Seattle Now & Then: The Camlin Hotel

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: When it was new in the 1920s, the Camlin Hotel was described as “Seattle’s aristocrat among residential hotels.”
NOW: From its prospect on Ninth Avenue, between Pine and Olive Streets, the Camlin still shows its elegant head on high.
The Camlin lobby ca. 1931 when nearly new.

A 1930 panorama featuring a few of the Camlin’s hostelry neighbors. The Camlin here shines bright (its painted back side) right of center and behind the dark brick of Swedish Baptist Church at the northwest corner of 9th Avenue and Pine Street.

I have been charmed by this landmark since my first visit more than a half-century ago.  It was my oldest brother Ted and sister-in-law Klarese, both now deceased but then recent graduates of the nearly-new University of Washington Medical School, who treated me to a repast served by the Camlin Hotel’s Cloud Room, a “dinner in the sky”.  Although at about the same time, with the ascension of the Space Needle in 1962, the Camlin by comparison was not so

A Seattle Times glossy with Klarise Dorpat on the left.
Ted Dorpat from a Seattle Times glossy.

elevated.   The Cloud Room had by then nourished its reputation for both food and service.  For instance, for two years running, 1953 and 1954, the Cloud Room won awards from the then prestigious magazine Holiday.  The Camlin was one of but seventy-five restaurants on the American Continent selected by the magazine for its Annual Restaurant Award.

A clip from The Times for June 15, 1954.

A feeling for the Camlin’s size still depends upon where you stand.  Go to Ninth Avenue between Pine and Olive Streets and stand in front of the hotel’s entrance at 1619 9th Avenue.  Look up like Jean has done with his “repeat.” The ninety-one-year-old hotel, with its façade of patterned red bricks laced and banded with terra-cotta tile refinements, stands with its enduring charms before a spreading cluster of new nearby high-rises, which seem busy in a competition for a unique design.  From its upper floors the Camlin Hotel is still in unimpeded contact with the Capitol Hill horizon, Lake Union and the several neighborhoods of the North End.

A Murphy Bed adver for the nearly new Camlin in 1927.

More about the hotel and its Murphy comfort and convenience.  [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

When the Camlin first opened in 1926 there was as yet no plush restaurant on the top floor, rather there was a penthouse.  The Cloud Room first ventured on high in 1946. The conversion showed good post-war timing for a city that felt somewhat impoverished by its paucity of plush eateries.  This was especially true when Seattle was compared – as it still constantly is – with San Francisco.  From its elevated beginning, the Cloud Room was famous for special meetings and events, an ideal setting for a “bridge tea”, or the Quarterbacks Club, or a celebrity luncheon in 1948 for author Betty MacDonald and her then new book, The Plague and I.

A Times clip from July 7, 1948. Note that Ivar Haglund’s name has been spelled to better represent how his family and friends pronounced his name at the time or “then still.”  James Stevens, the author best known for his Paul Bunyan stories, was a good fiend of Ivar Haglund.  They got tipped on Ivar’s red wine and/or Steven’s whiskey and sang folk songs together, some of their own composition.

Edmund Campbell and Adolph Linden, locally noteworthy roaring-twenties entrepreneurs who developed the Camlin Hotel, chose the English Renaissance style for their ornate hotel designed by the well-known Portland, Oregon, architect Carl L. Linde.  The ornamentation of the Lind-designed Ambassador Apartments (1922) on 6th Avenue in Portland can be readily compared to the Camlin.

The entrance on 6th Avenue to Architect Carl L. Linde’s Ambassador Apartments (now Condos) in Portland, Oregon.
Alphone Linden, ca. 1929
A Seattle Times clip from August 12, 1936

The hotel’s name (have you figured?) is a neologism made by joining the first syllables in the partners’ last names.  Five years more and the partners would share something nearly as intimate: incarceration in Walla Walla.  By running and juggling the finances of not only the hotel, but also a bank, a network of radio stations and more, their 1920s ambitions eventually landed them behind bars for fraud.  After a few years of “paying their debt” they returned to their families and generally sturdy home lives in the mid-1930s.

WEB EXTRAS

Lots to add, I know, compadres! More will appear this evening… Here are a random few from The Camlin’s storied past. We’ll begin with a handful from the 1984 remodel:

And continue with several shots from the Cloud Room, including a couple from ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’:

And a few more, including the infamous boat in the pool!  One could rent it for the night.

And now, take it away, Ron!

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

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

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

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

THEN: 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 row house at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and Pine Street in its last months, ca. 1922-23. (Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: A motorcycle courier for Bartell Drugs poses before the chain’s Store No. 14, located in the Seaboard Building at the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Pike Street, circa 1929. (Courtesy Bartell Drugs)

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

THEN: The now century-old Norway Hall at the corner of Boren Avenue and Virginia Street opened in 1915, on May 17, Norwegian Independence Day. (Courtesy, Nordic Heritage Museum)

THEN: 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:

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)

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

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

THEN: 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: 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: 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: Thanks again and again to Lawton Gowey for another contribution to this feature, this ca. 1917 look into a fresh Denny Regrade and nearly new “office-factory” at 1921 Fifth Avenue. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey.)

THEN: Before this the first shovel of the last of Denny Hill was ceremonially dropped to the conveyor belt at Battery Street, an “initial bite of 30,000 cubic yards of material” was carved from the cliff along the east side of 5th Avenue to make room for both the steam shovel and several moveable belts that extended like fingers across the hill. It was here that they met the elevated and fixed last leg of the conveyor system that ran west on Battery Street to the waterfront. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

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]

=====

==========

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

CLICK TO ENLARGE

A TIMES clip from November 7, 1926.

=======

WE DO NOT KNOW.   Once upon a time we believed that this was a scene from the Cloud Room.  Now we doubt it.  It is too early.  And where are the windows – for that mater where are the clouds?  These walls are dappled with other spirits, signed celebrities we think and there  are almost surely some of the same in the room too, for instance working the microphones on the table.  Does the animated woman on the right come with or chosen for sound effects.  Is she laughing or singing?  Why does she stand when place is crowded with sofas.  To us the room is wonderfully comfortable.  But what room is it and who is using it for what, we ask as happy humanists always with our eyes out for places packed with persons like these.  

###

 

 

Seattle Now & Then: Lake Union Logs

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Looking north on Lake Union from some unidentified off-shore prospect near where Galer Street reached the Westlake Trestle. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Logs have long since been replaced with marinas, house boats, and small maritime-based businesses along Westlake Avenue North.

Surely the subjects here are the logs, although their likely destination, the Western Mill at the south end of lake Union, is also visible.  A water tower, two stacks, and a few long factory sheds are bunched there. Scattered about to all sides are the mill workers’ generally small homes in the community that was started in 1882 by David Denny and his partners.

Above: The Western Mill photographed by LaRouche looking east over Westlake.  Below: My “repeat” of it about a dozen years ago taken from the second floor of the McKay Ford retailer.

