Seattle Now & Then: Our Lady of Good Help – Part 2

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Our Lady of Good Help at the southeast corner of Jefferson Street and Fifth Avenue, its second home from 1905 to 1949, was abandoned following a shifting of its foundation after a heavy rain. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Originally commissioned in 1978 as a mural for the then nearly new Kingdome, “Tumbling Figure – Five Stages,” is artist Michael Spafford’s interpretation of the classical tale of Icarus falling from the sky. Following the stadium’s destruction in 2000, it was placed in storage. Five years later it found an appropriate home on the exposed east façade of the King County parking garage at 6th Avenue and Jefferson Street. Former Seattle Times Art Critic Sheila Farr recently reflected, “Spafford’s work is timeless. His references to Greek mythology are often about hubris and power. What could be more appropriate to our current political climate?”

 

Another early look at Our Lady of Good Help in its new position at the southeast corner of Jefferson Street and Fifth Avenue, this time with a glimpse of the King County Court House on First Hill behind it.  This first appeared in Pacific  on December 12, 1986, – gosh three decades ago.. We will attach the clip below.  I remember well the precariously steep parking lot which visitors to city hall and the county exec building used  when the meager lots attached to them were full.   The intention here is to show the parking lot and apparently not to reprint the full flow of the 1986 text.  This was scanned out of one of the Seattle Now and Then books, and all three of those can be found on this blog.

We continue last week’s feature about the friendly pioneer priest Father Francis Xavier Prefontaine and his Our Lady of Good Help parish.  On October 12, 1904, The Times published what was most likely the last contemporary photograph of the first Our Lady, although the caption, “Old Catholic Church is Being Torn Down” was premature.  Nearly one month later, the ladies of Our Lady held a one-day bazaar on November 22 in the “parlors of the church,” where beside serving a “hot home cooked dinner, ” they sold their own “fancy (needle) work … at moderate prices.” 

The bazaar was a benefit for Our Lady, but which one?  Certainly not for the little Lady first built by Prefontaine’s own hands at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Washington Street in the late 1860s.  It was enlarged in 1882 for the growing congregation.  (Shown directly above.) The archdiocese, anxious to build its new cathedral, sold the Our Lady corner lot to the Great Northern Railroad for construction of the south portal of its railroad tunnel beneath the city.  At that time a new and nearby Our Lady was in the planning for the southwest corner of Main Street and Fifth Avenue.  However, a month before the benefit bazaar, the city’s building department discovered that James Stevens, architect of the new Our Lady, had drawn outside walls for the church that were higher than the thirty-six feet allowed by the fire code.  Following the process of what the city’s inspector termed “wrestling with the problem,” the new Our Lady of Good Help wound up not on Main Street but here where it is photographed at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Jefferson Street.   It was close to the old corner, but not as close. 

The The Seattle Times for September 25, 1904, the architects sketch illustrates some parish news – and more.  [CLICK to ENLARGE]
A March 19, 1905 clipping from The Seattle Times  CLICK to ENLARGE

A more comely version of the featured photo first appeared in The Times May 13, 1905, with the header “New Church of Our Lady of Good Help Completed.”  (The sizeable power standard on the right was cropped.) The article also noted that “The new edifice will be opened tomorrow with a grand sacred concert … Right Rev. Bishop O’Dea will deliver an address of welcome.  The church will be ready for service on Sunday May 21.”  By then the two painters in the featured photo at the top working at the corner beside the small gothic window with the curvilinear wooden tracery would surely have completed their brushwork.  Weeks later, June 16, 1905, The Times reported that Prefontaine was present for the silver anniversary of Holy Names Academy, noting that he “made a brief address,” for he had “aided in founding the school in 1880.” 

A Times clip from June 6, 1905 notes Prefontaine’s part in Silver Jubilee for the Holy Names Academy.
I copied these three (or four) pages out of the Seattle Public Library’s card catalogue about forty years ago. I can still fee the thrills of flipping those cards in their sturdy drawers, and the smell too.

Most of his remaining years were spent with his niece Miss Marie Pauze and her piano in their home overlooking Volunteer Park.  She later recalled that when the archdiocese moved from Vancouver, WA to Seattle in 1903, the original Our Lady of Good Help at Third and Washington was used for three years as a procathedral while St. James was being built on First Hill. “My uncle didn’t want to leave, but he was the little dog, as we say.  He wouldn’t fight, he simply quit.”

Father Prefontaine died in the spring of 1909 of “heart trouble,” a few months after Pope Pius X made him a Monsignor and five years after Seattle’s mayor R.A. Ballinger named Prefontaine Place for him on Christmas Day 1904. 

An early rendering for Prefontaine’s fountain, above, may be compared to the fountain that was built, below.
The fountain as built. CLICK to ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, fellahs?  Certainly Jean but dawdling.  Following Ron’s faithful clip collecting just below, we will not just now add more of our discovering until tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.  It is 5am and time to climb the stairs in remembrance of Bill Burden’s nighty-bears.  Thanks Ron and thanks bill.

THEN: Looking north from Yesler Way over the Fifth Avenue regrade in 1911. Note the Yesler Way Cable rails and slot at the bottom. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: A winter of 1918 inspection of some captured scales on Terrace Street. The view looks east from near 4th Avenue. (Courtesy City Municipal Archives)

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

THEN: On his visit to the Smith Tower around 1960, Wade Stevenson recorded the western slope of First Hill showing Harborview Hospital and part of Yesler Terrace at the top between 7th and 9th Avenue but still little development in the two blocks between 7th and 5th Avenues. Soon the Seattle Freeway would create a concrete ditch between 7th and 6th (the curving Avenue that runs left-to-right through the middle of the subject.) Much of the wild and spring fed landscape between 6th and 5th near the bottom of the revealing subject was cleared for parking. (Photo by Wade Stevenson, courtesy of Noel Holley)

THEN: The clerk in the city's old Engineering Vault attends to its records. Now one of many thousands of images in the Seattle Municipal Archives, this negative is dated Jan. 30, 1936. (Check out www.cityofseattle.net/cityarchives/ to see more.)

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

THEN: Of the three largest Seattle roofs – the Alki Point Natatorium, a grandstand section of the U.W.’s Denny Field, and the St. James Cathedral dome - that crashed under the weight of the “Northwest Blizzard” in February 1916, the last was the grandest and probably loudest. It fell “with a crashing roar that was heard many blocks distant.” (Courtesy Catholic Archdiocese.)

Seattle Now & Then: Our Lady of Good Help

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THEN: On the left, most likely the first photograph of Father Prefontaine’s Our Lade of Good Help at the northeast corner of Washington Street and Third Avenue, and, on the right, a late and perhaps last record of the enlarged sanctuary.
NOW: The Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts now fill the triangular block bordered by Third Ave, seen here, Washington Street and Prefontaine Place, which was named for the founding priest of Our Lady of Good Help.

Judging by the scrapbook* of collected stories told about him, Roman Catholic Priest Father Francis X. Prefontaine was one of Seattle’s more beloved pioneers.   C.T. Conover, himself a pioneer as well as long-time and often-quoted Times correspondent, described Prefontaine as “large, ruddy, genial and jovial with a liking for his fellowman.”   His relaxed candor included a taste for expensive cigars, whiskey, and real estate.  His reputation as a fine cook mixed well with his conviviality.

Not Prefontaine, but rather the office staff of Crawford and Conover. The partners are close on the left, with Conover, then still a future Seattle Times columnist, sitting.

There were about ten Roman Catholics living in Seattle in 1868 when the thirty-year-old priest relocated here from Port Townsend to make a try at building Seattle’s first Catholic Church, largely with his own hands.  It is mildly ironic that he named it Our Lady of Good Help, for Prefontaine was from the start a skilled persuader of Puget Sound’s volunteering distaffs – some of them Protestants – who were, in turn, persuasive in their own communities.  Prefontaine the impresario scheduled fairs and entertainments from Port Townsend to Olympia to raise funds.  Beyond permission from the bishop to build a church, as a secular priest he received no direct help from either the archdiocese or any religious order.

