Seattle Now & Then: Row of Houses on Broadway

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THEN: A King County Assessor’s tax photo from 1937 aims south on Broadway from Marion Street. (Courtesy, Stan Unger)
NOW: In 1970 the block-long Broadway Parking Lot replaced the five residences and one church in the 800 block on the east side of Broadway.
NOW: In 1970 the block-long Broadway Parking Lot replaced the five residences and one church in the 800 block on the east side of Broadway.

This row of strapping residences on Broadway stands near the summit of the long ridge that locals first referred to as “the first hill.” By the time these roosts were constructed in the early twentieth century, the “the” was increasingly dropped, but not the “first.” Broadway, along with Denny Way and Yesler Way, was so named to mark it as a border for the Central Business District. And it was platted broad too, eighty feet wide rather than the common sixty feet of other streets and avenues on the hill.

This by now oft-used detail of a pan of First Hill taken from the Coppins Waterworks in the early 1890s looks east on Columbias Street from the tower's home on the block between 9th Avenue and Terry Avenue. The latter crossed the bottom of the print. The future location of the row houses featured here is close to the evangelist's (we figure) tent appearing
This by now oft-used detail of a pan of First Hill taken from the Coppins Waterworks in the early 1890s looks east on Columbia Street from the tower’s home between 9th Avenue and Terry Avenue. The latter crosses the bottom of the print. The future location of the row houses featured here is close to the evangelist’s (we figure) tent appearing upper-right, which is near (again, we figure) where Marion Street, the next street north and so to the right of Columbia Street, reaches Broadway Avenue.  (CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE)

The size of the five big residences on show in this 1937 tax photo is a tribute to the late nineteenth century ambition of First Hill to distinguish itself as Seattle’s exclusive neighborhood of mansions. Usually raised above big double lots, these are exceptions, as each occupies a single lot. With the turn of the century, any exclusivity in this neighborhood was soon overwhelmed by Seattle’s muscular growth, and its needs for workers’ housing “within walking distance” or quick trolley rides to their employers beckoning. In addition to apartments, institutions such as schools, hospitals, and churches crowded First Hill in the early 1900s, so that its luxuriance was more in human stories than family wealth.  The pan shown just above reveals the early diversity of housing on First Hill.  It shows a mix of mansions, row-houses and apartments, but not institutions as yet.

The first page of the assessor's tax card created for the WPA registration and photography of all taxable properties in King County. We will next repeat the feature photo set beside a detail of the same row taken from a 1936 aerial photograph made - along with hundreds of others - to help map the city. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive and the Washington State Archive, Bellevue Branch on the Bellevue Community College campus.)
The first page of the assessor’s tax card created for the WPA registration and photography of all taxable properties in King County.  Below the feature photo is set beside a detail of the same row taken from a 1936 aerial photograph made – along with hundreds of others – to help map the city. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives and the Washington State Archive, Bellevue Branch on the Bellevue Community College campus.)  CLICK TWICE TO READ
The 1937 tax photo and a detail from the 1936 mapping aerial side-by-side.
The 1937 tax photo and a detail from the 1936 mapping aerial side-by-side.   Including the Methodist church at the corner of Columbia (and at the bottom of the aerial detail) there were six structures on this east side of Broadway between Marion and Columbia. CLICK TO ENLARGE THE AERIAL PHOTO DETAIL!

On the featured photo of the Marion Street end of the block we have kept the tax record’s address, 832 Broadway, that has been scribbled by the assessor’s staff on the grass.  It is a “family dwelling” with eight rooms built by Jennie and Frederick Hope in 1900.  After her husband’s early demise, she continued to live in the home until her death in 1938. The surely zestful Jennie Hope liked to host all-French parties with no English speaking allowed. She also hosted a salon in her living room for Seattle’s Progressive Thought Club. The Times reported that for the gathering on January 23, 1910, Rev. J.D.O. Powers, a Unitarian minister, addressed the club on “The Purpose of Life.” On March 12, 1912, the Club’s question was equally big: “Why Are We On Earth?” (Regrettably, in neither instance did this newspaper publish any of the Club’s answers.) Jennie Hope also liked to take extensive trips, long enough to offer a few of her rooms for subletting during her absence.

An extension of the card first used in 1937 includes this later look at the
Above: an extension of the card first used in 1937 includes this later look at the Hope Home in 1951, long after both were no longer living.  Below: tax card for funeral home two lots south of the Hope home.
Two doors south of the Hope home, the residence converted for a funeral home first
Two doors south of the Hope home, the residence converted for a funeral home. (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, on the Bellevue Community College Campus)

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Although it cannot easily be deciphered in the featured photo at the top, even in the original, there is just left of the Maple tree a neon sign attached to the roof of the porch at 824 Broadway, two doors south of the Hope home. The sign reads F. V. Rasmusson Funeral Home. The mortuary was easily the most reported and promoted of addresses on this east side of the 800 block. In 1942 John Kalin, its new owner-mortician, spread his hegemony by first purchasing the

Some first hill news including an ad for the
Some first hill news including an ad for the “Catholic Funeral Director” John Kalin and his “lady assistant.”   This is clipped from a January 21, 1938 issue of the Spectator, a publication allied to Seattle University. 

larger residence north of his and then the Hope home a few years after Jennie’s death. Kalin advertised his funeral home as Catholic, and his final paid listing in the Times was a “last rosary” for Marcelino Ubaldo Lyco, a WWII veteran. The service was held in the John Kalin Chapel on November 22, 1965. A requiem mass was to follow the next day at St. Mary’s and finally a burial at Washelli Cemetery.

THE OTHER TAXED HOLDINGS ON THIS BROADWAY BLOCK – ONE ONE CHURCH

At 824 Broadway and next door to the Hopes. This tax photo from 1937 and the one below it from
At 828 Broadway, next door to the Hopes. This tax photo is from 1937 and the one below it from 1951. 

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Above: 816 Broadway from 1937. Below: from 1954.
Above: 816 Broadway from 1937. Below: from 1954.

