Seattle Now & Then: Post Office Teams on University Street

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THEN: Looking west from First Avenue down the University Street viaduct to the waterfront, ca. 1905.  Post Office teams and their drivers pose beside the Arlington Hotel, which was then also headquarters for mail delivery in Seattle.  (Courtesy, Gary Gaffner)
THEN: Looking west from First Avenue down the University Street viaduct to the waterfront, ca. 1905. Post Office teams and their drivers pose beside the Arlington Hotel, which was then also headquarters for mail delivery in Seattle. (Courtesy, Gary Gaffner)
NOW:  Jean notes, "The Lin family, visiting Seattle on a near-Spring day, takes in two views from the Harbor steps - one looking over my shoulder at the Seattle Art Museum and the other of a cherry blossom-framed, if blustery, Elliott Bay."
NOW: Jean notes, “The Lin family, visiting Seattle on a near-Spring day, takes in two views from the Harbor steps – one looking over my shoulder at the Seattle Art Museum and the other of a cherry blossom-framed, if blustery, Elliott Bay.”

Here we stand – about a century ago – with an unidentified photographer recording five U.S. Postal Service teams and their drivers.  The year is about 1905, six years after the Post Office moved from its previous headquarters on Columbia Street here to the Arlington Hotel.  Larger quarters were needed, in part for sorting mail.

The Arlington Hotel with tower, looking southwest through the intersection of First Ave. and University Street.
The Arlington Hotel with tower, looking southwest through the intersection of First Ave. and University Street.  Below: the  hotel sans tower from a postcard.

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On the left (of the top photo) is the hotel’s north façade extending west from the corner of University Street and First Avenue. Above the sidewalk on First, the hotel reached four ornate brick stories high with a distinguished conical tower at the corner, not seen here.  To the rear there were three more stories reaching about forty feet down to Post Alley.  First named the Gilmore Block, after its owner David Gilmore, for most of its eighty-four years this sturdy red brick pile was called the Arlington, but wound up as the Bay Building, and it was as the Bay that it was razed in 1974.

Frank Shaw's record of work-in-progress on the razing of the Bay Building.  The subject looks east from the viaduct on University Street to the Diller Hotel on the southeast corner of First and University.
Frank Shaw’s record of work-in-progress on the razing of the Bay Building. The subject looks east from the viaduct on University Street to the Diller Hotel on the southeast corner of First and University.
The caption that came with this look west on the trestle dates it Sept.8, 1946.  It was photographed from a prospect near that used by the "more historical" photographer who recorded the subject at the top.
The caption that came with this look west on the trestle dates it Sept.8, 1946. It was photographed from a prospect near that used by the “more historical” photographer who recorded the subject at the top.
Frank Shaw dated this August 18, 1973, which should be a sufficient clue for come curious reader to figure out what movie is being shot here.  It is a quiz.  Answer correctly and win the glory of being right.
Frank Shaw dated this August 18, 1973, which should be a sufficient clue for some curious reader to figure out what movie is being shot here. It is a quiz. Answer correctly and win the glory, or satisfaction if you prefer, of being right.

By beginning the construction of his hotel before the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, Gilman performed a considerable, if unwitting, service.  The south foundation of the structure was formidable enough to stop the fire from reaching University Street.  Off shore, a chain of volunteer fire fighters, passing buckets of water pulled from Elliot Bay, stopped the fire’s northerly advance as well along the off-shore quays and trestles built of pilings for warehouses and railroad tracks.

A sidewalk view revealing the savior-wall at the base of the south facade following the June 6, 1889 "Great Fire" that consumed most of the Seattle waterfront - to the tides - and over 30 city blocks. The view looks south-southwest.  The north facade of the ruined cracker factor at Seneca is seen in part at the top-left corner.
A sidewalk view revealing the savior-wall at the base of the south facade following the June 6, 1889 “Great Fire” that consumed most of the Seattle waterfront – to the tides – and over 30 city blocks. The view looks south-southwest. The north facade of the ruined cracker factor at Seneca is seen in part at the top-left corner.

Free mail delivery started in Seattle on September 11, 1887, with four carriers.  Remembering that booming Seattle’s population increased in a mere thirty years from 3,533 in 1880 to the 237,194 counted by the federal census in 1910, we may imagine that this quintet of carriers and their teams were a very small minority of what was needed to deliver the mail in 1905.  Behind the posing carriers, University Street descends on a timber trestle above both Post Alley and Western Avenue to Railroad Avenue (Alaska Way).  Most likely some of the mail was rolled along the trestle both to and from “Mosquito Fleet” steamers for waterways distribution.

The swath of destruction along the waterfront seen from the northwest corner of Front Street (First Ave.) and Union Street.
[Click to ENLARGE] The swath of destruction along the waterfront seen from the northwest corner of Front Street (First Ave.) and Union Street.  The rebuilding has obviously begun, and while the business district and waterfront are building, several business have temporarily taken to elaborate tents. The Gilmore/Arlington at First and University appears here at the panorama’s center where the hotel’s construction has laid a floor on its foundation.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

After the post office moved three blocks to the new Federal Building at Third Avenue and Union Street in 1908, First Avenue between University and Seneca Streets continued as a block of hospitality with seven hotels.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  A few variations from the neighborhood, Jean, beginning with a look south on First Avenue through University Street.

