All posts by jrsherrard

Just a guy, ya know...

Seattle Now & Then: Visiting Big Ben

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Built between 1843 and 1858, London’s landmark Great Clock, aka Big Ben, being dressed in 1955 for its restoration.
NOW: Jean Sherrard has taught writing and drama at Bellevue’s Hillside Student Community School for many years. Since 1998 he has also guided cadres of its older students on summer tours of London and Paris – in that order. Frances Alls, one of the ten students in this group, reflects, “It’s magical. You feel like you’re in a story.”

Through its thirty-seven years, this is surely the furthest from First and Yesler that our weekly feature, ordinarily about regional heritage, has ventured. Reaching 443-feet above the River Thames is the Elizabeth Tower.  On both our “now and then” occasions this neo-Gothic landmark has been exceptionally dressed for make-overs.  Two of the four faces for its tenants, the Great Clock and Big Ben, perhaps the world’s most famous chiming and yet cracked bell, can be seen through the restoration scaffolding of 1955. That was one year before the creation of London’s Clean Air Act.

I remember well pointing my borrowed Leica to record this London landmark sixty-three years ago.  I was touring Europe with sixteen rolls of Kodachrome slide film, donated by a Spokane drugstore merchant, and about thirty-five other Northwest teens, “donated” by their parents.  We were all delegates headed for a ten-day YMCA-YWCA conference in Paris.  We were selected by discerning adults who were especially encouraged by other adults: those who could afford to send us, our parents.  The conference responsibilities were preluded by a five-week tour of Europe that began here in London.

For our London visit in 1955 we lodged at the Croydon YMCA. The windows are open for the heat I remember and yet we for the most part are wearing our light cotton jackets as testimony to our entourage. The walking group  on the sidewalk represents about half of our excited force.

Jean Sherrard sent me his Westminster/London repeat a mere two days after he served for family and friends one or two of his exceptionally tender rotisserie chickens at teh Sherrard family home near the north shore of Green Lake.  Dodging some overhanging foliage Jean recorded his splendid portrait of Great Britain’s Big Ben from nearly the same spot where I also photographed that chiming clock sixty-three years earlier.

A century ago a popular guide to London.    I started collecting books on London about 30 years ago. Do you have any?  She we trade?

If memory serves, in 1955 it took us twenty-one days aboard the Orsova, flagship for the Orient Lines, to reach London from Vancouver B.C. via the Panama Canal.  I remember well the two on-deck swimming pools. Also, any passenger could enjoy both teatime tables slathered with pastries and the sometimes splashing tables of the captain’s cocktail hours.  The freedom and frivolity of this drinking was entirely new to us Northwest innocents, who were more likely to find our guarding chaperones in attendance than the Orsova’s smiling Captain.

Here far left  on the distant Horizon photographed from St. Paul’s Cathedral are Westminster Cathedral with its twin towers, the Parliament Building, farthest to the left, and the restoration-construction-clad Big Ben.

The Paris Conference itself was often neglected by an inexpensive attraction: walking the streets of Paris.  Jean will be carrying with him one or more of my Paris pictures from 1955 for possible repetition.  (Assuredly these other “thens” will not be of conference subjects.) However, Jean’s Paris “now” will, no doubt, include the same entourage of the Hillside Students he has posed in this London “now.”

BELOW: A Few of the Stock LONDON subjects I took in 1955.

The TOWER of LONDON
ST. PAUL’S
BUCKINGHAM PALACE 1955
WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL 1955

I am thinking of their luggage. I remember what a limited wardrobe we carried with and on us in 1955. By the time we reached Paris, many of us were committed to the Lederhosen, or leather shorts we had purchased in Germany. In Paris Jean’s Hillside students may use a Parisian runway for a showing of their Northwest wardrobe.

WEB EXTRAS

A few things to add, I’m thinking. Some more shots from Paul’s 1955 trip (above), and I’ll include a few photos taken on our school trip.

We discovered upon our arrival in London that Rodin’s magnificent ‘Burghers of Calais’ sculpture, usually in Victoria Tower Park next to Westminster, had been temporarily moved for a special Rodin exhibition. Hillside students attempted a repeat on the empty plinth:

The original Rodin sculpture in situ…
Our student repeat…
‘Burghers’ detail

And now a selection from the rest of our trip…

Ice cream along the Serpentine with Christo
Another view of the Big Ben repair job, just before visiting parliament
A look at Big Ben from the London Eye
The view from atop St. Paul’s Cathedral, looking south. The reconstruction of the Globe Theatre can be found just to the left of the Millennium Bridge
Looking west from the top of St. Paul’s
Trafalgar Square this July
St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a shrine to great music
Posing before, adjacent and upon a Trafalgar Square lion

=====

======

I found this in my computer, but I’m sure that I did not record it. I suspect that Genevieve McCoy did. She visited London in 2007, and as a sometimes helpful friend and student-collector of London subjects I surely wanted to preserve it for occasions or opportunities like this.  Now I wonder is the man in the lower-right corner singing a hymn or leading a tour.   Perhaps he is yawning or sees the mouse.  I’ll have to ask.  . 

Seattle Now & Then: Where REI was Born, 1938

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: In February 1938, the fabled “REI house” stands next to a 1937 Ford Standard slant-back sedan. (Photo from Puget Sound Regional Branch, Washington State Archives)
Topped by a Seattle Rainiers hat, 51-year-old Bobby Whittaker, who was named for his dad’s mountain-climbing friend Robert F. Kennedy, poses with his terrier mix Abby in the driveway of the barn-red former home of REI founders Lloyd and Mary Anderson. The prospect is slightly southwest of our “then” to elude greenery and reveal the original porch and its overhang. (Photo by Clay Eals)

It may be fitting that a bluff on Gatewood Hill in West Seattle, close to Seattle’s highest point, gave birth to a mountainous retail giant that helped put our city on the map – the co-op we all know as REI. The firm took shape on the west face of that bluff inside a modest, wood-frame home erected at the beginning of the Depression, perhaps teaching us that good things (or successful businesses) can sprout from small packages.

