Seattle Now & Then: The Arkona at First and Denny

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: In 1913, or near to it, an unnamed photographer recorded this view southeast across the Lower Queen Anne corner of Denny Way and First Avenue North. Out of frame to the left, the northeast corner of this intersection was home then for the Burdett greenhouse and gardens. By its own claim, it offered plants of all sorts, “the largest and most complete stock to choose from in the state.”   Courtesy, the Museum of North Idaho.
THEN: In 1913, or near to it, an unnamed photographer recorded this view southeast across the Lower Queen Anne corner of Denny Way and First Avenue North. Out of frame to the left, the northeast corner of this intersection was home then for the Burdett greenhouse and gardens. (We have include an advertisement for them below.)  By its own claim, Burdett offered plants of all sorts, “the largest and most complete stock to choose from in the state.” Courtesy, the Museum of North Idaho.
NOW: Jean discovered that the lower and larger panel of this correctly chosen window was stuck closed, so instead he extended his camera through a narrow opening to the side of the upper panel and recorded this view, which sees considerably farther south on First Avenue.  Thanks to archivist Julie Keressen at Seattle Municipal Archives for discovering that the part of Denny Way seen here was considerably widened to the south in the early 1920s.  A combination of that widening and Jean’s extended arm open up the view south on First Avenue and into Belltown.
NOW: Jean discovered that the lower and larger panel of this correctly chosen window was stuck closed, so instead he extended his camera through a narrow opening to the side of the upper panel and recorded this view, which sees considerably farther south on First Avenue. Thanks to archivist Julie Keressen at Seattle Municipal Archives for discovering that the part of Denny Way seen here was considerably widened to the south in the early 1920s. A combination of that widening and Jean’s extended arm open up the view south on First Avenue and into Belltown.

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.

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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.

This detail pulled from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map has Denny Way running along the bottom.
This detail pulled from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map has Denny Way running along the bottom.  The Regent Apartments are show  – although not named – near the map’s lower-left corner at the northwest corner of Denny Way and First Ave. North.  Not counting the fire station (far right, on a site now supporting the Space Needle), there are eleven brick buildings (the red ones) scattered among the wooden ones in these 21 lower Queen Anne blocks. [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

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, here renamed the Wm. Daniels apartments, rises above a trolley turning south onto First Avenue from Denny Way.
The Raymond Apartments, here renamed the Wm. Daniels Apartments, rise above a trolley turning west  onto Denny Way from First Avenue.  The reader may decide if the couple, clutching their purses and packages and watching the trolley, are preparing to board it or waiting for it to pass by, allowing them then to cross Denny Way..   The Regent/Arkona Apartments are just off the photo’s border to the left, behind them.
With his back to the Arkona, Lawton Gowey recorded this look down First Avenue on November 2, 1968.  The date is penned on its slide, but not for another of Gowey's cityscapes, the one immediately below.  (It was unlike him not to write a date down.)  We can tell from the distant skyline that the snap below is later than the one above.
With his back to the Arkona, Lawton Gowey recorded this look down First Avenue on November 2, 1968. The date is penned on this slide’s cardboard frame, but not for another of Gowey’s Kodachrome cityscapes, the one immediately below. (It was unlike him not to write down a date.) We can tell from the distant skyline that the snap below is later than the one above.
Ivars sign here still holds to the north facade of the
Ivars sign here still holds to the north facade of the Raymond Apartments.  Included below with the Link named  “Sharred Walls” is a feature on the Raymond – seen from the front.
The sign to Ivar's Fish Bar on Denny Way. The variety of menus was something he introduced with his fire drive-in in a converted Capitol Hill gas station on Broadway Avenue at Thomas Street in the 1950s.
The sign to Ivar’s Fish Bar on Denny Way. The variety of menus was something he introduced in the 1950s with his first drive-in housed in a converted Capitol Hill gas station on Broadway Avenue at Thomas Street..

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.”

The 25-year-old Regent
The 15-year-old Regent was sold to California investors, and pictured in the January 28, 1923 Sunday Times. [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

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.

Jack Paul's obituary as is appeared in The Seattle Times for Dec. 6, 1957.
Jack Paul’s obituary as is appeared in The Seattle Times for Dec. 6, 1957.

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.

A page from The Seattle Times for March 10, 1910, which includes an advertisement for The Burdett Company nursery that was across First Ave. North from the Regent's front door.  The detail from the 1912  Baist Map printed above reveals that this business filled most of the block north to John Street.
A page from The Seattle Times for March 10, 1910, which includes an advertisement for The Burdett Company nursery that was directly across First Ave. North from the Regent’s front door. The detail from the 1912 Baist Map printed above reveals that this verdant concern  filled most of the block north to John Street. CLICK TO ENLARGE
An early 20th Century look up First North from Denny Way.  My notes advise "about 1903."  If so then still five years before the construction of the Regent/Ankona.  The long lot on the far right is home for the
An early 20th Century look up First North from Denny Way. My notes advise “about 1903.” If so then still five years before the construction of the Regent/Ankona. The long lot on the far right is home for the Burdett nursery.
Here too we look north on First Avenue North thru Denny Way.  The Ankona is on the left, and here too Lawton has not dated his slide - unless he has and I missed it.  (That seems more likely.)  Here the traffic is two way, but not so in the Gowey slide directly below.
Here too we look north on First Avenue North thru Denny Way. The Ankona is on the left, and here as well Lawton has not dated his slide – unless he has and I missed it. (That seems more likely.) Here the traffic is two way, but not so in the Gowey slide directly below.  Time has passed there. 
With the Ankona on the left and still looking north on one-way First Ave. North with traffic heading north in 1971,
With the Ankona on the left and still looking north on one-way First Ave. North with traffic heading only north in 1971,

WEB EXTRAS

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.”

THEN:  Louis Rowe’s row of storefronts at the southwest corner of First Ave. (then still named Front Street) and Bell Street appear in both the 1884 Sanborn real estate map and the city’s 1884 birdseye sketch.  Most likely this view dates from 1888-89.  (Courtesy: Ron Edge)

From 1954

THEN: The Dog House at 714 Denny Way was strategically placed at the southern terminus for the Aurora Speedway when it was new in the mid-1930s.  (Photo courtesy of Washington State Archive, Bellevue Community College Branch.)

THEN: Before this the first shovel of the last of Denny Hill was ceremonially dropped to the conveyor belt at Battery Street, an “initial bite of 30,000 cubic yards of material” was carved from the cliff along the east side of 5th Avenue to make room for both the steam shovel and several moveable belts that extended like fingers across the hill.  It was here that they met the elevated and fixed last leg of the conveyor system that ran west on Battery Street to the waterfront.  (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

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2nd-and-Blanchard-THEN

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