Seattle Now & Then: Row of Houses on Broadway

(click to enlarge photos)

A-Broadway-Row-THEN-MR
THEN: A King County Assessor’s tax photo from 1937 aims south on Broadway from Marion Street. (Courtesy, Stan Unger)
NOW: In 1970 the block-long Broadway Parking Lot replaced the five residences and one church in the 800 block on the east side of Broadway.
NOW: In 1970 the block-long Broadway Parking Lot replaced the five residences and one church in the 800 block on the east side of Broadway.

This row of strapping residences on Broadway stands near the summit of the long ridge that locals first referred to as “the first hill.” By the time these roosts were constructed in the early twentieth century, the “the” was increasingly dropped, but not the “first.” Broadway, along with Denny Way and Yesler Way, was so named to mark it as a border for the Central Business District. And it was platted broad too, eighty feet wide rather than the common sixty feet of other streets and avenues on the hill.

This by now oft-used detail of a pan of First Hill taken from the Coppins Waterworks in the early 1890s looks east on Columbias Street from the tower's home on the block between 9th Avenue and Terry Avenue. The latter crossed the bottom of the print. The future location of the row houses featured here is close to the evangelist's (we figure) tent appearing
This by now oft-used detail of a pan of First Hill taken from the Coppins Waterworks in the early 1890s looks east on Columbia Street from the tower’s home between 9th Avenue and Terry Avenue. The latter crosses the bottom of the print. The future location of the row houses featured here is close to the evangelist’s (we figure) tent appearing upper-right, which is near (again, we figure) where Marion Street, the next street north and so to the right of Columbia Street, reaches Broadway Avenue.  (CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE)

The size of the five big residences on show in this 1937 tax photo is a tribute to the late nineteenth century ambition of First Hill to distinguish itself as Seattle’s exclusive neighborhood of mansions. Usually raised above big double lots, these are exceptions, as each occupies a single lot. With the turn of the century, any exclusivity in this neighborhood was soon overwhelmed by Seattle’s muscular growth, and its needs for workers’ housing “within walking distance” or quick trolley rides to their employers beckoning. In addition to apartments, institutions such as schools, hospitals, and churches crowded First Hill in the early 1900s, so that its luxuriance was more in human stories than family wealth.  The pan shown just above reveals the early diversity of housing on First Hill.  It shows a mix of mansions, row-houses and apartments, but not institutions as yet.

The first page of the assessor's tax card created for the WPA registration and photography of all taxable properties in King County. We will next repeat the feature photo set beside a detail of the same row taken from a 1936 aerial photograph made - along with hundreds of others - to help map the city. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive and the Washington State Archive, Bellevue Branch on the Bellevue Community College campus.)
The first page of the assessor’s tax card created for the WPA registration and photography of all taxable properties in King County.  Below the feature photo is set beside a detail of the same row taken from a 1936 aerial photograph made – along with hundreds of others – to help map the city. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives and the Washington State Archive, Bellevue Branch on the Bellevue Community College campus.)  CLICK TWICE TO READ
The 1937 tax photo and a detail from the 1936 mapping aerial side-by-side.
The 1937 tax photo and a detail from the 1936 mapping aerial side-by-side.   Including the Methodist church at the corner of Columbia (and at the bottom of the aerial detail) there were six structures on this east side of Broadway between Marion and Columbia. CLICK TO ENLARGE THE AERIAL PHOTO DETAIL!

On the featured photo of the Marion Street end of the block we have kept the tax record’s address, 832 Broadway, that has been scribbled by the assessor’s staff on the grass.  It is a “family dwelling” with eight rooms built by Jennie and Frederick Hope in 1900.  After her husband’s early demise, she continued to live in the home until her death in 1938. The surely zestful Jennie Hope liked to host all-French parties with no English speaking allowed. She also hosted a salon in her living room for Seattle’s Progressive Thought Club. The Times reported that for the gathering on January 23, 1910, Rev. J.D.O. Powers, a Unitarian minister, addressed the club on “The Purpose of Life.” On March 12, 1912, the Club’s question was equally big: “Why Are We On Earth?” (Regrettably, in neither instance did this newspaper publish any of the Club’s answers.) Jennie Hope also liked to take extensive trips, long enough to offer a few of her rooms for subletting during her absence.

An extension of the card first used in 1937 includes this later look at the
Above: an extension of the card first used in 1937 includes this later look at the Hope Home in 1951, long after both were no longer living.  Below: tax card for funeral home two lots south of the Hope home.
Two doors south of the Hope home, the residence converted for a funeral home first
Two doors south of the Hope home, the residence converted for a funeral home. (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, on the Bellevue Community College Campus)

Funeral-Home-WEb

Although it cannot easily be deciphered in the featured photo at the top, even in the original, there is just left of the Maple tree a neon sign attached to the roof of the porch at 824 Broadway, two doors south of the Hope home. The sign reads F. V. Rasmusson Funeral Home. The mortuary was easily the most reported and promoted of addresses on this east side of the 800 block. In 1942 John Kalin, its new owner-mortician, spread his hegemony by first purchasing the

Some first hill news including an ad for the
Some first hill news including an ad for the “Catholic Funeral Director” John Kalin and his “lady assistant.”   This is clipped from a January 21, 1938 issue of the Spectator, a publication allied to Seattle University. 

larger residence north of his and then the Hope home a few years after Jennie’s death. Kalin advertised his funeral home as Catholic, and his final paid listing in the Times was a “last rosary” for Marcelino Ubaldo Lyco, a WWII veteran. The service was held in the John Kalin Chapel on November 22, 1965. A requiem mass was to follow the next day at St. Mary’s and finally a burial at Washelli Cemetery.

