Seattle Now & Then: The Seattle Fire, Three Weeks Later

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Looking north-northeast from the corner of Main Street and Occidental Avenue two or three weeks after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889.  (Courtesy the Museum of History and Industry – MOHAI)
THEN: Looking north-northeast from the corner of Main Street and Occidental Avenue two or three weeks after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy the Museum of History and Industry – MOHAI)
NOW: The two-story brick structure that was built on the corner a few years following the Great Fire housed the Carrolton Hotel upstairs and a variety of small businesses at the street level.  The building was razed first for parking in the 1960s.  In 1971 the parking lot was transformed with cobble stones as a part of Occidental Park.
NOW: The two-story brick structure that was built on the corner a few years following the Great Fire housed the Carrolton Hotel upstairs and a variety of small businesses at the street level. The building was razed first for parking in the 1960s. In 1971 the parking lot was transformed with cobble stones as a part of Occidental Park.

I am writing this on June 6, 2015, the 126th anniversary of Seattle’s Great Fire.  Most likely you are reading it about one month later.  That places you closer to the 126th anniversary of this subject, which in 1889 was still Seattle’s primary business district, reduced to charred rubble.   The scene was photographed, I surmise, late in the month of June or perhaps even in early July.

Some of the same tents and brick piles show in this view that looks northeast across Main Street to Second Ave. (Occidental Ave.).  The County Courthouse at Third and Yesler appears on the right and the Yesler Mansion on the east side of Third, high-center.  Part of Central School at Madison and 6th Ave. , fills the upper-left corner.  (Courtesy, MOHAI)
Some of the same tents and brick piles show in this view that looks northeast across Main Street to Second Ave. (Occidental Ave.). The County Courthouse at Third and Yesler appears on the right and the Yesler Mansion on the east side of Third, high-center. Part of Central School at Madison and 6th Ave. , fills the upper-left corner. (Courtesy, MOHAI)
The corner of Second (Occidental) and Main appears, in part, upper-left in this look to the southwest from the front porch of the King County Courthouse, later to known as the Katzenjammer Kastle during its long run as  Seattle's city hall. (Courtesy, MOHAI)
The corner of Second (Occidental) and Main appears with tents, far-left, in this look to the southwest from the front porch of the King County Courthouse, later to known as the Katzenjammer Kastle during its long run as Seattle’s city hall. (Courtesy, MOHAI)
The Post-Fire ruins and tents, this time from the Katzenjammer tower.  Mill Street (Yesler Way) crosses to the right from the lower-left corner.  Jefferson Street meets it from the lower-right corner. West Seattle is on the horizon. "Our corner" of Main and Second (Occidental) is upper left, below the tall ships.
The Post-Fire ruins and tents, this time from the Katzenjammer tower. Mill Street (Yesler Way) crosses to the right from the lower-left corner. Jefferson Street meets it from the lower-right corner. West Seattle is on the horizon. “Our corner” of Main and Second (Occidental) is upper left, below the tall ships.  The temporary tent that crowds bottom-left in the photo above this one, appears here also at the bottom, right-of-center.  A contemporary repeat for this would be taken high in the trees along the west border of City  Hall Park.

With the help of the many surviving photographs of the ruins, it is easy to determine from what prospect this scene was recorded.  The unnamed photographer stood on Main Street looking north by northeast over Main Street’s northwest corner with Second Avenue (later renamed Occidental.) It is a typical post-fire cityscape that reveals a layering of ruins, temporary tents, and some of the surviving city blocks that were not among the 35 or so destroyed by the conflagration in its seven hours of wind-driven destruction.

First Methodist at the southeast corner of Marion and Third.
First Methodist at the southeast corner of Marion and Third. [CLICK to ENLARGE]

Of the ten or so landmarks with towers that break the First Hill horizon we’ll note but three.  First, far left, stands the Gothic spire of First Methodist Church at the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Marion Street.  Next, at the scene’s center and farther up the hill, are the two towers of Central School on the south side of Madison Street, where now passes the Seattle Freeway (I-5) ditch.  Much closer to the photographer, to the left of the scorched power pole, the Yesler mansion faces Third Avenue, on the north side of Jefferson Street.  It was saved with a combination of soaked blankets spread on the roof and volunteers who extinguished the flying embers. Nearby, just right of the same power pole, another battle on the shingles saved the King County Courthouse. After the murder trail then underway was adjourned by Judge Hanford, buckets of water were lifted with a rope borrowed from the flagpole to drench the roof. 

Appeared first in Pacific, March 21, 2002.
Appeared first in Pacific, March 21, 2002. [CLICK to ENLARGE]

By the 10th of June, four days following the fire, over one hundred permits had been issued to erect temporary tents.  Like those shown here, most of the tents were stretched on sturdy frames and anchored to heavy planks.  Months later some of these canvas quarters were still standing and being used as store fronts. 

Looking south to a tideflats lined with rows of pilings placed speculatively as property lines in the hopes that the first state legislature would look upon them such squatters and jumpers markings as keys to owning the land below the tides.   Second Avenue - now Occidental - is right-of-center.  Much of the neighborhood is well along with the construction of brick business blocks, but a neighborhood cluster of temporary tents endures too.  [Courtesy MOHAI]
Looking south to a tideflats lined with rows of pilings placed speculatively as property lines in the hopes that the first state legislature would look upon such squatters and jumpers markings as keys to owning the land below the tides. Second Avenue – now Occidental – is right-of-center. Much of the neighborhood is well along with the construction of brick business blocks, but a cluster of temporary tents endures too. [Courtesy MOHAI]

Most of the pre-fire neighborhood south of Yesler Way was built of wood.  Brick structures were rare.  So the orderly piles of bricks here [in the featured photo at the top] encroaching on the street, right-of-center, is – or was – an inviting mystery.  Except that almost certainly these bricks were salvaged from the wreckage of the large but short-lived Squire Building, here at the northwest corner of

A circa 1888 panorama of the neighborhood  south of Mill (Yesler Way) taken from near 6th and Washington before the 1889 fire.  Some day we will determine if the brand new and short-lived
A circa 1888 panorama of the neighborhood south of Mill (Yesler Way) taken from near 6th and Washington before the 1889 fire. Some day we will determine if the brand new and short-lived Squire Building is among the larger business blocks showing right of center.
A detail from the 1888 Sanborn Real Estate Map showing the northwest corner of Main and 2nd (Occidental), bottom-right, prepared for the construction of the three-story tall Squire Block, the source also of our brick piles after the Great Fire.
A detail from the 1888 Sanborn Real Estate Map showing the northwest corner of Main and 2nd (Occidental), bottom-right, prepared for the construction of the three-story tall Squire Block, the source also of our piles of salvaged bricks at the corner of Main and Second (Occidental) after the Great Fire.
A Pioneer Square neighborhood detail from a 1925 real estate map.  We have centered the detail on the Ca
A Pioneer Square neighborhood detail from a 1925 real estate map. We have centered the detail on the Carrolton Hotel at the northwest corner of Occidental and Main.

