Seattle Now & Then: John Stamets’ Pike Place Market Portrait

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Most likely many readers will remember – and some can also stand on their proof – when the Market paved its Arcade with new “name tiles” funded by the thousands of preservationist that purchased them. Note the banner promoting the $35 tiles. Stamets recorded this on May 25, 1986 during the Market Street Fair. (Courtesy, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, John Stamets Collection, UW38733)
NOW: The larger high-rise changes are to the east, to the far side of First Avenue.

This coming Thursday August 17th, John Stamets’ 1986 panorama looking east on Pike Street from the Pike Place Market, printed here, will be exhibited in the Market from 6:30-8:30 PM near where Jean Sherrard took his contemporary parallel earlier this summer.  A mere thirty-one years separate John’s and Jean’s subjects where Pike Street elbows north into Pike Place. We have chosen this subject in part to honor our brilliant old friend whose civic record of photographic achievements was well chosen and utterly unique.  John Stamets died suddenly on the weekend of June 7-8 2014, near his office and basement laboratory in the University of Washington’s Gould Hall where he had been teaching architectural photography for many years.

The featured photo at the top – looking east from the market’s philanthropic pig – appears on page sixty-five of John’s 1987 book “Portrait Of A Market.”  Although now out of print, you may find a used copy with a little web exploring. All of the book’s seventy-three subjects are pans recorded with his Widelux camera, and each takes its own page.  This leaves room for the often evocative captions authored by Steve Dunnington, whom the book’s publisher, Cathy Hillenbrand of The Real Comet Press, explains is a “journalist and co-owner of the Pike Place Market newsstand.”  Thirty years ago or so,

Four-fifths of the creative star that revealed the wide-angle market in 1987. They are, left-to-right, Ed Marquand, Suzanne Kotz, the publisher Cathy Hillenbrans, and Steve Dunnington, the author and market newsman who wrote the book’s captions. . John Stamets is shown directly below in a market portrait recorded by his friend Skip Kerr.  In the photo, John is pointing with his right toe to his name tile in the market arcade. It dates  from 1986, the time of the book’s production. John’s  Widelux hangs from his neck.
John Stamets by Skip Kerr

you may have bought a publication from him here at the southwest corner of what remains one of Seattle’s most cherished landmarks: the intersection of First Avenue and Pike Street.  On the Thursday afternoon of August 17, both Dunnington and Hillenbrand will be on hand to share in what is also the Market’s 110th Anniversary Celebration.

I first met John Stamets in the 1970s on Capitol Hill, we then both rented apartments on 13th Avenue.  John, a Yale graduate, was then the progressive tabloid Seattle Sun’s last editor and also its last photographer.  Among his many projects that followed were an elaborate colored survey of “Flesh Avenue,” the name sometimes used for First Avenue south of the Market before its gentrification, a masterful collection of portraits of his riders when he was driving a cab, and the oversized record of the business district through its changes in the 1980s and after.  John was also famous for his serendipitous knack for recording the unannounced 1987 collapse of the new construction on the Husky Stadium (he was biking by) and the fall of the Hammering Man at the somewhat new Seattle Art Museum’s entrance in 1991.

John Stamet’s Widelux Negatives as boxed and marked in the UW Library Special Collections.

This coming Thursday’s unique tour begins at 6:30 pm in in the Market Arcade. (Here is a link, www.pikeplacemarket.org/stametsexhibit  hashtag: #StametsExhibit.)  Each of the twenty featured subjects will be attended and interpreted by a member of the sponsoring organizations, including Friends of the Market, the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority, and the King Conservation District.   Later this year, the selected Stamets Market panoramas will be put on permanent exhibit in the Market Commons, part of the new addition on the west side of Western Avenue.

