Category Archives: Uncategorized

SETTINGS FOR A FALLEN LEAF

I’ve grown fond lately of returning to the snapshots I took of the neighborhood during my nearly daily Wallingford Walks between 2006 and 2010.  (I should probably still be at it.)   I’ll share (or push) some of these over the next few days or longer, and find a general name for them all later.    Here is No.1, which is really twenty settings I made for a fallen Wallingford leaf in 2008.   [click to enlarge]

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FREEMONT CAR BARN ADDENDUM, Aug. 7, 2014

THEN: One of a few photographs recording from different prospects the Fremont trolley car barn on Dec.11, 1936.  North 35th Street, on the right, was originally named Blewett for Edward and Carrie Blewett.  In 1888 the couple, fresh from Fremont, Nebraska, first named and promoted Fremont as a Seattle neighborhood. That year Fremont also got its lumber mill. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: One of a few photographs recording from different prospects the Fremont trolley car barn on Dec.11, 1936. North 35th Street, on the right, was originally named Blewett for Edward and Carrie Blewett. In 1888 the couple, fresh from Fremont, Nebraska, first named and promoted Fremont as a Seattle neighborhood. That year Fremont also got its lumber mill. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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 DORNFIELD LETTER – please CLICK TO ENLARGE

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THE ARCHIVES’ ON LINE EXAMPLE – please CLICK

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Seattle Now & Then: A Brooklyn Home Taken for the Cleaners

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: When it was built in 1902, this box home, with classic Ionic pillars at the porch, was set above the northwest corner of the freshly graded Brooklyn Avenue and 47th Street in the University District.  (Courtesy, John Cooper)
THEN: When it was built in 1902, this box home, with classic Ionic pillars at the porch, was set above the northwest corner of the freshly graded Brooklyn Avenue and 47th Street in the University District. (Courtesy, John Cooper)
NOW: For customer parking, the grade at the corner was lowered for Carson Cleaners, which has occupied the corner since 1962, almost as long as the residence it replaced.
NOW: For customer parking, the grade at the corner was lowered for Carson Cleaners, which has occupied the corner since 1962, almost as long as the residence it replaced.

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.

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A detail pulled from the 1908 Baist Real Estate map with the intersection of Brooklyn Ave. and 47th Street right-of-center.
A detail pulled from the 1908 Baist Real Estate map with the intersection of Brooklyn Ave. and 47th Street right-of-center.
"Void" from some other but us dear reader.  This is, of course, the tax card generated by the Works Progress Administration in the late 1930s for its inventory of every taxable property in King County.  Many unregistered structures were found in the tax-enriching process.  (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, Bellevue branch)
“Void” for some others  but not us dear reader. This is, of course, one of the thousands of  tax cards generated by the Works Progress Administration in the late 1930s for its inventory of every taxable property in King County. Many unregistered structures were found in this tax-enriching process. (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, Bellevue branch)

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.

A paid promotion for the then new Brooklyn addition placed in The Seattle Press for Dec. 1, 1890.
A paid promotion for the then new Brooklyn addition placed in The Seattle Press for Dec. 1, 1890.
Amos T. Winsor's obituary for Aug. 21, 1947
Amos T. Winsor’s obituary for Aug. 21, 1947

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,

April 17,1913 Wedding report for
April 17,1913 Wedding report for Olive Rachel Winsor and Vilas Richard Rathbun, and another below for April twentieth.

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Olive and her husband Vilas have moved in with her parents at 4703 Brooklyn Avenue.
Olive and her new husband Vilas have moved in with her parents at 4703 Brooklyn Avenue.  The Seattle Time’s piece appears on December, 12, 1914.  Vilas’ parents live nearby on 15th Avenue.
By at most ten years more, part of the Winsor home has been divided into a rented apartment.
By at most ten years more, a sizable part of the Winsor home has been divided into a rented apartment.

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.

University Congregational Church at the northeast corner of Brooklyn Ave. and 43rd Street.
University Congregational Church at the northeast corner of Brooklyn Ave. and 43rd Street.

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Inside the Methodist sanctuary.
Inside the Congregationalist  sanctuary.
University Congregational's second sanctuary at the northeast corner of 43rd Street and Brooklyn Avenue appears bottom-right in this look southeast across the "Ave" and part of the UW campus from the Meany Hotel.
University Congregational’s second sanctuary at the northeast corner of 43rd Street and Brooklyn Avenue appears bottom-right in this look southeast across the “Ave” (at the center) and part of the UW campus (on the left) from the Meany Hotel.   The Methodists are on the left and the Post Office to this side of them.

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.”

The property's tax card continued.
The property’s tax card extended to show the big changes of 1962.  .

