All posts by jrsherrard

Just a guy, ya know...

Seattle Now & Then: Our first April Fool’s Quiz

(Published in the Seattle Times online on March 28, 2021
and in PacificNW Magazine of the print Times on March 25, 2021 )

Then you see it, now you don’t — our first April Fool’s quiz
By Jean Sherrard

(For those visiting this blog following The Seattle Times link, we offer extra tomfoolery! Perhaps you’ve discovered the editing error in the print edition of the magazine. If so, add a fourth category to our grading rubric: consider yerself a Queen City Queen/King!)

We at “Now & Then” admit that we can be lured into April folly any old day of the year. While fishing the currents of popular history, we occasionally pull in old boots and dogfish. This year, we extend the opportunity to our dear readers to troll along.

Our “Then” photo, looking north at Seattle’s downtown business district, is a revelation. Fearless photographer Frank H. Nowell arranged for an early ride up to the unfinished (and unwalled) 35th-floor observation deck of the famed, pointed Smith Tower. In 1913, one year before the tower opened, Nowell captured this early panorama from the loftiest human-made structure on the West Coast.

Following in his footsteps 108 years later, I repeated the panorama (“Now 1”) and made several telling discoveries — of alteration, misinformation and exaggeration — ideal for an April Fool’s multiple-choice challenge in which we peel back a layer or two of the Smith Tower’s terra-cotta clad onion.

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: This 1913 view is from the Smith Tower’s unfinished 35th-floor observation deck. (Frank Nowell)
NOW 1: This “Goldilocks” view (not too high or too low — just right!) from the Smith Tower’s 35th-floor observation deck has lured generations of photographers. (Jean Sherrard)

Question 1
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

In our primary pair of photos, several decades of growth have obscured the northern prospect. Which of the following can still be seen?

A: The Central Building

B: Queen Anne High School

C: Lake Union

D: The Rainier Club

E: St. James Cathedral

NOW 2: These views looking north along the Second Avenue canyon were taken in 2018 and 2021. In the earlier photo (left), the Needle’s saucer is scaffolded for renovation. (Jean Sherrard)

Question 2
NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK

Our second pair of photos reveals a more recent switcheroo. In a view north along the Second Avenue canyon, the Space Needle has seemingly disappeared. Where has it gone?

A: Magician David Copperfield followed up his Statue of Liberty vanishing act.

B: The Space Needle was returned to the box it came in.

C: Yet another condominium joined the fray.

D: Amazon created a new pop-up Seattle headquarters.

E: Regraded Denny Hill re-emerged to assume its rightful place.

NOW3: Text of a plaque installed at the Smith Tower’s entrance in 1989 is not entirely accurate. It reads: “Seattle’s first skyscraper opened on July 4, 1914. The 42-story Smith Tower was the tallest building outside of New York City and Seattle’s tallest for nearly fifty years. It was built by Lyman Smith of Smith-Corona and Smith & Wesson fame, from Syracuse, New York. Sheathed entirely in terra cotta, the building was designed by the Syracuse firm of Gaggin & Gaggin. In a race to construct Seattle’s tallest building, Smith also hoped to anchor the “Second Avenue Canyon” area as the center of downtown. He died before the tower was completed.” (Jean Sherrard)

Question 3
FISH TALES

At the Smith Tower’s front entrance, a brass plaque has misinformed passersby since 1989. Which of the following statements are not true:

A: Lyman Cornelius Smith was from Syracuse, New York.

B: The Smith Tower is 42 stories tall.

C: Smith was a founding partner of Smith & Wesson.

D: L.C. accumulated much of his wealth manufacturing typewriters.

E: In 1914, Smith Tower was the tallest building outside of New York City.

(scroll down for the correct answers and a grading rubric)

 

 

(keep going)

 

 

(a bit further)

 

 

(Burma Shave!)

 

 

Answers

1: A, D and E

2: C

3: B (even a generous observer counts no more than 38 stories)
C (Horace Smith founded Smith & Wesson) and
E (at 495 feet, Cincinnati’s Union Central Tower was 30 feet taller).

The Rubric

One correct answer: You’re a Mercer Mess
Two correct answers: You’re a Pike Pundit
Three correct answers: You’ve attained Seattle Chill

WEB EXTRAS

For a spectacular 360 degree view from Smith Tower’s 35th floor Observation Deck (along with Jean’s dulcet narration), click on through.