The Tax card for 4326 S.W. Southern St. , Feb. 24, 1938  (Click to ENLARGE)
SEATTLE TIMES clipping from May 17, 1925 extolling Gatewood Gardens.

The dwelling, at 4326 S.W. Southern St., just west of California Avenue, was the only “improvement” on its otherwise forested block when built by just-married transit worker Lloyd Anderson and teacher Mary Anderson in 1932.

That decade, as thousands fell into relief or took government jobs and others unionized and leaned left, the thrifty Lloyd, a “pocket socialist,” avid climber and leader of the 30-year organization called the Mountaineers, took a seemingly inconsequential step. Aided by Mary’s knowledge of German and frustrated by middleman-inflated stateside prices of up to $20, he ordered an ice axe directly from Austria. By mail from the other hemisphere, the storied tool cost a mere $3.50.


Frank Shaw, the photographer of this Sept. 21, 1969 recording of the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and Pine Street, was an avid member of the Mountaineers and an early customer for REI gear. Surely Shaw took this as much for the second floor headquarters for Recreational Equipment Cooperative as for the more famous, at the time, Green Apple Pie Cafe below it far-right..

“The news spread like wildfire through the rebel ranks,” according to Harvey Manning’s detailed 1988 history REI: 50 Years of Climbing Together. Purchases of crampons, pitons, carabiners and hiking foods snowballed. The Anderson cottage took on the persona of a warehouse, leading the couple to found the mail-order Recreational Equipment Cooperative in 1938, the same year as our “then” view.

While REI later anchored storefronts downtown and on Capitol Hill, many in Seattle’s climbing community passed through the Andersons’ unassuming doors, including Jim Whittaker, who grew up nearby and in 1955 signed on as REI’s first full-time employee and ascended to CEO. As the first American to summit Mount Everest, in 1963, he became – and remains – REI’s most famous face.

Another Frank Shaw photo of his climbing friends. Here the often elevated Mountaineers begin gathering at 608 First Avenue for a basement exploration of Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour on February 17, 1973.  The hardy group is prepared for mid-winter temperature’s but are they also ready for Speidel’s heated history of Seattle-Under-Seattle?

After Lloyd died in 2000 at age 98, Mary sold their home to a developer who intended to raze it but pulled out after 9/11. Neighbors purchased the parcel in 2002, colorfully restoring the residence’s front end, floorboards and basement while adding reverse shed dormers and a cupola, eventually adorning the property with three more houses and a shared garden. (Mary, who died last year at age 107, spent her sunset years in a Green Lake retirement home.)

The compound that is now dubbed Anderson Gardens will host the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s annual fundraising “If These Walls Could Talk” tour this afternoon – at noon (for VIPs) and 2 p.m. The insights to be shared by Jim Whittaker’s son, Bobby, and a peak experience.

FOR TOUR DETAILS AND TICKETS: visit loghousemuseum.org.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  Certainly Jean more features mostly from the West Seattle neighborhood, and Ron Edge and I welcome you home after your three weeks in Europe with students of Hillside.

THEN: The clerk in the city's old Engineering Vault attends to its records. Now one of many thousands of images in the Seattle Municipal Archives, this negative is dated Jan. 30, 1936. (Check out www.cityofseattle.net/cityarchives/ to see more.)

THEN: Included among the several detailed photos taken for the Bernards of their new and yet rustic Fir Lodge, was this one of the living room with its oversized fireplace and the piano on which Marie, their older daughter, learned to play well enough to concertize. (Courtesy Doris Nelson)

THEN: Looking southeast from above Alki Avenue, the Schmitz Park horizon is serrated by the oldest trees in the city. The five duplexes clustered on the right were built 1919-1921 by Ernest and Alberta Conklin. Ernest died in 1924, but Alberta continued to live there until well past 1932, the year this photograph was recorded. (Seattle Municipal Archives.)

THEN: Built in 1893, West Seattle School kept teaching until ruined by the region’s 1949 earthquake. (Courtesy Michael Maslan)

THEN: The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge was built on a road, in a neighborhood, and near a public school all named for the developer Carlisle Gatewood, who also lived in the neighborhood. The three women posing in the third floor’s open windows are the Clark sisters, Jean, Dorothy and Peggy, members of the family that moved into the home in the late 1930s.

THEN: In 1852 many of Seattle’s first pioneers removed from Alki Point by dugout canoe for the deeper and safer harbor along the east shore of Elliott Bay (our central waterfront). About a half-century later any hope or expectation that the few survivors among these pioneers could readily visit Alki Beach and Point by land were fulfilled with the timber quays and bridges along Spokane Street. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: The Seattle Times in its lengthy coverage of the then new Seattle Steel in the paper’s Magazine Section for Sept. 10, 1905 – the year this photograph was recorded – noted that “the plant itself is a series of strong, substantial, cavernous sheds, built for use, not for beauty.” (Courtesy, MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Totem Place, at 1750 Palm Ave. S.W., was home for Joseph Standley proprietor of Ye Old Curiosity Shop on Colman Dock. His death notice in The Seattle Times for Oct. 25, 1940 described the 86-year-old “Daddy” Standley as “almost as much a part of Seattle’s waterfront as the waves that dash again the seaweall.”

THEN: Looking into West Seattle’s Junction and north on California Ave. SW to its intersection with SW Alaska Street in 1941. The Hamm Building, is seen above the light-colored car, and the Campbell Building is at right, behind the G.O. Guy Drugs sign.

Hanson-St.-ca.-1913-THEN

KENNY-HOME-then-mr

THEN: Between the now lost tower of the Pioneer Building, seen in part far left, and the Seattle Electric Steam Plant tower on the right, are arranged on First and Railroad Avenues the elaborate buzz of business beside and near Seattle’s Pioneer Square ca. 1904.

