Seattle Now & Then: A Row House at 6th and Pine

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The row house at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and Pine Street in its last months, ca. 1922-23. (Museum of History and Industry)
THEN: The row house at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and Pine Street in its last months, ca. 1922-23. (Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Architect James E. Blackwell’s terra-cotta clad Shafer Building, 1923, survives as the second structure built on the corner.
NOW: Architect James E. Blackwell’s terra-cotta clad Shafer Building, 1923, survives as the second structure built on the corner.
An early footprint for our row shows far right at the corner of 6th and Pine in this detail from the 1893s Sanborn Real Estate map.
An early footprint for our row shows far right at the corner of 6th and Pine in this detail from the 1893s Sanborn Real Estate map.
Another Sanborn map with a detail at the lower-right of what it has characterized as "Tenements." This from 1904-5. Note the stuffed block to the north, across Pine Street. It is the home of the local trolley company, the Seattle Electric Company. Westlake does not as yet cut through the neighborhood, but soon will in 1906-7. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)
Another Sanborn map with a detail at the lower-right of what it has characterized as “Tenements.” This is from 1904-5. Note the stuffed block to the north, across Pine Street. It is the home of the local trolley company, the Seattle Electric Company. Westlake Ave. does not as yet cut through the neighborhood on the left, but soon will in 1906-7. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)
Here, circa 1909, we can find both the featured Row, far right, and the Electric Company plant filling most of the mid-ground subject. Westlake Ave. is here cut through the neighborhood at the bottom. Capitol Hill is on the east horizon, with Broadway High School at the center. The car barns on the right at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Pine Street have not yet been remodeled for the Westlake Market, which can be found in the photo that follows this one.
Here, circa 1909, we can find both the featured Row, far right, and the Electric Company plant filling most of the mid-ground subject. Westlake Ave. is here cut through the neighborhood at the bottom. Capitol Hill is on the east horizon, with Broadway High School at the center. The car barns on the right at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Pine Street have not yet been remodeled for the Westlake Market, which can be found in the photo that follows this one. [A fuller treatment of this photograph gets its own Edge Link down below.]
Both the Row House and the trolley barns to the north (left) across Pine Street can be found in this glimpse east from the New Washington Hotel at Second and Stewart.
Both the Row House (right of center) and the trolley barns (those converted to the Westlake  Market (below center) to the north  across Pine Street can be found in this glimpse east from the New Washington Hotel at Second and Stewart.
The 1912 Baist shows our Row, the six year old Westlake Ave. cut, and the trolley yard and barns converted into the Westlake Market.
The 1912 Baist shows our Row, the six year old Westlake Ave. cut, and the trolley yard and barns converted into the Westlake Market.
Looking down from the Frederick and Nelson roof (or upper floor) to the clapboard row at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and Pine Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
Looking down from the Frederick and Nelson roof (or upper floor) to the clapboard row at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and Pine Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

This waning clapboard row house with two corner towers, six bays, and twelve tenements (on the top two of its three floors) was built at the southwest corner of 6th and Pine sometime soon after the city’s great fire of 1889.  It was similar to another row with towers and bays built at Third and Union (printed directly below), known since 1906 as the Post Office corner.  Both were savvy responses to a 

The Plummer Building, lower-right, at its last corner, the southwest one at Pine and 3rd Avenue. It was moved from the southeast corner of 3rd and Union to make room for the Federal Post Office, which appears here two blocks south on Third at its, again, corner with Union Street.
The Plummer Building, lower-right, at its last corner, the southwest one at Pine and 3rd Avenue where its row may be compared to the one we are featuring at the top.   The Plummer was moved from the southeast corner of 3rd and Union to make room for the Federal Post Office, which appears here two blocks south on Third at its, again, corner with Union Street.  The owners were proud of their part in the building of the new federal building, named their clapboard the Federal as well.  (Several more rows are featured in the links below.)
"As seen from" the northeast corner of 5th and Pine with the Frederick & Nelson south facade on the left. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
“As seen from” the northeast corner of 5th and Pine with the Frederick & Nelson south facade on the left. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

Seattle that was clearly booming north from its original center around Pioneer Square.  Through its 30 years in operation, the Pine Street row house’s tenants represented a typical American mix of small businesses, including some clairvoyants and quacks. 

A Seattle Times classified from March 19, 1913.
A Seattle Times classified from March 19, 1913.  The neighbor seems to be a popular one among the paranormal sellers.

xxx-ST-sept-18,-1921-Bowler-Hat-Co

Between March 1913 and May 1915, Times’ classifieds for “Spiritual Mediums” included Madame Frank, Mrs. Maywood, Prof. Quinlin, Mrs. Barnard, and Madame Delardo offering clairvoyant readings (of palms and-or cards) for typically 25 cents a session. The wide balcony that ran the length of the row above its storefronts might now seem to developers as a squandering of space, but was surely enjoyed by the upstairs tenants for many uses – spiritual included – we may imagine.  (Immediately below we will print again – without cropping – the featured photo so that you may more easily follow the details named in the following paragraph.)

