Now one hundred and thirty years old, the oldest Lutheran congregation in Seattle has moved only once, and that only eight blocks. It has, however, had four sanctuaries, and in Jean Sherrard’s kitty-corner recording we can see the latest of these with the first three floors serving the congregation and the top five affordable housing. Abutting to the south (right) is the surviving chancel of the third sanctuary, which was dedicated in 1954. The prospect looks east across the intersection of 9th Avenue and Stewart Street.
The Swedish Lutherans dedicated their first church in 1885 on the east side of Third Avenue, one lot north of Pike Street. It was the southern slope of Denny Hill and the neighborhood was then decidedly residential. By 1901, when the congregation moved those eight blocks to this corner, their first location was rapidly turning commercial, and the sale of that property helped finance the changes.
With its first and only move the church avoided the many years of confusion wrought by the Denny Hill Regrade. It did not, however, escape the regrading of Stewart Street. In 1910 the city instructed the church to lower their Gothic sanctuary fourteen feet. The results of that cutting are shown here (in the featured photo at the top) on both the far right, with an exposed hill, and far left, with the long steep stairway to the front door of the church’s parsonage, home of its then pastor, Martin L. Larson.
The Steward Street regrade put the growing congregation more emphatically “on the map” when the improved Stewart was linked to Eastlake Avenue, making a joined arterial that was one of the city’s primary routes to the north. (On a 1916 map of the city’s auto routes, both Stewart and Eastlake are emphasized with a widened dark line and bold lettering.) The building in 1927 of the city’s Central Stage Terminal (Greyhound Depot), across 9th Avenue from the church, also emphasized the centrality of Gethsemane’s location. [See the links below and Jean’s added photos there as well for photographs and stories featuring the depot.]
The 1921 dedication of Gethsemane’s Lutheran Hospice for Girls on Capitol Hill prefigured Mary’s Place, the day shelter for women and children that are also tenants of the new sanctuary. Other “open and affirming” Gethsemane services include the meals programs of Hope Center,
The featured photograph of Gethsemane’s second sanctuary at the top was copied from an album of photos taken by Klaes Lindquist, and shared with us by the Swedish Club. It dates from about 1920, a year in which the city directory lists twenty-two Lutheran churches, six of them in Ballard and five, including Gethsemane, here in the greater and then quite Scandi-Cascade Neighborhood.
Let me add a few snaps here which illustrate a few of the vast changes underway around 9th and Stewart:
Anything to add, boys? Certainly. More links from Ron Edge and pixs and clips from our robust archives, and all in sympathy to this week’s primary subjects: Swedes (some of them Lutherans), and this interstitial neighborhood on the fringe of downtown. First, eleven links to past features, which will include their own links and those theirs . . . [Nifty “now” Jean.]
FOLLOWS – A FEW PAST FEATURES SCANNED FROM CLIPPINGS
Once upon a time dragons wagged their long tongues from open jaws on the roof of Norway Hall in Seattle’s Cascade Neighborhood. The hall’s sponsors, the Daughters and Sons of Norway, respectively the Valkyrien and Leif Erikson Lodges, dedicated their new hall in 1915, on May 17, Norwegian Constitution Day.
Dennis Andersen, one of our distinguished historians of Northwest architecture, and himself of Norwegian descent, notes that the hall’s architect, the native Norwegian Englehart Sonnichsen, “knew the revival modes of his country very well.” Andersen continues, “In the 1880s and 1890s, as Norway was working toward independence from Sweden, art and architecture trends lifted up traditional folk art forms — some of it rather fanciful. The dragon-shaped eaves of Sonnichsen’s Norway Hall recall this so-called ‘dragon style’ (dragestil). It was commonly used on resort hotels, pavilions, and restaurants.” (And, Andersen notes, on the Andersen family silver.)
Here (at the top) on an early photograph of the hall, an unnamed retouch artist has enhanced its surrounds with lawns sown with grass in place of a clutter of other structures (aside from the roof of a modest home across Denny Way behind the trees on the far right). The national flags of Norway and the United States have been rendered to flutter artfully, lifted by a southeasterly breeze. The painted stones beside the sidewalk, far left, resemble stacks of Norwegian rye bread more than river rocks.
The architect’s brother, Yngvar, adorned the interior of Norway Hall with murals depicting several sagas of Norse history, including the discovery of Vinland – North America – by the lodge’s namesake, Leif Erikson, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus reached The Bahamas. The U.S. Postal System agreed, issuing a six-cent stamp in 1968, commemorating the Icelandic explorer’s Newfoundland (it is thought) landing.