The silhouette of the hotel named for his brother Arthur Denny (last week’s feature) rises on the horizon far right of the featured photo at the top, where it is considerably dimmed by the industrial haze contributed by a city rebuilding after its Great Fire of June 6, 1889.  The greatest teeming of timber for remaking the city were these logs temporarily parked below Queen Anne Hill.

Paving Weslake on landfill regraded along the base of Queen Anne Hill.
Westlake on August 14, 1933 looking north towards a billboard set near Crockett Street. (Do you remember what beer made Milwaukee famous? CLICK FOR YOUR ANSWER)
Also looking north on Westlake to a Foster and Kleiser billboard near Crockett Street, six years later on September 29, 1939.

The featured print at the top is part of a small collection contributed a few years back to the Museum of History and Industry.  The selection is distinguished by panoramas and other subjects wide enough to reveal a variety of landmarks.   The fifteen prints of this collection also expose the elaborate changes in the cityscape that quickly followed the fire.  The economic crash of 1893 slowed the growth, but beginning in 1897 inhibitions were effectively scattered by the Yukon Gold Rush.

Houseboat mailboxes on Westlake, 1970s
A few of the 1889 Seattle Great Fire ruins printed by John P. Soule, the probable photographer of the week’s featured photo of the logs off Westlake.

The year here is most likely 1890 or 1891. By photo-historian Ron Edge’s studied speculation, the photographer may well have been John P. Soule. One of the small collection’s three-part panoramas of the Seattle waterfront was taken from the King Street wharf, which, with its coal bunkers, was then one the largest structures in Seattle. Ron identified the same pan from the same spot recorded with only a few changes among the vessels. It was, it seems, also recorded on the same day and this time, signed by Soule, who is best known for his many photographs of the ruins left by the Great Fire. (CLICK WHAT FOLLOWS TO ENLARGE IT!!!)

For the photographer, my first hunch was Frank LaRoche, another skilled local with a proven lens and a penchant for recording panoramas. In 1890 LaRoche was hired by a tireless young developer named Luther Griffith to assemble an album of prints showing off his two-mile-long trestle to Fremont. Not by coincidence, Fremont was the name of the Kansas township where Griffith was born. The LaRoch album also features a few new landmarks, like the rebuilt central waterfront and Arthur Denny’s hotel.

The photograph above of stringing trolley wire above Luther Griffith’s Westlake Avenue Trestle was taken by LaRoche and is copied from the album the photographer made of the project for the developer.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Approaching the penultimate turn on Westlake’s approach to the Fremont Bridge, and before the completion of the Aurorea (aka George Washington) Bridge ).
The last turn on Westlake befor crossing the Fremont Bridge. This “high bridge” was built in 1911-12, and served until the 1915-17 construction of the Fremont Bascule Bridge.  Fremont and Phinney Ridge are on the far north side of the bridge.  

The Stone Way bridge was built in 1911 to help handle north-end traffic during the construction of a new Fremont Bridge. This view looks north over both the Westlake Trestle and the Stone Way Bridge.  It was dismantled in 1917 after the opening of the Fremont Bascule Bridge.

 

Construction on the north pier of the Fremont Bascule Bridge.

The trestle to Fremont was built wide enough to handle promenading pedestrians, wagons, and most importantly, electric trolleys.  After they began running here in the fall of 1890, the trolleys pretty much put a stop to the “mosquito fleet” of small steamers that had delivered settlers and their goods to the growing neighborhoods on the north shore of the lake.  These included, west-to-east, Fremont, Ross, Edgewater, Latona (not yet Wallingford), Brooklyn (not yet the University District), Ravenna and Yesler.  The northeast corner of Lake Union – and so Portage Bay as well – got its own trolley service along the east side of Lake Union in 1891.   Some of this east side line was built on piles, and some on land.  Railroad ties were easier to lay beside the kinder grades of the future Eastlake and Fairview Avenues.

Mrs Brown playing at the enclosed beach behind (to the west) of the Westlake Trestle at the Southwest corner of Lake Union ca. 1902.  CLICK WHAT’S BELOW TO ENLARGE IT

First appeared in Pacific on March 21, 1999.
A ca. 1928 late-afternoon rush hour traffic jam at the south end the Fremont Bridge, and effective evidence for the need of another bridge – a high one, the Aurora Bridge.
Useful Junk Dance in Fremont June 19, 1979.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, fellahs?  We shall not disappoint professor, and we may well repeat.   CLICK ON THE BELOW.

THEN: This Webster and Stevens studio photo dates from either late 1917 or early 1918. The grand Frederick and Nelson Department store, rising above Fifth Avenue, has not yet reached its sumptuous Sept. 3. 1918 opening. In the foreground, the much smaller but also elegant flatiron building, bordered by Pine Street, in the foreground, and Westlake and Fifth Avenues to the sides, was razed and replaced also in 1918 by a three story retail block on the same flatiron footprint. (Courtesy, the Museum of History & Industry)

17web

THEN: One of a few photographs recording from different prospects the Fremont trolley car barn on Dec.11, 1936. North 35th Street, on the right, was originally named Blewett for Edward and Carrie Blewett. In 1888 the couple, fresh from Fremont, Nebraska, first named and promoted Fremont as a Seattle neighborhood. That year Fremont also got its lumber mill. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

THEN: The rear end of the derailed trolley on N. 35th Street appears right-of-center a few feet east of Albion Place N. and the curved track from which the unrestrained car jumped on the morning of August 21, 1903. (Courtesy, Fremont Historical Society)

THEN: From the Fremont Bridge, this subject looks northwest across the torrent that followed the washout of the Fremont Dam in the early afternoon of March 13, 1914. Part of the Bryant Lumber and Shingle Mill appears left-of-center. The north end of the Stone Way Trestle appears in the upper right corner. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)

THEN: Samuel McKnight’s early 1890s panorama of Lake Union also looks north into most of Seattle’s seventeen square-mile annexation of 1891, when the city limits were pushed north from McGraw Street to 85th Street. Fremont, Edgewater, the future Wallingford, Latona, and Brooklyn (University District) were among the neighborhoods included. (Courtesy, Dan Kerlee)

THEN: Photographed in the late 1950s, the floating restaurant’s huge on deck hooligan got no competition as yet from the Space Needle (1962) in breaking the horizon.

Another Foster and Kleiser billboard portrait. This looks north on Westlake to Pine Street. {This stands on its own – nothing to click.]

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

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

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

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

THEN: Like violence in a classic Greek play, the carnage suggested by this 1934 crash scene on the then new Aurora speedway was kept off stage, either behind the city’s official photographer, or in the county morgue. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive.)

THEN: Looking west from the southwest corner of 6th Ave. N. and Mercer St. to the trolley barn and yards for the (renamed in 1919) Seattle Municipal Railway in 1936. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: This portrait of the Seattle Gas Company’s storage tank dates from the spring of 1907, which explains its somewhat steeper topography. Between 1908 and 1911, both Republican Street, here on the right, and 9th Avenue N. were lowered to a grade close to that of Westlake Avenue, which is behind the photographer.

