Category Archives: Seattle Now and Then

Seattle Now & Then: Leary Way

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: With his or her back to the original Ballard business district, an unnamed photographer looks southeast on Leary Way, most likely in 1936.
THEN: With his or her back to the original Ballard business district, an unnamed photographer looks southeast on Leary Way, most likely in 1936.

NOW: On September 17th last Jean Sherrard took this “repeat” with the 2 Bit Saloon on the far left. It was the last day and night for the tavern, which timed its finale with that month’s Backfire Motorcycle Night in Ballard.

NOW: On September 17th last Jean Sherrard took this “repeat” with the 2 Bit Saloon on the far left. It was the last day and night for the tavern, which timed its finale with that month’s Backfire Motorcycle Night in Ballard.

We had two “thens” to choose from, and here follows the alternative.

The alternative also looks southeast on Leary Way to its first curves of three on its way to Fremont.
The alternative also looks southeast on Leary Way to its first curve of three on its way to Fremont.

This week we look south-southeast into a somewhat befuddling Ballard intersection where Leary Way, before curving to the east and ultimately heading for Fremont, meets 17th Avenue. N.W. and N.W. 48th Street. The photographer of this picture was working for the Foster and Kleiser billboard company, whose negatives we have used before, and will surely many times to come, the fates willing. So the intended subjects were the big signs on the far side of the curving Leary Way.

This snap in the billboard survey looks thru the same Leary curve but from the southeast end of it.  So it looks northwest on Leary.  The date, March 13, 1939 is recorded, bottom-left.  [A personal reflection to share: born in the fall of 1938, it was then barely babbling when this shots was recorded, and here and now nearly 76 years later, I blabber on and on.
This snap in the billboard survey looks thru the same Leary curve but from the southeast end of it. So it looks northwest on Leary. The date, March 13, 1939 is recorded, bottom-left . [Unless you are not dyslexic, then it is properly bottom-right. Another  personal reflection to share: born in the fall of 1938, I was then barely babbling when this shot was recorded, and now nearly 76 years later, I blabber on and on.

On the left of the featured photo at the top, between the Mobilgas flying horse (named Pegasus by the ancient Greeks) and the OK Texaco service station, 17th Avenue N.W. heads north.  In the early 1890s, 17th was the eastern border for Gilman Park, an early name for Ballard.  In 1936, the likely date of the photo, this intersection was obviously devoted to filling stations, billboards and power poles. The pavement, laid in 1930, is fairly fresh.  Unlike the many brick

A Seattle Times clipping from April 17, 1930.
A Seattle Times clipping from April 17, 1930.
An look northwest on the mostly brick Ballard Avenue during the 1916 Big Snow.
A look northwest on the mostly brick Ballard Avenue during the 1916 Big Snow.   Note the snow-capped city hall tower beyond the snow-bound trolley.  The bank building on the right also had a tower, and it was from that prospect that the next photo below was recorded on a 4th the July ca. 1910.   The clipping of that feature follow as well.
I have for this moment - a long lapsing one - misplaced the "now" negative for this "then."
I have for this moment – a long lapsing one – misplaced the “now” negative for this “then.”  But here is the text scanned from  a Times clip.
First appeared in Pacific Magazine April 5, 1992.
First appeared in Pacific Magazine April 5, 1992.

landmarks on Ballard Avenue, one block to the west, the buildings along Leary Way were mostly one- and two-story commercial clapboards and manufacturing sheds, like the one behind the billboards at the scene’s center, again, in the featured photo on top.  (Here we will insert three billboard photos taken on Leary Way in the three block run between N. W. Dock Place and Market Street.  (They do not all look in the same direction.)

This is captioned around the billboard, left-of-center, which sits "82 feet west of Ione Place.
This is captioned in reference to the billboard, left-of-center, which sits “82 feet west of Ione Place.
Leary way looking northwest to the billboards at Dock Place.  In the distance, across Market Street stands the Bagdad Theatre.
Leary way looking northwest to the billboards at Dock Place. In the distance, across Market Street stands the Bagdad Theatre.
The Bagdad then and during a recent Ballard Stret Fair.
The Bagdad then and during a recent Ballard Stret Fair.
Looking northwest on Leary Way to its intersection with Ione Place.  The caption makes not of its billboard subject as "100 feet west of Ione."
Looking northwest on Leary Way to its intersection with Ione Place. The caption makes note of its billboard subject as “100 feet west of Ione.” The captions “P-1″ and “R126″ are references we have not as yet cracked – nor tried to.

Leary Way was named for Seattle capitalist John Leary, who was the first president of the West Coast Improvement Company (WCIC), which through the 1890s shaped Ballard into the “Shingle Capitol of the World.”  Writing in 1900, pioneer Seattle historian Thomas Prosch called it the “most successful” real estate enterprise connected to Seattle.  The town was named for Capt. William Rankin Ballard, who with Leary was one of the WCIC’s principal developers. Ballard explained that in the first three months of the township venture he made 300 percent profit on the property that he had earlier “won” as a booby price in a “heads or tails” gamble with a friend.  Ballard did not live in Ballard, but recounted this from his First Hill mansion.

Not Ballard's home on First Hill, but Leary's on Capitol Hill, now home for Episcopalians.   (photo by Robert Bradley in 1969)
Not Ballard’s home on First Hill, but Leary’s on Capitol Hill, now home for Episcopalians. (1969 photo by Robert Bradley.)
The Yesler Leary Building at the northwest corner of Mill Street (Yesler Way) and Front Street (First Avenue.)  Leary's partnership in the 1884 construction of this Victorian showpiece is a sign of his local power at the time.
The Yesler Leary Building at the northwest corner of Mill Street (Yesler Way) and Front Street (First Avenue.) Leary’s partnership with Henry Yesler in the 1884 construction of this Victorian showpiece is a sign of his Seattle status then.
Scanned from Bagley's History of Seattle, Vol. 2
Scanned from Clarence  Bagley’s History of Seattle, Vol. 2

Behind the photographer of the featured photo at the top, the first Ballard street grid, a triangle of about a dozen blocks south of Market Street and west of 17th Avenue N.W., is aligned to the nearby Salmon Bay shoreline.  Otherwise, this rapidly growing, confident and, beginning in 1890, incorporated suburb followed the American practice – often written as law – of laying streets in conformity to the compass.

The grid of eastern Ballard - or Freelard aka Ballmonst - reveals with this April 25, 1947 aerial, courtesy of Ron Edge.  Upper right is Leary Way's last or most southeasterly section before turning (at the top) east into Fremont "proper."
The grid of eastern Ballard – or Freelard aka Ballmont – revealed from on high in this April 25, 1947 aerial, courtesy of Ron Edge. Upper right is Leary Way’s last or most southeasterly section before turning (at the top) east into Fremont “proper” on 36th Street.
The last (or first) curve on Leary where from this prospect 39th Street it turns east into Fremont.
That last (or first) curve on Leary where from this prospect near 39th Street it turns east into Fremont on 36th Street..
Queen Anne Hill neighborhood just west of Seattle Pacific College, seen across the ship canal and from a Fremont prospect near 39th Street and 2nd Ave. N.W.    nd
Queen Anne Hill neighborhood just west of Seattle Pacific College, seen across the ship canal and from a Fremont prospect near 39th Street and 2nd Ave. N.W. and so also above the curve where Leary merges with 36th Street.  nd

On Leary Way, another disruption of the greater Ballard grid follows soon after Leary passes east under the north approach to the Ballard Bridge. (The bridge’s trusses appear at the far-right.) At 11th Avenue N.W., Leary Way turns to the southeast cutting the shortest

Looking northwest to the Leary Way curve between N.W. 47th Street and 11th Ave. N.W..  Again, the photograph's own caption is preoccupied with its billboard.
Looking northwest to the Leary Way curve between N.W. 47th Street and 11th Ave. N.W.. Again, the photograph’s own caption is preoccupied with its billboard.

possible route to Fremont through a somewhat treeless neighborhood of grid-conforming streets, snuggly lined with well-tended workers’ homes.  There are cherished alternative names for this neighborhood just east of Ballard or just west of Fremont.   It is sometimes called Ballmont, and other times, Freelard.  Of course, both are good-natured popular names meant to calm anxieties along a border between neighbors.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Pro forma, Jean.  First a few links pulled by Ron Edge from past features followed by a stand-alone but not forlorn feature from the neighborhood: its Carnegie Library.   By this time some of the Edge Links will surely have been employed in this blog before, repetitions (we repeat) we are proud of and play like musical motifs in different contexts or on different staffs.  Remembering my mom – again again – “Repetition is the mother of all learning.”  Thank’s mom.

