While Seattle was building long piers with landmark towers on the central waterfront and first staging Golden Potlatches, the week-long summer festivals that began in 1911, on city streets, an alert and now nameless photographer produced a collection of sharp negatives enamored with schooners, steamers and Potlatch parade floats.
The window shot at the top, however, is unique for her or him. From the northwest corner of First Ave. N. and Denny Way, the subject looks southeast from a fourth floor window – perhaps the photographer’s apartment.
The Regent Apartments were built in 1908. From the prospect, here at the top, one got an unimpeded view of the razing of Denny Hill for the Denny Regrade until 1910, when the Raymond Apartments, whose rear wall is seen here kitty-corner and beyond the billboards, opened its 37 two-room units to renters. The Regent was considerably larger with 59 units. These two apartment houses were part of the earliest brick reconstruction of this “North Seattle” neighborhood that had been swiftly built of wood during Seattle’s first boom decades of the 1880s and 1890s.
The Regent’s managers did not promote this view south into the business district but rather that to the west. A Dec. 15, 1912, classified ad for the Regent reads, “Commanding a view of the Sound and being within easy walking distance of the city, or excellent car service, this building is exceptionally well located. The apartments are first class and modern in every respect. Three rooms at $15 and $20. Four rooms, $27.50 and $30.”
In 1925, after the apartments were sold to a San Francisco investor for “a consideration of $110,000,” the name was changed to the Arkona. This was short-lived. After John and Winifred Paul purchased the Arkona Apartments in 1927 for $150,000, they whimsically changed its name to Pauleze. Winifred died there in 1932, but Paul continued living in and managing their apartment house until 1957, when he too died, but not the punning name. It remained the Pauleze until the late 1970s, when, for reasons we have not found, the name Arkona Apartments was revived.
In the mid-1980s, with the help of Dave Osterberg, a friend who was then the development manager for Environmental Works, acting as guide for the transfer, the collection of negatives of which this subject was one, “came home” to Seattle from the Museum of North Idaho. With a donation to the museum from Ivar Haglund, the negatives were purchased for the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
Anything to add, dear Paul? At first – and perhaps last – look Ron and I have found a dozen links to past features, all from within the still brief life of this blog: a few years. They are packed with Queen Anne – both upper and lower – history.
The first of these twelve includes brief illustrated essays on sever other Seattle apartment houses, including the Raymond, which is the pie-shaped brick apartment at the corner of Warren and First that partially blocks the view from our window above into both the regrade and the central business district. Following the links I’ll hang a some more images from the neighborhood, either before climbing to nighty-bears, or tomorrow. Meanwhile there is enough included in the dozen links below to keep one engaged for a long as it once upon a time took one to sit thru “Meet the Press.”