THEN: The 1906-07 Gas Works at the north end of Lake Union went idle in 1956 when natural gas first reached Seattle by pipeline. In this photo, taken about fifteen years later, the Wallingford Peninsula is still home to the plant’s abandoned and “hanging gardens of metal.” (Courtesy: Rich Haag)

Built for the manufacture of a fantastic engine that did not make it beyond its model, the Fremont factory’s second owner, Carlos Flohr, used it to build vacuum chambers for protecting telescope lenses. Thirty feet across and made from stainless steel the lens holders were often mistaken for flying saucers. (photo courtesy Kvichak marine Industries.)

THEN: If I have counted correctly this ca. 1930 Fremont Baptist Orchestra is appointed with three cellos, eleven violins and violas, two saxophones, two clarinets, one coronet, one oboe, one flute and two members who seem to be hiding their instruments. (courtesy Fremont Baptist Church)

THEN: This Webster and Stevens studio photo dates from either late 1917 or early 1918. The grand Frederick and Nelson Department store, rising above Fifth Avenue, has not yet reached its sumptuous Sept. 3. 1918 opening. In the foreground, the much smaller but also elegant flatiron building, bordered by Pine Street, in the foreground, and Westlake and Fifth Avenues to the sides, was razed and replaced also in 1918 by a three story retail block on the same flatiron footprint. (Courtesy, the Museum of History & Industry)

THEN: William O. McKay opened show rooms on Westlake in July of 1923. After fifty-seven years of selling Fords, the dealership turned to the cheaper and more efficient Subaru. Now reconstructed, the old Ford showroom awaits a new tenant.

THEN: A carpenter’s jewel with Victorian ornaments recorded by a tax assessor’s photographer in 1936, nestles at 615 Eastlake beside the surviving Jensen Apartments, aka the O’Donnell Building, on the left. (Courtesy Stan Unger)

THEN: This panorama could have used a tower (or drone) to better survey the size of the June 1, 191l, crowd gathered in Fremont/Ross to celebrate the beginning of construction on the Lake Washington Ship Canal. (Courtesy, Museum of History & Industry)

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.

CLICK to ENLARGE

Seattle Now & Then: The Denny Hotel

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The Denny aka Washington Hotel on the double-block of Denny Hill’s southern summit. The view looks southwest over the intersection of Virginia Street and Fourth Avenue. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Once lowered about 100 feet, the blocks between Stewart and Virginia Streets and Second and Fourth Avenues were developed with a variety of post-Victorian structures, including the New Washington Hotel (now the Josephenum Apartments) at the northeast corner of Steward Street and Second Avenue. It is the brick early 14-story high-rise at 1902 2nd Ave. here right-of-center.

Gather round. It’s is time to repeat an old story about the commanding Arthur Denny, who, as the older of the two brothers who in 1851 first settled on Alki Point, has been generally considered the city’s founder and sometimes father. Denny first named the hill he owned at the north end of his claim, Capitol Hill. When his Seattle began both to fill in and out, the ‘papa pioneer’ expected that Washington Territory’s legislators, of which he was one, would ultimately flee Olympia and relocate their capitol on his hill and  high above Seattle’s expanding commercial district.  The move seemed a sensible expectation, but proved, however, to be more hunch than hit.  Still, beginning in 1881, Seattle became the Territory’s largest community and stayed so.  That was a mere thirty years after Denny and his party of mostly mid-western farmers with urban ambitions landed on Alki Point.

Looking south on Third Avenue from the front (south) summit of Denny Hill during the construction there of the Denny Hotel, later renamed the Washington Hotel. (Courtesy, Dan Kerlee)

Denny’s friends and fellow champions were just as pleased to name his hill for him. He was famously sober, steadfast, and demonstrably modest with the exception of his name, which he enjoyed having attached to real estate.  Consequently, in 1888 ambitious friends convinced him to trade his political hopes for his hill into proprietary ones, while changing the hill’s name from Capitol to Denny.

Main lobby of the Denny Hotel. The grand entrance was to the left (south) and the registry desk to the right beside the steps that led to four flours of accommodations. (Courtesy, University of Washington, Northwest Collection)

On March 20, 1889, less than three months before the city’s Great Fire of June 6, Arthur announced his plan to build a grand namesake hotel on his hill.  In place of a capitol building he would settle for a Victorian landmark with 400 beds, one-hundred more than Tacoma’s Tacoma Hotel.  Here (in the featured photo at the top) the Denny Hotel is recorded by a Webster and Stevens Studio photographer who is looking southwest from the northeast corner of Virginia Street and Fourth Avenue.  Printed from a large glass negative, it is in the keep of MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry.)  The year is 1903, or fourteen years after construction began, and the hotel was not yet finished.*  A combination of infighting among the investors, the size and expense of the place, and the 1893 economic crash with the doldrums that followed, turned the grand hotel into a “ghost palace”, “white elephant” or “unsightly mass”, all names attributed to it in the local press.

Above and below: Looking north over the Steward Avenue “ditch” to the decorated hotel at the time of its opening in 1903. (Courtesy, University of Washington Libraries, Northwest Collection)

The May 23, 1903 issue of the weekly The Seattle Mail and Herald. (Click to Enlarge)
The Denny Hotel from Second Avenue looking north. (Courtesy Dan Kerlee)
Looking south of Third Avenue from Blanchard Street (near the northern summit of Denny Hill) at the rear of the as yet unopened or renamed Denny Hotel.  The Northern Pacific photographer F. Jay Haynes, most likely recorded this in in 1892, and so still eleven years before the hotel was first opened to Theodore Roosevelt and his entourage as the Washington Hotel.
Looking north on Third Avenue from the rear of the Denny Hotel. Queen Anne Hill is on the horizon. (Courtesy, Lucy Campbell Coe)  CLICK to ENLARGE

Still empty, the hotel was being polished and prepared for its first guest, President Theodore Roosevelt.  Sometime not long after Roosevelt anointed the landmark, Arthur Lingenbrink, my long-since deceased friend, visited the hotel with his parents and younger brother Paul, all of whom had moved to Seattle in 1903. When the family first approached the city from the south above the Union Pacific’s tidelands trestle, the gregarious ten-year-old Arthur, better

Arthur Lingenbrink in his basement studio on Capitol Hill.

known as Link, was dazzled by the hotel on the hill.  Link kept his eye on the hotel, which by then was renamed the Washington Hotel by its new owner, James Moore, at the time Seattle’s super developer.  The name change did not bother the founder.  Arthur Denny died in 1899.   The short-lived hotel’s demise followed in 1906, when this double-block was razed to its present elevations, early in the regrade of Denny Hill.

James Moore, the local super-developer who first opened the Denny Hotel in 1903 and renamed it the Washington Hotel.
First printed in The Times on May 14, 2000.

