Seattle Now & Then: An Elks Carnival, 1902

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THEN: An unidentified photographer looks southeast through the intersection of Third Avenue and Union Street during Seattle’s first-ever multi-day summer festival, the Elks 1902 Seattle Street Fair and Carnival. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: In 1903, a year following the Elks’ fair, the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Union Street was given to the Beaux-Arts construction of Seattle’s Central Post Office. It was demolished in 1958 and replaced with the glass-curtain facility still used today.

The arch standing here at the southeast corner of Union Street and Third Avenue was short-lived, like every other ceremonial ornament contrived for the Seattle Street Fair and Carnival, assembled and produced by the Seattle Elks Lodge for thirteen sunny days in August 1902.  This arch, the only rustic one, was the odd one of four built for the fair. It was a vernacular showpiece with a somewhat exotic shape, covered overall with cedar shakes, making it regional, while wrapping it with electric lights made it modern.

The other three arches, by contrast, were all-white, reminders of the also temporary Beaux Arts architecture of Chicago’s 1893 Columbia Exposition.  The two largest spanned First and Second Avenues widely enough to permit electric trolleys to pass through. With their ornamental splendor, the three classical arches were also unwitting premonitions of Seattle’s own World’s Fair, its 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.  One of the three crossed Union Street about a half-block behind – west – of the unnamed photographer.  With two booths asking for the ten-cent admission, it served the fair as the main ticket gate to the fenced celebration.

The dime paid for everything that was spread about on the acres selected from the former University of Washington campus. The off-campus Third Avenue block between Union and University Streets was also lined with booths, and Union Street as well, from the ticket booth east into the old campus that was covered with tents such as the one seen on the far right of this week’s ‘then’ photograph.  And nearly everything was enveloped in strings of electric lights.  The Elks promised that the grounds at night would be “almost as light as day.”  Some of the exotic thrills inside the fenced tents were an “Arabian trainer in a den of lions,” a “cage of leopards,” “Jabour’s Oriental Carnival and Menageries Company,” and “a troupe of 160 Orientals, Turks, Assyrians, Egyptians, East Indians, Japanese,” in addition to “dozens of unusual things.” The Elks fair was also distinguished and promoted by daily parades through the city streets.  One of the attractions was a “ladies band with eighteen pieces.”

Although exceptionally civic-minded, the Plymouth Congregational Church, on the far right at University Street, was not inside the fenced fair grounds.  The Armory, the structure with the long roof half-hidden behind the arch, was.  Among its many well-promoted events was a contest in the “pretty booth” with prizes for the prettiest girl and the handsomest boy and also “the largest and fattest baby 16 months old.”  The judge was a local doctor who prudently fled the Armory following the contests.


Anything to add, lodge members?

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

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: 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: 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: 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: Seattle’s new – in 1910-11 – cluster-ball street lighting standards stand tall in this ca. 191l look north on Third Avenue from Seneca Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry.)




Seattle Now & Then: A Pioneer Place Welcome, 1908

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THEN: The prospect looks east on Yesler Way through its intersection with First Avenue. James Street enters the five-star corner left-of-center.
NOW: The post-1889 Great Fire Pioneer Building, far left, still holds to its landmark northeast corner of First Avenue and James Street. At least five of the brick landmarks showing in the 1908 photo are still in their place in 2018.

Jean and I first used this Pioneer Square classic years ago on the back cover of our now long out-of-print book, Washington State Then and Now (2007).  We described the crowded scene as a celebration connected with Seattle’s summer-long 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYP).  It seemed like a reasonable claim at the time, but it was wrong.  We missed both the subject’s evidence and lack of it.  There are no AYP signs or flags anywhere to be found.  But there is lots of patriotic bunting, especially American flags.

Fleet Week 1908 looking south on First Avenue from Madison Street.

The best clue for identifying the occasion is spelled out in the line of pennants hanging near the top, showing the last five letters for “WELCOME.” The location is Pioneer Square, when it was still more popularly called Pioneer Place, during the four-day visit of Pres. Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet.  Leaving the east coast in December 1907, it required fourteen months to circumnavigate the world with its military parade. Most likely the scene was photographed on May 26, 1908, following the completion of the Grand Parade for the welcomed visitors,  It started that morning, but in the photo the pedestrian celebrants cast afternoon shadows.