Today at 2015 Boren Avenue the Norwegians and their dragons are long gone. After selling their hall in the late 1940s, the growing Sons and Daughters twice moved to new quarters, first to Lower Queen Anne in 1951 and later in 1986 to Ballard, both times carrying their murals with them. In the early 1970s the old Norway Hall barely
escaped being razed by a developer, who explained “there is pressure for more parking in the area.” It was saved, however, and is now Raisbeck Hall, the performing arts venue on Cornish School of the Arts’ main campus.
Noe å legge til, gutter ? (Anything to add, boys?)
Ja Jean. Med hjelp igjen (og igjen) fra Ron Edge og mer hjelp fra Christine Anderson, historiker for Leiv Eiriksson Lodge 2-001, Sønner av Norge, og også fra Fred Poyner IV, samlinger manager på Nordic Heritage Museum. Vi har lagt ved et par linker og tidligere funksjoner som liksom er knyttet til kjennetegnet Norge Hus første dedikerte i Seattles Cascade Neighborhood 100 år siden, noe som sikkert har noe å gjøre med at vi viser det seg nå. Vi kaster også i noen dansker, men ingen svensker, med vilje. Vi lagrer dem til senere. Vi må også takke Google Translate, for selv om både du og jeg er velfylt med Scandi-gener, verken vi lese eller snakke norsk til godt. Vel, du kan bli med igjen, “Snakk for deg selv Paul.” La de som er kjent med norsk dommer kapasiteten til Googles innsats.
Yes Jean. With help again (and again) from Ron Edge and more help from Christine Anderson, historian for Leif Erikson Lodge 2-001, Sons of Norway, and also from Fred Poyner IV, Collections manager at the Nordic Heritage Museum. We have attached a few links and past features that somehow relate to the featured Norway House first dedicated in Seattle’s Cascade Neighborhood 100 years ago, which surely has something to do with why we are showing it off now. We also throw in a few Danes but no Swedes, intentionally. We are saving them for later. We also need to thank Google Translate, for although both you, Jean, and I are well-stocked with Scandi-genes, we neither read nor speak Norwegian so well. You might rejoin, “Speak for yourself Paul.” Let those familiar with Norwegian judge the capacities of Google’s efforts.
CAPITOL HILL & The CASCADE PLATEAU from DENNY HILL
Englishman Charles Louch first crossed the Seattle waterfront, it seems, in 1885, and for many reasons, including the “bag of money” he reportedly carried, prospered and stayed for eighteen years. He returned to England in 1903 with enough American assets to purchase an estate near Southhampton, which he shared with his two single sisters.
Louch first opened a stand for “fancy fruits” on the east side of Front Street (First Avenue) but soon expanded his fare to the “cigars, tobacco, groceries and provisions” that are indicated on the sign above his front door located on the third lot north of Union Street. It is these “groceries and provisions” that are first noted in the 1885-86 Polk City Directory, where Louch is listed as one of twenty-two Seattle grocers.
In the Polk’s citizen section, Louch is recorded as living at the same address, almost surely in the back of the store. Based on the evidence provided by the 1888 Sanborn real estate map, Louch later installed both a “Sausage Room” and a “Smoke House” in his former living quarters. Louch’s ‘1888 Brand’ smoked hams were a long-time favorite and not just locally. During the Alaska Gold Rush, beginning in the late 1890s, many of the hams were shipped north.
In 1888 Louch began promoting his hams by distributing to his customers a mounted photograph of his store, as seen from an upper window of a nearby building at Front and Pike. This second photo featured a panorama of Seattle rising above a roof top sign reading “Chas Louch” and running at a right angle to Front Street. Set on the crest of the roof, the corner of that sign is barely seen here above the “cigars and tobacco” sign that faces the street.
The city’s great fire of 1889 was also good to Louch and his hams and sausages. As the fire moved north up the waterfront and Front Street it was stopped less than two blocks south of Louch’s grocery. About one-half of the 36 groceries listed in the year’s city directory we consumed. Also in 1889 Louch moved into a mansion-sized Beacon Hill home he had built on Othello Avenue overlooking Rainier Valley.
After partnering in 1889 with M.B. Augustine, a traveling food salesman from Nevada, the ambitious pair moved into the much grander post-fire quarters of the Colman Building, (still at First Avenue and Columbia Street.) There they became famous for their “upscale” specialty foods and the dozen wagons needed to make free deliveries throughout the city. After Louch returned to England, Augustine took on a new partner and the company was renamed Augustine and Kyer. It grew to five locations, with the last one, in the University District, holding on through the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Anything to add, boys? Yes Jean, more of the neighborhood and also a look up Front Street from Pioneer Square, which is the second Edge-Link that Ron has put in place immediately below. After Ron’s links we’ll pull a few clips from past “now and then” features. They are also from the neighborhood. Well Jean, you know this well, for this week it was you who did the scanning of the clips having nearly completed your inventory of all 1700-plus features on the way to publishing later this year another collection – which might even be permitted the cheesy title “100 Best.”