Another Gowey contribution.  Lawton dated this slide May 23, 1969.
Another Gowey contribution. Lawton dated this slide May 23, 1969.

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FIRST AVENUE SOUTH THRU UNIVERSITY STREET

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Lawton Gowey dated this Oct. 25, 1974.
Lawton Gowey dated this Oct. 25, 1974.

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At least by April 19, 1976, Lawton's date for his slide, the block is gone.
By April 19, 1976, Lawton’s date for his slide, the block is gone.

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Either Horace Sykes or Robert Bradley  (they were friends in the Seattle Camera Club) recorded this look east on University Way in 1953 when the viaduct was opened to the club before, of course, the traffic.
Either Horace Sykes or Robert Bradley (they were friends in the Seattle Camera Club) recorded this look east on University Way in 1953 when the viaduct was opened to the club before, of course, the traffic.  Here in the shadows at the bottom  we see that the viaduct has been cut off at the east side of Western Avenue.
Lawton Gowey's up-close portrait of the viaduct's stub, again looking east across Western Avenue, this time in 1982.
Lawton Gowey’s up-close portrait of the viaduct’s stub, again looking east across Western Avenue, this time in 1982.

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WHERE THE UNIVERSITY STREET RAMP REACHED RAILROAD AVENUE

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Looking west down the University Street ramp or viaduct in 1899 towards ship impounded for and suppling for the Spanish American War. (Courtesy, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.)
Looking west down the University Street ramp or viaduct in ca. 1900 towards ship impounded for and moving supplies for the Spanish American War.  On the far right the Sung Harbor Saloon appears again, this time from behind.  (Courtesy, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.)

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[NOTE: The NOW describe directly above has not been found, or rather a good print or the negative for it stays hidden.]

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WESTERN AVENUE LOOKING SOUTH FROM THE UNIVERSITY STREET VIADUCT

Another A. Curtis record, this one looking south on Western Avenue from the University Street ramp.  The south end of the rank of hotels that crowd the west side of First Avenue between University and Seneca Streets rise above the narrow block of warehouse and manufacturing sheds that fill the block between Western and Post Alley (aka Post Avenue.)
Another A. Curtis record, this one looking south on Western Avenue from the University Street ramp. The south end of the rank of hotels that crowd the west side of First Avenue between University and Seneca Streets rise above the narrow block of warehouse and manufacturing sheds that fill the block between Western and Post Alley (aka Post Avenue.)

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Recorded from a back window of the Arlington Hotel, the subject looks northwest across the University Street viaduct to the industry to either side of Western Avenue and Railroad Avenue, circa 1899.  The Schwabacher Dock, far left, face Railroad Avenue. Next to it is an earlier version of the Pike Street Wharf, soon to be replace by what we still have as the city's aquarium.
Recorded from a back window of the Arlington Hotel, the subject looks northwest across the University Street viaduct to the industry to either side of Western Avenue and Railroad Avenue, circa 1899. The Schwabacher Dock, far left, faces Railroad Avenue. Next to it is an earlier version of the Pike Street Wharf, soon to be replace by what we still have as the city’s aquarium.

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[ANOTHER NOTE: The "Contemporary photo noted in the paragraph directly above may have joined the other "now" subject missing above it. ]

The hole as Frank Shaw recorded it on March 11, 1975 and many of us still remember it.  The SeaFirst Tower still holds the majesty it grabbed with its topping-off in 1968.
The hole as Frank Shaw recorded it on March 11, 1975 and as many of us still remember it. Here the SeaFirst Tower still holds the majesty it grabbed with its topping-off in 1968.
March 11, 1975, Gowey
March 11, 1975, Frank Shaw
Landscaping, Nov. 21, 1975 (Frank Shaw)
Landscaping, Nov. 21, 1975 (Frank Shaw)
Terracing the hole, also Nov. 21, 1975 by Frank Shaw.
Terracing the hole, also Nov. 21, 1975 by Frank Shaw.
October 25, 1974, eight months earlier from in front.   (Lawton Gowey)
October 25, 1974.  Standing now almost in memoriam, the skin like a skull and the wits within nearly removed.  “Thine are these orbs of light and shade; / Thou madest Life in man and brute; / Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot / is on the skull which thou hast made.” Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H.  (Lawton Gowey)
Less than three years later, a sampling of Friends of the Rag head south on First Ave., with landmark Myres Music at 1216 and so across the street from "the hole," during the Fat Tuesday Parade on Feb. 18, 1978.
Less than three years later, a sampling of Friends of the Rag head south on First Ave., with the landmark Myres Music at 1216 and across First Ave. from “the hole,” during the Fat Tuesday Parade on Feb. 18, 1978.  (Frank Shaw)

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Here – if Ron Edge reads his mail on awakening Sunday Morning – we may find a link for the story feature we published here on the Buzby’s Waterfront Mill, which was nearby at the foot of Seneca Street.   After the story of Buzby and his pioneer flour, we follow Jean and his  students off to Snoqualmie Falls for another now-then.  After a few more digressions, the linked feature returns to the “hole,” above, for more of Frank Shaw’s photos of it.  This may all transpire soon for Ron arises about the time I join the other bears here for another long winter’s sleep.