WEB EXTRAS

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]

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On Oct. 18, 1925 The Seattle Times reached University Way with its series on Seattle's neighborhood.
On Oct. 18, 1925 The Seattle Times reached University Way with its series on Seattle’s neighborhood. [CLICK to ENLARGE]
We have shared this north end map before.  This detail shows that in the late 1890s the neighborhoods north of Lake Union included Fremont, Edgewater, Latona, and Brooklyn.  The last was not abandoned until well into the 20th century.  Now it is always University District.   But then Latona, Edgewater and Ross, far left, as hardly heard either.
We have shared this north end detail from a Seattle map before.  It shows that in the late 1890s the neighborhoods on the north shore of Lake Union included Fremont, Edgewater, Latona, and Brooklyn. This last was not abandoned until well into the 20th century. Now it is always University District.  Latona, Edgewater and Ross, far left, are hardly heard either.

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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.

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BROOKLYN AVE. CONTINUES after breakfast, SUNDAY JULY 13, 2014, 12:45 PM

Unlike most corners, the intersection of Brooklyn and 47th has kept its gas.  Here at the northeast corner and next kitty-corner too.  Both are late 1930s tax photos, dutifully labeled. (Courtesy, Wash Start Archives)
Unlike many corners, the intersection of Brooklyn and 47th has kept its gas – here at the northeast corner and next below kitty-corner too, and  now with an enlarged Baptist sanctuary behind the station.   Both are late 1930s tax photos, dutifully labeled. (Courtesy, Wash Start Archives)

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2. Brooklyn-&-47th-swC-Union-76-7-14-2004-WEB

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Along with Fringies and Hippies, Urban Renewal - or studies and plans for such - came to the University District.  This slide came to me from the district's then acting mayor, Cal McCune, a tall, broad-shouldered, thoughtful friend.  It was part of a survey of the district concerned primarily with its parking.  The view looks north on Brooklyn Ave. from the Meany  Hotel and shows in the foreground the "residents" to the sides of 47th and Brookllyn, including the cleaners, the two service stations and the Episcopalians.  University Heights school is above-center.
Along with Fringies and Hippies, Urban Renewal – or studies and plans for such – came to the University District in the 1960s. This slide came to me from the district’s then acting mayor, Calmar McCune, a tall, broad-shouldered, thoughtful friend. It was part of a survey of the district concerned primarily with its parking. The view looks north on Brooklyn Ave. from the Meany Hotel and shows in the foreground the “residents” to the sides of 47th and Brooklyn, including Carson Cleaners, the two service stations and the Christ parish Episcopalians. University Heights school is above-center.
University Heights, looking northwest from the intersection of 50th and University Way, then still named 14th Avenue.
University Heights, looking northwest from the intersection of 50th and University Way, then still named 14th Avenue.

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I snapped both the above and below records of the north facade of the Kincade Apartments and coin-op laundromat that has been there for as long as I remember the neighborhood.  The bottom record I made in the heat of yesterday's late afternoon, but I neither remember when I took the photo on top nor why.   The place was important to me and my bag of soiled clothes, and I got their in the Toyoto on the right.  And on top Safeco and the Meany Hotel look down like like chums.
I snapped both the above and below records of the north facade of the Kincade Apartments and coin-op laundromat that has been there for as long as I remember the neighborhood. The bottom record I made in the heat of yesterday’s late afternoon, but I neither remember when I took the photo on top nor why. The place was important to me and my bag of soiled clothes, and I got their in the Toyoto on the right.  On top Safeco and the Meany Hotel look down like like chums.

4. BOOKLYLN-AVE-Wash-N'-Shop-ca4520-Now-7-12-2014-web

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Mid-block on the east side of Brooklyn Ave. between 45th and 47th streets, the Kincade Apartments, circa 1925.
Mid-block on the east side of Brooklyn Ave. between 45th and 47th streets, the Kincade Apartments, circa 1925.

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The Evelyn Apartments north and across Brooklyn Ave. from the Kincade Apartments.
The Evelyn Apartments north of and across Brooklyn Ave. from the Kincade Apartments.

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THE OUTRAGEOUS TACO CO., THEN & NOW

Another slide from Mayor Cal's district survey in the late 1960s.
Another slide from Mayor Cal’s district survey in the late 1960s.

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North on Brooklyn from the cleaners at 47rh.
North on Brooklyn from Carson Cleaners at 47rh.

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Organized in 1890 the First Church of Brooklyn, with help from its "mother" Plymouth Congregational Church, built this chapel on the west side of Brooklyn Avenue, mid-block between 41st and 42nd Streets.  Thru its first years it was both a church and civic center, and much of  the first neighborhood activism was conspired within it.  In 1910 the congregation moved into its new sanctuary at 43rd and Brooklyn - featured above - with its new name, the University Congregational Church.
Organized in 1890 the first Church of Brooklyn, with help from its “mother” Plymouth Congregational Church, built this chapel on the west side of Brooklyn Avenue, mid-block between 41st and 42nd Streets. Thru its first years it was both a church and civic center, and much of the first neighborhood activism was conspired within it. In 1910 the congregation moved into its new sanctuary at 43rd and Brooklyn – featured above – with its new name, the University Congregational Church.  Queen Anne Hill is on the left horizon.
The embarrassingly plain and sensationally named - for hormone-driven students - Maverick Apartments take the place and more of the community's first church.
The embarrassingly plain and sensationally named – for the more impetuous and hormone-driven students? – Maverick Apartments take the place and more of the community’s first church.