THEN: Twenty years ago the Mukai Farm and Garden on Vashon Island was designated a King County Landmark. (Courtesy, Vashon Maury Island Heritage Association)

======

======

======

PLEASE CLICK TWICE to enlarge for reading

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

Priscilla Long and Greg Lange at the northeast corner of Meridian Street North and North 45th Avenue on August 9, 2008. These Historylink stalwarts are both Wallingford residents often given to doing their editing and writing in cafes on 45th Street.

======

Seattle Now & Then: South Alaskan Way, 1939

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Between 1919 and 1929 this open section of Railroad Avenue (South Alaskan Way) was interrupted with a viaduct for electric trollies carrying workers to the shipyards on Harbor Island. In 1953 an Alaskan Way viaduct returned again, a concrete elevated, which, again, hid Elliott Bay from the Pioneer Square Historic District. Now the waterfront is about to be freed again from its largest polluting obstruction. (Courtesy, Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard)
NOW: While trying to hide his early evening shadow behind the red traffic cone on the left, Jean waited for a car to come along. His point is well taken. The northbound traffic behind the cones is recently opened again for moving vehicles to Colman Dock for ferry loading.

The unnamed photographer of this week’s snapshot had a target – the two billboards standing center-left.  With about seven hundred other 5×7 inch negatives, this exquisite record is preserved in a collection of subjects made for Foster and Kleiser, once the west coast’s biggest billboard company. The collection includes billboards raised to rented roofs, built on leased lots, and attached to buildings with sides sturdy enough to support them.  Of course most of these well-watched and exposed sites stand beside busy arterials.  The handwritten caption for this negative, not printed here, locates the two billboards, one for “Best Bet’s Buick,” and the other for Coca Cola, as standing on South Alaskan Way, “75 feet s. of Washington.”

The viaduct for trucks and motorcars that we are about to lose for fresher air was preceded by a trestle for trolleys. It ran from the foot Washington Street to Spokane Street where it turned west  for West Seattle.  Here we see if from its curve at the foot of Washington Street.  (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)

The featured company evidence (aka billboard) was recorded on the sunny afternoon of September 26, 1939, when South Alaskan Way was one of the favored arterials for avoiding the Central Business District.  By 1939 most of Alaskan Way (aka Railroad Avenue) had been filled behind a seawall and paved with bricks or blacktop.

The well-windowed buildings along the east side of Alaskan Way have made it difficult for billboards to cover the buildings constructed there in the decade after the city’s Great Fire of 1889.  The 30-plus block conflagration destroyed the waterfront as far north as University Street and so all of this neighborhood included.  Here the fire claimed the City Dock and Ocean Dock, both of them built in the early 1880 when Seattle first took hold of its status as Washington Territory’s metropolis.  The Great Fire also took the King Street Trestle (1878) that served the coal colliers from San Francisco, which preferred Seattle’s coal to California’s, and it

While most of the billboard collection shows them in their wide-angle environs, some of the negatives were direct records of the framed boards.

consumed Yesler’s Wharf which had been the pioneer pivot for Seattle commerce and its diverse fleet of small “Mosquito Fleet” steamers.   The Coastwise dock on the far right was one of the two

Alaskan Way Viaduct under construction looking north from near Washington Street on Nov. 5, 1951. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
Looking south from near Washington Street. (by Lawton Gowey)

long finger piers built near the foot of Yesler Way that flaunted Seattle’s prosperity following the Yukon Gold Rush in the late 1890s,  The city first outfitted the “argonaut” panhandlers with the stuff needed get the gold and then on their return happily helped them get rid of it.

We expect – and hope – that Pacific readers will remember that with this weekly feature we have already made good use of the billboard collection. I confess, that it is unlike me to purchase anything, largely because there are many free resources, but also because I rarely make anything.  This collection, however, was worth it. The cost was $700 or about a dollar a negative.  Like this one on Alaskan Way, most date from the Great Depression, the 1930s.  With a few exceptions that were shot in Everett and Bellingham, all were recorded to the sides of Seattle’s busy streets.  You may expect more.

Before the viaduct was opened to motorcars in the Spring of 1953, the Department of Transportation invited photographers and others to hike the length of it. This was photographed either by Lawton Gowey or Robert Bradley. On this subject their slides were mixed. The photographers (and more)  were friends in the Seattle Camera Club.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys?  Yes Jean as is our usual stunt we will pile on past scans from The Sunday Times “now and then” feature that appears usually on the back cover of its weekly ‘zine,  PacificNW.   This week the pile reaches 66 aka SIXTY-SIX features.  (That  is – so far – 66 out of about 1800.)  And just now!  With a phone call from Paris sent by Jean we have learned that he took a video of the historic hail storm that he and his students just ducked in Paris on one of its unseasonably hot days last week.   We will continue to encourage him to include it on the blog as our first striking weather review.

THEN: 1934 was one of the worst years of the Great Depression. This look north on Third Avenue South through Main Street and the Second Avenue South Extension was recorded on Thursday, April 19th of that year. Business was generally dire, but especially here in this neighborhood south of Yesler Way where there were many storefront vacancies. (Courtesy Ron Edge)

THEN: Sitting on a small triangle at the odd northwest corner of Third Avenue and the Second Ave. S. Extension, the Fiesta Coffee Shop was photographed and captioned, along with all taxable structures in King County, by Works Progress Administration photographers during the lingering Great Depression of the late 1930s. (Courtesy, Washington State Archive’s Puget Sound Branch)

THEN: An Emergency Relief Administration wood pile took temporary quarters on the southeast corner of S. Alaska Street and 32nd Ave. S. in 1934. (Courtesy, Northwest Collection, University of Washington Libraries.)

