Paul, I’m going to post a few photos from last night – all in thumbnails. Perhaps you’d like to say a few words about this combined anniversary and our now-flourishing Museum of Forsaken Art…. (Formerly known as the Museum of Forlorn and Forsaken Art.)
Jean may I stay with MOFA? MOFA is a museum flourishing in its hopes and expectations. The donations made to MOFA this Monday last (Oct. 28th) will increase the size of our collection to what we known not what. About 30 contributions were made, a generous addition to the hundreds got already from many years of collecting, most of it from north end sales set up on lawns, in garages, basements, and sometimes throughout structures. These last, you know, are often given special status as “estate sales” and to enter these buyers may sometimes stand in lines holding numbers. We have. As pleasing as is MOFA’s new collected art, about 80 new members for the MOFA Board of Directors were also sponsored and admitted on this evening, all of them signing the MOFA Board certificate, which they kept then for themselves. (We will print an example at the bottom – one left accidentally, we are confident, at the event by FMOFA (Friend of MOFA) Clinton resident Paula Kerby. It will be seen that her signing was sponsored by her husband, Bill Kerby. Although it is not necessary for a sponsor to be either related or a member of the board, it is satisfying when they are. Soon after, Paula sponsored Billy. (At this rate the MOFA BOARD may need to rent one of Seattle’s larger venues for its tenth anniversary to arrange seats for its thousands. I expect that the show will be exciting.) The confidence of our charter members is a testimonial to our preparedness. We will be ready. Here are a few of Jean’s portraits of the newest charter members. Certainly, without exception they appear proud. Soon MOFA will have its own page linked to this one. There we may all watch the collection grown in both size and interpretation. Board members are encouraged to criticize the works of the collection. As the Board Certificate puts it, so long such criticism is given “in the spirit of our better mothers.” Members will share the compassionate good sense of one who agrees that “If you cannot say something nice then do not say anything at all.” One who will take care to “Do unto their collage as you would have them do unto your own.” We will be identifying these Board Members, as recorded by Jean late during the tail of the evening event at Ivar’s Salmon House on, again, Oct. 28, 2013. (Of the many who were not able to be there, we certainly missed MOFA’s First Curator, Berangere Lomont, who we show at the bottom – next to the BOARD CERTIFICATE – standing a the front door of the Forsaken Art House in 2010, and the future site – still – for MOFA.)
The Seattle Times special attention to Seattle neighborhoods reached Greenwood on Sunday Oct. 11, 1925. This look east on N. 85th Street from Palatine Avenue was the largest of five neighborhood scenes that the daily newspaper grouped on page 26 within a decorative montage. The generous feature included many inches of copy – about 35. The headline for the story runs above this street scene and reads, “North End District is Growing at Amazing Pace” and continues below it, “Star of Seattle Empire Goes Steadily Northward; Hundreds Demand Homes.”
Seattle first reached this corner officially in 1891. With an act of territorial bravado the city annexed much of the north end where stumps still far outnumbered citizens. Hardly a road then, 85th Street was agreed to by vote as the expanding city’s new northern border, but with exceptions. Ballard, the “shingle capitol of the world”, kept to itself, and the Webster Point peninsula dividing Lake Washington proper from its Union Bay was still many years from being promoted as the exclusive Laurelhurst, which was first annexed in 1910.
In 1910 Trollies first reached N. 85th Street on Greenwood Ave – one block east of the Times photographer’s position. Here 15 years later the city still stops at the centerline of 85th. Consequently, the structures on the left have only King Country addresses and taxes and would remain so until Jan 4, 1954. P.M. Morrow built the almost finished frame and brick veneer building here at the northeast corner of 85th and Palatine with plate glass storefronts, apartments upstairs, and a movie theatre – the Grand – at his building’s eastern end.
Morrow also owned a truck farm behind the Morrow Block. Earlier that summer – in 1925 – Morrow explained at an open Greenwood meeting called to consider annexation into Seattle that he was against it. “I didn’t come out to avoid high taxes . . . I came out in the spirit of the pioneer to pick up better and cheaper land and to blaze the trail.” Morrow concluded, “We on the outside have contributed largely to Seattle’s growth.”
Anything to add, Paul? Sure Jean, in spite of the troubles we are having with this program, we may start with Ron Edge’s help. He has pulled 4 past features that are relevant to the Greenwood Neighborhood, meaning in or near it. Then as time and this machine allows I’ll add some others below the Edge Four. For those, just click the pictures.
As Jean’s “repeat” reveals, the recent prize-winning remodel of the HUB (the University of Washington’s Husky Union Building) is an air-conditioned delight. While its atrium of glass and limestone reaches for the roof it also extends to nearly the length of the building.