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808 Broadway one lots north of the northeast corner of Broadway and Columbia.
808 Broadway one lots north of the northeast corner of Broadway and Columbia.
At least by 1908 the year this classified was printed in The Times, the home at 808 Broadway was divided into flats.
At least by 1908 the year this classified (above) was printed in The Times, the home at 808 Broadway was divided into flats.   Below, in the 1959 tax photo, 808 has four front doors leading from the front porch.  
808 Broadway with the northwest corner of the former home of Westminster Methodist on the right. As the clipping below reveals the church thru its pre-garage life was home to many tenants including the Jehovas Witnesses and the Seattle University Theater named Teatro Inigo.
808 Broadway with the northwest corner of the former home of Westminster Methodist on the right. As the clipping below reveals the church thru its pre-garage life was home to many tenants including the Jehovas Witnesses and the Seattle University Theater named Teatro Inigo.
A Time clipping from April 21, 1962.
A Time clipping from April 21, 1962.

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THE LAST TENANT AT 808 BROADWAY – and on it. 

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WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  A few mostly neighborhood features, which promises that some of these will repeat others of these this week and earlier and so be familiar to some readers of this blog.   But let us be considerate of those for whom this is somewhat new, also remembering that for our seasoned selves “repetition is the mother of all learning.”

THEN: This detail from the prolific local photographer Asahel Curtis’s photograph of the Smith/Rininger home at the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Summit Avenue dates from the early twentieth century when motorcars, rolling or parked, were still very rare on the streets of Seattle, including these on First Hill. (Courtesy, Historic Seattle)

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THEN:The front end damage to the white Shepherd Ambulance on the right is mostly hidden behind the black silhouette of either officer Murphy or Lindberg, both of whom answered the call of this morning crash on Feb. 18, 1955.

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

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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: First Hill’s distinguished Old Colony Apartments at 615 Boren Avenue, 1910.

THEN: Built in 1887, the Minor-Collins Home at the northeast corner of Minor Avenue and Cherry Street was one of the grandest and longest surviving pioneer mansions on First Hill. (Courtesy Historic Seattle)

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

THEN: 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

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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:

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

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

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THEN: Revelers pose on the Masonic Temple stage for “A Night in Old Alexandria,” the Seattle Fine Art Societies annual costume ball for 1921. (Pic courtesy of Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink)

THEN: An early portrait, circa 1911, of The Silvian Apartments, one of Capitol Hill’s abiding architectural jewels. (Courtesy, Bill Burden)

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)

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Below: THE 800 BLOCK ON BROADWAY FOOTPRINTS in both the 1908 & 1912 BAIST REAL ESTATE MAPS.  [click to enlarge]

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Seattle Now & Then: Hanson Avenue, 1913

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THEN: First named Hanson Avenue, for Hans Hanson, an Alki Point settler, 63rd Ave. SW extends about a third of a mile across the Point. In 1908 an electric trolley line first crossed the Point on 63rd. The tracks can be found here in the graded dirt street. This view looks north. (Courtesy: Walt Baker Williams)
NOW: Jean Sherrard recorded his “repeat” in the late summer of 2015.
NOW: Jean Sherrard recorded his “repeat” in the late summer of 2015.

In spite of its soft focus, I delight in this week’s historical subject.  It is rare: a nearly pioneer look into the heart of the Alki Point neighborhood early in its development.  Photos of the Point’s early beach life are nearly commonplace, but not off the waterfront shots like this one of its interior along what was then still called Hanson Avenue. 

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The featured print at the top and the few more above this writing were copied from a cord-bound album of by now mostly scruffy photos originally gathered to promote and revive Rose Lodge in 1913. That was a dozen often struggling years after Benjamin and Julia Baker opened the lodge and its pleasure grounds on the Puget

A Times clip from March 3, 1911.
A Times clip from March 3, 1911.
A Times clip from June 9, 1912.
A Times clip from June 9, 1912.

Sound waterfront south of the Point.  Among the dozen or so photographs included in the album, the featured  one declines to promote the Lodge’s advantages or pose its recreating tenants and fifty neatly-framed tents. (The next print below includes some of those tents and playful guests.)  Rather, the photographer turns her or his left shoulder away from the resort to look north-northeast on what was then, six years after West Seattle’s incorporation into Seattle and its conformity of street names, 63rd Ave. SW.  Of course, some of the locals continued long after to call it by its original name, Hanson Avenue. 

Rose lodge and a few of its housekeeping tents seen from the beach.
Rose lodge and a few of its housekeeping tents seen from the beach.

Norwegian immigrants Anna and Hans Hanson, with their brother-in-law Knud Olson, and their families, purchased Alki Point from Seattle Pioneer Doc Maynard in 1869.  The extended family farm, here in the featured photo at the top off camera to the left, kept producing into the 1930s, while rentals on the Point property helped its members through the Great Depression.  This Hanson-Olson “Alki-Aristocracy” included the Clam Digger, future restaurateur Ivar Haglund, whose mother Daisy was the Hanson’s youngest child, the only one born (in 1870) on the Point.

The intersection of Olson and Hanson seen here near the center of a Alki Point detail lifted from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map. The two yellow footprints to the right of the circle "15", bottom-left, mark - inadequately - the primary structures at Rose Lodge.
The intersection of Olson and Hanson seen here near the center of an Alki Point detail lifted from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map. The two yellow footprints to the right of the circle “15”, bottom-left, mark – inadequately – the primary structures at Rose Lodge.  Johan Haglund and his son Ivar’s first addition to the point is marked (& marketed) in blue, right-of-center.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

Daisy’s uncle Knud Olson had his own namesake street that intersected Hanson Avenue where now Admiral Way does the same with 63rd SW.  That intersection is a few lots north of the large white-box-of-a-home that stands above the center of this streetscape. It was for many years the family home of Asa and Irene Schutt.  Irene

The Schutt home sits on lot 5 of the A.A. Smith addition. Lena Smith was Ivar's aunt and helped raise him after his mother's early death.
The Schutt home sits on lot 5 of the A.A. Smith addition to Alki Point.  Lena Smith was Ivar’s aunt and helped raise him after his mother’s early death.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

was an activist in the Alki Women’s Improvement Club and club meetings were often held in her home at 3226 63rd SW.  The home, now painted green, survives.  Across the street from the Schutt’s home were still undeveloped acres that a pair of Los Angeles showmen proposed in 1927 to develop into a twelve-acre amusement park.  Its neighbors were mostly not amused and the necessary rezone failed.     

A Seattle Times coverage of the point's ambivalence toward the proposed amusement park. Note that Ivar Haglund is quoted.
The Seattle Times 1927 coverage of the Point’s ambivalence toward the proposed amusement park notes that both Ivar Haglund and Rose Lodge developer Benjamin Baker were in favor of the park.  (They were, after all, both entertainers too.)  Their names are  noted at the bottom of the left column.  The most spirited opponent was Rev. A.O. Kuhn, pastor of the Alki Congregational Church, which was a beach rock’s throw from  Rose Lodge, and still is. Kuhn did some “profiling” when he remarked “We all know the kind of people that an amusement park draws.”  

