Seattle Now & Then: Seattle General Hospital

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THEN: Looking northwest to Seattle General Hospital at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Marion Street, circa 1909. (Courtesy of Michael Maslan)
THEN: Looking northwest to Seattle General Hospital at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Marion Street, circa 1909. (Courtesy of Michael Maslan)
NOW: In 1974, the Union Bank of California Center opened, filling the block once used in part by Seattle General Hospital.  After many name changes this skyscraper is now called the 901 Fifth Avenue Building
NOW: In 1974, the Union Bank of California Center opened, filling the block once used in part by Seattle General Hospital. After many name changes this skyscraper is now called the 901 Fifth Avenue Building
The feature cornering its closest neighbors in the 1912 Baist real estate map.
The feature cornering its closest neighbors in the 1912 Baist real estate map – remembering now that the hospital was on the northwest corner of Marion and 5th.

As I remember, the first question about local history that I was ever asked was. “What became of General Hospital?”  While I did not know, yet I answered, “Has it changed channels?”  I was, of course, alluding to the soap opera, General Hospital. The real Seattle General Hospital had its beginnings in 1895 when a group of women rallied for a second, and protestant, hospital for the city. After two earlier locations, the building in today’s photo opened in November of 1900.

Seattle General Hospital can be found in this 1930 look northwest from Harborview Hospital.  It is the darker architectural mass just above the center of the subject.  Above it and to the left of it is the Northern Life Tower (1928), far right the Washington Athletic Club (1930) and far left, the Exchange Building (1931).  Some of most rumpled housing here on Yesler Hill (this part of First Hill) is revealed bottom-center across James Street from Trinity Episcopal.  It was structures like these that rationalized the razing of the neighborhood - much of its otherwise filled with housing stock much better than this -
Seattle General Hospital can be found in this 1930 look northwest from Harborview Hospital. It is the darker architectural mass just above the center of the subject. Above and to the right of it is the Northern Life Tower (1928), far right the Washington Athletic Club (1930) and far left, the Exchange Building (1931). Some of most rumpled housing here on Yesler Hill (this part of First Hill) is revealed bottom-center across James Street from Trinity Episcopal. It was structures like these that soon rationalized the razing of the neighborhood for Yesler Terrace, while much of it was otherwise filled with housing stock much better than this.

In those early years of acting like a pubic historian, I was repeatedly asked questions about Seattle General. Someone in the enquirer’s family had been born there – or died there.  So what became of Seattle General?  Now I suspect that that commonplace curiosity was generated in part because after seventy years of serving on Fifth Avenue, directly across Marion Street from its spiritual and fiscal advisor, the First Methodist Church, this brick landmark was sold to the Bank of California for about one million dollars.  After the patients were moved to the former Maynard Hospital on First Hill, demolition began on April 29, 1971.  Soon the slender bank, which Jean shows in part with his repeat, took to the sky.  And the old brick landmark?  It was missed.

Doctors Hospital.  Sculptor Dudley Pratt's relief panels, to the side of the hospital's main entrance, were unveiled in 1944.
Doctors Hospital. Sculptor Dudley Pratt’s relief panels, above the hospital’s main entrance, were unveiled in 1944.

In October 1975 the governing boards of three Seattle hospitals – Doctors, Swedish and Seattle General – agreed to merge under the name Swedish Medical Center.  To me, a Dane, the Scandinavian choice was a wise one, with connotations of competence, compassion and surely for some, strong broad-shouldered nurses with hair that reflected the sun.  By now we know Swedish very well, but it seems, no one – or only a few – still ask about Seattle General.

It was once typical for local papers to report on the progress of patients, and through its many years, Seattle General garnered lots of news.  For instance, in the Seattle Times for March 26, 1905, we learn under “Society”, that “Mrs. George B. McCulloch, who underwent a successful operation for appendicitis Tuesday, is at the Seattle General Hospital, where she will remain until convalesant.”  News about celebrity appendectomies, like that on April 1, 1903, for Puget Mills owner E.G. Ames, were often headlined in bold type.

The producer asks . . .
The producer asks . . .

