Seattle Now & Then: Anderson Hall

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Named for a lumberman, and still home for the UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the upper floor’s high-ceilinged halls, including the Forest Club Room behind Anderson Hall’s grand Gothic windows, were described for us by the department’s gregarious telephone operator as “very popular and Harry Potterish.”   (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)
THEN: Named for a lumberman, and still home for the UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the upper floor’s high-ceilinged halls, including the Forest Club Room behind Anderson Hall’s grand Gothic windows, were described for us by the department’s gregarious telephone operator as “very popular and Harry Potterish.” (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)
NOW: With many new campus structures built nearby along Stevens Way, Anderson Hall holds to its elegance while waiting for its turn at restoration.
NOW: With many new campus structures built nearby along Stevens Way, Anderson Hall holds to its elegance while waiting for its turn at restoration.

While driving West Stevens Way, the loop that nearly circles within the UW’s original interlake campus, both Jean and I were startled by the campus’s many new, and to us, seemingly instant landmarks – until we reached the familiar charms of Anderson Hall. There we settled down and Jean took this “repeat.”

With the Columns on the right holding the southeast border of the Sylvan Grove Theatre, the unnamed photographer looks southwest on S.Stevens Way NE to the east facade of Anderson Hall.
With the Columns on the right holding to the southeast border of the Sylvan Grove Theatre, an unnamed photographer looks southwest on S.Stevens Way NE to the east facade of Anderson Hall.
Another early view of the Columns in a ritual enactment of ecstatic dance exposed under a full moon.  The flower, we don't know.
Another early view of the Columns in a ritual enactment of ecstatic dance exposed under a full moon. The flower, we don’t know.

The hall is an exquisite example of Collegiate Gothic design.  It holds it pose at the most southern point in the loop, where West and East Stevens Ways merge. From Jean’s prospect, the landscape around the now 90-year-old Anderson Hall has been allowed to flourish, creating a fitting milieu for what was first called the University’s Department of Forestry but is now its School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. The Hall rests just west of Rainier Vista, that nearly 1500-foot-long green sward that opens and protects the University’s view of “The Mountain,” as seen from Drumheller Fountain.

Another Academic Gothic creation on the U.W. campus, but this time - 1928-29 - not by Bebb and Gould but by John Graham, Sr.
Another Academic Gothic creation on the U.W. campus, but this time – 1928-29 – not by Bebb and Gould but by John Graham, Sr.     Note the Engineering Department’s Sieg Hall on the far left.  It was a modern effort to keep the on-campus Gothic going.  It has not worn well, and yet survives.
Sieg Hall photographed by Victor Lygdman in the early 1960s, when it was new.
Sieg Hall photographed by Victor Lygdman in the early 1960s, when it was new.
Sieg Hall's Gothic variations resemble those used in the early 60's for the construction of Seattle Center's Science Center for the 1962 world's fair.  To one writer* the texture and coloring imply another variation, one of a Formica countertop or ashtray.   *this writer.
Sieg Hall’s Gothic variations resemble those used in the early 60’s for the construction of Seattle Center’s Science Center for the 1962 world’s fair. To one writer* the texture and coloring imply another variation, one on a Formica counter-top or ashtray.  On the inside, the windows “work,” but so does the commonplace wit that students have learned to use for this building, when asked how they liked it.  The answer, of course, being that inside Sieg Hall one does not have to look at it.  The first use of this joke may have been, if memory serves, by some famous Parisian, when asked what he thought of the Eiffel Tower when it was new.   *this writer.
Robert Bradley's ca. 1955 look southeast in line with the campus' Rainier Vista.
Robert Bradley’s ca. 1955 look southeast in line with the campus’ Rainier Vista.
I snapped this look back towards the center of campus from Stevens Way in 1985, I think.  Or near it.  I was on my was to Hub's parking lots for a rear approach to the Suzallo Library.  On such a snow-bound day, I figure, surely the campu police would not be checking my lack of credentials for parking in that most - of all - convenient lots.
I snapped this record of Rainier Vista with my back to the mountain, looking back towards the center of campus from Stevens Way in 1985, I think. Or near it. I was on my way to the Hub’s parking lots for a rear approach to the Suzallo Library. On such a snow-bound day, I figured, surely the campus police would not be checking anyone for credentials for parking in that most  convenient of lots.   And there was room.  And I got away with it.   Here, if we were to to pivot to the left and look west on Stevens Way we would be looking over the prospect used in our feature this week for both the Webster and Stevens and Jean Sherrard recordings.

Anderson Hall was a gift to the UW by Agnes Anderson, a Vassar graduate, who, it seems loved both higher education and her 6’5” tall husband, the “lumber king” Alfred H. Anderson. They came west in 1886, settled first in Shelton where they helped form the Simpson Logging Company, and then moved to Seattle’s somewhat exclusive First Hill. There they erected a big home made from lumber of many sorts, including panels of Honduran mahogany, rosewood, and Siberian oak.  (The Anderson home is featured in one of the Edge links below.)  Perhaps most famously, although rarely seen, was a marble bathroom with a ten-foot long bathtub for Alfred.  A hole was cut in the outer wall to install it.