THEN:In late 1855 the citizens of Seattle with help from the crew of the Navy sloop-of-war Decatur built a blockhouse on the knoll that was then still at the waterfront foot of Cherry Street. The sloop’s physician John Y. Taylor drew this earliest rendering of the log construction. (Courtesy, Yale University, Beinecke Library)

THEN: Between the now lost tower of the Pioneer Building, seen in part far left, and the Seattle Electric Steam Plant tower on the right, are arranged on First and Railroad Avenues the elaborate buzz of business beside and near Seattle’s Pioneer Square ca. 1904.

THEN: Frank Shaw’s pre-preservation visit to First Avenue South on February 26, 1961. He looks north from Main Street. (photo by Frank Shaw)

When compared to most city scenes relatively little has changed in his view west on Main Street from First Avenue South in the century-plus between them. (Historical photo courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

tHEN: An unidentified brass band poses at the intersection of Commercial Street (First Ave S.) and Main Street during the 1883 celebration for the completion of the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad.

THEN: This post-1889 waterfront block of sheds and ships was replaced in 1911 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Dock, described at the time as “the largest wooden finger pier in North America.” The exception was Fire Station No. 5 on the left at the foot of Madison Street. A brick station replaced it in 1913. (Museum of History & Industry)

THEN: The S. S. Suveric makes a rare visit to Seattle in 1911. (Historical photo courtesy of Jim Westall)

THEN: The new sub H-3 takes her inaugural baptism at the Seattle Construction and Dry Dock Company’s ways on Independence Day, 1913. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: The driver, lower left, leads his team towards First Avenue up a planked incline on Madison Street. (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: Following the city’s Great Fire of 1889, a trestle was built on University Street, between Front Street (First Avenue) and Railroad Avenue (Alaskan Way). By the time Lawton Gowey photographed what remained of the timber trestle in 1982, it had been shortened and would soon be razed for the Harbor Steps seen in Jean Sherrard’s repeat. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Seen here in 1887 through the intersection of Second Avenue and Yesler Way, the Occidental Hotel was then easily the most distinguished in Seattle. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Depression-era protestors climb Columbia Street sidewalk along-aside Seattle architect Harlan Thomas’s elegant Seattle landmark that opened in 1925 as home to the by then already forty-three year old Seattle Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: From boxcars and rooftops to the planks of Railroad Avenue, excitement builds for the ceremonial re-enactment of the S.S.Portland’s 1897 landing with its “ton of gold” on the Seattle waterfront, the city’s first Golden Potlatch Celebration. [Courtesy, Michael Maslan]

THEN: The original for this scene of a temporary upheaval on Mill Street (Yesler Way) was one of many historical prints given to the Museum of History and Industry many years ago by the Charles Thorndike estate. Thorndike was one of Seattle’s history buffs extraordinaire. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry.)

THEN:Ruins from the fire of July 26, 1879, looking west on Yesler’s dock from the waterfront. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: F. Jay Haynes recorded this ca. 1891 look up the Seattle waterfront and it’s railroad trestles most likely for a report to his employer, the Northern Pacific Railroad. (Courtesy, Murray Morgan)

THEN: This view looking east from First Avenue South on Jackson Street in 1904, is still four years short of the Jackson Street Regrade during which the distant horizon line near 9th Avenue was lowered by more than 70 feet. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Phoenix Hotel on Second Avenue, for the most part to the left of the darker power pole, and the Chin Gee Hee Building, behind it and facing Washington Street to the right, were both built quickly after Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy: Museum of History and Industry.)

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

======

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

======

======

=====

======

Seattle Now & Then: The Rozellna Apartments

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: A 1937-38 tax photo looking east across Boren Avenue and showing, shows three diverse constructions, all of them in 1600 block. (Courtesy, Stan Unger)
NOW: Of the three, only the Olive Tower, on the left, survived the building of the Seattle Freeway in the mid-1960s.

The date inscribed by hand at the bottom of this subject indicates that this is another tax photo. It is one of a few thousand prints rescued from the “circular file” of the tax assessor’s office more that a half-century ago.  The savior was Stan Unger, then a young municipal employee with an interest in local history and its architecture.  Mostly dating from 1937-38, we have used several of them with this feature.  Any Unger saving of tax photos that record lost apartment houses will interest and even excite Diana James, our historian of “Shared Walls,” the title for her book history of Seattle apartment houses.  A hoped-for photo of the Rozellna was on her list.

The Olive Tower appears here center-top with the featured apartment next door. This is one of several aerial photos taken of the neighborhood tarnished with the building of the Seattle Freeway. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ADVISES Ron Edge and also Courtesy of Ron Edge)

The address here, 1622 Boren Avenue, shows the scene’s centerpiece, the Rozellna, on the east side of one of Seattle’s busiest north-south arterials.  In recording his “repeat” Jean took special care (looked both ways) to quickly pose Diana at Boren’s center stripe and then get the preservationist back on the curb, where she shared some of her research with us. We learned that the Rozellna was named for one of its original owners, Rozellna O. Johnson and A.J. Johnson.  Although not tall, the Rozellna (the apartment) was long aka deep.  Sixteen units were claimed when the Johnsons sold their young brick-veneer apartment house in 1926, only two years after they built it.  In their “for sale” notice, the units were described as “completely furnished with overstuffed furniture, floor lamps, dressing rooms, Murphy beds, and breakfast nooks.”

A detail from a 1946 vertical aerial survey of Seattle. The detail was chosen to fit the Olive Tower top-center with our features apartment next door – below it. [CLICK TO ENLARGE]
This well-wrought Rozellna might easily inspire nostalgia, or memories of other missing old buildings, or even surviving modern ones, like the Olive Tower, its high-rise neighbor to the north.  Built in 1928, the Olive Tower just missed being razed with the Rozellna in the early 1960s for the building of the Seattle Freeway/I-5.  James notes, “The last newspaper mention I have of the Rozellna is 1961.”  She pointed out – but not while standing in the street – that the bottom three floors of the Olive Tower, where it once snuggled against the Rozellna, show no windows.

