(click to enlarge photos)
The bold white writing on this stone-clad row house at the northeast corner of Marion Street and Minor Avenue confesses that this is a tax photo. As many Pacific readers no doubt know by now, during the Great Depression the Works Progress Administration (WPA) made work for photographers with its ambitious and ultimately completed project to strike a picture of every taxable structure in King County.
Even without the captioned address, 1200 Marion St., we could find these seven attached townhouses by their legal description, here also hand-written on the negative by, we presume, the unnamed photographer. Reading backwards this corner real estate is lot 8, of block 121 in A.A. Denny’s Broadway Addition. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, U.W. professor of architecture, first shared this subject with me, hoping that I might know of an earlier intimate “portrait” of this The Stone Row, its name when Architect John Parkinson designed and developed it in the early 1890s. Alas, I didn’t.
The WPA photo and the professor’s reflections on it are shared on page 243 of his and Dennis Andersen’s book, “Distant Corner, Seattle Architects and the Legacy of H.H. Richardson.” Published by the U.W. Press in 2003 it has not, of course, grown old, and deserves to be read by persons interested in those architecturally zestful years of recovery and mostly rampant growth following Seattle’s “Great Fire” of 1889.
In 1900 – or thereabouts – The Stone Row was named anew The Graystone, and promoted variously as a residential hotel (with waitresses and chambermaids and music room) and as an apartment house in the “choicest residence neighborhood, between the Madison and James St. car lines.” With the boisterous arrival of the Graystone Athletic Club on the scene in 1910 – the men’s club staged smokers with boxing – the name “Graystone” and its connotations fell from favor. Its elegant Tenino “bluestone” finish may have seemed tarnished, although it looks fine here in 1937.
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, some ephemera from the Times and some photographs too.
We must, however, begin with a confessional response to Brandon and Steve, both of whom correctly instructed that I was wrong with last week’s feature on the Four Winds aka Surfside 9. Rather I should have “confused” the Golden Anchor, another and earlier dinner-boat, with both the Winds’ and the Surfside’. They are the same vessel – originally the City of Everett – although with elaborate changes for different services. Long ago I believed a much and only recently abandoned that Anchors part of it. The reason is Margaret Pitcairn Strachan’s 1946 feature that had the Golden Anchor converted out of the Lake Washington Ferry, Lincoln. I should have known better, and did. I’d written about the Lincoln often enough and knew that it’s last service continued after WW2 both on the big lake and on the Sound, and not as a restaurant. I supposed it was in part my haste but more my respect for the heritage writing of Pitcairn Strachan that fogged my watch. I’ve used the Marine Digest often enough but missed the contradicting history offered there. It is also curious that I found so little in my maritime library about the Golden Anchor. The Pitcairn Strachan history was found – you are correct to assume – with another key-word search of the Seattle Times through the Seattle Pubic Library. As many of you know the addition of this resource makes such a difference in doing/research on regional history – it is suddenly like taking a trip to Mars when earlier you were only carried to Ballard. But that comparison is misleading. I would always prefer a visit to Ballard over any of the known planets. Directly below is a cut from the Pitcairn Strachan feature of 1946. She is best known for a year-long weekly feature on Seattle’s grand homes and their families, which she researched and authored in 1944-45. That was earlier enough to involve direct contact with informants that were also pioneers – often the persons who built the homes.
Below and in order, the progression implied from the Times clips on the Anchor’s “experienced waitress” search in 1945, to attempts to sell the – get this – “Nationally known boat” early in 1947, do not bode well for the Anchor’s chances of staying golden. The crude illustration of the City of Everett aka Ferry Ballard aka diner-ship Golden Anchor tied to a bank on the Duwamish River near the old highway to SeaTac on the freezing afternoon of Jan. 15, 1950, reveal a moment in its new metamorphosis as quarters for the West Seattle Athletic Club. The Four Winds followed and the old mosquito fleet steamer turned ferry went terminal with the Surfside 9.
========== RETURN to FIRST HILL
The PATHETIC or PITIFUL STORY of the German immigrant girl BERTHA HOPKINS
As told – nearly – by the CLIPS ALONE!
GIVE CLIPS for SWEDISH HOSPITAL
Seattle Times clips from Nov. 1, 1937, above, and Dec. 26, 1937, below.
One thought on “Seattle Now & Then: The Graystone on First Hill”
Wow. Amazing research. Fascinating reading!!