This featured photo and the others from the album were first shared with me in 1997 by Walter Baker Williams at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s then recently opened Log House Museum.  We met in the courtyard paved with bricks named for and contributed by donors, Williams included. In the 1960s, the Harvard educated attorney was a member of the state senate.  He was what was then called a “moderate Republican.”  For a middle name, his parents handed him Baker, the name of his grandparents.  Again, it was the Bakers that had opened Rose Lodge, and quite possibly grandpa Benjamin Baker who took this week’s featured historical photograph. 

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Electrical Storms?  above and financial struggles below.

By 1918 Baker was ready to sell lots. The struggles of running a still remote and somewhat minimal attraction may have managed electrical storms but not familial ones. They got a divorce.
It seems that by 1918 Baker was ready to sell lots while still renting furnished tents. The struggles of running a still remote and somewhat rugged attraction may have vanquished  electrical storms but not familial ones. The Bakers got a divorce.  The above clip is from August 4, 1918.   The one below  from Sept 25, 1918. 

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THE WILLIAM and/or KENNETH MORRIS Rose Lodge Month of May Example for 1928 & 1929

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NEARLY THE END: A Times clip from June 12, 1932.
NEARLY THE END: A Times clip from June 12, 1932.   Not just another clean and reasonable large room near the beach.  But single too. 

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, les mecs?  Yes Jean, yes yes.  Ron begins this week with some Alki Beach wear and then with a few more West Seattle features.  Following those we will tie some clippings to the tail of this week’s blog.

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

THEN: The Seattle Times in its lengthy coverage of the then new Seattle Steel in the paper’s Magazine Section for Sept. 10, 1905 – the year this photograph was recorded – noted that “the plant itself is a series of strong, substantial, cavernous sheds, built for use, not for beauty.” (Courtesy, MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: In 1852 many of Seattle’s first pioneers removed from Alki Point by dugout canoe for the deeper and safer harbor along the east shore of Elliott Bay (our central waterfront). About a half-century later any hope or expectation that the few survivors among these pioneers could readily visit Alki Beach and Point by land were fulfilled with the timber quays and bridges along Spokane Street. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

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

THEN: The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge was built on a road, in a neighborhood, and near a public school all named for the developer Carlisle Gatewood, who also lived in the neighborhood. The three women posing in the third floor’s open windows are the Clark sisters, Jean, Dorothy and Peggy, members of the family that moved into the home in the late 1930s.

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

THEN: Totem Place, at 1750 Palm Ave. S.W., was home for Joseph Standley proprietor of Ye Old Curiosity Shop on Colman Dock. His death notice in The Seattle Times for Oct. 25, 1940 described the 86-year-old “Daddy” Standley as “almost as much a part of Seattle’s waterfront as the waves that dash again the seaweall.” =========

First appeared in The Times on 7-24-1988
First appeared in The Times on 7-24-1988

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First appeared in Pacific, Jan. 9, 2000.
First appeared in Pacific, Jan. 9, 2000.

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First appeared in Pacific, January 23, 2000.
First appeared in Pacific, January 23, 2000.

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First appeared in Pacific April 10, 1994.
First appeared in Pacific April 10, 1994.

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Seattle Now & Then: The Georgetown Depot

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THEN: The Oregon and Washington Railroad Georgetown Depot was built in 1910 about two blocks north of the Seattle Lighting Company’s Gas Works, far-right. (Courtesy, Frank and Margaret Fickheisen)
THEN: The Oregon and Washington Railroad Georgetown Depot was built in 1910 about two blocks north of the Seattle Lighting Company’s Gas Works, far-right. (Courtesy, Frank and Margaret Fickheisen)
NOW: The short-lived O&W Depot sat on what is now the south side of the S. Albro Street Bridge that carries traffic across both Georgetown’s wide layout of seven railroad tracks and the I-5 Freeway. The Depot’s location is now a backyard for the small warehouses, equipment and blue tanks of Marine Vacuum Services Inc.
NOW: The short-lived O&W Depot sat on what is now the south side of the S. Albro Street Bridge that carries traffic across both Georgetown’s wide layout of seven railroad tracks and the I-5 Freeway. The Depot’s location is now a backyard for the small warehouses, equipment and blue tanks of Marine Vacuum Services Inc.

This portrait of Georgetown’s sharp but short-lived Oregon-Washington Railroad Station is the third “then” we have pulled from an album of snapshots shot and/or gathered by Henry J. Fickheisen.  Henry was the son of Carl W. Fickeisen, an early Georgetown baker who started sweetening the Duwamish Valley with his cream cakes in the 1890s. Our first Ficheisen choice was a portrait of the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Brigade pausing and posing in uniform during a parade on Seattle’s Pike Street (Jan. 20, 2013.  We will place it below as the second “Edgle Link” after Jean’s request for “Web Extras).  Next we featured a sensational winter shot of Rainier Beer’s Venus fountain (Feb. 16, 2014). It was shown not flowing but frozen.  (Venus will  also appear below with the Web Extras: the fourth one. ) The depot photograph’s postcard qualities may make one wonder if Henry Fickeisen purchased it from a professional.  But his album has many examples of personal snapshots of both family subjects and landmarks sensitively composed.  Certainly we will feature other of Fickeisen’s early-20th-Century photos in future now-then features.

This storming look into Georgetown was photographed from the Seattle Gas Co. storage tank seen on the far left of the featured photo at the top. It is dated November 30, 1910 and the new depot can be found on the right interrupted by one of the standpipe's supports.
This shrouded look into Georgetown was photographed from the Seattle Lighting Co. storage tank seen on the far right of the featured photo at the top. It is dated November 30, 1910 and the new depot can be found at the center interrupted by one of the standpipe’s supports.  Perhaps the featured photo was also recorded on this November day.  The view from the top of the tank looks northwest towards Elliott Bay.  I’ve no notion – yet – from where on the top of the gas storage tank Fickeisen shot this and survived it too.  Had the tank been there now Jean would have followed.. (Double Click this to get at the details)
The tank is seen here looking east from the part of the company's trolley yards in Georgetown. This prospect is now part of Boeing Field.
The tank is seen here looking east from the part of the company’s trolley yards in Georgetown. This prospect is now part of Boeing Field.