Not a Jean shot but one used courtesy of Google’s street photography. Here from the sidewalk is the lot graded for the I-5 ditch where the Rozelina stood. And to the left we may not look into the windowless absent on the east wall of the Olive Tower thru its first three stories.

The two apartments – the tall and the short – shared one tragic moment.  On August 24, 1942, Maxine Hart fell from her eleventh-story unit in the Olive Tower to the roof of the Rozellna.  The Times reported “Woman’s Tumble to Death Probed; Husband is Held.”  Ray Jeffrey Hart did act strangely when questioned in the couple’s apartment.  Three hours after his wife’s jump he dashed to the window, The Times reported, but his “apparent suicide attempt” was thwarted by Coroner Otto H. Mittelstadt who “tackled Hart around the knees.” Apparently Hart was let go for no follow-up stories were found.

Researcher Ron Edge notes one last newsworthy interaction between the two apartment houses when in the forenoon of February 2, 1960, “high winds peeled a 10-by-30 foot section of brick facing off the Rozellna Apartments.” The illustrated report revealed that the peeled bricks fell to the rear of the Olive Tower.  The greater length of the Rozellna helps us imagine room for its sixteen units.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, mates?    Yes Jean and begging a church on the same block – at its northwest corner, first below.    After the church comes the hotel on the west side of the next block up the hill, and so on Boren between PIke and Pine Streets.   Below that hotel and across Boren Ave. in the next block so the south, comes another tax photo this time with the Boren Ave. Garage and two hotels.  The smaller one with the classical columns gets its own tax photo at the next PWA snapshot below the garage.  Following that and after crossing Boren to its east side comes another hotel, another brick block this time at the the northwest corner of Boren and Pike.

THEN: Built quickly in the winter of 1906-07, the Prince Rupert Hotel faced Boren Avenue from the third lot north of Pike Street. About fifty-five years later it was razed for the I-5 Freeway. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Beginning with the Reynolds, three hotels have taken tenancy in this ornate three-story brick block at the northeast corner of Boren Avenue and Pike Street. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: This 1939 glimpse east from Ninth Avenue follows Pike Street to the end of the about three-quarter mile straight climb it makes on its run from the Pike Place Market to its first turn on Capitol Hill.

THEN: In the 32 years between Frank Shaw's dedication picture and Jean Sherrard's dance scene, Freeway Park has gained in verdure what it has lost in human use.

BOREN-&-University-Denny-&-Ainsworth-Homes-THEN-mr

THEN: The scene looks north through a skyline of steeples toward the Cascade neighborhood and Lake Union, ca. 1923.

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: 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: Swedish Lutheran (Gethsemane) Church’s second sanctuary at the northeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Steward Street circa 1920, photo by Klaes Lindquist. (Courtesy, Swedish Club)

THEN:

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: Built in 1909-10 on one of First Hill’s steepest slopes, the dark brick Normandie Apartments' three wings, when seen from the sky, resemble a bird in flight. (Lawton Gowey)

THEN:

THEN: Built in the mid-1880s at 1522 7th Avenue, the Anthony family home was part of a building boom developing this north end neighborhood then into a community of clapboards. Here 70 years later it is the lone survivor. (Photo by Robert O. Shaw)

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)

9th-&-Union-1937-tax-pix-THEN-mr

THEN:

======

======

======

======

BELOW: FOUR MORE TAX PHOTOS, CA. 1937-38 & NEARBY

1620 Boren, next door tot he Rozelilna

Seattle Now & Then: From School To Museum

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Six youths stand in the doorway of Colman School, at 1515 24th Ave. S., about 60 years ago. (Photo courtesy Seattle Public Schools Archives)
NOW: A cadre from Northwest African American Museum, now at 2300 S. Massachusetts. St., poses on the grand lawn seeded where streets once crossed: (from left) Peggy Allen Jackson, director of development; Olivia Littles, grant writer; Nekya Young, development assistant intern; Anis Robinson, program assistant; Freda Burns, volunteer; Janet Baker, finance manager; Matt Rivera, development assistant intern, and LaNesha DeBardelaben, executive director since January.

I have lost the adolescent expertise in the names and models of Detroit-born post-war cars. Our “then” displays a Jacobean-style brick, terra-cotta tile and concrete beauty rising above five somewhat gaudy motorcars, most of them “bodies by Fisher,” the latest of which I am told is a 1958 Plymouth, parked near the now-vanished intersection of Atlantic Street and 24th Avenue South.

Not ;the parked Plymouth in the “then” but a 1960 Plymouth for sale in 1959 at the Savidge Dodge-Plymouth dealership. (Courtesy Dan Eskenazi)

This is – or rather was – the Charles Colman School. (Last year we featured a Marion Street scene showing another family namesake, the Colman Building (below), soon after its completion in 1905.)

This is one of the surviving schools designed and built by James Stephen, the official and prolific architect for Seattle Public Schools in the early 20th century. The Canadian arrived in Seattle at its most opportunistic time for an architect-builder, after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, had destroyed more than 30 city blocks.

The Colman family home on the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street after the yards have been given to commerce.
Looking north on Fourth with the Colman home on the right at the southeast corner with Columbia Street.

Authorized in 1909, the 17-room, three-story Colman Primary School opened in 1910. There were, on average, 500 pupils and 15 teachers. The second principal, Miss Anna B. Kane, served from 1912 to 1940. Enrollment swelled during World War II when the feds built a large housing project nearby. With peace, enrollment dropped. Still, in the late 1940s the city bought the entire block for the school. Eventually, Atlantic and 24th were vacated to extend the school’s lawn.

Architect James Stephen’s Queen Anne High School as seen looking east from the hill’s standpipe.

Like Queen Anne High School, another Stephen creation, Colman is a fine example of how Seattle can recycle its landmarks largely intact. Though its primary program ended in 1979 and an alternative school there closed in 1985, the building survived a long-planned but scuttled north-south freeway, the ravages of a fire and next-door construction of the Mount Baker lid and tunnel for Interstate 90. This year, inside Colman, the Northwest African American Museum – with its upper floors’ 36 lower-income apartments – is experiencing a 10th anniversary.