[CLICK THE LINK BELOW]

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Mapplethorpe at Musée Rodin

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An exhibition at Musée Rodin puts currently in perspective two artists whose comparison seems a priori surprising : the sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1919), of course, and the American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) , famous for his sultry nude photos but also flowers and portraits. The exhibition illustrates their shared passion for the representation of the human body. Rodin was already using photography. He requested a photographic campaign of his statue of Balzac in moonlight from the American photographer Edward Steichen in order to respond to criticism (” make the world understand my Balzac”).  Mapplethorpe was, for his part, very inspired by sculptures, including those of Michelangelo, and described his pictures as being “like sculptures, as forms that take up a space”. The exhibition at the Musée Rodin reveals the correspondence between two artists who, beyond appearances, are inspired by an ideal of classical beauty .

Une exposition au Musée Rodin met actuellement en perspective deux artistes dont le rapprochement semble a priori surprenant: le sculpteur Auguste Rodin (1840-1919), bien sûr, et le photographe américain Mapplethorpe (1946-1989), célèbre pour ses photos sulfureuses de nu, mais aussi de fleurs et de portraits. L’exposition permet d’illustrer leur passion commune pour la représentation du corps humain. Rodin utilisait déjà la photographie. Il avait ainsi commandé une campagne photographique de sa statue de Balzac au clair de lune au photographe américain Edward Steichen afin, pour répondre aux critiques, de « faire comprendre au monde mon Balzac ». Mapplethorpe fut, de son côté, très inspiré par les sculptures, notamment celles de Michel-Ange et décrivait ses photos « comme des sculptures, comme des formes qui occupent un espace ». L’exposition du Musée Rodin permet ainsi d’admirer cette correspondance entre deux artistes qui, au-delà des apparences, s’inspirent d’un idéal de beauté classique.

Lomont_041Lomont_030Lomont_036Lomont_088_The Hôtel Biron built in 18th century  became the Rodin Museum in 1916. Rodin who had been renting the hotel since 1908 to use as a studio,  gave all  of his oeuvres and collections to the French state, on the condition that he could  reside  there all  his life , after which Rodin’s collections would remain there, eventually to become today’s Musée Rodin .

Seattle Now & Then: A Shoebox on Fifth

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THEN: Thanks again and again to Lawton Gowey for another contribution to this feature, this ca. 1917 look into a fresh Denny Regrade and nearly new “office-factory” at 1921 Fifth Avenue.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey.)
THEN: Thanks again and again to Lawton Gowey for another contribution to this feature, this ca. 1917 look into a fresh Denny Regrade and nearly new “office-factory” at 1921 Fifth Avenue. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey.)
NOW: Many thanks also to librarian Steve Kiesow, who as a student started with the Seattle Public Library’s Main Branch History Department in 1968 and is still behind the History Desk, on the phone and on-line helping with answers.  Kiesow answered our call, and found for us much of the building’s most recent chronology.
NOW: Many thanks also to librarian Steve Kiesow, who as a student started with the Seattle Public Library’s Main Branch History Department in 1968 and is still behind the History Desk, on the phone and on-line helping with answers. Kiesow answered our call, and found for us much of the building’s most recent chronology.

Standing alone on a Denny Regrade lot, a reinforced concrete shoebox with a 30×109 footprint and a red brick veneer, stands at 1921 Fifth Avenue. In the 1880s a pioneer wagon road leading to Queen Anne Hill passed by here.  That was long before the regrade, but with half-closed eyes we may imagine the wagon crossing this sloping northeastern corner of Denny Hill very near the roofline of this sturdy box, or a few feet above the Monorail seen in Jean’s “now.”

Looking south thru the future Virginia Street on what is close to the future Fifth Avenue ca. 1886 - long before the regrading of Denny Hill.
From the eastern slope of Denny Hill, looking south thru the future Virginia Street (near the fence) on what is close to the future Fifth Avenue ca. 1886 – long before the regrading of Denny Hill. ( You will find the feature for the above pioneer photo in one of the images used as links below.  You must explore.)
Denny Hill from First Hill circa 19O3, the year the Denny Hotel then renamed the Washington, first opened.  The intersection below it, right-of-center, is Fourth Ave. and Stewart Street.  The rear of the then future "box" on 5th
Denny Hill from First Hill circa 19O3, the year the Denny Hotel then renamed the Washington, first opened. The intersection below it, right-of-center, is Fourth Ave. and Stewart Street. The rear of the then future “box” on 5th would be barely out-of-frame to the far right in the dark landscape.  The row of residences facing Fourth north of Stewart are featured in the subject that follows, photographed by A. Curtis looking east and north from the hotel.
Wallngford is far off on the north side of Lake Union, here on the far left horizon.  Stewart street is on the right, and Fourth Avenue at the base of this A. Curtis photograph from ca. 1904.  Capitol Hill covers most of the horizon.
Wallngford is far off on the north side of Lake Union, here on the far left horizon. Stewart street is on the right, and Fourth Avenue runs left-right at the base of this A. Curtis photograph from ca. 1904. Capitol Hill covers most of the horizon.

