Seattle Now & Then: The Fallen Dome

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THEN: Looking north on First Hill’s 9th Avenue on a snowbound day in early February 1916. (Courtesy, Nancy Johnson)
NOW: Both our “now” and “then” include the south and west walls of German House the two-story brick landmark left-of- center. Constructed in 1886 by Seattle editor-historian Thomas Prosch as Prosch Hall, it serve as the Seattle Assay Office during the Yukon Gold Rush.

This winter week we share another snap from The Big Snow of February 1916. Except for Puget Sound’s prolonged pioneer blizzard in 1880, the 1916 snow bounding was the deepest in our city’s history. For any media, including the thousands of box Kodak’s in the hands of Seattle citizens, the four-day blizzard of 1916 was a sensational although slippery subject.  Like motorcars at the curb, cameras were by then nearly commonplace on Seattle mantles.   The absence of cars here on First Hill’s Ninth Avenue is best understood as related to the drifts and the absence of any snowplowing in these blocks by the understandably unprepared municipal streets department.  A team of horses pulling a covered wagon can be found at the scene’s center heading west on Columbia Street from its intersection with Ninth Avenue.  For snow like this teams were favored.

For this snap an unaccredited photographer looks north on 9th Avenue with her or his back to James Street.  This First Hill prospect may have been reached from Pioneer Square aboard a James Street Cable car  – assuming that the Puget Sound Traction, Light & Power Co. cable cars were then still plowing through the drifts.   Or the photographer might have lived nearby.  First Hill was Seattle’s first neighborhood of accumulated wealth, which by 1907 would have often included cameras in the libraries.

Since 1907 the grandest interruption of Seattle’s skyline has been the Roman Catholic St. James Cathedral at Marion Street and 9th Avenue.  Before February 3, 1916, St. James had three landmark elevations including the two Renaissance Towers and the cathedral’s centered dome.  On February 2nd, it lost the dome.  The architects who examined the crashed dome lying on the chancel floor concluded that the sanctuary’s roof was five times stronger than needed to hold even the heavy wet snow left by the blizzard.  The engineering culprit was a weakness in one of the dome’ steel supports.

St. James before February, 1916, dome intact.

For comparison we have also included a print of the Cathedral dome before its collapse and crash.  The damaged roof showing with the featured photo can be compared with the intact one, which although splendid in its soaring outline was, we learn from Maria Laughlin, the current director of stewardship and development for the cathedral, a handicap to the cathedral’s acoustics. What the crash took from the church’s eye it gave back – miraculously? – to its ear.  After the crash of its sound-swallowing dome, St. James has become a revealing space for concerts and much kinder to its organ and choir.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, brethren?

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.)

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

THEN: Completed in 1900, the Graham mansion on First Hill at the southwest corner of 9th Avenue and Columbia Street is getting some roof repairs in this 1937 photo looking south across Columbia Street. It was razed in the 1966 for a parking lot by its last owner and neighbor, the Catholic archdiocese.

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: 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: 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: Sometime around 1890, George Moore, one of Seattle’s most prolific early photographers, recorded this portrait of the home of the architect (and Daniel Boone descendent) William E. Boone. In the recently published second edition of Shaping Seattle Architecture, the book’s editor, UW Professor of Architecture Jeffry Karl Ochsner, sketches William E. Boone’s life and career. Ochsner adds, “Boone was virtually the only pre-1889 Fire Seattle architect who continued to practice at a significant level through the 1890s and into the twentieth-century.” (Courtesy MOHAI)

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: The Perry Apartments is nearly new in “postcard artist” M. L. Oakes look at them south on Boren to where it intersects with Madison Street. (Courtesy John Cooper)

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

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

THEN: Looking south on 10th Avenue E. to the freshly re-paved intersection where Broadway splits into itself and 10th Avenue North in 1932.

A-Broadway-Row-THEN-MR

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: 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: 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.

