listening to a Swedish male chorus singing all Schubert with the soprano Malena Ernman (a search for her on YouTube may surprise.) It is a mere month from another passage that may have numerological resonance for almost anyone.  It will be my 75th birthday. [Here's the proof - perhaps. Subtract 66 from 75 for 9, divide 9 by 3 for 3.] With different knees, and a new left hip, I might close my eyes and with the singing of Schubert and Marlena imagine myself 25.  [Subtract 16 from 25 for 9, divide 9 by 3 and so on.]

Malena Ernman
Malena Ernman, the often comedic Swedish mezzo-soprano with shoulders as impressive as her range.

2. Ron Edge has gathered the past blog features that are most relevant to this Seattle block on 3rd Ave. between Pike and Pine streets.  It turns out that it has been a popular popular with us.  He has put up three links – the first three photos to follow – that will take the reader to his choices.

3. Finally below Ron’s trio, I’ll enter a few more related pieces of ephemera and their stories. [Shucks!  I am up and it is Sunday, but all that I did for the blog under this "no. 3" is not there.  It did not take.  Before reviving or restoring it we will need to figures out what sent it packing.  Later then.]

THEN: Where last week the old Washington Hotel looked down from the top of Denny Hill to the 3rd Ave. and Pine St. intersection, on the left, here the New Washington Hotel, left of center and one block west of the razed hotel, towers over the still new Denny Regrade neighborhood in 1917. (Historical photo courtesy of Ron Edge)

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First Methodist, southeast corner of 3rd Ave. and Pine  Street.
First Methodist Protestant Church, southeast corner of 3rd Ave. and Pine Street.
Appeared last in Pacific, Oct.20, 2002.
Appeared last in Pacific, Oct.20, 2002.

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Looking north on 3rd Ave. with his back near University Street, LaRoche captures on center horizon the looming haze-shrouded mass of the Denny Hill in the early 1890s
Looking north on 3rd Ave. with his back near University Street, LaRoche captures on the center horizon the looming haze-shrouded mass of the Denny Hill Landmark, yet unopened and still named Denny Hotel, in the early 1890s. This was one of many LaRoche photographs that were gathered in an album for the developer Luther Griffith.  The LaRoche that follows the attached story was another.

LaRoche-text-Third-to-Denny-Hotel-WEB

Luther Griffith from Argosy's 1904 collection of caricatures of Seattle VIP men - only.
Luther Griffith from Argosy’s 1904 collection of caricatures of Seattle VIP men – only.
LaRoche's panorama of the city ca. 1890 taken from the still developing Denny Hill site of the Denny Hotel. (Courtesy, Special Collections, U.W. Libraries)
LaRoche’s panorama of the city ca. 1890 taken from the still developing Denny Hill site of the Denny Hotel. (Courtesy, Special Collections, U.W. Libraries)
Denny Hill was lowered about 100 feet (its southern summit) at the former footprint of the short-lived Denny Hotel.  Here Jean has compromised for his "now" going as high as the parking lot on the east side of 3rd would allow - but still lower than the hill - a few feet east of the prospect taken by the historical photographers working near the front door to the hotel.
Denny Hill was lowered about 100 feet (its southern summit) at the former footprint of the short-lived Denny Hotel. Here Jean has compromised for his “now” going as high as the parking lot on the east side of 3rd would allow – but still lower than the hill – and a few feet east of the prospect taken by LaRoche.
A published stereo dated 1904 and taken nearer to Jean's prospect when considered not for elevation but the east-west figuring of it, and still somewhere near the front door of the by then renamed Washington Hotel.   Notes the one-block-long counterbalance that carried guests to the hotel up from Pine Street.
A published stereo dated 1904 and taken nearer to Jean’s prospect when considered not for elevation but the east-west figuring of it all, and still somewhere near the front door of the by then renamed Washington Hotel. Note the one-block-long counterbalance that carried guests to the hotel up from Pine Street.
Looking north on 3rd from the rear of the Denny/Washington Hotel.  This pan is made from two negatives that while not perfectly fit make together a very rare and impressive look at the neighborhood established ca. 1903 on top of Denny Hill.  The photograph shows the back summit of the hill, but was photographed from the hotel on the slightly lower front (southern) summit.  Virginia Street if out of frame and below the pan.
Looking north on 3rd from the rear of the Denny/Washington Hotel. This pan is made from two negatives that while not perfectly fit make together a very rare and impressive look at the neighborhood established ca. 1903 on top of Denny Hill. The photograph shows the back or northern summit of the hill, but was photographed from the hotel on the slightly lower front (southern) summit. Virginia Street is out of frame below the pan.
Looking south on 3rd Ave. with the photographer's back to Lenora Street.  Third is being prepared here for brick paving.  At the center is the new Fire Station. This looks back thru the foreground of the 3rd Ave. subject printed directly above this one.  This dates from ca. 1910.
Looking south on 3rd Ave. with the photographer’s back to Lenora Street. Third is being prepared here for brick paving. At the center is the new Fire Station. This looks back thru the foreground of the 3rd Ave. subject printed directly above this one. This dates from ca. 1910.

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FOLLOWS NOW FOUR LOOKS to the SOUTHEAST and “Our Block” on THIRD between Pike and Pine.  The first two were taken from Denny Hill.  The second two from the Washington Hotel.

Part of a three-part pan of the city dated 1885, it includes, bottom-left, the Swedish Lutheran Church on the east side of 3rd Ave., second lot north from Pike Street.  The territorial university is on its knoll (Denny's Knoll). . . too.  Beacon Hill makes a horizon upper-right, and First Hill, upper-left.
Part of a three-part pan of the city dated 1885, it includes, bottom-left, the Swedish Lutheran Church on the east side of 3rd Ave., second lot north from Pike Street. The territorial university is on its knoll (Denny’s Knoll). . . too. Beacon Hill makes a horizon upper-right, and First Hill, upper-left.
The University campus on its knoll, upper-right, and the First Methodist's are building their tower at the southeast corner of Pine and 3rd, ca. 1890.
The University campus on its knoll, upper-right, and the First Methodist Protestants are building their tower at the southeast corner of Pine and 3rd, ca. 1890. The First Hill horizon is only about 15 years cleared of its old growth forest.
Perhaps the last Methodist-Protestant homilie at the southeast corner of 3rd and Pine, "What goes up, must come down."  Circa 1908.
Perhaps the last Methodist-Protestant homily at the southeast corner of 3rd and Pine, “What goes up, must come down.” But this early? Circa 1908.
The 3-story brick replacement for the church/theatre is nearly completed.  In the next lot south the Union Stables are gone and with it the scent of passing street life and old farm life too.
The 3-story brick replacement for the church/theatre is nearly completed. In the next lot south the Union Stables are gone and with it the scent of passing street life and old farm life too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Seattle Now & Then: Secular Conversions at Third & Pine”

  1. PLAYLAND PARK, AURORA RACEWAY & THIRD & PINE!

    I just stumbled upon your website; you can never imagine the childhood memories you just brought back to this 64 yr old baby boomer born & raised in Seattle. Playland Park, really! My sister & I fell asleep at night during the summer, looking out from our bedroom window down upon the beautiul bright lights of Playland. My father and his buddies, raced at the Aurora Speedway in the late 40′s & 50′s. The humming of the cars would put us to sleep. As for Third, Pike and Pine streets, that’s where my grandfather disappeared from in the late 30′s. He owned a construction company . . . unions were arriving in Seattle at that time. Need I say more! Thank you for your website. “Old Man Campbell’s” daughter, Janet, Daytona Beach, FL

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