Seattle Now & Then: A View of Lake Union

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: A.J. McDonald’s panorama of Lake Union and its surrounds dates from the early 1890s. It was taken from First Hill, looking north from near the intersection of Terry Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
THEN: A.J. McDonald’s panorama of Lake Union and its surrounds dates from the early 1890s. It was taken from First Hill, looking north from near the intersection of Terry Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Terry Avenue is still a steep descent north from Union Street to Pike Street.
NOW: Terry Avenue is still a steep descent north from Union Street to Pike Street.

The easiest and so also, perhaps, the almost obvious subject here is Lake Union.  The earliest panorama of the lake was recorded in 1882 by the since famous Californian Carleton Watkins while visiting Puget Sound as an itinerate photographer.  He did his shooting from a platform that he built on the top of a nearly clear-cut Denny Hill. 

Watkin's 1882 look north from the top of Denny Hill with Lake Union stretching behind the clear-cut mess. (Courtesy, U.W. Libraries, Special Collections)
Carleton Watkin’s 1882 look north from the top of Denny Hill with Lake Union stretching behind the clear-cut mess and a haze-shrouded future Wallingford on the horizon, reaching from Queen Anne Hill on the left and Capitol Hill on the right. (Courtesy, U.W. Libraries, Special Collections)

The pan by A.J. McDonald printed on top dates from about ten years later.  McDonald’s Seattle street address in the 1892-1893 Corbett City Directory was 514 9th Avenue, on the southwest corner of First Hill. 

The Ward home is shown in this detail from the 1891 Birdseye of Seattle on the home with a tower upper-right at the drawn end of Pike Street.
The Ward home is shown in this detail from the 1891 Birdseye of Seattle as the three story structure with a tower upper-right at the illustrated end of Pike Street.  While it is just out-of-frame to the right in the featured photo, the T-shaped home at 1011 Pike Street sits to this west side of the Ward home and dominates the right side of the McDonald Pan.   The homes to the left of the T-shaped two-story clapboard also appear in this detail.  While in the featured photo they may appear to be on the same side of Pike Street with the T-Shaped home, they are not.  They are, rather, on the north side of Pike.  The duplex on the far left also shows in the birdseye detail.  It stands at the northeast corner of Terry and Pike.  In 1891 Pike Street dead-ended at Boren, while Pine continued on towards Capitol Hill.

I struggled some in figuring out from what First Hill prospect McDonald took this wide view.  My early intimation was that it was from near the intersection of Terry Avenue and Union Street, and this was eventually confirmed by comparing the panorama with the impressive 1891 Birdseye view of Seattle.  All the homes standing in the foreground of McDonald’s subject are drawn, with considerable care given to their footprints and rooflines, into the Birdseye. I concluded that McDonald was indeed looking down a freshly graded Terry Avenue with Union Street near his back, if not at it, as was Jean Sherrard about a century and a quarter later. 

On close inspection the "T-shaped" home on Pike and its neighbors, including the Ward home on Boren Avenue can be detected in this also early 1890s pan, this time from the Denny Hotel on Denny Hill to the horizons of Capitol Hill (on the left) and First Hill (on the right).
On close inspection the “T-shaped” home on Pike and its neighbors, including the Ward home on Boren Avenue, can be detected in this also early 1890s pan.  This prospect looks from the Denny Hotel on Denny Hill to the horizons of Capitol Hill (on the left) and First Hill (on the right).  Our featured  cluster of homes sits just above the heavily supported Terry Avenue on which is written “Read the Press.”  This timbered wall is an impressive piece of streets public works for the time and a sign of the municipal concern given then to the city’s exploding population much of which was then moving north to all sides of Lake Union.  The photographers’ position on Terry for both the “now and then” featured on top was near the top or high end of that wall-work.   It was still a decade before Capitol Hill would be named and so distinguished from First Hill.  As is clear here the two hills are hardly distinguishable parts of one ridge.  The fairly fancy Crosby/Jackson Home at the southwest corner of 8th Avenue and Pine Street, appears here just left of the subject’s center.   The church on the far right is the first sanctuary here for Unitarians, and its footprint is now covered by part of the Eagles Auditorium, aka Act Theatre, on the east side of Seventh Avenue between Union and Pike Streets.

