Seattle Now & Then: The Rozellna Apartments

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THEN: A 1937-38 tax photo looking east across Boren Avenue and showing, shows three diverse constructions, all of them in 1600 block. (Courtesy, Stan Unger)
NOW: Of the three, only the Olive Tower, on the left, survived the building of the Seattle Freeway in the mid-1960s.

The date inscribed by hand at the bottom of this subject indicates that this is another tax photo. It is one of a few thousand prints rescued from the “circular file” of the tax assessor’s office more that a half-century ago.  The savior was Stan Unger, then a young municipal employee with an interest in local history and its architecture.  Mostly dating from 1937-38, we have used several of them with this feature.  Any Unger saving of tax photos that record lost apartment houses will interest and even excite Diana James, our historian of “Shared Walls,” the title for her book history of Seattle apartment houses.  A hoped-for photo of the Rozellna was on her list.

The address here, 1622 Boren Avenue, shows the scene’s centerpiece, the Rozellna, on the east side of one of Seattle’s busiest north-south arterials.  In recording his “repeat” Jean took special care (looked both ways) to quickly pose Diana at Boren’s center stripe and then get the preservationist back on the curb, where she shared some of her research with us. We learned that the Rozellna was named for one of its original owners, Rozellna O. Johnson and A.J. Johnson.  Although not tall, the Rozellna (the apartment) was long aka deep.  Sixteen units were claimed when the Johnsons sold their young brick-veneer apartment house in 1926, only two years after they built it.  In their “for sale” notice, the units were described as “completely furnished with overstuffed furniture, floor lamps, dressing rooms, Murphy beds, and breakfast nooks.”

This well-wrought Rozellna might easily inspire nostalgia, or memories of other missing old buildings, or even surviving modern ones, like the Olive Tower, its high-rise neighbor to the north.  Built in 1928, the Olive Tower just missed being razed with the Rozellna in the early 1960s for the building of the Seattle Freeway/I-5.  James notes, “The last newspaper mention I have of the Rozellna is 1961.”  She pointed out – but not while standing in the street – that the bottom three floors of the Olive Tower, where it once snuggled against the Rozellna, show no windows.

The two apartments – the tall and the short – shared one tragic moment.  On August 24, 1942, Maxine Hart fell from her eleventh-story unit in the Olive Tower to the roof of the Rozellna.  The Times reported “Woman’s Tumble to Death Probed; Husband is Held.”  Ray Jeffrey Hart did act strangely when questioned in the couple’s apartment.  Three hours after his wife’s jump he dashed to the window, The Times reported, but his “apparent suicide attempt” was thwarted by Coroner Otto H. Mittelstadt who “tackled Hart around the knees.” Apparently Hart was let go for no follow-up stories were found.

Researcher Ron Edge notes one last newsworthy interaction between the two apartment houses when in the forenoon of February 2, 1960, “high winds peeled a 10-by-30 foot section of brick facing off the Rozellna Apartments.” The illustrated report revealed that the peeled bricks fell to the rear of the Olive Tower.  The greater length of the Rozellna helps us imagine room for its sixteen units.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, mates?

THEN: Built quickly in the winter of 1906-07, the Prince Rupert Hotel faced Boren Avenue from the third lot north of Pike Street. About fifty-five years later it was razed for the I-5 Freeway. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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 1939 glimpse east from Ninth Avenue follows Pike Street to the end of the about three-quarter mile straight climb it makes on its run from the Pike Place Market to its first turn on Capitol Hill.

THEN: In the 32 years between Frank Shaw's dedication picture and Jean Sherrard's dance scene, Freeway Park has gained in verdure what it has lost in human use.

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

THEN: Built in the early twentieth century at the northeast  corner of Jefferson Street and Boren Avenue, Bertha and Frank Gardner’s residence was large but not a mansion, as were many big homes on First Hill.   (Courtesy Washington State Museum, Tacoma)

THEN: With great clouds overhead and a landscape 45 years shorter than now, one vehicle – a pickup heading east – gets this part of State Route 520 to itself on a weekday afternoon. (courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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: 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:

THEN: A.J. McDonald’s panorama of Lake Union and its surrounds dates from the early 1890s. It was taken from First Hill, looking north from near the intersection of Terry Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Built in 1909-10 on one of First Hill’s steepest slopes, the dark brick Normandie Apartments' three wings, when seen from the sky, resemble a bird in flight. (Lawton Gowey)

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)

THEN: First dedicated in 1889 by Seattle’s Unitarians, the congregation soon needed a larger sanctuary and moved to Capitol Hill.   Here on 7th Avenue, their first home was next used for a great variety of events, including a temporary home for the Christian Church, a concert hall for the Ladies Musical Club, and a venue for political events like anarchist Emma Goldman’s visit to Seattle in 1910. (Compliments Lawton Gowey)

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Seattle Now & Then: From School To Museum

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THEN: Six youths stand in the doorway of Colman School, at 1515 24th Ave. S., about 60 years ago. (Photo courtesy Seattle Public Schools Archives)
NOW: A cadre from Northwest African American Museum, now at 2300 S. Massachusetts. St., poses on the grand lawn seeded where streets once crossed: (from left) Peggy Allen Jackson, director of development; Olivia Littles, grant writer; Nekya Young, development assistant intern; Anis Robinson, program assistant; Freda Burns, volunteer; Janet Baker, finance manager; Matt Rivera, development assistant intern, and LaNesha DeBardelaben, executive director since January.

I have lost the adolescent expertise in the names and models of Detroit-born post-war cars. Our “then” displays a Jacobean-style brick, terra-cotta tile and concrete beauty rising above five somewhat gaudy motorcars, most of them “bodies by Fisher,” the latest of which I am told is a 1958 Plymouth, parked near the now-vanished intersection of Atlantic Street and 24th Avenue South.

Not ;the parked Plymouth in the “then” but a 1960 Plymouth for sale in 1959 at the Savidge Dodge-Plymouth dealership. (Courtesy Dan Eskenazi)

This is – or rather was – the Charles Colman School. (Last year we featured a Marion Street scene showing another family namesake, the Colman Building (below), soon after its completion in 1905.)

This is one of the surviving schools designed and built by James Stephen, the official and prolific architect for Seattle Public Schools in the early 20th century. The Canadian arrived in Seattle at its most opportunistic time for an architect-builder, after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, had destroyed more than 30 city blocks.

The Colman family home on the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street after the yards have been given to commerce.
Looking north on Fourth with the Colman home on the right at the southeast corner with Columbia Street.

Authorized in 1909, the 17-room, three-story Colman Primary School opened in 1910. There were, on average, 500 pupils and 15 teachers. The second principal, Miss Anna B. Kane, served from 1912 to 1940. Enrollment swelled during World War II when the feds built a large housing project nearby. With peace, enrollment dropped. Still, in the late 1940s the city bought the entire block for the school. Eventually, Atlantic and 24th were vacated to extend the school’s lawn.