Seattle Now & Then: Before Smith Tower, 1908

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN1: A gaggle of storefronts anchors this view, facing east, of the busy northeast corner of Second and Yesler in 1908. The businesses are (from left) Babcock’s Café and Grill, Alexander Gandolfo’s grocery featuring butter, Bartell’s Owl Drug Store (open day and night!), Nessim Alhadeff’s Palace Market, later Palace Fish and Oyster (likely an Alhadeff stands in the shop’s meat-arched entry), and Joe Dizard’s cigar store. All but the café moved to nearby locations after being demolished. (Courtesy, MOHAI 1983.10.7669.3)
THEN2: (From left) George H. Bartell, Sr. (1868-1956) founded the nation’s oldest family owned drugstore until its sale to Rite-Aid last October. L.C. Smith died at the age of 60 four years before his namesake building was completed. Nessim Alhadeff (1864-1950) was patriarch to another Northwest business and racetrack dynasty, besides helping to establish the largest community of Sephardic Jews outside New York City. Future maritime restauranteur Ivar Haglund (1905-1985), in the lap of father Johan, purchased the Smith Tower for $1.8 million in 1976, famously adorning it with a fish windsock. (Courtesy, Paul Dorpat, Public Domain, and Ivar’s)
NOW: L.C. Smith’s namesake building (1914) claims a dubious 42 stories on a bronze plaque besides its entrance, although the most generous observer would count 38. Originally tarred as ungainly (“a giraffe”, sniffed one critic), steel-framed and clad in white terra cotta, it stands today as a beloved Seattle landmark. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on March 11, 2021
and in PacificNW Magazine of the print Times on March 14, 2021 )

Commercial visionaries meet for a towering talk in 1909
By Jean Sherrard

The place: inside Bartell’s Owl Drugstore on Second Avenue, just north of Yesler Way. The milieu: a lovely evening. This vignette is imagined, but the historical details are factual!

The proprietor arranges a display in his shop window. The entry bell jingles. In walks a well-dressed customer.

Smith: George Bartell, isn’t it?

Bartell: Lyman Cornelius Smith, as I live and breathe. Let me guess. You’re here for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition?

Smith: Indeed. All the way from Syracuse in upstate New York, and well worth the trip. Seattle has surely proven her mettle with this magnificent world’s fair.

Bartell: So what can I do you for, L.C.? Liver pills, trusses? Our new Syrup of Hypophosphates is a fine picker-upper.

Smith: I have news, George. I’ll be turning 60 next year. I’m no Carnegie, but I’ve done all right.

Bartell: Can’t hardly go wrong manufacturing shotguns and typewriters, L.C.

Smith: Truth is, I’m inclined to erect something special right here on this spot. Make my mark.

Bartell: Mighty kind of you to give me notice personally.

Smith: You’ve been here, what, 10 years?

Bartell: Eleven. After my year in the Yukon in ’98.

Smith: Didn’t “pan out,” eh? (He chuckles.) I was thinking 18 stories tall, but my son Burns wants to go higher.

Bartell: Just opened my fourth drug store, L.C. I say go big or go home.

Smith: Which is why I asked my architects — the Gaggins brothers — to up the ante. How’s 42 stories sound?

Bartell whistles appreciatively.

Smith: Tallest building west of the Mississippi. Steel-framed, white terra cotta, my initials carved on every floor.

The bell jingles again. In walks a man in a butcher’s apron. He offers a package.

Man: Two pounds of nice fresh cod for you, George. Just what the doctor ordered.

Bartell: L.C., this is Nessim Alhadeff. Runs the Palace Market next door.

Alhadeff: Sold Mr. Smith oysters a few years back when I first signed the lease. Are rumors true? You will tickle the sky?

Smith (with a laugh): Scrape the clouds, Nessim. And how’s family life?

Alhadeff: My brothers are here working for me now — all from the Isle of Rhodes. My English is still not so good, but getting better.

Yet again, the bell jingles. In walk a man and boy of 4 or 5.

Man: Got anything for an upset tummy? My boy ate too much cotton candy at the fair.

Bartell: Seltzer, maybe?

Man: Say “Thank you,” Ivar.

WEB EXTRAS

For our 360 degree video in living color (and dramatic black and white), narrated by Jean, please click on through here.