Fleet Week bunting adorning the Frederick Nelson Department Store, which was then at the northwest corner of Madison Street and Second Avenue. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)

The popularity of what Seattle called its “Fleet Week” was both overflowing and depleting. Crowd counters estimated that 400,000 watched the parade.  Downtown businesses were more than willing to decorate their facades with flags and patriotic festoons; many of the decorations were stunning. Five days before the parade The Seattle Times announced “Seattle Has A Bunting Famine.  Merchants were unable to supply another yard of acceptable decorating material to patriotic customers (and) Tacoma and Portland were unable to help.”

Another business block on the parade route, the Haller Building at the norhwest corner of Columbia and Second Avenue. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)

Most of the fleet’s admirers came from Puget Sound, and extra Mosquito Fleet steamers and passenger trains were enlisted to bring the eager hordes to witness “the largest sea-fighting machines in the world.”  The trains were often stuffed beyond standing room, and many seekers from distant communities were left standing on depot platforms.  Visitors who managed to reach Seattle often had to camp in the parks.  The temporary tent, showing left-of-center in the photograph, tries to help.  Its sign reads: “Free Information Bureau, Strangers Directed to Furnished Rooms.”

On Monday, May 25, The Times headlined “Thousands Visit Ships … With every detail outlined by the bright sunshine which followed the dreary rain of yesterday, the eleven huge, white fighting machines now at anchor in the harbor lay in stately majesty in a wide crescent that stretched from Smith’s Cove to the south end of the harbor.” Earlier, when the fleet headed north from their California visits, they inspired thousands of Oregon citizens to sortie to their coast expecting to see the dozen dreadnaughts steam by.  However as brilliant as the big ships could be reflecting the fleet’s “peacetime color, white,” the Oregonians saw nothing of the distant White Fleet, except its smoke darkening the horizon.

Another lavish bunting hirty-five years earlie. The Arlington Hotel at the southeast corner of Main Street and Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) celebrates the 1883 visit to Seattle of the Northern Pacific (NPRR) entourage following rr-magnate  Henry Villard cross-country with the completion of the NP to Tacoma, which while a point of profound disappointment for Seattle was transcended by the end of the 1890s when the NP began giving full service to Seattle.

We’ve attached a direct closing here for the Fleet Week feature above with another below, a scene on Second Avenue , or beside it showing some of the crowd that paid for their bleachers seats here at the southwest corner of Second Avenue and Virginia Street.  (The prospect looks to the northwest.)  This added feature includes an array of Fleet Week images including photos of the fleet itself both on the way and in the bay.

THEN: About a year after he recorded this fashionable throng on Second Avenue celebrating the visit of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet in the spring of 1908, Frank Nowell became the official photographer for Seattle’s six-month-long Alaska Yukon and Pacific Exhibition in 1909.


Just for fun, on this lovely near-Spring day, let’s jump across town for a few cherry blossoms, seen from on high with my 21-foot pole. ‘Tis the season for Asian wedding photos – there were five or six sessions going on with tuxedoed grooms and blushing brides through the cherry trees! Enjoy! (A version of one of these shots will appear in a future column):

Anything to add, lads?  Fall to the Bottom for Seasonal Salubrious advice Jean.

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)

THEN: With the clue of the ornate Pergola on the right, we may readily figure that we are in Pioneer Square looking south across Yesler Way.

THEN: For the first twenty years of his more than 40 years selling tinware and other selected hardware, Zilba Mile's shop looked south across Yesler Way down First Ave. S, then known as Commercial Street.

THEN: The Lebanon aka Jesse George building at Occidental and Main opened with the Occidental Hotel in 1891. Subsequently the hotel’s name was changed first to the Touraine and then to the Tourist. The tower could be seen easily from the railroad stations. It kept the name Tourist until replaced in 1960 with a parking lot. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Local candy-maker A.W. Piper was celebrated here for his crème cakes and wedding cakes and also his cartoons. This sketch is of the 1882 lynching from the Maple trees beside Henry and Sara Yesler’s home on James Street. Piper’s bakery was nearby (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: The original for this scene of a temporary upheaval on Mill Street (Yesler Way) was one of many historical prints given to the Museum of History and Industry many years ago by the Charles Thorndike estate. Thorndike was one of Seattle’s history buffs extraordinaire. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry.)

