(Click to Enlarge)
Booming Seattle, looking for an open staging place north of Pioneer Square in the business district’s new retail neighborhood, found it here at this — depending on how you stretch it — five- or seven-star corner at Fifth Avenue and Stewart Street.
Two disruptions of the city grid prepared this intersection for civic celebrations. The oldest was the pioneer turn in the city’s street grid at Stewart Street. Next, in 1906, Westlake Avenue, between Pike Street and Denny Way, was cut through the grids, creating along the way pie-shaped blocks and several wide intersections, like this.
The 1915 addition of this newspaper’s elegant terra-cotta tiled Times Square Building (far right in both views) gave this civic space a stage from which to address political rallies, announce and post sports scores, and review Independence Day parades.
Jean Sherrard took advantage of the recently parading Lions on Fifth Avenue to make his repeat for the ca. 1926 American Legion-sponsored Fourth of July parade.
“My shot was taken late morning, with the sun high in the southeast,” Sherrard says. “Fifth Avenue at Stewart didn’t begin to emerge from shadow until the last few minutes of the parade. The crowd was thick enough that I stood in the crosswalk at Stewart, hoisting and lowering the camera pole without causing injury to strolling prides of Lions.
“Waves of parade participants flowed down Fifth Avenue, from the red and black banners and umbrellas of youngish German Lions to the yellow jerseys favored by exuberant marchers from both mainland China and Taiwan.
“Interestingly, American branches tended to be older and a bit more sedate than their international brethren.”
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, but just a few touches on Times Square.
First another parade, this one from the Great Depression, 1937. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)
Next: Twenty years earlier.
TIMES SQUARE – SEPTEMBER 19, 1917
(First appeared in Pacific, May 22, 1988)
This 1917 view of Times Square features three landmarks. One of them is moving and one survives. The survivor, of course, is the building after which the square was named: the Seattle Times Building, seen here, center-right, topped by six flags. Between 1916 and 1931, the newspaper published in this granite and terra cotta Beaux Arts temple perhaps the best memorial to the art of Carl Gould, Seattle’s most celebrated early-century architect.
Times Square was also named after New York City ‘s Times Square, which was also fronted by a newspaper, The New York Times. To complete the equation, Gould’s design also alludes to the New York paper’s plant. Also, neither of these squares is square. Seattle’s is star-shaped, formed by the chained intersection of Westlake, Fifth & Sixth Avenues, Olive and Stewart streets.
The Times Square Building is but one year old here. During World War I, the open area in front of it was a popular meeting place for wartime rallies. This quiet scene was shot on September 19, 1917, or one day before Seattle’s second “Great Recruitment Parade” was staged to send off 724 King County men to the French trenches.
The second stationary landmark in this scene is the noble little structure in the foreground, which is much too elegant to be called, simply, a bus stop. This combination waiting and rest station was built by the city in 1917 and included, below the sidewalk level, two rest rooms. The steps seen at this end lead to the men’s section. (This documenting view was photographed for the Seattle Engineering Department.)
The third and moving landmark is on the right: Car 51. This is one of the six Niles cars that the Pacific Northwest Traction Company bought from its manufacturer in Niles, Ohio for the Seattle-Everett Interurban. The purchase was made in the fall of 1910, or only a few months after the opening of the line in the spring of that year. Car 51 continued to serve until the evening of the Interurban’s last day, February 20, 1939.
Here Car 51, heading in from Everett, is about to take its last turn, onto Fifth Avenue for the two-block run to its terminus beside the Shirley Hotel on Fifth between Pike and Pine. In 1919 the depot was moved to the southeast corner of Sixth and Olive, and in 1927 to Eighth and Stewart on the site of the present Greyhound Depot.
THE COLONEL’S MONUMENT
( First appeared in Pacific on Feb. 14,1999)
In “Raise Hell and Sell Newspapers,” Sharon Boswell and Lorraine McConagy’s 1996 history of Col. Alden J. Blethen marking the centennial of the founding of The Seattle Times, the 69-year-old editor-publisher is shown in shirtsleeves vigorously scooping the first shovel for the 1914 groundbreaking of his new Time’s Square plant.
As the authors explain, this was a momentary vigor, for Blethen’s health was in steep decline. Actual construction was put off until after his death in July 1915, and resumed by his sons as a monument to their father’s uncommon life. The building of Times Square began in September 1915 and proceeded with such speed that one year later, on Sept. 25, 1916, The Times could devote an entire edition to its move north from Second Avenue and Union Street to its new terra cotta-tile palace at Fifth and Olive.
The architects, Carl F. Gould and Charles Herbert Bebb, created a monument as much to Renaissance Revival style as to the Colonel. The new partners repeated the division of labor employed so effectively by Bebb’s former Chicago employers, the famous “prophet of modern architecture,” Louis Sullivan, and his partner, Dankmar Adler. Here the practical Bebb, like Adler in Chicago, handled the business and engineering while the Harvard-educated aesthete Gould, like Sullivan, created the designs. Gould took the Gothic plans Bebb had drawn earlier with another partner and transformed them into this gleaming Beaux Arts landmark. .
This rare view of the full northern facade was photographed before much of it was hidden between its neighbors. The flatiron block was Blethen’s direct and proud allusion to the similarly styled New York Times Building, which also faced a Times Square in Gotham. The newspaper continued to publish here until 1930, when it moved north again, this time to its current offices on Fairview Avenue North.