Seattle Now & Then: Third Church of Christ, Scientist, ca. 1922

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The Third Church of Christ, Scientist, at the southeast corner of Northeast 50th Street and 17th Avenue Northeast, stands just prior to its 1922 completion. An early member described the nearly $100,000 building as “majestic and yet pure and simple, as is Christian Science itself.” Architect George Foote Dunham also designed Fourth Church (today’s Town Hall). Stained glass in both structures was created by the Povey Brothers of Portland. (courtesy, Third Church of Christ, Scientist)
NOW: Standing before the former Third Church, historian Cindy Safronoff holds a copy of her book, “Dedication: Building the Seattle Branches of Mary Baker Eddy’s Church.” The structure complements the adjoining Greek Row neighborhood, extending several blocks north of the University of Washington. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Feb. 25, 2021
and in PacificNW Magazine of the print Times on Feb. 28, 2021 )

There’s nothing metaphysical about the fate of this once sacred space
By Jean Sherrard

Those with an ecclesiastical bent — or, thanks to Pete Seeger and the Byrds, a rock ’n’ roll penchant — know that for everything there is a season.

These structures understand it viscerally: Seattle’s Town Hall, the Rainier Arts Center in Columbia City and two each called “The Sanctuary,” an event venue in West Seattle’s Admiral District and a luxury townhome complex on Capitol Hill. Designed without overtly religious symbols, these repurposed community gems were built as in the early 20th century by Christian Scientists.

Founded by Boston-based Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), the Christian Science movement emerged in 1879 with a mere 26 followers. Eddy’s metaphysical teachings ignited the fastest growing religion of its time, eventually garnering nearly 270,000 members. Burgeoning congregations enthusiastically erected mostly Classical Revival style churches nationwide, including Seattle.

“With the appearance of the edifice for First Church (on Capitol Hill in 1906), Christian Science became more visible on the city skyline,” recounts church historian Cindy Peyser Safronoff, in her 2020 book “Dedication: Building the Seattle Branches of Mary Baker Eddy’s Church.”

Naturally, local mainline denominations grew wary of the competition. The Rev. Mark A. Matthews, influential pastor of Seattle’s 10,000-strong First Presbyterian Church, lobbed an early slam, labeling Eddy’s teachings “blasphemous, immoral, licentious and murderous.” Despite denunciations, however, Christian Science growth and construction flourished across the city.

Within a hundred years of its founding, Christian Science joined many other churches in turn-turn-turning to a fallow period. Dwindling congregations scarcely could afford upkeep of their “sacred spaces” while land values soared.

Case in point: the former Third Church of Christ, Scientist, shown in this week’s “Then” photo. Designed by Portland architect George Foote Dunham and completed in 1922, it was sold in 2006, the congregation trusting that the new owner – celebrity-attracting megachurch Churchome (then City Church) – would keep the structure intact.

But it is up for sale again, this time with a recently granted demolition permit, raising preservationists’ ire. “Replacing this elegant contributor to the historic Olmsted boulevard would be criminal,” says Larry Kreisman, former Historic Seattle program director. “It’s a perfect candidate for adaptive reuse as a lecture and concert hall or as a community center.”

More such spaces soon may be lost. Churches and other institutions in similar straits, suggests Kreisman, should partner with preservation organizations. “The solution,” he says purposefully, “is creative thinking, brainstorming and a willingness to explore alternative paths.”

Because there’s also a season for preservation.

WEB EXTRAS

Our narrated 360 video will arrive tomorrow! In the meantime, enjoy these interiors, courtesy of Larry Kreisman.

THEN2: The spacious well-lit interior of the Third Church was also designed with acoustics in mind. (Larry Kreisman)
THEN3: The stained-glass windows in Christian Science churches contain few overtly religious symbols. These were fabricated by the Povey Brothers, whose work also adorns Town Hall. (Larry Kreisman)
Stained glass detail. (Larry Kreisman)
THEN4: Early Third Church historian Eileen Gormley noted the windows’ “beautifully shaded and mottled effect in amber and opal.” (Larry Kreisman)