THE OTHER TAXED HOLDINGS ON THIS BROADWAY BLOCK – ONE ONE CHURCH

At 824 Broadway and next door to the Hopes. This tax photo from 1937 and the one below it from
At 828 Broadway, next door to the Hopes. This tax photo is from 1937 and the one below it from 1951. 

828-Broadway-tax-card-1951-WEB

=====

Above: 816 Broadway from 1937. Below: from 1954.
Above: 816 Broadway from 1937. Below: from 1954.

816-broadway-1954-tax-card-WEB

=====

808 Broadway one lots north of the northeast corner of Broadway and Columbia.
808 Broadway one lots north of the northeast corner of Broadway and Columbia.
At least by 1908 the year this classified was printed in The Times, the home at 808 Broadway was divided into flats.
At least by 1908 the year this classified (above) was printed in The Times, the home at 808 Broadway was divided into flats.   Below, in the 1959 tax photo, 808 has four front doors leading from the front porch.  
808 Broadway with the northwest corner of the former home of Westminster Methodist on the right. As the clipping below reveals the church thru its pre-garage life was home to many tenants including the Jehovas Witnesses and the Seattle University Theater named Teatro Inigo.
808 Broadway with the northwest corner of the former home of Westminster Methodist on the right. As the clipping below reveals the church thru its pre-garage life was home to many tenants including the Jehovas Witnesses and the Seattle University Theater named Teatro Inigo.
A Time clipping from April 21, 1962.
A Time clipping from April 21, 1962.

=====

THE LAST TENANT AT 808 BROADWAY – and on it. 

Z-Teatro-Inigo-plays-Noel-Cowards-Blithe-Spirit-WEB-

=====

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  A few mostly neighborhood features, which promises that some of these will repeat others of these this week and earlier and so be familiar to some readers of this blog.   But let us be considerate of those for whom this is somewhat new, also remembering that for our seasoned selves “repetition is the mother of all learning.”

THEN: This detail from the prolific local photographer Asahel Curtis’s photograph of the Smith/Rininger home at the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Summit Avenue dates from the early twentieth century when motorcars, rolling or parked, were still very rare on the streets of Seattle, including these on First Hill. (Courtesy, Historic Seattle)

broadway-widening-1blog

THEN:The front end damage to the white Shepherd Ambulance on the right is mostly hidden behind the black silhouette of either officer Murphy or Lindberg, both of whom answered the call of this morning crash on Feb. 18, 1955.

THEN: Looking across Capitol Hill’s Broadway Avenue during its 1931adjustments. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

childhaven-then-lr

THEN: Harborview Hospital takes the horizon in this 1940 recording. That year, a hospital report noted that "the backwash of the depression" had overwhelmed the hospital's outpatient service for "the country's indigents who must return periodically for treatment." Built in 1931 to treat 100 cases a day, in 1939 the hospital "tries bravely to accommodate 700 to 800 visits a day."

THEN: First Hill’s distinguished Old Colony Apartments at 615 Boren Avenue, 1910.

THEN: Built in 1887, the Minor-Collins Home at the northeast corner of Minor Avenue and Cherry Street was one of the grandest and longest surviving pioneer mansions on First Hill. (Courtesy Historic Seattle)

THEN: At the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Boren Avenue, two of the more ordinary housing stock on First Hill in the 1890s. (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: Built in the early twentieth century at the northeast corner of Jefferson Street and Boren Avenue, Bertha and Frank Gardner’s residence was large but not a mansion, as were many big homes on First Hill. (Courtesy Washington State Museum, Tacoma)

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

sorrento-late-construction-WEB

THEN: The brand new N&K Packard dealership at Belmont and Pike in 1909. Thanks to both antique car expert Fred Cruger for identifying as Packards the cars on show here, and to collector Ron Edge for finding them listed at this corner in a 1909 Post-Intelligencer. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry.)

THEN:

THEN: Faced, in part, with brick veneer and stucco, and opened in 191l, the Comet Apartments at 170 11th Avenue have made it nicely through their first century. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Sometime around 1890, George Moore, one of Seattle’s most prolific early photographers, recorded this portrait of the home of the architect (and Daniel Boone descendent) William E. Boone. In the recently published second edition of Shaping Seattle Architecture, the book’s editor, UW Professor of Architecture Jeffry Karl Ochsner, sketches William E. Boone’s life and career. Ochsner adds, “Boone was virtually the only pre-1889 Fire Seattle architect who continued to practice at a significant level through the 1890s and into the twentieth-century.” (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: The address written on the photograph is incorrect. This is 717 E. Washington Street and not 723 Yesler Way. We, too, were surprised. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/seattle-hight-school-lk-no-thru-pike-on-harvard-mr-then1.jpg?w=1269&h=782

THEN: Revelers pose on the Masonic Temple stage for “A Night in Old Alexandria,” the Seattle Fine Art Societies annual costume ball for 1921. (Pic courtesy of Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink)

THEN: An early portrait, circa 1911, of The Silvian Apartments, one of Capitol Hill’s abiding architectural jewels. (Courtesy, Bill Burden)

THEN: A half-century after they reached the top of First Hill, electric streets cars and cable cars prepare to leave it. (Courtesy, The Museum of History and Industry)

==========

Below: THE 800 BLOCK ON BROADWAY FOOTPRINTS in both the 1908 & 1912 BAIST REAL ESTATE MAPS.  [click to enlarge]

Baist-1908,-800-block-Broadway-grabWEB

Baist-1912,-800-block-Broadway-Grab-web-

=====

CH-Broadway-Auto-Row-w-bubbles-WEB

2 thoughts on “Seattle Now & Then: Row of Houses on Broadway”

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