Clearly the boys of at least part of the Class of 1938 are more dapper than the girls and so take the front row on the school’s steps to arrange their sartorial splendor on a display case ordinarily taken by the coeds.
Twenty-one years later the class of 1959 fill the school’s front steps.

This means, and many of us remember it, that the powers that be took a long time to support conversion of the abandoned school to a cultural center for groups that best represent the diverse community reaching from Beacon Hill to Lake Washington. This is where Seattle best shows its “unity in diversity.”

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (till 7 p.m. Thursdays). While visiting and celebrating its birthday, you also may wish to give attention to the Jacobean brick.

The Afro-Americans float parading at Second Avenue and Marion Street for the 1911 Golden Potlatch Celebration. (Courtesy Michael Maslan)
First printed in The Seattle Times fro October, 21, 1984.

WEB EXTRAS

I’ve added in a lovely shot taken on the schoolhouse steps:

This photo was taken within a couple years of the “Then” photo above. It shows 56 students facing the future in June 1956.

Anything to add, fellahs?  Surely Jean.  First a hide-and-seek quiz.  Can you find the Colman School on the first photo below?  (More than a clue: it is on the far right horizon about a quarter of the way in from the right border. )

THEN: An Emergency Relief Administration wood pile took temporary quarters on the southeast corner of S. Alaska Street and 32nd Ave. S. in 1934. (Courtesy, Northwest Collection, University of Washington Libraries.)

Holy Names THEN

THEN: The Volunteer Park water tower was completed in 1907 on Capitol Hill’s highest point in aid the water pressure of its service to the often grand homes of its many nearly new neighbors. The jogging corner of E. Prospect Street and 15th Avenue E. is near the bottom of the Oakes postcard. (Historical Photo courtesy Mike Fairley)

THEN: A circa 1923 view looks south on Eighth Avenue over Pike Street, at bottom left.

yesler-way-umpire-day

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

childhaven-then-lr

THEN: Looking east on University Street towards Ninth Avenue, ca. 1925, with the Normandie Apartments on the left.

Walter Ross Baumes Willcox, the architect who planned this 1911 Arboretum aqueduct, went on to design another city landmark mades of reinforced concrete and ornamental bricks: the 1913 Queen Anne Boulevard retaining wall. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Sprague Hotel at 706 Yesler Way was one of many large structures –hotels, apartments and duplexes, built on First Hill to accommodate the housing needs of the city’s manic years of grown between its Great Fire in 1889 and the First World War. Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey

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: A speeding coupe convertible heads north on Beacon Hill’s 15th Ave. S. in 1937.

A-Broadway-Row-THEN-MR

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: We have by three years or four missed the centenary for this distinguished brick pile, the Littlefield Apartments on Capitol Hill. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Unemployed men search for anything useful in land being reclaimed with city garbage used for fill on the tideflats. The date is March 6, 1937. The scene looks northwest from what was once near 7th Ave. S. and Forest Street, but is now inside the operations facilities for the Light Rail Division of Sound Transit. The Sears Department Store, now home of Starbucks Coffee Co., appears in the upper-left corner. Courtesy: The Post-Intelligencer Collection at the Museum of History and Industry.

THEN: Hugh Paradise neither named nor dated his photograph looking down from a basalt cliff onto the Yakima River. (Courtesy, Byron Coney)

=====

While walking the streets and sidewalks of Central Wallingford a few year back I found and recorded many natural maps of Africa including the one here, which I have surrounded with other gifts of the neighborhood.

=====

Finally for now I recalled that Jean had shared sometime ago a few snapshots of his adventurous late teens. Here’s our partner in this Seattle repeating posing with a Dinka police officer in South Sudan in 1976.  Jean is 19, he claims, and wearing his Bumbershoot Festival T-Shirt. About a quarter-century later he would join Cathy Wadley and me in producing the BumberChronicles, an hour-long history of the arts festival. (I think you can find it on Youtube.) Jean stands somewhere between 6-5 and 6-6 and so perhaps his  statuesque Dinka poser might reach 6’7″.

=====

 

=====

 

=====

 

=====

 

=====

 

=====

 

Seattle Now & Then: Marion Street Looking East through Western Ave, ca 1905

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Looking east on a Marion Street showing several delivery wagons with their often affectionately matched teams of horse power. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: The red brick tile-trimmed Federal Building, left-of-center, dates from the early depression. That its design was awarded to James A. Wetmore, a resident of the “other Washington,” did not please the many Seattle architects who were increasingly in need of work at the beginning of the Great Depression.

It took the greater part of Jean Sherrard’s 20-plus-foot extension pole to lift his camera pointing east on Marion Street from the prospect the Webster and Stevens Studio photographer used to record this week’s featured “then.”  We figure that it dates from 1905 or 1906. The top four floors of the Colman Building, the six-story brick block, right-of-center, were completed in 1905.  Facing First Avenue, the Colman survives, extending the full block between Marion and Columbia Streets.

CLICK to ENLARGE

It was James Colman, one of Seattle best-known pioneers not named Denny, who built his namesake landmark.  The brilliant engineer and Scottish immigrant is also honored with a park on Lake Washington Boulevard and Colman Dock, the long wharf that has been the center for Puget Sound transportation since the late nineteenth century.  The Dock is directly behind and over the right shoulder of the photographer of the featured photo at the top.  Here the nine tracks of Railroad Avenue separated the Colman Dock and the West Seattle Ferry Dock from the photographer and the bustling business of Marion Street.

The many tracks on Railroad Avenue in 1912 during that year’s Golden Potlatch celebration. Fire Station No. 5 at the foot of Madison Street, is left of center (with the tower).
CLICK TO ENLARGE (This montage was pulled from the Illustrated History of the Seattle Waterfront, which can be viewed on this blog.    But you must search the “buttons” to find it.)

