In response to our last blog feature, the one about the Fremont Car Barn and the rest, an old friend and officer in these trenches, archivist Ernie Dornfield, answered our question regarding what was the use of those ghost-colored solid forms in the otherwise vacant lot between the house on the left of the subject and the car barn beyond both? Here’s Ernie’s letter plus a “grab” from this computer’s screen of a City Archive photograph that shows one of those “gray things” being installed. If you follow his advice and access the city clerk’s information service you will find many more and even much more beyond gray concretions.
The original print of this “real photo postcard” is bordered with the scribbled message that I have cropped away: “Remember me to any old class mates you happen to see.” The postcard shows another message as well, one that is most helpful, while still mildly mutilating the postcard’s face. It appears in the gray sky between the two homes. Although barely readable, you may decipher “Brooklyn Ave” written there. The postcard also shows a dimly drawn line leading to the street number 4703, nailed to the top of the front porch.
This then is 4703 Brooklyn Avenue in the University District, an identification I corroborated with a photograph of the same house attached to its assessor’s “tax card,” held in the Puget Sound Branch of the Washington State Archives in Bellevue. The tax records have the classic box built in 1902, a year in which the neighborhood was still as likely called Brooklyn as the University District. Brooklyn was the name given to it in 1890 by super-developer James Moore. He chose the name because his addition “looked across the water” to Seattle proper like the New York borough of the same name that looks across the East River to Manhattan. Brooklyn Avenue, its intended main street, was the first one graded in the addition, and it was at this intersection that Moore constructed a water tower.
The owners of this classic box were Amos and Alice Winsor. In his 1947 obituary (above) Amos is credited with having lived in the district for forty-four years and “built many of the early buildings on the University of Washington Campus, including Science (renamed Parrington) Hall.” Included among the Winsor family’s many celebrations held in their home was their daughter Olivia Rachel’s marriage to a Brooklyn neighbor, Vilas Richard Rathbun, on April 16,
1913. They were, The Times reported, “Surrounded by about fifty relatives and intimate friends.” The ceremony was conducted by Horace Mason, the progressive pastor of University Congregational Church. From both the congregation’s and the addition’s beginnings in 1890, the Congregationalists were effective at promoting the Brooklyn Community Club, the principal campaigner for neighborhood improvements.
In the “now” photograph, the by now half-century old plant of Carson Cleaners replaced the Winsor home in 1962. Bob Carson tells how his parents, Roy and Doris, were persuaded by the corner’s new owner, Helen Rickert, of Helen Rickert Gown Shop on the “Ave”, to open a cleaners at the corner. Richert was a fan, consistently pleased with how the Carsons handled her gowns and dresses in the cleaners Lake City shop. The Carsons agreed to the move and brought their modern corner sign with them. Bob half apologizes for the condition of the now also half-century old sign and reader board. “It needs to be repainted, but our lease is up in December and I’m retiring.” For Bob we add both our “congratulations” and a “whoopee.”
Anything to add, Paul? Surely Jean, with Ron’s help we have three links added that are well-appointed with University District features, although most of them stick to “The Ave.” or University Way, AKA, thru its now 124 years, as 14th Avenue and Columbus Street. But then Brooklyn was first named Broadway.
[CLICK & DISCOVER]
NOW THEN & MAYBE
NOW it has come to what we sometimes affectionately call Nighty-Bears, the wee-morning hour when we climb the stairs to what this night after a few hot days will be an warm bed. I am eager to retire, somewhat drained by a pursuit this afternoon of a few more sides for this week’s subject, the broad way of Brooklyn Ave. THEN after a late breakfast I’ll return and put up the “other sides” we, again, have prepared but for now not plopped because we are pooped. Nighty-Bears then, but with something entirely different at the temporary bottom: an unidentified “painted lady.” She is for me an exciting intimation of all the joyful work that is expected ahead while shaping MOFA: the Museum of Forsaken Art. And this place, below, if not forsaken is, at least, forgotten. I do not remember where or when I recorded it’s rhythms and tenderly abused symmetry, but almost certainly not on Brooklyn, not even MAYBE.