Concluding now with the other General Hospital, by now the oldest TV soap opera that is still breathing, perhaps due to its proximity to the latest in expensive life-support devices.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Surely

When Ron Edge gets up at his usual morning hour – around 5 – he will insert a few links that relate to the above feature on Seattle General.   I’ll add a few subjects now (after midnight) but this week they will, I expect, be more about hospitals than Seattle General’s historical neighbors, which, you may have noticed and/or know, included the Lincoln Hotel, the Seattle Public Library, the First Methodist Church, the Rainier Club, the Elks Club, First Presbyterian Church, and certainly many others.  I’ll work an hour or so but then pause to watch the last of 26 one hour episodes of the original and captioned Swedish serial Wallander.

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THEN: The Perry Apartments is nearly new in “postcard artist” M. L. Oakes look at them south on Boren to where it intersects with Madison Street. (Courtesy John Cooper)

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PERRY HOTEL as COLUMBUS HOSPITAL, Southwest corner of BOREN & MADISON: Crossroads of FIRST HILL

Columbus Hospital at the southwest corner of Madison Street and Boren Avenue.  Photo by the prolific postcard photographer, Ellis.
Columbus Hospital at the southwest corner of Madison Street and Boren Avenue. Photo by the prolific postcard photographer, Ellis.

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From IDAHO to WAYSIDE

A CLIP from The Times, PACIFIC MAG. , Dec. 8, 1991
A CLIP from The Times, PACIFIC MAG. , Dec. 8, 1991

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The Wayside abandoned
The Wayside abandoned
A page from the COMMENWEALTH, MAY 23, 1903
A page from the COMMONWEALTH, MAY 23, 1903 – CLICK TO ENLARGE!
CLICK TO ENLARGE - to read
CLICK TO ENLARGE – to read
Second Ave. North and Republican Street - keep reading below.  (courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Second Ave. North and Republican Street – keep reading below. (courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Clip from The Times, Pacific Mag.  click-click
Clip from The Times, Pacific Mag. click-click
The USS SOLACE, another hospital ship, this time visiting Seattle ca. 1905.  That seems to be "Seattle's battleship" the Nebraska to the stern.  The SOLACE was commissioned in 1898 in time for the Spanish-American War.  She was 377 feet long and cruised at 15 knots (17 mph).  The SOLACE was decommissioned in 1921 and sold for scrap to Boston Metals Co. in 1930 - cheap.
The USS SOLACE, another hospital ship, this time visiting Seattle ca. 1905. That seems to be “Seattle’s battleship” the Nebraska to the stern. The SOLACE was commissioned in 1898 in time for the Spanish-American War. She was 377 feet long and cruised at 15 knots (17 mph). The SOLACE was decommissioned in 1921 and sold for scrap to Boston Metals Co. in 1930 – cheap.

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GENERAL HOSPITAL AMBITIONS of 1925

Looking east across 5th Avenue from the First Methodist Church to the open block where the church's medical arm indicated its intention of filling the block with a new hospital, and so kitty-korner across the intersection of 5th and Marion from their 1900 plant.
Looking east across 5th Avenue from the First Methodist Church to the open block where the church’s medical arm indicated its intention of filling the block with a new hospital, and so kitty corner from their 1900 plant across the intersection of 5th and Marion. [Click to enlarge and read the Times report below.]
The Seattle Times long report on Seattle General's intentions in 1925 tells us that the hospital was getting a late start after postponing their own campaign for the benefit of Children Orthopedics health-wealth "hustle" then.
The Seattle Times long report on Seattle General’s intentions in 1925 tells us that the hospital was getting a late start after postponing their own campaign for the benefit of Children Orthopedics health-wealth “hustle” then.
Children's Orthopedic on Queen Anne.
Children’s Orthopedic on Queen Anne.
Another look east over 5th Avenue to the block planned for the new and larger Seattle General Hospital.  Note Central School with the towers, the McNaught home, top-center at the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue and Marion Street and the here brand new Central Seattle Gas Station on the east side of 6th Avenue.  A key word search will reveal it featured here (in this blog.)
Another look east over 5th Avenue to the block planned for the new and larger Seattle General Hospital. Note Central School with the towers, St. James Cathedral, also with towers, the McNaught home, top-center at the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue and Marion Street and the here brand new Central Seattle Gas Station on the east side of 6th Avenue – a key word search will reveal it featured here. (In this blog.) – and here on Fifth Avenue, on the left and watched over by the Red Cross symbol, someone with their hood up working on their motorcar.   And don’t miss the two tennis courts – perhaps for nurses – one with a net and the other, it seems, abandoned.   The dater her is also 1925.   (Thanks to Ron Edge – again)

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Now I’ll retreat from the blog and prepare for nighty-bears with the prelude of a Swedish mystery.  Tomorrow I will return and add a few more health-related subjects.   Thanks for your patience and other’s patients.  (pause)  Up at noon and here come the marines.