The four-story stone building on the right (of the featured photo at the top) , the Colman Annex, is separated from the Colman Building by Post Avenue, which on some old city maps is called a street and on others an alley.  This “Colman Annex” was constructed of east coast stone. It was a lucky break for Colman: when the federal postmaster rejected its delivery – the stone was decreed as too soft for the construction of Seattle’s main post office at Third Avenue

The Collman Bldg is far left and the darker mass left-of-center is the Colman Annex. The photo looks west from First Avenue.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

and Union Street – Colman purchased the lot for pennies on the dollar. Many locals will best remember it as the long-time home for Society Candies.  More recently a parking lot, the Colman Annex block is now filled by a glass curtain high-rise that celebrates its location as The Post Building. It can be glimpsed through the leaves, upper-right, in Jean’s repeat.

The COLMAN ANNEX is on the left. View looks west from Post Alley.

The wagons, above and in the featured photo at the top,  most likely have something to do with the delivery of produce. This is the Commission District developed near both the railroads and the “mosquito fleet” steamers that carried fresh fruits and vegetables to the district’s large and generally homely warehouses.  They were run by middle-men who were best known as “the sharks” by both the farmers who sold to them and grocers who bought from them.  This was the gouging “Western Avenue combine” that truck farmers, home-owners and a progressive city council soon opposed in 1907 with a go-around, the Pike Place Public Market.

CLIP to ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

I was shooting on the waterfront for the column yesterday and came across a couple of scenes I can never get enough of. For your enjoyment, here they are:

(Thanks for your spontaneous/impetuous caress of this city Jean – in the right places.)

Anything to add, guys?   Surely Jean.

THEN: Arthur Denny named both Marion and James Streets for his invalid brother, James Marion Denny, who was too ill to accompany the “Denny Party” from Oregon to Puget Sound in 1851. (Courtesy, Gary Gaffner)

Then: Looking north from Pioneer Place (square) into the uptown of what was easily the largest town in Washington Territory. This is judged by the 3218 votes cast in the November election of 1884, about one fourth of them by the newly but temporarily enfranchised women.Tacoma, in spite of being then into its second year as the terminus for the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad, cast 1663 votes, which took third place behind Walla Walla's 1950 registered votes.

THEN: The Moose float heads south on First Avenue at Columbia Street during the 1912 Potlatch parade of fraternal and secret societies. Behind them are Julius Redelsheimer's clothing store and the National Hotel, where daily room rates ran from 50 cents to a dollar.

native-basket-seller-then-mr

THEN: Through its two decades — 1892 to 1913 — at the northeast corner of Cherry Street and Third Avenue, the Seattle Theatre was one of the classiest Seattle venues for legitimate theater as well as variety/vaudeville

THEN:In late 1855 the citizens of Seattle with help from the crew of the Navy sloop-of-war Decatur built a blockhouse on the knoll that was then still at the waterfront foot of Cherry Street. The sloop’s physician John Y. Taylor drew this earliest rendering of the log construction. (Courtesy, Yale University, Beinecke Library)

THEN: The city's regrading forces reached Sixth Avenue and Marion Street in 1914. A municipal photographer recorded this view on June 24. Soon after, the two structures left high here were lowered to the street. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)

THEN: Frank Shaw’s late winter composition of waterfront landmarks at the foot of Madison Street in 1963. (Photo by Frank Shaw)

THEN: This post-1889 waterfront block of sheds and ships was replaced in 1911 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Dock, described at the time as “the largest wooden finger pier in North America.” The exception was Fire Station No. 5 on the left at the foot of Madison Street. A brick station replaced it in 1913. (Museum of History & Industry)

THEN: In this 1887 look up Columbia Street from the waterfront is the bell tower of the fire station, tucked into the hill on the right. It would soon fail to halt the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. The station and everything between it and Elliott Bay were reduced to ashes, smoldering bricks and offshore pilings shortened like cigars. (courtesy, Kurt Jackson)

THEN: Looking north from Columbia Street over the construction pit for the Central Building. On the left is a rough section of the Third Avenue Regrade in the spring of 1907. (Courtesy, MOHAI)

THEN: The driver, lower left, leads his team towards First Avenue up a planked incline on Madison Street. (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: Looking south on First Avenue from its northwest corner with Madison Street, circa 1905. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Depression-era protestors climb Columbia Street sidewalk along-aside Seattle architect Harlan Thomas’s elegant Seattle landmark that opened in 1925 as home to the by then already forty-three year old Seattle Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN:

THEN: During the few years of the Klondike Gold Rush, the streets of Seattle’s business district were crowded with outfitters selling well-packed foods and gear to thousands of traveling men heading north to strike it rich – they imagined. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The west side of Second Avenue between Columbia and Marion Streets was typical of the commercial district that was quick to develop after the city’s Great Fire of 1889. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Big Snow of 1916 trims two jewelers’ clocks on the west side of Second Avenue, north of Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

You can find this steeple in the featured photo at the top.

=====

Seattle Now & Then: Maryland Place in West Seattle

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The 1937/8 tax assessor’s photo of 4013 Maryland Place, precariously built on the east slope of West Seattle’s Duwamish Head. (Courtesy Stan Unger)
NOW: Jean Sherrard’s “repeat” uses a wider angle in order to also reveal the landmark stone house facing Harbor Avenue. The footprint of the red home in the background is near the featured frame residence on Maryland Place.

Although certainly not obvious, the setting of the slender two-story home standing at the base of West Seattle’s Duwamish Head in our “then” is repeated in Jean Sherrard’s “now.”  It is the red and gray modern residence held in a verdant caress just this side (to the east) of California Boulevard S.W.  The home and the trees hide the Boulevard, which is the long arterial connection between the top of Duwamish Head and the shoreline parks and mostly condominiums, respectively, to the east and west sides of Harbor Avenue.