Architect James Stephen’s Queen Anne High School as seen looking east from the hill’s standpipe.

Like Queen Anne High School, another Stephen creation, Colman is a fine example of how Seattle can recycle its landmarks largely intact. Though its primary program ended in 1979 and an alternative school there closed in 1985, the building survived a long-planned but scuttled north-south freeway, the ravages of a fire and next-door construction of the Mount Baker lid and tunnel for Interstate 90. This year, inside Colman, the Northwest African American Museum – with its upper floors’ 36 lower-income apartments – is experiencing a 10th anniversary.

Clearly the boys of at least part of the Class of 1938 are more dapper than the girls and so take the front row on the school’s steps to arrange their sartorial splendor on a display case ordinarily taken by the coeds.
Twenty-one years later the class of 1959 fill the school’s front steps.

This means, and many of us remember it, that the powers that be took a long time to support conversion of the abandoned school to a cultural center for groups that best represent the diverse community reaching from Beacon Hill to Lake Washington. This is where Seattle best shows its “unity in diversity.”

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (till 7 p.m. Thursdays). While visiting and celebrating its birthday, you also may wish to give attention to the Jacobean brick.

The Afro-Americans float parading at Second Avenue and Marion Street for the 1911 Golden Potlatch Celebration. (Courtesy Michael Maslan)
First printed in The Seattle Times fro October, 21, 1984.

WEB EXTRAS

I’ve added in a lovely shot taken on the schoolhouse steps:

This photo was taken within a couple years of the “Then” photo above. It shows 56 students facing the future in June 1956.

Anything to add, fellahs?  Surely Jean.  First a hide-and-seek quiz.  Can you find the Colman School on the first photo below?  (More than a clue: it is on the far right horizon about a quarter of the way in from the right border. )

THEN: An Emergency Relief Administration wood pile took temporary quarters on the southeast corner of S. Alaska Street and 32nd Ave. S. in 1934. (Courtesy, Northwest Collection, University of Washington Libraries.)

Holy Names THEN

THEN: The Volunteer Park water tower was completed in 1907 on Capitol Hill’s highest point in aid the water pressure of its service to the often grand homes of its many nearly new neighbors. The jogging corner of E. Prospect Street and 15th Avenue E. is near the bottom of the Oakes postcard. (Historical Photo courtesy Mike Fairley)

THEN: A circa 1923 view looks south on Eighth Avenue over Pike Street, at bottom left.

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

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THEN: Looking east on University Street towards Ninth Avenue, ca. 1925, with the Normandie Apartments on the left.

Walter Ross Baumes Willcox, the architect who planned this 1911 Arboretum aqueduct, went on to design another city landmark mades of reinforced concrete and ornamental bricks: the 1913 Queen Anne Boulevard retaining wall. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Sprague Hotel at 706 Yesler Way was one of many large structures –hotels, apartments and duplexes, built on First Hill to accommodate the housing needs of the city’s manic years of grown between its Great Fire in 1889 and the First World War. Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey

THEN: Harborview Hospital takes the horizon in this 1940 recording. That year, a hospital report noted that "the backwash of the depression" had overwhelmed the hospital's outpatient service for "the country's indigents who must return periodically for treatment." Built in 1931 to treat 100 cases a day, in 1939 the hospital "tries bravely to accommodate 700 to 800 visits a day."

THEN: A speeding coupe convertible heads north on Beacon Hill’s 15th Ave. S. in 1937.

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THEN: Faced, in part, with brick veneer and stucco, and opened in 191l, the Comet Apartments at 170 11th Avenue have made it nicely through their first century. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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)

THEN: Unemployed men search for anything useful in land being reclaimed with city garbage used for fill on the tideflats. The date is March 6, 1937. The scene looks northwest from what was once near 7th Ave. S. and Forest Street, but is now inside the operations facilities for the Light Rail Division of Sound Transit. The Sears Department Store, now home of Starbucks Coffee Co., appears in the upper-left corner. Courtesy: The Post-Intelligencer Collection at the Museum of History and Industry.

THEN: Hugh Paradise neither named nor dated his photograph looking down from a basalt cliff onto the Yakima River. (Courtesy, Byron Coney)

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While walking the streets and sidewalks of Central Wallingford a few year back I found and recorded many natural maps of Africa including the one here, which I have surrounded with other gifts of the neighborhood.

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Finally for now I recalled that Jean had shared sometime ago a few snapshots of his adventurous late teens. Here’s our partner in this Seattle repeating posing with a Dinka police officer in South Sudan in 1976.  Jean is 19, he claims, and wearing his Bumbershoot Festival T-Shirt. About a quarter-century later he would join Cathy Wadley and me in producing the BumberChronicles, an hour-long history of the arts festival. (I think you can find it on Youtube.) Jean stands somewhere between 6-5 and 6-6 and so perhaps his  statuesque Dinka poser might reach 6’7″.

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Seattle Now & Then: Marion Street Looking East through Western Ave, ca 1905

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THEN: Looking east on a Marion Street showing several delivery wagons with their often affectionately matched teams of horse power. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: The red brick tile-trimmed Federal Building, left-of-center, dates from the early depression. That its design was awarded to James A. Wetmore, a resident of the “other Washington,” did not please the many Seattle architects who were increasingly in need of work at the beginning of the Great Depression.

It took the greater part of Jean Sherrard’s 20-plus-foot extension pole to lift his camera pointing east on Marion Street from the prospect the Webster and Stevens Studio photographer used to record this week’s featured “then.”  We figure that it dates from 1905 or 1906. The top four floors of the Colman Building, the six-story brick block, right-of-center, were completed in 1905.  Facing First Avenue, the Colman survives, extending the full block between Marion and Columbia Streets.

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It was James Colman, one of Seattle best-known pioneers not named Denny, who built his namesake landmark.  The brilliant engineer and Scottish immigrant is also honored with a park on Lake Washington Boulevard and Colman Dock, the long wharf that has been the center for Puget Sound transportation since the late nineteenth century.  The Dock is directly behind and over the right shoulder of the photographer of the featured photo at the top.  Here the nine tracks of Railroad Avenue separated the Colman Dock and the West Seattle Ferry Dock from the photographer and the bustling business of Marion Street.

The many tracks on Railroad Avenue in 1912 during that year’s Golden Potlatch celebration. Fire Station No. 5 at the foot of Madison Street, is left of center (with the tower).
CLICK TO ENLARGE (This montage was pulled from the Illustrated History of the Seattle Waterfront, which can be viewed on this blog.    But you must search the “buttons” to find it.)