All the signs in the second floor windows are for political publications, including the Washington Democrat, whose name is also on the front door.  But by 1918 all had moved away, including the Democrats. The likely date here is 1917, or two years after 1915, the year tax records say this box was built. Peeking over the roof is a clue. It is a late construction scene for the terracotta tile-adorned Securities Building, described on line by its owner Clise Properties as completed in 1917.  The Clise Investment Company was one of the building’s first occupants.

A Seattle Times adver for the first section of theSecurities Building dated April 30, 1914.
A Seattle Times advertisement for the first section of the Securities Building, dated April 30, 1915.
A Seattle Times clip for Oct. 1, 1916.
A Seattle Times clip for Oct. 1, 1916.
Another Securities Building ad, this one listing the tenants, including the
Another Securities Building ad, this one listing the tenants, including the Clise Investment Company.  The Seattle Times date is Christmas Eve, 1916.

Besides the publishers, the early user history of the building included a furniture dealer handy with hardwood billiard tables and fumed-oak davenports. In 1928 the place was remodeled for the auto-renter Aero-U-Drive-Inc, with a wide door cut at the sidewalk to move cars in and out of the long garage inside.  Upstairs on the second floor was the Colony Club, one of the many speak-easies that the State Liquor Control Board announced in the spring of 1934 that it would soon padlock. John Dore, Seattle’s brilliant and sometimes bellicose mayor, gave the prohibition police no help, announcing to the press, “We have matters of greater importance and dearer consequence to consider than closing up speakeasies.” Hizzoner was thinking of that year’s waterfront strike.

The WPA tax card, printed in 1937.
The WPA tax card, printed in 1937.
Looking southwest thru the block in 1937 with the Orpheum Auto Hotel next door to
Looking northwest thru the block in 1937 with the Orpheum Auto Hotel next door to the car rental in the “box.”
In 1939, north from Olive thru Stewart through the block to Virginian.
In 1939, north from Olive thru Stewart and the block to Virginian.
A remodeled 1921 Fifth Ave. with Singer the tenant, and tax photo dated April 28,1949.
A remodeled 1921 Fifth Ave. with Singer the tenant. The tax photo is dated April 28,1949.

The surviving 1949 remodel with glass bricks was for a new business, Singer Sewing Machine.  After the sewing, Uptown Music sold guitars and rented school band instruments in the 1970s. In 1980 the glass-adorned box was rented for the Reagan-Bush Washington State Headquarters.  The Republican Party was replaced with partying. Two music clubs paid the rent, the Weather Wall and Ispy.  In 2008 the latter was promoted as an “Urban Comedy Jazz Café.”  And so it figures that next year the little – for the neighborhood – shoebox may, if it likes, trumpet its centennial.

Uptown Music announces that it is leaving 1921 5th with, of course, a moving sale.
Uptown Music announces that it is leaving 1921 5th with, of course, a moving sale.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?   Yup Jean, Ron is going to post a few past features that relate to this neighborhood with relevant subjects – many of them on 5th Ave. – and a few irrelevant subjects mixed in.

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)

THEN:  Built in 1888-89 at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street, the then named Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church marked the southeast corner of Denny Hill.  Eventually the lower land to the east of the church (here behind it) would be filled, in part, with hill dirt scraped and eroded from North Seattle lots to the north and west of this corner.  (Courtesy, Denny Park Lutheran Church)

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Fifth Avenue looking north from the top of what remained of Denny Hill after the regraders reach Fifth and stopped in 1911.  Soon after this image was recorded for Seattle Public Works on March 8, 1929, work began on razing what remain of the hill east of Fifth Avenue.  (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive.)
Fifth Avenue looking north from the top of what remained of Denny Hill after the regraders reach Fifth and stopped in 1911. Soon after this image was recorded for Seattle Public Works on March 8, 1929, work began on razing what remained of the hill east of Fifth Avenue. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive.)
Frank Shaw with his back close to the "Box" looks thru the Monorail to the Orpheum Theatre on March 17, 1962
Frank Shaw with his back close to the “Box” looks thru the Monorail to the Orpheum Theatre on March 17, 1962
Close again to the "box" here for a "Remember the Pueblo" demonstration on Dec. 7, 1968.
Close again to the “box” here for a “Remember the Pueblo” demonstration on Dec. 7, 1968.

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Seattle Now & Then: The Littlefield Apartments

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THEN: We have by three years or four missed the centenary for this distinguished brick pile, the Littlefield Apartments on Capitol Hill.  (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)
THEN: We have by three years or four missed the centenary for this distinguished brick pile, the Littlefield Apartments on Capitol Hill. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

NOW: While preparing this Sunday’s feature, Jean and I wondered aloud if our shared affection for Seattle’s stock of surviving apartment houses - or “shared walls” to quote from the title again of Diana James’ history of local apartments – may find some of our readers wishing for more sensational subjects like trolley crashes and criminals brought to justice.  Please let us know.  We read all letters.  Use, if you will, the blog pauldorpat.com.
NOW: While preparing this Sunday’s feature, Jean and I wondered aloud if our shared affection for Seattle’s stock of surviving apartment houses – or “shared walls” to quote from the title again of Diana James’ history of local apartments – may find some of our readers wishing for more sensational subjects like trolley crashes and criminals brought to justice. Please let us know. We read all comments. Use, if you will, the blog pauldorpat.com.* [We got a lot of "mail' on responses to this polished confession and will respond at or near the bottom of this feature.]
The Capitol Hill neighborhood landmark, the Littlefield Apartments at the corner of 19th Avenue East and East John Street was timed as 58 years-old in a Times story about its 1968 sale to Arthur Kneifel.  For his $120,000 Kneifel got a classic brick apartment house with twenty-eight units.  Less than a year later, Kneifel got his cash back and $38,000 more when he sold the Littlefield to B. A. Nuetzmann.