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MARINE HOSPITAL (First)

5.  - Social Service, Marine Hospital 19338_24_52_img0001641A

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Published in The Times, July, 28, 1935
Published in The Times, July, 28, 1935
Appeared first in PACIFIC on Oct. 13, 1994.
Appeared first in PACIFIC on Oct. 13, 1994 and so years before Amazon.
Taken from Airport Way on August 17, 1934.
Taken from Airport Way on August 17, 1934.
Artist Myra A. Wiggins impression of the new Marine Hospital looming above the Beacon Hill greenbelt.
Artist Myra A. Wiggins impression of the new Marine Hospital looming above the Beacon Hill greenbelt, although given artistic free expression  it could be mistaken for Harborview. (Copied by Horace Sykes and courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

Vol 2

SEATTLE: 1921-1940 From BOOM to BUST

By RICH BERNER

Here is a link to “Boom to Bust,” Volume 2 of Rich Berner’s grand trilogy, SEATTLE IN THE 20TH CENTURY. Volume 1 covers Seattle history from 1900 to 1920, and Volume 3 treats of Seattle in the 1940s.  Earlier we posted on this blog Volume 1’s second edition, enriched with many additional illustrations.  A similar treatment for Volume 2 is a work-in-progress.  The link below thru the books’ cover is, however, a Ron Edge scanned facsimile of Boom to Bust in its original pagination as first published by Berner’s own Charles Press in 1992.  Sometime this year (2014) we hope to start opening here, page-by-page, the grand illustrated edition of Volume 2.  (We will let you know, of course.)  For now, here is the Charles Press version, in time for the reader to study one of its primary figures, Seattle Mayor John Dore, nor featured below with the few photos following.

The fresh Mayor John Dore at his flower bedecked desk after winning the 1932 election.
The fresh Mayor John Dore at his flower bedecked desk after winning the 1932 election.

MAYOR JOHN DORE – HIGH (ABOVE) & LOW (BELOW)

The often gregarious and pugnacious Mayor John Dore was nearly always brilliant – or very smart.   Mayor twice, first elected with Roosevelt in 1932, defeated by Charles L. Smith in 1934, then elected again in 1936, only to die in office in the spring of 1938, late in is term.

The sick mayor flashed thru the coach's window by a press photographer with a self-portrait with camera reflected in the far window.
The sick mayor flashed thru the coach’s window by a press photographer with a self-portrait with camera reflected in the far window.
1935 press collage of defense lawyer John Dore, left, facing prosecutor   , right.
1935 press collage of defense lawyer John Dore, left, facing prosecutor , right.

CITIZEN JOHN DORE: on the level.

In between his mayoral terms Dore returned to his vigorous lawyering.  Here (above) he is featured in a Seattle Times collage acting as defense attorney for Margaret Waley, the 19-year old kidnap suspect, charged in the regionally sensational case of the baby Weyerhaeuser abduction.  Facing him is assistant U.S. attorney Owen Hughes.  To prepare for the assembly of this collage, almost certainly both lawyers were asked to pose twice, one with and once without demonstrative gestures.  Hughes was given the gesture, and as it turned out won the case, to the relief of the accused, Mrs. Waley, who Dore described as tricked into the kidnapping by her husband, whom she, however, loved.  The wife, however, feared that if she was found innocent, the case might be appealed by a federal prosecutor under a federal crime that might have demanded her execution.   She was pleased with the guilty verdict, and also given a short sentence.