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THEN: Capitol Hill’s Society Theatre first opened its doors in 1911. This record of it most likely dates from 1920, the first year in which the theatre could have shown the four films promoted with sensational posters near its front doors: the comedy “Mary’s Ankle,” “The Sagebrusher,” a western, “Silk Husbands and Calico Wives,” and “Everywoman,” a feminist allegory appropriately filmed in 1919, on the eve of women’s suffrage in the United States. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

Holy Names THEN

THEN: Most likely in 1902 Marcus M. Lyter either built or bought his box-style home at the northwest corner of 15th Avenue and Aloha Street. Like many other Capitol Hill addition residences, Lyter's home was somewhat large for its lot.

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

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

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

THEN: This Seattle Housing Authority photograph was recorded from the top of the Marine Hospital (now Pacific Tower) on the north head of Beacon Hill. It looks north to First Hill during the Authority’s clearing of its southern slope for the building of the Yesler Terrace Public Housing.   (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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

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

sorrento-late-construction-WEB

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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: Ballard photographer Fred Peterson looks south-southeast on Ballard Avenue on February 3rd or 4th, 1916. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: At the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Boren Avenue, two of the more ordinary housing stock on First Hill in the 1890s.  (Courtesy  MOHAI)

THEN: Looking north-northeast from a low knoll at the southwest corner of Seneca Street and Seventh Avenue, circa 1916.  By 1925, a commercial automobile garage filled the vacant lot in the foreground.  [Courtesy, Ron Edge]

 

 

 

Seattle Now & Then: The Gatzert Mansion at 3rd and James

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THEN: Most of the Gatzert home and its many towering gables are hidden here behind the corner’s bower of maples, which we learn from Seattle Times writer Peg Strachan were popular for romantic trysts. The twelve-story Alaska Building, Seattle’s first iron strengthened skyscrsaper (1904) rises above it.
NOW: The Lyon Hotel replaced Gatzert’s corner in 1911.

During the last year of World War Two, Margaret Pitcairn Strachan, a Seattle Times contributor, made a wise choice for a weekly serial subject.  She named it “Seattle’s Pioneer Mansions and some of the events they saw.” It was an illustrated weekly feature with copy inches about five times longer than this one.  The author interviewed many of the surviving pioneers – most often their children – and the families often held cherishes photographs, which they shared with Strachan.

One of my earliest mentors; Lawton Gowey, the Seattle organist, historian, and collector of Seattle historical ephemera, first introduced me to Strachan’s series letting me take his perfectly preserved collection home to my copy stand.  Thru my now 37 years of writing this feature for PacificNW Magazine, I have used many of the 52 features Strachan researched, wrote, and illustrated for The Times.  The series began on September 3, 1944.  The Times’ front-page headline that Sunday was encouraging. It reads “Germans In Disorderly Retreat as 2 Yank Forces Enter Belgium.”

Strachan’s last feature on mansions appeared on August 26, 1945.   By her study of the then surviving array of Seattle’s historic homes – and their stories – Margaret Pitcairn Strachan (“Peg”) has made a profound and lasting contribution to our understanding of Seattle History. Our readers would be correct to conclude that both Jean and I strongly urge them to seek-out the Strachan originals (all 52 of them) with the help of the Seattle Public Library’s copy of The Seattle Times Archives.  (If you have a library card, a Seattle Public Librarian can lead you in its use both on line and over the phone.  If you have no card now is a good time to get one.)

The small mansion nestled here in a copse of its own maples was built in the early 1870s at the northwest corner of James Street and Third Avenue by one of Seattle’s truly powerful pioneer couples: Bailey and Barbetta Gatzert. The couple’s plan to follow the move of Seattle’s more affluent citizens up First Hill to newer and larger mansions was abandoned. By the year this photograph was taken shortly before the Third Avenue regrade in 1906 Bailey had died in1893. Babetta then built a retreat on the east shore of Lake Washington and called it Lucerne after the Swiss lake that she and Bailey admired (In this Alpine line they also raised Seattle’s first Saint Bernard).  At the turn of the century the Gatzert home was converted into shops.  A row of them running north on Third Avenue from the corner with James Street is easily seen here.  (The print has a metropolitan French name “Bloc de Lyon,” lower-left corner, because the major investors in the Gatzert block were French citizens.)

The accomplishments, businesses and charities, of the Gatzerts were so extensive that we will list a share of them here over the next day or so.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, fellas?