Through the Littlefield’s early years of enticing renters, its classifieds in The Times used many of the stock descriptions for such a distinguished residence.  When West and Wheeler, one of the real estate gorillas of the time, announced in 1916 that “this pleasantly located, new brick veneer building has just been placed in our charge,” the unfurnished two-and three-room apartments rented for $18 to $27.50 a month. And in 1916 it was possible to see some light because of the neighborhood’s turn-of-the-century clear-cutting. One could then still rent a Littlefield unit with a “view of Lake Washington,” a gift from the sawyers.

Through the 1920s, West and Wheeler described this property as “quiet and homelike,” “beautifully furnished,” in “perfect condition,” “modern,” and “reasonable” to rent.  In the mid-20s the realtors promoted “overstuffed furniture” with coil springs in the apartment’s furnished flats.  In late 1931 a modern and “completely refinished” 3-room front corner apartment was offered for $37 a month.  It was a depression-time bargain – for the still employed.

The Littlefield’s more steadfast residents aged with it, and increasingly following World War Two. their names started appearing in The Times death notices.  For instance, on May 6, 1947, the Times noted that Mrs. Laura Price, 86 years old and a member of First Baptist Church, had died. Four years later Littlefield residents Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Leighton celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

The Littlefield, of course, had its run of managers.  Perhaps the most unlucky among them was Robert Milender.  Twice in 1972 – in June and in July – visitors on the pretense of wanting to rent a unit, instead robbed and pummeled Milender in the manager’s, his own, apartment.

The heart of Capitol Hill looking north from on high on April 7, 1946, but without the Littlefield, which is out-of-frame to the right.  (Courtesy, Ron Edge)
[Double Click to Enlarge]  The heart of Capitol Hill looking north from on high on April 7, 1946, but without the Littlefield, which is out-of-frame to the right. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?   Yes Jean with your help and a link to our feature on Capitol Hill’s Gable Apartments, which includes several additions – of its own – that will resonate with the Littlefield Apts. as well.

Capitol Hill's western border since the mid-1960's.
Capitol Hill’s western border since the mid-1960’s. [Click]
The central business district from Capitol Hill in 1968/9.  The SeaFirst Tower, on the left, opened in 1968, and the Washington Plaza Hotel, here not yet completed, in the mid-summer of 1960.  On the right, the view looks west in line with Stewart Street from the photographer Robert Bradley's apartment high in the Lamplighter on Belmont Avenue.
The central business district from Capitol Hill in 1968/9. The SeaFirst Tower, on the left, opened in 1968, and the Washington Plaza Hotel, here not yet completed, opened in the mid-summer of 1960. On the right, the view looks west in line with Stewart Street from the photographer Robert Bradley’s apartment high in the Lamplighter on Belmont Avenue. [Click]

Damaged snow shot of Capitol Hill from the Volunteer Park standpipe.  The Parker home at the southeast corner of E. Prospect Street and 14th Ave. E. fills the foreground.  With its early 20th Century creation by super-developer James Moore, 14th Ave. here south of the park was also known as "Millionaire Row."
Damaged snow shot of Capitol Hill from the Volunteer Park standpipe. The Parker home at the southeast corner of E. Prospect Street and 14th Ave. E. fills the foreground. With its early 20th Century creation by super-developer James Moore, 14th Ave. here south of the park was also known as “Millionaire Row.”

 

THANK YOU DEAR READERS

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Seattle Now & Then: Two Views from the Needle (or, A Stitch in Time)

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THEN: The Seattle Central Business District in 1962.  I found this panorama mixed in with the Kodachrome slides photographed by Lawton Gowey.  It was most likely taken by my helpful friend Lawton, who died in 1983, or Robert Bradley, Lawton’s friend in the then active Seattle Camera Club.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: The Seattle Central Business District in 1962. I found this panorama mixed in with the Kodachrome slides photographed by Lawton Gowey. It was most likely taken by my helpful friend Lawton, who died in 1983, or Robert Bradley, Lawton’s friend in the then active Seattle Camera Club. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: Jean last visited the Space Needle in 2011.  Stirred by the changes, he makes note that “There are six cranes at work in mid-ground, say north of Stewart Street.  The old dip in the cityscape between the Smith Tower and the Space Needle is filling in.  We are spawning towers.”  For their “hide and seek,” readers may wish to visit Jean’s and my blog dorpatsherrardlomont to study enlarged copies of this week’s featured subjects and more Seattle cityscapes from the Needle.
NOW: Jean last visited the Space Needle in 2011. Stirred by the changes, he makes note that “There are six cranes at work in mid-ground, say north of Stewart Street. The old dip in the cityscape between the Smith Tower and the Space Needle is filling in. We are spawning towers.” For their “hide and seek,” readers may wish to visit Jean’s and my blog dorpatsherrardlomont to study enlarged copies of this week’s featured subjects and more Seattle cityscapes from the Needle.