THEN: A Seattle Street and Sewer Department photographer recorded this scene in front of the nearly new City-County Building in 1918.  The view looks west from 4th Avenue along a Jefferson Street vacated in this block except for the municipal trolley tracks.  (Photo courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: Looking east from the roof of the still standing testing lab, the Lock’s Administration Building (from which this photograph was borrowed) appears on the left, and the district engineer’s home, the Cavanaugh House (still standing) on the center horizon. (Photo courtesy Army Corps of Engineers at Chittenden Locks)

 locks-fm-gn-brdg-early-web

THEN: Captioned Salmon Bay, 1887, this is most likely very near the eastern end of the bay where it was fed by Ross Creek, the Lake Union outlet. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan Vintage Posters and Photographs)

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Library-NOW-WEB

First appeared in Pacific, June 12, 1994.
First appeared in Pacific, June 12, 1994.

Seattle Now & Then: Third Avenue Regrade

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THEN: Looking north from Columbia Street over the construction pit for the Central Building.  On the left is a rough section of the Third Avenue Regrade in the spring of 1907.  (Courtesy, MOHAI)
THEN: Looking north from Columbia Street over the construction pit for the Central Building. On the left is a rough section of the Third Avenue Regrade in the spring of 1907. (Courtesy, MOHAI)
NOW: Jean Sherrard moved a few yards east up Columbia Street from the unnamed historical photographer’s prospect in order to look north down the typical sixteen-foot wide central business district alley.
NOW: Jean Sherrard moved a few yards east up Columbia Street from the unnamed historical photographer’s prospect in order to look north down the typical sixteen-foot wide central business district alley.

Drivers and riders who continue to be confused and/or delayed by the city’s “Mercer Mess” south of Lake Union may find some consolation by reflecting on the Central Business District’s public works schedule a century ago.  This look north from Columbia Street, mid-block between Third and Fourth Avenues, is dated April 15, 1907.  At the far left, Third Avenue, at its intersection with Marion Street, has been cut (lowered) about fifteen feet.  All traffic on Third, Columbia, and Marion has, of course, been cut off as well.

Third Ave. Regrade 1906, looking north over Marion Street.  The Third Ave. Theatre, its tower half-decapitated, stands on the far side of the Madison Street Cable Railway trestle.  The upper-right corner shows the west facade of the Lincoln Hotel at the northwest corner of 4th Ave. and Madison Street.
Third Ave. Regrade 1906, looking north over Marion Street. The Third Ave. Theatre, its tower half-decapitated, stands on the far side of the Madison Street Cable Railway trestle. The upper-right corner shows the west facade of the Lincoln Hotel at the northwest corner of 4th Ave. and Madison Street.

Still, pedestrians could transcend the upheaval on Third by crossing the temporary, if spindly, viaduct, left-of-center. It passes high above the mess to reach a pre-regrade sidewalk that survives below the south façade of the Second Empire-styled Stacy Mansion, with both tower and roof-top pergola.  This grand residence was, however,

The Stacy Mansion at the northeast corner of 3rd Ave. and Marion Street, circa 1890.
The Stacy Mansion at the northeast corner of 3rd Ave. and Marion Street, circa 1890.
The Third Ave. regrade with the Marion Street pedestrian trestle on the left, the Stacy mansion, left of center, and the Standler Hotel, right of center.  Foundation work for the Central Building has yet to begin.  Note the Third Ave. Theatre with its full top, far-left.
The Third Ave. regrade with the Marion Street pedestrian trestle on the left, the Stacy mansion, left of center, and the Standler Hotel, right of center. Foundation work for the Central Building has yet to begin. Note the Third Ave. Theatre with its full top, far-left.

hardly a home.  It was built in 1885 by Elizabeth and Martin Van Buren Stacy, an often-warring couple who did not move in until 1887.  Following the migration up First Hill of Seattle’s most affluent families, the land-rich Stacys soon built another mansion at the northeast corner of Madison Street and Boren Avenue.  Martin, however, hardly moved. Preferring the acquisitive culture of the business district to the high society on the Hill, he lived mostly in hotels and clubs.

The steam shovel on the left seems to be cutting into bluff for the Trust company's Central Building.  This look south on Third Ave. was taken from the pedestrian overpass on Marion, seen twice above.
The steam shovel on the left seems to be cutting into bluff for the Trust company’s Central Building. This look south on Third Ave. was taken from the pedestrian overpass on Marion, seen three times above.

The Stacy mansion, sitting at the center of the featured photograph, at the top, might be considered the intended subject.  It is not.  Rather, it’s the private work of cutting and hauling for the Trustee Company’s Central Building excavation site.  In the pit a steam shovel feeds a circle of horse teams waiting their turns and pulling high-centered dump-wagons. Far right, in the alley, the company’s sign stands above its construction office.

x-STimes-Oct.-7,-1906-full-page-on-Central-Bldg-WEB

A half year earlier in The Seattle Sunday Times of October 7, 1906, the Trustee Company shared its intentions with a full-page advertisement.  The Central Building promised to be “the most impressive and commodious office building in the Pacific Northwest.  Including the offices in the tower section, this building is to be twenty stories in height.”

x-Paul-A,-Central-Bldg-1906-WEB

With its tower centered high above Third Avenue, hand-colored postcards of the completed Central Building are still common and can be readily acquired, often cheaply, in stores selling historical ephemeraParts of the Central’s first four floors show to the left of the alley in Jean Sherrard’s repeat at the top.  The completed Central continues with four stories more to its full height of eight floors, and not twenty.  While not so grand as the Trustee Company had planned, the Central is still a cherished survivor of what through the first third of the twentieth century was Seattle’s affection for elegantly clad terra-cotta buildings.

A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map compliments of Historic Seattle and Ron Edge. (Ron scanned the complete map.)  Columbia Street runs along the bottom, while Third Avenue runs bottom-to-top left-of-center.
A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map compliments of Historic Seattle and Ron Edge. (Ron scanned the complete map.) Columbia Street runs along the bottom, while Third Avenue runs bottom-to-top left-of-center.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul? Ron? Jean?  Well . . . Ron Edge has put up five apts links directly below.   There is lots more on the neighborhood, some of it seen from the waterfront.   For instance, the first link below looks south on Third Avenue from near Spring Street and so through Madison Street and beyond to the Marion Street intersection, where right-of-center the Gothic Revival First Methodist Church stands with its spire at what would soon be the northwest corner of the Central Building at the southeast corner of Marion and Third.    But now we confess that we are almost broken down.  This computer or the program for running the blog is gummed.   We will  return tomorrow to find, we hope, that it has recovered some speed.   Meanwhile please explore the links below.