The HUB was built in 1949 on the former site of the surreal Forestry Building, which was hammered together for the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition (AYP). In its bigger parts that state financed oddity was built from unhewn fir logs picked from the forests of Snohomish County for their “symmetry and soundness.” Five and one-half feet thick and forty feet long, the logs required two flat cars each for delivery to the building site over a special railroad spur laid thru the AYP campus.
Ignoring the Forestry Building’s classical ambitions, a local reporter, on first seeing architects Charles W. Saunders and George Willis Lawton’s rendering, concluded, no doubt with considerable satisfaction, that it would surely be the “largest log cabin in the world.” The Fair’s directors were quick to “squelch these popular postcard notions” with their own best construction. “The Forestry Building will not be a log cabin building, but a building of architectural lines and design constructed largely of logs.”
The “Temple to Timber” opened on June 1, 1909 with the rest of the fair. Although lavishly appointed with the artifacts of forestry and a few freaks too, like a pair of dice that were six feet through, – “the kind of dice we roll in Washington” – this “Greek temple done in rustic” was an example of a museum overwhelming the exhibits inside it.
The real photo postcards above and below were recorded after the AYP when the Forestry Building lived on as the State Museum.
Predictions that “such a building should stand for a century” were disappointed by the several families of wood-eating beetles who found living under the bark nourishing, although ultimately not replenishing. In danger of collapse, the Forestry Building was razed in 1931.
I have a few photos I took wandering the re-invented HUB. Surely, you must remember the mural, which it seems, remains in place, although the walls surrounding it have changed. Light now streams down from windows above on a sunny day:
The other photos reveal a more open HUB with balconies and floating staircases, some of which can be seen below (click on thumbnails to enlarge):
First impression – lots of space and light, perhaps sacrificing a certain mundane coziness. What say you, Paul?
For most of the parts we will share more looks at and into the Forestry Building. Still I will admit to having enjoyed the “mundane coziness” too of the old Hub. This surely has lots to do with the dances, and stage shows I enjoyed there in the late 1960s primarily. For instance I danced with then still the flex-of-prime to the music of Country Joe and the Fish for their first visit to Seattle. That was in the winter of 1966-67 – unless I am corrected. More recently I attended a concert of mixed-gender glee-music (I’ll call it) performed by students from Bellingham, Western Wash University including my friends Marc Cutler and Leslie Smith’s son Alexander. The windowless room were not a bother, and the low-ceiling lobby was, as you put it, quite cozy. The comforting deep chairs helped with that. Returning to the Forestry Building and a stereo of its big room we can see that it too could show lots of “space and light” somewhat like the new HUB.
I first wrote about this “Temple of Timber” now nearly 30 years ago for the Pacific issue of Feb. 26, 1994. Ron Edge’s helpful scanning of all three of the early collections of the Pacific features – Seattle Now and Then, Vol.1, Vol.2 & Vol.3 includes the below as the 29th feature included in Volume One. [Click TWICE to enlarge the text below.]
First we note the photographer’s caption at the lower-left corner of the “then.” It reads, “1st Shovel at Conveyor 5th Ave. & Battery St.” And at its lower-right corner the subject is also helpfully dated May 11, 1929.
Most likely the photographer was James Lee, the skilled Dept. of Public Works employee, whose industrious recordings of Seattle’s regrades also include film. The one-reel documentary “Seattle Moves a Mountain” was constructed of Lee’s footage of this the last of the many regrades on Denny Hill. The digging went on from 1929 into 1931. (You may have seen all or parts of Lee’s footage on either Channel 9 or, even more likely, the Seattle Channel.)
Here after a seventeen year pause at the cliff it had carved along the east side of 5th Avenue, the Denny Hill Regrade began anew in 1929 using this last time a belt to convey what remained of the hill along an about 2,500 foot long ride above Battery Street to the waterfront. The George Nelson Company, the regrade’s contractors, promised that the “huge conveyor belt” would be constructed of “sound-deadening equipment . . . so that when the dirt starts moving there will be as little noise as possible.” Sure.
Every working day about 10,000 cubic yards of the dwindling hill were dumped from the belt onto barges, which in turn were towed off shore for the capsizing of their loads into Elliot Bay. In time the dumping had a comedic effect. The submerged pile-up of a reconstituted Denny Hill silently reached an elevation that was a danger to shipping. It required dredging.
Anything to add, Paul? Yup Jean – but most of it tomorrow. Do your remember the sand man? I hardly do, but now it is 2:30 Sunday morning and I am ready to climb the stairs once again to “Nighty Bears” and will only return to this until I have rested all my winks in the sand traps of that man.