Potpourri of past N&T features

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: 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: 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: 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 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: The northeast corner of Belltown’s intersection of Blanchard Street and Fourth Avenue was about 100 feet higher than it is now. The elegant late-Victorian clutters of the Burwell homes’ interiors are also featured on the noted blog. (Courtesy John Goff)

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)

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: 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 Terry-Denny Building, better known in its earlier years as Hotel Northern, was part of the grand new Pioneer Place (or Square) neighborhood built up in the early 1890s after the old one was reduced to ashes by Seattle's Great Fire of 1889.

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: Frank Shaw’s pre-preservation visit to First Avenue South on February 26, 1961. He looks north from Main Street. (photo by Frank Shaw)

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

THEN: The 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: 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: This view looking east from First Avenue South on Jackson Street in 1904, is still four years short of the Jackson Street Regrade during which the distant horizon line near 9th Avenue was lowered by more than 70 feet. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

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

 

The Last Commute – in memoriam 1953-2019

Greetings, travelers! As no doubt most of you are aware, the Alaskan Way Viaduct closed to traffic forever this past Friday at 10PM. We at DorpatSherrardLomont were determined to mark the occasion. While the city remains divided – and perhaps always will be – over the fate of the viaduct and its replacement by the tunnel, there is no disputing the spectacular views it has provided over the past 65 years.

On its final day of operation, we hoisted a 3D camera above our moonroof and took a 360 degree video of the commute. Enjoy!

–April 4, 1953-January 11, 2019, RIP.

Snow foolin’: Paul fetes the flakes on the radio with KIRO’s Feliks Banel

Seattle’s Big Snow of 1880, as seen in “Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred.”

The media

MYNorthwest, the logo for KIRO, ESPN and KTTH radio.

Experience the fantasy of the flakes, as historian Feliks Banel interviews Paul for KIRO radio about the Big Snow of 1880, which is featured in Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred. If you click here, you can read the Jan. 2, 2019, story, or you can listen to it as a five-minute audio piece.

To see links to all the print and broadcast media coverage of the book so far, click here. And to order Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred and have it delivered to your door, click here.

The blog

You already are subscribed to this blog (better known to all of us as PaulDorpat.com), but have you considered signing up someone else or offering him or her the opportunity?

Now it’s easier than ever. Just go to the home page, and in the upper left corner enter an email address and click the green “Subscribe” button (as shown in the black box here). That’s all it takes.

As you know, each subscriber receives regular updates with links that lead to scores of photos that supplement each week’s “Now and Then” column in The Seattle Times!

The events

Already we have scheduled four book events in 2019, from West Seattle to Burien to the Rainier Valley. The dates will be here before we know it — Jan. 24, Jan. 31, March 14 and March 23. Stay tuned on the events page of our website!

Books on display December 14, 2018, in Ballard. Photo by Gavin MacDougall

You can re-live an event or experience it anew! Videos of 19 of the book’s 23 events from November and December 2018 are posted on the events page of our website.

The blurbs

A total of 25 Seattle notables have weighed in on Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred. Here are two samples:

———

Dave Eskenazi

Seattle Now and Then: The Historic Hundred is a true treasure, an instant classic. This gorgeous volume expertly captures the singularity of Seattle past and present. Page after page after page thrill the senses with interesting and evocative images, accompanied by Paul Dorpat’s inimitable text. This book is an absolute must-have for anyone interested in Seattle, past and present. The dream team of Paul Dorpat, Jean Sherrard and Clay Eals has given us a beautiful and indispensable gift.

Dave Eskenazi,
Seattle baseball historian

———

Sheila Farr

Paul is the guru of Seattle history. He brings a formidable intellect to his research and an artist’s sensibility to its presentation. This is history told with charm and lightness — and, thanks to steadfast help from Jean — spiced with amazing photos, past and present.

Sheila Farr,
arts writer and former Seattle Times art critic

———

For the rest of the blurbs, check out our blurbs page.

How to order

Want to order a book online? It’s easy. Just visit our “How to order” page. You can even specify how you want Paul and Jean to personalize your copy. Books will reach your mailbox about a week after you order them.

As Jean looks on, Paul signs a book for Nancy Guppy of The Seattle Channel’s “Art Zone.”

Thanks!