WEB EXTRAS

I’ve clambered around atop the Hotel Andra several times to repeat old prospects and my invaluable guide and pal Chief Engineer Brian Cunningham has always been along for the ride. Thanks, Brian!

Brian Cunningham on the Hotel Andra roof

Anything to add, my dears?  Edge Clips from the neighborhood below and a few more to follow with their dangling texts.

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

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

THEN: Before this the first shovel of the last of Denny Hill was ceremonially dropped to the conveyor belt at Battery Street, an “initial bite of 30,000 cubic yards of material” was carved from the cliff along the east side of 5th Avenue to make room for both the steam shovel and several moveable belts that extended like fingers across the hill. It was here that they met the elevated and fixed last leg of the conveyor system that ran west on Battery Street to the waterfront. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

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

belltown-moran-then

2nd-and-Blanchard-THEN

pmarket-n-arcade-30s-then-mr

Montana-Horse-Meat-MR-THEN

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

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

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

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

THEN: 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: Thanks again and again to Lawton Gowey for another contribution to this feature, this ca. 1917 look into a fresh Denny Regrade and nearly new “office-factory” at 1921 Fifth Avenue. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey.)

THEN: St. Vincent de Paul’s first storefront opened in 1926 in Belltown’s grand clapboard hostelry at the corner of First and Battery. Originally the Bellevue Hotel, it’s reduced here to the “house keeping and transient rooms” of the Bay State Hotel. (MOHAI)

THEN: Looking west (not east) on Battery Street from Seventh Avenue, approaching the end of the last of Denny Hill’s six regrade reductions. The dirt was carried to Elliott Bay on conveyor belts like the two shown here. (courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives)

THEN 1: Recorded on April 14, 1928, about sixth months before the Denny Hill Regrade No. 2 began, the last of the scarred Denny Hill rises to the right of Fifth Avenue. Denny School (1884) tops the hill at the northeast corner of Battery Street and Fifth Avenue. On the horizon, at center, Queen Anne Hill is topped by its namesake high school, and on the right of the panorama, the distant Wallingford neighborhood rises from the north shore of Lake Union. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)

=====

=====

The right (south) half of this pan is interpreted below.  CLICK TO ENLARGE (Courtesy, Washington State Museum, Tacoma.  The pan (of three parts) was photographed from the Washington Hotel by A. Curtis.)

=====

Denny Hill from First Hill

=====

=====

I photographed this “now” while on my way to a HISTORYLINK meeting, then in the Joshua Green Building at the southwest corner of Pike and 4th Avenue.

=====

First printed in The Times on February, 6, 2000.

=====

CLICK TO ENLARGE – Assemble out of Seattle Now and Then, Vol. 1.

=====

Denny Hill and its hotel recorded from the King Street Coal Wharf.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

=====

Looking north on Third Avenue from near Spring Street with the Plymouth Congregational Church on the right at University Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

DENNY/WASHINGTON HOTEL / HISTORY SUMMARY

=====

Capitol Hill from Denny Hill

Seattle Now & Then: Parking 15 Cents

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The two apartments houses rising on the east side of 8th Avenue and above the parking lot office are the Van Siclen Apartments (1911) on the left, and the Alfaretta Aparments (1918) beside it on the northeast corner with Seneca Street. (Courtesy, Stan Unger)
NOW: The Cielo, a residential tower, is a recent replacement for both the Van Siclen and Alfaretta Apartments. Their combined 120 apartments was less than half the 335 units built into the 31 story high rise.

Calculating the rate posted on the roof of this “office” shed at 725 University Street, any motorist leaving their car in this lot for longer than half a day would pay thirty cents, not fifteen. Seventy-nine years later this seems comical – and very fair.  The subject was recorded on January 24, 1938, not quite a decade after the 1929 economic crash that briefly shook the order of things before strapping it in the Great Depression.

Here on June 4, 1961 photographer Frank Shaw looks west on University Street from 9th Avenue and reveals the same parking lot office shed that appears in the featured photo at the top from 1938. Here is sits below the center of Shaw’s photo at the southwest corner of 8th Avenue and University Street. On the left the north facades of both the Exeter House and the Van Siclen apartments appear, the latter superimposed on the former. The first of the Edge Links below treats on this Shaw subject and the coming of the I-5 Freeway. (by Frank Shaw, 1961)
Looking east up the same block on University Street featured above it, this time looking east from 8th Avenue. This view is also featured with its own essay and “now.” It is the third down of the Edge Links below.

Like last week’s photo this one (at the top) was also rescued a half-century ago from a tax accessor’s waste basket. 1938 was an especially busy year for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) photographers.  While these researcher-recorders were busy making a photographic inventory of every taxable structure in King County, they discovered that many were not listed.  The result was two communities: the supportive one in daylight mixed with an untaxed black one. The shed?  We do not know on which side of that ragged line it sits.

A detail from a 1925 Seattle map that names the city’s more prominent structures.  The featured half-block appears here featureless below the center of detail.   There is as yet no Exeter Apartments at the northwest corner of Seneca Street and 8th Avenue.   Some other landmarks are noted including the 4th Church of Christ Scientist, the Van Siclen apartments and the Normandie Apartments.  These are featured with their own essays in the links below.
Detail from a 1946 mapping-aerial includes the Exeter (at the center) and the Forth Church of Christ Scientist below it. You can also count the cars through the parking lot that fills the remaining three-quarters of the Exeter’s block between 7th and 8th Avenues, Seneca and University Streets.

The earliest of the aerial surveys recorded for mapping Seattle dates from 1929.  Kept in the City Archive, it shows that this block, bordered by Seneca and University streets and Eighth (climbing First HIll behind the shed) and Seventh Avenues, was mostly crowded with small structures built to the north and west sides of one large one: the Exeter House, which still fills the quarter-block at the northwest corner of Seneca Street and Eighth Avenue. (In this week’s featured photo, the Exeter is just off frame to the right.)  The 1936, and 1946  aerials both show the block filled with cars, the Exeter and this shed.  Counting the cars we can figure that the three parked here are joined with about 250 others.  Together they – the parked cars, the shed and the Exeter – fill the block.

A detail from the 1952 mapping aerial includes much the same clutter of cars and apartment houses.

With its last residential listing in The Times, 725 University Street was still a boarding house and not this parking lot office.  The news, printed on October 13, 1936, tells how George L. Swanson, and A.T. Entwisle, a resident at 725, on hearing the screams of a “Miss Collins, walking at Eight Ave. and Seneca Street” responded by tackling a purse-snatcher named Bisbee. The heroes held him there for the Police.  The pathetic young Bisbee explained that he did it “because he was broke.”