THEN: The city's regrading forces reached Sixth Avenue and Marion Street in 1914. A municipal photographer recorded this view on June 24. Soon after, the two structures left high here were lowered to the street. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)

THEN: Looking north from Seneca Street on Third Avenue during its regrade in 1906.  (Photo by Lewis Whittelsey, Courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

Seattle Now & Then: Roll on, Columbia Street

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THEN: In this 1887 look up Columbia Street from the waterfront is the bell tower of the fire station, tucked into the hill on the right. It would soon fail to halt the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. The station and everything between it and Elliott Bay were reduced to ashes, smoldering bricks and offshore pilings shortened like cigars. (courtesy, Kurt Jackson)
THEN: In this 1887 look up Columbia Street from the waterfront is the bell tower of the fire station, tucked into the hill on the right. It would soon fail to halt the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. The station and everything between it and Elliott Bay were reduced to ashes, smoldering bricks and offshore pilings shortened like cigars. (courtesy, Kurt Jackson)
NOW: After the Great Fire, the waterfront was extended farther into Elliott Bay, first above pilings and eventually on fill packed behind a seawall.
NOW: After the Great Fire, the waterfront was extended farther into Elliott Bay, first above pilings and eventually on fill packed behind a seawall.

Charles Morford, who migrated with his parents from Iowa in the spring of 1887, was 20 years old when he recorded this unique Seattle cityscape a few months later. Morford’s subject looks east up Columbia Street from the Seattle waterfront as far as the Coppin water works at Ninth Avenue. The four-story tower’s open First Hill observatory stood 300 feet above Morford’s prospect. The well below it supplied most of the neighborhood, and its bored-log pipes reached down the hill at least as far as James Colman’s mansion. Its Italianate tower also breaks the horizon, here at the southeast corner of Columbia and Fourth Avenue.

We may be confident that the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway baggage/express car, at the bottom, is new. By historian Thomas Prosch’s reckoning in his “Chronological History of Seattle” (1901), the car was delivered in September 1887. This timing is in fine coincidence with the construction scaffolding attached to the Toklas and Singerman Department Store, on the right. The rough lumber is soon to come down. The store was completed on Sept. 28, although the formal opening waited until Nov. 9.

A few days after the opening of the department store, which was then the highest building in Seattle, the railway was also celebrating. On Thanksgiving Day it gave 108 locals a free round-trip ride to its then new end-of-the-line in Bothell.

Included among Morford’s surviving glass-plate negatives are several more of the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern. At what point Morford also became an employee of this railway is unclear. But in the fall of 1887 he would not yet have known that most of his gainful employment here would be with the retail business behind the scaffolding. Morford became a clerk, first, with MacDougal Southwick, the partnership that bought out Toklas and Singerman in 1892. Morford soon became the store’s general manager and one of its stockholders.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  The solo feature that Ron Edge pulled and placed directly below includes several subjects that relate to this week’s feature.   The “lead” feature, printed here below, shows the Toklas and Singerman department store completed, and so without the scaffolding that hides its north facade in the prime feature at the top.  The reader may wish to search the several other features that can be found by clicking on the link.   Please give special attention to one about the 1884 snow as seen looking east up the waterfront from close to the same prospect that Morford used for his shot at the top.   Much has changed in these three short years that felt both the lingering effects of the 1883 recession and the general excitement of the completion of the Norther Pacific to the northwest, also  in 1883.   Seattle’s boom years were at the front door, which is to say, both on the waterfront and heading this way from Chicago, Portland and, resentfully from Tacoma too, across the tideflats south of King Street on rails.

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FOLLOWS NOW (soon) A FEW MORE PHOTOS OF THE WATERFRONT AT or NEAR COLUMBIA STREET

A Peterson and Bros. photograph taken from the end of a dog-legged Yesler Wharf and looking up Columbia Street on the right in 1878.  Note the tower for the "White Church" on the right, the Methodist Episcopalian congregation that was the first in Seattle.  It sits there at the second lot south of Columbia on the east side of Second Avenue.  Also note that for the most part First Hill has been denuded of the virgin forest that still covered this skyline as late as 1872.
A Peterson and Bros. photograph taken from the end of a dog-legged Yesler Wharf and looking up Columbia Street on the right in 1878. Note the tower for the “White Church” on the right, the Methodist Episcopalian congregation that was the first in Seattle. It sits there at the second lot south of Columbia on the east side of Second Avenue. Also note that for the most part First Hill has been denuded of the virgin forest that still covered this horizon as late as 1872.
Seattle's first church the "White Church" and the Methodist Episcopalian parish home to this side of it on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and Columbia in the 1870s.
Seattle’s first church, the “White Church,” and the Methodist Episcopalian parsonage to this side of it on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and Columbia in the 1870s.
The waterfront ca. 1884 with an early Colman Dock on the left, Columbia Street on the right, and a short feature essay below the contemporary repeat photographed officially - only - in the anxious glow of 911 by Shawn Devine, and employee of the Washington State Ferries.
The waterfront ca. 1885 with an early Colman Dock on the left, Columbia Street on the right, and a short feature essay below (after I search and find it tomorrow), and the contemporary repeat photographed officially – only – in the anxious glow of 9/11 by Shawn Devine, an employee of the Washington State Ferries.

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COLMAN DOCK AND THE WATERFRONT ca. 1886 (text to come)

Seattle's Great Fire of June 6, 1889 reaches the foot of Columbia and the depot for the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway, and will soon consume it and everything south of it to the tideflats.
Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889 reaches the foot of Columbia and the depot for the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway, and will soon consume it and everything south of it to the tideflats.

McManus-1889-fire,-prob-Columbia-st-WEB

Columbia Street looking west from the waterfront in the first year following the 1889 fire.  The new Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern depot is on the right, and the rear facade of the new Toklas and Singerman Department Sore rise five stories behind it. Photo taken by the Nothern Pacific Railroad's official photographer, F. J. Haynes. (Courtesy, Tacoma Public Library and Murray Morgan)
Columbia Street looking west from the waterfront in the first year following the 1889 fire. The new Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern depot is on the right, and the rear facade of the new Toklas and Singerman Department Sore rises five stories behind it. Photo taken by the Northern Pacific Railroad’s official photographer, F. J. Haynes. (Courtesy, Tacoma Public Library and Murray Morgan)
Horace Sykes' (or possibly Robert Bradley's) look east up Columbia Street from the top of the new - and as yet not used for traffic - Alaskan Way Viaduct aka Freeway.
Horace Sykes’ (or possibly Robert Bradley’s) look east up Columbia Street from the top of the new – and as yet not used for traffic – Alaskan Way Viaduct aka Freeway in 1953.

 

 

Paul and Jean at Town Hall

James Street Alley blend
James Street Alley blend

Join us for an evening of entertaining yet erudite edification at Seattle’s Town Hall, 7:30 PM, this coming Friday! Historical whimsy mixed with a whiff of sulfur and a touch of elysium.

Also, come early (or stay late) to explore the redecorated North Lobby, jam packed with Now and Then comparisons hot off the presses. Reception follows the (very) illustrated lecture.

Seattle Now & Then: First Hill and Yesler Terrace

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THEN: This Seattle Housing Authority photograph was recorded from the top of the Marine Hospital (now Pacific Tower) on the north head of Beacon Hill. It looks north to First Hill during the Authority’s clearing of its southern slope for the building of the Yesler Terrace Public Housing.   (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: This Seattle Housing Authority photograph was recorded from the top of the Marine Hospital (now Pacific Tower) on the north head of Beacon Hill. It looks north to First Hill during the Authority’s clearing of its southern slope for the building of the Yesler Terrace Public Housing. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: Jean’s “repeat” from the same prospect is revealing of changes on First Hill and to its sides over nearly three-quarters of a century.
NOW: Jean’s “repeat” from the same prospect is revealing of changes on First Hill and to its sides over nearly three-quarters of a century.