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The Super AP Market the east side of Brooklyn Ave. and north of the Congregationalist's 1910 sanctuary, were not so super, but still long-lived, that is, I remember it.   This view looks to the northwest and shows, top-center, the General Insurance Building - formally the Brooklyn Building, and later the Safeco Building with the big sign on the roof, and since 1973 the home of its 22 story tower and now embraced in the University of Washington's neighborhood hegemony.  The depression-time tax photo also gives a glimpse of the Meany Hotel, upper-right, at the northwest corner of 45th Street and Brooklyn Avenue.
The Super AP Market on the east side of Brooklyn Ave. and north of the Congregationalist’s 1910 sanctuary, were not so super, but still long-lived, that is, I remember it. This view looks to the northwest and shows, top-center, the General Insurance Building – formally the Brooklyn Building, and later the Safeco Building with the big reader-board sign on the roof (see below), and since 1973 the home of its 22 story tower, a tower now embraced in the University of Washington’s neighborhood hegemony. The depression-time tax photo also gives a glimpse of the Meany Hotel, upper-right, at the northwest corner of 45th Street and Brooklyn Avenue.
Work-in-progress on the district's station for the underground rapid transit.
Work-in-progress on the district’s station for the underground rapid transit.
The back of the Safeco roof-top sign seen from the Meany Hotel, ca. 1969.  I remember the message of its reader-board, "Big Brother is Watching."
The back of the Safeco roof-top sign seen from the Meany Hotel, ca. 1969. I remember a message on its reader-board, “Big Brother is Watching.”
The Meany Hotel in 2002.
The Meany Hotel in 2002 with its then and short-lived new name, University Tower.
Handsome, statuesque, professorial, and a good poser, Ed Meany was often painted ad photographed.  The artist here is unknown - by me, at least.  Nor do I remember the painting.
Handsome, statuesque, professorial, and a good poser, the hotel’s namesake  Ed Meany was often painted ad photographed. The artist here is unknown – by me, at least. Nor do I remember the painting. [Courtesy, MOHAI]
Edmond Meany at the 1931 inauguration banquet for the opening of his namesake hotel.   (Courtesy, U.W.Libraries)
Edmond Meany at the 1931 inauguration banquet for the opening of his namesake hotel. (Courtesy, U.W.Libraries)
By comparison, it is the Golden Anniversary of my 1964 visit to the Meany Hotel with Joyce Gammel.   On our first date after dinner at the Space Needle ($10 dollars we spent on dinner and wine!) we stopped at the Meany  and improvised a photography studio with a table lamp in the lobby.  That evening was encouraging.  We spent the next seven months together, until her death from a blood cancer in June of 1965.  Ten years more and she may have survived with chemo.  Although Joyce had some of that cocktail in '64 it was crude by comparison and considerably more painful too.  Below is a charcoal of Joyce drawn by my painting mentor then, Herman Keys.
By comparison, here are two portraits of Joyce Gammel.  it is the Golden Anniversary of my 1964 visit to the Meany Hotel with Joyce  on our first date. After dinner at the Space Needle ($10 dollars we spent on dinner and wine!) we stopped at the Meany and improvised a photography studio with a table lamp in the lobby. That evening was encouraging. We spent the next seven months together, until Joyce’s death from a blood cancer in June of 1965. Ten years more and she may have survived with chemo. Although Joyce had some of that cocktail even in ’64 it was crude by comparison and considerably more painful too. Below is a charcoal of Joyce drawn by my painting mentor then, Herman Keys.

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First appeared in Pacific, April 20, 2003.
First appeared in Pacific, April 20, 2003.

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The Safeco Tower newly signed with the University's glowing banner snapped from the car window on Roosevelt after leaving Trader Joes on Dec. 6, 2008.
The Safeco Tower renewed or transformed with the University’s glowing banner snapped from the car window on Roosevelt after leaving Trader Joes on Dec. 6, 2008.
Forty-Fifth Street as the "Gateway to Wallingford . . . and Ballard" seen looking west from Brooklyn Avenue on Dec. 22, 1948, photographed either by Lawton Gowey or Robert Bradley.   The latter's slides are often mixed in with the former's collection.
Forty-Fifth Street as the “Gateway to Wallingford . . . and Ballard” seen looking west from Brooklyn Avenue on Dec. 22, 1948, photographed either by Horace Sykes, or Lawton Gowey or Robert Bradley. The last’s  slides are often mixed in with the Syke’s collection, which were inherited by Gowey and then given to me.

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ANOTHER BROOKLYN

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Lawton Gowey's glowing record of the Brooklyn Building on August 25, 1976.
Lawton Gowey’s glowing record of the Brooklyn Building at the southeast corner of University Street ad Second Avenue on August 25, 1976.

 

 

VILLA APARTMENTS ADDENDUM

Hi Paul,

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.

Michael Seiwerath, Capitol Hill Housing

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