The Ohaveth Sholem synagogue mid-block (somewhat closer to 8th than to 7th) on the north side of Seneca. Its footprint  and much more was later taken by the Exeter House Apartments. (You will find a clip on the sanctuary immediately below.)   Note half of the facade of the Denny Hotel (aka Washington Hotel) on Denny Hill peeking around the left side of the synagogue.  The prospect looks to the northwest from what is now Town Hall’s southwest corner of 8th Avenue and Seneca Street.  

At the time, depressed Seattle was also broke, or nearly. In the year of Bisbee’s felony, the Seattle City Council, accompanied over five years by three mayors and dozens of parking meter salesmen, began its earnest debate on parking meters.  With meters the council hoped to inhibit double-parking while counting the nickels and dimes pouring into the city’s general fund.  One meter machine salesman offered contributions to Councilman Hugh De Lacy to help erase the debt left by his most recent campaign.  An ardent clean government socialist, DeLacy reported the proposed perk,

A James A. Wood editorial concerning the enduring parking meter mystery or mess as of Jan. 15, 1941,

On November 8, 1941 The Times announced that the City had set December 15 as a deadline for completion of the parking meter installation. The writer waggishly added “Having heard much about parking meters in the abstract, we look forward to seeing them in concrete.”

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, les mecs?

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

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 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.

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

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]

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

sorrento-late-construction-WEB

THEN: An early view of Virginia Mason Hospital, which opened in the fall of 1920 at the northwest corner of Terry Avenue and Spring Street. In 1980 for its anniversary, the clinic-hospital could make the proud statement that it had “spanned sixty years and four city blocks.” Courtesy Lawton Gowey

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

THEN:

THEN: We give this panorama from the roof of the Washington Athletic Club a circa date of 1961, the year that Horizon House, a First Hill retirement community, first opened its doors to residents at Ninth Avenue and University Street. The high-rise L-shaped Horizon stands top-center. (Lawton Gowey)

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

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

======

 

=====

First appeared in The Times for November 29, 1992.

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

The two apartments houses rising on the east side of 8th Avenue and above the parking lot office are the Van Siclen Apartments (1911) on the left, and the Alfaretta Aparments (1918) beside it on the northeast corner with Seneca Street. (Courtesy, Stan Unger)

Seattle Now & Then: The Onarga Apartments

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: This week’s “then” features another tax assessor’s photo rescued a half-century ago from the department’s rubbish by Stan Unger, then a preservation-sensitive young employee. The flats here face Seventh Avenue between Spring and Seneca streets.
NOW: The cutting connected with the building of the Seattle Freeway in the early 1960s included a curving and widening of Seventh Avenue north of Spring Street and the razing of the several frame apartments, including he Onarga, that bordered it.

The Onarga, the mid-sized flats filling the center of this modest row of rentals, was most likely named for the small town founded in 1854 about 90 miles south of Chicago, Illinois.  That was three years after Seattle’s founder-pioneers first settled both on Alki Point and in the Duwamish River Valley.  (Some of them came from Illinois, if not Onarga.)

WELCOME to ORNARGA , ILLINOIS

The street number 1108 for this apartment house on Seventh Avenue is tacked to the front door beneath a sign that reads “Housekeeping Rooms for Rent.”  If I have figured the evidence correctly, these apartments were first opened to renters in late 1903 or 1904; newspaper listings for the Onarga began in 1904.  I am especially fond of a classified ad placed in The Times on September 18, 1904, which reads “$200 CASH and eight monthly

payments $25 each buys the furniture of a six-room well furnished flat.  Large, light rooms, pantry closets, porcelain bath, coal and gas ranges, sideboard, golden oak furniture, French bevel plate dressers, folding and iron beds, Brussels carpets, Bigelow Axminster art squares. Rent $30. 1108 7th Avenue, first door.” One would then – if I have read this correctly – have found these offered items in an apartment on the first floor.  The Times classified was listed under “FOR SALE FURNITURE – 109.” To my reading the ad’s creators seem to be selling the flat’s furnishings while also offering for rent the large apartment itself.

A detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map numbers “our” block “52”. This can be compared with a details of the same block (and more) from the 1888 and 1904 Sanborn Real Estate Maps.
A detail from the 1888 Sanborn Real Estate Map. The Onarga Apartments would replace (or remodel and enlarge?) the four units in the largest structure showing the block 294. It faced – as expected – Seventh Avenue from its east side, two blocks north of Spring Street.
Sixteen years later in the 1904 Sanborn map, the Onarga footprint appears facing Seventh Avenue from its east side, and the second lot north of Spring Street. Now four-row of houses begins to fill the remaining north half of the west half of block 294.

One of this flat’s best qualities is not noted in the 1904 Times classified.  The Onarga apartments, like its neighbors, were “within walking distance” of practically every urban need and/or opportunity.  They are “close in.” By 1904, after more than two decades of the Queen City’s booming growth, the western slope of First Hill was increasingly filling up with rentals at the expanse of single-family homes.  There was a mix of brick and frame construction among these apartment houses, and, of course, the former were ordinarily larger and classier.  As the map detail shows direclty above, in this block bordered by Seventh and Eighth Avenues and Spring and Seneca Streets, it was all frame, while in

Looking northwest from the roof or upper-floor of the Sorrento Hotel at the northwest corner of Terry Ave. and Madison, to the new and gleaming Christian Scientist sanctuary that crowds ‘our’ block bordered by Spring and Seneca Streets, Seventh and Eighth Avenues, from its northeast corner. The Onarga’s’ rooftop is left-of-center.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

neighboring blocks many of the addresses were grander, some of them high-rises.  Two examples of these are on show in our featured 1938 tax photo, and both are still standing. To the left of the parking strip tree is a sample of the Exeter House Seneca Street façade, with its Tudor Gothic style. And to the right is the well-ornamented Gothic crown of the high-rise Virginia Mason Hospital, which nearly fills the photo’s upper-right corner.   [WARNING!!!  WRONG!!!.  An alert early reader of the Time’s saturday delivery for this week’s PacificNW, made a kind (not unkind) correction.   This is not the hospital but rather the Lowell Apartments at and near the northeast corner of 8th Avenue and Spring Street, and so just south up 8th Avenue and across 8th from Town Hall.  This is embarrassing for me, and rates

Lowell Apartments

in the top ten of the many mistakes I have made since I started this feature now 35 years ago on a wet sunday in January, 1982.   Had my many flubs been then preluded before me I might have run to the Main Branch of the Seattle Public Library for penance and so correction.  The portrait of the Lowell Apts above come’s from SPL’S  prolific Werner Lenggenhager Collection. Lenggenhager has it captioned that the Lowell Apartments were built in 1928 and designed by Harry E. Hudson.  I did not find this in Shaping Seattle Architecture, where Hudson is not noted.  I’ll surely ask Diana James, author of Shared Walls, our history of Seattle’s apartment houses, about Hudson.  At this hour – 3am – she is almost certainly not awake.   The Virginia Mason is behind the Lowell, a short ways up Spring Street from ‘our block’.  It is also somewhat above the Lowell, but not high enough to alert me, and that’s working on an excuse.  Asking now for forgiveness, I’ll share a preferred excuse for this mistake once I think it up, and/or learn of a good escape thru Diana.)