When the Marine Hospital opened in 1933 to eighty-four veteran patients, many moved from the Fed’s old hospital in Port Townsend, the new Art Deco high rise on the head of Beacon Hill looked much higher than its sixteen stories. And from its roof it also “felt” taller, as evidenced by this panorama that looks north over both the

T.T. Minor's Marine Hospital in Port Townsend
T.T. Minor’s Marine Hospital in Port Townsend
From the sky looking northwest over the Marine Hospital to neighborhood below it and Beacon Hill.  The date is July 28, 1935.
From the sky looking northwest over the Marine Hospital to the International District neighborhood below it and Beacon Hill. The date is July 28, 1935.  Much of the “low land” seen beyond the hospital and to either side of Dearborn Street and its billboards, is now covered and congested with the I-5 Freeway.   The next illustration shows that work in progress.

Dearborn Cut (1909-1912) and the Jackson Street Regrade (1907-1909).  This hospital observatory afforded this most revealing profile of First Hill.  It made it actually look like a hill.   Since the early 1960s the developing ditch of the Seattle Freeway, far left

Seattle Freeway construction looking northwest from Beacon Hill, August 20, 1965.  (Courtesy, MOHAI)
Seattle Freeway construction looking northwest from Beacon Hill, August 20, 1965. (Courtesy, MOHAI)

in the “now,” made the western slopes of First Hill more apparent and gave the hill a western border. The slope of its eastern border, here far right, is occupied for the most part by the low-rise structures on the Seattle University campus, east of Broadway.

Another but narrower and earlier look into the I-5 Freeway construction from Beacon Hill.  (Courtesy, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Another but narrower look into the I-5 Freeway construction from Beacon Hill. (Courtesy, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Dearborn looking east through 9th Avenue on Dec. 8, 1938.
Dearborn looking east through 9th Avenue on Dec. 8, 1938.    More billboards.
Although I do not remember snapping this through the windshield while heading east on Dearborn, I will date a date for it of 1980.
Although I do not remember snapping this through the windshield while heading east on Dearborn, I will date a date for it of 1980.

In 1940, the likely year for this “then,” the skyline of First Hill was scored with landmarks that are still standing, although by now most are hidden behind higher structures. These include more apartment buildings and the well-packed Swedish Medical Center campus, which is right-of-center in the “now.”  The grandest exception is Harborview Hospital.  In the circa 1940 photo its gleaming Art Deco tower stands out, left-of-center.  In Jean’s colored “repeat,” Harborview, while half-hidden, still shows its true color, which is like a pale café-latte.

Harborview during freeway construction.  The work required exceptional measures to hold First Hill - aka Yesler Hill, Profanity Hill, Pill Hill - in place because of its hydraulics or fluid dynamics: the springs that the first settlers found so appealing.
Harborview during freeway construction. The work required exceptional measures to hold First Hill – aka Yesler Hill, Profanity Hill, Pill Hill – in place because of its hydraulics or fluid dynamics: the springs that the first settlers found so appealing.  The most northern part of Yesler Terrace appears far-right.  Photo by LaVanaway.

We know the photographer’s primary subject here.  It is neither the First Hill horizon nor the man-made valley between First and Beacon Hills.  Before the regrading began in 1907, the hills were two parts of the same ridge.  Rather, the intended subject is the swath of

F. Jay Haynes, the Northern Pacific Railroads official photographer (with his own car), visited Seattle in 1890.  His records include this revealing look at the waterfront a year-or-so after the city's Great Fire of June 6, 1889.  The Haynes pan also reveals the knoll, right-of-center, that interrupted the ridge between Beacon hill, on the right, and First Hill, on the left.  Much of the landfill used for reclaiming the tides for the Northern Pacific's tracks were cut form this knoll or knob.  This preceded the Jackson Street Regrade by several years.  (Which is to say, I'll find the date later.  It is described in my - and City Council's - Illustrated History of the Waterfront.  You can find it all on this blog, with its own button.)
F. Jay Haynes, the Northern Pacific Railroad’s official photographer (with his own car), visited Seattle in 1890. His records include this revealing look at the waterfront from Elliott Bay  a year-or-so after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. The Haynes pan also includes on its horizon the knoll, right-of-center, that interrupted the ridge between Beacon hill, on the right, and First Hill, on the left. Much of the landfill used for reclaiming the tides for the Northern Pacific’s first tracks was cut form this knoll or knob. This preceded the Jackson Street Regrade by several years. (Which is to say, I’ll find the date later. It is described in my – and City Council’s – Illustrated History of the Waterfront from 2005. You can find it all on this blog, with its own button.) - CLICK TO ENLARGE

open lots and mostly doomed residences that run west to east (left to right) through the center of the subject.  Within two years of this recording, a photographer from the Seattle Housing Authority visited the Marine Hospital again and recorded another panorama

The "pretty much" completed Yesler Terrace photographed from the same Marine Hospital prospect.
The “pretty much” completed Yesler Terrace photographed from the same Marine Hospital prospect.

with the same frame, but of the completed Yesler Terrace Public Housing. Nearly 700 housing units with their own front yards, new General Electric ranges, free utilities and low rents averaging about $17 a month replaced the former neighborhood of mostly modest Victorian residences..

A SEATTLE TIMES clip from August 13, 1941
A SEATTLE TIMES clip from August 13, 1941

There are two more panoramas photographed from the Marine Hospital by the Seattle Housing Authority.  One shows the Yesler Terrace project completed (included here directly below), and the other, an early record of its construction (placed here directly below).  Or dear reader come and see much of this on the big screen at Town Hall this coming Friday evening when Jean and I share illustrated stories on FIRST HILL & BEYOND.  Again, this is next Friday evening, October 3.  The Hall will also then “unveil” in its lobby our “now and then” exhibit of this and other First Hill subjects.

Again from the Marine Hospital and Seattle Housing Authority's unnamed photographer's look into the work-in-progress on the Yesler Terrace Housing project.
Again from the Marine Hospital, Seattle Housing Authority’s unnamed photographer’s look into the work-in-progress on the Yesler Terrace Housing project.   The north approach to the 12th Avenue Bridge spanning the Dearborn cut is bottom-right.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?   Yes.  We will start with seventeen links to past features from this blog.  As is our way, some we will have shown earlier in support of some subject or other.   Ordinarily these links, of course, hold links within.  And so on and on.  For the most part they are relevant to the neighborhoods of the north end of Beacon Hill and the south end of First Hill, and the ridge/regrade that shares them.  The first linked feature looks familiar because it repeats, far left, the Rininger Home at the northwest corner of Columbia and Summit, although at the time we submitted this feature to Pacific Northwest Magazine, now thirteen years ago, we knew nothing about its medical motives.  We concentrated then on the Otis Hotel on the right.   The next link is packed with relevance, built about a rare photo of a pioneer home near the future Deaborn Street on the slop leading up to the ridge that included both First and Beacon Hill before much of it was lowered with the combined cuttings of the Jackson Street Regrade and the Dearbort Cut.  The third link uses the Sprague Hotel on Yesler Way to lead into a small survey of buildings in the Yesler Terrace neighborhood that were removed because of it.   Some of them were surely worth saving and/or moving.  Links sixteen and seventeen, the last two,  give Jean and I an opportunity to first wish you a too early Seasons Greetings and second to promote the First Hill lecture we are giving at Town Hall this coming Friday Evening – early.  It is cheap – $5 – and the title is FIRST HILL & BEYOND.  (The title suggests more hills.)