Main Street and Second Ave. (Occidental).  In the 1888 Sanborn real estate map this corner lot is captioned “Excavation for Brick Block to be three stories.”  For his research on Pioneer Square neighborhood structures, Greg Lange found in the 1889 Polk Directory more than thirty tenants renting quarters in Watson Squire’s namesake block. Once the fire, heading south, reached Yesler Way around six pm, Watson’s renters must have already started gathering what they could before scrambling up First Hill.

A hand-color look north on Second Ave. (Occidental) in the mid-1870s from near Washington Street.  The Occidental Hotel, between Mill (Yesler Way) and James Street, interrupted the grid.
A hand-color look north on Second Ave. (Occidental) in the mid-1870s from near Washington Street. The Occidental Hotel, between Mill (Yesler Way) and James Street, interrupted the grid.  Jeweler-photographer Bob Bradley did the coloring directly on the 35mm slide, most likely in the 1950s.

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MORE POST-FIRE RUINS, TENTS & RECONSTRUCTION

The serviceable ruins of the Dexter Horton Bank (Seattle First National) show at the bottom-center at the northwest corner of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) and Washington Street.  Some of the skyline here can be found in the top featured view too.
The serviceable ruins of the Dexter Horton Bank (Seattle First National) show  bottom-center at the northwest corner of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) and Washington Street. Some of the skyline in this West Shore magazine rendering can be found in the top featured view on top.
The Dexter Horton bank before the '89 fire, at the northwest corner of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) and Washington Street.
The Dexter Horton bank before the ’89 fire, at the northwest corner of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) and Washington Street.
And after.
And after.  For more on this bank, see the last of Ron’s links at the bottom.

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Looking north on Post Alley (or Street or Avenue) from Mill Street (Yesler Way) following the Great Fire.
Looking north on Post Alley (or Street or Avenue) from Mill Street (Yesler Way) following the Great Fire.    [First appeared in Pacific on April 22, 2007.]
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Occidental Hotel ruins looking south from Front Street, (First Ave.) north of James Street.
Occidental Hotel ruins looking south from Front Street, (First Ave.) north of James Street.
First appeared in Pacific, June 6, 2004.
First appeared in Pacific, June 6, 2004.

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Yesler Wharf ruins looking east from the end of the dock.  Compare the line-up of ruined buildings
Yesler Wharf ruins looking east from the end of the dock. Compare the line-up of ruined buildings with those showing in two clippings up.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, fellas?   Yes Jean, but first Ron and I – and now the readers too – wish you and yours a happy farewell as you fly away to Europe with twenty-five (about) Hillside students and your protective cadre of instructors to visit first London and then Paris, and surely some of the same sites that you and I explored together in 2005.  I will send you – as you have instructed – some shots I took when first visiting the same cities as a teenager in 1955, for your intentions to repeat them now sixty years later – gadz.  Perhaps we can sneak them into Pacific – one or two of them.  It will depend, I think, on how sentimental the editors are feeling at the time of submission, and the pun is intended.   Bon  Voyage Jean and carry our love to Berangere, who, I know, will be helping you in Paris.  Often I’d just like to move there and follow BB around those ancient blocks with a bag of bon bons and one light weight digital camera.

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THEN: The ruins left by Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, included a large neighborhood of warehouses and factories built on timber quays over the tides.  Following the fire the quays were soon restored with new capping and planking.  A close look on the far-right will reveal some of this construction on the quays underway.  (Courtesy, Seattle Public Library)

THEN: Sitting on a small triangle at the odd northwest corner of Third Avenue and the Second Ave. S. Extension, the Fiesta Coffee Shop was photographed and captioned, along with all taxable structures in King County, by Works Progress Administration photographers during the lingering Great Depression of the late 1930s.  (Courtesy, Washington State Archive’s Puget Sound Branch)

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)

Seattle Now & Then: Golden Potlatch on the Waterfront

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THEN: From boxcars and rooftops to the planks of Railroad Avenue, excitement builds for the ceremonial re-enactment of the S.S.Portland’s 1897 landing with its “ton of gold” on the Seattle waterfront, the city’s first Golden Potlatch Celebration.  [Courtesy, Michael Maslan]
THEN: From boxcars and rooftops to the planks of Railroad Avenue, excitement builds for the ceremonial re-enactment of the S.S.Portland’s 1897 landing with its “ton of gold” on the Seattle waterfront, the city’s first Golden Potlatch Celebration. [Courtesy, Michael Maslan]
NOW: From boxcars and rooftops to the planks of Railroad Avenue, excitement builds for the ceremonial re-enactment of the S.S.Portland’s 1897 landing with its “ton of gold” on the Seattle waterfront, the city’s first Golden Potlatch Celebration.  [Courtesy, Michael Maslan]
NOW: The Maritime Building (1910) on the left survives a century later, but the Alaskan Way Viaduct (1953) “has seen better days” and prepares now for its razing. 

This subject is, almost certainly, the formal opening of the Golden Potlatch on the afternoon of Wednesday July 19, 1911. To find the ceremony itself we would need to go out-of-frame, far-right, following the attentions of those packed atop the long line of boxcars on the left.  This rolling stock was often used as convenient bleachers through the many years that the waterfront, where “rail meets sail,” was stage (or platform) for local celebrations. With his or

Above and below: The Marion Street viaduct over Railroad Avenue (Alaskan Way) then and now - nearly now.
Above and below: The Marion Street viaduct over Railroad Avenue (Alaskan Way) then and now – nearly now.

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Posing on the Marion Street viaduct, Mach 3, 1911.  The scene looks east.
Posing on the Marion Street viaduct, Mach 3, 1911. The scene looks east.

her back to Madison Street, the photographer looks south on Railroad Ave (Alaskan Way) to the also packed Marion Street overpass.  It was built by the railroads to permit safe passage for the hordes of locals and visitors here in 1909 for the city’s Alaska Yukon and Pacific Exhibition (AYP).  The Golden Potlatch was, in part, an attempt by local boomers to recapture some of the civic splendor and hoopla that had accompanied the summer-long AYP.  And the Potlatch had its own reverberations.  As the first citywide, multi-day, summer festival, the several Potlatches were precursors for the now retirement-age annual Sea Fair celebration.