The Fourth Church of Christ Scientist and now TOWN HALL at the southwest corner of 8th Avenue and Seneca Street.

The first heavy poured construction came to the featured block with the dedication of the Fourth Church of Christ Scientist.  Prior its construction in 1923, the northeast corner of the block was undeveloped.  Since 1999 the church building has splendidly served (in my opinion) as one of Seattle’s greatest non-profits: its Town Hall, a kind secular church with little dogma.  And here in the partnership that authors “Seattle Now and Then” you have a close-to-home example of that somewhat spiritual zest: Jean Sherrard, this feature’s photographer-repeater of well-wrought “nows.”  For a dozen years now, Jean has been producing, hosting and performing in Town Hall’s Christmas edition of Act Theatre’s series, “Short Stories Live.”   After a few years he began calling it “A Rogue’s Christmas.”  Every year now someone from Central Casting call’s Jean and asks him to prepare another season’s greetings for Town Hall.  Now that the Hall is getting it elaborate restoration, I do not know where the Rogue will show his tricks.

Continuing: here in anticipation of the webmaster Jean’s question, “Anything to add, buys?” here a few somethings.

First,  A kind of spiritual sampler of Seattle in 1916 includes an example from the Onarga Apartments.  It is sublimely marked in yellow with a blue border.   Please note that this printed list does not include any of the “regular” churches in town.  They have their own section in the paper, which in 1916 could still feature printed sermons by the more celebrity preachers in town like Mark Matthews whose First Presbyterian Church was directly south across Spring Street from “our block.”

Second, the story of the precocious Walter Fogh who lived in the Onarga Apartments in 1922.  The Times clipping is dated November 25, 1922.

Third, using a neighborhood detail from a  business map dated 1925 we find the Onarga Apartments among the four structures identified on “our block.”  The others are the Morningside Apartments next door on 8th Avenue to the east of the “4th C S Church,” which is also named., and the Toraine Apartments facing Seneca Street west across the alley from the C. Scientist.   The Toraine will appear in four of the remaining illustrations that follow before Jean’s query about “anything.”

Detail from a 1925 map of the Business District.

Fourth

A like of mostly protesting women march west on Spring Street with the Lowell Apts behind them and the Christian Scientists over their right shoulders. They were trying to stop the ditch, and/or have a lid put on it. By this time, ca. 1961, the block is for parking, except for the C.Scientists and the Toraine apartments – not showing here – which survived to the end.  Post-Intelligencer
Before the marching and razing. Madison Street crosses the photograph near the bottom, and Spring Street one block above it. Note the south facade of the nearly doomed Onarga Apartments above the domes of First Presbyterian.  Below: same aerial although marked  by someone long ago with the projected path of the I-5 Freeway.    You may note how it curving eastern border just misses both the Toraine Apartments on the south side of Spring Street and also the more majestic Exeter Apartments on the north side of Spring Street where the freeway turns northeast to the steeper western side of Capitol HIll..  (Also: see the Third Edge Link below for more on the preparation for this part of the curving I-5.)

A Google-Earth detail to show us how much the freeway turned west when it moved north from Spring Street. Here the Toraine Apartments are long gone, but not in the Lawton Gowey slide that follows. It looks north through the remnants of the mess made when the structures north of Madison Street were razed.  Note the west facade of First Presbyterian on the far right.  And note the surviving Toraine with its green skin.  
North from Madison Street through the litter and before the digging of the ditch. Photo by Lawton Gowey.  Surely you can find the Toraine – still.  
Beginning the ditch. Here, as well, are the survivors including, for a time, the Toraine Apartments  nearly snuggling up to the Christian Scientists and Seneca Street.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
Robert Bradley’s* look north from Madison Street on I-5, circa 1969. (* A Seattle Camera Club friend of Lawton Gowey’s.)

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, guys?   Yes Jean and starting with the first of the featured Edge Links below, the one looking northeast across the intersection of 7th Avenue and Seneca Street.  While our featured tax photo at the top concentrates on the Onarga near the center of the east side of 7th Avenue between Seneca and Spring, the first feature below reveals, far-right, the north end of this same east side of 7th.  It also shows the northwest corner of the Toraine Apartments facing Seneca Street from its south side and from this prospect above the corner grocery store, right-of-center.  So please open the link and read the rest.

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]

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

tsutakawa-1967-then

THEN: We give this panorama from the roof of the Washington Athletic Club a circa date of 1961, the year that Horizon House, a First Hill retirement community, first opened its doors to residents at Ninth Avenue and University Street. The high-rise L-shaped Horizon stands top-center. (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

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/zindorf-apts-714-7th-ave-mf1.jpg?w=645&h=810

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

BOREN-&-University-Denny-&-Ainsworth-Homes-THEN-mr

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

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

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

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

THEN: 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)

THEN:

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

THEN: 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: 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: 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)

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/1-future-courthouse-site-1937-web1.jpg?w=1131&h=730

THEN: Looking northwest to Seattle General Hospital at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Marion Street, circa 1909. (Courtesy of Michael Maslan)

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

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

sorrento-late-construction-WEB

THEN: An early view of Virginia Mason Hospital, which opened in the fall of 1920 at the northwest corner of Terry Avenue and Spring Street. In 1980 for its anniversary, the clinic-hospital could make the proud statement that it had “spanned sixty years and four city blocks.” Courtesy Lawton Gowey

THEN: The row house at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and Pine Street in its last months, ca. 1922-23. (Museum of History and Industry)

======

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

==========

Seattle Now & Then: Two Founders on Main Street

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Posing for a Post-Intelligencer photographer, Martin Johanson pauses from his daily chores of keeping the Millionair Club he founded fit and clean ca. 1925. (Courtesy, The Museum of History Industry, the Post-Intelligencer Collection.)
NOW: Holding a surviving copy of the original Real Change newspaper from 1995, its founder, Tim Harris poses on Main Street a few feet from the newspaper’s office.

While pursuing his “repeat” for this week’s feature, Jean Sherrard discovered what he described as a “coincidence of good works” on this pioneer corner.  Its location can be figured and so found twice in the older photo, which dates from the mid-1920s.  First, the address is scribbled on the wall, top-center, with chalk or perhaps whitewash.  It reads “98 Main St.”  The second clue is the rusticated block of granite that sits on the sidewalk, bottom-left.  It has been part of the footprint of the New England Hotel since 1890, when its frame hostelry was rebuilt with brick, concrete, and stone following the incineration of thirty-plus city blocks, including this one, during Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889.