Dore takes his turn at pointing, perhaps in the court hallway.
Dore takes his turn at pointing, perhaps in the court hallway.   Awe but he seems to be smiling, healthy sunshine for all.
The mayor takes a photo opportunity with seductive evangelist and gospel monger who prefered to be known as Sister Aimee (McPherson).  During their meeting the Evangelist criticized the mayor for not using prayer during his campaign for reelection.  The Times clip dates from Jan. 15, 1934.
The mayor takes a photo opportunity with seductive evangelist and the gospel monger who preferred to be known as Sister Aimee (McPherson). During their meeting the popular Los Angeles-based  evangelist criticized the mayor for not using prayer during his campaign for reelection. The Times clip dates from Jan. 15, 1934.  Dore lost.

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GOVERNOR MARTIN signs on for SOAP LAKE and BUERGER’S DISEASE

To the joy of WW1 veterans, Gov. Clarence D. Martin signs House Bill No.70 reserving land at Soap Lake for a hospital treating Buerger's disease, "a mysterious malady" the Times captions reads, "that can be treated with Soap Lake water.   Martin was governor from 1932 to 1940.
To the joy of WW1 veterans, Gov. Clarence D. Martin signs House Bill No.70 reserving land at Soap Lake for a hospital treating Buerger’s disease, “a mysterious malady” the Times captions reads, “that can be treated with Soap Lake water.” Martin was governor from 1932 to 1940.

A nurse - or angel - with Buerger's disease victim on the here rocky shore of Soap Lake with a hospital on the horizon.
A nurse – or angel – guiding a Buerger’s disease victim onto the here rocky shore of Soap Lake with a hospital on the horizon. [click to enlarge]
A dummy page from Jean's and my book "Washington Then and Now."
A dummy page from Jean’s and my book “Washington Then and Now.” [click to enlarge]

The soap of Soap Lake - itself.
The soap of Soap Lake – itself – God’s Gift to the West.
Soap Lake's salts for bathing.  Geology's gift too.
Soap Lake’s salts for bathing. Geology’s gift too health hucksters.
One can still bathe in these salts and behind these stones.
One can still bathe in these salts and behind these stones.

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8. Three-Power-Nurses-WEB

Selected from a Times caption in 1934:  Three of the most prominent women of medicine in the Pacific Northwest met yesterday at the conference of the Northwest Hospital Association in Seattle. They are, left to right, Miss Carolyn Davis, first woman elected trustee of the American Hospital Association, and now superintendent of Good Samaritan Hospital, Portland: Miss May Loomis, for many years in charge of the Seattle City Hospital and now superintendent of the emergency department at Harborview: and Miss Evelyn Hall, now serving as nurses’ counselor at Harbor view after scores of years as superintendent of Seattle General Hospital.

Seattle Now & Then: Polk’s Potlatch Parade, 1911

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THEN: A float for the 1911 Potlatch parade carries piggyback a smaller 1897 version of a Polk City Directory on a much bigger 1911 copy.  The fourteen years between them is meant to symbolize the growth of the city since the Alaskan/Yukon gold rush of 1897 that the Golden Potlatch of 1911 was created to commemorate.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: A float for the 1911 Potlatch parade carries piggyback a smaller 1897 version of a Polk City Directory on a much bigger 1911 copy. The fourteen years between them is meant to symbolize the growth of the city since the Alaskan/Yukon gold rush of 1897 that the Golden Potlatch of 1911 was created to commemorate. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: With his back close to Stewart Street, Jean Sherrard looks across Fourth Avenue to the front facade of the Thirty-story Escala Condos.
NOW: With his back close to Stewart Street, Jean Sherrard looks across Fourth Avenue to the front facade of the Thirty-story Escala Condos.

Riding its own float south on Fourth Avenue is, perhaps, the largest Polk City Directory ever assembled, although not published.  It is dated 1911, the year of this “Industrial Parade” for what was Seattle’s first Golden Potlatch, a summer celebration staged intermittently until World War Two.

Polk Directory The Idea

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Fourth Ave. has been freshly flattened here for the Denny Regrade, a public work that by this year reached Fifth Avenue and then stopped, leaving on its east side a steep grade – in some places a cliff.  On the far left horizon, the belfry for Sacred Heart Church still stands high above Sixth Avenue and Bell Street.  Both were razed in 1929, along with what remained of Denny Hill east of Fifth Avenue.

