Seattle Now & Then: A Late Latona Bridge

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The historical view looks directly south into the Latona addition’s business district on Sixth Ave. NE. from the Northern Pacific’s railroad bridge, now part of the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: The historical view looks directly south into the Latona addition’s business district on Sixth Ave. NE. from the Northern Pacific’s railroad bridge, now part of the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: The Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge, constructed in the early 1960s, scattered whatever appeal the old strip on Sixth Ave. NE. might have still had for business.
NOW: The Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge, constructed in the early 1960s, scattered whatever appeal the old strip on Sixth Ave. NE. might have still had for business.

While I have not yet found a date for this look into the Latona business district, I think it was recorded, perhaps by a municipal photographer, to show off the closely packed collection of three bridges that in their last days were fittingly called by one name, Latona.

Perhaps it (may be) likely that this record of the bridge was taken by the same Municipal photographer on the same day from the Paysee Hardware Store.  The trio of bridges are used the same as in the featured photograph, and the line-up of motorcars behind the truck may be compared by, for instance, the size of their rooftops.  (Courtesy Municipal Archive)
Perhaps it is (or merely may be) likely that this record of the bridge was taken by the same Municipal photographer on the same day but here from the Paysee Hardware Store. The trio of bridges are used the same as in the featured photograph, and the line-up of motorcars behind the truck may be compared by, for instance, the size of their rooftops. The wagon also appears in the photograph at the top.  (Courtesy Municipal Archive)

Out-of-frame to the left – about 150 feet east from the center of this bridge – the University Bridge also crossed the narrows into Portage Bay. With an almost obligatory speech by Edmond Meany, the University Bridge was dedicated on July 1, 1919.  Meany was by then the oldest and easily most professing of the University of Washington’s history professors.  With his wife Lizzie, Edmond also lived, appropriately, on 10th Ave. E. at the north end of the bridge. A living landmark, Meany was a brand name with both the University District’s art deco hotel, the Meany, (since renamed the Deco) and the University’s largest auditorium named for him.  Exceptionally, both names were pinned to him before his death in 1935.

One of many renderings of the handsome history professor, the artist here is (and I am mildly speculating) Herbert P. Muehlenbeck, who was also responsible for painting portraits of the U.W. figureheads.
One of many renderings of the handsome history professor, the artist here is (and I am mildly speculating) Herbert P. Muehlenbeck, who was also responsible for painting portraits of other U.W. figureheads, which most likely still hang on-campus. .

The professor had also attended the dedication of the Latona Bridge, exactly twenty-eights years earlier, on July 1, 1891.  A boy’s choir from nearby Fremont serenaded the ceremony.  (Both Fremont and Latona, north lake neighborhoods, were incorporated into Seattle on April 3, 1891, an annexation that added about seventeen, at the time, remote square miles to Seattle but very few citizens.)  Most likely Seattle Pioneer David Denny was also at the ’91 dedication, for it was Denny who built the bridge as part of an agreement with the City Council, which gave him the right of franchise to build his trolley line over the bridge to the newly annexed Latona and the future University District, then still called Brooklyn.

Here (at top) with trolley tracks leading to it, the lift-span trolley bridge is on the right.  Curiously, at the subject’s center, the right southbound side of the swing bridge made for vehicles is crowded with them.  Perhaps they are headed for the 1919 dedication of the new bridge that was then still variously called the 10th Avenue Bridge, the Eastlake Bridge, and sometimes even the Latona Bridge.

The Latona Bridge (or bridges) photographed from the University Bridge.  Although no date cam with it, perhaps it too was photographed on the same day as the others.
The Latona Bridge (or bridges) photographed from the University Bridge.  Here we see that both a swinging span and a lift span were used to open the bridge to vessels.  Although no date came with it, perhaps it too was photographed on the same day as the others.
Found on the Municipal Archives web site, this revealing subject comes with a confident date, July 26, 1919, or 22 days after the dedication of the new University Bridge.  The west facade of the Diamond Tires warehouse, which sat on the west side of Eastlake.  With persistent inspection Diamond's big shed can also be found in the feature's "then" at the top.
Found on the Municipal Archives web site, this revealing subject comes with a confident date, July 26, 1919, or 22 days after the dedication of the new University Bridge.  South side access to the Latona Bride on Fuhrman Street  has be barricaded. The west facade of the Diamond Tires warehouse, sat on the west side of Eastlake. With persistent inspection Diamond’s big shed can also be found in the feature’s “then” at the top.    This relatively steep decent with a curve to reach the bridge was long considered a hazard, and locals like the Brooklyn Community Club lobbied for its correction.   (Brooklyn was an early name for the University District.) Here’s a news report of the Community Club’s concerns,  including the approach to the bridge, dated from March 25, 1902. 

CLICK TO ENLARGE

The Brooklyn Community Club's news from March 25, 1902.
The Brooklyn Community Club’s news from March 25, 1902.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Yes Jean and starting with Ron Edge’s selection of four past features from this blog that stay – for the most part – in the neighborhood.   In this regard we gently remind readers that we treat our subjects and their parts as like themes in musical compositions, by which we mean that we can use then over and over again, but in different contexts.   For instance is the first feature that Ron links below, we will come upon image(s) that appear again in this feature.  This “The Latona Bridge”  is not so old either.  It was first published less than a year ago on June 29.   We figure some readers will remember it still.

THEN: The Latona Bridge was constructed in 1891 along the future line of the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge.  The photo was taken from the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway right-of-way, now the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail. The Northlake Apartment/Hotel on the right survived and struggled into the 1960s.  (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

The bust of R.H. Thomson looks down at the Headworks, which is the dam, for the city's gravity system.  It is still being constructed here.  The date is Nov. 14,1999 and A. Wilse was the photographer, as we was for many of the subjects included below.  His negative number for this is "48x".

 

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