Big thanks to everyone who has helped make this book a successful tribute to the public historian who has popularized Seattle history via more than 1,800 columns for nearly 37 years, Paul Dorpat!

— Clay Eals, editor, Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred

Seattle Now & Then: A look across Skid Road, 1884

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THEN: Pioneer Photographer Theodore Peiser’s look south-south-east from the Occidental Hotel probably in 1884 to the tidelands south of King Street and the still forested Beacon Hill horizon. (Courtesy, Seattle Public Library)
NOW: For his repeat, Jean Sherrard used his dependable extension pole to lift his Nikon about 21 feet above the Sinking Ship Garage’s (a popular name) top and exposed parking lot. The ever-stuck ship was built in 1961-2 after the destruction of the landmark Seattle Hotel.

When Ron Edge, one of Seattle’s busy and insatiable heritage explorers, first shared this panorama with me I was both excited and thankful.  I have remained so. Ron found it among about a dozen other pioneer Theodore Peiser photos from the 1880s that were recently added to the Seattle Public Library’s growing collection of free on-line photographs. This is a nearly panoramic glimpse into the Seattle neighborhood that was then a mix of our Chinatown and Skid Road.

Ron corrected my first hunch that this was photographed from the southwest corner of Occidental Avenue (when it was still named Second Avenue) and Mill Street in the mid-1880s – probably late 1884.  However, while my date was at least close to being correct, my place was too low.  Rather, this Peiser contribution was recorded from the top floor, or perhaps roof, of the showpiece Occidental Hotel, which by the time it was enlarged to fill the flatiron block between Second Avenue, James Street and Yesler Way in 1887-8, was only months short of being reduced to rubble during the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889.  All else showing here (this side of the bay) was also destroyed.  For more temporal confidence another clue rides on Seattle’s street railway, which started running its horse-drawn cars on Occidental Avenue north from Washington Street in 1888.  We can see neither the rails here nor their horse power.

As might be expected, there is an abundance of surviving stories that were “written” to the sides of these streets, including the 1885 expulsion of the Chinese living here.  They were pushed out of town by that day’s anti-immigrant populists (we might call them).  The intersection of Second Avenue (Occidental) and Washington Street, seen here on the right, was the well-sauced center of Seattle’s Skid Road.  In the 1884-85 city directory I counted nine saloons busy above the tidelands between Yesler Way (Mill Street) and Commercial Street (First Ave. S.).  A few names include the Arion Beer hall, the Elite, the Flynn, the Idaho, the Sazare, and the United States – all of them wetting their appetites beside Washington Street.  (Please note, Murray Morgan’s engaging classic, Skid Road, An Informal Portrait of Seattle, is again in print, and now with an introduction by The Seattle Times’ own and also historic book critic, Mary Ann Guinn.)

We will begin another short story with a question. Does the two-story structure, right-of-center, at the southeast corner of Occidental and Washington (and also the next structure standing beyond it to the south), seem to be leaning to the right (west)?  We think so.  This was the soggiest part of the pioneer peninsula named Piner’s Point after Thomas Piner, a quartermaster on the U.S. Navy’s exploring and surveying Wilke’s expedition of 1841.  Mrs. Frances Guye’s a-kilter (if we are straight) boarding house was photographed in 1872 when it sat about two feet higher than it does here ca. 1884.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, paisans?

Potpourri of past N&T features

Links to previews features:

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: In Lawton Gowey’s 1961 pairing, the Smith Tower (1914) was the tallest building in Seattle, and the Pioneer Square landmark Seattle Hotel (1890) had lost most of its top floor. (by Lawton Gowey)

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.)

a-king-gas-3247-blog

gn-depot-e-on-king-blog

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

THEN: 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.

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

THEN: The 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: 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: The Terry-Denny Building, better known in its earlier years as Hotel Northern, was part of the grand new Pioneer Place (or Square) neighborhood built up in the early 1890s after the old one was reduced to ashes by Seattle's Great Fire of 1889.