THEN: A half-century after they reached the top of First Hill, electric streets cars and cable cars prepare to leave it. (Courtesy, The Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: This “real photo postcard” was sold on stands throughout the city. It was what it claimed to be; that is, its gray tones were real. If you studied them with magnification the grays did not turn into little black dots of varying sizes. (Courtesy, David Chapman and




First appeared in Pacific, March 16, 2003













PULLED forward for the coming season from the Times of June 20, 1904.  THIS WILL COST YOU NOTHING. 

More Market…

The Pike Place Market has been one of my stomping grounds since my early teens. Formative place – the first beer I actually purchased was in Post Alley’s long-gone Victrola Tavern at the age of 15 (still in costume as Laertes in a production of ‘Hamlet’ at the Stage One Theatre).

Yesterday, I watched the Pike Place Market Historical Commission at work and was impressed once again by their commitment to fostering and maintaining a thriving market, accessible and accountable to locals and tourists alike.

A few more photos, taken in glorious daylight saving time while the sun sets over a closing market.

Looking directly down Pike – the lovely Market steps descend to the waterfront
Lovely even in reverse
The Antwerpen Express out of Hamburg is towed into port
End of the day…

Market People on Parade

Every sunny weekend in the Pike Place Market is a revelation – a flood of people, light, and color. In addition, yesterday there were a number of celebrants of the East Indian Holi festival of colors. Here are a few candid shots that for some reason make me happy.

Seattle Now & Then: The Ave Trolley, ca. 1939

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THEN: On University Way, ca 1939, when the 4300 block on The Ave was the busiest book block in Seattle. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: The Ave lost its rails in 1940 but kept its common carriers; this one is heading south to the Central Business District from the Maple Leaf neighborhood.

Heading south on The Ave (University Way N.E.), Seattle Municipal Railway car no. 511 was recorded mid-block between N.E. 43rd and N.E. 45th, very possibly by a rail fan, perhaps James Turner or Lawton Gowey.  Both started waiting for and/or chasing trains and trolleys with cameras before World War II.  They knew and admired each other and shared their well-wrought snapshots.  (Much later Lawton and I did the same.)

Friend Lawton Gowey’s ID card with the city’s Water Department. Lawton was a collector, sharer and student of Seattle history, he also played the organ and led the choir of his church on Queen Anne Hill.
By comparison, and for color, Lawton Gowey’s transparency (slide) of car No. 678 in West Seattle and on one of its last runs. Knowing Lawton, it may well have been its last. The car may be posing.

Running on route 15, car no. 511 is heading for Capitol Hill’s commercial arterial, Broadway, as seen printed on the reader board above the center window. The “double-ender” was one of twenty-five trolleys (500 – 524) manufactured in 1906 in St. Louis for use on the already roaring streets of this then (and now) booming city.  All were one inch longer than forty feet, and all were scrapped in either 1940 or 1941.

Heading north on a congested University Way, cars 261 and 267 were also built in St. Louis although they are three years newer than the car featured, they too were scrapped in the early 1940s. This was a long exposure. Note the parallel light streams on the south-bound lane. They were “written” by a car that was apparently parked in from of Nordstom Shoes. The trolleys here, and the car between them, are waiting.

The Varsity Theatre opened across the street from the University Book Store in 1940.  Perhaps the theatre is hidden behind the cars on the left, or, perhaps, is not there. We prefer to think this photograph was recorded a year earlier, sometime in 1939.  Note the American flags flapping above the southbound rails.  They could be in celebration for that year’s Independence Day, but not for the 1940 Fourth of July, by which time the Broadway trolley line had been abandoned. The tracks were soon pulled, and The Ave’s pavement then resembled the wartime rubble often printed in the city’s then three dailies: The Times, The P-I and The Star.