A detail from the 1878 Birdseye of Seattle shows Our Lady of Good Help at the top-center eight years after the church’s dedication in 1870..   The map-maker has given it the number “7” in the intersection of Washington and Third and both streets are also named on the map.  The creek off of First Hill is also seen passing behind the church where it heads south for “Gas Cove” (named for the gas plant showing in the upper-right corner) outlet onto the tideflats of EllIott Bay. The railroad tracks that cut across the bottom-right corner lead to the King Street Coal Wharf and Bunkers out-of-frame, bottom-right. . The coal came around the south end of Lake Washington from the east side mines.  CLICK to ENLARGE

Prefontaine, architect, painter and decorator, set the foundation for his parish at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Washington Street. He recalled, “Every foot of it was covered with monster trees and dense undergrowth.”  An eight-foot thick fir that measured 230 feet was cut and planed for, at least, the sills of the church’s windows.  Behind the church the priest also built a rockery beside a stream that ran off First Hill. He kept a garden there for vegetables and flowers.  When dedicated in 1870, the little church – thirty by sixty feet – seated one-hundred.  Time’s columnist Conover adjusted this, “It would hold about 200 people if the majority were children, and most of them were.”

Looking northeast through the intersection of Third Ave. S. and Washington Street to a Our Lady enlarged with wings to both the north and south.  (You may find other views of it in the clips below.)
Walla Walla, the largest town in Washington Territory, 1876.  CLICK-CLICK TO ENLARGE

A decade later, by the evidence of the 1880 national census, Seattle had surpassed Walla Walla as the official boomtown of Washington Territory. In 1882 Our Lady of Good Help was enlarged with new wings and a spreading shingle roof that, the story goes, was somewhat miraculously saved from destruction during the city’s Great Fire of 1889.  Conover, again, “reveals” that in the midst of sparks and falling embers, an “old lady came and sprinkled some water on the front around the entrance.  A workman explained, ‘The church is safe, she is sprinkling it with holy water’.”  (A local weather watcher credited a change in the wind.)  In the Spring of 1903, on the urging of Prefontaine and others, Bishop Edward J. O’Dea moved his territorial see from Vancouver to Seattle and claimed Our Lady of Good Help as his pro-cathedral.  The Bishop, however, soon changed his mind about building the archdiocese cathedral in the place of Prefontaine’s Our Lady of Good Help.  The parish’s surrounds had become home to too many sinners: a skid road mix of both parlor and box houses.  O’Dea wrote to the Vatican, “the Church of Our Lady of Good Help is located in the most disreputable section of the city of Seattle, and is almost surrounded by houses of ill fame. A great number of Catholics object to attend it on that account.” The Bishop sold the church and looked to First Hill.

 

As the number listed suggests this was taken from a collection – Seattle Now and Then Volume Two. (It is long out-of-print, although it can be read in toto with this blog. Find it under the books button.)  CLICK CLICK TO ENLARGE.  BELOW – Inside the Graham building at the southwest corner of Washington and Third Ave. S.   

CLICK CLICK TO ENLARGE:  A clip from The Times for October 12, 1904. Compare the wood pile here on the far right with the one in the featured real photo postcard repeated below.

Next week we will conclude with a few more of the barely turned the pages of the Prefontaine scrapbook.*  (*THIS MAY WELL be misleading.  There is no “Prefontaine scrapbook” so far as we known.  We mean the entire opera of his work as revealed in often scattered articles and photos and such.) 

Click Click to ENLARGE. This ca. 1900 rare look at the east facade of Our Lady looks west on Washington from 5th Avenue. CLICK CLICK to ENLARGE for at least some help with reading.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, guys?  Surely jean.  Ron has once again put up an Edge Attachment of many features that related by subject, spirit or neighborhood.   They have all appeared in past blogs.   By now you will be familiar with many of them.  Remember please my mother’s admonition.  “Repetition is the mother of all learning.”   These will be followed by a berry basket full of other features.   Which reminds us to once again appeal to some zestful reader to help us scan the remaining features for use here and elsewhere.   There are about 1400 of them. Ron has also come up with a portable scanner to help.

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THEN: 1934 was one of the worst years of the Great Depression. This look north on Third Avenue South through Main Street and the Second Avenue South Extension was recorded on Thursday, April 19th of that year. Business was generally dire, but especially here in this neighborhood south of Yesler Way where there were many storefront vacancies. (Courtesy Ron Edge)

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Then: The Pacific House, behind the line-up of white-gloved soldiers, might have survived well into the 20th Century were it not destroyed during Seattle’s Great Fire of 1889. Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry

THEN: The Freedman Building on Maynard Avenue was construction soon after the Jackson Street Regrade lowered the neighborhood and dropped Maynard Avenue about two stories to its present grade in Chinatown. (Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: A winter of 1918 inspection of some captured scales on Terrace Street. The view looks east from near 4th Avenue. (Courtesy City Municipal Archives)

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 otfrasch.com)

THEN: Looking north from Yesler Way over the Fifth Avenue regrade in 1911. Note the Yesler Way Cable rails and slot at the bottom. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: Looking north-northeast from the corner of Main Street and Occidental Avenue two or three weeks after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy the Museum of History and Industry – MOHAI)

THEN: Built in 1900 the Corgiat Building lost its cornice and identifying sign to the 1949 earthquake. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Phoenix Hotel on Second Avenue, for the most part to the left of the darker power pole, and the Chin Gee Hee Building, behind it and facing Washington Street to the right, were both built quickly after Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy: Museum of History and Industry.)

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.)

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Our Lady of Good Help with its two near wings can be found in this pan that looks south from the Frye Opera House across Marion Street in the late 1880s – before the Great Fire of ’89.

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NEXT WEEK WE WILL VISIT THE “NEW” OUR LADY THAT WAS BUILT AT THE SOUTHEAST CORNER OF FIFTH AVENUE and JEFFERSON Street.

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You will find Our Lady in this pioneer photo from the 80s.  You will not find the Kingdome anywhere – except in the chunks of concrete both given away and sold following its implosion.  

Seattle Now & Then: Big Clock in Big Snow, 1916

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THEN: The Big Snow of 1916 trims two jewelers’ clocks on the west side of Second Avenue, north of Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: The Big Snow of 1916 trims two jewelers’ clocks on the west side of Second Avenue, north of Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: The landmark entryway to the otherwise razed Burke Building abides on the far left.
NOW: The landmark entryway to the otherwise razed Burke Building abides on the far left.

Along with Jean Sherrard, photographer for these weekly “now-and-thens,” I would like to have another BIG SNOW.  The kids would love it.  In the 165 years since the pioneer Denny Party stepped ashore on Alki Beach, in the rain, our temperate city has been capped with only two snows big enough to print in upper-case.  The first and deepest was the Big Snow of 1880, with four-foot drifts dumped

With much of its big blanket dwindled, the Great Snow covers Yesler's Wharf and the King Street Coal Wharf beyond it, with the West Seattle ridge on the horizon. The photo was taken from the back 2nd floor window or porch of the Peterson & Bros studio at the foot of Cherry Street.
With much of its big blanket dwindled, the Great Snow of 1880 covers Yesler’s Wharf and the King Street Coal Wharf beyond it, with the West Seattle ridge on the horizon. The photo was taken from the back 2nd floor window or porch of the Peterson & Bros studio at the foot of Cherry Street.  Note that at least one of the sheds have collapsed.

from above.  The second was heaven’s dish-out, the Big Snow of 1916, sampled in the featured photo.  Aside from their depths, the difference between the two Big Snows was cameras.  There survive, perhaps, a dozen photos from the 1880 winter-tide. But there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of amateur snapshots and professional “real photo” postcards that in 1916 were witnesses to its eccentric Big Snow.  By then cameras were commonplace, and the piling snow, in spite of the chill, was an enticing subject.