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Part of the armada of steamers for the 1911 Potlatch - looking back from the Bay to Railroad Avenue.
Part of the armada of steamers for the 1911 Potlatch – looking back from the Bay to Railroad Avenue.

Another prospect for watching the opening day ceremonies, from both the windows and the roof of the Maritime Building, on the left, fills the block between Madison and Marion Streets and Railroad and Western Avenues and rises five stories above the boxcars.  It was filled with the offices and warehouse spaces for distributing the daily needs for foodstuffs and such brought here from distant lands (like California and Mexico).  Built of reinforced concrete with lots of windows for light, the big building’s architect, contractor and builder was Stone and Webster, one of the nation’s great commercial octopi, with its tentacles already active in Seattle’s trolleys, interurbans, and power plants.

The Maritime Building on the right photographed from the Marion Street viaduct to Colman Dock.
The Maritime Building on the right photographed from the Marion Street viaduct to Colman Dock.
An artist's rendering of the Maritime Building appearing in the Seattle Times for June 29, 1910.
An artist’s rendering of the Maritime Building appearing in the Seattle Times for June 29, 1910.
Railroad Avenue from the Marion  Street viaduct during the 1916 "Big Snow."  The Madison Street north end of the building appears on the far right.
Railroad Avenue from the Marion Street viaduct during the 1916 “Big Snow.” The Madison Street north end of the Maritimes Building appears on the far right.

A gust from a mid-summer breeze flaps the American flag, top-center on the featured photo, posted above the southwest corner of the Maritime Building.  Every corner had one.  More evidence of the wind is the woman in the dazzling white blouse heading toward the photographer and holding tight with both hands her oversized hat.  However, none of the men here seem worried for their own crowns. 

Looking northwest and down on the intersection of Western Ave. and Madison Street from the nearly new Rainier Grand hotel on First  Avenue.  Note the Madison Street Cable Car approaching the intersection.  Beyond the tall ships, a trestle for moving the mud of Denny Hill reaches into the bay.   The new Maritime Buildings northeast corner appears far left.
Looking northwest and down on the intersection of Western Ave. and Madison Street from the nearly new Rainier Grand hotel on First Avenue. Note the Madison Street Cable Car approaching the intersection. Beyond the tall ships, a trestle for moving the mud of Denny Hill reaches into the bay. The new Maritime Buildings northeast corner appears far left.
A Municipal Public Works department image looking north on Western from the Marion Street viaduct.
A Municipal Public Works department image looking north on Western from the Marion Street viaduct.  The Maritime Building is on the left.
Lawton Gowey's June 20, 1965 "repeat" of the Municipal photo above it.
Lawton Gowey’s June 20, 1965 “repeat” of the Municipal photo above it.

What are they watching?  The ceremonial mish-mash of Kings and Queens, and performers acting as Alaskans landing aboard the “ton of gold” ship, the S.S. Portland, followed by a double line of navy ships, tooting Puget Sound “mosquito-fleet” steamers, and northwest yachts. Meanwhile overhead Curtiss aviators Ely and Winter flew back and forth.  At two o’clock, the Gold Rush flotilla was scheduled to reach the Grand Trunk Pacific Dock, the largest wooden pier on the coast and in 1911 brand new.  With fireworks, fireboat displays, and band concerts from the pier, the rubbernecked folks on the boxcar roofs were entertained until midnight. 

A Pacific clipping from July 1, 1990 showing some of the Potlatch's Railroad Avenue action, but in 1912, not 1911.
A Pacific clipping from July 1, 1990 showing some of the Potlatch’s Railroad Avenue action, but in 1912, not 1911. [CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE]

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  MOSTLY waterfront features Jean.  More to come tomorrow, perhaps.  Proofreading too.

THEN:In late 1855 the citizens of Seattle with help from the crew of the Navy sloop-of-war Decatur built a blockhouse on the knoll that was then still at the waterfront foot of Cherry Street. The sloop’s physician John Y. Taylor drew this earliest rendering of the log construction.  (Courtesy, Yale University, Beinecke Library)

THEN: The driver, lower left, leads his team towards First Avenue up a planked incline on Madison Street.  (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: The S. S. Suveric makes a rare visit to Seattle in 1911.  (Historical photo courtesy of Jim Westall)

THEN: The ruins left by Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, included a large neighborhood of warehouses and factories built on timber quays over the tides.  Following the fire the quays were soon restored with new capping and planking.  A close look on the far-right will reveal some of this construction on the quays underway.  (Courtesy, Seattle Public Library)

THEN: Frank Shaw’s late winter composition of waterfront landmarks at the foot of Madison Street in 1963.  (Photo by Frank Shaw)

Seattle Now & Then: The Silvian Apartments

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THEN: An early portrait, circa 1911, of The Silvian Apartments, one of Capitol Hill’s abiding architectural jewels.  (Courtesy, Bill Burden)
THEN: An early portrait, circa 1911, of The Silvian Apartments, one of Capitol Hill’s abiding architectural jewels. (Courtesy, Bill Burden)
NOW: Now the beautiful brick apartment house, at the northwest corner of Harrison Street and 10th Avenue East, is home for low-income tenants with thirty-two affordable units.
NOW: Now the beautiful brick apartment house, at the northwest corner of Harrison Street and 10th Avenue East, is home for low-income tenants with thirty-two affordable units.
Evidence for my good intention to do a repeat for the Silvian as early as the 1980s.
Evidence for my good intention to do a now-and-then  for the Silvian as early as the 1980s.

Built in 1910, the Silvian has survived with its charms intact – most of them.  Sometime between ‘now and then,’ the graceful four-story apartment house lost its four projecting bays facing Harrison Street and the playful symmetry of its queenly cornice. The ‘then’ was most likely photographed in its first year when the apartment’s agent, John Davis & Co., listed it in this newspaper as “this new and strictly modern apartment building; every known convenience, rooms well arranged; select neighborhood; good car service; convenient to markets and stores.”  The “car” meant here is the trolley on Broadway, a half-block from the front door.  And the Silvian was also promoted as “within walking distance.” 

A TIMES classified for the nearly new Silvian from May 12, 1912.
A TIMES classified for the nearly new Silvian from May 12, 1912.
A detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map including here the red footprint for the brick Silvian Apartments.
A detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map including here the red footprint for the brick Silvian Apartments (near the center).  Note the Pilgrim Congregational Church on E. Republican, which can also be seen, in part, on the right of the featured “then” photo at the top.