To a trained eye - and by now your's too - Anderson Hall can be locateed in this 1937 aerial
To a trained eye – by ow your’s – Anderson Hall can be locateed in this 1937 aerial just below the subject’s center.   Note also the long swath of green lawn running southeast from the campus Drumheller Fountain, aka  Frosh Pond.
A 1939 vertical aerial of the campus, Anderson Hall included
A 1939 vertical aerial of the campus, Anderson Hall included.  A golf course covers the South Campus now given to the health sciences, and the wetlands of Union Bay are still free of the east campus parking – parking not nearly as convenient as that beside the HUB.
An Ellis aerial looking east over the UW campus
An Ellis aerial looking east over the UW campus in the 1950s.   Anderson Hall shows to the right.  Early conversion of the Montlake Dump for UW parking proceeds on the far left.
An aerial with a splendid witness to Anderson Hall on the left and the new UW Medical School above it.  Can you name the ship resting on Portage Bay?  Watch for clues on local billboards.
An aerial with a splendid witness to Anderson Hall on the left and the new UW Medical School above it. Can you name the ship resting on Portage Bay? Watch for clues on local billboards.

After her Alfred died in 1914, Agnes turned to philanthropy.  Among her beneficiaries is the on-going Agnes Healy Anderson Research Fellowship and, in 1925, Anderson Hall, her tribute to her husband.  Anderson Hall is one of the eighteen buildings that architect Carl Gould completed on the UW campus between 1915 and 1938.  Gould founded the school’s Department of Architecture in 1914.

The entrance off Red Square into the Suzzallo Library, March 1987.
The entrance off Red Square into the Suzzallo Library, March 1987.

Suzzallo Library (1922-27) and Anderson Hall (1924-25) are probably the most admired examples of Collegiate Gothic buildings that distinguish the campus core. University Press recently release a ‘bigger and better’ second edition of Shaping Seattle Architecture, edited by Jeffrey Karl Ochsner.  Authors T. William Booth and William H. Wilson, the book’s essayists on Gould and his partner Charles Bebb, describe Anderson Hall as the partners’ “most suavely detailed” contribution to the campus.

Album art for the Husky Cello Sextet's live dedicatory performance of Bachiana Brasileiras  in the U.W. underground parking lot below Red Square.  Good acoustics and free parking for the players who brought their own instruments.
Album art for the Husky Cello Sextet’s live dedicatory performance of Bachianas Brasileiras in the U.W. underground parking lot below Red Square. The event featured both good acoustics and free parking for the players.  And they brought their own instruments. (dedicated to Stephan Edwin Lundgren)

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?

Yes, but first Jean congratulations on your successful stage direction this Saturday afternoon of composer and librettist Jay Hamilton’s opera “The Map” in the Cornish auditorium – the one we fondly remember and still serving in the school’s old plant on Harvard Avenue.   Your good taste and stoic strengths have again proven themselves up for moving singers around the stage in, to complete its name,  this “opera with moments of comedy and Epicurean philosophy.”

This week, like others,  Ron Edge has put up several links to past features.  Again, some of them will be repetitive, like operatic leitmotifs, but others will be new to the blog.  Most will feature subjects from the U.W. campus.

As you know, in preparation for the book we hope to publish later this year, we have just completed making a list of all the weekly Pacific features we have put up since the early winter of 1982.  Of the – about – 1700 features handled, roughly fifty of them were about UW campus subjects.  Perhaps for a while we should slip out of that gown and keep to the town.    And yet fifty in thirty-three years only amounts to about one and one-half a year.  We’ll keep the robes on.  The campus deserves it.

THEN: An estimated 50 percent of the materials used in the old Husky Union Building were recycled into its recent remodel.  The new HUB seems to reach for the roof like its long-ago predecessor, the AYP’s landmark Forestry building.  (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Above Lake Washington’s Union Bay the Hoo-Hoo Building on the left and the Bastion facsimile on the right, were both regional departures from the classical beau arts style, the 1909 AYPE’s architectural commonplace. Courtesy John Cooper

THEN: For the four-plus months of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the center of commerce and pedestrian energy on University Way moved two blocks south from University Station on Northeast 42nd Street to here, Northeast 40th Street, at left.

THEN: The Gothic University of Washington Campus in 1946 beginning a seven-year crowding with prefabricated dormitories beside Frosh Pond. In the immediate background [on the right] is Guggenheim Hall.  (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/wash-state-bldg-then-mr1.jpg?w=812&h=463

======

3 thoughts on “Seattle Now & Then: Anderson Hall”

  1. Hah. Satisfaction. I have always wondered about the pillars in the old post card photos of the girls with daisy chains. Now I know. And if I could go back in time I have always wanted to go through the old forestry building. At least, even though they are in a basement the diaroma figures from the museum (old Alaskan Exhibition building) are still around. They surely must have been every kids favorite thing to see.

  2. Your 1939 vertical picture of the campus shows a long gone feature at the west side of Union Bay. The straight channel running N-S starting at Montlake Cut right by the old shell house for the UW crew was used by the crew team as a paractice run for time. It was sheltered from the wind. Stan Pocock the UW caoch, boatbuilder and Olympic coach would send his freshman crews along that route to teach them control of their stroke rates. He would time them at 22, 24, 26 strokes a minute, then the last run let them go any rate they wanted. the invariably did this last one at too high a stroke and it was their slowest time which taught them about their technique. He also used that run to test different oar blade designs using Olympic gold medal winning pair oared crews as they could have a constant stretch of undisturbed water. The canal is gone now after lots of changed to the waterfront. Mr Pocock died just a few months ago.

  3. Alfred Anderson was my grandmother’s cousin. His father was Mons Anderson who owned a large department store in LaCrosse WI. Most
    of her siblings worked for Mons at one time or the other. My great- grandmother (Ingeborg Hovrud Anderson Erickson) and Alfred were
    cousins. The Mons Anderson home is still standing and has served several purposes over the years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s