PROTEST NOT PARADE
Here are printed two slides by Frank Shaw, which he has dated April 16, 1966. The place, of course, is our extended Times Square intersection and the concern is the war in Vietnam. It is not the earliest protest in Seattle, but still it is early. The individual signs reflect a sometimes more sober rhetoric than that often used later. One of the signs indicates support for the Buddhist – of Vietnam – criticism of the war. I checked the Seattle Times for April 16, 1966 and April 17 too (that’s a Saturday and Sunday) and found a prominent report on the Buddhist story, but not on this Westlake protest. Using the new on-line service for searching The Seattle Times between 1896 and 1984, I studied every page for that weekend but still I might have missed it.* The helpful chronology in Walt Crowley’s memoir of the Sixties, “Rites of Passage,” does not make not of it. For that weekend of the 16th-17th of April, 1966, I did find one Vietnam protest story with a local angle, and I have attached it at the bottom. While it holds no signs, the combined opinions of retired Army Colonel Martin T. Riley, Commander of the Catholic War Veterans, is a kind of broadside for the pro-war sentiments of the time. I was then into my second year living in Seattle, having moved over from Spokane. I did not attend this demo. and no longer remember if I knew about it in advance or learned about it later. If the vacuity of my search is confirmed, my chances of reading about it were diminished by the lack of coverage, at least in the Times. I did not make it to the microfilm reader at the U.W. Library to search the Post-Intelligencer.
* You may wish to do your own “key word” search of The Seattle Times for whatever. All you need is a Seattle Public Library card. It shows your long bar code number, but you will also need to know your private 4-number code aka PIN number. If it will help, mine is 1-2-3-4. Perhaps yours is too. It is a common choice.
On April 22, 2010 for “Our Daily Sykes #10” we printed an addendum that joyfully announced that we had, at last, figured out the location of a subject nearly the same as this, but just down the road – although in that early installment of our Sykes’ routine, there was no arterial with a comforting yellow stripe as there is here. There is also practically every comparison between the clouds in them. That is, they were photographed from within moments of each other, and yet each is uniquely satisfying. (Click to Enlarge)
Here Sykes visits one of the most frequented prospects for Mt. Rainier: looking west from Chinook Pass, at an elevation that’s a few feet more than 5,440. With this detail he contrasts the rough rocks of Governor’s Ridge (with Mt. Governor near the scene’s center) with the swelling compressions of the Emmons Glazier beyond it. Emmons is part of the most used climbing route to the top of Rainier. There’s also a glimpse of the pointed Little Tahoma near the upper-left corner. At 11138 feet it is the fifth highest mountain in the Cascades, after – and in order from the highest – Rainier, Shasta, Adams and Hood. Little Tahoma is a young mountain, only about 500 thousand years. Sykes moved some to the north (right) for the wider look at the same subject, below. (Click to Enlarge)
This late morning of Sunday August 21, 2011, I visited Woodland Park Avenue – a “speedway” the neighbors call it because its greater width encourages racing – and repeated “portraits” of a few homes, apartments and stores built on the street and included now among the historical tax inventory records of structures (taxable ones) photographed in 1937 or possibly 1938. Almost certainly all of the structures then in place on Woodland Park Ave. were included in the late 1930’s survey of every taxable structure in King County. The project was supported by the Works Progress Administration, which, like most of the “Great Depression’s make-work alphabet soup administrations,” produced more than a payroll for out-of-work citizens. Many locals now have these late 1930s records of their homes hanging in their homes.
Woodland Park Ave. was improved early in the 1890s to bring the new trolley line north from 34th Street to the southern shore of Lake Union and from there in a counter-clockwise direction following an old logging railroad built just above the lake’s original shoreline. All the structures along Woodland Park Ave. were distinguished and serenaded by the clattering trolleys that ran by them. The neighborhood between 34th and about 40th and to the sides of Woodland Park Avenue was known as Edgewater. (If you wish to make here a key word search you will find other images of its business district at 36th.) Now this strip is variously claimed by Fremont and Wallingford. The names “Freford” and Wallmont” are sometime used in compromise. However, the northern border of this uncertain land grows even more contentious in the blocks north of 45th Street, that is, in Greenford or Wallgreen or Fregreen or Greenmont – depending.
(Should you wish to order a photographic print of any King County property extant in 1937-8 – like your home – contact archivist Greg Lange at the Washington State Archive, the Bellevue Community College branch. The number is 425-564-3942. Have a legal description of the property your are interested in: the tax number or the description of its by the Addition Name, the Block Number within the Addition, and the Lot Number with that Block.)
While snapping (below) 3626 Woodland Pk. Ave. I met someone who lives therein. She told me that the great-grandchild of the builder had visited and told her that grandpa had been a stone mason by trade. It sort of figures.
This comparison is peculiarly deflating – a Greek temple, or a least a small town bank, divested of its columns and pride.
Returning next to 36th Street for an earlier look at the Edgewater business district repeated below it with another photo taken this morning.
A circa 1897 map in which the Edgewater district is emphasized. Note that no Wallingford as yet appears, although its oldest part, Latona, does. Note also that the University District is still referred to as Brooklyn. Finally, and far-left, the Ross Neighborhood is still remembered.