The Times soon included a sizeable photograph of the Silvian as the newspaper’s forty-first example out of fifty selections of “Seattle’s Progress.” The text for this April 2, 1911, applause included a direct summary of the Silvian’s vital statistics.  “Recently completed on 10th Avenue and Harrison Street at a cost of $40,000, it occupies a ground space 56 x 96 feet in size, the lot being 60 by 100 feet . . . with a basement and twenty-eight apartments of two, three, four and five rooms.” 

A Times real estate promotion from April 2, 1911 featuring the Silvian as it 41st example
A Times real estate promotion from April 2, 1911 featuring the Silvian as it 41st example of 50 views revealing ” Seattle’s Progress.”    CLICK TO ENLARGE

Jacqueline Williams, author of “The Hill With A Future,” our best history of Capitol Hill, describes the Silvian as a “Very desirable place for people to live, with amenities that some smaller homes might lack.” As a testimony to its desirable qualities, G.W. Wallace, the building’s owner, lived there when it opened.  The Silvian also had a janitor (who perhaps also ran the building’s all night elevator service), public phones (probably in the lobby), rear entrances (historian Williams points out that such were useful for ice delivery), beds in the wall, and “many other attractive features.”  

A Seattle Times clipping from February 13, 1927, CLICK to ENLARGE for the text on the Silvian's sale for $85,000.
A Seattle Times clipping from February 13, 1927. CLICK to ENLARGE for the text on the Silvian’s sale for $85,000.

In 1927 the Silvian Apartments sold for $85,000, a sale illustrated by The Times with another photograph.  On September 8, 1929 – a few weeks before the Crash – a classified offered a “2-room attractive corner apartment; overstuffed (furniture), elevator, phone service for $40.  Just off Broadway.”  A decade later an “attractive” two-room apartment in the Silvian could be had for $22, a depression-era bargain.   

The Silvian's tax card for 1938.  (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, Bellevue College branch)
The Silvian’s tax card for 1938. (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, Bellevue College branch) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

Today the Silvian is one of the many Seattle apartment houses owned and managed by Capitol Hill Housing, the organization that generates affordable housing, while also – and here the Silvian is an especially fine example – preserving neighborhood character. 

A TIMES Clip from March 6, 1960.   CLICK to ENLARGE
A TIMES Clip from March 6, 1960. CLICK to ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  SURELY Jean.   Ron Edge has pulled and put up ELEVEN past features, and they, as we know, are almost without excepted also holding other features and those features other features and so on and on.  Imagine what chains we might have in five years or ten – assuming a lot, like the blogs and our survival.  Ron’s last link below, which  when one opens it, has, I believe, the title “Street Photography,” begins with the snapshot of our friend Clay Eals’ mother walking on 4th Avenue a half block north of Pike Street, and ends with a few examples of the photographs I took in 1976-77 of the bus shelter at Marketime on Broadway and Republican.   I lived then in the second floor apartment of the corner structure showing immediately below, far-right in the photo with Pilgrim church and the road work on widening Broadway.

THEN:  Looking across Capitol Hill’s Broadway Avenue during its 1931adjustments. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: Both the grading on Belmont Avenue and the homes beside it are new in this “gift” to Capitol Hill taken from the family album of  Major John Millis. (Courtesy of the Major’s grandchild Walter Millis and his son, a Seattle musician, Robert Millis.)

THEN: We have by three years or four missed the centenary for this distinguished brick pile, the Littlefield Apartments on Capitol Hill.  (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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THEN: The brand new N&K Packard dealership at Belmont and Pike in 1909.  Thanks to both antique car expert Fred Cruger for identifying as Packards the cars on show here, and to collector Ron Edge for finding them listed at this corner in a 1909 Post-Intelligencer. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry.)

THEN: Revelers pose on the Masonic Temple stage for “A Night in Old Alexandria,” the Seattle Fine Art Societies annual costume ball for 1921. (Pic courtesy of Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink)

Seattle Now & Then: Ye Olde Totem Place

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THEN: Totem Place, at 1750 Palm Ave. S.W., was home for Joseph Standley proprietor of Ye Old Curiosity Shop on Colman Dock. His death notice in The Seattle Times for Oct. 25, 1940 described the 86-year-old “Daddy” Standley as “almost as much a part of Seattle’s waterfront as the waves that dash again the seaweall.”
THEN: Totem Place, at 1750 Palm Ave. S.W., was home for Joseph Standley proprietor of Ye Old Curiosity Shop on Colman Dock. His death notice in The Seattle Times for Oct. 25, 1940 described the 86-year-old “Daddy” Standley as “almost as much a part of Seattle’s waterfront as the waves that dash against the seaweall.”
Joseph James, “Daddy” Standley’s grandson, will welcome visitors next Sunday to Totem Place for “If These Walls Could Talk” Southwest Seattle Histoircal Society’s popular yearly program of opening homes for inspection and story-telling.  The homes present owners Katy and Erik Walum will do some welcoming as well.
Joseph James, “Daddy” Standley’s grandson, will welcome visitors next Sunday to Totem Place for “If These Walls Could Talk” Southwest Seattle Histoircal Society’s popular yearly program of opening homes for inspection and story-telling. The homes present owners Katy and Erik Walum will do some welcoming as well.
A turned alternative photographed on the same sitting, it seems.
A turned alternative photographed AT the same sitting, it seems.

Here sits Joseph ”Daddy” Standley, one of the best-known self-promoters in Seattle history, relaxing in a real photo postcard beside his West Seattle home.  The caption pasted to the print on the right names the home Totem Place. The name also appears on the column to the left of the stairs decorated with potted plants and two large shells. 

Bill Speidel: reporter, promoter, publisher - before the Underground Tour.  (S. Times)
Bill Speidel: reporter, promoter, publisher – years before the Seattle Underground Tour. (S. Times)
A Presbyterian pastor and a Knights Templar too, ca. 1925.
A Presbyterian pastor and a Knights Templar too, ca. 1925
Ivar Haglund, the orientalist keeping cool.
Ivar Haglund, the orientalist keeping both clam and cool.
Daddy Standley standing with two of his totems and never once thinking "icons."
Daddy Standley standing with two of his totems and never once thinking “icons.”

Standley might be compared to three other local promotional players: Bill Speidel of the Underground Tours, Mark Mathews of First Presbyterian Church, and Ivar Haglund on Pier 54.  All were accomplished storytellers and created most of their own publicity, largely by making themselves the news.  “Daddy” Standley’s main stage, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, was on the waterfront, where it remains in Ivar’s Pier 54 (soon to reopen, with a remodel and new seawall.)