EIGHT PAGES from the AUGUSTINE & KYER BULLETIN, from 1912. click to enlarge
Lawton Gowey was a regular visitor to the demolition scene of the Seattle Hotel. His collection of Kodachrome slides records nearly the entire process of the destruction of the 1890 landmark. Gowey dated this slide June 8, 1961. The demolition work began with the interior on the third of April, and here, two months later, most of the top floor is gone.
The removal of the ornate cornice at the top of the five and one-half story landmark got an early start with the city’s 1949 earthquake. For safety, and probably for economy too, much of it was removed following the quake. Still, the hotel stayed opened until the spring of 1960, when its closure was announced. It was widely assumed that it would soon be razed – not renovated. The same was expected for its then still on the skids Pioneer Square, the city’s most historic neighborhood.
Citizen response, however, was surprising. In an attempt to save the hotel, a local cadre of preservationists quickly formed. Although that battle was lost, the enthusiasts for local heritage won the war by saving the neighborhood. The city’s new Department of Community Development, the DCD, formed the Pioneer Square Historic District in 1970.
By this time the four-floor parking lot that was built on the hotel’s flatiron footprint was commonly called the “Sinking Ship Garage.” It is still one of our best local jokes. The garage’s architect-engineers, Gilbert Mandeville and Gudmund Berge, were fresh off their 1959 success as local consultants for the Logan Building at Fifth Avenue and Union Street, the city’s first glass curtain box. Here, in Pioneer Square, they added what they and its owners considered a compliment to the historic neighborhood: a basket-handle shaped railing made of pipe, a kind of undulating cornice, that ran along the top of the concrete garage.
Lawton Gowey loved the Smith Tower. His juxtaposition of the well-wrought tower, the injured hotel, and the wrecker’s crane is at once elegant and ambivalent.
Anything to add, lads? Golly Jean, yes. Ron Edge has put up two links to past features. Both are rich with references to this triangle. Following that are few more relevant clips cut from past Pacifics.
Beginning in 1897 and continuing into the twentieth century, Seattle was in the golden grip of “Klondike Fever,” a hysteria promoted by the Chamber of Commerce and its agent Erastus Brainard, perhaps the highest of hucksters in our history. Through every publication he could charm, Brainerd linked the gold fields of the North, waiting to be gathered by shovel and/or pan, with Seattle. “To speak of one is to speak of the other.”
Here two teams and their drivers pose on the northbound tracks and cable slot of the Front Street Cable Railway. The equine posers are backed by an array of businesses with signs that are both freshly painted and ambitious. For instance, add a Thedinga Hardware to a
Columbia Grocery and you get an Alaska Outfitters. Business district streets were lined with similar opportunists. The likely date is 1898, a year after the instantly famous steamer Portland arrived on the waterfront with its “ton of gold.”
This plenitude of miners’ supplies filled many of the sidewalks on Front (First Avenue) and Commercial Streets (First Avenue S.): mostly bags stuffed, for example, with evaporated foods, boots, pots, picks, slabs of bacon, lentils, and several variations on corn (corn meal, pop corn and corn cob pipes at 35 cents a dozen). Some of this piling of sacks can be seen on the far left and also behind the wagons. Two blocks south at Columbia Street, the sidewalk in front of the Toklas Singerman Department Store was piled ten-feet high, eleven-feet wide, and eighty-feet long. Throughout the district many sidewalk trees were sacrificed for sacks.
Next door to the south (right) of the Alaska Outfitters, the Yukon Supply Company claims to “sell only the best goods manufactured.” H.H. Peterson, the manager, explained to a Seattle Times reporter, “The city is full of strangers intending on purchasing an outfit for the North, and supplying for a long journey and longer stay is something new to them.” Ready to enable, Peterson would know that by far most of those he outfitted would return from the Yukon, or the Klondike, not enriched but exhausted.
Far left in the featured photo at the top, a “Frederick, Nelson & Munro” sign tops the rear wall of that still fondly remembered department store, then at the northwest corner of Madison Street and Second Avenue. Silas Munro was the third partner, but not for long. Imagining that the gold fever would soon cool, Munro sold out to his partners and purchased this southeast corner of First Avenue and Madison Street. Both Thedinga Hardware and Columbia Grocery were evicted when their leases ran out at the end of June 1901, and Munro built in place of these single-story storefronts the five-story Palace Hotel.
Anything to add, lads? Ron Edge has two packed links to contributed directly below. Both are of the same east side of First Ave. between Madison and Marion. We encourage our readers to explore them and their own links – some which may be repeated – and so on (and on). We will also slip in some clips from past features having to do with outfitting for the “traveling men” or the neighborhood on Front Street (First Ave.) around Marion Street or near it.