Seattle Now & Then: The Volunteer Park Conservatory, 1938

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: In 1938, one of 10 trainee gardeners waters large hybrid Florist Cyclamen in the Cyclamen House (now the Seasonal Display House) at the Conservatory. Historian Brent McKee has scanned thousands of photos documenting and celebrating the history of the New Deal. Many more can be found on his blog at NDDaily.Blogspot.com and at LivingNewDeal.org. (National Archives, Courtesy Brent McKee)
NOW: Gardener Emily Allsop waters poinsettias in the Conservatory’s Seasonal Display House. The future looks bright, says Friends of the Conservatory President Claire Wilburn. “We hope to reopen in 2021 and will seek to restore connection with all of Seattle’s varied communities.” (Lou Daprile)
The Volunteer Park Conservatory on a rainy day this winter. (Jean Sherrard)

(To be published in the Seattle Times PacificNW Magazine on Feb. 14, 2021)

Grounded in work, hope continues to flower at Volunteer Park
By Jean Sherrard

In the hothouse of our civic life, voices and temperatures keep rising. Resonating for many today is President Ronald Reagan’s  famous sentiment: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help’ ”

However, the gardener watering orchids in our 1938 “Then” photo might have begged to differ.

That decade’s Great Depression, devastating the nation with a 25% unemployment rate, provided fertile ground for the landslide 1932 election victory of visionary new president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. His New Deal programs sparked a revolution, providing millions of federally subsidized jobs for desperate Americans through the Works Project Administration (WPA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and other agencies.

“For Roosevelt,” says New Deal historian Brent McKee, “work relief was preferrable to cash relief. He believed that given the opportunity, most people would choose to work.”

As a result, the Pacific Northwest blossomed with sizeable infrastructure projects, from trails, roads and highways to dozens of schools, libraries, post offices and other public buildings. By itself, an acknowledged granddaddy of New Deal projects, the Grand Coulee Dam in Eastern Washington, ensured many thousands of construction jobs between 1933 and 1942.

But smaller efforts also eased joblessness. Innovative projects offered work to historians, artists and musicians, acknowledging their vital cultural contributions. And in 1938, with WPA sponsorship and a nod to the beauty and solace nurtured by nature, 10 unemployed women were hired by the Volunteer Park Conservatory on Capitol Hill as assistants to head gardener Jacob Umlauff.

“Among their jobs is the task of helping care for [10,000] orchids,” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer noted. The women were “light of touch and long of patience … very handy around such delicate plants.”

After four seasons of intensive training, the program offered each worker “a certificate as a Gardener, with a specialty in orchid culture.” Such a vocation could not have taken root in more fertile grounds.

Modeled after the 1851 Great Exhibition’s Crystal Palace in London, the Conservatory was a jewel in the crown provided by the Olmsted brothers-designed Volunteer Park.

London’s Crystal Palace, 1852

The Seattle Times acclaimed the $50,000 glass-paned structure as “a thing of joy and beauty” and the finest greenhouse west of Chicago.

Still operated by Seattle Parks, the Conservatory has been closed since last April due to the pandemic. But workers keep up its vast orchid collection, donated in 1921 by philanthropist Anna Clise, also founder of Children’s Orthopedic Hospital. It remains one of the nation’s finest.

Thus, while our national debate rages on, inside the steamy glass of the tropical Conservatory, hope continues to flower.

WEB EXTRAS

We are blessed with a selection of extras this week. For our 360 video featuring the Conservatory, click right about here.

Next, more of historian Brent McKee’s generous contributions, scanned at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  The following photos are all from the late 1930s and feature the WPA horticultural training program at the Conservatory.

Lou Daprile, Marketing Coordinator for Friends of the Conservatory, took the selection of lovely “now” photos below to accompany the column. Thanks, Lou!

The Cactus House of the Volunteer Park Conservatory.
A holiday display in the Seasonal House of the Volunteer Park Conservatory
Red anthurium blossoms in the Fern House of the Volunteer Park Conservatory.
Emily Allsop works in the Bromeliad House of the Volunteer Park Conservatory.
The Seattle P-I indulged in flowery, somewhat condescending prose.