On the right of the featured photo at the top, the popular Lun Ting Café opened sometime in 1938.  It did not make it into that year’s Polk City Directory. The chop suey and chow mein provider appears here adorned with roof tiles. Roy Nielsen, the author of UniverCity, the Story of the University District, fondly reflects that Ray Chinn, the café’s manager and, like Nielsen, a long-time member of the neighborhood Rotary Club, “was very popular in the District.”  In 1970 when the University Book Store expanded into his café, the Rotarians held a mock wake in the café on its closing night.  They called it a “Chinese Smorgasbord Inside Picnic”.  Chinn reopened nearby on 12th Avenue as a Chinese drive-in.

The worn cover to my copy of Roy Nielsen’s 1986 book UNIVERCITY.  Roy was a University District Banker whom I first met not for a loan but when we were both doing research in the University’s Northwest Collection.  Once I accompanied Roy to a meeting of the University District’s Lions Club at speak in support of his attempt to get the club’s  support (not a loan) for the publishing of his book.   He got it. 

In 1925 the Associated Students’ University Book Store (UBS) moved to The Ave from its campus home in the basement of Meany Hall. The 1970 expansion was one of its many remodels.  In the featured photo,  ca. 1939, the Book Store is the gorilla on The Ave’s 4300 hundred block, which was then Seattle’s busiest book block.  Nestled near it were also the Washington Book Store, Dearle’s Book Store, and the Bookery and Lending Library. The UBS celebrated its centennial in 2000.  A year earlier, I had a fine time in the store’s employ writing and illustrating its centennial history.

First appeared in Pacific on January 22, 1995.


Anything to add, boys?  Sure Jean – lots more features.  As friend Gavin MacDougall works his and his scanner’s way through the opera of features we will have a growing horde of stories to share.

THEN: Pioneer Arthur Denny's son, Orion, took this photo of popularly named Lake Union John and his second wife, Madeline, sometime before the latter's death in 1906.

THEN: The first house for Delta Gamma at N.E. 4730 University Way. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: When it was built in 1902, this box home, with classic Ionic pillars at the porch, was set above the northwest corner of the freshly graded Brooklyn Avenue and 47th Street in the University District. (Courtesy, John Cooper)

THEN: First designated Columbus Street in the 1890 platting of the Brooklyn Addition, and next as 14th Avenue to conform with the Seattle grid, ‘The Ave,’ still its most popular moniker, was renamed University Way by contest in 1919. This trim bungalow at 3711 University Way sat a few lots north of Lake Union’s Portage Bay. (Courtesy, Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Archive)

THEN: sliver of the U.W. campus building called the Applied Physics Laboratory appears on the far right of this 1940 look east towards the U.W. campus from the N.E. 40th Street off-ramp from the University Bridge. While very little other than the enlarged laboratory survives in the fore and mid-grounds, much on the horizon of campus buildings and apartments still stand. (Courtesy, Genevieve McCoy)

THEN: For the four-plus months of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the center of commerce and pedestrian energy on University Way moved two blocks south from University Station on Northeast 42nd Street to here, Northeast 40th Street, at left.

THEN: When the Oregon Cadets raised their tents on the Denny Hall lawn in 1909 they were almost venerable. Founded in 1873, the Cadets survive today as Oregon State University’s ROTC. Geneticist Linus C. Pauling, twice Nobel laureate, is surely the school’s most famous cadet corporal. (courtesy, University of Washington Libraries)

THEN: Above Lake Washington’s Union Bay the Hoo-Hoo Building on the left and the Bastion facsimile on the right, were both regional departures from the classical beau arts style, the 1909 AYPE’s architectural commonplace. Courtesy John Cooper

THEN: We suspect that this quiet exposure of the Washington State Building was photographed before the gates of the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition were first opened, and certainly before a bandstand gazebo was built in the grassy circle between it and the Forestry Building. (Courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections)

THEN: An estimated 50 percent of the materials used in the old Husky Union Building were recycled into its recent remodel. The new HUB seems to reach for the roof like its long-ago predecessor, the AYP’s landmark Forestry building. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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: 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)

This rare glimpse of the rapid Ravenna Creek’s fall through Cowen Park was photographed not long before the stream that had had “topped off” Green Lake into Lake Washington’s Union Bay for thousands of years was shut off in 1911. (Photo courtesy of Jim Westall)