Thanks again and again – seventeen times – to Ron Edge for finding and putting these “associates” up.

THEN: The Sprague Hotel at 706 Yesler Way was one of many large structures –hotels, apartments and duplexes, built on First Hill to accommodate the housing needs of the city’s manic years of grown between its Great Fire in 1889 and the First World War. Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey

THEN: A speeding coupe convertible heads north on Beacon Hill’s 15th Ave. S. in 1937.

THEN: Looking east on University Street towards Ninth Avenue, ca. 1925, with the Normandie Apartments on the left.

Looking southwest from Walker Street to the burning ruins.

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)

THEN: Part of the pond that here in 1946 filled much of the long block between Massachusetts and Holgate Streets and 8th Avenue S. and Airport Way. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

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THE MARINE HOSPITAL

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The Feature above was pulled from Pacific Magazine for Nov. 13, 1994.  Perhaps the older of you dear readers will share some sympathy with me when I confess that those twenty years went by far too fast.   “It doesn’t seem possible” that I took the “now” for this – printed directly below – so long ago.  I can still smell the pine cones and feel the breeze off the Bay.

This "repeat" was moved from the historical prospect of the "then" in order to see around the trees.
This “repeat” was moved from the historical prospect of the “then” in order to see around the trees.  There have, you know, been many changes here since 1994.

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                                                                        xxx

Seattle Now & Then: The Occidental Hotel

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Seen here in 1887 through the intersection of Second Avenue and Yesler Way, the Occidental Hotel was then easily the most distinguished in Seattle.  (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
THEN: Seen here in 1887 through the intersection of Second Avenue and Yesler Way, the Occidental Hotel was then easily the most distinguished in Seattle. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: While the 1961 destruction of the landmark Seattle Hotel, successor to the Occidental Hotel following the Great Fire of 1889, was protested, it was not stopped.   This loss is locally credited with having mobilized Seattle’s enduring forces for historic preservation.  The hotel was replaced by the Sinking Ship Parking Garage.
NOW: While the 1961 destruction of the landmark Seattle Hotel, successor to the Occidental Hotel following the Great Fire of 1889, was protested, it was not stopped. This loss is locally credited with having mobilized Seattle’s enduring forces for historic preservation. The hotel was replaced by the Sinking Ship Parking Garage.

Most of the surviving photographs of the short-lived (five years) Occidental Hotel record it from the front, where its narrow western façade looked back across the busy Pioneer Place, or Square.  This view from the rear looks northwest across the intersection of Second Avenue and Mill Street (Yesler Way) in 1887, while the nearly final touches on the hotel’s new addition are being applied.

The Occidental Hotel from the front.  James Street is on the left, and Mill Street (Yesler Way) on the right.  In the foreground, Commercial Street (First Ave. South) originates out of Mill Street.
The Occidental Hotel from the front. James Street is on the left, and Mill Street (Yesler Way) on the right. In the foreground, Commercial Street (First Ave. South) originates out of Mill Street.  At the rear of the hotel the same scaffolding, as that seen in the feature photo at the top, holds to the facade above Mill Street.  First Hill is on the horizon.

The original 1884 structure is to the left of scaffolding (in the photo at the top), rising here from the sidewalk beside Mill Street.  Portland architect Donald MacKay shaped the building to fit this rare, for Seattle, flatiron-shaped block.  At the top, and wrapping around the 1887 addition, is architect Otto Kleemer’s (also from

The Occidental Hotel snug on its flatiron block, a detail form the 1888 Sanborn Map.
The Occidental Hotel snug on its flatiron block..

Portland) well-wrought mansard roof with its many windows.  If I have counted correctly, there are seventeen of them. Frankly, the imposing ornamentation of this Second Empire architecture makes me ache for Paris.  Or one might settle for a Francophile menu with choices written in French, as they were for customers of the hotel’s restaurant.

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Thanksgiving Day menu for the Occidental Hotel, 1887. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)
Thanksgiving Day menu for the Occidental Hotel, 1887. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

The Occidental’s dining room was located in an attached house, accessible from the street or from within the hotel.  It is standing in the shadows behind the sun-lit power pole at the far right (of the featured photo at the top), on the southwest corner of Second Avenue and James Street.  Historian Ron Edge, a frequent aid to this feature, recently found a printed copy of the 1887 Thanksgiving Day Menu for the Occidental.  We’ve attached it here above. Included among its savory choices are Bellie of Salmon a la Hollandaise, Fillet de Boeuf a la Trianon, Petits Pois Francais.  And for dessert the choices included Glace a la Vanilla, Tartelette Framboise and Lady fingers.

A detail from the 1888 Sanborn Real Estate Map for Seattle. (Courtesy, National Archives)
A detail from the 1888 Sanborn Real Estate Map for Seattle. (Courtesy, National Archives)

The booming of Seattle in the 1880s made both the building and enlargement of John Collins’ hotel nearly inevitable.  Collins was an energetic Irishman who first arrived here in 1865. With these 1887 additions, the Occidental was rated, at least by locals, as “the largest and best equipped house north of San Francisco.”  The hostelry’s

The Occidental Hotel ruins following the Great Fire of June 6, 1889.   (Courtesy, UW Libraries, Special Collections)
The Occidental Hotel ruins following the Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy, UW Libraries, Special Collections)

success was interrupted but not stopped, by the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889.  When the ruins of twisted cast iron, charred bricks, ash paneling and black walnut furniture were still smoldering, Collins started clearing the site preparing for a new hotel.  He was then heard to famously enjoin, “Within a year we will have a city here that will surpass by far the town we had before the fire.”

After the fire of 1889 Collins raised this namesake business and hotel block.  The economic crash of 1893 had him selling office spaces cheap, for the building would not support a hotel - until the beginning of the gold rush in 1897.  Collins then changed the name to Seattle Hotel.
After the fire of 1889 Collins raised this namesake business and hotel block. The economic crash of 1893 had him selling office spaces cheap.  The building would not support a hotel until the beginning of the gold rush in 1897. Collins then changed the name to Seattle Hotel.
The lobby of the Seattle Hotel.  Courtesy Michael Maslan
The lobby of the Seattle Hotel. Courtesy Michael Maslan
By comparison, Klondyke's Seattle Hotel in 1898.
By comparison, Klondyke’s Seattle Hotel in 1898.

Rushed to completion after the fire, the new Occidental filled the entire triangular block. With the prosperity of the gold rush beginning in 1897, Collins changed its name to the Seattle Hotel.  And it was as the Seattle that this hotel was razed in 1961 for the parking garage that we have carpingly learned to refer to as “The Sinking Ship.”  The maritime metaphor is more obvious from the garage’s other (west) end.