Bless us tho, Ron Edge has put up just below a seven-combo of pans and aerials of the our primary subject: the work connected to the last of the Denny Regrades, the one from 1929 to 1931. To get the full-size value out of Ron’s images you must really click them – sometimes twice. They are linked to is own server, and what you will get is the bigger because of it!!! Tomorrow after breakfast (which for this sleeper means around noon) I’ll add some interpretations for Ron’s seven overdetermined aids and then add a few more pixs and old features from there as well. Now away.
[Not quite. After composing captions for Ron's aerials and pans below and then "saving" then some ghost in this connected erased them. Ron, Jean and I got the same results. The lost captions went lost - without explanation. Now we will try again, but most likely not so long as first. Remembering here as well that we were not able to put up the rest of this feature including many more pictures with captions because the program declined to do what it had been doing with regularity, we will surrender and wait. Later when we are confident of the programs stability we will but up an extended Addendum for this Seattle Now & Then named "First Shovel at Fifth and Battery." Among its many photographs will be one captioned "Last shovel at Fifth and Battery."]
(Click these pans TWICE to enlarge.)
Both the above and below aerials were apparently commission by the real estate agent W.A. Irwin, whose name is printed on both. Perhaps Irwin specialized in Central Business District properties – many did – and north end properties as well. Note how the aerial above puts Seattle’s “center of population” in Edgewater, more familiarity on or close to the border between the Fremont and Wallingford neighborhoods, ca. 1927. Irwin has put the numbers 1-thru-12 on a few properties perhaps as a quiz. We recommend that you use it so. At the bottom of Ron’s six pixs we will include the answers. The white line reaching north from the “Regrade District,” is meant to mark – imperfectly – the new speedway, Aurora. It leads to the high bridge across the Lake Washington Ship Canal at least for years before it was dedicated in 1932.
Here, center-right, the habitat of what was then called the “Old Quarter” is dark with its old clapboard homes and tenements and Denny Park (the darkest part). Fifth Avenue runs up and left from near the center of the subject. To the right of 5th is what is captioned “1. The Regrade District” in the aerial above this one. To the left of 5th lies the still sparingly developed Denny Regrade: the first and larger part of that long effort that ran with many interruptions at least from 1883 to 1912. The longest pause came then with a cliff along the east side of 5th Avenue that held its place until 1929, the year this aerial was recorded by the Pierson Photo Co.. Near the center of this subject is the oddity of the tall brick tower of Sacret Heart Church standing naked – as it were – at the corner of 6th Avenue and Blanchard Street. ( We will interrupt Ron’s aerial with a close-ups of the church with the tower and without it.) Also showing here is the long line of the Battery Street conveyor, which runs out of the aerial on the far left.
[Click the clipping below TWICE to enlarge for reading.]
Above: Here Ron has “stitched” together many details from the 1929 aerial survey of Seattle. Ron explains “The fit together well enough.” This grouping gives an illusion of height which the survey did not reach. The flight lines were taken at relatively low altitudes, especially when compared to the 1936 and 1946 surveys that followed this one, which was the first of many. The aerial reveals very well that system of moveable conveyors that spread into the regrade acress from their “collector,” the man conveyor that from on Battery from the waterfront and the block between 5th and 6th Avenues. One of the imperfections of the 1929 survey were slim slices of the city missed by the flyers because of their low elevations. It is for this reason, Ron explains – and regrets, that it was not possible to show the special wharf at the foot of Battery Street where self-righting scows, built by the Seattle Public Works Dept., collected the hill’s remains from the conveyor for bumping off-shore. To make up for it we will interrupt, again, with a sea-level coverage of the wharf and scow combo. (In the addendum to come later we will print the story that originally accompanied this photo.)
(Below) Looking south from near 6th and Battery, late 1929. The corner of 5th Avenue and Blanchard Street is far right.
(Above) Left to right from the Chief Seattle Garage at 508 Denny Way (its north side) to a long look south on 5th Avenue towards the Central Business District. The pan was taken from the Davenport Hotel at 5th and Vine.
(Above) The best surviving clue here is the sliver of the structure showing on the far right, the northeast corner (at the alley) of what is now named the 5th Ave. Court at the southeast corner of 5th Avenue and Blanchard Street. The Battery Street conveyor – its east end between 5th and 6th Avenues – appears far left. Below the Queen Anne Hill horizon, left of center, is the temporary grade of Denny Hill north of Denny Way, the last part of the hill to be removed. The arty block lettering selected for the picture’s own superimposed caption shakes with the thrill of its “1,520,000 cubic yards of earth removed since February 1, 1929.”