THEN: The Latona Bridge was constructed in 1891 along the future line of the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge. The photo was taken from the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway right-of-way, now the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail. The Northlake Apartment/Hotel on the right survived and struggled into the 1960s. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: The historical view looks directly south into the Latona addition’s business district on Sixth Ave. NE. from the Northern Pacific’s railroad bridge, now part of the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Long-time Wallingford resident Victor Lygdman looks south through the work-in-progress on the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge during the summer of 1959. Bottom-right are the remnants of the Latona business and industrial district, including the Wayland Mill and the Northlake Apartments, replaced now with Ivar’s Salmon House and its parking. (Photo by Victor Lygdman)

THEN: From 1909 to the mid-late 1920s, the precipitous grade separation between the upper and lower parts of NE 40th Street west of 7th Ave. NE was faced with a timber wall. When the wall was removed, the higher part of NE 40th was shunted north, cutting into the lawns of the homes beside it. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Chalk-written real estate notices to the sides of Seattle’s Aurora Speedway in 1937 prelude by several decades the profession’s book and computer listings and the expectation of some that an agent will now be driving a Mercedes. (Courtesy, Washington State Archives, Bellevue Community College branch.)

THEN: On March 25, 1946, or near it, Wide World Photos recorded here what they titled “University Vet Housing.” It would soon be named the Union Bay Village and house the families of returning veterans. The first 45 bungalows shown here rented for from $35 to $45 dollars a month. It would increase to a “teeming conglomerate of 500 rental units.” With housing for both married students and faculty. The view looks north over a street that no longer exists. The homes on the right horizon face the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail on N.E. Blakeley Street near N.E. 45th Place. (Courtesy Ron Edge)

THEN: The Gothic University of Washington Campus in 1946 beginning a seven-year crowding with prefabricated dormitories beside Frosh Pond. In the immediate background [on the right] is Guggenheim Hall. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)



























First Avenue in Turmoil

Looking north up First Ave, from Main Street

For those who haven’t visited Pioneer Square recently, or traversed First Avenue, you’re in for a bit of shock. As the old fellah from Vermont once drawled, ‘Ya cahn’t get there from heah.’ Well…you can, but we recommend you take a bus and walk. Here’s a few photos of the upheaval, which is projected to last for many months  (of course, click to enlarge):


Seattle Now & Then: 3rd and Pike Looking East, ca. 1903

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Sarah Sophia Frye Bass, a pioneer Denny family granddaughter grew up on Pike Street in the 1870s. In her oft-read book Pigtail Days In Old Seattle, published in 1938, she noted “it is today the busiest street in town by actual traffic counts.”
NOW: In this contemporary look east on Pike Street from Third Avenue, little of the turn-of-the-century street survives.

With the number 677 inked, lower-right, on the original glass negative, this is an early exposure from the Webster and Stevens Studio. Loomis Miller was the last owner of this magnum opus (about 40,000 mostly glass negatives) which PEMCO purchased for the Museum of History and Industry in 1983.  The low number of this subject in MOHAI’S “PEMCO Collection” dates it very early in the twentieth century.  (I’m choosing a circa 1903 date until corrected.)

Pike Street runs left-right (west-east) in this detail pulled from the 1904-5 Sanborn real estate map. Third Avenue is on the left and Fourth on the right. Both the Heussy Building and the Abbott Hotel can be found in both the map and the featured photo. They face each other across Pike Street at  its intersection with Third Avenue..
A circa 1904 look south down Third Avenue from the south summit of Denny Hill, the site of the Denny Hotel, aka the Washington Hotel.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
Third Avenue looking north from Third Avenue with the Denny Hotel on the horizon but still closed. The photo dates from the early 1890s. The hotel opened to its first guest, Theo Roosevelt, in 1903. The Heussy Building, at the northeast corner of Third and Pike, is on the far right.
Heussy and his partner Filz advertise two locations for their Parlor Pharmacy, one in “old town,” on Commercial Street south of Pioneer Place, (aka Square), and the other on booming city’s new north end retail strip, on Pike Street and to its sides.  Parlor adver appeared in The Times for June 30, 1896.
With a little searching you will find optician Elliott’s fairly typical in the “then” hanging from the Heussy Buildgins above the sidewalk.