Row House sw cor pine & 6 WEB

While the city designated five addresses here, from 525 at Sixth Avenue on the left to 515 at the alley on the right, there are more than five storefronts. Most likely our featured photo was one of the last portraits taken of that strip of shops, which begins on the left with the W.W. Pope & Co. and its selection of “sun-proof” paints, wall papers, picture framing and, noted with a sign taped to the plate glass, “we sell glass.” Continuing west along the sidewalk are shops for Hood River Apple Cider, Bowler Hat Co., a magazine and smoke shop counter open to the sidewalk, Knox Bros. Jewelers with the sidewalk clock, Lyon Optical Co., and a shoe repair store.

A revealing classified in the Seattle Times for March 13, 1923. Thanks to Rob and Ron for sharing it. (Their full names are in the body of the text, a formality that takes more space here than there.)
A revealing classified in the Seattle Times for March 13, 1923. Thanks to Rob and Ron for sharing it. (Their full names are in the body of the text below,  by comparison a formality that takes more space here than there.)

Returning to Knox Bros., we learn the year of the row’s demise with research help from local historians Ron Edge and Rob Ketcherside. On March 13, 1923, the jewelers ran the above classified in this newspaper that reads, “THE building comes down.  Great reductions in wrist watches from $12.75 to $2.25 . . . 519 Pine St., opposite Fredericks.”  Like every business in this neighborhood, the Knox Bros. knew that their readers would have no trouble finding them since the grand department store, Frederick and Nelson, had made its move to Pine Street in 1918.  In March, 1924, a year after their announced sale, we learn from an article in the Times about a Ketchikan fire that “The Knox Brothers, former Seattle Jewelers, who came here to open a new store, reported six trunks of jewelry burned in the hotel.” 

Seattle Times clip from June 2, 1922.
Seattle Times clip from June 2, 1922.

Directly behind the row house on Pine Street, Grunbaum Bros. Furniture Co. ceremonially opened its lavish new quarters in the Decatur Building on June 2, 1922, with twos days of music and tours but no sales.  The company continued to prosper with its policy of “easy terms,” signed at the top of the building’s north façade. Within a few months the sign would be lost behind the row’s replacement, the Shafer Building.  It and the Decatur are among Seattle’s many surviving terra-cotta clad landmarks from the 1920s.

The Seattle Times generous coverage of work-in-progress on Grauman's, March 5, 1922. The subject looks northwest along 6th Avenue from near Pike Street.
The Seattle Times generous coverage of work-in-progress on Grunbaums, March 5, 1922. The subject looks northwest along 6th Avenue from near Pike Street.  The Times has bundled advertisements  for a few of the local suppliers for the new building and its first tenant – including Bittman, the architect –  in a montage at the bottom.  [CLICK CLICK to ENLARGE]
Full-page coverage of the Grunbaum Bros. new home in the Decatur Building, May 28, 1922. {CLICK CLICK CLICK to Enlarge]
The Times full-page coverage of the Grunbaum Bros. new home in the Decatur Building, May 28, 1922. {CLICK CLICK CLICK to Enlarge]

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, guys?   More links to the neighborhood around Pine Street – more than 20 of them.   And near the bottom we will insert the 1909 AYP parade photo taken at the corner of 5th and Pine.  By then it may have also shown in the links attached to the features above it.  Remembering, again and again, repetition is the mother of both itself and memory.   Another repeater below is the feature about the Lutherans moving from their pioneer northeast corner of 4th and Pine to a new neighborhood.  And so on and on Jean.

THEN: Where last week the old Washington Hotel looked down from the top of Denny Hill to the 3rd Ave. and Pine St. intersection, on the left, here the New Washington Hotel, left of center and one block west of the razed hotel, towers over the still new Denny Regrade neighborhood in 1917. (Historical photo courtesy of Ron Edge)

THEN: Looking south from Pine Street down the wide Second Avenue in 1911, then Seattle’s growing retail strip and parade promenade. (courtesy of Jim Westall)

5th-ave-car-barns-then-mr

THEN: A motorcycle courier for Bartell Drugs poses before the chain’s Store No. 14, located in the Seaboard Building at the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Pike Street, circa 1929. (Courtesy Bartell Drugs)

THEN: While visiting Seattle for some promoting, silent film star Wallace Reid shares the sidewalk at 4th and Olive with a borrowed Stutz Bearcat. (Courtesy, Museum of History & Industry)

THEN: Built in the mid-1880s at 1522 7th Avenue, the Anthony family home was part of a building boom developing this north end neighborhood then into a community of clapboards. Here 70 years later it is the lone survivor. (Photo by Robert O. Shaw)