Feb. 2, 1916, looking south on Fourth Avenue from near Pike Street.
Feb. 2, 1916, looking south on Fourth Avenue from near Pike Street.
1916 Big Snow looking west on Pike towards Fourth Avenue.
1916 Big Snow looking west on Pike towards Fourth Avenue.
1916 Big Snow, First Ave. looking south toward Pike Street with the Liberty Theatre on the left.
1916 Big Snow, First Ave. looking south toward Pike Street with the Liberty Theatre on the left.
Scene from the 1916 Big Snow, looking south on Second Avenue from Pike Street.
Scene from the 1916 Big Snow, looking south on Second Avenue from Pike Street.

Certainly for the featured photograph’s  look north on Second Avenue, it is the 1916 Big Snow’s alluring banking on the Hardy and Co. Jeweler’s big clock that attracted the photographer.  A second sidewalk clock, for the Burnett Brothers’ Jewelry Store, stands behind it. According to Seattle historian Rob Ketcherside, both of them survive in communities south of Seattle: the Hardy Clock in

A Hardy adver from The Times for December 26, 1915.
A Hardy adver from The Times for December 26, 1915.
The Burnet Bros clock surviving at 9400 Gravelly Lake Drive S.W.
The Burnet Bros clock surviving at 9400 Gravelly Lake Drive S.W. in  Lakewood. (Courtesy, Google Earth)

East Olympia and the Burnett Brothers in Lakewood. Ketcherside’s study of Seattle’s clock history began about five years ago, and the origin of his scholarship seems ordained with a revelation.  Falling asleep on a bus while returning from the Eastside, he awoke wondering what time it was, while the bus was momentarily parked beside a street clock. The historian also woke up to a new passion for research: the history of Seattle’s sidewalk clocks.  Ketcherside makes note that a jeweler’s unique opportunity to advertise with a sidewalk clock required that his clock ran on time. Three times in the 1920s the street clocks were checked by the City, inspired at least in part by complaints about incorrect times.  Ketcherside notes that “at their peak around 1930, there were about fifty street clocks in Seattle. From the intersection of Pike and Fourth Avenue you could see sixteen of them.” 

One of the few survivors: the clock on Fourth Avenue south of Pike Street. I remember taken the photo but not when, so I contribute a circa 1999 date.
One of the few survivors: the clock on Fourth Avenue south of Pike Street. I remember taking the photo but not when, so I contritely contribute a circa 1999 date.
The Stetson Post Building (1883) at the northeast corner of Marion Street and Second Avenue.
The Stetson Post Building (1883) at the northeast corner of Marion Street and Second Avenue.
The Stetson Post Building at the northeast corner of Marion and Second Ave. with the Empire Building behind it and under construction, ca. 1907.
The Stetson Post Building at the northeast corner of Marion and Second Ave. with the Empire Building behind it and under construction, ca. 1907.

Leaving the clocks, on the far right we can catch a glimpse of the Stetson Post Building.  This snow-capped Victorian at the northeast corner of Marion and Second was constructed in 1883.  Through its thirty-five years of existence it was also known as the  New York Kitchen Block, the French Row Dwellings, and the Rainier Block.  Next to it, in the featured photo,  stands one of Seattle’s first steel skyscrapers, the American Savings Bank (1904-6), also known as the Empire Building and the Olympic National Life Building.  You may remember its sensational destruction on February 28, 1982, with Seattle’s first implosion. To its left and across Madison Street stands the Leary Building (1909), named for the last family to live in the pioneer Weed home, which was razed to make way for its construction. (Both John Leary and Gideon Weed served terms as Seattle’s mayor.)

The Leary/Weed home with a large front lawn at the Northeast corner of Madison Street and Second Avenue. Mayor aka Dr. Weed poses behind the fence.
The Leary/Weed home with a large front lawn at the Northeast corner of Madison Street and Second Avenue. Mayor aka Dr. Weed poses behind the fence.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
Ca. 1903, with the pioneer endurer, the Stetson Post Building on the right, and the post-1889 fire red brick landmark, the Burke Building, on the left. Of course the view looks north on Second Avenue through its intersection with Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Ca. 1903, with the pioneer endurer, the Stetson Post Building on the right, and the post-1889 fire red brick landmark, the Burke Building, on the left. Of course the view looks north on Second Avenue through its intersection with Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
First appeared in Pacific, January 25, 2004.
First appeared in Pacific, January 25, 2004.

Far left in the featured photo and in the photo directly above is a slice of the Romanesque Revival Burke Building, which was planned but not built before the city’s Great Fire of 1889 by Thomas Burke (of the avenue, monument and museum).  Burke also developed the Empire Building noted above.  Finally, we will point out, upper left, optician Charles Holcomb’s oversized spectacles attached outside the window to his second floor office.  Like the sidewalk clocks and the five-globe street standards, the spectacles also make an exquisite ledge for the fallen Big Snow. 

A Times ad for Chas. Holcomb and his iconic opticals. (And that may be one of the better if many uses of "iconic" you will trip over this week.)
A Times ad for Chas. Holcomb and his iconic opticals. (And that may be one of the better if many uses of “iconic” you will trip over this week.)
Optician Holcomb's Obituary from The Seattle Times for October 5, 1921. He was a mere 55 years old.
Optician Holcomb’s Obituary from The Seattle Times for October 5, 1921. He was a mere 55 years old.
Click-Click to enlarge and find the glasses hanging outside the second floor window above-left of the arched entrance to the Burke Building. Also note the Har
Click-Click to enlarge and find the glasses hanging outside the second floor window above-left of the arched entrance to the Burke Building. Also note the Hardy and Co. Jewelers storefront to the right of the corner entrance into the Burke Building.  There is here as yet not sidewalk clock for the jeweler.
First appeared in Pacific March 3, 1996.
First appeared in Pacific March 3, 1996.
Lawton Gowey's Sept 14, 1967 portrait of the Burke Building. Perhaps Lawton knew it was doomed.
Lawton Gowey’s Sept 14, 1967 portrait of the Burke Building. Perhaps Lawton knew it was doomed.
Lawton Gowey's record of the Burke's deconstruction as of February 5, 1971.
Lawton Gowey’s record of the Burke’s deconstruction as of February 5, 1971.
Following the Great Fire of June 6, 1889 cleared and available lots were fitted with tents for temporary use of the local businesses dispossessed if not ruined. This prospect looks north on Second from Marion Street. The photographer most likely climbed that first stairway to the upper floors of the Stetson Post Building at the northeast corner of Marion Street and Second Avenue.
Following the Great Fire of June 6, 1889 cleared and available lots were fitted with tents for temporary use of the local businesses dispossessed if not ruined. This prospect looks north on Second from Marion Street. The photographer most likely climbed the first stairway to the upper floors of the Stetson Post Building.  The Burke Building would soon fill much of this block on its western side north of Marion Street.  The Burke was in planning before the fire.  (click click)
Mid-block on the east side of Second Avenue between Marion Street and Madison Street in the early 1890s. Appears first in Pacific, May 7, 2000
Mid-block on the east side of Second Avenue between Marion Street and Madison Street in the early 1890s. Appears first in Pacific, May 7, 2000

WEB EXTRAS

Greetings, lads! Before I ask my perennial question, let me add a shot of the same scene from the 6th of February – riddled with a few flakes; pathetic compared to any of our Big Snows, but rare enough to intrigue, I’m thinking…  Darn sure Jean, and directly below the first of you snowflake additions we will insert a rear view of the Burke Building arch that appears as stand along artifact on the far left of you photo.   The one we join with it was taken by Frank Shaw in November 1974 and therefore soon after the Federal Building was completed with the Burke’s keepsake gateway retained in memento.

