Seattle Now & Then: The Washington State Building of the AYPE

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: We suspect that this quiet exposure of the Washington State Building was photographed before the gates of the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition were first opened, and certainly before a bandstand gazebo was built in the grassy circle between it and the Forestry Building.  (Courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections)
THEN: We suspect that this quiet exposure of the Washington State Building was photographed before the gates of the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition were first opened, and certainly before a bandstand gazebo was built in the grassy circle between it and the Forestry Building. (Courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections)
NOW:  Charles H. Bebb, one the architects responsible for the Beau-Arts style Washington State Building of 1909 returned to campus in the mid-1920s with the Suzzallo Library.  It’s Collegiate Gothic style was extended in 1990 with the Kenneth S. Allen Library wing seen here covering part of the footprint of AYP’s  Washington State Building.
NOW: Charles H. Bebb, one the architects responsible for the Beau-Arts style Washington State Building of 1909 returned to campus in the mid-1920s with the Suzzallo Library. It’s Collegiate Gothic style was extended in 1990 with the Kenneth S. Allen Library wing seen here covering part of the footprint of AYP’s – and Bebb’s – Washington State Building.

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.

1. JW-WASH.-bldg-lite-ayp-WEB

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.

In    the Washington State Building got its last tenant, the Washington State Museum, forbear of the on-campus Burke Museum.
In 1927 the Washington State Building got its last tenant, the Washington State Museum, forbear of the on-campus Burke Museum.

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.”

The state's Forestry Building.  It shared     with both the Washington State Building and the Oregon State Building (see the map.)
The state’s Forestry Building. It shared this go-’round on the AYP campus with both the Washington State Building and the Oregon State Building (see the map.)
The Oregon Building, also facing      .  {Cross your eyes and see it in three dimensions - if you are one of the few who can.)
The Oregon Building, also facing the cirque shared by the Forestry Bldg and the Washington State Building {Cross your eyes and see it in three dimensions – if you are one of those who can.)
In this official map of the Expo No. 20 is the forestry building from the photographs both for the Oregon Bldg stereo and the Washington Building at the top were photographed.
In this official map of the AYP-Expo No. 20 is the forestry building.  From it the photographs for both the Oregon Bldg stereo, No. 22, and the Washington Bldg., No. 22, at the top were photographed.
For comparison another and earlier map of the AYP/UW campus.
For comparison, another map of the AYP/UW campus.
For this section a rough comparison to a contemporary aerial. (Courtesy, GoogleEarth)
For this section a rough comparison to a contemporary aerial. (Courtesy, GoogleEarth)
An early sketch of the Washington State Bldg, with a description of the architects, Bebb and Mendel, to the left of it.  This is pulled from the Seattle Times for Feb. 14, 1909.
An early sketch of the Washington State Bldg, with a description of the architects, Bebb and Mendel, to the left of it. This is pulled from the Seattle Times for Feb. 14, 1909.
In the spirit of putting up the fair, construction on the Washington State Building went forward so that this first photo of it in the Seattle Times for April 11, 1909 was published
In the spirit of putting up the fair, construction on the Washington State Building went forward so that this first photo of it in the Seattle Times for April 11, 1909 was published three days less than two months after the sketch (taken from plans) for the building were shown in the Times on Feb. 14.
AYP construction looking east to the rear of the Washington State Building, left of center, with a part of the Forestry Building showing behind and to the left of it.  The beau arts building on the right is the Oriental Building, one of the primary structures in the AYP's elegant centerpiece, the Arctic Circle.
AYP construction looking east to the rear of the Washington State Building, left of center, with a part of the dark Forestry Building showing behind and to the left of it. The beau arts building on the right is the Oriental Building, one of the primary structures in the AYP’s elegant centerpiece, the Arctic Circle.  The subject is not dated, but there is evidently a lot of construction work left to do – and landscaping – upon the graded dirt spread across the foreground of the scene.  Check the maps, this is near the northeast facade of the main Government (or Federal) Building.

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.

 

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Yes Jean, a few related subjects.