On Colman Dock (Courtesy Waterfront Awareness)
On Colman Dock (Courtesy Waterfront Awareness)
Daddy Standley somewhat earlier, known as "Curio Joe."
Daddy Standley somewhat earlier, known as “Curio Joe.”

The curio merchant’s life-long passion for collecting aboriginal artifacts is testimony to the importance of children’s literature.  For having the “neatest desk” in his third grade class, young Joseph won a book about Indian life, lore, and crafts.  The tome enchanted him so that ultimately the youthful anthropologist, to quote his namesake grandson, Joseph James, “turned his hobby into his business.” 

I found this among prints left to me by an old friend, the sign painter Arthur Link Lingenbrink.  Link had other photos of his "girl friend" - some "figure studies included."  Here, accompanying Link on one of his celebrity searches, she posed with Daddy in the late 1930s.
I found this among prints left to me by an old friend, the sign painter Arthur Link Lingenbrink. Link had other photos of his “girl friend” – some arty figure studies included.  Here, accompanying Link on one of his celebrity searches, she posed with Daddy in the late 1930s outside his Shop.

In 1899, the 45-year-old curio collector arrived in Seattle from Colorado with his wife and four children. In Denver he had operated a grocery store, with as much shelf space given to collectibles as to fruits and vegetables.  After a few moves and name changes, Standley’s curious collections found a home on Colman Dock. In 1906 the family built a home in West Seattle on Duwamish Head with a clear view across Elliott Bay to Colman Dock with their shop, steamers and ferries. 

Daddy's grandson, Joseph James, posing at the former site of the  Shop's first home  on Madison Street, near Western Ave. (see below)
Daddy’s grandson, Joseph James, posing at the former site of the
Shop’s first home on Madison Street, near Western Ave. (see below)
The first location for Ye Old Curiosity, on Madison near Western, ca. 1899.  (Courtesy, the Shop and Joe James.)
The first location for Ye Old Curiosity, on Madison near Western, ca. 1899. (Courtesy, the Shop and Joe James.)

Joseph James has taken his grandfather’s place for Jean Sherrard’s repeat and also for the upkeep of Ye Old Curiosity Shop’s traditions, both commercial and cultural.  Joe grew up in Totem Place and remembers fondly how the house became a second museum for Standley’s collections.  Its wide lawn was a sanctuary for his second passion, gardening.  A sculpture garden for about fifteen large totem poles and a “six-foot high mound built with shells from the seven seas” were an attraction for both the children of the neighborhood and sight-seeing busses. 

The Rubydeaux, one of the attractions for his children and their friends, which Daddy built on the big lot of Totem Place.
The Rubydeaux, one of the attractions for his children and their friends, which Daddy built on the big lot of Totem Place.   The contemporary repeat (from 2006) is below.

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Next Sunday, June 28, Totem Place again becomes an attraction when the Southwest Seattle Historical Society assembles there its experts, exhibits – including “totems on loan” – for “Ye Olde Home of Joseph “Daddy” Standley. It is this year’s offering for the Society’s annual event, “If These Walls Could Talk.”  For details, call the Log House Museum at (206) 938-5293, or visit loghousemuseum.info.

We have superimposed Sylvester, one of the Shop s ancient stars,onto its stationary crom about 1940.  Note the list of services on the left.
We have superimposed Sylvester, one of the Shop’s ancient stars, onto Shop stationary from about 1940. Note the list of services/attractions on the left.   [CLICK to ENLARGE]
A wider view of Totem Place.  Although blasted by back light both Daddy Standley, near the center, and his tall sculpture made of shells, far right, are apparent.  (Courtesy John Cooper)
A wider view of Totem Place. Although blasted by back light both Daddy Standley, near the center, and his tall sculpture made of shells, far left, are apparent. (Courtesy John Cooper)

WEB EXTRAS

 Anything to add, boys (and that includes Clay Eals)?  BY GOLLY YES Jean, but not so timely, except if my excuse for being behind time might be found also in our subject: history.  No way that we can fill  in this blog by 3AM this Sunday morning.  I must  write the next Pacific feature for the Times by  then as well.  The research notes are abundant – too abundant, but what a delight to gather them.   So hopefully tomorrow I will return and add to this many neighborly features  that can be manufactured  with a little scanning of clips.

THEN: The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge was built on a road, in a neighborhood, and near a public school all named for the developer Carlisle Gatewood, who also lived in the neighborhood.  The three women posing in the third floor’s open windows are the Clark sisters, Jean, Dorothy and Peggy, members of the family that moved into the home in the late 1930s.

THEN: The Seattle Times in its lengthy coverage of the then new Seattle Steel in the paper’s Magazine Section for Sept. 10, 1905 – the year this photograph was recorded – noted that “the plant itself is a series of strong, substantial, cavernous sheds, built for use, not for beauty.”  (Courtesy, MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: In 1852 many of Seattle’s first pioneers removed from Alki Point by dugout canoe for the deeper and safer harbor along the east shore of Elliott Bay (our central waterfront).  About a half-century later any hope or expectation that the few survivors among these pioneers could readily visit Alki Beach and Point by land were fulfilled with the timber quays and bridges along Spokane Street. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

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Scanned clips to follow – sooner than later, we hope.

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Seattle Now & Then: Sarah Baker’s Hotel

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: A mix of workers, friends and guests pose together on the front porch of Sarah Frances Baker’s hotel at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Marion Street in 1895.  Built ten years earlier by Martin and Elisabeth Stacy as their first mansion, the warring couple never lived in it.  Used in the early 1890s by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, followed by Baker and her hotel, the Second Empire styled mansion’s last tenant was the Maison Blanc Restaurant, which was closed by fire in 1960.  (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
THEN: A mix of workers, friends and guests pose together on the front porch of Sarah Frances Baker’s hotel at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Marion Street in 1895. Built ten years earlier by Martin and Elisabeth Stacy as their first mansion, the warring couple never lived in it. Used in the early 1890s by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, followed by Baker and her hotel, the Second Empire styled mansion’s last tenant was the Maison Blanc Restaurant, which was closed by fire in 1960. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Employees of Northwest Bank stand in as contemporary posers for the spiffy group on the porch of the elegant hotel.
NOW: Employees of Northwest Bank stand in as contemporary posers for the spiffy group on the porch of the elegant hotel.