Here is an opportunity for readers to enjoy our deeply human urge to play hide and seek. What is often made of bricks and tiles in the “then” panorama may still be discovered beside or behind the grand expanse of glass rising so high in the “now.”  You may wish to start with the Smith Tower. Only a slice of that 1914 landmark can be found far down Second Avenue on the right.  Both views, of course, were photographed from the Space Needle.  The historical photographer exposed his or her Kodachrome slide in 1962 when the Space Needle was new.  Jean Sherrard recorded his digital repeat late last February, on a perfect day for photography when that winter light with its soft shadows is so forgiving and revealing.

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In the upper-right corner of Jean’s repeat, a crisp Mt. Rainier reflects the afternoon sun so that the name, “The Mountain that was God,” seems most appropriate.  When Seattle and Tacoma were still arguing whether it should be named Mt. Rainier or Mt. Tacoma, this sublime substitute was used, in part, to transcend the promotional rancor bouncing back and forth between the two cities.

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For the more ancient among us, the 1962 panorama may reflect The Seattle Times now long-passed columnist Emmett Watson’s campaign for a “Lesser Seattle.” Watson, with the help of rain and this modest skyline, hoped to discourage Californians from visiting, or worse, staying in Seattle.  This was the Central Business District before major leagues, digital commerce, grunge, and acres of tinted glass curtains.  Seek and you may still find the Seattle Tower (1928), the Medical Dental Building (1925), and the Roosevelt Hotel (1929), but not the nearly new Horizon House (1961) on First Hill, here hidden behind many newer towers.

Some of the Century 21 parking in the Denny Regrade neighborhood.  Notes the fancy foot landscaping on the lower "wing" of the Grosvenor House.
Some of the Century 21 parking in the Denny Regrade neighborhood. Notes the fancy foot landscaping on the lower “wing” of the Grosvenor House, bottom-right.
Seattle Freeway construction below Capitol Hill.  Courtesy, Lawton Gowey
Seattle Freeway construction below Capitol Hill. Courtesy, Lawton Gowey
Lawton Gowey's ecstatic portrait of the bark Nippon Maru with the new Needle off its stern on June 20, 1962.
Lawton Gowey’s ecstatic portrait of the bark Nippon Maru with the new Needle off its stern on June 20, 1962.
Seattle Times photographer Josef Scaylea's contribution to the United States Information Agency's Russian Language periodical.
Seattle Times photographer Josef Scaylea’s contribution to the United States Information Agency’s Russian Language periodical.  The original is in color and may redeem it.
Ivar Haglund's Century 21 Fish Bar as foundation for the Space Needle.
Ivar Haglund’s Century 21 Fish Bar as foundation for the Space Needle.
For skyline supremacy, the Space Needle's first rival, the Seattle First National Bank, begins its crawl skyward at this 1967 look south from Queen Anne Hill.  Courtesy, Seattle Times
For skyline supremacy, the Space Needle’s first rival, the Seattle First National Bank, begins its crawl skyward in this 1967 look south from Queen Anne Hill. Courtesy, Seattle Times
Bob Hope diverted from reading about the fair and its splendid Space Needle.
Bob Hope diverted from reading about the fair and its splendid Space Needle in The Seattle Times special edition.
Jean resting with his Nikon at the top of the Space Needle.  This may have been taken by Boulangere during her last visit to Seattle.  Jean will correct me  if I am wrong.
Jean resting with his Nikon at the top of the Space Needle. This may have been taken by Berangere during her last visit to Seattle. Jean will correct me if I am wrong.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Assuredly Jean – and with your help: your’s and Ron’s.  First Ron’s.  Directly below are three links to landmarks that can still be found in our cityscape, and appear – in part – from the Space Needle.   Next, we will put up some examples of pans from favored Seattle prospects.  This will not be a surprise to you, because you have recorded repeats for most of them, and when you arise on Sunday morning – after breakfast – you may, we hope, pair these distinguish Seattle examples of panoramas with your own contemporary repeats.   As time allows this evening, following those “classic” now-thens, I’ll put up some other wide-angle shots from hither and thither, reaching as far as your family’s favored summer destination: LaPush on the Washington Coast.

