This grand three-floor West Seattle lodge-size home with a rustic porch and veranda looks west from about 350 above Puget Sound and six irregular blocks west of the highest point in Seattle. (If you should wish to visit Seattle’s summit you will find it unmarked in the alley between 35th and 36th Avenues Southwest, south of the Water Dept. standpipes on Southwest Myrtle Street. At about 522 feet high, the alley transcends Queen Anne Hill by more than fifty feet.)
The address here is 7446 Gatewood Road S.W., which runs at a slant through the hill’s otherwise generally compass-conforming grid of streets and avenues. Most of these are crowded with homeowners who respect their neighbors open views of the Olympics by landscaping their lots low. Here, however, on Gatewood Road the Olympics are rarely seen, except in winter from the bedroom windows on the third floor. The home is nestled in the shade of one of the clinging greenbelts that interrupt the open sweep of the hill. Only a bird’s call away, the Orchard Street Ravine climbs the hill. It is one of the verdant West Seattle watersheds protected as a Park. By testimony of those who have lived here, the effect is like living in a park,
Surely a good sampling of the residences on this graceful western slope of West Seattle are homes with big families, but few of them also have eight bed rooms like this one had in 1910 when the English/Canadian couple, Francis John and Pontine Ellen Harper, built it for themselves, their five children, John, Frances, Macdonald, Cecil and Margaret, and more. A different Margaret, Margaret Hayes, the present owner since 1987, was told that there were sixteen living in the big house in the beginning.
Five families in all lived and paid taxes here through what the Southwest Seattle Historical Society calls The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge’s 104-year history. Representatives for all of them will be on hand next Sunday June 22 when the Society joins the present owner as interpreting hosts for another of the Society’s annual and enlightening home tours titled “If These Walls Could Talk.” The point is, of course, that next Sunday they will be talking. The public is invited to this fund-raiser. (For details call the Log House Museum at 938-5293.) We give special thanks to the “house history” done by Bethany Green and Brad Chrisman, whom Clay Eals, the Society’s director calls the “core of the home-tour committee this year.” In Jean’s repeat, Bethany is holding her dog Lily in the third floor window.
Anything to add, Paul? A few this evening and perhaps a few more tomorrow. First, again with the help of Ron Edge, we will grace the below with some links of other West Seattle stories pulled from features of the past. Then we will draw on some recent works of the Log House Museum and its energetic director and our by now nearly old friend, Clay Eals. After all that I’ll put up a few more of the by now many features on West Seattle subjects that we have published in Pacific since we started in the winter of 1982. There may be – again & again – some repeats. This week we will spare our readers the music analogy for these repetitions and variations. And Jean may your Hillside theatre dress rehearsal this Sunday afternoon and next weekend’s performances go well, this in your, well, what anniversary of starting these productions on Cougar Mountain?
The LINKS that follow come from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, greater Seattle’s most vibrant of neighborhood-based heritage groups. HERE FOLLOWS with Links a letter we received from Clay Eals its directory this afternoon.
Dear Jean and Paul
Tomorrow’s “Now and Then” is stellar. Saw the printed bulldog edition. Thanks again. The event is not tomorrow but rather the following Sunday, June 22, and it will be helped immensely by your contribution.
[Oops! We gave the wrong address.] Don’t worry about the address. It’s only two digits off (should be 7446, not 7448), but there is no home even close to 7448. The closest one is 7228. So there will be no real confusion.
Two sensational news photographs appear on the front page of the Friday, March 13, 1914, issue of The Seattle Times. One is of the historic and deadly Missouri Athletic Club fire in St. Louis. The other from Portland, Oregon, shows a “flame-wrapped” steam schooner drifting along the docks on the Willamette River “starting a new blaze at every place she bumped.” Also sensational, standing above it all, the day’s headline reads FREMONT BRIDGE DESTROYED: Flood Threatened By Breaking Of Lake Union Dam.
[CLICK to ENLARGE]
Soon after the Fremont dam, constructed to control the level of Lake Union, broke in the early afternoon, the bridge did too. It was a little late for The Times to get a picture in that day’s evening addition. However, over the weekend, The Times featured several pictures of the flood, including one that was very similar to the historical photo used here. Both photographers stood precariously close to the open center section of the Fremont Bridge that was swept away towards Ballard about two hours after the dam’s collapse. The Times 1914 photo was taken later than this one, for in the newspaper’s illustration the water level is lower and the dam’s surviving wing gate pilings, also seen here, stand out more. Employed by the city’s public works department, “our” photographer took several shots of the washout and its unsettling effects.