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A helpful caption pasted to the back of this pioneer print describes its subject as “workers and guests at hotel run by Mrs. Baker.”  Sarah Frances Baker sits near the scene’s center in a striped dress, holding a soft smile, (which is unusual for Victorian era photo posers, who were more often expressionless.)  By the authority of Clara Berg, the Collections Specialist for Costumes and Textiles at the Museum of History and Industry, “with its stripes and darker colors, Baker’s outstanding dress takes its cue from formal men’s wear,” although, she adds, “not from what these men are wearing on this occasion. Rather, they are dressed informally for the warmer season.” The caption agrees; the print is dated June 25, 1895.  Note that there are no stiff collars among them; they are all soft. And three of these men are topped with straw boaters, a jaunty hat fashion that was introduced about this time, and stayed popular well into the 1920s.

An early look to the northeast across the intersection of Marion and Third.  The First Presbyterian Church, at Madison, is on the far left.
An early look to the northeast across the intersection of Marion and Third. The First Presbyterian Church, at Madison, is on the far left.
The Stacy Mansion takes a quarter-block in this 1888 Sanborn map.  The Calvinists are on the left and the Methodists across Marion Street on the far right.
The Stacy Mansion takes a quarter-block in this 1888 Sanborn map. The Calvinists are on the left and the Methodists across Marion Street on the far right.
Looking south on Second Avenue through its intersection with Madison Street to the wooden row distinguished by the Presbyterians, the Stacy's and, one block south at Marion, the Methodists.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Looking south on Second Avenue through its intersection with Madison Street to the wooden row distinguished by the Presbyterians, the Stacy’s and, one block south at Marion, the Methodists. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
East along a planked Marion Street and thru its intersection with Third Avenue, with the Stacy Mansion on the left and the Methodists on the right, circa 1890.
East along a planked Marion Street and thru its intersection with Third Avenue, with the Stacy Mansion on the left and the Methodists on the right, circa 1891.

The quoted caption is a long one.  Besides the proprietor a few more of these posers are identified, some by role, like the dishwasher, far left, and a few by name, including William Talcott, the man top-center with a big moustache on a thin face.  With help from Ann Ferguson, the Curator of the Seattle Collections at the Seattle Public Library, we learn that in 1891 the then twenty-eight year old Talcott came to Seattle, hired as Chief Engineer for the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad.  In 1895 the Virginian was still with the SLSE, regularly riding the route that we know and enjoy now, in part, as the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail.

The Stacy mansion, ca. 1890.
The Stacy mansion, ca. 1890.

Sarah Baker rests her right hand on her married daughter Edith’s right shoulder, and the proprietor’s son-in-law, William Hickman Moore, stands on the left.  That he is holding or supporting the boy in stripes is evidence of the chumminess of this group.  The boy is not William and Edith’s only son.  Rather, their five-year-old son Vincent Moore is sitting under his firemen’s hat bottom-center, some distance from his parents.

The West Shore magazine's montage of four grand homes built locally in the 1880s.  Clockwise from upper-left they are the homes of Stacy, Yesler, Leary and McNaught.
The West Shore magazine’s montage of four grand homes built locally in the 1880s. Clockwise from upper-left they are the homes of Stacy, Yesler, Leary and McNaught.

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First appeared in Pacific, December 16, 1984.
First appeared in Pacific, December 16, 1984. [CLICK to ENLARGE]

By 1921 Vincent would become Seattle City Light’s chief operating engineer for its Skagit River dam project. By then his father, William Hickman Moore, had already proved to be one of Seattle’s most steadfast politicians, first appointed to the King County Superior Court in 1897 and winning many elections as a state senator, city councilman, and between 1906 and 1908 as the mayor of Seattle.  For this last, Moore campaigned as an advocate of the public ownership of utilities.  With the split Republican Part fighting within itself, the progressive Democrat Moore won by a total of 15 votes.  A few months before his sudden death in March 1946 at the age of 84, the then Deputy Prosecutor for King County credited his enduring vitality to the maxim “Don’t worry and live long.”

A TIMES clip from May 24, 1945.
A TIMES clip from May 24, 1945.
From The Times, Jan. 9, 1916.
From The Times, Jan. 9, 1916.

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[A century ago and less some news reporting was open to friendly parody and both readers and editors encouraged it.  .
[A century ago and less some news reporting was open to friendly parody and both readers and editors encouraged it. .
WILLIAM HICKMAN MOORE DEATH & LECTURE NOTICES

A TIMES Clip from March 14, 1946.
A TIMES Clip from March 14, 1946.

 

A TIMES clip from Oct. 22, 1939.
A TIMES clip from Oct. 22, 1939.

THE SEATTLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE tenant in the STACY MANSION – Before SARAH BAKER and her HOTEL. 

[Please CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE]

A clip from 1893
A clip from 1893 – CLICK CLICK to ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  Certainly Jean.  First within the five links that Ron Edge has pulled and placed directly below you will uncover more features from the neighborhood and or near it.   For instance, in the first link below we spy the Stacy Mansion on the far side of the construction pit made for the Central Building, which took the place – and more – of the First Methodist Church that used to rise from the southeast corner of Marion and Third, directly across Marion from the Stacy home and later Sarah Baker’s hotel.  The Edge link following that is another recent offering, one centering on a neighbor also form the mid-1880s, and showing a similar architectural urge.   Following that we’ll put up some more features, ones from the more distant Pacific past.   Those we will scan from their magazine clippings, as is our convenient way.

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:

THEN:  Built in the mid-1880s at 1522 7th Avenue, the Anthony family home was part of a building boom developing this north end neighborhood then into a community of clapboards.  Here 70 years later it is the lone survivor.  (Photo by Robert O. Shaw)

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First in Pacific, Dec. 16, 1984.
First in Pacific, Dec. 16, 1984.

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The Stacy mansion - as Maison Blanc Restaurant - after its 90 degree turn to face Marion Street.
The Stacy mansion – as the La Maison Blanc Restaurant – after its 90 degree turn to face Marion Street.

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First in Pacific, May 2, 2004
First in Pacific, May 2, 2004
Appeared first in The Times on May 11, 2003.
Appeared first in The Times on May 11, 2003.

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LA MAISON BLANC BEFORE & AFTER THE FIRST OF APRIL 30 FIRE, 1960.