The four-story stone building on the right (of the featured photo at the top) , the Colman Annex, is separated from the Colman Building by Post Avenue, which on some old city maps is called a street and on others an alley.  This “Colman Annex” was constructed of east coast stone. It was a lucky break for Colman: when the federal postmaster rejected its delivery – the stone was decreed as too soft for the construction of Seattle’s main post office at Third Avenue

The Collman Bldg is far left and the darker mass left-of-center is the Colman Annex. The photo looks west from First Avenue.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

and Union Street – Colman purchased the lot for pennies on the dollar. Many locals will best remember it as the long-time home for Society Candies.  More recently a parking lot, the Colman Annex block is now filled by a glass curtain high-rise that celebrates its location as The Post Building. It can be glimpsed through the leaves, upper-right, in Jean’s repeat.

The COLMAN ANNEX is on the left. View looks west from Post Alley.

The wagons, above and in the featured photo at the top,  most likely have something to do with the delivery of produce. This is the Commission District developed near both the railroads and the “mosquito fleet” steamers that carried fresh fruits and vegetables to the district’s large and generally homely warehouses.  They were run by middle-men who were best known as “the sharks” by both the farmers who sold to them and grocers who bought from them.  This was the gouging “Western Avenue combine” that truck farmers, home-owners and a progressive city council soon opposed in 1907 with a go-around, the Pike Place Public Market.

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WEB EXTRAS

I was shooting on the waterfront for the column yesterday and came across a couple of scenes I can never get enough of. For your enjoyment, here they are:

(Thanks for your spontaneous/impetuous caress of this city Jean – in the right places.)

Anything to add, guys?   Surely Jean.

THEN: Arthur Denny named both Marion and James Streets for his invalid brother, James Marion Denny, who was too ill to accompany the “Denny Party” from Oregon to Puget Sound in 1851. (Courtesy, Gary Gaffner)

Then: Looking north from Pioneer Place (square) into the uptown of what was easily the largest town in Washington Territory. This is judged by the 3218 votes cast in the November election of 1884, about one fourth of them by the newly but temporarily enfranchised women.Tacoma, in spite of being then into its second year as the terminus for the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad, cast 1663 votes, which took third place behind Walla Walla's 1950 registered votes.

THEN: The Moose float heads south on First Avenue at Columbia Street during the 1912 Potlatch parade of fraternal and secret societies. Behind them are Julius Redelsheimer's clothing store and the National Hotel, where daily room rates ran from 50 cents to a dollar.

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THEN: Through its two decades — 1892 to 1913 — at the northeast corner of Cherry Street and Third Avenue, the Seattle Theatre was one of the classiest Seattle venues for legitimate theater as well as variety/vaudeville

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 city's regrading forces reached Sixth Avenue and Marion Street in 1914. A municipal photographer recorded this view on June 24. Soon after, the two structures left high here were lowered to the street. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)

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

THEN: This post-1889 waterfront block of sheds and ships was replaced in 1911 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Dock, described at the time as “the largest wooden finger pier in North America.” The exception was Fire Station No. 5 on the left at the foot of Madison Street. A brick station replaced it in 1913. (Museum of History & Industry)

THEN: In this 1887 look up Columbia Street from the waterfront is the bell tower of the fire station, tucked into the hill on the right. It would soon fail to halt the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. The station and everything between it and Elliott Bay were reduced to ashes, smoldering bricks and offshore pilings shortened like cigars. (courtesy, Kurt Jackson)

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

THEN: Looking south on First Avenue from its northwest corner with Madison Street, circa 1905. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Depression-era protestors climb Columbia Street sidewalk along-aside Seattle architect Harlan Thomas’s elegant Seattle landmark that opened in 1925 as home to the by then already forty-three year old Seattle Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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THEN: During the few years of the Klondike Gold Rush, the streets of Seattle’s business district were crowded with outfitters selling well-packed foods and gear to thousands of traveling men heading north to strike it rich – they imagined. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The west side of Second Avenue between Columbia and Marion Streets was typical of the commercial district that was quick to develop after the city’s Great Fire of 1889. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Big Snow of 1916 trims two jewelers’ clocks on the west side of Second Avenue, north of Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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You can find this steeple in the featured photo at the top.

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Seattle Now & Then: Maryland Place in West Seattle

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THEN: The 1937/8 tax assessor’s photo of 4013 Maryland Place, precariously built on the east slope of West Seattle’s Duwamish Head. (Courtesy Stan Unger)
NOW: Jean Sherrard’s “repeat” uses a wider angle in order to also reveal the landmark stone house facing Harbor Avenue. The footprint of the red home in the background is near the featured frame residence on Maryland Place.

Although certainly not obvious, the setting of the slender two-story home standing at the base of West Seattle’s Duwamish Head in our “then” is repeated in Jean Sherrard’s “now.”  It is the red and gray modern residence held in a verdant caress just this side (to the east) of California Boulevard S.W.  The home and the trees hide the Boulevard, which is the long arterial connection between the top of Duwamish Head and the shoreline parks and mostly condominiums, respectively, to the east and west sides of Harbor Avenue.

The Duwamish Head neighborhood in a detail from the 1908 Bsist map. Maryland Place appears on the right between Ferry (California Blvd. S.W. ) and Railroad (Harbor) Avenues.
At some point on the left (east) side of this look south down California Blvd S.W., Mayland approaches but does not reach it as the 1908 Baist map, above, has it. This and the photo below it show work-in-progress on improving the former cable car route for motorcars and trucks.
Looking back and north from Harbor Avenue to the early work-in-progress on improving the arterial qualities of California Blvd. S.W.
Another Baist detail, four years later in 1912.

With Clay Eals, one of the most confident modern boosters of West Seattle, at his side, Jean Sherrard aimed his Nikon southwest across Harbor Avenue to one of the Head’s best known and most sentimental landmarks, Eva’s Stone Cottage. The framing of the beachside home with a marine view of Seattle was finished in the late 1920s.  Asked by a granddaughter how she would like the house finished, Eva answered, “Well, what about putting little rocks from the beach on it?”  With her family’s help, this prolific collecting we suspect continued into the Great Depression.  Now Eva’s Stone Cottage is one of the few beachside homes surviving in the increasing crush of modern condominiums.

An only a few years earlier recording of the stone home on Harbor Avenue.

After crossing Harbor Avenue, Jean and Clay continued around the corner of Eva’s home and climbed the length of what must be one of Seattle’s shortest streets, the half-block-long Maryland Place.  In order to save room for Eva’s Stone Cottage at the corner, we have not included Jean’s more precisely recorded repeat of our feature at 4013 Maryland Place S.W. When completed at the cusp of the Great Depression, the cottage was topped with a waving cornice made from the darker rocks that the family carried home in their wheelbarrow.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

There are a few implied ‘stories’ about the featured house found in public records.  First, from its 1938 tax card, the date for construction, 1920, is years late.  In a Seattle Streets Department photo that is convincingly dated November 1916, the home is shown standing.   The tax photo attached to the card used here was recorded in 1937-38 during the Works Progress Administration’s photographic inventory of every taxable structure in King County.  The assessed value for these two lots were thirty dollars for the land and $230 for the home. Two years later the home was visited by tragedy when resident nineteen-year-old John R. Lofstad was listed in The Times “Vital Statistics” feature as having died from an automobile accident.