Seattle Now & Then: The Pioneer Place Pergola (and Privy), 1910

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Behind the pergola, Henry Yesler’s hallmark Pioneer Building (left, 1890) and the stately flat-iron Seattle Hotel (1891) straddle James Street. The stairway to the park’s luxurious lavatory is seen beneath the pergola at front, near First Avenue. (Webster & Stevens, Paul Dorpat collection)
NOW: A 21-foot extension pole allowed for the capture of a slightly lower prospect. In the 1960s, the red Pioneer Building (behind the trees) became an icon for preservationists who spearheaded creation of the Pioneer Square Historical District in 1970. The Seattle Hotel, infamously demolished in 1961, was replaced with the “sinking ship” parking garage, now squatting below Smith Tower (1914). Reportedly, the sealed-off lavatory still exists but can be accessed only via a utility hole. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Jan. 21, 2021
and in PacificNW Magazine of the print Times on Jan. 24, 2021)

Underground convenience, sheltered from the storm
By Jean Sherrard

From a rooftop vantage in 1910, our “Then” photo looks east to a newly completed cast-iron and glass pergola straddling the triangular city park of Pioneer Place, now Pioneer Square. A collision of junctions charting early settlers’ land disputes, this fertile ground set the stage for Seattle’s future.

After the Great Fire of 1889, a downtown built of brick and stone rapidly rose from the ashes. Prolific architect Elmer Fisher led the charge, designing dozens of buildings in the muscular — and fireproof — Romanesque Revival style.

Taking the lead in 1890 was Henry Yesler’s Pioneer Building, the massive edifice at left. No slouch at right, on the south side of James Street, was the Seattle Hotel, built in 1891 on the flatiron footprint of its destroyed predecessor, the Occidental.

Soon, fueled by coal and gold, adolescent Seattle nearly tripled in population to 237,194 in 1910 from 80,671 in 1900. Improvements in plumbing, electricity and transportation met the expanding need while the city also eagerly planned its coming-out party, the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.

Boosters anticipated visitors from across the globe, many of whom would arrive by train and ship, passing through Pioneer Place, Seattle’s commercial hub. But they sensed that a key convenience was missing.

Their solution — considerate but controversial — was to build a lavishly appointed public lavatory with walls of Alaskan marble, brass fixtures and terrazzo floors. To welcome the expected hordes, the vision was to bury it at Pioneer Place and cover its stairwell entrance with a graceful, Victorian-style pergola that would double as a shelter for streetcar passengers.

A flurry of letters and editorials erupted. Many lamented potential loss of the tiny greensward. Others forecast yet another promotional feather in the city’s cap. In the end, fans of the commodious “comfort station” won the debate, and excavation began.

The dig yielded an intriguing archeological find. Newspapers breathlessly reported the unearthing of Henry Yesler’s 1852 sawmill foundations, west of the Pioneer Building where his first home once stood.

The lavatory and pergola, designed by architect Julian Everett, proved late for the dance, opening Sept. 23, 1909, mere weeks before the exposition closed. But naysayers fell silent when the underground toilets proved immensely popular, averaging more than 5,000 flushes a day.

The palatial privy survived until the late 1940s, when it was abandoned and capped off forever. The pergola, however, endured. Intermittently ravaged by rust, earthquakes and errant trucks, it has been restored repeatedly over the years and continues to serve as a reservoir of history and shelter from the storm.

WEB EXTRAS

What a treat! One of those rare occasions in which Jean uses his 21′ extension pole. Its full length must be seen to be believed. Check out our 360 video for proof.

And these just in! Our longtime column partner, photo historian Ron Edge, sends along two photos, which more precisely illustrate the entrances to the palatial loo.

Also, we present a floor plan for the underground restroom, a 1970s view of its deteriorated state, and a Seattle Times photo of the excavation prior to construction of the “sinking ship” garage nearby.

The Pioneer Place pergola on a foggy day. Note the fenced stairwells leading to the underground toilets. (MOHAI)
Detail of a stairwell – the west side for “women only.” (MOHAI)
This floor plan for the underground restroom is from David Williams’ blog GeologyWriter.com by way of theater historian David Jeffers.
This 1970s image of the vandalized restroom appeared in an Oct. 27, 1996, centennial section of the Seattle Times: https://special.seattletimes.com/o/special/centennial/october/saving.html
Excavation prior to construction of “sinking ship” garage, Sept. 2, 1961, Seattle Times, page 3.

Seattle Now & Then: The Jackson Street Regrade, 1908

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: To accommodate fill dirt expected from the Jackson Street regrade, pre-existing structures like these hotels near the southeast corner of Sixth and Weller were lifted by their owners onto posts. After the regrade, the incline between Twelfth and Fifth avenues was reduced to less than 5% grade from the previous 15%. This photo was taken on May 20, 1908, halfway through the project. (Lewis & Wiley, courtesy Ron Edge)
NOW: Shoppers line a walkway between Fifth and Sixth avenues in the Chinatown-International District in early December 2020. Photo historian Ron Edge positions the “Then” hotels just inside the walls of today’s Uwajimaya Village at right. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Jan. 7, 2021
and in PacificNW Magazine of the print Times on Jan. 10, 2021)

Sluicing away Jackson Street to unclog the city’s future arteries
By Jean Sherrard

Long before becoming a student of Seattle history, I had a recurring (and oddly unsettling) dream of hiking an unbroken ridge between First Hill and Beacon Hill. Were it not for Reginald Heber Thomson (1856-1949), our city’s current topography may have matched my dreamscape.