Another panorama (directly above), taken from Denny Hill looking east to First Hill a few months before McDonald made his, reveals something about the featured pan that is not easy to discover. In the pan at the top, Pike Street, at this point still more a widened path than a street, climbs left to right (west to east) between the three sizable homes center and left of center, and the still larger white home – probably an early tenement – on the right.  (It is the “T-shaped home” noted in the caption above.) We found its address, 1101 Pike Street, with help from the 1904 Sanborn real estate map. Just out-of-frame to the right was George and Louise Ward’s home,

Boren Avenue is on the right of this detail from the 1904 Sanborn Real Estate Map.
Boren Avenue is on the right of this detail from the 1904 Sanborn Real Estate Map. The Ward home, bottom-right, is marked with a “D.”  What we have described as the T-Shaped home appears here left-of-center, on the west side of the alley.  It’s “T-shape”  is evident but not so marked as in the photograph (it seems to me).  Note that it is also inscribed as “lodgings.” The other home depicted in the feature photo from ca. 1892 appears in the upper-left quarter of this detail, and faithfully too.  The dark point first tree is not included.   All the other structures – other than the T-Shaped lodgings – foot-printed in the lower-left corner of the detail are new since 1892.
The Ward Home at the southwest corner of Pike Street and Boren Avenue, and just of frame to the right in the featured photo at the top. (The clip for its short story is included near the bottom of this week's feature.)
The Ward Home at the southwest corner of Pike Street and Boren Avenue, and just of frame to the right in the featured photo at the top. (The clip for its short story is included near the bottom of this week’s feature.)

which was built in 1882 at the then ungraded southwest corner of Pike Street and Boren Avenue.  Wonderfully, it survives nearby at the northwest corner of Denny Way and Belmont Avenue, moved there about thirty years ago by attorneys – and preservationists – David A. Leen and Bradford Moore.  It is probably the second oldest structure in Seattle, after the Doc Maynard home in West Seattle.

A recent capture of the Ward home at
A recent capture of the Ward home at the northwest corner of Denny Way and Belmont Avenue.

The wide horizon of McDonald’s pan, above the north shore of Lake Union, extends from the then young mill town Fremont on the left, through Edgewater (a name rarely used today) to Latona (now part of Wallingford) on the far right.  Brooklyn, the preferred name for the University District in the 1890s, is hidden behind Capitol Hill. Pine Street runs left to right through the center of the pan.  It was the first graded street to reach Capitol Hill, and the 1891 Birdseye confirms it. Pike, however, was also soon extended to the Hill and became much the busier street with trolleys and commerce.

A detail of 1001 Pike Street, its west and south facades, pulled from the featured photo at the top. Follows, next, several Seattle Times clips of classifieds that feature 1011 Pike.
A detail of 1001 Pike Street, its west and south facades, pulled from the featured photo at the top. Follows, next, several Seattle Times clips of classifieds for goods and/or services available at 1011 Pike.
Appeared Jan. 7, 1902 in The Seattle Times.
Appeared Jan. 7, 1902 in The Seattle Times.
April 29, 1908, The Times
April 29, 1908, The Times
July 11, 1909
July 11, 1909
December 6, 1910
December 6, 1910
November 24, 1911
November 24, 1911
December 16, 1915.
December 16, 1915.

During his Seattle stay, McDonald recorded several other panoramas, including at least four from Queen Anne Hill, two from Denny Hill and two more from First Hill. I think it likely that by 1893 McDonald had returned to that other “city of hills,” San Francisco, where most of his surviving prints are found in scattered collections.

Another of the several panoramas McDonald made in Seattle during his stay here in the early 1890s. [Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry aka MOHAI]
Another of the several panoramas McDonald made in Seattle during his stay here in the early 1890s. [Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry aka MOHAI]  CLICK CLICK CLICK to enlarge.
Appear first in Pacific Mag.
Appear first in Pacific Mag.