A public works photographer looks down (east) on Maryland Lane from California Blvd. S.W.. The featured home survives having withstood  a winter storm recorded here on February 11, 1916. The message attached at the top is part of a communication between Jean and I.  CLICK T O ENLARGE.

WEB EXTRAS

This photo is a more precise repeat of the ‘Then’ shot above. Strolling down the walk are (from left) Clay Eals and John Siscoe

Anything to add, kids?  Yes Jean.  Ron and I send along more features from the neighborhood – widely cast.

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GOOD VIEW LOTS

THEN: Twenty years ago the Mukai Farm and Garden on Vashon Island was designated a King County Landmark. (Courtesy, Vashon Maury Island Heritage Association)

THEN: The Craftsman bungalow at 1910 47th Ave. S.W., shown in the 1920s with an unknown adult on the porch and two tykes below, is now 100 years old. The house beyond it at the southeast corner with Holgate Street was for many years clubhouse to the West Seattle Community Club, and so a favorite venue for discussing neighborhood politics and playing bridge. (COURTESY OF SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY)

THEN: Built in 1893, West Seattle School kept teaching until ruined by the region’s 1949 earthquake. (Courtesy Michael Maslan)

THEN: Part of the pond that here in 1946 filled much of the long block between Massachusetts and Holgate Streets and 8th Avenue S. and Airport Way. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: Between the now lost tower of the Pioneer Building, seen in part far left, and the Seattle Electric Steam Plant tower on the right, are arranged on First and Railroad Avenues the elaborate buzz of business beside and near Seattle’s Pioneer Square ca. 1904.

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: 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)

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: 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: Included among the several detailed photos taken for the Bernards of their new and yet rustic Fir Lodge, was this one of the living room with its oversized fireplace and the piano on which Marie, their older daughter, learned to play well enough to concertize. (Courtesy Doris Nelson)

THEN: Looking southeast from above Alki Avenue, the Schmitz Park horizon is serrated by the oldest trees in the city. The five duplexes clustered on the right were built 1919-1921 by Ernest and Alberta Conklin. Ernest died in 1924, but Alberta continued to live there until well past 1932, the year this photograph was recorded. (Seattle Municipal Archives.)

THEN: Looking into West Seattle’s Junction and north on California Ave. SW to its intersection with SW Alaska Street in 1941. The Hamm Building, is seen above the light-colored car, and the Campbell Building is at right, behind the G.O. Guy Drugs sign.

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CA. 18[90 sketch of Alki Point from Sunset bluff.
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The apiary in the Louvre

In 2018 six beehives were installed at the foot of the Louvre in the Raffet garden. It is such a vision, almost an impressionnist joy to contemplate so  many beauties without pesticides in a field much more larger than a painting …

En 2018 six rûches ont été installées au pied de la façade du Louvre dans le jardin Raffet.  C’est une telle vision, presque une joie impressionniste de contempler toutes ces beautés sans pesticides dans un espace beaucoup plus grand qu’un tableau…

Seattle Now & Then: The Northwest Folklife Festival

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THEN: Members of the Love Israel Family performing beside the Flag Plaza Pavilion (note the sign upper-left) at the Folklife Festival on May 30, 1976. (photo by Frank Shaw)
NOW: Members of the Mad Robins posing for Jean Sherrard in front of Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion, which replaced the Flag Pavilion in 2002. From left: Michael Karcher (caller), Brandon Ananias Martin-Anderson, Amy Hanson Wimmer, Diana Herbst, Isaac Sarek Banner, Abigail Hobart, Anita Anderson, Melissa Coffey, David Kessler

Both groups posing her performed at Seattle’s by now venerable Northwest Folklife festival.  The earlier pleased posers are all members of the Love Israel religious community, living then near each other in several homes on Queen Anne hill.  They are performing from the Seattle Center stairway, between the Flag Plaza Pavilion built for Century 21 (our World’s Fair of 1962) and the Folklife visitors seated on the plaza behind photographer Frank Shaw. (You cannot see them.)  Shaw was a skilled amateur who filled several binders with his 2×2 negatives and transparencies (slides) recorded on his camera, a Hasselblad I envied then and still do.

Another Shaw photograph, this of the family’s booth at the same 1976 Folklife Festival at Seattle Center.

Posing for Jean, the contemporary players have named themselves the Mad Robins, and dress appropriately. Earlier singing a cappella (without instruments), they accompanied contra dancers at this year’s Folklife Festival. By Jean’s accounting they sang very well. To prove it, Jean both recorded their performance and edited it into a youtube video that you will also find with a link below under WEB EXTRAS.. The Mad Robins’ own description of themselves is packed with joyful influences.  ”We are a group of eight contra dancers who also sing in a variety of traditions: sea shanties, barbershop quartet, Sacred Harp, pub carols from the British Isles, folk songs, Broadway show tunes, and choruses.”

Later than Love Israel, a quartet of “old music” players perform on Seattle Center steps that seem to be under repair. I, Dorpat, took this about 30 years ago. Perhaps someone will write us with all the names and we will insert them for old time posterity.

Thanks to Red Robin Melissa Coffey for help with the Red Robins and to both Rachel Israel and Charles LeWarne for their help with Love Israel history. Historian LaWarne’s book, published by the University of Washington Press and sensibly named “The Love Israel Family,” is in print.

An early Folklife scene by Frank Shaw, which he carefully dated on the slide’s holder, May 28, 1973,
Probably the only one-man band at the 1986 Folklife Festival.
Folklife 1986, lead member of the popular band then, the Dynamic Logs, takes an opportunity to rest his guitar between acts.
Seattle Folk legend, Stan James, at Folklife in 2003, or possibly 2004, as a member of the Halibuts, a trio; of friends who performed songs written by local Clam King, Ivar Haglund.
Tired dogs at the unseasonably warm 2009 Folklife. These dogs were also employed to sell a chow that was purely for pets and by some generous appreciation of our best friend was promoted at the folk festival.
A portion of the landscaping at the east end of the Flag Plaza Pavilion in the 1970s photographed by Fred Bauer.
Hucksters/Hustlers at the 2012 Folklife Festival. I gave them five dollars with the promise that they would heal their pipe for as I explained I doubted that they could get a new one  out of my philanthropy.  . 

WEB EXTRAS

Jean here. I’ve added a photo of The Mad Robins in performance at this year’s Folklife:

And here’s a short video of their performance provided by member Melissa Coffey:

Anything to add, compañeros?  First, congratulations to Jean on completing the staging and directing what I’ll estimate was your 75th play with the good student-thespians of Hillside Academy.  Will you please estimate the number of productions that comprise your total Hillside opera, so far? Hillside is featured with a link at the top  of the blog’s front page, in the column directly to the right.)

