(click to enlarge photos)
While I have not yet found a date for this look into the Latona business district, I think it was recorded, perhaps by a municipal photographer, to show off the closely packed collection of three bridges that in their last days were fittingly called by one name, Latona.
Out-of-frame to the left – about 150 feet east from the center of this bridge – the University Bridge also crossed the narrows into Portage Bay. With an almost obligatory speech by Edmond Meany, the University Bridge was dedicated on July 1, 1919. Meany was by then the oldest and easily most professing of the University of Washington’s history professors. With his wife Lizzie, Edmond also lived, appropriately, on 10th Ave. E. at the north end of the bridge. A living landmark, Meany was a brand name with both the University District’s art deco hotel, the Meany, (since renamed the Deco) and the University’s largest auditorium named for him. Exceptionally, both names were pinned to him before his death in 1935.
The professor had also attended the dedication of the Latona Bridge, exactly twenty-eights years earlier, on July 1, 1891. A boy’s choir from nearby Fremont serenaded the ceremony. (Both Fremont and Latona, north lake neighborhoods, were incorporated into Seattle on April 3, 1891, an annexation that added about seventeen, at the time, remote square miles to Seattle but very few citizens.) Most likely Seattle Pioneer David Denny was also at the ’91 dedication, for it was Denny who built the bridge as part of an agreement with the City Council, which gave him the right of franchise to build his trolley line over the bridge to the newly annexed Latona and the future University District, then still called Brooklyn.
Here (at top) with trolley tracks leading to it, the lift-span trolley bridge is on the right. Curiously, at the subject’s center, the right southbound side of the swing bridge made for vehicles is crowded with them. Perhaps they are headed for the 1919 dedication of the new bridge that was then still variously called the 10th Avenue Bridge, the Eastlake Bridge, and sometimes even the Latona Bridge.
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Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean and starting with Ron Edge’s selection of four past features from this blog that stay – for the most part – in the neighborhood. In this regard we gently remind readers that we treat our subjects and their parts as like themes in musical compositions, by which we mean that we can use then over and over again, but in different contexts. For instance is the first feature that Ron links below, we will come upon image(s) that appear again in this feature. This “The Latona Bridge” is not so old either. It was first published less than a year ago on June 29. We figure some readers will remember it still.
One thought on “Seattle Now & Then: A Late Latona Bridge”
I have three oil paintings from my Great Uncle Herbert Muehlenbeck from 1931 of Mount Saint Helen, 1935 Bear Creek Falls, 1939 another beautiful mountain scene, and a self portrait of himself in full indian costume with headress (a water color). I also have old newspaper clippings from my grandmother (his sister) of his portrait works and his studio. I so admired his paintings, that I wanted to be an artist myself and went to the art institute in Chicago to learn more in my younger years.
Who so ever would be interested in these beautifully framed pieces of art in their original gold-leafed frames could contact me at 239-540-9153, as they should be kept for history’s sake as well as their monetary value.