I imagine that many Pacific readers will recognize Lawton Gowey’s not so old “then.” Without comparing Jean Sherrard’s repeat, they may remember the location of this stubby trestle from the times they chose Western Avenue to escape the congestion of other downtown avenues. That was a handy avoidance strategy, which had begun already in the 1890s when Western was planked, supported then on its own offshore trestle.
Here at University Street a timbered ramp that crossed above Western between Front Street (First Avenue) and Railroad Avenue (Alaskan Way) was built soon after the Great Fire of 1889. Plans to rebuild it in steel were never fulfilled, and so all its many repairs kept to wood. Gowey had studied the history of this bridge and many others Seattle subjects. He kept track of the changes in our cityscape. He was not a typical urban photographer; his interests were not so picturesque. These interests, I believe, explain this photo of the somewhat dilapidated trestle on University Street, and the scar where it had been cut short years earlier. Late in the 1930s the city’s engineers recommended removing the ramp’s center pier over Western Ave. That claim stopped all traffic on the ramp; only pedestrians could still reach Western Avenue by the stairway shown.
I met Lawton Gowey early in 1982, the year he took this photo. By then Lawton was recognized as a local authority on the history of public transportation, and I went to him for help. He honed his interest in the 1930s, when he explored Seattle with his father and the family camera. Later, working downtown as accountant for the Seattle Water Department, he had ready access to many of the city’s archives. With his camera he continued to explore. Some of his
subjects, such as the construction of the SeaFirst Building in the late 1960s, he tracked from his office in the City Light Building and other prospects as well. He used his lunch hours to explore and record changes in the Central Business District and on the waterfront. His collection includes the many shots he took over time and in all directions from the Smith Tower observatory. We’ll insert here two looks up a freezing Third Avenue photographed by Lawton from the Seattle City Light (and water) Building on the west side of 3rd between Madison and Spring Streets.
Lawton Gowey died of a heart attack in the spring of 1983 at the mere age of sixty-one. In the little time Lawton and I had to nurture our friendship, we shared many interests, including repeat photography, London history, and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. This last fondness was also fortunate for both Bach and the members of Bethany Presbyterian Church. Beginning in 1954 Lawton, was both organist and choir director for that Queen Anne Hill singing congregation.
Anything to add, Paul? Yessir. Ron has put up four former features. Startlingly, or predictable for those who remember the week past, the first if last week’s feature, which was also on University Street and near the waterfront. The other three edge-links stay near the neighborhood, and predictably, as is our way, some of the images will appear again and again but in different sets or contexts. This week’s fairly recent (from 1982) photograph is another by Lawton Gowey, and I’ll introduce a portrait or two of Lawton and a clip or two too. Contrarily, I may take some of them and insert it in the above – the main or featured text. Next week we return to another touchstone – Pioneer Square.
Of the few photographs taken during the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, and the hundreds more recording the ruins, this one is not typical. Positioned far north of the more sensational ruins around Pioneer Square, the photographer looks south from the Front Street (First Avenue) boardwalk about sixty feet south of University Street. Although no caption accompanies the original print, the photographer would have surely known that “where the fire was stopped” would have been an appropriate description for it.
The most obvious ruin here (in the featured “then” photo but also in a smaller part in the photo directly above) is the north façade of the Northwest Cracker Company’s brick quarters, standing, somewhat, behind the leaning power pole. Johan Haglund (“keep clam” Ivar’s father) worked there. On the day of the fire, Haglund and his co-workers left before the destruction reached the cracker factory, which was located one lot south of the southwest corner of Front and Seneca. Like many others, Haglund wound up on First Hill watching through the night as more than thirty blocks of Seattle were destroyed.
To the north side of the cracker factory and Seneca Street, the fire’s rubble is mixed with generators of the Seattle Electric Light Company, which shared the northwest corner of Front and Seneca Streets with Puget Sound Ice Company. In the featured “then” photo at the top, the scorched tree that rises to the scene’s center is a puzzle. The leaves on its crown were, it seems, merely scorched and not consumed. Perhaps it was this defiant tree that was most appealing to the photographer. Or was it, perhaps, the new foundation for the Gilmore Block (lower-right), on which construction had recently begun. It was that foundation that stopped the fire’s northerly advance along the shoreline. Off shore bucket brigades successfully doused the fire on Railroad Avenue where (here just out of frame to the right) its two railroad trestles crossed open water.
On June 10th, or four days after the fire, The Post-Intelligencer reported that “slabs and sawdust are still burning and sending clouds of smoke over the town.” The following day the paper noted that “photos of the fire are already being sold on the street.”
…Extras, read all about it! Paul?
Jean, count them, Ron Edge has put up six links with past features that for the most part relate to the Great Fire of June 6, 1889, especially the waterfront north of Columbia Street. Those are followed by a few more older features pulled as scanned Times clippings from our archive of the same.