The photographer – perhaps one of the partners, either Ira Webster or Nelson Stevens – focuses east on Pike Street through its intersection with Third Avenue.  While I have just speculated with some confidence on the date, I have no idea what the purpose of the triangular contraption (a kind of designed street clutter on the left) is for.  (You will need to enlarge the scan to see this detail. ) With the aid of magnification one discovers that the wood frame holds two gears that may be connected to the large coil of rope partially hidden behind the second man from the left.  He is looking in the direction of the “SIGNS” sign attached to the corner of the ornate Heussy Building. Meanwhile, directly below him, another man, smoking his pipe, has improvised the coil as a chair, a modern-looking one.

Pike Street looking east from the northwest corner of Second Avenue to the nearly new Seattle High School on the Capitol Hill horizon in the early 1900s. One block north at Pike’s intersection with Third Avenue, both the Abbot and the Heussy can be found.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
Like the subject above it, this Robert Bradley photo was taken from an upper floor of the Eitel building at the northwest corner of Second Avenue and Pike Street.  A Woolworth has taken the old Abbott Hotel corner.
Looking south on Third Across Pike Street between two of the business district’s more affordable retailers, Woolworth’s and Kress.   The next photo below nearly the same point of view as the above, but from circa 1909.  The Addott Hotel is still on the left.
South on Third from Pike ca. 1909.
Yet another look south on Third Ave. and through its intersection with Pike Street. The long work of building the main post office at the southeast corner of Third and Union has not yet begun. The completed P.O. appears in the photo above this one.

Looking east on Pike (not in the photo directly above, which looks south on Third Ave, but in the featured photo at the top) we can make out, in the half-haze, the Capitol Hill horizon about a mile away.  The tracks in the foreground were a feeder to three Capitol Hill trolley lines: one that did not reach the summit, another that did on 15th Avenue and a third that went over it.  In the early 1900s tracks were not new on Pike Street.  In 1872, there was the narrow-gauge railroad that ran between the Pike

The citizens of Seattle got a free ridge on the first run of the coal railroad between, here, Lake Union and the Pike Street Coal Wharf and bunkers. This the first of Seattle’s coal railroads ran between 1872 and 1878.
The coal railroad’s tracks on Pike Street can be found – with a searching eye – in this detail from Peterson and Bro’s. panorama of Seattle taken from Denny Hill in 1878. The nifty home sits here at the southeast corner of Pike and Second Avenue. The rails run through the hand written “Pike St.” left-of-center in the detail. In 1878 the coal company abandoned the PIke Street-Lake Union route to Lake Washington with its new King Street Pier and a largely unimpeded run to the east side coal mines through Renton and around the south end of Lake Washington.

Street coal wharf and the south end of Lake Union. There coal from the east side of Lake Washington reached its last leg on prosperous trips to the fleet of coal-schooners that kept California stoked with our own Newcastle nuggets.  The coal was transferred from barges on Lake Union to the coal hoppers waiting at the railroad’s lake terminus, about a block east of where Westlake now crosses Mercer Street. In 1884 the horse cars from the Pioneer Square

Two of the rolling stock for Seattle’s first street railway pose in from of their livery at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Pike Street sometime in the mid-1880s. The horses were replaced with cable railways and electric trolleys in the late 1880s.

neighborhood on Second Avenue first turned on to Pike on their zig-zag route to Lake Union.  In 1889 the four-legged horsepower was forsaken for electric trollies, which were scrapped in the early 1940s when replaced with gas and rubber.

Trolleys on Pike Street delayed by a break in a watermain. A feature for this from January 29, 1995 is included  with the Links gathered by Ron and Paul that follow next.

Both the Heussy Block on the left and the Hotel Abbott on the right of the featured photograph were prestigious three-story brick additions to Pike Street in the early 1890s.  The timing of their construction was one part fortuitous and the rest self-evident.  The booming of Seattle in the 1880s continued into the teens, and the city’s Great Fire of 1889, which was blocks away in the oldest neighborhoods and on the central waterfront, helped quicken the development of this the North End.