During its nearly day-long outpouring, Lake Union dropped about nine feet. Beside the bridge, at the lake’s north end the worst damage was to the railroad trestle along the north shore. At the south end of the lake the greatest casualty was the big new dock built by the then thirty-year-old Brace and Hergert lumber mill. Stacked with lumber, the exposed pilings supporting the dock gave way early Saturday morning. Nearby, on the lake’s east shore, those among the “houseboat colonists” who had dared to keep to their floating homes were awakened by the crash. By noon the houseboats tied to the shore were resting on the lake’s bottom at an angle that was good only for reading in bed. Also by noon on Saturday it was clear that Ballard would not be washed away.
Fortunately for the several trolley lines that served Fremont, Wallingford, and Green Lake, as well as the interurban to Everett, the long temporary trestle crossing from Westlake to Stone Way, seen here in part on the right, did not collapse. Traffic that normally crossed at Fremont was redirected there by Carl Signor, an alert neighbor with a hay, grain and flour store located near the south end of the Fremont Bridge. The bridge collapsed soon after Signor’s timely signal.
Much to add this week, Paul? Indeed, Jean and starting with an Edge-link to an opening day subject for the Fremont Bascule Bridge, followed by another beginning with the odd story of a crashed trolley in Fremont. And following these pulls by Ron Edge, we will string out a variety of photos of the Fremont Bridge thru time and from different prospects, beginning with a few from Queen Anne Hill. This chain will also feature a few construction shots of the bascule bridge, which is, of course, the one we still cross. We hope to be able to date them all – or nearly.
I have pulled this from SEATTLE NOW & THEN VOL. 1, which was first published in 1984 and then reprinted about three times. I lived off it. Hopefully the text is accurate. On rereading old features I have found a few bloopers, I confess. Usually mistakes of directions. Still, question authority. This appeared first in the Feb. 12, 1984 issue of Pacific Magazine.
[CLICK to Enlarge and make it readable - we hope.]
The FREMONT BRIDGE from QUEEN ANNE HILL
“THE BUSIEST BASCULE IN THE U.S.A.”
FREMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
If you find Fremont history alluring, as do I, you may want to join the Fremont Historical Society. I took this portrait of its first members at its first meeting in the summer of 2004. They are, left to right: Julie Pheasant-Albright, Audrey LIvermore, Roger Wheeler, Paul Fellows, Helen Divjak, Heather McAuliffe, and Carol Tobin. The second picture below it was taken within a year (or so) at another FHS meeting, that in the Fremont Library. At the bottom, the front page for the FHS web is added to help with your perhaps first search into Fremont history: finding and contacting the society.
UNDER THE BRIDGE, JUNE 15, 1917 QUIZ. Which end?
* CORRECTION: The caption to the topmost photo – the primary one for the feature – incorrectly described it as looking northwest. Actually, it looks northeast or to make a finer point of it, east-northeast. Although I knew the correct direction I wrote it wrong and the regrettable truth is that I am too often using left for right and north for south and so on and on. It might be that in this week’s blog, through its many pictures with directions, I have done this stupidly more than once. My editor at the Times has complained to me more than once about this. However, one direction I always get correct is up and down, and for that exception I am proud. When readers correct my either dyslexic or careless/spaced-out mistakes they sometimes do it with such cosmological concern that it would seem for them that the world would sit askew until my directional malaise is twisted back to health. And now once more, and something like Atlas, I have leveraged the world back it its original pose with the north pole pointing to heaven and Wallingford, where I live, northeast of Fremont and much else.
Completed in 1912, five years after the opening of the Pike Place Market, the Corner Market Building is set like a keystone at the head of its landmark block bordered by First Avenue, Pike Street and Pike Place. The architect, Seattle’s Harlan Thomas, wrapped elegance around the corner with contrasting brickwork, generous arching windows along the top floor, and at the sidewalk, open stalls for selling mostly fresh foodstuffs.
The photographer Frank Shaw dated this, his 2×2 inch slide, April 12, 1975. Joan Paulson disagrees, and in this I join her. April 12th was the Saturday when the nearly week-long “Rain or Shine Public Market Paint-in and Historic Restoration” was fulfilled and celebrated. That morning, before the awards, artists could apply their last brush strokes to their assigned 4×8 foot primed panels, which for the next seven months would serve as both an exhibit and as a construction fence to separate and protect laborers and shoppers from each other.