The Pre-1889 Fire New England Hotel at the northwest corner of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.), first printed in the Pacific Mag. for May 11, 1986.   CLICK TO ENLARGE

In the featured “repeat” on top, the two men posing above the building’s sidewalk well are both smiling.  They are, first, Martin Johanson, holding the broom in the “then,” and about ninety-two years later the also friendly Tim Harris, who has unfolded the first issue of Real Change, the newspaper he founded. The paper’s web page describes itself as a “weekly progressive street newspaper written by a pro staff and sold by self-employed vendors, many of whom are homeless.  The paper provides them with an alternative to panhandling.”  When first printed as a monthly in 1994, Harris described it as published by the “Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project.” (We both strongly suspect that many PacificNW readers have patronized Real Change, and hope so.)

Martin Johanson, the man with the sweeper’s broom, was also a founder, and the Millionair Club that he first opened on this corner in 1921 continues to find work – and much else – for the unemployed who seek its services.  The Club has long since moved north into Belltown, and so up and away from the basement of the New England Hotel.  If you use the Club and/or support it with a donation

From The Seattle Times for March 4, 1923.
Clip from The Times for March 31, 1924.
From The Times for April 19, 1926.
From The Times for February 25, 1927.
The The Times fro April 24, 1928.

or, perhaps, a bid at one of its auctions, you are a member.  You can figure some of its services on the signage held above the well.  Reading from the top “Free Supper here each Sunday 6;00 p.m. This Place Open From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Daily, 8 a.m. to 7p.m. on Sunday.”  The Club’s basement also served as a performance space for speakers, readers, and performers.  Nearby at 112 Main Street the Club also ran a restaurant with a nutritious menu that was both cheap and/or free to those with tickets gained from working.  The Club’s first quarters were also fitted with beds.

By using the internet there are, as one might expect for two such well-known and respected services, many sources to learn more about the work of these zestful contributors to our local culture.  With both you would do well to begin with their own web-pages, https://www.millionairclub.org for the Millionair Club and www.realchangenews.org/ for the magazine or tabloid with what it describes as a “compact format.”  Real Change is admirably forthright with its statistics.  Its weekly circulation is about 16,000.  I know from experience, having edited hereabouts a weekly tabloid a half-century ago, that what is printed on the cover can make a surprising difference in how many copies are sold on the street.

Some good intentions from a Times clip published on November 12, 1967.

=====

The post-fire New England Hotel’s turn during the Pioneer Square Historic District restoration. This Times clip from December 15, 1974.  CLICK TO ENLARGE.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  Certainly Jean, starting first with another offering of Real Change  followed by a variety of past features pulled by Ron and I from our stock of scanned examples.  (And now Jean we will ALSO plead – please – once again – for some dear reader to help us in this.  We ask help in scanning the remaining weekly features. As you know well Jean we are disastrously non-profit and so must plead aka beg.  But we have all the clips from The Times  collected and in proper order, about 1800 of them since Seattle Now and Then started appearing in Pacific on a rainy mid-winter morning in 1982.  We have the scanner too to deliver for use with the clips.  One (or two) boxes will hold it all.  So please have a little mercy for your dutiful history hacks and help us complete this opera.   So far we have roughly 500 of the about 1800 features scanned.  Please help fulfill this blog with the growing sum of its abiding features.  The clips, scanner and grateful instructions are standing by.  

native-basket-seller-then-mr

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

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.

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: St. Vincent de Paul’s first storefront opened in 1926 in Belltown’s grand clapboard hostelry at the corner of First and Battery. Originally the Bellevue Hotel, it’s reduced here to the “house keeping and transient rooms” of the Bay State Hotel. (MOHAI)

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: 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)

a-king-gas-3247-blog

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: 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: 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: Looking northwest from the 4th Avenue trestle towards the Great Northern Depot during its early 20th Century construction. (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)

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/max-loudons-girls-on-3rd-s-w-motorcycle-then-mr1.jpg?w=854&h=573

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 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: 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: 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: 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.)

========

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

 

=====

 

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

BACK ON THE CORNER

====

THE ILLUSTRATED IVAR

IVAR AND JIM

IVAR crowned ‘KING OF THE WATERFRONT” by his friend JIM FABER in 1984.
Jim Faber on his own in the Salmon House, 1987. Ivar passed two years earlier. Jim and I often met for lunch to plan the interior for the new Acres of Clams. Ivar started it and we “finished” it. Recently it was remodeled once more. Some of what Jim and I arranged for the 1985 remodel were used with the latest changes, which are quite splendid. In 1999 (or perhaps ’98) I returned to writing a biography of Ivar. It was inevitably titled  “Keep Clam.” But now the name has changed.  It is THE ILLUSTRATED IVAR. I’ll be ashamed if I don’t complete it by next summer – if I survive as a cogent octogenarian.. Paul D.

=====

1967 – 1977 – 2017  The Golden Anniversary for the founding of HELIX

ODD FELLOWS Hall on Capitol Hill, site of many benefit concerts in the 1970s including a 10th anniversary celebration of the 1967 founding of HELIX, the weekly tabloid hinted about near the end of this week’s feature.

Odd Fellows Fountain

HELIX Originals above and below – 25th Anniversary at BLUE MOON TAVERN by Jeff Jaisun

The LAST ISSUE art mostly by Larry Heald one of the three Heald brothers who helped with Helix thru its three years .
The collective poster made for the 10th Anniversary dance in the Odd Fellows Ballroom on Capitol Hill. It was packed. We projected a light show of footage from past Rock-Jazz festivals, mostly from SKY RIVER ROCK FIRE – all three of them in 1968, 69 and 70.

Seattle Now & Then: A Dump at Dexter and Aloha

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: A city dump at the southwest corner of Lake Union in 1915. (Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: With 361 accommodations arranged through seven floors, the new Juxt Apartments, renting for from $2,000 to $5,200 a month, now cover a city block that a century ago was a mix of lake waters and solid waste.

When the featured historical photo is enlarged there is a surprise waiting in this wetland dump. All the men, I count eighteen teamsters grouped with their trash wagons across the pond, are looking directly at the photographer, most likely James Lee.  For many years Lee was the official photographer for the city’s Public

A detail pulled from the featured photograph.
Looking northeast from near Dexter and Valley, and again on Thursday the 28th. Far right, two stacks rise above the lumber mill at the south end of Lake Union.

 

If you are familiar with the brother and sister posing on the cover of Seattle Now and Then Vol. 1 (1984) here is their mother, Abba Brown, also splashing at the southwest corner of Lake Union, between the Westlake Trestle and the lake’s meander line. This paddling was exposed circa 1903, a few years before the swimming “hole” was filled with city trash.  CLICK THE CLIPPING TO ENLARGE IT.

Works Department: our own municipal photographer.  (Beginning in 1983, we have used many of Lee’s records in this weekly feature.)  In the week’s featured photo, Lee – we are confidently assuming – looks northwest through the block bordered by Valley and Aloha Streets, and Eighth and Dexter Avenues. That solitary motorcar parked at the southeast corner of Dexter and Aloha (upper-left) may well be Lee’s.

Lee enlarges his solid waste narrative by following a collector pausing for a pick-up on First Hill’s Belmont Avenue.