ANSWERS To The IRWIN QUIZ
1. The Denny Hill Regrade acres for 1929-32
2. The Medical Dental Building
3. Times Square
4. Bon Marche
5. Frederick & Nelson
6. New Washington Hotel
7. Securities Bldg. (3rd and Stewart)
8. Yale Bldg.
9. Antlers Hotel
10. Chantecler, soon (1928) site of Northern Life Insurance
11. Telephone Bldg.
12. White-Henry-Stuart Bldg.
[click the clippings below TWICE for reading. This was pulled from Seattle Now and Then, published in 1984. All of it and Vols.2 & 3 can be explored on this blog.]
We learn in this issue that it is the last of our bi-weekly offerings. After this we went weekly until the end. We surely felt confident. Here again, although thousands of miles apart, Bill White and I read an issue together with the generous help of Skype. These edited versions are shorter than the time we took and recorded, but still even with Bill’s pruning we do ramble and sometimes stumble. Each trip (issue) we discuss is, however, certainly instructive, and considerably more than smoldering nostalgia for our lost youth. Well I should speak for myself, for Bill, much my junior, is still living lucky and in his prime. Thanks – repeated – to Ron Edge for doing the scanning. It certainly suites his assiduous side, and boundless love for old publications. [If you have any old regional papers - really old - please consider sharing them with Ron. He'll make a disk for you, Id' bet.]
An elaborate celebration of a singular historical event, like our exalted centennial in 2009 for the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, once paraded may then barely wiggle. It is something of a rule for centennials. What at the age of 100 becomes an object to venerate, without attention quickly goes ho-hum at 101. But arise Seattle. Forgetting your first worlds fair is not fair.
For instance, this Beau-Arts beauty served as the state’s contribution to the 1909 fair’s often elegant flash. It may still be admired in the above photograph, which, it seems was taken some time before AYP’S lavish gates were open for the first time in the spring of 1909, or before any visitors were counted on this unmarked day. And the illuminated record of it, below, surely dazzles.
And it kept on giving. The Washington State Building – its name – served the University as its library long after the AYPE closed in the fall of 1909. After 1927 it was home to the Washington State Museum. Certainly it will be remembered even today by many of the older UW alums among Pacific’s readers.
This was the official building for the host state, Washington, and throughout AYP it was the expo’s “VIP-magnet,” distinguished by the number of its ceremonial uses. The Times surmised, “within the walls (of this) veritable palace at a cost of $75.000 and furnished lavishly, the citizen of the Evergreen State is host and not guest. Unlike the state buildings at other expositions, it is not surrounded by an air of formality, nor are there any exhibits on display.”
For provincial exhibits of Washington’s products there was another taxpayer construction, the AYP’S Forestry Building, which although made from often huge unhewn logs was shaped and ornamented like a classical temple – a “temple of timber.” The historical photograph of the state building used here was taken from an upper veranda of that “temple.” After the fair the Forestry Building was slowly digested by wood-chewing beetles. Since 1949 its footprint has been mostly covered by the HUB – the Husky Union Building. Jean recorded his “repeat” from an upper floor of the HUB.
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, a few related subjects.
BEAUX ARTS at AYPE
Beaux Arts architecture – most readily associated with Paris – was the most prolific style used at AYPE.The Washington State Building is one example. A few others follow.
SEATTLE NOW & THEN – MILITARY DISCIPLINE at the AYPE
(First appeared in Pacific, July 11, 2009)
The Alaska Yukon and Pacific Exposition’s official photographer, Frank H. Nowell, was not the only commercial camera working the fair grounds and – in this week’s subject – its perimeter. Here with the useful caption “O.A.C. Cadets in camp – A.Y.P. Expo. – Seattle June 5th 9 – 09” the unidentified photographer has named the part of her or his subject that might pay for the effort of recording it: the cadets themselves.
The Oregon Agricultural College Cadets’ tents have been pitched just outside the fair grounds in the wide lawn northeast of the Administration Building, the first building raised on the new “Interlaken campus” in 1894-95. In 1909 it was still one year short of being renamed Denny Hall.
Thanks now to Jennifer Ott who helped research historylink’s new “timeline history” of the AYPE. I asked Jennifer if she had come upon any description of the part played in the Exposition by what Paula Becker, our go-between and one of the authors of the timeline, capsulated for us as “those farmin’ Oregon boys.” Ott thought it likely that the cadets participated in the “military athletic tournament” which was underway on June 5, the date in our caption. Perhaps with this camp on the Denny lawn they were also at practice, for one of the tournament’s exhibitions featured “shelter camp pitching.”
Jennifer Ott also pulled “a great quote” from the Seattle Times, for June 12. It is titled “Hostile Cadets in Adjoining Camps,” and features the Washington and Idaho cadets, but not Oregon’s. Between the Idaho and Washington camps the “strictest picket duty was maintained and no one was admitted until word was sent to the colonel in command, who was nowhere to be found. This meant that no one was admitted, except the fair sex, the guards having been instructed to admit women and girls without passes from the absent colonel.” And that is discipline!