It was Paulson who put the primed panels and about fifty painters together and, when needed, purchased the art supplies as well. Paulson recalls, “They could start painting on Monday. It rained on Tuesday. Most likely this is Wednesday or Thursday. There’s too much left to do with the panels and too few people for it to be the celebration on Saturday the twelfth.”
As a chronicler of Pike Place Market History, Joan Paulson notes the unique “bottom-up” energies that made protecting the market a people’s project. connecting historic preservation with urban renewal and its federal funding. Appropriately, a force named Friends of the Market fueled the victorious 1971 citizens’ initiative to “Save the Market.” In most of this, U.W. professor of architecture Victor Steinbrueck was never out of the picture, and here (at the top) in Frank Shaw’s slide, Joan Paulson has found him as well. Far right, in the shade of his straw hat, we may detect over his right shoulder, that the “savior of the market” is working on his own contributions to the “Paint-In.” In Jean’s “now” photo, although thirty-nine years later, Joan Paulson stands at the corner holding up a rolled paperin her right hand.
On Saturday April 12, at the high noon lunchtime awards ceremony, Steinbrueck was one of the winners. The judges explained that to this special “paint-in artist we give the whole Market to do with as he pleases for the rest of the day, and Roger Downey (one of the judges) will wash his brushes.” With work completed on the Corner Market Building’s exterior in late November, all the “unique-to-the-market masterpieces” came down, including the surviving half of Steinbrueck’s mural, the part not punctured by a beam during construction.
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, a protracted attention to the Pike Place Public Market in 1975 with a selection of photographs scanned from volume 2 of the 5 volumes of Frank Shaw negatives huddled in 18 inches on a shelf to the side of me in this north end crypt. We will attempt to get our choices up before climbing the steps to join the bears, but we may not. If not we will finish it off after seven or eight hours sleep and a late breakfast. The captions here will be minimal. We will elaborate with them alter, and hope some of you may help. (See above. You can comment.) Joan Paulson is also going study them and she, obviously, is the expert for such content as is in what follows. Thanks again to Mike Veitenhauns, Frank Shaw’s nephew, whom I first met forty-plus years ago at Fairhaven College, he a student and I an artist-in-residence. The Shaw snaps that follow will be arranged in no particular order – unless you notice one.
RETURNING SUNDAY NIGHT JUNE 1, 2014, AROUND MIDNIGHT
And Here Follows, THREE APT LINKS Found and Posted by Ron Edge
I have also added a panorama with the Hotel York, which was replaced by the Corner Market building.
Here is the area shown on the Sanborn map of 1905.
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.
To celebrate the 10th « European Night of Museums » free and opened until midnight on May 17, many museums have invited artists to set their dreamed world , such as Palais de Tokyo invested by the artist Thomas Hirschhorn with ” Eternal Flame ; Grand Palais with russian artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov to create a “strange city” for Monumenta . The Cartier Foundation also celebrates thirty years of contemporary art and presented its major artists in the beautiful building of the architect Jean Nouvel.
A l’occasion de la 10eme nuit européenne des musées, ouverts et gratuits jusqu’à minuit le 17 mai, beaucoup de musées ont invité des artistes à installer les décors de leur monde rêvé, tels le Palais Tokyo investi par l’artiste Thomas Hirschhorn avec «Flamme éternelle” et le Grand Palais où les artistes russes Ilya et Emilia Kabakov ont construit une «étrange cité» pour Monumenta. La Fondation Cartier célèbre aussi ses trente ans d’art contemporain et a convié ses artistes majeurs dans le bel immeuble construit par Jean Nouvel.
Famous for its raw decor and for its exhibitions of contemporary art, the Palais de Tokyo becomes the artist Thomas Hirschhorn’s studio . The space is separated by walls of tires, barricades made of objects of consumption, plastered with character posters . Nothing aesthetic in this free space, we experience energy, during the wandering. It is nice to drink a beer and to swing on a tire ; that ‘s all ” the Eternal flame “ Célèbre pour son décor brut et pour ses expositions d’art contemporain, le Palais de Tokyo devient l’atelier de l’artiste Thomas Hirschhorn. L’espace est séparé par des murs de pneus, des barricades faites d’ objets de consommations, placardés de dazibao. L’espace est libre et gratuit, rien d’esthétique, l’expérience est celle de l’énergie, et puis l’on se retrouve à prendre une bière et à faire de la balançoire sur un pneu. C’est «la flamme étenelle»
Monumenta is the 6th edition of Grand Palais which offers its nave to a contemporary artist. This year the couple Ilya and Emilia Kabakov have built their dreamed worlds . Pour l’évènement Monumenta, le Grand Palais offre sa nef à un artiste contemporain. Pour sa 6eme édition , le couple Ilya et Emilia Kabakov, a conçu une coupole et d’autres constructions “d’une autre réalité”.