THEN: As explained in the accompanying story the cut corner in this search-lighted photo of the “first-nighters” lined up for the March 1, 1928 opening of the Seattle Theatre at 9th and Pine was intended. Courtesy Ron Phillips

THEN: Swedish Lutheran (Gethsemane) Church’s second sanctuary at the northeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Steward Street circa 1920, photo by Klaes Lindquist. (Courtesy, Swedish Club)

THEN: The Ballard Public Library in 1903-4, and here the Swedish Baptist Church at 9th and Pine, 1904-5, were architect Henderson Ryan’s first large contracts after the 20 year old southerner first reached Seattle in 1898. Later he would also design both the Liberty and Neptune Theatres, the latter still projecting films in the University District. (Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Built in 1888-89 at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street, the then named Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church marked the southeast corner of Denny Hill. Eventually the lower land to the east of the church (here behind it) would be filled, in part, with hill dirt scraped and eroded from North Seattle lots to the north and west of this corner. (Courtesy, Denny Park Lutheran Church)

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CLIPPINGS, MOSTLY, FROM PAST FEATURES, FOLLOW

[DOUBLE CLICK THESE TO READ THEM – at least on my mac it takes two clicks.]

First appeared in Pacific, Sept. 11, 1990.
First appeared in Pacific, Sept. 11, 1990.

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First appeared in Pacific, August 25, 2002.
First appeared in Pacific, August 25, 2002.

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z Books-on-Pike-clip-copy

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First appeared in Pacific, Sept. 12, 1993
First appeared in Pacific, Sept. 12, 1993

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Capt. Jackson's home first appeared in Pacific on July 17, 1988.
Capt. Jackson’s home first appeared in Pacific on July 17, 1988.

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First appeared in Pacific, Nov. 8, 1992.
First appeared in Pacific, Nov. 8, 1992.

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First appeared in Pacific, Sept 1, 1985. (Golly, 30 years ago!)
First appeared in Pacific, Sept 1, 1985. (Golly, 30 years ago!)

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Dragon-AYP-5PINE-WEB

Dragon-text-1-9-1983 web

Looking south on 5th Avenue thru Pine Street with Frederick and Nelson on the left. This feature appears in Pacific on Jan 9, 1983, so the crowd of pedestrians seen here are mostly Christmas shoppers from the closing weeks of 1982. It takes about a month for the Times to process t he features I deliver to them.
Looking south on 5th Avenue thru Pine Street with Frederick and Nelson on the left. This feature appeared  in Pacific on Jan 9, 1983, so the crowd of pedestrians seen here are mostly Christmas shoppers searching for cheer during  the closing weeks of 1982. It takes about a month for the Times to process the features I deliver to them.
Later, but through the same intersection.
Later, but through the same intersection.

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The terra-cotta replacement for our featured row house rises here ten stories above the southwest corner of 6th and Pine. Westlake crosses the bottom of the subject or scene. Frederick Nelson at its first five-story height is on the left. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry.)
The Shafer Building, the  terra-cotta replacement for our featured row house, rises here center-right ten stories above the southwest corner of 6th and Pine. Westlake crosses the bottom of the subject or scene. Frederick Nelson at its first five-story height is on the left. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry.)

BELOW: TWO VIEWS OF THE SHAFER’S CROWN FROM THE ROOF OF FREDERICK AND NELSON.

x-First-Hill-over-CBD-fm-upper-floor-near-5th-and-Stewart-left-side-WEB

x-First-Hill-over-CBD-fm-upper-floor-near-5th-and-Stewart-right-side-ont.714-WEB

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Photographer Frank Shaw's
Photographer Frank Shaw’s look east on Pine over the monorail station on Westlake to the Shafer’s eight floors of terra-cotta skin on the far left.    March 17, 1962.

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z BRidal-ROW-PAGE-1-WEB copy

Included as the 20th feature in Seattle Now and Then, Volume One, 1984.
Included as the 20th feature in Seattle Now and Then, Volume One, 1984.

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A recent MOHAI scany by Ron Edge. The Shafer Building ascends from the bottom border.
A recent MOHAI scan by Ron Edge. The Shafer Building ascends from the bottom border.

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A Shafer Bldg tenant's advertisement from The Seattle Times for July 3, 1928 gives an early sparkle to the fireworks of the next day.
A Shafer Bldg top-floor tenant’s advertisement from The Seattle Times for July 3, 1928 offers for a mere dollar an early sparkle for the fireworks of the next day.

One thought on “Seattle Now & Then: A Row House at 6th and Pine”

  1. Nearly a century later there is a jewelery store at 519 Pine Street.
    Crane Jewelers, Ltd.
    The business moved into the building in 1954, it was called Gunderson’s at that time.
    It had previously been in the olympic Hotel and before that next to the Blue Mouse theater.

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