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: The new sub H-3 takes her inaugural baptism at the Seattle Construction and Dry Dock Company’s ways on Independence Day, 1913. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

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

THEN: Frank Shaw’s pre-preservation visit to First Avenue South on February 26, 1961. He looks north from Main Street. (photo by Frank Shaw)

THEN: This view looking east from First Avenue South on Jackson Street in 1904, is still four years short of the Jackson Street Regrade during which the distant horizon line near 9th Avenue was lowered by more than 70 feet. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

 

 

 

 

‘Buy the book … and then walk around the city’ — advice from Paul’s and Jean’s KUOW interview

Paul Dorpat inscribes a book for Marcie Sillman, longtime KUOW-FM host, after their interview on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. See links below!

The events are over for 2018, but you can still purchase the new book by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard, Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred. To order online, see below. Remember, you can specify a personal inscription by Paul and Jean — for a gift or for you!

Books on display December 14, 2018, in Ballard. Photo by Gavin MacDougall

The media

The latest media appearance for the book came at 12:45 PM yesterday, when an interview aired of Paul and Jean by Marcie Sillman of “The Record” on KUOW-FM. See links to the 15-minute edited version and to video of the full, half-hour interview here:

Paul Dorpat (left) and Jean Sherrard are interviewed for “The Record” on KUOW-FM by host Marcie Sillman (with producer Amina Al-Sadi in the background).

Here are samples from the interview, addressed to Seattle’s recent newcomers:

Referencing Paul’s more than 1,800 photo-history columns, Marcie asked Paul, “Do you contemplate the impact that this work has done on what direction the city might take?” Paul’s reply: “It occurs to me quite a bit. I think, ‘My gosh, this thing has been here consistently for nearly 40 years, and it has a lot of readers, and I know it’s had a lot of effect.’ So yes, I’m kind of proud of that.”

Marcie followed up: “So what would you say to the new employee who works in South Lake Union at that big behemoth of a company who’s just arrived in town, what should they know?” Paul replied, “That’s easy. I’d say buy the book. Buy several copies, not only for yourself but for your relatives in Peoria, Illinois.”

Jean added, “Buy the book, then walk around the city, because I think that there’s an awful lot of people who arrive, find a little space that they can call their own, and stop. But this is a city’s that’s walkable. You can stroll around many of these important historic places, and there’s a resonance that comes through. There’s enough that we can explore and discover. So … start walking.”

To see links to all the print and broadcast media coverage of the book so far, click here.

Events in 2019

Already we have scheduled three book events in 2019, with more to come. Stay tuned on the events page of our website!

Videos of the events!

Did you miss one of our book events this fall and would like to see it from the convenience of your computer? Or perhaps you attended an event and would like to re-live it? Or share it with a friend?

We have posted videos of 19 of the book’s 23 events on the events page of our website. The videos include this one from December 22, 2018, at the University Book Store (with Paul in Santa garb):

Paul and Jean speak Dec. 22, 2018, at University Book Store.

The blurbs

A total of 25 Seattle notables have weighed in on Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred. Here are two samples:

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Scott Cline

Paul Dorpat is a Seattle treasure, and now he has fashioned a graphical and textual delight that will grab you and not let go. It guides deeply into the city’s untidy past and emerges into its lustrous present. But beware! Once you pick up this book, don’t even pretend you will sleep until you turn the last page – and even then, you will be tempted to start over again.

Scott Cline,
former Seattle city archivist

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Tom Douglas

As someone who likes to put new restaurants into old buildings, I appreciate the way every urban ziggurat has a unique story to tell. Naturally, this means I’m also a longtime fan of Paul Dorpat’s photo-history column in the Seattle Times magazine. Seattle is morphing with dizzying speed into a future self, our streets blocked by cranes and our sidewalks teeming with tech workers. What we all need is to take a breath and pick up a copy of this remarkable book. Pour a drink, settle into your favorite chair, and let Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred build you a bridge, photo by photo, to the shared past of who we are and where we come from.

Tom Douglas,
Seattle restaurateur

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For the rest of the blurbs, check out our blurbs page.

How to order

Want to order a book online? It’s easy. Just visit our “How to order” page. You can even specify how you want Paul and Jean to personalize your copy. Books will reach your mailbox about a week after you order them.

As Jean looks on, Paul signs a book for Nancy Guppy of The Seattle Channel’s “Art Zone.”

Thanks!