The AYPE Birdseye
The AYPE Birdseye looks south from a prospect over what is now the neighborhood of fraternities and sororities, north of 45th Street.  [Now we may imagine beer-sensitive drones looking down on frat-party weekends - weeks.]  The Washington State Building is easily found left of the subject’s center.  The still standing Parrington Hall (red brick) and Denny Hall (yellow brick) are found towards and in the lower right corner.  The Latona Bridge is in the upper-right corner.  Since the early 1960 the old trolley bridge path have been topped by the Interstate-5 Ship Canal Bridge many feet above Latona, once the name for the neighborhood directly west of the University District, which itself was called Brooklyn.
The AYP'S oft-published dramatic aerial of its campus photographed from the Expo's "captive balloon."
The AYP’S oft-published dramatic aerial of its campus photographed from the Expo’s “captive balloon.”

4.-AYP-Photo-birdseye-WEB

Another but less atmospheric portrait of the Arctic Circle from the Captive Balloon.
Another but less atmospheric portrait of the Arctic Circle from the Captive Balloon.
Looking south southeast, south and west from the Expo's balloon.  The temporary bridge built on 23rd for Trolley's during the fair is on the left.  Portage Bay at the center and part of the Expo's amusement strip, aka The Pay Streak, shows bottom-right.  Union Bay is far left - of course - and Capitol Hill spans the horizon with a little help on the right from Queen Anne Hill.
Looking south southeast, south and west from the Expo’s balloon. On the left is the temporary bridge built on 23rd for the busy trolley’s during the fair. Portage Bay nearly fills the center and part of the Expo’s amusement strip, aka The Pay Streak, shows bottom-right. Union Bay is far left – of course – and Capitol Hill spans the horizon with a little help on the right from Queen Anne Hill. [DOUBLE-CLICK this one - an many others - if your computer is like mine and needs it.]
The Expo's popular Captive Balloon in stereo.
The Expo’s popular Captive Balloon in stereo.
AYP also had an "airship." Not "captured" it required some skilled piloting.
AYP also had an “airship.” Not “captured” it required some skilled piloting.
Retouched to fly above the AYP's fountain (now Frosh Pond) the attentive fair visitors, bottom-left, have also been plopped in place by Otto Oakes, the prolific "real photo" postcard producer in those years.  It is a small shame that Oakes did not have the conveniences of photoshop.
Retouched to fly above the AYP’s fountain (now Frosh Pond) the attentive fair visitors, bottom-left, have also been plopped in place by Otto Oakes, the prolific “real photo” postcard producer in those years. It is a small shame that Oakes did not have the conveniences of photoshop to fly the airship easily over every AYP landmark including this one.

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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.

 The gleaming Beau Arts structures stand out in this look to AYP from Interlaken Blvd at the north end of Capitol Hill - the old bike trail.  Portage Bay is the water and  the prolific A.Curtis the photographer.
The gleaming Beau Arts structures stand out in this look to AYP from Interlaken Blvd at the north end of Capitol Hill – the old bike trail. Portage Bay is the water and the prolific A.Curtis the photographer.
The Beau Arts Arctice Circle, the showy soul for the elegant side of AYP.
The Beau Arts Arctic Circle, the showy soul for the elegant side of AYP.
Jean's circa 1905 repeat of the subject first above.  He has posed me as a visiting scholar with a foot on the fountain's rim.
Jean’s circa 2005 repeat of the above. He has posed me as a visiting scholar with a studied foot on the fountain’s rim.

 

The expo's Music Pavilion also faced the fountain.  It can be found on the maps above.
The expo’s Music Pavilion also faced the fountain. It can be found on the maps above as No. 13.
Grays Harbor County's Greek temple kept to the classical theme.  In place of the Parthenons muscular horses here we have a bas-relief of a logging train of many horse power.  This was one of the most ambitious of the state's county's contribution to AYPE.
Grays Harbor County’s Greek temple kept to the classical theme. In place of the Parthenon’s muscular horses here we have a bas relief of a logging train of many horse power. This was one of the most ambitious of the several county contributions to AYPE.