In the great hall of Cartier Foundation , Marc Newson presents his concept-jet , and Chéri Samba , his large blue painting : ” I like the color ” …
Dans la grande salle de la Fondation Cartier, Marc Newson expose son Concept-Jet alors que Chéri Samba présente son grand tableau bleu intitulé « j’aime la couleur »…
Bodys Isek Kingelez : Project for the third millenium of Kinshasa Bodys Isek Kingelez : Projet pour le 3eme millénaire de Kinshasa
Ron Mueck «In Bed», the man beside the thinking lady is an admirer and doesn’t belong to the oeuvre Ron Muecck “In bed”, l’homme à côté de la femme pensive est un admirateur et ne fait pas partie de l’œuvre
The dome of Pantheon is restored, covered with scaffolds, and a tarpaulin. Soon, the artist JR will recover the dome with portraits of great ordinary women and men. The dôme du Panthéon en restauration a été échafaudé et recouvert d’une bâche. Bientôt l’artiste JR va recouvrir complètement le Panthéon de portraits de tous les grandes femmes et hommes de la rue.
What are now the Villa Apartments were first lifted above the busy intersection of Boren Avenue and Pike Street in 1909 for its then principal tenant, the Hotel Reynolds. That year, a Seattle Times classified promised, “Everything new and up-to-date in every respect. Rooms single or en suite, with private baths, electric lights and gas, rates reasonable.”
In addition to the hotel lobby and its namesake café, the storefronts facing Pike included, far left, a Singer Sewing Machine outlet on the corner with Boren, and on the far right at the alley, a purveyor of Paulhamus Pure Milk promised a “system of rigid cleanliness” beginning with the timely chilling of milk to fifty degrees at the dairy. Next door was the Auction House, and next to Singer was the North Western Quick Shoe Repair Shop, which proposed to fix yours while you wait. The classical entrance at the center of the Pike Street façade supported a tile frieze inscribed with the building name. Fortunately, ‘Lyre Building’ was written there and not ‘Hotel Reynolds,’ for the hotel soon moved out and on.
By 1910 Pike Street was developing into “Auto Row.” That summer the Avondale Hotel moved in and stayed until well into the Great Depression of the 1930s, when rooms rented from $2.50 to $3.00 a week. As late as 1958 rooms could be had for $7.00 a week, and for a dollar more, the by-then-renamed Villa Hotel offered room service. In 1962, taking advantage of Seattle’s Worlds Fair real estate opportunities, the Villa’s rates may well have been inflated for the six-month run of Century 21. After the fair, the hotel became an apartment house, and it is as the Villa Apartments that it survives.
I thought it possible that the architect for this sturdy survivor was Walter Willcox. In 1910 the Hotel Reynolds took possession of the new Willcox-designed Crouley Building on Fourth Avenue, one block north of Yesler Way. Above the sidewalk, the hotel recycled the illuminated sign seen here on Pike. I also noticed that above the windows of both the Lyre and Crouley buildings are similar cream-colored tile keystones that stand out like bakers’ caps. I was wrong. Diana James, the author of Shared Walls, a history of Seattle apartments, nominated William P. White, a prolific designer of built apartments here between about 1902 and 1917. James then discovered that her “hunch” was supported by Michael House, State Architectural Historian, whose on-line essay on White’s career includes the Villa Apartments among his many accomplishments. Thanks again to Diana James.
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean and again with Ron Edge’s help. Ron has found six neighborhood links and placed six photographs at the bottom to introduce them. As is our custom, they are often rich with allusions of many sorts, and as is also our way some of these may be have been used in other contexts. We continue to embrace my mother’s lesson learned from her in the late 1940s when she served a term as President of the Spokane Women’s Club, which was a few blocks from our home (actually, the church’s home: a parsonage) on 9th Avenue, one of the many verdant avenues on Spokane’s shaded but rarely shady South Hill. Mom – Cherry was her nickname - advised in all caps, “Repetition is the Mother of All Learning.” To some readers all six of these links will be familiar for they were all “top features” here within the last three years. The Plymouth Pillars printed next are, we hope and expect, treated in one of the six. They stand at the northwest corner of Boren and Pike, and so directly across Boren from our hotel. Following the pillars is a shot I snapped with with the popular and fast emulsion Tri-X 35mm film in the early 1970s. It looks south up Boren across Pike.