Here follows a small spray of weekly links pulled from the last 37 years.   CLICK to open and CLICK to enlarge.

THEN: We imagine that the photographer A.J. McDonald waited for one of his subjects, the cable car to Queen Anne Hill, to reach the intersection of Second Ave. N. and Aloha Street below him before snapping this panorama in the mid-1890s.

THEN: In the first years of the twentieth century, visiting circuses most often used these future Seattle Center acres to raise their big tops. After 1911 the favored circus site was moved to the then freshly-cleared Denny Regrade neighborhood (Courtesy, Mike Cirelli)

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THEN: In the 32 years between Frank Shaw's dedication picture and Jean Sherrard's dance scene, Freeway Park has gained in verdure what it has lost in human use.

THEN: The Moose float heads south on First Avenue at Columbia Street during the 1912 Potlatch parade of fraternal and secret societies. Behind them are Julius Redelsheimer's clothing store and the National Hotel, where daily room rates ran from 50 cents to a dollar.

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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

Temporarily untended the Good Shepherd orchard awaits its fate, ca. 1978.

Then Caption: Amateur photographer George Brown most likely took this view of Portland’s 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition from the north porch of the Washington State Building. Brown also played clarinet in Wagner’s popular concert and marching band, which was probably performing at the Expo. (pic courtesy of Bill Greer)

THEN: Seattle Architect Paul Henderson Ryan designed the Liberty Theatre around the first of many subsequent Wurlitzer organs used for accompanying silent films in theatres “across the land”. The Spanish-clad actor-dancers posed on the stage apron are most likely involved in a promotion for a film – perhaps Don Q, Son of Zorro (1925) or Douglas Fairbanks’ The Gaucho (1929) that also played at the Liberty. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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)

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 BELOW: A REMINDER TO VOTE THIS NOVEMBER

FRANK SHAW, the photographer lived next door to Seattle Center. He recorded this photograph of circus elephants on July 22, 1965 . We use it here as a reminder to vote this November.

Seattle Now & Then: Third and Madison, 1916

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Sighting northwest through the intersection of Madison Street and Third Avenue, circa 1916. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: SeaFirst Bank began buying up the block in the late 1950s and opened its fifty-floor tower in 1968.

May we note first a happy coincidence –instructive too – between this week’s “then” and “now?” Jean Sherrard has lifted his Nikon to a prospect above the southwest corner of Third Avenue and Madison Street that seems to resemble the elevation reached about a century ago by the more historical, although unnamed, photographer.  Jean has extended his pole-mounted camera into a zone of overhead wires that may resemble – for you too? –  that surreal moment when the spacecraft Cassini passed through the Rings of Saturn.

The Third Avenue Theatre at the northeast corner of Madison Street and Third Avenue.

In fact, Jean’s camera has paused here for his “click” within a few inches of where the sidewalk sat 110 years ago. That was before the Third Avenue regrade cut seventeen feet from the intersection.  Before the cutting, cable cars on Madison Street climbed the third steepest grade in the cable car industry here between Second and Third Avenues.

The rough half-block displayed in the feature photo at the top, survives in this 1913 detail from a photo taken from the Smith Tower in the last months of its construction. Enlarge this illustration and you will better find the signs holding to the half-block in the “Then.”   The Lincoln Hotel is there as well, but not the Elks Lodge.  
Years later (less than six) the half block facing Third Avenue’s east side between Madison and Spring Streets is being fitted for “Real Estate Row”, the one-story brick addition that ran the length of the block.
An advertisement generated from “Real Estate Row” on Sept. 1, 1920. It appeared the The Times, which we can now sample from its digital archives shared by The Seattle Public Library.   If your have a SPL card you will enjoy exploring with it, this we promise.  If not get a card and call the library for instructions on how to link to it.

The intersection’s rough northeast kitty-korner still shows the scars left by the deep grading along both Third and Madison about ten years before the “then” was recorded ca. 1916.  From 1890 until its destruction in 1906 by regrades, this northeast corner was the home of “polite vaudeville,” with a “family formula” featuring acts “without booze, peanuts or catcalls.” Here the scarred corner has been terraced for and signed by the Hopkins Nursery, perhaps the British-born Thomas Hopkins who with his sons later ran an award-winning and long-lived nursery in Bothell.   To this side of the terraced nursery, sits a nifty two door shed at the corner.  It promotes itself as a “union shop” that from toe to top cleans, shines, and dyes “ladies and gents shoes,” and also sells, cleans, presses and reblocks men’s hats.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

The largest sign stuck in the dirt above the corner shed reads, in part, “For Lease or Owners Will Build.”  Soon the east side of Third Avenue between Madison and Spring Streets was fitted with an array of single story brick storefronts, and was popularly called “Real Estate Row.”  All the sidewalk shops were fitted with skylights of the same sort and size – at least ten of them.  Behind the retail  “row” was another of cars, parked west of an alley running the block. East of the alley and up the hill were the two landmark buildings filling much of the frame.  On the right is the Lincoln Hotel built in 1899 and destroyed by fire in 1920. Left-of-center stands the Elks Club, dedicated in 1914 and sold to Jewish Group in 1958 that sold it to the bank in 1964 for the building of their dark glass-curtain tower, dedicated in 1968. (Greg Dziekonski, a helpful fact-checking reader, tells us that “The Seattle Youth Symphony rehearsed in this building from 1958 to 1961 when it was the Jewish Community Center.”)

The SeaFirst Tower was completed in 1968.
Lawton Gowey’s record of the nearly new SeaFirst Tower photographed from the Smith Tower in 1971.

Far left in the featured photo – printed at the top – and facing Fourth Avenue a half-block north, the Independent Telephone Co. completed the photo’s frame on the left.  It joined the hot early twentieth century competition to wire, mostly from competing poles, the city with telephone lines.  Erected in 1902, the building’s “most interesting part,” the Times reported, was its concrete floors and partitions.  It was “a feature never before employed in the construction of any other building in Seattle.”

A Times clip from August 24, 1902 revealing the redundant rush and opportunism of competing telephone companies early in the 20th Century..

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, mes braves?   Surely.   Ron may add some to what below when he arises from his late Spring-Sunday-Morning Sleep.

Meanwhile . . .

:Looking east from the roof of the hotel. The towers on the right belong to Central School facing ‘Marion and Madison streets  between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, and behind those the two towers of Saint James Cathedral can be glimpsed at the southeast corner of 9th Avenue and Marion Street.

Looking northwest over the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Monroe Street, and the poplars that once bordered the latter.
CLICK TO ENLARGE:  Lincoln Hotel before the poplars on Madison. The Seattle Public Library is on the right, and the harbor is exceptionally busy with the illustrator’s fleet. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)
On of the many parades produced for the 1911 (or possible ’12) Potlatch Parade passed through the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Spring Street. Together the Lincoln, on the left, and the Elks Lodge, on the right, press against their neighbor, a frame house  larege enough to hold lodgers.

