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.”
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.
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.
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.
Suzzallo Library (1922-27) and Anderson Hall (1924-25) are probably the most admired examples of Collegiate Gothic buildings that distinguishthe 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.
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.
3 thoughts on “Seattle Now & Then: Anderson Hall”
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.
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.
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.