Removing the hotel sign at the southwest corner of James Street and Second Avenue, following the earthquake of 1949.
Removing the hotel sign at the southwest corner of James Street and Second Avenue, following the earthquake of 1949.
Lawton Gowey's record of the Seattle Hotel's destruction.  Without dynamite, it took several days.  Lawton dated this slide June 8, 1961.
Lawton Gowey’s record of the Seattle Hotel’s destruction. Without dynamite, it took several days. Lawton dated this slide June 8, 1961. Note the Frye Hotel sign on the right.
A sideview of the Sinking Ship Garage by Lawton Gowey on April 21, 1976.  The "basket handle" windows on the garage's top level may be compared to their inspiration, the arched windows in the Pioneer Building beyond the garage.
From Occidental Avenue, a side view of the Sinking Ship Garage by Lawton Gowey on April 21, 1976. The “basket handle” railing on the garage’s top level may be compared to their inspiration, the arched windows in the Pioneer Building beyond the garage.
Returning to the Occidental Hotel, here also photographed from Occidental Avenue, then still named Second Avenue.  The date is 1884, the year for the beginning of Seattle's horse-drawn trolley.  (Courtesy, MOHAI)
Returning to the Occidental Hotel, here also photographed from Occidental Avenue, then still named Second Avenue. The date is 1884, the year for the beginning of Seattle’s horse-drawn trolley. (Courtesy, MOHAI)

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Agreed upon Jean.  First Ron Edge with help from MOHAI Librarian Carolyn Marr, has melded together, directly below, a two-part panorama of Seattle from Elliott Bay in 1887 – or close to it.  Central School at 6th Avenue and Madison Street stands out at the subject’s center on the horizon of what we may call First Hill’s false summit.  The Hill’s highest elevation is several blocks behind the school and far to the right near James Street and Broadway.  We may “remind” readers here that you and I are doing a lecture we have named “First Hill and Beyond” at Town Hall on the Friday evening of Oct. 3.  We included the “beyond” in the title so that we could show some other hills as well.  Perhaps your hill, dear reader. The sum of this summons is cheap – a mere $5.  And everyone gets to also enjoy the unveiling of our “now and then” exhibit in the lobby.   Jean, what will they see in the Town Hall exhibit?

Jean: (polishing his fingernails on the lapel of his smoking jacket) Wonders, Paul, they will see wonders! We two have spent much of the summer assembling and repeating quintessential images of First Hill, chosen with care and consideration. One major panoramic view has never before been seen in its entirety – what’s more, its “now” is a marvel as well. Come join us for an evening of fun and games, dear readers, and, of course, some historical exploration and detective work.

Click to enlarge.  Click it twice.

MOHAI images 377 & 3494 merged into panorama of Seattle c1887 Judkin's Photos

Now following the grand panorama Ron has also put up a few links, which again feature features that hang about the neighborhood of Pioneer Square – with exceptions and, as we are wont to do, also with some repeats.

Since it is once more “nighty-bears” time, I will return with some more relevant parts in the early afternoon.

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THINGS ADDED – SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Before Collins began building his landmark with the mansard roof in 1884, he bought out his partners in the original Occidental Hotel that held to the same site but not the same shape.   The then still  open space between James and Mill Streets (left and right, below) was often used for public meetings, sports and celebration.   The best documented of these was the 1881 memorial service for President Garfield.

The Garfield memorial with a horizon of First Hill, the forward part of it often called "Yesler Hill."  The Collins family home at the shoutheast corner of James and Second is behind the hotel.
The Garfield memorial with a horizon of First Hill, the forward part of it often called “Yesler Hill.” The Collins family home at the shoutheast corner of James and Second is behind the hotel.
The short essay above first appears in Pacific on Nov. 25,1984, which it may occur to you too is nearly 30 years ago.
The short essay above first appears in Pacific on Nov. 25,1984, which it may occur to you too is nearly 30 years ago.
By comparison and nearly a block to the west, Lawton Gowey's look west on Yesler Way into a Pioneer Square about to lose its flat-iron Seattle Hotel.  Lawton dated his slide Feb. 7, 1961.
By comparison and nearly a block to the west, Lawton Gowey’s look east on Yesler Way into a Pioneer Square about to lose its flat-iron Seattle Hotel. Lawton dated his slide Feb. 7, 1961.

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Another and earlier, ca. 1875, glimpse of the first Occidental Hotel, far right, and the row of clapboard industry, including the Wisconsin House, run by Ivar Haglund's uncle Amund Amund, on the left.  More to the highest point of the 1878 Intelligencer clipping that follows is the flag pole near the center of Pioneer Place.
Another and earlier, ca. 1875, glimpse of the first Occidental Hotel, far right, and the row of clapboard industry, including the Wisconsin House, run by Ivar Haglund’s uncle Amund Amund, on the left. More to the highest point of the 1878 Intelligencer clipping that follows is the flag pole near the center of Pioneer Place.

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Shall we add the Pioneer Square's stolen totem pole eventually replace the flag pole.  Here the slim front face of the Seattle Hotel, and its cafe, show to the left of the surely famous and infamous totem.
Shall we add the Pioneer Square’s stolen totem pole eventually replaced the flag pole. Here the slim front face of the Seattle Hotel, and its cafe, show to the left of the surely famous and infamous totem.  But the tourists, in the slide below this one, feel  no such ambivalence  as they begin to get up from their bench assuming that it is the totem I wish to photograph and not the two of them sitting  before the totem.  They are not the same pole.  The one below replaced the one above, after the latter was removed with rotting and fire damage in the late 1930s. I remember that they were from Kansas, I believe, and very pleasant – in 1994 or 96.  I can imagine them a quarter-century earlier in their swimming suits and Hawaiian shirts heading in their convertible for a lake near Wichita.

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ANOTHER EDGE CLIPPING from 1878 (not 1887) and the MAP IT ANTICIPATES

An INTELLIGENCER clipping from May 31, 1978, Courtesy of the Edge Archive.
An INTELLIGENCER clipping from May 31, 1978, Courtesy of the Edge Archive.
Seattle's sharp 1878 Birdseye
The object of the INTELLIGENCER’s affections: Seattle’s sharp 1878 Birdseye

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8 LOOKS No. on OCCIDENTAL towards the OCCIDENTAL BLOCK

North on Occidental ca. 1872.  In truth the avenue was then still named Second.  Note the big puddle to the left.  When the first settlers first arrived on this side of Ellliott Bay in 1852, this covered by the tides more often than not.
North on Occidental ca. 1872. In truth the avenue was then still named Second. Note the big puddle to the left. When the first settlers first arrived on this side of Ellliott Bay in 1852, this covered by the tides more often than not.
Lawton Gowey's friend, the photographer and gem polisher Robert Bradley, hand-colored a variety of pioneer Seattle subjects, this one included.  This required painting directly on the 35mm slide.
Lawton Gowey’s friend, the photographer and gem polisher Robert Bradley, hand-colored a variety of pioneer Seattle subjects, this one included. This required painting directly on the 35mm slide.
Looking north on Occidental thru Jackson Street, circa 1913.  (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
Looking north on Occidental thru Main Street, circa 1913. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
The Seattle-Tacoma Interurban's plush parlor car waiting on Occidental Ave. with the Seattle Hotel behind it and the Inteurban Building on the right.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
The Seattle-Tacoma Interurban’s plush parlor car waiting on Occidental Ave. with the Seattle Hotel behind it and the Interurban Building on the right. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Another and earlier look north on Occidental and past Interurban cars to the Seattle Hotel.
Another and earlier look north on Occidental and past Interurban cars to the Seattle Hotel.
Another Gowey Kodachrome, and like another five images hire, this one was recorded on February 7, 1961.  The Seattle Hotel's cornice was a victim of the city's 1949 earthquake.  Note what I remember as the nifty Studebaker, parked on the right below the Jesus Saves sign.
Another Gowey Kodachrome, and like another Gowey contribution placed nine images up, this one was recorded on February 7, 1961. The Seattle Hotel’s cornice was a victim of the city’s 1949 earthquake. Note what I remember as the nifty Studebaker, parked on the right below the Jesus Saves sign.  It was choices like that, which troubled me so as a teenager.
Gowey returns to the scene again in February, the 20th, but six years later and so also six years after the Seattle Hotel was razed for the parking garage.   Seattle's first skyscraper, the Alaska Building at Second and James, rises beyond.
Gowey returns to the scene again in February, the 20th, but six years later during the “winter of love” and so also six years after the Seattle Hotel was razed for the parking garage. Seattle’s first skyscraper, the Alaska Building at Second and James, rises beyond.  On the right is a still unscrubbed Occidental Building, and therein both the Oasis Tavern and Jesus Saves hold their places.  Parking in the lot on the right is a 30 cents for 2 hours.  Whatever the cost today, it is much higher, rising with both inflation and the increasingly desperate condition of drivers in downtown traffic.
This time Lawton returns on November 11, 1972 for the nearly new planter strip centered on Occidental Avenue.  Jesus and the bar endure, joined now by another kind of savior,
This time Lawton returns on November 11, 1972 for the nearly new planter strip centered on Occidental Avenue. Jesus and the bar endure, joined now by another kind of savior, Loggers Loans.