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 LINCOLN’S FATE BY FIRE

Larry Hamilton gave me a witness’s account of the 1920 fire that destroyed the Lincoln Hotel. Larry and I became friends through our common interest in local history and more, our study of it as well. Larry did the darkroom work for the Museum of History and Industry, although by the time I met him he had moved on from that charitable work to others, like accompanying me to lectures and shows and such. I drove. This photo of the ruins comes from Larry and it was accompanied with his story of the fire. If memory serves he arrived in Seattle on the day of the fire or the day before it. Whatever he could give it a sensational refiring. We kept it up – our explorations and friendship – until his death in his 90’s. Would that you (dear reader)  and I could bank that vitality. Perhaps his greatest virtue was his sense of humor. He was good a promotion for life everlasting. Hamilton would never run from or out of wit. See you later Hamilton. Just kidding Larry. “Nor can joy be long sustained.” George Santayana. (1863 – 1952). From this southeast prospect here is surely a building in trouble. It requires an inspection from the west to dampen – with the fire fighters’ shower – any thought of restoring the Lincoln.
Looking down we  find some of the Real Estate Row facing the sidewalk on the east side of Third Avenue.

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THEN: With feet nearly touching the Madison Street Cable Railway’s cable slot, five “happy workers” squeeze on to the front bumper of an improvised Armistice Day float. (Photo courtesy Grace McAdams)

THEN: Looking west on Madison Street from Seventh Avenue circa 1909. (Courtesy, Washington State Museum, Tacoma)

THEN: Looking south on First Avenue from its northwest corner with Madison Street, circa 1905. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

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: 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: The Big Snow of 1916 trims two jewelers’ clocks on the west side of Second Avenue, north of Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

 

Seattle Now & Then: A Denny Home at 3rd and Union

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Built in 1869 by Seattle pioneer Carson Boren at the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Union Street, the charming structure was home for Carson’s mother Sarah Denny and her second husband John Denny, the father of Seattle founders Arthur and David Denny. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: The city’s main branch of the federal post office was built on the corner in the first years of the 20th Century. Its sandstone beaux-arts architecture was replaced in the late 1950s by a modern glass curtain.

On the flipside of the scuffed original print, the caption reads “Built in 1869 by Carson D. Boren for his mother Sarah Latimer Boren Denny – it is now the present site of main post office at Third and Union.”  Actually this tidy home was built for both Sarah and her husband John Denny, the father of Seattle founders, Arthur and David Denny.  She was John’s second Sarah, who, in 1851, with her grown son Carson, joined David and his sons for the seven-month trek on the Oregon Trail to the Willamette Valley.  (John’s first Sarah, his wife for 27 years, died in 1841 at the age of 44.)

The early work of construction on the city’s grand P.O. at the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Union Street was confounded by the city’s decision to regrade Third Avenue the distance from James Street to Pine Street where Third was interrupted by Denny Hill. The lowering of Third Avenue resulted in the addition of new ground floors (and basements) for many of the businesses and homes facing Third Ave. Here at Union the new P.O.’s planned front doors facing Third were accommodated with steps that reached well into the sidewalk. This extension can be found above the trolley approaching Union Street in the bottom-right corner of in this photograph.  Similarly, at the corner, new steps are spread across the sidewalk.  Both proved popular, and became oft-used places for arranged meetings among workers and shoppers.  “I’ll be waiting at the Steps.”

The Dennys had been a successful farming family of exceptional industry, building successful farms in both Indiana and Illinois before together catching the “Oregon Itch” for the warmer and more lugubrious winters promised in the Willamette Valley.  There they built a third farm, while their grown children continued on to Puget Sound’s Elliott Bay to found a town they named after the helpful Duwamish headman, Seattle.  In 1858 the parents joined their pioneering children in Washington Territory.

While still in Illinois John Denny had served in the state’s legislature with his friend Abraham Lincoln.  Both were admired – and elected – as Whig wits with the gift for telling good stories.  Gordon Newell, one of Washington State’s author-solons, described John Denny as an “American pioneer and frontiersman, citizen soldier and homespun politician.”  As John’s sense of humor provoked mirth he was often chosen as speaker, or master of ceremonies for community events such as a Fourth of July celebration. In 1868, as a member of the fledgling Seattle Library Association, Denny gave what pioneer historian Thomas Prosch described as a “series of lectures on the progress of science and art,” which Prosch attended.

In her still enjoyed book “Pig-tail Days in Old Seattle,” Sophie Frye Bass remembers her great-great-grandmother Sarah and the atmosphere of her home.  (John had died in 1875, the year that Sophie started primary school.)  She writes, “Great Gramma’s place was a little white gabled house with wide porches.  It had tiny panes of glass on either side of the front paneled door and a funny bell which I loved to ring.  I recall the hit-or-miss rag carpet, the marble-topped table with the knitted cover that held the family album and stereoscope.  If I were a good girl, I was allowed to peek through the stereoscope, which seldom happened. … On the dresser in the tiny bedroom were bottles of hartshorn and camphor. The little house had the sweetest odor – indescribable – an odor of spices and old mahogany furniture and a whiff of some delicious cake backing in the oven.”

A detail pulled from the panorama below it by G. Moore in the early 1870s. Here the Territorial University stands top-center on Denny’s Knoll with a still forested First Hill horizon behind it. The clear-cutting was on its way. The John and Sarah Denny Home is at the southeast corner of Third Ave. and Union Street, directly below the school on its knoll. A portion of the coal railroad’s narrow-gauge track runs along Pike Street just beyond the undeveloped lots above the fence at the bottom.   In the 1870s the coal was carried by rail from the south endof Lake Union to bunkers at the end of the Pike Street Wharf.   The operation was moved in 1878 to the new coal wharf and bunkers off of King Street..  These CANNOT be seen in the panorama below, nor can the tracks that would be extended across the tideflats from the King Street Wharf to Renton and Newcastle for more coal. 
G. Moore’s pan looking south from the southern slop of the southern summit of Denny Hill.  (Courtesy, MUSEUM of HISTORY and  INDUSTRY)
CORRECTION: Would like to change the last  sentence of the feature above from March 5, 1995 to read “two or three years before this view was recorded.”   We continue to learn – and make  mistakes.

”Before the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Union Streets was chosen by the feds for Seattle’s new and grand beau arts P.O., the corner was home to the Plummer Block. (We have written about this with a feature but cannot for the moment find the clipping to scan – for you.

WEB EXTRAS

Just for beauty’s sake, I’ll toss in an early morning shot of Rainier, taken from the 80th St. overpass over I-5 last week:

Anything to add, ducks?  Jean, proud are Ron and I with our quackery are inserting more features from the neighborhood.  However, and frankly, we wonder if in choosing to insert this “The Mountain That Was God” testimony, had you taken note of what we think is an eagle soaring there and not a duck.  While we do not blame you, we wonder if you could have been more careful. 