NOW 2: Same location as 'Then' with a dusting of snow
NOW 2: Same location as ‘Then’ with a dusting of snow
The salvaged arch front door arch to the Burke Building, recorded by Frank Shaw in November 1974.
The salvaged arch front door arch to the Burke Building, recorded by Frank Shaw in November 1974.

And here’s a few more shot that same morning…

Looking up First toward Pioneer Square
Looking up First toward Pioneer Square
Portraits in snow of Henry Yesler and family, not far from their early home
Portraits in snow of Henry Yesler and family, not far from their early home  (Jean, more likely this is Henry, Sarah and their dog.)
The Chief looks especially somber with a mantle of white
The Chief looks especially somber with a mantle of white
Here Jean in another counterpoint with the leitmotif of your flurries is Mary Randlet's portrait of Murray Morgan, the "The Dean of Northwest Historians" posing with the Chief.
Here Jean in another counterpoint with the leitmotif of your flurries is Mary Randlett’s portrait of Murray Morgan, the “The Dean of Northwest Historians” posing with the Chief.
Looking north from the Marion Street pedestrian overpass
Looking north from the Marion Street pedestrian overpass – and Jean, keeping our rhythm going, we will follow your snow-traced Marion with a look north from its during the 1916 Big Snow.   This was fun Jean.   May we duet again sometime soon?
Looking north on Railroad Avenue while it is a work-in-progress clearing snow.
Looking north on Railroad Avenue while it is a work-in-progress clearing the 196 snow, and simply on the waterfront.   Wagon’s carried the contributions from other business district streets as well.  

Anything to add, fellahs?   Jean we will start again with a few Edge-Links that Ron has pulled from recent features.   Tomorrow, following a late breakfast (it is 5a.m. now) of oatmeal and maple syrup we will search for a few more features of greater antiquity, scan ’em and put ’em up.  We wonder now and out loud if there is any retired lover of local history who will help us to in scanning the bulk of the nearly 1800 features we have written and illustrated in the last 34 years, then please step forward and be embraced.   We will supply the scanner and plenty of packets of instant oatmeal.

THEN:

THEN: Of the three largest Seattle roofs – the Alki Point Natatorium, a grandstand section of the U.W.’s Denny Field, and the St. James Cathedral dome - that crashed under the weight of the “Northwest Blizzard” in February 1916, the last was the grandest and probably loudest. It fell “with a crashing roar that was heard many blocks distant.” (Courtesy Catholic Archdiocese.)

native-basket-seller-then-mr

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)

pacific-snow-then-web

THEN: Adding a sixth floor to its first five in 1903, the Hotel Butler entered a thirty-year run as “the place” for dancing in the Rose Room, dining at the Butler Grill, and celebrity-mixing in the lobby. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

 

USS Turner Joy in the Chittenden Locks this morning

Just a little bonbon for naval gazers. This morning, Bremerton museum/ decommissioned destroyer USS Turner Joy passed through the Chittenden Locks after a few weeks of being spiffed up in Lake Union. According to museum director Frank Portello, she’s one of the largest ships to pass through the locks. Here’s a series of shots that show her progression:

Coming through the Ballard Bridge
Coming through the Ballard Bridge

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uss-tj-3
Geese returning as well….

uss-tj-5

uss-tj-6

uss-tj-7

uss-tj-8

Seattle Now & Then: Two Marches (on 4th Avenue)

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Lawton Gowey looks north through the tail of the 1957 Independence Day Parade on Fourth Avenue as it proceeds south through the intersection with Pike Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: Lawton Gowey looks north through the tail of the 1957 Independence Day Parade on Fourth Avenue as it proceeds south through the intersection with Pike Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: For his repeat Jean Sherrard, of course, chose Seattle’s contribution to the nation-wide “Women’s March” on January 21st last. Jean explains, “I trotted along a few yards in front of the main body of the marchers, who were greeted by a crowd of thousands lining the streets. The event had an air of celebration and togetherness. The police escort, both on motorcycles (shown in the now photo) and on bicycles, were greeted with warm applause and cheers as they cleared a path for the protesters."
NOW: For his repeat Jean Sherrard, of course, chose Seattle’s contribution to the nation-wide “Women’s March” on January 21st last. Jean explains, “I trotted along a few yards in front of the main body of the marchers, who were greeted by a crowd of thousands lining the streets. The event had an air of celebration and togetherness. The police escort, both on motorcycles (shown in the now photo) and on bicycles, were greeted with warm applause and cheers as they cleared a path for the protesters.”

Lawton Gowey, once the Director of Finance for the Seattle Water Department, recorded this week’s “then” subject.  This old friend, now three decades deceased (1921-1983), was a public worker who studied and extensively photographed the built city.  He carried a 35mm camera loaded with Kodachrome transparency (slide) film. Gowey’s subject is a relatively recent one, dated July 4, 1957.  It is still easy to place.  For this Independence Day Parade portrait, Lawton took his photographer’s crouch on the east side of Fourth Avenue, standing just off the curb and a little less than a half-block south of Pike Street.

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The Mayflower Hotel at the southeast corner of Olive Way and Fourth Avenue.
The Mayflower Hotel at the southeast corner of Olive Way and Fourth Avenue.

Most of the structures, but not the businesses, in Gowey’s photo survive, including the Seaboard Building (1906-9) at the northeast corner of Fourth and Pike, to the right of the light standard.  Behind the same standard, but two blocks north on Fourth, the Mayflower Hotel stands at its southeast corner with Olive way. Nearby, the Great Northern Railroad’s long popular symbol of a mountain goat looks from its monumental neon circle up the center of Fourth Avenue.  Its rooftop perch was at the northeast corner with Stewart Street. Surely, many PacificNW readers remember it.  

Horace Sykes December 1956 record of the Bon Marche's corner Christmas Tree
Horace Sykes December 1956 record of the enlarged Bon Marche’s corner Christmas Tree
The Colonial Theatre and the Bon Marche at its old height, ca. 1947.
The Colonial Theatre and the Bon Marche, on the right, at its old height, ca. 1947.

The block-sized Bon Marche, opened in 1929 and remodeled in 1955 as the “largest department store west of Chicago,” holds the center of the subject. To this side of The Bon, the two three-story-tall gaudy signs for Gasco (1932) and the Colonial Theatre (1913) rise side-by-side above the busy sidewalk where street photographers vended to pedestrians their candid portraits.  Many

Clay Eal's mom caught on Fourth with the Mannings sign behind her and Jerry Johnson, I believe.
Clay Eal’s mom caught on Fourth with the Mannings sign behind her and Jerry Johnson, I believe, beside her, ca. 1945.
The Gasco Building's invitation to a housewarming for April 29, 1932.
The Gasco Building’s invitation to a housewarming for April 29, 1932.

of these unwitting but generally willing subjects were on their way either to or from Manning’s Coffee at 1533 Fourth Avenue.  Manning’s, a small chain, were the “Acknowledged Quality Coffee Stores of the Pacific Coast,” and so perhaps, the too-often forgotten fountainhead of Seattle’s rich coffee reputation.    

A Manning's ad pulled from The Times for April 1, 1925.
A Manning’s ad pulled from The Times for April 1, 1925.
Click This To Read It. The Bigelow business building that held the northwest corner of Pike and Fourth Ave., until replaced
Click This To Read It. The Bigelow business building that held the northwest corner of Pike and Fourth Ave., until replaced in 1923. 
Elizabeth Leonard's beauty and charm school was a long-time tenant of the Bigelow Building. This adver. was clipped form The Times for May 14, 1957.
Elizabeth Leonard’s beauty and charm school was a long-time tenant of the Bigelow Building. This adver. was clipped from The Times for May 14, 1957.
A Times clip from Jan 2, 1955, promoting the many services of Elizabeth Leonard at her l
A Times clip from Jan 2, 1955, promoting the many services of Elizabeth Leonard at her School of Charm in the Bigelow Building.