On July 28, 1910, the Seattle Times noted some early work-in-progress at this station.  “NEW DEPOT BUILDING foundation work has begun for the $5,000 passenger station of the Oregon and Washington Railroad at Georgetown.  The new depot will be located north of Graham Street and west of Swift Street . . . The new station should be completed within a short time.” 

The Times clip from July 28, 1910 noted above in the text.
The Times clip from July 28, 1910 noted above in the text.

Finding little else on the tidy depot, aside from the Times notice, I turned to Kurt Armbruster, Seattle’s encyclopedic rails historian, who answered with the photo below, which also includes the new depot.  

Historian Kurt Armbruster helped in our sizing of the Georgetown RR Depot with this look at from the west side of the mainline tracks. Some of the towering east facade of the Rainier Brewery crowds the left border. The planks crossing the tracks to this side of the depot served as the first near-at-hand vehicular access between Georgetown and Beacon Hill. The pedestrian viaduct in line with Juneau Street, which figured in a feature hear and can also be found in the "Edge Links" below, also shows here. (Courtesy Kurt Armbruster)
Historian Kurt Armbruster helped in our sizing of the Georgetown RR Depot with this look at it on the right from the west side of the mainline tracks. Some of the towering east facade of the Rainier Brewery crowds the left border. The planks crossing the tracks to this side of the depot served as the first near-at-hand vehicular access between Georgetown and Beacon Hill.  It was in line with Graham Street.  The pedestrian viaduct in line with Juneau Street, which figured in an earlier now-then feature on this blog and can also be found in the “Edge Links” below, also shows here. (Courtesy Kurt Armbruster)  CLICK TO ENLARGE

 In this search, Kurt also reached rail archivist Dan Cozine, whom Kurt describes as “one of our region’s leading authorities on railroad facilities and owner of possibly the largest local collection of engineering drawings, official correspondence, and other historic railroad ephemera.”  We learn from Dan that the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Co., regional subsidiary of the Union Pacific, built the depot in 1910. The building’s large waiting room, baggage room, and 300-foot platform indicated that it was intended as a suburban passenger station to serve the growing south Seattle area. 

The railroad lines listed here all funneled through Georgetown and yet gave very little service to its depot. The locals used the regular street trolley to Seattle and the Tacoma Interurban too. But at the clip below this one reveals, the trolley service was also later replaced - by buses.
The railroad lines listed in the Times Clip above from July 12, 1911, all funneled through Georgetown and yet gave very little service to its depot. The locals used the regular street trolley to Seattle and the Tacoma Interurban too.   As the clip below reveals, the trolley service was also later replaced – by buses.
A Seattle Times clip from 1941.
A Seattle Times clip from 1941.

These grand intentions, however, were not to be. Most Georgetown-bound passengers arrived by street trolley and not on a main line train.   After the 1911 opening of the Union Pacific’s grand station at 5th Avenue and Jackson Street, few trains stopped at Georgetown.  The frequent exceptions were those loading cases by the hundreds of Rainier Beer at the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company’s big brewery about two hundred feet to the north of the depot and across the tracks. 

 

An annexation boosting clip from the Seattle Times for March 20, 1910.
An annexation boosting clip from the Seattle Times for March 20, 1910. (CLIP TO ENLARGE)

Another reason, perhaps, that the depot received little attention was that in 1910 Georgetown was preoccupied with being encircled by Seattle.  On March 20, the Times predicted “Georgetown Will Come In.” The newspaper’s list of advantages that would come with annexation into Seattle included Cedar River water, “high school privileges,” a much better police force “for the same price,” a move from “practically no street improvements” to “all she needs,” respected contracts and protected rights, her own councilmen (for the Fifteenth Ward), and something more than “a meager fire department” like the one that the Fickheisen’s volunteered for.  The Times made no mention of trains or trolleys.  On the 29th of March, the citizens of Georgetown decided on annexation and enhanced encirclement.  They joined Seattle.

 

A TIMES clipping from Nov. 11, 1929 sampling news from twenty years earlier.
A TIMES clipping from Nov. 11, 1929 sampling news from twenty years earlier.  Annexation was defeated with the first citizen vote on Nov. 11, 1909, but later won Seattle’s encirclement with the second. 
Here on January 3, 1926 Georgetown gets its turn in the Seattle Times coverage in the 1920s of our neighborhoods and nearby suburbs.
Here on January 3, 1926 Georgetown gets its turn in the Seattle Times coverage thru the 20’s  of our neighborhoods and nearby suburbs. [CLICK TWICE to ENLARGE]
This 1936 aerial for mapping centers on the nearly new Albro Place bridge that crossed above the wide swath of railroad tracks and replaced the ground level plank-paved crossing on Graham Street. The remnants of this last can be detected as a lighter-shade of covering a little less than a block south (right) of the overpass. The disturbed ground cover on Juneau Street, which support the pedestrian overpass into Georgetown can also be "sensed" to the north (left) of the Albro Bridge, about one long block distant. Half of the Seattle Electric Company's gas tank is revealed at the photo' s bottom-right corner. Part of the brewery shows at the upper-left corner. (Courtesy: Museum of History and Industry)
This 1936 aerial, which was made for mapping, centers on the nearly new Albro Place bridge that crossed above the wide swath of railroad tracks and replaced the ground level plank-paved crossing on Graham Street. The remnants of this last can be detected as a lighter-shade of covering a little less than a block south (right) of the overpass. The disturbed ground cover on Juneau Street, which had supported the pedestrian overpass into Georgetown, can also be “sensed” to the north (left) of the Albro Bridge, about one long block distant. Half of the Seattle Electric Company’s gas tank is revealed at the photo’ s bottom-right corner. Part of the pre-prohibition Rainier brewery shows at the upper-left corner. (Courtesy: Museum of History and Industry)
One of the hundreds of aerials shot by Laidlaw and kept in the Museum of History and Industry Archives. Many date from the 1930s, this one included. The gas tank interrupts the bottom-left corner. The Georgetown RR Depot is lone gone. The view looks northwest and can be compared to the other northwest look taken from the top of the tank and include near the top of this blog. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
One of the hundreds of aerials shot by Laidlaw and kept in the Museum of History and Industry Archives. Many date from the 1930s, this one included. The gas tank looks on at  the bottom-left corner.  The Georgetown RR Depot is lone gone.  It sat at (under) the east end of the Albro Bridge  and so right-of-center here.  The depot’s footprint can be found in the montage that follows.  This view looks northwest and can be compared to the other northwest sighting taken from the top of the tank and include near the top of this blog. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)   CLICK TO ENLARGE & EXPLORE
Here, again, upper-left is the planked Graham Street crossing the tracks into Georgetown. It is found at the bottom of the 1912 map, upper-right. There too can be found the promised footprint on this detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map. The aerial at the bottom has been "covered" above.
Here, again, upper-left is the planked Graham Street crossing the tracks into Georgetown. It is found at the bottom of the detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate map, upper-right. There too can be found the promised footprint of the Georgetown Depot and its RR spur.  The multifariously revealing 1936 aerial at the bottom has been “covered” above.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, laddybucks?  The seventeen “Edge Links” stacked below are all of the south-end subject – from “below the line” or south of Yesler Way.  The second one is a kind of exception.  Another Fickeisen photo – like the day’s feature – it follows the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department to the corner of Pike Street and Seventh Avenue, most likely for a parade.