This one is closer to 5th Avenue than to 4th, although both the Denny School, far left, and the church belfry are easily found.  The cliff running across the photograph was groomed and worn through the next nearly 20 years, but still held during those years as the eastern border of the Denny Regrade until the lowering of the whole hill continued in 1929 to the east of 5th Avenue. (Courtesy Mike Maslan)
This one is closer to 5th Avenue than to 4th, although both the Denny School, far left, and the church belfry are easily found. The cliff running across the photograph was groomed and worn through the next nearly 20 years, but still held during those years as the eastern border of the Denny Regrade until the lowering of the whole hill continued in 1929 to the east of 5th Avenue. (Courtesy Mike Maslan)

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Those are not helpful monks from the neighborhood parish guiding the horse-drawn float, but volunteers dressed in cowls of the Potlatch pageant’s own design.  When first delivered fresh from their Chicago factory and unveiled early in July (the Potlatch month), a Seattle Times reporter described them alternately as “insuring a brilliant or gorgeous display.”

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Across Fourth Avenue, the covered VIP reviewing stand below the Welcome sign was the first of many sections of bleachers constructed to the sides of both Third and Fourth Avenues. With thousands of seats offered for week-long rent to anyone with a dollar to spare, they helped pay for Potlatch, a celebration that this paper explained would “be first, last and all the times a joy session.  Seattle is going to pull the top off the town and let the folks see what it looks like when it is really going some.”

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To anyone who has pursued a study of local history, Polk directories are downright endearing.  First published in Seattle in 1887, they grew with the city until the company abandoned them in 1996 for “digits” – disks, that is, and on-line services.  Over forty years I have managed to collect about forty Polks; most of them recycled copies bought from the Friends of the Seattle Public Library’s annual book sales.  All are big, and all were worn when I first got them.  A few I have bound with sturdy rubber bands. They surround my desk, because I keep using them.

Potlatch-CommercialClubWEBb

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Certainly Jean, and we will start with Ron’s harvest of appropriate links, this time all from the neighborhood.  I’ll follow that with a few more Potlatch Parade pics.  We have, you know, inserted above other 1911 Potlatch parade photos with more floats and most of them on Fourth Avenue north of Stewart.  (By the way Jean, we expected that you would include this weekend some snaps from your and Karen’s trip to Southern California.   Any chance for adding the same soon?)

POTLATCH-BUG-WEB

THEN: The Moose float heads south on First Avenue at Columbia Street during the 1912 Potlatch parade of fraternal and secret societies. Behind them are Julius Redelsheimer's clothing store and the National Hotel, where daily room rates ran from 50 cents to a dollar.

THEN: Before this the first shovel of the last of Denny Hill was ceremonially dropped to the conveyor belt at Battery Street, an “initial bite of 30,000 cubic yards of material” was carved from the cliff along the east side of 5th Avenue to make room for both the steam shovel and several moveable belts that extended like fingers across the hill.  It was here that they met the elevated and fixed last leg of the conveyor system that ran west on Battery Street to the waterfront.  (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

2nd-and-Blanchard-THEN

Great railroad signs, theatre signs and ranks of neon were still the greatest contributors to night light at 4th and Westlake in 1949. (Photo by Robert Bradley compliment of Lawton and Jean Gowey)

Seattle Now & Then: Lady Rainier

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Sometime before her first move from this brewery courtyard in 1912, Lady Rainier was moved by a freeze to these sensational effects. She did not turn her fountain off.  (Courtesy of Frank & Margaret Fickeisen)
THEN: Sometime before her first move from this brewery courtyard in 1912, Lady Rainier was moved by a freeze to these sensational effects. She did not turn her fountain off. (Courtesy of Frank & Margaret Fickeisen)
NOW: Much later Lady Rainier was moved to South Seattle to the ground of what was Rainier Beer’s first brewery. Now many hear her yearning for a safe return to Georgetown.
NOW: Much later Lady Rainier was moved to South Seattle to the ground of what was Rainier Beer’s first brewery. Now many hear her yearning for a safe return to Georgetown.