THEN: Looking north from Seneca Street on Third Avenue during its regrade in 1906. (Photo by Lewis Whittelsey, Courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

THEN:The early evening dazzle of the Roosevelt Theatre at 515 Pike Street, probably in 1941. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: With the stone federal post office at its shoulder – to the left – and the mostly brick Cobb Building behind, the tiled Pantages Theatre at Third Ave. and University Street gave a glow to the block. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Thanks to Pacific reader John Thomas for sharing this photograph recorded by his father in 1927. It looks north across Times Square to the almost completed Orpheum Theatre. Fifth Avenue is on the left, and Westlake on the right.

THEN: Sometime between early December 1906 and mid-February 1907 an unnamed photographer with her or his back about two lots north of Pike Street recorded landmarks on the east side of Third Avenue including, in part, the Washington Bar stables, on the right; the Union Stables at the center, a church converted for theatre at Pine Street, and north of Pine up a snow-dusted Denny Hill, the Washington Hotel. (Used courtesy of Ron Edge)

THEN: Plymouth Congregational Church barely reached maturity – twenty-one years – when it was torn down in 1913 for construction of the equally grand but less prayerful Pantages Theatre, also at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and University Street. (Museum of History & Industry)

THEN: The “then” photo looks southeast across Union Street to the old territorial university campus. It was recorded in the Fall of 1907, briefly before the old park-like campus was transformed into a grand commercial property, whose rents still support the running of the University of Washington. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Looking east on Pike Street from Fifth Avenue early in the twentieth century. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Looking west on Pike Street from Fourth Avenue, the variety in the first block of this retail district includes the Rhodes Bros. Ten Cent Store, Mendenhall’s Kodaks, Fountain Pens and Photo Supplies, Remick’s Song and Gift Shop, the Lotus Confectionary, Fahey-Brockman’s Clothiers, where, one may “buy upstairs and save $10.00”. (Courtesy, MOHAI)

THEN: This rare early record of the Fourth and Pike intersection was first found by Robert McDonald, both a state senator and history buff with a special interest in historical photography. He then donated this photograph - with the rest of his collection - to the Museum of History and Industry, whom we thank for its use. (Courtesy MOHAI)

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Looking south on Third and thru Union Street to work-in-progress on the city’s new Post-Office. The tower of Plymouth Congregational Church stands at the end of the block facing University Street.   Ca. 1904
Showing beneath the slightly older photo printed above are the new front steps of the new P.O. facing the lowered  grade on the new Third Avenue.  And take note, perhaps, of the people meeting on the steps.

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Like the two “shots” that follow, this was recorded in the mid-1980s.  The glass-curtain modern facade from the 1950s has since been remodeled for other tastes.

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A pioneer Seattle baby photographed by the same Moore who recorded the panorama near the top.

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Seattle Now & Then: The Leland Hotel at Pike and Post

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The Leland Hotel survives – although with many changes – as a market corner stone where Pike Place begins at the foot of Pike Street. One of the earliest adjustments cut away its east façade with and for the 1906-7 development – at an angle – of Pike Place. . (Courtesy, University of Washington Library’s Northwest Collection.)
NOW: In a “tug-of-peace” between repeating the “then” outside with some of the Pike Place pavement, Jean Sherrard, after attending a meeting in HistoryLink’s newest home inside the Market, wisely chose this interior recording, which includes a mother and son, we assume, reaching for Rachel, the Market’s mascot and its bronze piggy bank. The five posers at the center are, left to right, Marie McCaffrey, a HistoryLink founder, publisher Petyr Beck, and HistoryLink staff members David Koch, Jennifer Ott and Antonia Kelleher.
Here’s a coupling of the featured photo with a detail from the 1904 real estate and fire map published by Sanborn, The Leland is foot-printed in the map, although not named.    (Click and blow it  UP now) .  The  Leland is titled or named simply “Lodgings” and on the map as in life it is at the foot of Pike Street,  bottom-left.  The front door is there, a little off-center, as it is in the photograph.  Post Alley is in both and well  before the east facade or wall of the hotel was moved in order to make way for the making of  Pike Place in 1906-7.   Note the shacks and sheds north of the hotel on the edge of the of the bluff.   First Avenue is on the right bordering the row of clapboards standing there.  Finally,  note the stairway leading to the waterfront, bottom-left.  It was not the first PIke Street Hill Climb, but nearly. The first was the narrow-gauged railroad viaduct on which the coal gondolas were lowered to the Pike Street Pier or wharf that  led to the bunkers. From 1871 to 1878 this was Seattle’s primary arterial of wealth: coal from the east side of Lake Washington carried to coal colliers from California.   Our coal was, it seems, better than theirs.  
From the back porch or window of their studio at the foot of Cherry Street, Peterson and Bros, pioneer photographers, looked north up the waterfront to the distant Pike Street Coal Wharf in 1876. The steep viaduct that slowly let the coal cars down from the narrow-gauge railroad tracks on Pike to the Pike wharf can be seen in the forest climbing the Pike Street hill-climb on the far right.
The Main Market Building, ca.1915, extended north of the Leland along the bluff and above Western Avenue on the increasingly narrowing wedge-shaped block north of Pike Street, between Western and Pike Place. Please note the temporary boardwalk built around the southwest corner of the Leland.  On its way to Wester Avenue, it switchbacks around the construction sheds showing near the center of the photo. This was an early short-lived variation on the Pike Street Hill-climb.

Of the roughly 150 thousand citizens living in Seattle in 1907, nine answered to Olds – their last name – and six of these lived in the Hotel Leland.  And surely all of them knew by heart the 1904 pop hit “In my Merry Oldsmobile“.  (My dad taught it to me in the 1940s.  He drove one.)

Here, in the featured photo at the top, stands the Hotel Leland at the northwest corner of Pike Street and the Post Alley, circa 1904.  There was then, as yet, neither a Pike Place nor a Public Market, nor any intimation of either.  The alley-wide arterial on the right is not a Place but an alley, Post Alley.  The building of Pike Place, between this intersection and the foot of Virginia Street at Western Avenue, came suddenly, as did the founding of its namesake public market.

A rare early look west on Pike from First Avenue into the building of Pike Place. The Post Alley descends on the left, and the Hotel Leland stands upper right with its remodel including a bay window over the hotel’s front door, still on the south wall.   The hotel’s bay window can also be seen in the photograph above this one, which also shows the added two floors – at the base – which came with the blocks’ new grade between Pike Place and Western Avenue. 