 

A FEW of SEATTLE’S HISTORICAL PROSPECTS Repeated by Jean Sherrard

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

DENNY HILL

Frank LaRoche's ca. 1891 look south down Third Ave. from the Denny Hotel construction site on the south summit of Denny Hill.  On the left are the Methodists at the southeast corner of Pine Street and Third Avenue.
Frank LaRoche’s ca. 1891 look south down Third Ave. from the Denny Hotel construction site on the south summit of Denny Hill. On the left are the Methodists at the southeast corner of Pine Street and Third Avenue.
Jean's approximate repeat
Jean’s approximate repeat
The oldest pan of Seattle among the many taken from Denny Hill.  The date is 1871/2.  The summit of First  Hill, far left, is still forested.  The King Street Coal Wharf is still five or six years from construction.  Pike Street crosses beyond the fence.
The oldest pan of Seattle among the many taken from Denny Hill by Moore. The date is 1871/2. The summit of First Hill, far left, is still forested beyond the Territorial University campus. The King Street Coal Wharf is still five or six years from construction. Pike Street crosses left-right/east-west beyond the fence.  Beacon Hill marks most of the horizon. Second Avenue continues south beyond the shed’s roof.
Taken from the same location as the Moore pan above it, this 1878 panorama by Peterson & Bros. includes the King Street Coal Wharf, far right.
Taken from the same location as the Moore pan above it, this 1878 panorama by Peterson & Bros. includes the King Street Coal Wharf, far right.  Most of the old growth forest has been cleared from the summit of First Hill, far left.   [Courtesy, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.]
The title for his centerfold to a late 1880s book of Seattle scenes is evidence of Arthur Denny's intentions them to root the state capitol away from Olympia and plant in on the his hill that would after his kidnapping failure be named Denny Hill for him.
The title for his centerfold to a late 1880s book of Seattle scenes is evidence of Arthur Denny’s intentions them to root the state capitol away from Olympia and plant in on his hill that would, after his kidnapping failure, be named Denny Hill for him.

 

FIRST HILL

Webster and Stevens Studio three-part pan of First Hill from the nearly completed Smith Tower in 1913 or early 1914.  Courtesy, MOHAI.
Webster and Stevens Studio three-part pan of First Hill from the nearly completed Smith Tower in 1913 or early 1914. Courtesy, MOHAI.
A recent repeat
A recent repeat

BEACON HILL

Frame in one of pioneer historian Prosch's albums, Seattle in 1882 from Beacon Hill with Piner's Point (now the Pioneer Square Historic District) extending as far south as King Street.  (Courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.)
Frame in one of pioneer historian Prosch’s albums, Seattle in 1882 from Beacon Hill with Piner’s Point (now the Pioneer Square Historic District) extending as far south as King Street. (Courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.)

South-Downtown-from-Beacon-Hill

A merging of Lawton Gowey's two-part pan of the tideflats taken from Beacon Hill in 1968.
A merging of Lawton Gowey’s two-part pan of the tideflats taken from Beacon Hill in 1968.  Note the rising SeaFirst tower on the far right.

Stitched from many parts, A. Curtis' pan of the tideflats to First Hill and a Beacon Hill cliff, far right, from Beacon Hill in the mid-teens.
Stitched from many parts, A. Curtis’ pan of the tideflats to First Hill, concluding with a Beacon Hill cliff, far right, photographed in the mid-teens. [Keep Clicking to Enlarge]
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT from the New Washington Hotel

js 1928-New-Washington-Pan-Pierson-2-2-28c-copWEBy

 

From the Josephinum roof
From the Josephinum roof

GREEN LAKE, LOOKING WEST to Phinney Ridge & the Olympics

An A. Curtis 1903 pan looking west over Green Lake to Phinney Ridge with an Olympic Mountains horizon.  This is but two parts of a pan that continues for another third into Wallingford, here out-of-frame to the left.
An A. Curtis 1903 pan looking west over Green Lake to Phinney Ridge with an Olympic Mountains horizon. This is but two parts of a pan that continues for another third into Wallingford, here out-of-frame to the left.

Green-Lake-Pan-sunny

FROM WEST SEATTLE

A mock-up for Jean's and my book Washington Then and Now.  We once had and perhaps still have a webpage floating the the "cloud" that compared three early pans from the same Duwamish Head prospect that could be edifyingly compared to one of Jean's repeats.  We still do.  Open http://www.washingtonthenandnow.com/
A mock-up for Jean’s and my book Washington Then and Now. We once had and perhaps still have a webpage floating the the “cloud” that compared three early pans from the same Duwamish Head prospect that could be edifyingly compared to one of Jean’s repeats. We still do. Open http://www.washingtonthenandnow.com/
Readers interested in Seattle cityscapes, especially on and from the waterfront, may wish to visit Ivar's Acres of Clam and the gallery of historical prints hanging in the restaurant's long hall between the seating and the kitchen.  I mounted this in 1984 before Ivar's passing in '85.  The irritating flash in this example comes, of course, from my camera, a Nikkormat then, I believe.  The panorama on top of the city from West Seattle replaced my '84 "now."
Readers interested in Seattle cityscapes, especially on and from the waterfront, may wish to visit Ivar’s Acres of Clam and the gallery of historical prints hanging in the restaurant’s long hall between the seating and the kitchen. I mounted this in 1984 before Ivar’s passing in ’85. The irritating flash in this example comes, of course, from my camera, a Nikkormat then, I believe. The panorama on top of the city from West Seattle replaced my ’84 “now.”