Here is Lady Rainier, bronzed and ten-feet tall, holding her glass high while standing in the brewery courtyard.  She first appeared in the Seattle Times on February 7, 1904, for this paper’s “industrial review” of The Seattle Brewing and Malting Company.  Within an elaborate montage of mostly brewery interiors, the Times included the fountain. The paper explained, that it had been “made especially for the Rainier Brewery and imported from Germany (and) is a work of art and would grace any of the city’s parks.  When the water is turned on, it sprays over the glass giving the effect of foam flowing from the side.”  In this undated portrait of the Lady in her courtyard, the flowing foam effect has been “interpreted” with ice.

Part of the facade along Airport Way, ca. 1990
Part of the facade along Airport Way, ca. 1990

Georgetown historian Tim O’Brian, now deceased, liked to compare his early twentieth century brewery town – before prohibition – to a medieval community where crowded in the shadow of its cathedral was everyone and everything.  Here in place of a narthex, nave and chancel were a line up of Malt House, Brew House, and offices extending along Georgetown’s Snohomish Way (now Airport Way).  Tim boasted, “At 885 feet it was a few feet longer than St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome – although not as wide.” When completed in 1903 and fitted with its fountain, the “Georgetown Cathedral” could readily claim devotional status as “the largest brewery in the west.”

over the tracks
over the tracks

1. litho-Rainier-plant-wEB

By 1906 Rainier brewery was producing 300,000 barrels of beer – or spirits – a year.  It required twenty-five horse teams to handle deliveries consumed daily in Seattle alone.  But the Golden Gate State statistics were the most impressive. In 1911 if you were drinking beer – or shampooing your hair with it – most likely it was with Rainier. On average twenty-five carloads of Rainier Beer were delivered daily by rail to California.

Books-Rainier-Beer-etching-WEB

When the expanding brewery needed the Lady Rainier’s courtyard for a machine shop, she began her pilgrimage to several locations in and even atop the brewery. Too soon, however, Georgetown’s “only employer” was turned off as was its fountain – first for statewide prohibition in 1916, when the company moved to San Francisco.  National prohibition followed in 1920.

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In this week’s repeat, Lady Rainier looks down from her perch beside the “other” Rainier Brewery, also on Airport Way, but in South Seattle, less then two miles north of the remnants of the Georgetown Brewery.  In recent years the Georgetown Community Council has hoped to bring the Lady home to Georgetown’s Oxbow Park to stand beside another restored and protected Georgetown landmark, the Hat ‘n’ Boots.

MOVING LADY RAINIER

Georgetown historian Tim O’Brian thought that 1959 was the likely date for this moving of Lady Rainier.

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WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  YUP!  Ron Edge first.  Ron will attached to images that will link to two former Features that relate.  I’ll follow that with a few Georgtown photos – and Rainier Beer too.

THEN: The work of filling the tidelands south of King Street began in 1853 with the chips from Yesler’s sawmill.   Here in the neighborhood of 9th Ave. S. (Airport Way) and Holgate Street, the tideland reclaiming and street regrading continue 70 years later in 1923.  (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)

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CLICK-CLICK TO ENLARGE

HOW TO BE SICK

Last week’s stay in the University of Washington Hospital answered many years of wondering what it would be like to be put in a bed there.  The irritation of being awakened thru the night for samples and tests is softened by the generally good humor of those – nurses mostly – who are poking you awake.  And when my appetite returned I was hoping to stay longer, for the menu is quite good and the preparation too.  Rather I was encourage to get out during my 5th day, and so with Jean and Genny’s help I left with my four drugs and a long list of appointments for more tests and a variety of acts called procedures.  Now to confirm for Marc Cutler – of both the Old Fools and the Not Dead Yet societies, I am, indeed, not dead yet.

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Paul, just before going home with color back in his cheeks
Paul, just before going home with color back in his cheeks

FALLING IN THE KITCHEN, THURSDAY LAST – WITH UPDATE!

The most spirited of this blog’s users known that it has at last found a stable home that promises to deliver a service that will rarely be interrupted by ghosts in their or our machines. Last weekend, we fled Lunarpages for WordPress.com with ‘Roosevelt Way, 1946′ being the first feature carried by our new server.

Now, unexpectedly, and yet not so surprisingly, other ghosts have taken hold on one of the blog’s three soft machines that embrace like boxcars in the blog name DorpatSherrardLomont – the founders.

