(click to enlarge photos)
Aside from the pyramid tower that originally topped the Pioneer Building (Far right, it was pioneer Henry Yesler’s last contribution to Pioneer Place or Square), everything has survived between this “then” and this “now.” (As a precaution the tower was removed following the city’s 1949 earthquake.) The historical photo was recorded sometime between 1902 when the top three floors of the slender Lowman and Hanford Building – here covered with signs at the scene’s center – were added to it’s seventh story, and 1905 when the temporary wood structures at the southeast corner of First Ave. and Cherry Street were razed for the construction of the Lowman Building, the dominant structure in Jean’s Sherrard’s repeat. Here we will insert a front-on photograph also recorded sometime between 1902 and 1905.
The sensational part of the first of these two scenes is surely that signage, all of it promoting the principal commercial interests of James Lowman and Clarence Hanford. The former arrived at his older cousin Henry Yesler’s invitation in 1877 and was directly made the assistance manager of Yesler’s Wharf. Within the decade he was managing Yesler’s affairs while also in business with pioneer Clarence Hanford running a joined job printing shop and stationary store that also sold books, pianos and such.
Plastering or painting the side of a brick building with signs is, of course, easier when there are no – or few – windows. Clearly, when he added floors to his and his partner’s business address next door, James Lowman had his taller namesake building envisioned for the corner. The signs would be short-lived and windows not needed.
(If you CLICK the “web extras” immediately below you will have opened to you four or five more historical features clustered around Cherry Street and supported with many more illustrations.)