Detail from the 1884 Sanborn map ‘our’ corner of Third and Pike upper-left center. The Lutherans showing in the pan that follows are not yet in place.
A circa 1885 look south from Denny Hill into what was then still a residential neighborhood with a few institutions like the Territorial University on Denny Knoll, upper-left, and the Swedish Lutheran Church on Third Avenue, on the left.  It rests on the second lot north of Pike Street. Here both the southeast and northwest corners of Third and Pike are still only barely developed. Comparing this to the subject that follows, another look into the neighborhood, circa 1909, and a a quarter-century of boom-development is revealed, spread across what was a spread of residences.   
I’ve timed this ca.1909 because my knees ache, that is, I’m not getting up to find out if it is 1908. There are many clues including the deconstruction of the Methodist church at the southeast corner of Pine Street and Third Avenue, the work of adding floors to the Seaboard Building at Fourth and Pike, on the left, and the development of the Metropolitan Tract top-center. Let us know and we will fix this caption.

We find no motor vehicles on Pike in the featured photo because they were still rare.  On December 23, 1904;, the city’s Public Works Department counted the vehicular visits through Pike Street’s intersection with Second Avenue.  Nearly lost in the total count of 3,959, a mere fourteen were not pulled by horses.


Here’s a serendipitous, if unrelated, treat of local restoration. As I was strolling down 1st Avenue and Washington Street this afternoon, I caught a glimpse of an old friend, the harbor pergola back in its rightful spot.

THEN: The harbor pergola, built in 1918.
NOW: The pergola re-installed, after years of absence.
A King County tax photo from the 30s with detailed information about the structure

Anything to add, fellahs?  It is a swell surprise, your pergola.  I did not know that it was saved and probably restored for its next century – even.  I wrote more about this in The Illustrated History of the Seattle Waterfront – I think we named it.  You will find that – or can find it – among the list of books we have published and then also scanned for this blog.

The flood on Pike first appeared in Pacific on January 29, 1995.

Great railroad signs, theatre signs and ranks of neon were still the greatest contributors to night light at 4th and Westlake in 1949. (Photo by Robert Bradley compliment of Lawton and Jean Gowey)

THEN: James P. Lee, Seattle’s busy public works photographer of the early 20th century, recorded this 1922 look north from near the west end of Denny Way on the bluff above the then-forming Elliott Way. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

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

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)

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

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: With her or his back to the Medical-Dental Building an unidentified photographer took this look northeast through the intersection of 6th and Olive Way about five years after the Olive Way Garage first opened in 1925. (Courtesy, Mark Ambler)

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)

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)

THEN: Where last week the old Washington Hotel looked down from the top of Denny Hill to the 3rd Ave. and Pine St. intersection, on the left, here the New Washington Hotel, left of center and one block west of the razed hotel, towers over the still new Denny Regrade neighborhood in 1917. (Historical photo courtesy of Ron Edge)

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: We are not told but perhaps it is Dora and Otto Ranke and their four children posing with their home at 5th and Pike for the pioneer photographer Theo. E. Peiser ca. 1884. In the haze behind them looms Denny Hill. (Courtesy Ron Edge)

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: 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: 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: 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: 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)


The Denny Hotel, the landmark that waiting a dozen years for Teddy Roosevelt’s visit in the Spring of 1903 when it first opened as the Washington Hotel. . Before that it loomed down on the growing city a testimony to the stresses of business partnerships.


Hear Ye, Jean has picked this as one of the about 100 features that will be included in our next volumn of now-and-thens. We are planning for you to purchase it for yourself and loved ones in the months before Christmas, some will call it and/or sing it.  (Blessed Bach). Please anticipate Jean’s “repeat” for now until then, and all else that will be included in this Fourth Volume, for which Jean and Clay Eales have conjured a new name, which they promise, will reveal their considerable talens for promotion.














ANOTHER and probably DIFFERENT HEUSSY and ABBOTT looking across this feature column at each other.  One of the primary delights got with doing these Sunday features is the odd matter picked up with research, especially reading old newspapers.  Here are TWO EXAMPLES both pulled or picked from The Seattle Times archive.  The first is dated Feb 19, 1897 and reveals with the reflections of Dr. Lyman Abbott how far forward Darwin and his “truth of evolution”  have ‘evolved’  through the then still lingering 19th Century.  The second celebrates the decision of Dr. C.W. Heussy, a young medical doctor, to locate his practice in Seattle.


DR. HEUSSY (or is is Henssy or Heusey?)




Now & Then here and now