 

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul and Ron?   A few more past features clipped by Ron Edge and placed by Ron Too.  I wrote the text for the pan, first clip below, for what occasion or publication I no longer remember.  But one of the last points the text makes is a challenge to the reader to find in that pan the place where the future Roosevelt Theatre would be parked.  And so we included as the second “web extra” a feature done a few years ago on that the modern Roosevelt.  At the bottom of this group is a detail taken from the featured photo at top, which shows both the mansion and farm house of the Pontius Family in what is struggling to still be called the Cascade Neighborhood (if it can survive Amazopolis) after its grade school, which was a victim to the 1949 earthquake.   It follows the last of the Edge grab-links, which is also about the Pontius farm house, and appeared here not so long ago – sometime this past summer.

pan-f-denn-hill-1885-web

THEN:The early evening dazzle of the Roosevelt Theatre at 515 Pike Street, probably in 1941. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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: 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: First dedicated in 1889 by Seattle’s Unitarians, the congregation soon needed a larger sanctuary and moved to Capitol Hill. Here on 7th Avenue, their first home was next used for a great variety of events, including a temporary home for the Christian Church, a concert hall for the Ladies Musical Club, and a venue for political events like anarchist Emma Goldman’s visit to Seattle in 1910. (Compliments Lawton Gowey)

THEN: An early view of Virginia Mason Hospital, which opened in the fall of 1920 at the northwest corner of Terry Avenue and Spring Street. In 1980 for its anniversary, the clinic-hospital could make the proud statement that it had “spanned sixty years and four city blocks.” Courtesy Lawton Gowey

THEN: The Cascade neighborhood, named for its public grade school (1894), now long gone, might have been better named for the Pontius family. Immigrants from Ohio, they purchased many of the forested acres north of Denny Way and east of Fairview Avenue.

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THE PONTIUS HOMES  as REVEALED by MCDONALD

In this detail from this week's feature McDonald pan we find, left and right, respectively the Pontius Mansion and their earlier farm house, which was feature on a recent Sunday, and included above as the last of the Edge Links. Click on it please - too.
In this detail from this week’s feature McDonald pan we find, left and right, respectively the Pontius Mansion (with the tower) and their earlier farm house, which was feature on a recent Sunday, and included above as the last of the Edge Links. Click on it please – too.  The Pontius family and mansion were part of the mid-40th series on local big homes that appeared on Sundays in The Times.  AFTER extended frustrating attempts to place the farm house it was McDonald’s pan that led me to it.  CLICK THE PULLED CLIPPING SEVERAL TIMES TO ENLARGE.
CLICK CLICK to ENLARGE
CLICK CLICK to ENLARGE

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The RETURN of the WARD HOME

clip 7. WARD-HOUSE-boren-and-PikeTHEN-WEB

First appeared in Pacific,
First appeared in Pacific, January 3,1999.
The Ward home at its new home since the 1980s.
The Ward home at its new home since the 1980s.

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Don Logan's thrill. Recently deceased, Don taught at Ballard High School for many years.
Don Logan’s thrill. Recently deceased, Don taught at Ballard High School for many years.

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First appeared in Pacific, March 7, 1999.
First appeared in Pacific, March 7, 1999.  Update.  The Van Siclen is gone now for a few years and replaced by a high-rise condo with class and cost.

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Another Cascade Survivor
Another Cascade Survivor

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cLIP-Scene-from-Denny-N&T-WEb copy

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ANOTHER EARLY 1890S LOOK TO LAKE UNION

LAKE UNION from Capitol Hill with the still familiar curves of Eastlake laid here for trolley tracks to Brooklyn, now better known at the University District. Fremont is the established clutter between the two first on the far shore. Queen Anne Hill is on the left. [Courtesy, Dennis Andersen]
LAKE UNION from Capitol Hill with the still familiar curves of Eastlake laid here for trolley tracks to Brooklyn, now better known at the University District. Fremont is the established clutter between the two first on the far shore. Queen Anne Hill is on the left. [Courtesy, Rev. Dennis Andersen, yet another Lutheran]
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z TALKING-DURING-PERFORMANCE-copy-WEB

TOMORROW we may proof read.  But now off to Nighty-Bears. Shhhhh.

(Lantern slide Courtesy of Bob Monroe.  “Nighty-Bears” courtesy of William “Bill” Burden”)

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