Left of center at the northwest corner of Fourth and Pike stands the seven-story Bigelow Building.  It was named for the pioneer couple Harry and Emma Bigelow, who after purchasing the water-logged corner from Arthur and Mary Denny in the 1870s left it to its croaking.  It was soon named “Harry’s Frog Pond.”  They replaced the wetland with their big home in 1883.  The Bigelow Building in the “then” was built in 1923 and replaced in the 1980s by the grander Century Square retail and office complex.

A Lunquite-Lilly ad inviting you to save money by climbing their steps.
A Lunquist-Lilly ad inviting you to save money by climbing their steps to the second floor of the Empress Theatre Building, an earlier location for them..

When the Joshua Green Building, far-left in the featured photo at the top, opened in 1913, the men’s clothier Lundquist – Lilly occupied the second floor, a higher level but with a lower rent. The partners promised to share the savings with their customers. (See their sign.)  Lundquist and Lilly hoped that their clientele would be impressed by “The big saving we make in side-stepping the tremendous operative expense which all street-level clothiers are up against . . . Our furniture and fixtures are very plain; you pay only for clothes.  That’s why we give you a $25.00 suit for $15.00.”   

This too is state July 4th, 1957
Like the featured photo at the top this too is dated July 4th, 1957

The July 4, 1957 parade of mostly marching military units that celebrated the nation’s 181st anniversary of America’s assertion of independence from King George III was a modest display.  By police estimates the parade attracted a crowd of about 25,000.  This was pint-sized parading when compared, for instance, to the 150,000 who lined Fourth Avenue to greet President Harry Truman during his 1948 visit to Seattle.

Harry Truman waving from the open convertible Cadillac at the center of the photograph. I remember the excitement attendant on Truman's visit to Spokane during the same campaign. I felt charmed by being in the same city with the President of the United States. Now, I confess to finding the same imagined coincidence a mix of dread and repulsion.
Harry Truman waving from the open convertible Cadillac at the center of the photograph. PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE.   I remember the excitement attendant on Truman’s visit to Spokane during the same campaign. I felt charmed by being in the same city with the President of the United States. Now, I confess to finding the same imagined coincidence a confused mix of wonder and repulsion.
Pres. Warren Harding's parade thru Belltown during his 1924 visit to Seattle. He was not feeling well, and died soon after while continuing his west coast tour in San Francisco.
Pres. Warren Harding’s parade thru Belltown during his 1923 visit to Seattle. He was not feeling well, and died soon after in San Francisco – probably of a heart attack – while continuing what he called his Voyage of Understanding.   At the time Harding became the sixth of eight presidents to die in office.  His tour had included a visit to Alaska.  His widfe would not allow an autopsy.

WEB EXTRAS

Hi guys. Before inviting your contributions, I’ll post a few faces from the 2017 march as clickable thumbnails.  YOUR parade shots are embraceable Jean.  Give us more if you have them.  By those that find them they will be often returned to – I expect.

Anything to add, gentles?   We will search about for a few more parades, and similar sensations.  Ron has put up – I’m counting – 23 Edge links to former features, and the last of those is a return to the 1883 celebrations connected with the completion of the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad.   And the last part of the 23rd feature shows off the song writing and playing skills of the local band Pineola.   We often return to Pineola and listen too.   Enjoy.

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: A float for the 1911 Potlatch parade carries piggyback a smaller 1897 version of a Polk City Directory on a much bigger 1911 copy. The fourteen years between them is meant to symbolize the growth of the city since the Alaskan/Yukon gold rush of 1897 that the Golden Potlatch of 1911 was created to commemorate. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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: While visiting Seattle for some promoting, silent film star Wallace Reid shares the sidewalk at 4th and Olive with a borrowed Stutz Bearcat. (Courtesy, Museum of History & Industry)

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

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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: 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.

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: 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)

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 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: An unidentified brass band poses at the intersection of Commercial Street (First Ave S.) and Main Street during the 1883 celebration for the completion of the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad.

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BELOW: A FEW OLDER FEATURES and then tomorrow after a few hours slumber some more Seattle parades.

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MORE ELEPHANTS on PARADE

Most likely near 5th and Thomas. Queen Anne Hill is seen on the horizon. The future Seattle Center campus was the favorite circus venue in the early 20th Century. The circus animals were often paraded from the circus grounds thru the business district to help promote the show.
Most likely near 5th and Thomas. Queen Anne Hill is seen on the horizon. The future Seattle Center campus was the favorite circus venue in the early 20th Century. The circus animals were often paraded from the circus grounds thru the business district to help promote the show.  Photo by Max Loudon.

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Memorial Day Parade, Seattle - 1936.
Memorial Day Parade, Seattle – 1936.

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Like Conqueror – While thousands of persons lined the sidewalks of Second Avenue for the Roosevelt parade yesterday, other throngs his automobile up the street, crowding so closely about the car that watchers had difficulty in getting a glimpse of the governor. Here is how the procession looked.
Sept. 20, 1932: Like Conqueror – While thousands of persons lined the sidewalks of Second Avenue for the Roosevelt parade yesterday, other throngs his automobile up the street, crowding so closely about the car that watchers had difficulty in getting a glimpse of the governor. Here is how the procession looked.

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The Santa Parade in Times Square
The Santa Parade in Times Square

SANTA CLAUS PARADES 

The SANTA CLAUS PARADE tradition began in 1949.  The first parade was held on November 12 and it brought out what The Seattle Times – one of its sponsors – reported that afternoon  “The biggest parade crowd in Seattle’s history turned out this afternoon despite rainy weather to view the gigantic Santa Clause parade.” Seattle Police Chief George D. Eastman estimates the crowd surpassed the Seattle record then of 150,000, which greeted President Truman in 1948.  (See the Truman Parade press photo above, the last illustration here before Jean’s question about “Web Extras.” )

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The Santa parade heading south on Fifth Avenue towards the Pine Street intersection.
The Santa parade heading south on Fifth Avenue towards the Pine Street intersection.

The Santa Claus parades ran at least through the 1940s.  We will include at the bottom of our Santa parade photos a colored record of the parade by Frank Shaw from Nov. 19, 1960.  The rest are press shots from The Seattle Times.   The Santa parades typically featured the region’s best high school marching bands and the parade’s stars, giants balloons representing classic cartoon characters and monsters – the shapes most likely to thrill the kids, many of whom were also dressed in costumes.  (We imagine, only, that the balloons were recycled from one of the east coast department store parades, like Macy’s in New York City.)

(pause)  Please compare the below photo from an AYP-related parade down Fifth Avenue in 1909, with the above photo.  They were recorded from nearly the same prospect.

Compare this 1909 parade looking south on Fifth towards Pine Street with the one above it - if you like.
Compare this 1909 parade looking south on Fifth towards Pine Street with the one above it – if you like.
The Santa Parade (one of them) passing thru Times Square. The terra-cotta clad Times Building is the flat-iron shaped beauty on the upper-right. The aerial looks south along and over Fifth Avenue.
The Santa Parade (one of them) passing thru Times Square. The terra-cotta clad Times Building is the flat-iron shaped beauty on the upper-right. The aerial looks south along and over Fifth Avenue.
The parade heading south on Third Ave., reaches Union Street and a line-up of the then popular Turf Club, the Embassy Theatre and Talls Cameras. The Evergreen High School band follows. The Times caption reads, "Mythical Monster: A crew of Boy Scouts struggled valiantly to control a 110-foot griffin balloon, which wound its way along Third Avenue near Union Street in yesterday's parade. It took 50 Scouts, working in 25-member teams, to guide the griffin."
The parade heading south on Third Ave., reaches Union Street and a line-up of the then popular Turf Club & Grill, the Embassy Theatre and Talls Cameras. The Evergreen High School band follows. The Times caption reads, “Mythical Monster: A crew of Boy Scouts struggled valiantly to control a 110-foot griffin balloon, which wound its way along Third Avenue near Union Street in yesterday’s parade. It took 50 Scouts, working in 25-member teams, to guide the griffin.”
Near the start, the Santa Parade heads south on Third Avenue approaching Virginia Street.
Near the start, a Santa Parade heads south on Third Avenue approaching Virginia Street.