Pike Place was cut thru in 1906-7 on the incentive of activist engineers and not by budget-conscious homemakers conspiring with truck-gardeners to exchange cash for produce in a public place like Pike Place. ( With the coming of the Market the farmers could get around the wholesale grocers’ gouging on Western Avenue.)  It was the transportation planners at city hall who successfully connived to cut through the neighborhood. In this public work of creating the eccentric Pike Place, they completed City Engineer Reginald Thomson’s Route No. 15, an arterial from northwest Seattle directed into the city’s new retail center to the sides of Pike Street.

A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map includes the Leland Hotel at its new sharpened corner at Pike and Pike Place. Note the stairway to Market Street. As described above it was for a brief period replaced with a switchback sidewalk-ramp built around the south west corner of the hotel. In 1908.  Here  there is, of course, as yet no sign of the Market. Rather this is the Pike Place designed for drivers and not farmers parking their wagons packed with produce.  (Keep Clicking to Enlarge these Illustrations.)
In the Goodwin Real Estate Co. adver from May 7, 1907 there is no hint of Pike Place’s fated Market, but rather a recognition that “Pike Place will be the main channel through which the North Seattle water front travel will pass.”

Perhaps we would be right to imagine that the suited man with the watch chain standing above, and perhaps posing, at the Leland’s front door is its owner Gamaliel T. Olds. The helpful Kate Krafft, one of Seattle’s most effective activists for historic preservation, dates the construction of the Hotel Leland in 1902-3.  In the Aug. 11, 1907 classifieds for The Seattle Times – a mere week before the Pike Place Market’s grand opening – the Olds hotel was offered for sale and described as a “Lodging House, eighteen rooms; good furniture, good location.”

While the Olds were building their Leland on Pike they were running another Leland on First Avenue, north of Pioneer Square. There Gertrude Myren “inspirational psychic clairvoyant” was one their tenants. The capacities she claimed are impressive. She could diagnose and cure diseases, restore lost affection, locate mines, and “tell you all from cradle to grave.” (But why must she bring up the graves!)
Nervous about the effects of the planned Pike Place Market approaching opening, the “commission men” speculate among themselves and for a Times Reporter  on Aug. 7, 1907, a long week before the Market’s first sales between farmers and families, that Pike Place will be busy with “more hucksters” who first purchase their produce from the commission houses, than farmers who picked them from their own gardens.  
In its August 18, 1907 advertisement printed in The Times, the Goodwin brothers played on the crowded success of the public market on its first day while announcing the sale of three of their properties “south of Pine Street.” On easy terms.
A Clip from the Seattle Times for Sept. 4, 1907.

It was the Goodwin brothers, the market neighborhood’s first spirited developers, who purchased the hotel while keeping one of the Olds on as its manager.  Surprisingly, the democratically stressful part of the Market’s popularity soon upset M. Olds. The Times for Nov. 10, 1907 reported that he had complained that the police should “do something to prevent Socialists from attempting to hold street meetings on Pike Place . . . He complains particularly about the crowds, which he says congregate in front of his hotel much to his annoyance.”  Now after the Pike Place Public Market’s first 111 years of clamoring activism, M. Olds complaining comes across as partially prescient and partially pathetic.

A clip from The Times for Nov. 10, 1907.
Lots of besuited bother at the Socialist State Convention in Seattle, 1914.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, mates?  Surely captain.   More from the neighborhood.

THEN: A circa 1920 look north along the tiled roofline of the Pike Place Market’s North Arcade, which is fitted into the slender block between Pike Place, on the right, and Western Avenue, on the left. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: In this April morning record of the 1975 “Rain or Shine Public Market Paint-in,” above the artists, restoration work has begun with the gutting of the Corner Market Building. (Photo by Frank Shaw)

THEN: Friends of the Market president, architect Victor Steinbrueck, leads a cadre of Friends marching for Market preservation in front of the Seattle City Hall most likely on March 18, 1971. (Photo by Tom Brownell from the Post-Intelligencer collection at MOHAI)

THEN: The 1974 fire at the Municipal Market Building on the west side of Western Avenue did not hasten the demise of the by then half-century old addition of the Pike Place Market. It had already been scheduled for demolition. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

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THEN: The Hotel York at the northwest corner of Pike Street and First Avenue supplied beds on the American Plan for travelers and rooms for traveling hucksters. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Steel beams clutter a freshly regraded Second Avenue during the 1907 construction of the Moore Theatre. The view looks north toward Virginia Street.

THEN: Seattle Architect Paul Henderson Ryan designed the Liberty Theatre around the first of many subsequent Wurlitzer organs used for accompanying silent films in theatres “across the land”. The Spanish-clad actor-dancers posed on the stage apron are most likely involved in a promotion for a film – perhaps Don Q, Son of Zorro (1925) or Douglas Fairbanks’ The Gaucho (1929) that also played at the Liberty. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Thanks to Pacific reader John Thomas for sharing this photograph recorded by his father in 1927. It looks north across Times Square to the almost completed Orpheum Theatre. Fifth Avenue is on the left, and Westlake on the right.

THEN: An early-20th-century scene during the Second Avenue Regrade looks east into its intersection with Virginia Avenue. A home is being moved from harm's way, but the hotel on the hill behind it would not survive the regrade's spoiling. Courtesy of Ron Edge.

THEN: Looking south from Pine Street down the wide Second Avenue in 1911, then Seattle’s growing retail strip and parade promenade. (courtesy of Jim Westall)

belltown-moran-then

THEN: In 1910, a circa date for this look north on First Avenue across Virginia Street, the two corners on the east side of the intersection were still undeveloped – except for signs. The Terminal Sales Building, seen far right in Jean Sherrard’s repeat, did not replace the billboards that crowd the sidewalk in the “then” until 1923. (Seattle Municipal Archive)

Then: Looking north from Pioneer Place (square) into the uptown of what was easily the largest town in Washington Territory. This is judged by the 3218 votes cast in the November election of 1884, about one fourth of them by the newly but temporarily enfranchised women.Tacoma, in spite of being then into its second year as the terminus for the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad, cast 1663 votes, which took third place behind Walla Walla's 1950 registered votes.

THEN: Charles Louch’s grocery on First Avenue, north of Union Street, opened in the mid-1880s and soon prospered. It is possible – perhaps probable – that one of the six characters posing here is Louch – more likely one of the two suited ones on the right than the aproned workers on the left. (Courtesy RON EDGE)

THEN: Mark Tobey, almost certainly Seattle’s historically most celebrated artist, poses in the early 1960s with some Red Delicious apples beside the Sanitary Market in the Pike Place Market. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Pike Place Market’s irregular block shapes and bluff-side topography joined to create a multi-level campus of surprising places, such as this covered curve routing Post Alley up into the Market. Here, in 1966, the “gent’s” entrance to Seattle’s first Municipal Rest Room (1908) is closed with red tape and a sign reading “Toilet room, closed temporarily for repairs.” The Market was then generally very much in need of repair. (by Frank Shaw, courtesy, Mike Veitenhans)

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Now & Then here and now