James Lee had other shots to take this October 29, 1915, a Thursday with light rain.  All had something to do with the city’s solid waste services. This week’s feature is a record of a civic dump and numbered, we assume by Lee, 3147.  Two numbers back, 3145, is the by now often published close-up of a refuse wagon (like the ones grouped here across the water) picking up trash from residences on Capitol Hill’s Belmont Avenue. With 3141, Lee looks into this same littered pit, but from Dexter Avenue and near to what we have imagined is his car.  Upon reflection, it seems that these three print numbers do not indicate the likely order of Lee’s snap-shooting that Thursday.  Why?  It would been wasted effort to expose a negative here at the southwest corner of Lake Union 3147, then climb the hill for an appointment with a dray on Belmont 3145, only to return again to the dump for 3141.  Reverse the order and it is still slipshod.  The photograph numbers were, we propose, given in the dark room without much clerical concern beyond the day’s date.

The Northlake Garbage Incinerator No. 2 was relatively long-lived. This record of its home beside the gas works on the Wallingford Peninsula is dated ca. 1933.

These years were a stressful time for garbage in booming Seattle.  The city, which had only recently started collecting solid waste for delivery to its nine managed dumps, also built five garbage incinerators between 1907 and 1914.  These “refuse destructors” were disappointing.  Meanwhile, the tide-stirred dump named Puget Sound was ever inviting.

The Municipal Railway’s brand new trolley posing on (or near) Dexter Avenue on October 1, 1914.

The concrete box in the Featured photograph, behind and to the right of the eight posing wagons, is the Municipal Transfer Station. It was built for Seattle’s first public-owned trollies, which started running in 1914 on Dexter Avenue between the business district and Ballard’s Salmon Bay.  (We featured it with a now-then on April 23, 2000, and have attached it directly above.)  The station, delicately designed with arched windows and an ornamental banding of colored tiles at the cornice, is probably the work of Daniel Huntington, then the City Architect.  The transfer station bears a small resemblance to Huntington’s much larger Seattle City Light Steam Plant, near the southeast corner of Lake Union.

Municipal Architect Huntington’s steam plant for Seattle City Light.

Moving up Queen Anne Hill in the featured photo at the top, note the steep grade separation to the left of the transfer station at the northwest corner of Aloha and Dexter.  The first lines of residences beyond this cut and up the hill were short-lived. They were sacrificed for the Aurora Speed Way in the early 1930s.  But on the horizon, left-of-center, stands the enduring outline of one of Seattle’s more majestic landmarks, the former Queen Anne High School.

Probably of greater interest to Seattle children on this Thursday were Van Camp’s Trained Pigs performances at the Grand Theatre.  After dancing, boxing and drinking milk from nursing bottles, these trained baby pigs were “passed through the audience for the children to pet.”  The Grand was packed for all the little pig shows on both Thursday and Friday.

The Browns lived on Dexter Avenue near Denny Park and  so also near the swimming hole behind the Westlake Viaduct.  Here they are, the entire family, cuddling at home.   The father, William LeRoy Brown, was a clarinetist with the “Dad” Wagner Band and a plumber too.   He was a resourceful photographer and we have use many of his negatives in this weekly feature over the past 35 years.

In 1904 it was still safe for the Brown kids, Leon and Margaret, to play in the middle of Dexter Avenue. The view looks north from near their front yard.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, guys?   Plenty from the surrounds Jean.  Many of them have been seen hear earlier, but we now have cheerful news of our intentions to scan the rest of the 1800-plus features produced with the now-and-then parade over the last 35 years.  Gosh it would go forward with greater speed and merciful grace if we could find a volunteer or two among our readers to help with the scanning.  And we have an extra scanner on loan from Ron Edge.

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

THEN: 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: Photographed in the late 1950s, the floating restaurant’s huge on deck hooligan got no competition as yet from the Space Needle (1962) in breaking the horizon.

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

THEN: William O. McKay opened show rooms on Westlake in July of 1923. After fifty-seven years of selling Fords, the dealership turned to the cheaper and more efficient Subaru. Now reconstructed, the old Ford showroom awaits a new tenant.

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

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

THEN: The Dog House at 714 Denny Way was strategically placed at the southern terminus for the Aurora Speedway when it was new in the mid-1930s. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Archive, Bellevue Community College Branch.)

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)

aurora-broad-speed-web

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

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

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/crockett-7-w-row-then-mr1.jpg?w=1352&h=878

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: Looking west from the southwest corner of 6th Ave. N. and Mercer St. to the trolley barn and yards for the (renamed in 1919) Seattle Municipal Railway in 1936. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: The 1906-07 Gas Works at the north end of Lake Union went idle in 1956 when natural gas first reached Seattle by pipeline. In this photo, taken about fifteen years later, the Wallingford Peninsula is still home to the plant’s abandoned and “hanging gardens of metal.” (Courtesy: Rich Haag)

THEN: A carpenter’s jewel with Victorian ornaments recorded by a tax assessor’s photographer in 1936, nestles at 615 Eastlake beside the surviving Jensen Apartments, aka the O’Donnell Building, on the left. (Courtesy Stan Unger)

THEN: The ‘Seattle showplace’ Rhodes mansion on Capitol Hill, ca. 1916. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Samuel McKnight’s early 1890s panorama of Lake Union also looks north into most of Seattle’s seventeen square-mile annexation of 1891, when the city limits were pushed north from McGraw Street to 85th Street. Fremont, Edgewater, the future Wallingford, Latona, and Brooklyn (University District) were among the neighborhoods included. (Courtesy, Dan Kerlee)

THEN: Like violence in a classic Greek play, the carnage suggested by this 1934 crash scene on the then new Aurora speedway was kept off stage, either behind the city’s official photographer, or in the county morgue. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive.)

MINOR-&-THOMAS-P-patch-THEN-mr

=====

Here’s Chapter 64 of the first repeat collection, Seattle Now and Then Vol. 1, as scanned from the book.   CLICK TO ENLARGE

=====

=====

=====

=====

Another – and confident – recording by the municipal photographer James Lee.  

=====

One of the many stations that architect Daniel Huntington designed for the Seattle Fire Department.

=====

A BRIEF RETURN TO DEXTER AVENUE

Grocery near the northwest corner of Harrison and Dexter, ca. 1910.

A neighbor of the Browns on Dexter. Queen Anne Hill is on the distant left, and Lake Union on the right.

=====

First printed in Pacific on Nov. 14, 1993.

=====

The 9th Avenue Regrade was one of several spin-offs from the Denny Hill Regrade. First published in The Times for July 20, 2003.

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

WHILE MUCH OF THE ABOVE, the regrades, construction,  swimming,  was going on, everyone was also preoccupied with the First World War.  Here is a parodic clip from The Times for October 28, 1915.   Give note, for instance, to poor Texas and neglected Nevada.

 

Now & Then here and now