Paul Dorpat, at 75 easily the oldest among us, fell to the floor of his and Genevieve McCoy’s Wallingford kitchen after announcing, “I think I’m having a heart attack.”  His more than thirty years of hygienic luck stumbled with him.  First pounding his chest, McCoy then called 911, which soon arrived and sped the crumpled codger to the UW hospital’s ER, and the basement drive-in we, its neighbors, may hope to never visit.  With sirens wailing, (Paul notes that from the inside of a 911 ambulance these ear-splitting heralds are effectively muted–he’d often wondered about that) Paul arrived mid-afternoon last Thursday, February 6th, in what we might imagine as the crypt at the east end of the U.W. Hospital.  As of Tuesday the 11th, he was still there.

Paul’s diagnosis was wrong.  While an arrhythmic flutter in his heart contributed to the winter collapse, it was the milky way of blood clots in his lungs that gave the most to dropping him.  Together, his heart and his lungs were not delivering the oxygen needed to ascend even a single flight of stairs.  Now after a few days of beta-blockers, anti-coagulants, and procedures like the placing – directly thru his heart – of a filter shaped like the Eiffel tower to catch more of his left leg’s contribution of clots before they reach the heart-lungs-head (you might look it up), Paul is feeling not so bad for now, considering the alternative.  (We will make updates on the we hope progress of this soft machine later on.)

Paul-in-hosp
Jean counting Paul’s beats per minute, which at that moment on Sunday evening, Feb 9th, were 84 with an oxygen rating of 95 percent
UPDATE

Paul was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday evening and is now home again. The overall news is very good, as his heart, while overclocking a bit to keep oxygen flowing, is doing well; the hope is that the embolisms will dissipate over time.  Currently, Paul is hard at work on his next Now & Then.

Seattle Now & Then: Roosevelt Way, 1946

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THEN: Roosevelt Way bustling after the war.  This subject first appeared in The Seattle Times on July 7, 1946.  (Courtesy, Ron Edge)
THEN: Roosevelt Way bustling after the war. This subject first appeared in The Seattle Times on July 7, 1946. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)
NOW: Nearly 70 years later, it seems that none of the businesses in this first block of Roosevelt Way north of 64th Stree survives.
NOW: Nearly 70 years later, it seems that none of the businesses in this first block of Roosevelt Way north of 64th Street survives.

This low-rise commercial avenue with diverse signs, street awnings, and poled power is Roosevelt Way looking north through 64th Street on Sunday May 7, 1946. It is a typical mid-century American hodgepodge, by now nostalgic. Similar to a few other local intersections then, this one displays one commanding eccentricity, a Van de Kamp bakery’s landmark windmill.

At this northeast corner everything within and without was, to quote the company’s promotion, “artistically decorated in delft blue and white,” except, of course, the baked goods. There were 150 of these, including the “17 kinds of old Dutch coffee cakes,” noted on the sign above the awning. All were “guaranteed fresh every day.” Inside the windmill were the “Dutch Girl” hostesses, who wore flamboyant hats that resembled the wings of a plumpish swan extended for a landing. For the formal opening on August 7, 1929, the company invited all Seattle to visit its “fifteen beautiful stores.” Less that four months later Van de Kamp’s claimed nineteen locations, with an ambitious ad that included a photograph of this Roosevelt store. The company continued to grow during the Great Depression and promoted products into the 1980s, but by then within supermarkets. That is how I remember them, with windmills limited to in-store signs and on logos for its products, many of them by then frozen.

One door north is Brehm’s, a pickle fancier’s deli that got its modest Pike Place Market start in the teens, and like its neighbor the baker, kept growing, reaching “fourteen convenient locations” in 1941. At the north end of this block is Sears, which opened at the corner of 65th street in 1929 and kept selling there for half a century, closing early in 1980. A Seattle City Light neighborhood service center at the northwest corner of Roosevelt Way and 64th Street, on the left at 6401 Roosevelt Way, also opened in 1929. The state later stocked one of its first post-prohibition liquor stores next door at 6403 Roosevelt Way.