THEN: As the caption at the bottom allows, the Juneau Street footbridge opened for pedestrians on March 26,1915. It crossed the main track lines – not spurs – of three railroads and reached east from the Georgetown business district to a sprawling neighborhood of workers’ homes on the gentle slope of the Beacon Hill ridge. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives.)

THEN: Extended thanks to Ron Edge and his maps and aerials for properly siting Braun’s Brewery, to collector Dan Kerlee for letting us use this company portrait, and to Gary Flynn, the Bellingham-based breweriana collector and brewery historian.

THEN: Sometime before her first move from this brewery courtyard in 1912, Lady Rainier was moved by a freeze to these sensational effects. She did not turn her fountain off. (Courtesy of Frank & Margaret Fickeisen)

Looking southwest from Walker Street to the burning ruins.

THEN: The work of filling the tidelands south of King Street began in 1853 with the chips from Yesler’s sawmill. Here in the neighborhood of 9th Ave. S. (Airport Way) and Holgate Street, the tideland reclaiming and street regrading continue 70 years later in 1923. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)

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

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BELOW: NOT A LINK BUT ANOTHER AERIAL FROM MOHAI. 

Another MOHAI AERIAL, this one looking south thorugh much of Georgetown (and the landmarks considered above) about a decade before the Seattle-Tacoma freeway - I-5 - pulled and pushed through here. Note the B-52s parked beside the Boeing runway.
Another MOHAI AERIAL, this one looking south thorugh much of Georgetown (and the landmarks considered above) about a decade before the Seattle-Tacoma freeway – I-5 – pulled and pushed through here. Note the B-52s parked beside the Boeing runway.  (click twice to enlarge)

Seattle Now & Then: The Normandie Apartments at Ninth and University

(click to enlarge photos)

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: 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)
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NOW: Now wrapped and under repair for new windows and a more waterproof façade, Horizon House’s West Wing crosses Ninth Avenue, which was vacated west of University Street for the Wing’s addition that was completed in 1984. It extends well into the corner formerly held by the Normandie Apartments.

A moderately large heading, “Going Up or Coming Down, It’s Still Progress,” is set between two press photos on page three in the Seattle Times for Monday, Feb. 25, 1974.  The illustration above the heading is an aerial of the Kingdome under construction, while below is a dramatic exposure of the Normandie Apartments being demolished by a wrecking ball.  The caption noted that the “five-story 112-unit condemned building” was 65-years-old but

From The Seattle Times of February 25, 1974, an illustrated page on the building of the Kingdome over the razing of the Normandie Apartments.
From The Seattle Times of February 25, 1974, an illustrated page on the building of the Kingdome over the razing of the Normandie Apartments. (click to enlarge for a chance at reading the captions.)

would be “razed by the end of the week.”   The Times reporter could not have known, of course, that “progress” for King County’s sports palace would amount to less than one-half that of the worn brick apartment building at the northwest corner of University Street and Ninth Avenue. As many PacificNW readers will remember, the Kingdome was reduced to rubble and dust in an instant with its implosion of March 26, 2000. 

Detail from 1926 map of significant destinations chosen to put the Normandie at the center at the northwest corner of University Street (the street name is out-of-frame) and Ninth Avenue.
Detail from 1926 map of significant destinations chosen to put the Normandie at the center at the northwest corner of University Street (the street name is out-of-frame) and Ninth Avenue.

The Normandie, designed by prolific local architect James A Schack, opened its unfurnished units to tenants in the spring of 1910.  The agents, West and Wheeler, advertised this newest addition to First Hill’s growing abundance of apartment houses as “absolutely fireproof [with] all outside rooms, free telephone, elevator service, disappearing beds, ample closet room, roof garden, porcelain refrigerators, gas ranges, etc., in fact every convenience of an up-to-date apt. house.”  In 1928, an classified ad for the Normandie promised “an ideal home for business people” with “no squeaky floors or thin partitions.” 

A Times clipping from December 4, 1926
A Times clipping from December 4, 1926

What was routine for local landlords during Seattle’s 1962 Century 21 World’s Fair was a regular practice for the Normandie as well.  Prices were raised.  Through the duration of the Fair, the Normandie’s managers referred to their apartment house as an “apartment hotel” and charged the higher “daily rates only.”  The Normandie was promoted as only “five blocks to the Monorail terminal and department stores.” After that half-year of sometimes unfair fair accommodations, news from the aging Normandie was limited to a few funeral notices for residents, and a 1974 notice that along with its close-by neighbors, Horizon House and the Cambridge Apartments, the Normandie was included in “area 197” of the federal government’s list of bomb shelters. 

ABOVE: Disregard the superimposed white circle in this 1929 aerial of the neighborhood, except that the three-winged Normandie appears directly to the right of it. BELOW: A 1946 aerial with another look down upon the roof of the Normandie.
ABOVE: Disregard the superimposed white circle in this 1929 aerial of the neighborhood, except that the three-winged Normandie appears directly to the right of it. BELOW: A 1946 aerial with another look down upon the roof of the Normandie.  The  unique overpass of the 9th and University intersection can be easily found in both aerials, or especially in the earlier one where its white surface startles like a florescent bulb lying on the floor.