Big thanks to everyone who has helped make this book a successful tribute to the public historian who has popularized Seattle history via more than 1,800 columns for nearly 37 years, Paul Dorpat!

— Clay Eals, editor, Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred

Seattle Now & Then: Thor at Victory Plaza, 1959

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: When University Street was first cut through the original University of Washington Campus in 1907-8 it was graded wider between Fourth and Fifth Avenues with the intention of giving that block greater potential as a public place. This it received especially well during World War Two when the street’s plaza temporarily became Victory Square. (Courtesy, the Museum of History and Industry.)
NOW: The elegant brick and tile faces of the several Metropolitan landmarks that once covered the four corners of Fourth Avenue and University Street have been modernized by half in the half-century plus since the Webster and Stevens Studio “then” was recorded in 1959. Jean Sherrard, this feature’s “repeater,” is especially pleased with how the construction crane on the right in his “then” may remind one of the surviving skyscraper that resembles a golf-T but is here out-of-frame.

PERHAPS the same exhibit Thor but not the same place. Does anyone recognize the location of this Alamy Stock photo – from the Fifties?
Another mysterious Thor visit. Surely some encyclopedia reader will know this ?capitol? building.

On September 24, 1959, City Hall’s busy Board of Public Works easily approved a temporary display of Thor, the Air Force’s Intermediate Range Ballistic missile named for a Nordic deity with a not always righteous reputation and a rather ignitable temper.   The faithful to scale public relations copy of the Air Force’s Intermediate Range Ballistic missile was lifted above University Plaza, still one of the central business district’s rare public places.

About two stories of stairs led a line of curious visitors up one side of the shiny Thor to an open door and on to a platform that eight feet later reached another open door leading to the stairway designated “down.”  It was a command that some of the visitors were no doubt pleased to obey,   And yet while walking that plank the explorers were, of course, safe, and kept free of the BM’s liquid fuel (aka gas), stabilizing gyros, and “pay package” of merely one nuclear bomb.

A Seattle Times clip from August 31, 1957.

By the fall of 1959 Thor had been running through nearly three years of flight tests that included several crashes.  Meanwhile both the Navy and Army were working with their own Cold War responses to Russia’s surprising success two years earlier with the three weeks of world circling by Sputnik, a shining metal sphere with antennas.  I recall the “Sputnik Surprise” of October 1957 very well and I suspect that many readers will also remember that the satellite that began the space age was about the diameter of the two basketballs that were famously dribbled side-by-side by one member of the Globe Trotters.

Boeing’s briefd embrace of an Atomic Plane. Seattle Times clip from March 13, 1952

More than for its citizens, the Seattle appearance of Thor was engineered for the about one thousand delegates to the 14th Annual Convention of the National Defense Transportation Association, a happy group of munitions dealers and military brass that represented well what former President – and general – Dwight D. Eisenhower named “the military industrial complex.”  Unfortunately the primary show-time for Thor before the three-day convention was foiled by a forgetful air force sergeant who had the keys to the missile’s two doors, but was off-duty.  Besides the disappointed military brass, among those invited to walk the eight foot plank thru the full width of the Missile that special day was Donald Douglas, of Douglas Aircraft, the builder of the Thor.

A Times clip on Victory Square “reopening”, April 16,1944.
A late mention of Victory Square pulled from a post-war Times published on April 16, 1944.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, compatriots!  Welcome home to Green Lake Jean following your applauded performance on the morning KING TV show.

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Victory Square during WW2, looking east from Fourth Avenue.

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THEN: The Metropolitan Tract's Hippodrome was nearly new when it hosted the A.F. of L. annual convention in 1913.

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

9th-&-Union-1937-tax-pix-THEN-mr

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: 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 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)

 

Tomorrow: last chance to meet Paul and Jean and get a book inscribed before Christmas

The Seattle Municipal Railway streetcar #511 passes the University Book Store in this 1939 “then” view from the book.

Can you find the University Book Store in this 1939 “then” view from the book?

Come find the University Book Store from 3 to 6 PM tomorrow (Saturday, December 22, 2018), when you will find Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard for their final book event before Christmas.

The event, at 4326 University Way NE, will be have a drop-in format with two brief presentations sprinkled between the inscription duties for their new book, Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred.