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NORTH on FRONT from the top of the OCCIDENTAL, ca. 1884

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Another look down from the roof or upper floor of the Occidental Hotel, this was southwest toward "Ballast Island," the dumped dirt from ships visiting the King St. Coal Wharf in the late 1870s and early 1880s, and the City and Ocean Docks that were built over the "island" of imported land.  The Langston stable is on Washington Street mid-block between Commercial Street (First Ave.S. and the docks).
Another look down from the roof or upper floor of the Occidental Hotel, this was southwest toward “Ballast Island,” the dumped dirt from ships visiting the King St. Coal Wharf – seen her on the distant left beyond the City Dock – in the late 1870s and early 1880s,   The City and Ocean Docks were built over and, in places, upon the “island” of imported land. On the left, the Langston stable is on Washington Street between Commercial Street (First Ave.S). and the docks.

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RETURN TO THE RUINS

Looking south on First Avenue (still Front Street in 1889) towards James Street and the Occidental ruins.
Looking south on First Avenue (still Front Street in 1889) towards James Street and the Occidental ruins.
This feature first appeared in Pacific on June 6, 2004.
This feature first appeared in Pacific on June 6, 2004.
Like above, looking south on First Avenue towards both James Street and Yesler Way, with the bow of the Sinking Ship Garage taking the front face prospect of the Occidental Hotel ruins.
Like above, looking south on First Avenue towards both James Street and Yesler Way, with the bow of the Sinking Ship Garage taking the front face prospect of the Occidental Hotel ruins.

Seattle Now & Then: Third Avenue South

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: 1934 was one of the worst years of the Great Depression.  This look north on Third Avenue South through Main Street and the Second Avenue South Extension was recorded on Thursday, April 19th of that year.  Business was generally dire, but especially here in this neighborhood south of Yesler Way where there were many storefront vacancies.  (Courtesy Ron Edge)
THEN: 1934 was one of the worst years of the Great Depression. This look north on Third Avenue South through Main Street and the Second Avenue South Extension was recorded on Thursday, April 19th of that year. Business was generally dire, but especially here in this neighborhood south of Yesler Way where there were many storefront vacancies. (Courtesy Ron Edge)
NOW: After the Second Avenue Extension was cut through the neighborhood south of Yesler Way in 1928-29, Third Ave South continued to be little used except for the increased traffic crossing it.
NOW: After the Second Avenue Extension was cut through the neighborhood south of Yesler Way in 1928-29, Third Ave South continued to be little used except for the increased traffic crossing it.

The primary subject here is left-of-center, the four-story high sign for Alt Heidelberg Lager Beer painted on the south wall of the Ace Hotel, squeezed between Third Avenue South, seen here, and the Second Avenue Extension. The original negative for this subject is dated April 19, 1934, one year and twelve days after legal 3.2 beer (percentage of alcohol) began flowing from bottle to glass in twelve states, including Washington.

A Blatz adver pulled from The Seattle Times for
A Blatz adver pulled from The Seattle Times for Oct, 26, 1933

In the scramble among breweries to win the taste of newly liberated drinkers, Blatz Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, began shipping trainloads of its Alt Heidelberg into the hinterlands.  Ornamented with a Gothic type style, the label spoke of the German brewing traditions (including facial scars from student duels). The Milwaukee marketers sometimes used the German “Alt” in place of the English “Old” to emphasize the venerable quality of its brew.  However, with the lifting of prohibition, Heidelberg, like every other beer, was rushed through brewing with such speed that it was bottled nearly “green.”

The original 5×7 inch negative for this subject (at the top) is one of several hundred photographs made in the 1930s, mostly of billboards and a few murals like this one, that were installed by roadside billboard barons Foster and Kleiser.  (Here follows four others from the neighborhood, the last of which looks across the Second Avenue Extension and west along Main Street on July 8, 1929, when the Extension was nearly new.)

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Looking West on Main Street and across the nearly new Second Avenue Extension.
Looking West on Main Street and across the nearly new Second Avenue Extension. Westerman is the name of the Foster and Kleiser client who ordered the sign at the scene’s center.

Almost certainly the company photographer drove to the featured scene in the Straight 8 model 1930 Dodge (if I have pegged it right) that seems to be bearing down on him or her, but which is actually parked driverless in the southbound lane of Third Avenue, a few feet south of Main Street.

Our only evidence for dubbing this a 1930 Dodge.  The restored Dodge (in color) is identified as from 1930. (Courtesy, World Wide Web)
Our only evidence for dubbing this a 1930 Dodge. The restored and spiffy Dodge (in color) is identified as from 1930. (Courtesy, World Wide Web and thanks to the owner)
A. Curtis's 1930s record of the City County Building after eight stories (capped with a jail) were added.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
A. Curtis’s 1930s record of the City County Building after four stories (capped with a jail) were added. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Adding those stories.
Adding those stories.

Above the Dodge and three blocks to the north, Third Avenue almost reaches the City County building, right-of-center, before turning left to follow the city’s grid through the central business district north of Yesler Way.  North was the preferred direction for businesses to build and/or move even before the pioneer Frye family chose to stay in this most historic district and construct its namesake hotel on the south side of Yesler Way at Third Avenue in 1909.  The big block letters of its neon signs top the scene.

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The interior of the Frye Hotel.  (We have assumed this from context.  It came with the exterior view above it.)
The interior of the Frye Hotel. (We have assumed this from context. It came with the exterior view above it.)

Minutes before the photographer snapped this (the top) shot on an unseasonably warm spring day – it reached 79 degrees – the Young Men’s Republican Club met for lunch in the Frye.  That evening the Paramount Theatre opened a mixed fare of film and six vaudeville acts.  The Hollywood star Frederic March was featured on the screen in “Death Takes a Holiday,” which was followed by “Beauty, Boneless and Brainless,” an on-stage acrobatic performance.  Also that Thursday, The Seattle Times printed under the header “Romance on Rocks,” some scandalous news about the daughter of the local celebrity Presbyterian preacher, the Rev. Mark Matthews.  Gwladys, her name, who was then living in San Francisco and teaching French, had filed for divorce.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?

Yes Jean and again with Ron Edge’s help.  Here or below we have found five links with more features on the neighborhood’s heritage – for the  most part.  We have among these additions what may be a first: a feature that includes among its own extras the primary or lead photo for this week’s feature.  Inevitably some weekend we will put up a feature that includes a feature that like this one includes a repeat of the lead photo of that Sunday’s first feature but then more, a link within it that repeats the same photograph for a third time.  For this we offer no apology in advance, remembering mother’s advice – again and again – that “repetition is the mother of all learning.”  How many times did she advise, “Don’t leave  your wet bathing suit on the bus.”