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In spite of Seattle’s many hills and ridges and imbricating waterways, the lay of our land is much more picturesque than precipitous.  This First Hill intersection is an exception. After climbing east from 8th Avenue, the steep grade on University Street stopped here and the street took a right turn (to the left) down 9th Avenue to Union Street.  The alternative, continuing east on University, was strictly for pedestrians using the stairs evident in the featured postcard.  Normandie residents enjoyed the added convenience of a pedestrian bridge that accessed the apartments’ top floor from the upper and eastern half of this eccentric intersection.   

 

ABOVE AND BELOW: POST-NORMANDIE CHANGES AT ITS CORNER: First a clipping from the January 25, 1982 Seattle Times, followed by another from the October 16, 1983 Times: (bless its archive).
ABOVE AND BELOW: POST-NORMANDIE CHANGES AT ITS CORNER: First a clipping from the January 25, 1982 Seattle Times, followed by another from the October 16, 1983 Times: (bless its archive).

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WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, gents?  Jean, here’s a game.  Ron reminds us that we used the featured photo at the top in a previous feature as a “supporter” or more evidence for another subject.  Ron suggests that we invite the readers into a “hide-and-seek” for it, while assuring them that it is not included in the last of the dozen or so features he will next post below these salutations and explanations.

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

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: 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.

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THEN: As explained in the accompanying story the cut corner in this search-lighted photo of the “first-nighters” lined up for the March 1, 1928 opening of the Seattle Theatre at 9th and Pine was intended. Courtesy Ron Phillips

THEN: Revelers pose on the Masonic Temple stage for “A Night in Old Alexandria,” the Seattle Fine Art Societies annual costume ball for 1921. (Pic courtesy of Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink)

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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: 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: 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)

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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

Seattle Now & Then: The Great White Fleet, 1908

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: About a year after he recorded this fashionable throng on Second Avenue celebrating the visit of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet in the spring of 1908, Frank Nowell became the official photographer for Seattle’s six-month-long Alaska Yukon and Pacific Exhibition in 1909.
THEN: About a year after he recorded this fashionable throng on Second Avenue celebrating the visit of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet in the spring of 1908, Frank Nowell became the official photographer for Seattle’s six-month-long Alaska Yukon and Pacific Exhibition in 1909.
NOW: As a guide, Jean Sherrard’s ‘repeat’ includes, on the far right, a glimpse of the Moore Theatre at the southeast corner of Virginia Street and Second Avenue.
NOW: As a guide, Jean Sherrard’s ‘repeat’ includes, on the far right, a glimpse of the Moore Theatre at the southeast corner of Virginia Street and Second Avenue.

Perched near, and somehow above, the sidewalk on the east side of Second Avenue, Frank Nowell, the photographer of this flood of fashionable pedestrians, is standing about a half-block north of Stewart Street. The crowd seems to spill onto Second from what the Times called the “immense viewing stand” on its west side.  The pack has gathered to celebrate President Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘Great White Fleet’ during its four-day visit to Seattle.  The American battleships were circumnavigating the world in a show of her military prowess.

A fuller view of the stands and the Moore Theater too. The Washington Hotel, at the northeast corner of Stewart and Second Ave., is on the far right. The subject looks north, of course. (Courtesy, Bob Royer)
A fuller view of the stands and the Moore Theater too. The Washington Hotel, at the northeast corner of Stewart and Second Ave., is on the far right. The subject looks north, of course. (Courtesy, Bob Royer)

Designed to support a mix of spectators paying a dollar a seat and free-loading dignitaries, the Chamber of Commerce enlarged the viewing stand from ten-to fifteen- thousand seats in hurried construction the week before the grand parade of Tuesday May 26,1908.  Nowell’s camera (for the featured photo at the top) points to the northwest, so given the shadows on both the celebrants’ faces and The Harvard Hotel at the northwest corner of Virginia Street and Second Avenue, it seems likely that this was recorded after the morning parade when its route was safe to swarm. 

 

A worn print of the Harvard at the northwest corner of Second Ave. and Virginia Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry aka MOHAI)
A worn print of the Harvard at the northwest corner of Second Ave. and Virginia Street in the early 1890s. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry aka MOHAI)
The Hotel Harvard in need, clipped from The Seattle Times for February 19, 1901.
The Hotel Harvard in need, clipped from The Seattle Times for February 19, 1901.

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Before the parade, the Times predicted “a sea of bright-colored summer costumes and striking hats.”  Many of those bonnets included ostrich feathers, and surely some of those plumes were purchased at the Bon Marche’s May 21 sale priced from $1.50 to $6.95, depending upon the color and length.  The Bon also predicted

A detail from a nearly full page adver for the Bon Marche keying on the patriotic needs for Ostrich feathers to greet the thousands of sailors parading in their uniforms. The clip was pulled from the May 21, 1908 Seattle Times.
A detail from a nearly full page adver for the Bon Marche keying on the patriotic needs for Ostrich feathers to greet the thousands of sailors parading in their uniforms. The clip was pulled from the May 21, 1908 Seattle Times.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
A Seattle Times cartoonist shows that broad-brimmed hats might get in the way.
A Seattle Times cartoonist suggests that broad-brimmed hats might get in the way of fleet sight-seeing.
A Seattle Times satire printed on the same May day as the cartoon above.
A Seattle Times satire printed on the same May fleet-week day as the cartoon above: May 26.
Asahel Curtis' stock postcard shot of the Atlantic Fleet on Puget Sound.
Asahel Curtis’ stock postcard shot of the Atlantic Fleet on Puget Sound.

that the four-day visit of fourteen battleships from Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet would be “the greatest event in Seattle history.” It may have been, in terms of condensed sensation, remembering that in 1908 there were no radio, television or smart phones to distract one from mixing with others in patriotic fervor and sartorial show.  

Looking west on James St. from the Collins Building at its southeast corner with Second Avenue. Some of the Fleet-visit bunting can be seen here draping a corner of the Seattle Hotel.
Looking west on James St. from the Collins Building at its southeast corner with Second Avenue. Some of the Fleet-visit bunting can be seen here draping a corner of the Seattle Hotel.   The feet is also seen parked in Elliott Bay. 
One of the most-favored decorations was the illuminated battleship hung above First Avenue between Marion and Madison Streets. Its sponsor, the
One of the most-favored decorations was the illuminated battleship hung above First Avenue between Marion and Madison Streets. Its sponsor, the Seattle Electric Company, anchored it in the Hotel Rainier Grand, see here on the left.   Below: looking south on First Avenue from Madison Street, most likely after the parade.