FROM PIONEER SQUARE HISTORIC DISTRICT

SEATTLE'S FIRST PANORAMA, by Sammis.  Taken from the second floor of Snoqualmie Hall at the southwest corner of Main Street and Commercial Street, long since renamed First Avenue South.
SEATTLE’S FIRST PANORAMA, by Sammis. Taken from the second floor of Snoqualmie Hall at the southwest corner of Main Street and Commercial Street, long since renamed First Avenue South.
Taken from the rooftop of the Bread of Life Mission
Taken from the rooftop of the Bread of Life Mission

ABOVE THE ROOF OF TOWN HALL

Taken during the Christmas holidays from Mike and Donna James apartment
Taken during the Christmas holidays from Mike and Donna James apartment

From The KING STREET COAL WHARF

North along the waterfront before the city's "Great Fire of 1889," taken from the end of the King Street Coal Wharf.
North along the waterfront before the city’s “Great Fire of 1889,” taken from the end of the King Street Coal Wharf.

PETERSON & BROS. Pan From YESLER WHARF, 1878

Knit from three photographs of the Seattle Waterfront in 1878 taken from Yesler's Wharf.   The nearly fresh 1876 grading of Front Street (First Avenue) is apparent.
Knit from three photographs of the Seattle Waterfront in 1878 taken from Yesler’s Wharf. The nearly fresh 1876 grading of Front Street (First Avenue) is evident.  Denny Hill, with its two summits, is far left.   The broken ship Windward is anchored at the center.  Above it is the foot of Madison Street, and then on the horizon the Territorial University at 4th and Seneca.  Columbia Street reaches Front Street far right.   Yesler’s millpond is scattered about.

THE 1909 ALASKA YUKON PACIFIC EXPOSITION ACROSS PORTAGE BAY

"Look! Up in the Sky" the tethered balloon on the right.  Several aerials of the AYP campus and beyond were taken from its basket.
“Look! Up in the Sky” the tethered balloon on the right. Several aerials of the AYP captured campus and beyond were taken from its basket – like those below.
Looking south over Portage Bay to Capitol Hill.  Montlake is on the left.  The Latona Bridge is on the far right.
Looking south over Portage Bay to Capitol Hill. Montlake is on the left. The Latona Bridge is on the far right.
The AYP'S "ARCTIC CIRCLE" with part of the University District on the left.
The AYP’S “ARCTIC CIRCLE” with part of the University District on the left.

RETURNING TO THE NEEDLE – ANOTHER INFLATABLE.

A 200-foot long inflatable or soft sculpture commemorating a common feature in the art of several artists very loosely connected with the Shazzam Society in the late 1960s and here into the early 1970s.  (For the moment, I do not remember the year.  1971 or 1973, I think.  At the time I was preparing a film most of the footage of which was taken at the several music festivals hereabouts in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Here I joined with the crafty help of the Land Truth Circus and its grandee, John Hillding, to raise this UNIVERSAL WORM (aka tiger's tale) to the rim of the Space Needle where a gust of spring air suddenly threw it again the Needle's concrete "ribbing" below the restaurant and it was punctured and returned to earth flapping.
A 200-foot long inflatable or soft sculpture commemorating a common feature in the art of several artists very loosely connected with the Shazzam Society in the late 1960s and here into the early 1970s. (For the moment, I do not remember the year. 1971 or 1973, I think.) At the time I was preparing a film, Sky River Rock Fire,  most of the footage for which was taken at the several music festivals hereabouts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Here I joined with the crafty help of the Land Truth Circus and its grandee, John Hillding, to raise this UNIVERSAL WORM (aka tiger’s tale) to the rim of the Space Needle where a gust of spring air suddenly threw it below the restaurant where it was penetrated or punctured by the concrete “ribbing” (or spokes) there and returned to earth flapping.

 

 

 

 

 

Springtime in Giverny

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Thanks to an american friend who was dreaming to visit Giverny,  so we drove yesterday to this heaven at 80 kms West from Paris.

It was the third day of opening of the site,  when the garden awakes at spring time.

The painter Monet settled there in 1883 with his family, where he stayed for 43 years in this marvelous pink house with green shutters. He created his garden like an œuvre, which was an endless source of inspiration.

At the first glance in the garden, I found the spirit of the painter, with this harmony of monochrome flowers placed by touchs, the volumes of the trees, in a magnificent composition and felt the joy of being in an immence impressionist painting…

 

Merci à mon amie américaine qui rêvait d’aller à Giverny. Alors nous sommes parties en voiture vers ce paradis à 80 km à l’ouest de Paris. C’était le troisième jour d’ouverture du site, au moment où le jardin s’éveille au printemps.

Le peintre Monet s’y installa en 1883 avec sa famille et habita dans cette magnifique maison rose aux volets verts pendant 43 ans. Il créa son jardin comme une œuvre et celui-ci se révéla une source inépuisable d’inspiration.

Au premier regard, je retrouvai l’esprit du peintre, avec cette harmonie de fleurs couleurs monochromes disposées par touches, les volumes des massifs et des arbres dans une magnifique composition et ressentis la joie d’être dans une immense peinture impressionniste…

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When Monet stayed in Holland, he painted fiels of tulips, made extraordinary huge vivid colors plates, and juxtaposed them in wide flat spaces.  We can imagine his emotion in Skagit County…

Quand Monet séjourna en Hollande, il peignit des champs de tulipes, réalisa d’extraordinaires et gigantesques planches aux couleurs vives, et les juxtaposa dans des espaces immenses et plats. Nous pouvons imaginer son emotion a Skagit County…