(click to enlarge photos)
Through the 1890s Pike Street was developed as the first sensible grade up the ridge, east of Lake Union before the ridge was named Capitol Hill by the real estate developer, James Moore. As a sign of this public works commitment, Pike Street was favored with a vitrified brick pavement in the mid-1890s. As can be seen here, Fourth Avenue was not so blessed. The mud on Fourth borders Pike at the bottom of this anonymous look north through their intersection and continues again north of Pike beyond the pedestrians, who in this scene are keeping to the bricks and sidewalks.
At the intersection’s far northeast corner dark doors swing beside the Double Stamp Bar’s sign, which pushes Bohemian Beer at five cents a mug. The first storefront to the right (east) of the bar and its striped awning is the Frisco Café, Oyster and Chop House, whose clam chowder can be had for a dime and “oysters in many styles” for a quarter. Far right on the sidewalk at 404 Pike, a general store sells both new and used, and advertises a willingness to barter with cash-free exchanges. Its merchandise is a mix of soft and hard: hanging buckets and baskets are seen through the windows, as well as a pile of pillows. These storefronts and two more are sheltered in five parallel, contiguous sheds, modest quarters that are given stature with the top-heavy false façade they share above the windows.
The bookends here are the Ranke Building, far right, and the Carpenter’s Union Hall, far left. Otto and Dora Ranke were the happy German-born and wed builders who staged plays and light operas in their home and performed in them, too. When the Ranke’s built their eponymous big brick building. it featured a hall and stage for productions of all sorts, including musicals.
In 1906, beginning at this intersection, an extension of Westlake Avenue was cut and graded through the city grid to Denny Way, where it joined the ‘old’ Westlake that is now ‘main street’ for the south Lake Union Allen-Amazon Neighborhood. As part of this Westlake cutting, Carpenter’s Hall was razed, and a landmark, the Plaza Hotel, took its place in the new block shaped by Fourth Avenue, Pine Street and the new Westlake Avenue. The Carpenters moved one block north on Fourth Avenue where they built a new brick union hall. Then in 1907 Fourth Avenue was continued for two blocks north from Seneca Street, through the old territorial university campus, to Union Street. As a result of these two regrades, in less than two years the crossing of Pike Street and Fourth Avenue developed into one of the busiest intersections in the city.
Anything to add, Paul? Again and again – thru ten clicks – one may proceed with Ron Edge’s pulls, this week, of appropriate links to past features at and/or near Fourth Avenue and Pike Street. Following those we may find a few more fitting ornaments at these by now late hours allow.
NEARBY ON PIKE
THREE SECURE HYDRANTS in WALLINGFORD taken during my “Wallingford Walks” between 2006 and 2010.
ANOTHER LEAK ON PIKE
TWO PIKE PAGES OF SIX in PIG-TAIL DAYS
Now up the stairs to nighty-bears. We will re-read and proof tomorrow.
One thought on “Seattle Now & Then: Fourth and Pike”
I always go directly to “Now&Then” in the pacific magazine and enjoy the detailed descriptions you provide. The images shown today, Dec 7, show what appears to be a manhole cover in exactly the same spot on Pike St. Apparently Seattle had a well developed sewer or wastewater system even back then.