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The days of the Fleet's visit were filled with a variety of sensations including visits to the battleships and fireworks.
The days of the Fleet’s visit were filled with a variety of sensations including visits to the battleships and fireworks.

It was this newspaper’s penchant to print on its editorial page the latest estimate for the city’s booming population.  At the time of the fleet’s visit, it was 276,462, plus about 125,000 more who reached Seattle by all means possible. Seattle’s suburbs were abandoned, the Times reported.  Full-up, the Great Northern Railroad “left 250 standing on the platform in Wenatchee.”  Fifteen-thousand arrived by railroad in one afternoon, which the newspaper headlined, “Chaos Reigns in King Street Station.” In its front-page afternoon summary of the morning parade, the newspaper estimated a total of about 400,000 for those watching the parade and marching in it.  The latter included 6000 men from the Fleet.   

Above: The Grote Rankin department store used the Fleet's visit to sell bedding, which the
Above: The Grote Rankin department store used the Fleet’s visit to sell bedding, which the Century Furniture Co., below, use it to go out of business.

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This newspaper’s weeklong coverage of the Atlantic Fleet’s sensational visit is truly wondrous and often whimsical.  Readers, we are fond of reminding them, can use their Seattle Public Library cards for online explorations of the Seattle Times Archives.  You will be taken away.  And while delving we recommend both historylink’s essay on the fleet’s visit and Bob Royer’s astute reflections on his own blog The Cascadia Courier. Here’s the link http://www.thecascadiacourier.com/2014/07/the-arrival-of-great-white-fleet-in.html. I suspect that many readers will remember his early 1980s term as Seattle’s Deputy Mayor and brotherly advisor to Charles Royer, mayor then and for many years following.  Bob Royer is presently historylink’s Chairman of the Board.  

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  Gosh Jean we spent a good  part of the afternoon searching the archive here in Wallingford for a sizeable stack of glass negatives of scenes from the fleet’s 1908 visit, but failed to find them.   Our club of addendums have now another member.  When we find them we will print them.  Otherwise we have, as is our custom, a few part features – most of them recent – from the neighborhood.   Thanks to Ron Edge for helping us mount them this week again.

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: 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: 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: 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)

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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)

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

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OTHER VISITS

The Atlantic Fleet also paused at Port Angeles, and marched in both Bellingham and Tacoma.  The first two views below are of the Whatcom parade and the third one shows the Tacoma Harbor -Commencement Bay –  light show for the fleet (some fleet – perhaps a later one.  I also seem to have misplaced my copy of Building Washington, which includes a thumbnail history of the Tacoma City Hall and clock included in the spotlighted Tacoma scene.)

The Bellingham Parade
The Bellingham Parade, above and below.

 

Bellingham above and below.

Tacoma light show.
Tacoma light show.

OTHER FLEETS

A visit to Elliott Bay by the Navy in 1936. Pier 54 is on the far right, although it was then still number Pier 3. Next to it to the right is the fire station and then the Grand Trunk Pier and Colman Dock.
A visit to Elliott Bay by the Navy in 1936. Pier 54 is on the far right, although it was then still number Pier 3. Next to it to the right is the fire station and then the Grand Trunk Pier and Colman Dock.
Resting in Lake Union, the unique war surplus of Woodrow Wilson's Wooden Fleet.
Resting in Lake Union, the unique war surplus of Woodrow Wilson’s Wooden Fleet.  This is the southeast “corner’ of the lake and that’s Queen Anne Hill on the left horizon.   A hint of the Gas Works shows itself far right.

A Visit to the Columbia

Thought I’d toss up a few photos of the Columbia Gorge for perusal and enjoyment.  This past week, we drove down to Maryhill and explored that section of the Columbia – but it was Thursday last, when most of the following photos were taken, that thunderheads chased us east, providing some dramatic photo ops.

(Click to enlarge!)

The West. Powerlines and barbed wire.
The West. Powerlines and barbed wire.
During inclement weather, the play of shadows and highlights in the Gorge
During inclement weather, the play of shadows and highlights in the Gorge
Heading up Interstate 97, just above the river. Wind turbines and farms co-exist.
Heading up Interstate 97, just above the river. Wind turbines and farms co-exist.
Flowers in the box canyons of Horse Thief Butte.
Flowers in the box canyons of Horse Thief Butte.
More from Horse Thief Butte, flowers and hieroglyphs
More from Horse Thief Butte, flowers and hieroglyphs
Shades of 'Maverick' on the Columbia - click to zoom in on this paddlewheeler.
Shades of ‘Maverick’ on the Columbia – click to zoom in on this paddlewheeler.
Big sky above the river
Big sky above the river
The railroad bridge near Wishram threatened by looming dark clouds
The railroad bridge near Wishram threatened by looming dark clouds
The Four Mountain viewpoint, where Paul's dad, the Very Reverend Theodore Dorpat would stop the car on family trips. Just a couple miles south of Goldendale
The Four Mountain viewpoint, where Paul’s dad, the Very Reverend Theodore Dorpat would stop the car on family trips. Just a couple miles south of Goldendale
A trail above the river leads into the lush hills - by summer the green will turn to gold
A trail above the river leads into the lush hills – by summer the green will turn to gold
Rainbow seen from I-90 just west of Ellensburg, Thursday evening
Rainbow seen from I-90 just west of Ellensburg, Thursday evening

Seattle Now & Then: James Street Cable Cars

(click to enlarge photos)

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: 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)
NOW: We have a right and opportunity to enjoy the irony of Jean Sherrard’s “now” repeat. With this “Seattle Street Car,” the trolleys, at least, have returned to the summit of First Hill. For no particular reason beyond ascension, I hope soon to take a ride on this “elevator service.”
NOW: We have a right and opportunity to enjoy the irony of Jean Sherrard’s “now” repeat. With this “Seattle Street Car,” the trolleys, at least, have returned to the summit of First Hill. For no particular reason beyond ascension, I hope soon to take a ride on this “elevator service.”

A Post-Intelligencer photographer standing at the summit of First Hill snapped this photograph at the intersection of James Street and Broadway in February 1940. That was forty-nine years and a few months after the electric trolleys, on the left, and the James Street cable cars, on the right, first started meeting here beside the Union

Circa 1939 looking north on Broadway through James Street with the power house on the right. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Circa 1939 looking north on Broadway through James Street with the power house on the right. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

Trunk Line’s big red brick powerhouse and car barn stationed at the northeast corner.  Either on the instruction of the photographer, or motivated by a ceremonial urge, the crews of these cars are waving to each other across the short distance between them in the featured photo at the top. They are waving goodbye.  This is the end – or nearly.