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Maison-Blanc-after-fire,-May-1,-1960-WEB

Seattle Now & Then: Gethsemane Lutheran

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Swedish Lutheran (Gethsemane) Church’s second sanctuary at the northeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Steward Street circa 1920, photo by Klaes Lindquist.  (Courtesy, Swedish Club)
THEN: Swedish Lutheran (Gethsemane) Church’s second sanctuary at the northeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Steward Street circa 1920, photo by Klaes Lindquist. (Courtesy, Swedish Club)
NOW: A cross high on the west façade of Gethsemane Lutheran Church’s new home, stands atop five floors of low-income housing and three for the church, including the Rainbow Chapel, the stained-glass lighted chapel at the corner.
NOW: A cross high on the west façade of Gethsemane Lutheran Church’s new home, stands atop five floors of low-income housing and three for the church, including the Rainbow Chapel, the stained-glass lighted chapel at the corner.

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. 

Near the lower- left corner the first sanctuary of Swedish Lutheran sits two lots north of the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Pike Street.  The Territorial University sits on Denny Knoll, upper-left, and the extended ridge of Beacon Hill holds most of the horizon.
Near the lower- left corner the first sanctuary of Swedish Lutheran sits two lots north of the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Pike Street. The Territorial University sits on Denny Knoll, upper-left, and the extended ridge of Beacon Hill holds most of the horizon, ca. 1885.

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.

Gethsemane Lutheran on June 4, 1933.
Gethsemane Lutheran on June 4, 1933.

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. 

A Times clip from June 8, 1907.
A Times clip from June 8, 1907.

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.]

Detail from a 1916 Seattle map.
Detail from a 1916 Seattle map.
A Seattle Times clipping from Oct. 26, 1935 describing Gethsemane's golden anniversary.
A Seattle Times clipping from Oct. 26, 1935 describing Gethsemane’s golden anniversary with a little pastoral counseling to the side.  CLICK TWICE to ENLARGE!

 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,   

From May 1, 1928
From May 1, 1928
The Sundsten Trio
The Sundsten Trio
A Seattle Times clip from Nov. 13, 1932, which names the members of the family trio. (Courtesy, John Sundsten)
A Seattle Times clip from Nov. 13, 1932, which names the members of the family trio. (Courtesy, John Sundsten)

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.  

Cover to the congregation's centennial histoy.
Cover to the congregation’s centennial history.

WEB EXTRAS

Let me add a few snaps here which illustrate a few of the vast changes underway around 9th and Stewart:

Gethsemane Lutheran on the distant right looking down the 9th Avenue canyon.
Gethsemane Lutheran on the distant left looking down the 9th Avenue canyon.
Jesus of the downtown corridor
Jesus of the downtown corridor
Funny story: about 10 years ago, before its newest structure, Gethsemane Lutheran's statue of Jesus was made of crumbling concrete. My son Noel and his cousin Kalan were climbing around the statue and broke off Jesus's finger! After confessing to the church secretary, they glued it back on with eternal epoxy...
Funny story: about 10 years ago, before its newest structural incarnation, Gethsemane Lutheran’s statue of Jesus was made of crumbling concrete. My son Noel and his cousin Kalan, not numbered amongst the faithful, were clambering around the statue and accidentally broke off Jesus’s finger! After confessing to the church secretary, they glued it back on with eternal epoxy…
Farewell to the Stewart Street Grayhound Station - soon to be replaced with canyon walls.
Farewell to the Stewart Street Greyhound Station – soon to be replaced with canyon walls.
The last 'Bus'
The last ‘Bus’

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.]

THEN: The scene looks north through a skyline of steeples toward the Cascade neighborhood and Lake Union, ca. 1923.

THEN: The home at bottom right looks across Madison Street (out of frame) to Central School. The cleared intersection of Spring Street and Seventh Avenue shows on the right.

THEN: The Ballard Public Library in 1903-4, and here the Swedish Baptist Church at 9th and Pine, 1904-5, were architect Henderson Ryan’s first large contracts after the 20 year old southerner first reached Seattle in 1898.   Later he would also design both the Liberty and Neptune Theatres, the latter still projecting films in the University District. (Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Werner Lenggenhager's recording of the old St. Vinnie's on Lake Union's southwest shore in the 1950s should remind a few readers of the joys that once were theirs while searching and picking in that exceedingly irregular place.

THEN: As explained in the accompanying story the cut corner in this search-lighted photo of the “first-nighters” lined up for the March 1, 1928 opening of the Seattle Theatre at 9th and Pine was intended. Courtesy Ron Phillips

5th-ave-car-barns-then-mr

THEN:  Built in the mid-1880s at 1522 7th Avenue, the Anthony family home was part of a building boom developing this north end neighborhood then into a community of clapboards.  Here 70 years later it is the lone survivor.  (Photo by Robert O. Shaw)

THEN: Beginning with the Reynolds, three hotels have taken tenancy in this ornate three-story brick block at the northeast corner of Boren Avenue and Pike Street. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN:  This detail from the prolific local photographer Asahel Curtis’s photograph of the Smith/Rininger home at the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Summit Avenue dates from the early twentieth century when motorcars, rolling or parked, were still very rare on the streets of Seattle, including these on First Hill.  (Courtesy, Historic Seattle)

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FOLLOWS – A FEW PAST FEATURES SCANNED FROM CLIPPINGS

First appeared in Pacific, April 12, 1987.
First appeared in Pacific, April 12, 1987.

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Looking east up Stewart and Olive from the New Washington Hotel at 2nd and Steward, ca. 1909.   Gethsemane Lutheran can be found left-of-center.
Looking east up Stewart and Olive from the New Washington Hotel at 2nd and Steward, ca. 1909. Gethsemane Lutheran, washed in white, can be found left-of-center.
First appeared in Pacific, March 24, 1985 - gosh thirty years ago!
First appeared in Pacific, March 24, 1985 – gosh thirty years ago!  Click to Enlarge.  Note that Gethsemane can be found here as well, but no Westlake as yet cutting through the grid.

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Another of other depot.  This first appeared in Pacific on July 30, 1998.  Rail fans will find Warren Wing posing in the "now."
Another of the depot. This first appeared in Pacific on July 30, 1998. Rail fans will find Warren Wing posing in the “now.”

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CONCLUDING WITH MORE LUTHERANS – German ones.

Appeared in Pacific on August 21, 1994.
Zion and Gethsemane, back-to-back.  Appeared in Pacific on August 21, 1994.

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Seattle Now & Then: Norway Hall

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The now century-old Norway Hall at the corner of Boren Avenue and Virginia Street opened in 1915, on May 17, Norwegian Independence Day.  (Courtesy, Nordic Heritage Museum)
THEN: The now century-old Norway Hall at the corner of Boren Avenue and Virginia Street opened in 1915, on May 17, Norwegian Independence Day. (Courtesy, Nordic Heritage Museum)
NOW: Since the Sons and Daughters moved on to larger clubhouses, their first Norway Hall has given shelter to the Painter’s Union and dance clubs, including the City Beat Disco in the 1980s and the Timberline in the 1990s, and now as Cornish School’s Raisbeck Hall.
NOW: Since the Sons and Daughters moved on to larger clubhouses, their first Norway Hall has given shelter to the Painter’s Union and dance clubs, including the City Beat Disco in the 1980s and the Timberline in the 1990s, and now as Cornish School’s Raisbeck Hall.

