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
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.
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.)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
CLIPPINGS, MOSTLY, FROM PAST FEATURES, FOLLOW
[DOUBLE CLICK THESE TO READ THEM – at least on my mac it takes two clicks.]
BELOW: TWO VIEWS OF THE SHAFER’S CROWN FROM THE ROOF OF FREDERICK AND NELSON.