Lawton Gowey has described this as "last ride on the last night, James Street Cable."
Lawton Gowey has described this as “last ride on the last night, James Street Cable.” That would be Feb. 17, 1940. 

Carolyn Marr, the Museum of History and Industry’s (MOHAI) librarian, tells us that the “given date” for this P-I negative is February 23, 1940.  This introduces a small problem, because the James Street cable cars made their last run around midnight on February the 17th.  Perhaps, the date written on the negative holder

A detail from the featured photograph.
A detail from the featured photograph.  We reflect on this detail a few inches lower in the main body of the feature.  We have imagined that the woman sitting near the front door and above the number “73”  [the record  number, if you have missed it, of victories in an NBA season,  for the Golden State Warriors, this year] is the conductor’s wife. 

is its filing date.  For some cable car enthusiasts a sorrier possibility is that the cable car is here heading for its scrapping.  (This seemed unlikely to our attentive PacificNW editor, who wondered if this is headed for scrap what will become of the woman passenger?  We wondered – somewhat lamely in return – that perhaps this is the conductor’s wife, on board to support here hubby on his last ride.) This junking followed in the first year after the cars stopped carrying passengers up what the Seattle Times Associate Editor, James Woods, admiringly described as its half-century “elevator service” up the hill from Pioneer Square to this its summit. 

A clip of goodbye in the Times for February 18, 1940.
A clip of goodbye in the Times for February 18, 1940.
An excerpt from Times
An excerpt from Times Associated Editor James Wood’s column “Speaking for the Times”  on  April 4, 1940.

In the April 4th printing of his feature, “Speaking for the Times,” Woods proposed, “Why not keep that James Street cable line going? . . . This would be greatly to the convenience and comfort of many people. It would also have advertising value, as one of the only two cable lines in American cities.  In that respect we would rate a James Street cable car considerably higher than a totem pole.”  Editor Woods was alluding to the arson-torched and dry-rotting Pioneer Square totem that was then being replaced, near James Street, with a replica.  Clearly it was a restoration that the editor compared unfavorably to bringing back the James Streets cable cars.  

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A clip on the travails of Ward's Lunch on February 9, 1938. [If was, acting forward, a deception that followed by conception a week before.
A clip on the travails of Ward and his Lunch from The Times for February 9, 1938. [If was, acting forward, a deception that followed my conception by about one week and 1500 miles into the midwest of Grand Forks, North Dakota.]

There’s another dating ambiguity here.  Although difficult, and perhaps for some impossible, to read, a poster holding to the right-front of the cable car promotes the 47th Annual Policemen’s Ball scheduled for Thursday, February 22 at the Municipal Coliseum.  [We have inserted a blow-up of the poster five prints up.] The top of the poster advises, “Ride The Street Cars.”  That would be difficult on this cable car from this position on this corner.  The cable cars on James stopped running, we remember, on the Saturday night of February 17, 1940. 

With the power house on the right and the Haller mansion "Castlemount" on the left, a James Street Cable car approaches the end of its short run up First Hill from Pioneer Square.
With the power house on the right and the Haller mansion “Castlemount” on the left, a James Street Cable car approaches the end of its short run up First Hill from Pioneer Square.

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A detail of the intersection lifted from the 1912 Baist real estate map.
A detail of the intersection lifted from the 1912 Baist real estate map.
The western end of James Street and its cable run at Pioneer Square in 1932.
The western end of James Street and its cable run at Pioneer Square.
Two pioneer looks east on James Street from Pioneer Square and decades still before the trolley climbed it. The top view dates from ca. 1868 and that below it (and above this) from 1859. This last is the oldest surviving photo of any part of Seattle. Note that the tree-line has not moved much in the decade between the two recordings. The 1860s were a depressed Civil War decade hereabouts.
Two pioneer looks east on James Street from Pioneer Square and decades still before the trolley climbed it. The top view dates from ca. 1868 and that below it from 1859. This last is the oldest surviving photo of any part of Seattle. Note that the tree-line has not moved much in the decade between the two recordings. The 1860s were a depressed Civil War decade hereabouts.

MOHAI has consigned the decidedly low number 27,175 to our featured negative from its P-I Collection.  Howard Giske, the museum’s now long-time pro-photographer, advises, “We are still numbering that collection.  It is a work-in-progress that is now reaching two million negatives. We suspect that it will reach far beyond that.”  And we add and hope that ultimately most of this collection will be on line for all to share and use, and that the museum’s library will be generously funded to do it.

Extreme circumstances on the James Street Cable during the Fourth Avenue Regrade in 1907. The First Baptist church seen above the car did not survive the grade change, but moved to it's present corner on First Hill.
Extreme circumstances on the James Street Cable during the Fourth Avenue Regrade in 1907. The First Baptist church, seen here above the car, did not survive the grade change, but moved to it’s present corner on First Hill.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, fellahs?  Lots of links from the neighborhood and or of more ‘rails’ mounted by Ron Edge.  Most of them will be familiar to regulars.   Following that – Jean – you have promised to share a few of the scenes you gathered his past week on  your and Karen’s visit to the Columbia Gorge.  Our readers I know will love them.  I do.  I hope you put them up first thing Sunday morning.

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

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.)

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THEN:

THEN: First Hill’s distinguished Old Colony Apartments at 615 Boren Avenue, 1910.

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

THEN: 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: 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: 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: Yesler Way’s corner with 17th Avenue is about three blocks west and 30 feet short of Yesler Way’s summit on Second Hill. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey.)

THEN: Built in 1887, the Minor-Collins Home at the northeast corner of Minor Avenue and Cherry Street was one of the grandest and longest surviving pioneer mansions on First Hill. (Courtesy Historic Seattle)

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.

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)

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First appeared in Pacific on December 26, 1999.
First appeared in Pacific on December 26, 1999.

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Mary Christmas from rail fan, author, and collector extraordinair, Warren Wing. Printed in the Times for December 20, 1998.
Merry Christmas from rail fan, author, and collector extraordinaire, Warren Wing. Printed in the Times for December 20, 1998.

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Trinity Episcopal at 8th Avenue and James Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Trinity Episcopal at 8th Avenue and James Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

Now & Then here and now

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