The mid-November PARADE was popular enough to sell out downtown lodgings for the night before.   The Times reported that “one hotel on the parade route reportedly turned down at least 300 requests for reservations.”  In 1949 the Santa Claus parade route went south of Second Avenue from Virginia Street to Yesler Way and returned north on Third Avenue with a reviewing stand at Third and Virginia.   In 1950 the route changed to Third (going south) and Fifth Avenues.   Two years more and the directions were switched, south on Fifth and north on Third.  The 1956 parade features a dozen bands and forty balloons or “Novelty Units.”  This year the route was again first heading south on Third Avenue from Virginia Street and then returning from Yesler Way by way of Fifth Avenue.

At least for one of its several years running, the Santa Claus parade came west on Union Street to turn south on Third Avenue. The Post Office is upper-right.
At least for one of its several years running, the Santa Claus parade came west on Union Street to turn south on Third Avenue. The Post Office is upper-right.
Frank Shaw's record of the Santa Claus parade for November 19, 1960.
Frank Shaw’s record of the Santa Claus parade for November 19, 1960.

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POTLATCH PARADES – A Few Examples from the first Golden Potlatch Parade in 1911, followed by a Dad’s Day promotion from the 1913 Potlatch Parade.   

The Afro-American Float at the intersection of Second Avenue and Marion Street, with the Stetson Post Building (1883) behind it.
The Afro-American Float at the intersection of Second Avenue and Marion Street, with the Stetson Post Building (1883) behind it.
A glimpse of the review stand in the recently cleared Denny Regrade neighborhood, 1911.
Above and below:  two glimpses of the review stand in the recently cleared Denny Regrade neighborhood, 1911.

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A 1911 parade poser at the intersection of Marion Street and Third Avenue. The southeast corner with the nearly new Central Building rises behind it.
A 1911 parade poser at the intersection of Marion Street and Third Avenue. The southeast corner with the nearly new Central Building rises behind it.
A line-up of electric cars passing the Central Building in the 1911 Potlatch parade. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)
A line-up of electric cars passing the Central Building in the 1911 Potlatch parade. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)

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First appeared in Pacific, June 15, 1986.
First appeared in Pacific, June 15, 1986.
Motorcars were themselves still made a thrilling parade during the early years of the Golden Potlatch Days.
Motorcars still made for a thrilling parade during the early years of the Golden Potlatch Days. The subject looks north on Second Avenue towards its intersection with Madison Street.

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MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL PREPAREDNESS PARADES

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On First Avenue south of University Street.
On First Avenue south of University Street.  Here the Diller Hotel is bedecked – not so in the photo that is two above it.
A Force marches south on Fourth Avenue in front of the Rainier Club.
A Force marches south on Fourth Avenue in front of the Rainier Club.

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Draft Parade on Second Avenue north from Stewart Street, 1917.
Draft Parade on Second Avenue north from Stewart Street, 1917.

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Playing Soldiers, a band marches south on Second Ave. though the welcoming arch at Marion Street for the Knights Templar conference here in 1925.
Playing Soldiers, a band marches south on Second Ave. though the welcoming arch at Marion Street for the Knights Templar conference here in 1925.

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FAT TUESDAY PARADE:  During the 1970s it seemed like every February includes a few unseasonably warm days.   Once of these natural lapses was used to stage a Fat Tuesday parade from the Pike Place Market to the drinking reservoirs of Pioneer Square.  The size of the downhill entourage was huge.  Here are two shots featuring the Friends of the Rag.   Both were snapped by Frank Shaw.

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WALLINGFORD KIDDIE PARADE from the early 1950s and its DISTINGUISHED QUINTET of Hoary Parade Marshalls from 2008, I believe.

Wallingford Seafair kid's parade from early 1950s.
Wallingford Seafair kid’s parade from early 1950s.

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POSTSCRIPT

Another record of the 1883 Villard visit with his entourage. The terrirtorial university is on the horizon of Denny's Knoll, and the photo was taken from 3rd Avenue near Union Street.
Another record of the 1883 Villard visit with his entourage. The territorial university is on the horizon of Denny’s Knoll, and the photo was taken from 3rd Avenue near Union Street.

Seattle Now & Then: Looking East from Ninth and Pike

(click to enlarge photos)

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: 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.  [CLICK to ENLARGE and so on]
NOW: A swath of landscaped concrete first poured and planted in the 1960s has replaced the row of former hotels and shops that once lined Pike Street in its ascent of Capitol Hill. Jean Sherrard has put his back to the window-arched tunnel that distinguishes Pike Street where it passes beside the Washington State Convention Center.
NOW: A swath of landscaped concrete first poured and planted in the 1960s has replaced the row of former hotels and shops that once lined Pike Street in its ascent of Capitol Hill. Jean Sherrard has put his back to the window-arched tunnel that distinguishes Pike Street where it passes beside the Washington State Convention Center.

The featured look east on Pike Street from Ninth Avenue is dated May 21, 1939.  In about two decades more this neighborhood would be cut, crushed, and cleared for the construction of the Seattle Freeway. Through these two blocks between Ninth Avenue and Boren Street, Pike’s mixed neighborhood of cafes, hotels, barbershops, and furniture upholsterers would be revamped into a concrete ramp over a concrete ditch.  That this part of Pike was once an “upholstery row” surprised me.  In 1938 (I have a city directory for 1938 but not 1939) there were five furniture upholsterers listed in the few blocks between Eighth and Melrose Avenues.  It is at Melrose that Pike begins its turn east to conform to the more recently platted street grid on the ridge.  The jog’s directional change is indicated with an adjustment in the name to East Pike Street, which in 1939 was one of Seattle’s principal “auto rows.” East Pike also marks the subjective – and by now traditional – border between the First and Capitol Hill neighborhoods.

Another same day snap by the billboard rangers, Foster and Kleiser, on Pike Street, but here one block east at Terry Street. The hotels here include the William Penn, far left,
Another same day snap by the billboard rangers, Foster and Kleiser, on Pike Street, but here one block east at Terry Street. The hotels here on the south side of Pike include the William Penn, far right, Hotel Crest, left of the power pole, and the Wintonia, which I remember for its wild tavern in the 1970 with bad manners contesting with good music.  Across Pike and a block east is the Villa Hotel at the northeast corner of Boren and Pike..

Also with the help of the Polk City Directory for 1938 I have counted four hotels in these two blocks between Ninth Avenue and Boren that were lost to the Seattle Freeway (Interstate Five): the Stanley, here at Ninth Avenue, the William Penn and the Crest near Terry Avenue, and the five-floor Hotel Alvord, on the left.  (Jean Sherrard’s repeat also reveals a survivor. The Villa Hotel at the northwest corner of Pike and Boren can stands out in the photo above.  It cal also be glimpsed directly above the trolley in this Sunday’s “then.”  It is more difficult but not impossible to find in the “now.”)  

A Times clip from December 8, 1924
A Times clip from December 8, 1924
A Seattle Times clip from March 3, 1933
A Seattle Times clip from March 3, 1933
A Seattle Times clip: Oct. 23, 1936.
A Seattle Times clip: Oct. 23, 1936.
Sprinkled throughout most hotel and apartment house histories are true crime stories of many sorts. This one was published in The Times for July 23, 1930.
Sprinkled throughout most hotel and apartment house histories are true crime stories of many sorts. This one for the Alvord was published in The Times for July 23, 1930.