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STATION No. TEN

A 2-story headquarters for the Seattle Fire Department was constructed at the northwest corner of Third Avenue S. and Main Street in 1903, and so in line with today’s featured photo, had the station and its  corner survived the 1928/29 extension of Second Avenue.  The cutting was done in order to give Second a straight line to the train stations, which were most important then.    In order below are three photographs of the fire station.  The first is the earliest, before a top floor was added in 1912 – the third floor that can be found in both of the remaining photos of this trio.   For the second record, a municipal photographer stands very near the prospect taken in 1934 by the Foster and Kleiser photographer.   We date it from about 1911.  The last of the three shows the fire station during the early preparations for the slicing work of the Extension as it cut through the neighborhood south of Yesler Way.  Many of the diminished buildings were saved – in part.  Not, however, the fire station.

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The Central Business District recorded from the Great Northern Railroad Depot's tower about 1930, and certainly after the Second Avenue Extension, south of Yesler Way.  Third Avenue leads up from center-bottom of the photograph.
The Central Business District recorded from the Great Northern Railroad Depot’s tower about 1930, and certainly after the Second Avenue Extension, south of Yesler Way. Third Avenue leads up from center-bottom of the photograph. The Frye Hotel, the City County Building and the Smith Tower are easily found.  The billboard photographer of the featured photo at the top stood in the afternoon shadows at the bottom of this subject.
Especially this month, Jean has been busy shooting repeats of now-and-then exhibit he is preparing for the foyer of TOWN HALL.  The unveiling will be this coming October Third, a Friday evening on which he and I will also be lecturing in the hall on what we have carefully (or loosely) titled, "First Hill and Beyond."  Please Come.  The very  illustrated lecture starts at 7:30, and you can be confident the Jean and I will be interrupting each other throughout.  Questions follow.  The Sherrard repeat printed here reveals the carving made by the 1928-29 Second Ave. Extension very well.  It a "now" for A.Curtis' ca. 1913 look south from the top of the Smith Tower when it first possible to reach its imaginatively counted 42nd floor.
Especially this month, Jean has been busy shooting repeats of the now-and-then exhibit he is preparing for the foyer of TOWN HALL. The unveiling will be this coming October Third, a Friday evening on which he and I will also be lecturing in the hall on what we have carefully (or loosely) titled, “First Hill and Beyond.” Please Come. The very-illustrated lecture starts at 7:30, and you can be confident the Jean and I will be interrupting each other throughout. Questions will follow. The Sherrard repeat printed here reveals very well the carving made by the 1928-29 Second Ave. Extension.. It is a “now” for A.Curtis’ ca. 1913 look south from the top of the Smith Tower when it was first possible to reach its imaginatively counted 42nd floor. (Remember to click – or even double-click – both shots, above and below.)
The developing tideflats and the Great Northern and Union Pacific stations on Jackson Street.  The tower of the fire station at the northwest corner of Main Street and Third Avenue is seen near the bottom of the photograph, right-of-center.
The developing tideflats and the Great Northern and Union Pacific stations on Jackson Street. The tower of the fire station at the northwest corner of Main Street and Third Avenue is seen near the bottom of the photograph, right-of-center.

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A NIGHTY-BEARS APOLOGY

Some users of this blog may have noticed that on going to bed, aka Nighty-Bears, I make promises that I do  not keep in the morning.  This is not because I get up at noon.  Rather I do not return to conclude the feature – as I certainly intended when blowing out the candle – because I am always distracted by other duties, ordinarily  joyful ones like getting our next feature off to the Times.  However, I will qualify.  Tomorrow after a late breakfast I hope to add a few more photos that are relevant to this feature, but failing that I’ll bring them (and the other abused codas) up with an addendum later on.  I do like addendums so, in part because it makes my high school Latin seem almost worth it.   Until then, Nighty Bears.

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RETURN TO CONTINUE SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Another look from the Tower to the former tideflats.  Lawton Gowey is the likely photographer, and circa 1960 would be close.  The I-5 Freeway is not yet scouring through the Beacon Hill greenbelt on the left, and the Kingdome (remember that?) is not around either.
Another look from the Tower to the former tideflats. Lawton Gowey is the likely photographer, and circa 1960 would be close. The I-5 Freeway is not yet scouring through the Beacon Hill greenbelt on the left, and the Kingdome (remember that?) is not around either.

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SECOND AVENUE EXTENSION 1928-29

Second Avenue South from an office floor in the Smith Tower.  Most likely this is a scene from the big snow of 1916.  Second is still a dozen years from being cut through the buildings on the left.
Second Avenue South from an office floor in the Smith Tower. Most likely this is a scene from the big snow of 1916. Second is still a dozen years from being cut through the buildings on the left.
From a higher floor in the Smith Tower, Second Avenue shows its first signs - with the bared wall at the center - of its being extended through the neighborhood.  The Municipal Archive negative is date, bottom-left, March 14, 1928.
From a higher floor in the Smith Tower, Second Avenue shows its first signs – with the bared wall at the center – of its being extended through the neighborhood. The Municipal Archive negative is date, bottom-left, March 14, 1928.
The completed Second Ave. extension recorded by a municipal photographer from the Smith Tower on June 11, 1929.
The completed Second Ave. extension recorded by a municipal photographer from the Smith Tower on June 11, 1929.

 FORTSON SQUARE AKA PIGEON SQUARE

The feature below was scanned from “Seattle Now and Then, Vol. 2,” which is long out of print.   It first appeared in Pacific on Sept. 23, 1984.  The book printing include the “before and after” views – above – of the Second Ave. Extension with some explanation on the second page of the feature. (Click to Enlarge)

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Late work on the Extension looking east-southeast with the Union Pacific depot on the right.
Late work on the Extension looking east-southeast with the Union Pacific depot on the right.
Although this copy of The Times clipping from Oct. 18, 1925 is too soft on focus to easily read, it still gives an impression of what the Second Avenue Extension's planners had in mind when they announced and illustrated their intentions.
Although this copy of The Times clipping from Oct. 18, 1925 is too soft on focus to easily read, it still gives an inflated  impression of what the Second Avenue Extension’s planners had in mind when they announced and illustrated their intentions.  On the right you will find Ye Olde Curiosity Shop’s founder J.E. Standley at his West Seattle home, which was lavishly decorated with totems and grandchildren.
The completed Extension looking north from the Union Station.  At some point the envision pylon, seen in the planner's illustration above, was sacrificed.  There are city-wide man other examples of how elegant or glorious first plans are ultimately cut back in local construction.  We should make a list.  Later.
The completed Extension looking north from the Union Station. At some point the envision pylon (or column), seen in the planner’s illustration above, was sacrificed. There are city-wide many other examples of how elegant or glorious first plans are ultimately cut back in local construction. We should make a list, but later if our funding holds out.

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MEANWHILE

NEAR

A page two clipping from The Seattle Times for April 19, 1934 recounting the efforts of U.W. students to hold an off-campus conference on the hot issue of war.
A page two clipping from The Seattle Times for April 19, 1934 recounting the efforts of U.W. students to hold an off-campus “All-University Conference on the hot issues of war.  [CLICK to Enlarge]
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NEARBY

A soft-focus recording of a moment in the neighborhood – or near it up Main Street near 8th Avenue, and so in what is now Yesler Terrace.   There is some focus in this snapshot but it is given to the distant landmarks like City Light’s station at 7th and Yesler – its ornate towers appear to the left of the right arm of the girl on top – and the crown of the King County Courthouse tower seen just left of the power pole, far right.  Don’t miss the dog.

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