BROOKLYN AVE. CONTINUES after breakfast, SUNDAY JULY 13, 2014, 12:45 PM
The Sunday Seattle Times article gave a nice overview of the history of the Villa Apartments. It did not mention Capitol Hill Housing’s role in reviving the building. While rooms may no longer rent for $2.50 a week, the Villa Apartments still stands because of the work of Capitol Hill Housing. In the late 1990s, this affordable housing and community building organization purchased the Villa, which had fallen into disrepair. The commercial facades were restored, strong retail tenants were attracted, and a major extension was added on to the back side of the property. The renovation was a key early act in helping transform Pike/Pike from a driving corridor to a destination. In a neighborhood where new studio apartments now rent for more than $2,000 a month, the Villa is an example of CHH’s efforts to strengthen the community and keep rents affordable for regular working people.
A few years ago, in collaboration with the Northwest School, CHH added a mural to the west side of the site. I’ll attach a photo of it. The muralist was Derek Wu working with NW School students.
“2013, and 1966 was a long time ago…but what an outstanding experience in my life. I was privileged to be hired by Ted Griffin to work with Namu at Smith Cove in the early part of 1966 until Namu was brought to Seattle. Then, I was given a wireless microphone and said to present demonstrations of Namu to the public…which I did many times that summer.
“I really came to love Namu with the closeness of feeding, petting, scratching his back, sides and belly. Many times I was able to get very close to Namu while feeding him with a slice of salmon. I was 21 at the time, and really enjoyed the people who came to see the show.
“At times, Namu, when demonstrating a high jump, would go back into the water without hardly a splash. Other times, however, he would come down kinda falling over so as to completely soak the ones in the way of the huge wave & spray! One incident in the evening took place with no one there, but two men and a lady who were dressed to the hilt for a night on the town. For them, I’m sure it was as memorable an evening as it was for me. When I cautioned them they’d be safer from getting wet if they went up the ramp and observed from there, they decided to take a chance and see at float level. You guessed it…it was the greatest of Namu’s jokes on the crowd…the got entirely drenched. Their reaction??? They all, after catching their breath from the cold water drench, broke out laughing, and even grateful for this fantastic memory…seeing the huge body of Namu nearly leap completely out of the water (after having carefully popped his head out of the water prior to the jump, scoped out the situation…including the three observers and the ball held out high above the water by yours truly). Then, with no time to react, they saw Namu falling toward them! You can well imagine the rest…as I see it still clearly in my minds eye.
We learn in this issue that it is the last of our bi-weekly offerings. After this we went weekly until the end. We surely felt confident. Here again, although thousands of miles apart, Bill White and I read an issue together with the generous help of Skype. These edited versions are shorter than the time we took and recorded, but still even with Bill’s pruning we do ramble and sometimes stumble. Each trip (issue) we discuss is, however, certainly instructive, and considerably more than smoldering nostalgia for our lost youth. Well I should speak for myself, for Bill, much my junior, is still living lucky and in his prime. Thanks – repeated – to Ron Edge for doing the scanning. It certainly suites his assiduous side, and boundless love for old publications. [If you have any old regional papers - really old - please consider sharing them with Ron. He'll make a disk for you, Id' bet.]
In our last Sunday feature I shared with Berangere and Jean the hope that some reader would respond with explanations for the largely mysterious – for us – submarines that we included there. We were blessed with just such from Bill Hoeller. Now we will print out his explanations beneath the subs they apply to. And we will introduce this with the introduction to his first letter to us. Thanks much Bill.
Having been born and raised in Seattle I always look forward to your Seattle Now & Then feature every Sunday. In 1940 when I was born I lived in the Rainier Valley. My wife and I currently live in Wallingford. I saw you had some questions concerning submarines, which I know a little about, so I thought I would respond. I’m also anxious to see additional posts about submarines.
All the best,
HOPEFULLY – if we can find it – we intend to return to this SUBMARINE SECTION of our blog with something on THE PRINCESS ANGELINE, the “first atomic submarine built for Puget Sound commuter service.” We doubt that it was ever built.Were we not quoting we would have preferred to write “planned for Puget Sound commuter service.” Please check for it later.