THEN 2: Reginald H. Thomson, Seattle city engineer, in 1905. (courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)

When Thomson first stepped onto Seattle docks on Sept. 25, 1881, he told a friend that the city was built in a hole and he meant to dig it out. The 25-year-old’s ambition might have been attributed to youthful exuberance, but in the decades to come, his words would prove prophetic. Appointed city engineer in 1892, Thomson began by installing water and sewage infrastructures (still in use today) before attacking Seattle’s hills and valleys.

Notes David Williams in his masterful 2015 history of Seattle topography “Too High and Too Steep,” to Thomson “a functioning city was like a human body.” He insisted that “enlarging and improving what he called the city’s arteries” was vital to Seattle’s future health.

A view from lost Denny Hill, looking north to Magnolia

Picturesque piles of glacial deposit — like Denny Hill north of downtown — were, in Thomson’s view “an offense to the public,” interrupting the free flow of traffic. In 1898, the hill’s decapitation commenced, using hydraulic hoses (called “giants”) to liquify and sluice away the moraine.

One of the “giants” in action (courtesy Ron Edge)

When Rainier Valley residents complained that the Jackson Street incline’s steep 15% grade obstructed access to Seattle’s business district, Thomson lent a sympathetic ear. Intrigued by their initial suggestion to tunnel through the hill, he eventually advanced a “far cheaper and far better” solution — utter removal. “Every house and every garden and every street” in the affected areas might be lost, but he judged the sacrifice necessary to make municipal headway.

Looking east from the corner of Weller and Maynard

In May 1907, the hydraulic giants began their work. Enormous pumps fed up to 25 million gallons of salt and fresh water daily to their pressurized hoses, expelling a thousand cubic yards of dirt during each eight-hour shift.

Another view looking west from Eighth and Weller

Completed in December 1909, the Jackson Street project covered the largest surface area of all Seattle regrades: 56 blocks in total, with 29 lowered and 27 raised. More than three million cubic yards of dirt were moved, lowering Ninth and Jackson by 85 feet and raising Sixth and Weller by about 30.

My recurring dream may harbor some whiff of lost geography, yet the force of R.H. Thomson’s vision resides. While often trading natural beauty for an engineer’s expedience, his straightened, flattened, stretched Seattle provided a blank canvas for cityscapes to come.

WEB EXTRAS

To see our Now & Then featured in spectacular 360 video, along with an audio narration by Jean, click here.

A few more regrade-themed spectacles below:

A western view of the regrade, with King Street station’s clock tower just right of center

Seven Gables burning…

The Seven Gables Theater in flames on Christmas Eve, 2020

Was just emptying my spam filter and found this stunning photo shared by historian Kurt E. Armbruster.

Kurt comments: “We live just a couple of blocks away and Cedar saw a big puff of smoke, so I grabbed my phone and dashed over. Quite a spectacle. Sorry to see it go, but it was going anyway.”

‘Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred’ – still available for last minute gifting!

 

A quick reminder for column friends and fans: our prize-winning collection of ‘Seattle Now & Then’ columns (published in November 2018) is still available!

We’ve only got a few copies signed by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard on hand, but they’re ready to be inscribed with a personal note and mailed out as last minute gifts.

Any questions, contact Jean directly at seattlenowandthen@gmail.com.

Here’s how to order

Another Rogue’s Christmas Carol at Town Hall, Sunday 2PM

Join us for our 13th annual Rogue’s Christmas in a live reading of Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ – this year featuring Seattle’s favorite Scrooge, Kurt Beattie, as well as Marianne Owen, Julie Briskman and Jean Sherrard.

Also, through the magic of video, Paul Dorpat sings ‘The Little Birdie Song’ not to mention a special pre-recorded appearance of our house band Pineola.

For more information, click on through:

A Rogue’s Christmas 2020 (livestream)