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When the Oregon Cadets raised their tents on the Denny Hall lawn in 1909 they were almost venerable. Founded in 1873, the Cadets survive today as Oregon State University’s ROTC. Geneticist Linus C. Pauling, twice Nobel laureate, is surely the school’s most famous cadet corporal. (courtesy, University of Washington Libraries)
When the Oregon Cadets raised their tents on the Denny Hall lawn in 1909 they were almost venerable. Founded in 1873, the Cadets survive today as Oregon State University’s ROTC. Geneticist Linus C. Pauling, twice Nobel laureate, is surely the school’s most famous cadet corporal. (courtesy, University of Washington Libraries)
I used old maps and current satellite photographs to determine that the historical view was photographed from Lewis Hall or very near it. Jean Sherrard was busy directing another play for his students at Hillside School in Bellevue, so in lieu of Jean and his “ten-footer” I used my four-foot monopod to hold the camera high above my head but not as high.
I used old maps and current satellite photographs to determine that the historical view was photographed from Lewis Hall or very near it. Jean Sherrard was busy directing another play for his students at Hillside School in Bellevue, so in lieu of Jean and his “ten-footer” I used my four-foot monopod to hold the camera high above my head but not as high.

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!

Some few years after the 1909 AYP, looking southeast from Denny's Hall's cupola in line with its sidewalk to the first location the pioneer Columns were shown when they were first moved to the new campus from the old about the time of AYP.   The Forestry Building can be found to the right of the water tower, which breaks the far horizon of Cougar Mountain and so very near Hillside School where Jean teaches drama and writing - and much else.
Some few years after the 1909 AYP, looking southeast from Denny’s Hall’s cupola in line with its sidewalk to the first location that the pioneer University Columns were shown when they were first moved to the new campus from the old central campus about the time of AYP. The Forestry Building can be found to the right of the water tower, which breaks the far horizon of Cougar Mountain and so is very near Hillside School where Jean teaches drama and writing – and much else – near the summit.

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WOMEN OF THE FAIR

One of the many temporary plaster statues on the ground.
One of the many temporary plaster statues on the grounds.
Probably the most viewed and best remembered women of the fair were three three, and the many "spin-offs" that followed their pose here for the "three graces" symbol of the AYPE.  Here they hold objects that represent shipping, prospecting or mining and railroading.
Probably the most viewed and best remembered women of the fair were these three, and the many “spin-offs” that followed their pose here for the “three graces” symbol of the AYPE. Here they hold objects that represent shipping, prospecting or mining and railroading.
A three graces variation that replaced horses with harnessed salmon moving a shell or cornucopio and our three women in a classic livery that is topless.  These ladies are leaning towards Venus.
A three graces variation that replaced horses with harnessed salmon gracefully moving a shell or cornucopia and our three women dressed in a classic livery that is topless. In deshabille these ladies are leaning towards representing Venus as well.
Another Arctic Circle statue with a commanding female holding a salmon in one hand and an electric wire in the other.   This too was part of the Arctic Circle ensemble of hydraulics and Beau Art buildings.  (Photo by Lou Hudson.)
Another Arctic Circle statue with a commanding female holding a salmon in one hand and an electric wire in the other. This too was part of the Arctic Circle ensemble of hydraulics and Beau Art buildings. (Photo by Lou Hudson.)
This first appeared in Pacific, Sept 22, 1996.]
This first appeared in Pacific, Sept 22, 1996.

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AFTER THE FAIR

University District photographer Linkletter's montage of 16 AYP structure that we kept for use use after the expo.  Can you fine the Washington State Building?
University District photographer Linkletter’s montage of 16 AYP structure that were kept for use use after the expo. Can you find the Washington State Building?  About half of these are still in service.
A Lesson of the Fair
A Lesson of the Fair
A Lesson for Landmarks - most of them.
A Lesson for Landmarks – most of them.

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A sketch of Washington State contribution to St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904.
A sketch of Washington State’s contribution to St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904.
Appearing in The Seattle Times for March 12, 1905, a sketch of Washington State's contribution to the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon.
Appearing in The Seattle Times for March 12, 1905, a sketch of Washington State’s contribution to the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon.

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