John Stamets by Davis Freeman

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  Yup Jean and more of the similar, although Ron Edge’s excavations from recent blog contributions (about the market and such) will need to wait on his rising to, we hope, a wet Sunday the 13th.  Meanwhile here follows some old features from the neighborhood.  (Thanks for your stirring Meridian Street block party this Sat. the 12th..  Did you have time to also take some snaps of that joyful congregating of North Green Lake familiars and visiting friends Berangere, our fellow blogger, and her family?)

[Ron is awake, while I am off again to nighty-bears.  The champion of that aka good-night, Bill Burden, is also in town this weekend for visits with Berangere and her family, and tasting Jean’s roasted duck at  the Sherrard’s welcoming banquet on the elegant roof of their garage on Friday last.  So here follows, and just in time, Ron’s links to recent posts.]

pmarket-n-arcade-30s-then-mr

THEN: Mark Tobey, almost certainly Seattle’s historically most celebrated artist, poses in the early 1960s with some Red Delicious apples beside the Sanitary Market in the Pike Place Market. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Hotel York at the northwest corner of Pike Street and First Avenue supplied beds on the American Plan for travelers and rooms for traveling hucksters. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: A circa 1920 look north along the tiled roofline of the Pike Place Market’s North Arcade, which is fitted into the slender block between Pike Place, on the right, and Western Avenue, on the left. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

Montana-Horse-Meat-MR-THEN

THEN: Looking south from the Schwabacher Wharf to the Baker Dock and along the Seattle waterfront rebuilt following the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Steel beams clutter a freshly regraded Second Avenue during the 1907 construction of the Moore Theatre. The view looks north toward Virginia Street.

THEN: An early-20th-century scene during the Second Avenue Regrade looks east into its intersection with Virginia Avenue. A home is being moved from harm's way, but the hotel on the hill behind it would not survive the regrade's spoiling. Courtesy of Ron Edge.

THEN: The five buildings shown here on the west side of Third Avenue south of Virginia Street have endured with few changes since the ‘then’ photo was snapped in 1936. The exception is the smallest, far-right, the Virginian Tavern now stripped for an open garage at Third’s southwest corner with Virginia Street. The six-story Hardon Hall Apartments, at the center of the five, was renovated in 2006 for low-income housing by the Plymouth Housing Group.

THEN: Sometime between early December 1906 and mid-February 1907 an unnamed photographer with her or his back about two lots north of Pike Street recorded landmarks on the east side of Third Avenue including, in part, the Washington Bar stables, on the right; the Union Stables at the center, a church converted for theatre at Pine Street, and north of Pine up a snow-dusted Denny Hill, the Washington Hotel. (Used courtesy of Ron Edge)

belltown-moran-then

THEN: Seattle Architect Paul Henderson Ryan designed the Liberty Theatre around the first of many subsequent Wurlitzer organs used for accompanying silent films in theatres “across the land”. The Spanish-clad actor-dancers posed on the stage apron are most likely involved in a promotion for a film – perhaps Don Q, Son of Zorro (1925) or Douglas Fairbanks’ The Gaucho (1929) that also played at the Liberty. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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)

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: In 1910, a circa date for this look north on First Avenue across Virginia Street, the two corners on the east side of the intersection were still undeveloped – except for signs. The Terminal Sales Building, seen far right in Jean Sherrard’s repeat, did not replace the billboards that crowd the sidewalk in the “then” until 1923. (Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: The Pike Place Market’s irregular block shapes and bluff-side topography joined to create a multi-level campus of surprising places, such as this covered curve routing Post Alley up into the Market. Here, in 1966, the “gent’s” entrance to Seattle’s first Municipal Rest Room (1908) is closed with red tape and a sign reading “Toilet room, closed temporarily for repairs.” The Market was then generally very much in need of repair. (by Frank Shaw, courtesy, Mike Veitenhans)

THEN: The 1974 fire at the Municipal Market Building on the west side of Western Avenue did not hasten the demise of the by then half-century old addition of the Pike Place Market. It had already been scheduled for demolition. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

 

=======

The Post Alley curve by Frank Shaw, May 1, 1966.

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

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