The Alvord’s publicity stream begins in 1924, the year of its construction, and reaches its most sensational height around midnight on March 1, 1933. Mildred Russell, the 24-year-old bride of violinist and orchestra leader Jan Russell, opened a window in search of fresh air and used all five of the hotel’s floors to fall to the ground below.  The Times qualified the ground as “soft earth.”  From her merciful bounce, Mildred received only a few bruises and a cracked skull.  “I had just lit a cigarette,” she said. Only three years later, Margaret Thaanum fell from the Alvord’s third floor to her death.  The trained nurse was trying to walk the three-inch ledge outside her window. 

The single and double fees for the Alvord Hotel a few weeks before the economic crash of 1929. And below: a few weeks more than one year following the crash.
The single and double fees for the Alvord Hotel a few weeks before the economic crash of 1929. And below: a few weeks more than one year following the crash.
From The Times classifieds for Feb. 21, 1931.
From The Times classifieds for Feb. 21, 1931.

Returning now to the trolley heading east on Pike Street, on this spring day there was a growing sense that these often rattling common carriers were about to lose out to the busses and trackless trollies promoted by internal combustion and “big rubber.”  Two years more and most trolley tracks in Seattle were pulled up and the disrupted brickwork patched with asphalt and/or concrete.   

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COMING UP - This Spring the 50th ANNIVERSARY of the FOUNDING of HELIX. We hope to completed the scanning of every page - by then. Keep watch. The above was printed on a back cover of one of the (very roughly) 130 weekly (for the most part) tabloids.
COMING UP – This Spring the 50th ANNIVERSARY of the FOUNDING of HELIX. We hope to completed the scanning of every page – by then. Keep watch. The above was printed on a back cover of one of the (very roughly) 130 weekly (for the most part) tabloids.

On this Sunday, May 21, 1939, we learn from The Times that while Hitler and Mussolini were preparing a military alliance with their Rome-Berlin pact, Seattleites were anticipating in the week the grand Potlatch Pageant and its big parade.  (Hitler and Mussolini vented that “Germany and Italy have no intention of using any country as a tool for egotistical plans, which is happening only too clearly on the other side.”)  Two days later Boeing’s Yankee Clipper inaugurated the first commercial airway service between the Unites States and Europe. Perhaps playing it safe at the start, other than the crew of fifteen, the clipper carried only mail, four tons of it. 

The Boeing Clipper at Matthews Beach, its testing harbor on Lake Washington.
The Boeing Clipper at Matthews Beach, its testing harbor on Lake Washington.

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WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, blokes?  Blokes but not bullies we will find some links and other decorations and put the UP.

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

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

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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)

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

THEN: 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

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

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

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

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: The city’s north end skyline in 1923 looking northwest from the roof of the then new Cambridge Apartments at 9th Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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: 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: 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)

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A detail from the 1912 Real Estate Map. Note the two brick structures (including Seattle Taxi) in block 108 on the right.
A detail from the 1912 Real Estate Map. Note the two brick structures (including Seattle Taxi) in block 108 on the right.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

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Seattle Taxi is on the left in this look south 9th Ave. from Pike Street.
Seattle Taxi is on the left in this look south 9th Ave. from Pike Street.

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The buildings on Ninth Avenue south of Pike Street, including the Seattle Taxi, are still standing in this aerial of the neighborhood photographed sometime before it was cut through by Interstate-5.  Compare to the photo below.

Courtesy, Ron Edge
Courtesy, Ron Edge

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RETURN to a detail of the neighborhood pulled from the 1912 Baist Real Estate map
RETURN to a detail of the neighborhood pulled from the 1912 Baist Real Estate map

Seattle Now & Then: Seattle’s First Chinatown

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The Phoenix Hotel on Second Avenue, for the most part to the left of the darker power pole, and the Chin Gee Hee Building, behind it and facing Washington Street to the right, were both built quickly after Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy: Museum of History and Industry.)
THEN: The Phoenix Hotel on Second Avenue, for the most part to the left of the darker power pole, and the Chin Gee Hee Building, behind it and facing Washington Street to the right, were both built quickly after Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy: Museum of History and Industry.)
NOW: The Phoenix Hotel was destroyed with the 1928-29 Second Avenue Extension. The hotel was replaced with the new street’s intersection, while the surviving Chin Gee Hee Building, originally behind it, was reshaped for the new northeast corner of Washington Street and Second Avenue.
NOW: The Phoenix Hotel was destroyed with the 1928-29 Second Avenue Extension. The hotel was replaced with the new street’s intersection, while the surviving Chin Gee Hee Building, originally behind it, was reshaped for the new northeast corner of Washington Street and Second Avenue.

Public historian Kurt E. Armbruster, one of our sensitive explorers of Seattle’s cityscapes, recently sent me his snapshot of the Chin Gee Hee Building at the northeast corner of Washington Street and the Second Avenue Extension.  Kurt regards it as “a little gem” and, it seems, it is the last remaining piece of architecture to survive from Seattle’s First Chinatown, in the neighborhood of Washington Street and Second Avenue.  It was a community of the mostly single men who help build the region’s earliest railroads, labored as domestics and on the pick and shovel gangs that helped dig, for example, the canal between Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

Kurt Armbruster's snapshot of
Kurt Armbruster’s snapshot of the “little gem.”    Thanks Kurt.

Chin Gee Hee arrived in Seattle in the mid-1870s and soon prospered as a labor contractor, a merchant and a builder.  Partnering with Chin Chun Hock, another and even earlier Chinese contractor-merchant, Hee and Hock hired Seattle’s earliest resident architect, William E. Boone, to design two commercial buildings for them in Chinatown.  Although both were consumed by the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, they were quickly replaced by the two

Chinese labor contractor at his desk.
Chinese labor contractor at his desk.
Chin Gee Hee
Chin Gee Hee
Seattle Times clip from Feb. 15, 1927 comparing Chin Gee Hee to the Great Norther Railroad's Jim Hill.
Seattle Times clip from Feb. 15, 1927 comparing Chin Gee Hee to the Great Northern Railroad’s Jim Hill.

grander three-story hotels featured in the featured photo at the top.  The greater part of Chin Chun Hock’s Phoenix Hotel is to the left of the darker power pole in the photo’s foreground, and the full front façade of the Chin Gee Hee Building, facing Washington Street, is to the right of the pole.  Boone styled both as orthodox Victorians.  It is claimed that Chin Gee Hee’s hotel was the first brick building completed following the ’89 fire, however, we may be permitted to show some reservation about this claim as we do many other “firsts” in local history.  The thirty-plus blocks of the business district was a cacophony of construction following the fire with the builders’ general racing urge to open first.

The Phoenix Hotel on the right with the
The Phoenix Hotel on the right with the Chin Gee Hee building out-of-frame to the right., ca. 1912.  Long ago we did a now-then feature using the above and blow photos.  When we find it we will insert it.

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A clip from The Seattle Times for August 25, 1897.
A clip from The Seattle Times for August 25, 1897.

Judging from news coverage, the Phoenix was the seedier of the two hotels.  On August 11, 1905, the hotel’s manager W.A. Morris was charged with robbing one of its drunken guests of $45.00.  While the manager confessed his innocence, the police told the Seattle Times that “Morris conducts one of the worst dives in the city.”  Earlier that summer the police had made an opium raid on the Phoenix, noting that the hotel had “developed into a full-fledge opium den and in the last month a half-dozen smokers have been caught there.”  Meanwhile, also in 1905, the Phoenix’s neighbor, Chin Gee Hee, left Seattle to build a railroad in China.  He was subsequently awarded by the last emperor with the honor of a peacock feather and a retinue of servants and soldiers, presumably to help him guard the rails.    