In The Seattle Times classifieds for February 7, 1958, the state highway department advertised: “…men wanted…to do design work in connection with the Seattle Freeway… First project is the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge.” Later that summer, local contractors Scheumann and Johnson’s low bid was awarded the contract to build the seven piers required to support the steel truss portion of the bridge, and the first concrete was poured on the 24th of September.
At least parts of six of the seven piers can be found in this construction photo by Victor Lygdman, admiringly described in his Times obituary dated March 23, 2010, as the “unofficial Mayor of Wallingford.” Born in 1927, Lygdman became an artist in several media, including watercolors, cartoons, fiction and sculpture. (When my left knee complains, I carry a Lygdman cane, skillfully carved as a snake spiraling the shaft to the handle.)
Jean and I figure that Lygdman recorded the historical view from where the bridge meets the hill near 42nd Street and Pasadena Avenue. [Reminder! We are off by one block. See below, under "anything to add."] Pasadena was a busy commercial street in the Latona neighborhood until 1919, when the Latona Bridge was replaced by the University Bridge. The freeway bridge, with its 2,294 feet of steel trusses crossing the canal, conforms to what was the north-south line of the Latona Bridge, about 125 feet above it.
The I-5 bridge opened to traffic in December 1962, with only 2.2 miles of approaches. On December 18th, Times reporter Marshall Wilson reported on his test drive. “For the time being commuters in both directions may find that it’s quicker traveling their old and accustomed routes.” Wilson added, “The view is better on the freeway route. From high atop the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge, the old Aurora Bridge looks almost like a miniature. Even the Space Needle appears to be at eye level.”
After the bridge was painted “Washington Green” with brushes, it sat idle for more than a year waiting for the freeway to catch up. Plans to use it for Century 21 Worlds Fair parking were first approved and then dropped. As historian Genevieve McCoy remarks in her book “Building Washington,” published in 2000, “Today, frustrated motorists crawling across the span could surely advise future fair planners that you don’t need a world’s fair to turn a bridge into a parking lot.”
Anything to add, Paul? Surely Jean, but first we must gathered it up.
Directly below are three picture links to other blog features that relate to our primary subject. The second of these, about the Latona Bridge in its last days, we printed in Pacific only two weeks past. It is still relevant. The third link starts with a feature of the split in the path of Lake Washington Bike Trail and its repeat looks north on the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge from the Roanoke Street overpass. The first link we were surprised to discover with our own “key word” search. It’s the same Victor Lygdman snapshot of the bridge supports printed on top, and it appeared first with two other relevant photos by Lygdman as an installment of a series we were running in 2011 called “Seattle Confidential.” The title is apt, for now – if you open the top link – you will find our caption from then, and may compare it to the one near the top here. But this requires another confession – now. The “then” feature this week – on top – is not given good service with its “now.” I may in the call of “team work” claim that WE – Jean and I – made a mistake. But it was really I who was “most” responsible. The “now” should have been taken one block further south where the bridge makes a big change to its center cantilever section. And it should have been taken from the top of the bridge (dangerous), and not from the lower express lane, or beside it with a sleeping bag. ( When we first reflected on this feature, Jean remarked that the Lygdman photo seemed closer and higher to the canal than the prospects I was promoting. And so once more, mea culpa.) You will find some of the evidence for this change in one of the two other Lygdman bridge photos included in the link directly below. It is a snapshot looking due east from the top of the bridge at that same time – 1959/60. Here it is again.
Another revealing photograph – a panorama over Wallingford to the Cascades – by our old friend, Lawton Gowey, looks west from near the south end of the Aurora Bridge. It is dated Jan. 1, 1960 and shows the “stub” of the Ship Canal Bridge when the top lane is a work-in-progress and aside from the concrete piers the cantilever work for the center span has not begun. It is from there – high and open on that south end – that Victor took the photograph that we feature at the very top and directly below. But first here is Lawton’s distant look at one high bridge from another, or near another: the Aurora Bridge. [CLICK to ENLARGE]
MORE TO COME
We have other extras from the neighborhood to insert tomorrow Sunday Morning after a late breakfast.
Above: May Day festivities, like these at Latona School, were once a regular feature on the calender of many Seattle schools. Below: Latona graduates Dorothy Lunde and her youngest sister, Marcella Fetterly, far right, stand beside a moving football formation of Latona students in 1993, with a glimpse of the ship canal bridge to the east.