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Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry, aka MOHAI
Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry, aka MOHAI
Daughters of Norway at Norway all with some Sons or suitors in suits or uniforms.
Daughters of Norway at Norway Hall with some Sons or suitors in suits or uniforms.

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.)

For example, on a visit to Norway Christine Anderson photographed an example of traditional stave construction, above.  Below, she has complimented (or repeated) the old with the "new" from 1915.
For example, on a visit to Norway Christine Anderson photographed the traditional stave construction, above. Below, she has complimented (or repeated) the old with the “new” from 1915.
Norway Hall now, a detail photographed by Christine Anderson, Historian for the Leif Erikson Lodge 2-001, Sons of Norway.
Norway Hall now, a detail photographed by Christine Anderson, Historian for the Leif Erikson Lodge 2-001, Sons of Norway.

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. 

Although the timing for this portrait of Norway Hall must be estimated from the motorcar park in front of it, in 1915 the hall's location was already surrounded by a developed Cascade Neighborhood, like this one.
Although the timing for this portrait of Norway Hall may be estimated from the motorcar park in front of it – perhaps in the 1920s -, in 1915 the hall’s location was already surrounded by a developed Cascade Neighborhood, like this one.

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.    

While we hope to include the enduring murals as an addendum to this blog, here is one of the "missing murals," also on Norwegian subjects and styles.  Here the artist had leaned his work again the outside wall of, perhaps, his studio for a recording before delivering the mural to the hall.  If he did.  These "missing murals" are also, it seems, mysterious.
While we hope to include later the moved and yet  enduring murals as an addendum to this blog, here is one of the “missing murals,” also on Norwegian subjects and styles. Here the artist leaned his work against the outside wall of, perhaps, his studio for a recording before delivering the art to the hall. If he did. These “missing murals” are also, it seems, mysterious.
Another of the missing murals.
Another of the missing murals.
And another with the same temporary supporting wall.
And another with the same temporary supporting wall.
May these have been for another hall?
We wonder, may these have been for another hall?

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

A TIMES clipping from Nov. 12, 1972 most likely helped save the Hall.
This TIMES clipping from Nov. 12, 1972 most likely helped save the Hall. (Click to ENLARGE)

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.

CLICK TO ENLARGE
CLICK TO ENLARGE

clip-Our-Homes-No.-2-WEB

ABOVE AND BELOW: complimenting clippings from the Oct. 19, 1975 issue of The Seattle Times.
ABOVE:  complimenting clippings from the Oct. 19, 1975 issue of The Seattle Times.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

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.

x-Postcard-Norway-flag-1905-WEB

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.

THEN:  Built in 1888-89 at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street, the then named Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church marked the southeast corner of Denny Hill.  Eventually the lower land to the east of the church (here behind it) would be filled, in part, with hill dirt scraped and eroded from North Seattle lots to the north and west of this corner.  (Courtesy, Denny Park Lutheran Church)

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Then: Photographed from an upper story of the Ford Factory at Fairview Avenue and Valley Street, the evidence of Seattle's explosive boom years can be seen on every shore of Lake Union, ca. 1920. Courtesy of MOHAI

THEN: The scene looks north through a skyline of steeples toward the Cascade neighborhood and Lake Union, ca. 1923.

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First appeared in Pacific, Sept. 11, 1988.
First appeared in Pacific, Sept. 11, 1988. CLICK TO ENLARGE

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FIRST  appeared in Pacific on May 26, 1991.
FIRST appeared in Pacific on May 26, 1991.
Lawton Gowey took this sometime in the 1970s - or I did.  I don't know for sure.  I remember a new paint job on the nine domes and the rest when I lived in the neighborhood in 1977 to 1980.
Lawton Gowey took this sometime in the 1970s – or I did. I don’t know for sure. I remember a new paint job on the nine domes and the rest when I lived in the neighborhood in 1977 to 1980.

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CAPITOL HILL & The CASCADE PLATEAU from  DENNY HILL

Courtesy, Lawton Gowey, who did not record it, but collected it.
Courtesy, Lawton Gowey, who did not record it, but collected it.
N.P.Railroad photographer, Jay Haynes look northeast from Denny Hill to Capitol Hill with the Cascade Neighborhood plateau below it.   Lenora Street descends on the left from Denny Way.   A decade later Norway Hall was built near where the larger home stands to the right of the pump house.
N.P.Railroad photographer, Jay Haynes looks northeast from Denny Hill to Capitol Hill with the Cascade Neighborhood plateau below it. Lenora Street descends on the left from Denny Way. A decade later Norway Hall was built near where the larger home stands to the right of the pump house.
Another pan from Denny Hill to the northeast.  Stewart Street is on the right and Fourth Avenue at the bottom of the frame.   Lenora Street can be found in this A. Curtis shot as well.  It is left of center, again heading down the hill from the Cascade Plateau to Terry Avenue.   Wallingford is on the far left horizon. (Courtesy, Washington State Museum, Tacoma)
Another pan from Denny Hill to the northeast. Stewart Street is on the right and Fourth Avenue at the bottom of the frame. Lenora Street can be found in this A. Curtis shot as well. It is left of center, again heading down the hill from the Cascade Plateau to Terry Avenue. Wallingford is on the far left horizon. (Courtesy, Washington State Museum, Tacoma)
The dark cedar roof of Norway Hall can be found here very near the center of this ca. 1940 aerial. (We have cropped  it to put it there.)  Westlake is on the left and Fairview, also heading north to the north shore of Lake Union, is right-of-center.
The dark cedar roof of Norway Hall can be found very near the center of this ca. 1940 aerial. (We have cropped it to put it there.) Westlake is on the left and Fairview, also heading north to the north shore of Lake Union, is right-of-center.  Thanks to Ron Edge and his collection of aerials for this one.

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Finally, for now, Whitewalls somewhere in the Cascade Neighborhood, ca. 1950.  (Courtesy, University of Washington Architectural Library)
Finally, for now, Whitewalls somewhere in the Cascade Neighborhood, ca. 1950. (Courtesy, University of Washington Architectural Library)

Now & Then here and now

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