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THE SECOND AVENUE EXTENSION as seen from the SMITH TOWER.  Above before: March 14, 1928.  Below after: June 11, 1929.   The Phoenix Hotel at the former northeast corner of Second Avenue and Washington Street can still be seen (below the center) near the bottom of the 1928 photograph.  The Chin Gee Hee Building  is behind it, to the left.   In the 1929 photo below, the Phoenix has been sliced away and the southwest corner of the Chin Gee Hee clipped.

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A detail from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map, still twenty years prior to work on the Second Avenue Extension. Our choice intends to feature at the top the intersection of Washington Street and Second Avenue with the Phoenix Hotel named at its northeast corner. And please not the green marked park at the top.
A detail from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map, still twenty years prior to work on the Second Avenue Extension. Our choice intends to feature at its top the intersection of Washington Street and Second Avenue with the Phoenix Hotel named at its northeast corner. And please not the green marked park at the top.  We will show more of it below.  
A detail of the same intersection (upper-left) from 1912. Later an owner of the bound Baist map drew through the detail the borders of the Second Avenue Extension, which cuts through the Fire Department Headquarters at the northwest corner of Main and Third Avenue.
A detail of the same intersection (upper-left) from 1912. Later an owner of the bound Baist map drew through the detail the borders of the Second Avenue Extension, which cuts through the Fire Department Headquarters at the northwest corner of Main and Third Avenue.   In the photograph that follows directly below the extension work is underway with a remodel of the building at the southwest corner of Main Street and Third Avenue.  The doomed fire station is directly across Main Street, and behind and above it the transcendent Smith Tower inspects it all like an adolescent  hall proctor.  It’s fifteen years old.  
Looking south on Second Avenue S. over Yesler Way and the Fortson Square park and trolley stop. The Phoenix Hotel can be found on the left.
Looking south on Second Avenue S. over Yesler Way and the Fortson Square park and trolley stop. The Phoenix Hotel can be found on the left.  A feature clip about Fortson Square is include with the line of features placed at the bottom of this feature.  [CLICK TO ENLARGE]
Looking south on Second Ave. S. during an early Potlatch Parade. Note the Phoenix Hotel upper-left.
Looking south on Second Ave. S. during an early Potlatch Parade. Note the Phoenix Hotel upper-left.

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Most likely hard to read but still revealing of the early hopes for the Second Avenue Extension. The Seattle Times clip dates from Oct. 18, 1925. And far right is part of a clip on Ye Old Curiosity Shop founder Pop Standley's curios-congested West Seattle home.
Most likely too hard to read but still revealing of the early hopes for the Second Avenue Extension. The Seattle Times clip dates from Oct. 18, 1925. And far right is part of a clip on Ye Old Curiosity Shop founder Pop Standley’s curio-congested West Seattle home.
The completed extension.
The completed extension.
A detail from the citiy's 1936 mapping aerial. The completed Second Ave extension leaves several sliced structures including the Chin Gee Hee Building. Can you find it?
A detail from the city’s 1936 mapping aerial. The completed Second Ave extension leaves several sliced structures including the Chin Gee Hee Building. Can you find it?  Note the Smith Tower, upper-left, and across Yesler Way from it the triangular park  named for Fortson, a Spanish American War volunteer – a heroic one.

The Phoenix’s transgressions were fixed forever in 1928 when it was razed with the “improvement” of the Second Avenue Extension, a 1,413-foot cut through the neighborhood between Yesler Way and Jackson Street.  It was hoped that the extension would make Second Avenue a ceremonial promenade leading to and from the train depots. The Chin Gee Hee Building was saved with only its west end sliced away.  This eccentric reduction, combined with the recessed gallery cut into the third floor above Washington Street, surely heightened the building’s gem-like charms.   Martin Denny, the proprietor of the Assemblage, the Chin Gee Hee’s principal commercial tenant, shared the greater neighborhood’s underground mystery that the Phoenix Hotel’s basement may well survive under the intersection.

THREE OTHER GLIMPSES OF THE CHIN GEE HEE BUILDING

A 1963 tax photo looking north over Main Street and the Second Ave. Extension to the shining southwest facade of the Chin Gee Hee Building.
A 1963 tax photo looking north over Main Street and the Second Ave. Extension to the shining southwest facade of the Chin Gee Hee Building.
The Central Business District with Chin Gee Hee near the center of this record from the Great Northern tower., ca. 1930.
The Central Business District with Chin Gee Hee near the center of this record from the Great Northern tower., ca. 1930.  [CLICK TO ENLARGE]
Rubble from the 1949 earthquake. The subject looks south on the Second Avenue Extension from its southwest corner with Yesler Way. The southwest facade of the Chin Gee Hee Building rises with its six windows above the damaged swept-back auto parked on the right.
Rubble from the 1949 earthquake. The subject looks south on the Second Avenue Extension from its southwest corner with Yesler Way. The southwest facade of the Chin Gee Hee Building rises with its six windows above the damaged swept-back auto parked on the right.

WEB EXTRAS

Here’s detail of the Chin Gee Hee Building, which Kurt adores:

The Chin Gee Hee building
The abbreviated Chin Gee Hee building

Anything to add, les mecs?   Certainly Jean, first a long list of features pulled  by Ron Edge from the last eight years or so of Now-and-Then, and then a few more and earlier features.

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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

When compared to most city scenes relatively little has changed in his view west on Main Street from First Avenue South in the century-plus between them. (Historical photo courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

THEN: 1934 was one of the worst years of the Great Depression. This look north on Third Avenue South through Main Street and the Second Avenue South Extension was recorded on Thursday, April 19th of that year. Business was generally dire, but especially here in this neighborhood south of Yesler Way where there were many storefront vacancies. (Courtesy Ron Edge)

THEN: At Warshal's Workingman's Store a railroad conductor, for instance, could buy his uniform, get a loan, and/or hock his watch. Neighbors in 1946 included the Apollo Cafe, the Double Header Beer Parlor, and the Circle Theatre, all on Second Avenue.

Then: The Pacific House, behind the line-up of white-gloved soldiers, might have survived well into the 20th Century were it not destroyed during Seattle’s Great Fire of 1889. Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry

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: In the older scene daring steel workers pose atop construction towers during the 1910 building of the Union Depot that faces Jackson Street.

THEN: On his visit to the Smith Tower around 1960, Wade Stevenson recorded the western slope of First Hill showing Harborview Hospital and part of Yesler Terrace at the top between 7th and 9th Avenue but still little development in the two blocks between 7th and 5th Avenues. Soon the Seattle Freeway would create a concrete ditch between 7th and 6th (the curving Avenue that runs left-to-right through the middle of the subject.) Much of the wild and spring fed landscape between 6th and 5th near the bottom of the revealing subject was cleared for parking. (Photo by Wade Stevenson, courtesy of Noel Holley)

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 otfrasch.com)

THEN: The address written on the photograph is incorrect. This is 717 E. Washington Street and not 723 Yesler Way. We, too, were surprised. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

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First appeared in Pacific, Feb. 9, 2003
First appeared in Pacific, Feb. 9, 2003

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First appeared in the Times, Feb. 28, 1999.
First appeared in the Times, Feb. 28, 1999.

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First appeared in The Times, March 14, 1999
First appeared in The Times, March 14, 1999

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Evidence that Jean visited Pioneer Square during our recent flurry.
Evidence that Jean visited Pioneer Square and the Chief during our recent flurry.

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Above, and continued below, a July 2, 1929 clip from The Seattle Times.
Above, and continued below, a July 2, 1929 clip from The Seattle Times.

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First appeared in Pacific, May 9, 1999
First appeared in Pacific, May 9, 1999

Now & Then here and now