The current occupant at the old City light and state liquor corner is the Sunlight Café. Its longevity is impressive. When it took occupancy in 1980 the Sunlight was one of merely three vegetarian restaurants in Seattle. Now there are dozens. I confess to having been routinely comforted by its menu since it first opened. Although he is no landmark windmill, Joe Noone, one of the Sunlight’s worker-owners, is mildly eccentric. Joe is a classics scholar who might be found reading ancient Latin or Greek after creating a generous vegetable tofu sauté or a Sunlight Nutburger.

WEB EXTRAS

Our extras may be sparse this week, but perhaps Ron Edge will add a few links….Ron?

Just a couple related post this week Jean.

THEN:The early evening dazzle of the Roosevelt Theatre at 515 Pike Street, probably in 1941. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

Seattle Now & Then: First Avenue South, 1961

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Frank Shaw’s pre-preservation visit to First Avenue South on February 26, 1961. He looks north from Main Street. (photo by Frank Shaw)
THEN: Frank Shaw’s pre-preservation visit to First Avenue South on February 26, 1961. He looks north from Main Street. (photo by Frank Shaw)

 

NOW: Jean Sherrard’s return for his repeat gives equal exposure to the preserved landmarks lining both sides of First Avenue South.
NOW: Jean Sherrard’s return for his repeat gives equal exposure to the preserved landmarks lining both sides of First Avenue South.

Here, for the third week running, we belatedly thank Frank Shaw for another cityscape he chose to record with his Hasselblad camera on one of his winter walks in 1961.  Standing off the curb of First Avenue South on the evidently idle Sunday of February 26, Shaw aimed north from Main Street through the two blocks that were for Seattle’s first half-century the principal commercial strip for this ambitious town. Commercial Street, not First Avenue South, was its name until the city’s “Great Fire” of June 6, 1889. Following that destruction, some of the avenues in the burned district were widened and here south of First Avenue the descriptive name “Commercial” was abandoned for the commonplace First Avenue.

On this Sunday in February, Shaw could safely step from the curb during his hometown sight seeing.  For his repeat Jean Sherrard made the prudent choice of standing on the planted median strip.  This landscaping was one of the charmed improvements made later on First South during the polished restoration of Seattle’s Pioneer Square Historic district – about twenty blocks of it.

Standing at the center of First Avenue South also allowed Jean to show us the sandblasted vitality of those enduring landmarks that stand to both sides of the historic street. What Shaw saw in 1961 was brick walls slathered with carbon grime and cosmetic colors and the often neon names of the street’s many taverns, single room occupancy hotels, hardware stores, loan-pawn shops, cheap-suits shops, and a few missions.

Judging from my familiarity with his many photographs, I’m confident that Frank Shaw delighted in this subject’s primary tension – that between this historic street of worn landmarks and the nearly new Norton Building (1959), which fills the center of this cityscape.  Here, with its glass curtain walls, is Seattle’s first oversized demonstration of austere international modernity looming above this worn (but not worn out) old town neighborhood like a lower court judge with clean fingernails looking down from his high bench at the morning line-up of drunks, pickers and survival improvisators.

Now, a half-century later, we know the verdict.  First Avenue South and many of its neighbors were saved.  A mix of heroic forces for historic preservation had it over the cadre of Seattle politicians and developers who proposed razing both our Pioneer Square neighborhood and our community market at Pike Place in the name of “urban renewal.”  They envisioned mostly more Nortons and convenient parking lots. And Frank Shaw would be there through it all recording many of the heartening victories for preservation.

WEB EXTRAS

This week, extras will run late, we fear. We’re engineering a switch to new servers and expect several bumps along the way.

Nevertheless, one ‘Where’s Waldo’ treat: for the eagle-eyed, spot friend of the column, John Siscoe, poised at the street corner in the ‘Now’ photo, only a few feet from the doorway of his delightful Globe Bookstore.

Back in the 80s and 90s, John and Jean worked together on the Globe Radio Repertory, producing radio theatre for NPR Playhouse
Back in the 80s and 90s, John and Jean worked together on the Globe Radio Repertory, producing radio theatre for NPR Playhouse
If you have the chance to visit, be sure and ask John about the Duchy of Grand LIchtenstein
If you have the chance to visit, be sure and ask John about the Duchy of Grand LIchtenstein

That’s it for now. But we’ll be back on a new server next week (cross our fingers).