The event is free, and you have the opportunity to purchase the book and have it personally inscribed by Paul and Jean. It’s a sure way to obtain the book in time for gift-giving, as the time has passed when a book ordered by mail will arrive before December 25.

Books on display December 14, 2018, in Ballard. Photo by Gavin MacDougall

Videos of the events!

Did you miss one of our book events this fall and would like to see it from the convenience of your computer? Or perhaps you attended an event and would like to re-live it? Or share it with a friend?

We have posted videos of 18 of the book’s 22 events on the events page of our website. The videos include this one from December 16, 2018, at the Bothell Library, co-sponsored by the Bothell Historical Museum:

Video: Dec. 16, 2018, Bothell Library, 1:44:53

The media

The latest media appearance came  at 11 a.m. Monday, December 17, 2018, when Jean appeared on a six-minute segment on KING-TV’s New Day Northwest, hosted by Margaret Larson:

Jean is interviewed by Margaret Larson on KING-TV’s New Day Northwest on Dec. 17, 2018.

To see links to all the print and broadcast media coverage of the book so far, click here.

The blurbs

A total of 25 Seattle notables have weighed in on Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred. Here are two samples:

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Kurt Armbruster

Historian Paul Dorpat has been a Seattle treasure for decades, and his latest book, Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred, presents highlights from his rich and revealing career, peeling back the layers of Seattle’s myriad existences. In his warm and engaging style, Dorpat offers rare glimpses into the city’s soul and tells its ever-intriguing story with new and often unexpected detail. A crowning achievement and a must-have for all who live in and love the Queen City of Puget Sound.

Kurt Armbruster,
author, Before Seattle Rocked

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David Brewster

They say there are two kinds of cities: anywhere cities and somewhere cities. This splendid book poses the question, paired historic photo after ingeniously paired modern photo, of whether Seattle has traded in somewhere-ness – a rooted, distinctive, peculiar place – for anywhere-ness. It coyly avoids an answer, but there is plenty of material for enriching the debate, and maybe some suggestions for reversing a tidal wave of blandness. More than that, Dorpat sneaks in a huge amount of Seattle history, sweetened with wit and his eye for the offbeat. No Seattle history book ever went down more easily. But watch out: It also sticks to your ribs!

David Brewster, founder of Seattle Weekly,
Town Hall, Crosscut and Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum

———

For the rest of the blurbs, check out our blurbs page.

How to order

Want to order a book online? It’s easy. Just visit our “How to order” page. You can even specify how you want Paul and Jean to personalize your copy. Books will reach your mailbox about a week after you order them.

Want a book in time for Christmas? Come to tomorrow’s event at University Book Store! (See above.)

As Jean looks on, Paul signs a book for Nancy Guppy of The Seattle Channel’s “Art Zone.”

Thanks!

Big thanks to everyone who has helped make this book a successful tribute to the public historian who has popularized Seattle history via more than 1,800 columns for nearly 37 years, Paul Dorpat!

— Clay Eals, editor, Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred

Jean’s First Swim: The Globe Radio Repertory

Over the years, I’ve had a number of queries asking, Who were you, Jean, before Paul came a-knockin’?

Well, for the better part of a decade, ending in 1992, I was the artistic director of a radio theatre called Globe Radio Repertory. My longtime friend and collaborator, John Siscoe, served as literary director; together, we wrote more than 60 scripts for adaptations of classics of Western literature like Don Quixote, Dead Souls, Madame Bovary, selected stories of Anton Chekhov, and Kafka’s The Castle. I had the privilege of directing a number of Seattle’s great actors, amongst them Glen Mazen, John Aylward, John Gilbert, Ted D’Arms, Frank Corrado, Marjorie Nelson, Marianne Owen, and many others.

Our dramas were supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, plus a handful of other local and national corporations and foundations. We aired nationally on NPR Playhouse on more than 150 stations around the country, and internationally in Canada, the UK, and Australia.

For your listening pleasure, here’s the first episode of our 13-part adaptation of Don Quixote, starring Ted D’Arms as Quixote, John Aylward as Sancho Panza, Marjorie Nelson as the housekeeper, John Gilbert as Father Pero Perez, and Glen Mazen narrating.

 

 

Now & Then here and now