The Duwamish Head neighborhood in a detail from the 1908 Bsist map. Maryland Place appears on the right between Ferry (California Blvd. S.W. ) and Railroad (Harbor) Avenues.
At some point on the left (east) side of this look south down California Blvd S.W., Mayland approaches but does not reach it as the 1908 Baist map, above, has it. This and the photo below it show work-in-progress on improving the former cable car route for motorcars and trucks.
Looking back and north from Harbor Avenue to the early work-in-progress on improving the arterial qualities of California Blvd. S.W.
Another Baist detail, four years later in 1912.

With Clay Eals, one of the most confident modern boosters of West Seattle, at his side, Jean Sherrard aimed his Nikon southwest across Harbor Avenue to one of the Head’s best known and most sentimental landmarks, Eva’s Stone Cottage. The framing of the beachside home with a marine view of Seattle was finished in the late 1920s.  Asked by a granddaughter how she would like the house finished, Eva answered, “Well, what about putting little rocks from the beach on it?”  With her family’s help, this prolific collecting we suspect continued into the Great Depression.  Now Eva’s Stone Cottage is one of the few beachside homes surviving in the increasing crush of modern condominiums.

An only a few years earlier recording of the stone home on Harbor Avenue.

After crossing Harbor Avenue, Jean and Clay continued around the corner of Eva’s home and climbed the length of what must be one of Seattle’s shortest streets, the half-block-long Maryland Place.  In order to save room for Eva’s Stone Cottage at the corner, we have not included Jean’s more precisely recorded repeat of our feature at 4013 Maryland Place S.W. When completed at the cusp of the Great Depression, the cottage was topped with a waving cornice made from the darker rocks that the family carried home in their wheelbarrow.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

There are a few implied ‘stories’ about the featured house found in public records.  First, from its 1938 tax card, the date for construction, 1920, is years late.  In a Seattle Streets Department photo that is convincingly dated November 1916, the home is shown standing.   The tax photo attached to the card used here was recorded in 1937-38 during the Works Progress Administration’s photographic inventory of every taxable structure in King County.  The assessed value for these two lots were thirty dollars for the land and $230 for the home. Two years later the home was visited by tragedy when resident nineteen-year-old John R. Lofstad was listed in The Times “Vital Statistics” feature as having died from an automobile accident.

A public works photographer looks down (east) on Maryland Lane from California Blvd. S.W.. The featured home survives having withstood  a winter storm recorded here on February 11, 1916. The message attached at the top is part of a communication between Jean and I.  CLICK T O ENLARGE.

WEB EXTRAS

This photo is a more precise repeat of the ‘Then’ shot above. Strolling down the walk are (from left) Clay Eals and John Siscoe

Anything to add, kids?  Yes Jean.  Ron and I send along more features from the neighborhood – widely cast.

=====

GOOD VIEW LOTS

THEN: Twenty years ago the Mukai Farm and Garden on Vashon Island was designated a King County Landmark. (Courtesy, Vashon Maury Island Heritage Association)

THEN: The Craftsman bungalow at 1910 47th Ave. S.W., shown in the 1920s with an unknown adult on the porch and two tykes below, is now 100 years old. The house beyond it at the southeast corner with Holgate Street was for many years clubhouse to the West Seattle Community Club, and so a favorite venue for discussing neighborhood politics and playing bridge. (COURTESY OF SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY)

THEN: Built in 1893, West Seattle School kept teaching until ruined by the region’s 1949 earthquake. (Courtesy Michael Maslan)

THEN: Part of the pond that here in 1946 filled much of the long block between Massachusetts and Holgate Streets and 8th Avenue S. and Airport Way. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: Between the now lost tower of the Pioneer Building, seen in part far left, and the Seattle Electric Steam Plant tower on the right, are arranged on First and Railroad Avenues the elaborate buzz of business beside and near Seattle’s Pioneer Square ca. 1904.

THEN: The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge was built on a road, in a neighborhood, and near a public school all named for the developer Carlisle Gatewood, who also lived in the neighborhood. The three women posing in the third floor’s open windows are the Clark sisters, Jean, Dorothy and Peggy, members of the family that moved into the home in the late 1930s.

THEN: In 1852 many of Seattle’s first pioneers removed from Alki Point by dugout canoe for the deeper and safer harbor along the east shore of Elliott Bay (our central waterfront). About a half-century later any hope or expectation that the few survivors among these pioneers could readily visit Alki Beach and Point by land were fulfilled with the timber quays and bridges along Spokane Street. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: The Seattle Times in its lengthy coverage of the then new Seattle Steel in the paper’s Magazine Section for Sept. 10, 1905 – the year this photograph was recorded – noted that “the plant itself is a series of strong, substantial, cavernous sheds, built for use, not for beauty.” (Courtesy, MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Totem Place, at 1750 Palm Ave. S.W., was home for Joseph Standley proprietor of Ye Old Curiosity Shop on Colman Dock. His death notice in The Seattle Times for Oct. 25, 1940 described the 86-year-old “Daddy” Standley as “almost as much a part of Seattle’s waterfront as the waves that dash again the seaweall.”

THEN: Included among the several detailed photos taken for the Bernards of their new and yet rustic Fir Lodge, was this one of the living room with its oversized fireplace and the piano on which Marie, their older daughter, learned to play well enough to concertize. (Courtesy Doris Nelson)

THEN: Looking southeast from above Alki Avenue, the Schmitz Park horizon is serrated by the oldest trees in the city. The five duplexes clustered on the right were built 1919-1921 by Ernest and Alberta Conklin. Ernest died in 1924, but Alberta continued to live there until well past 1932, the year this photograph was recorded. (Seattle Municipal Archives.)

THEN: Looking into West Seattle’s Junction and north on California Ave. SW to its intersection with SW Alaska Street in 1941. The Hamm Building, is seen above the light-colored car, and the Campbell Building is at right, behind the G.O. Guy Drugs sign.

Hanson-St.-ca.-1913-THEN

KENNY-HOME-then-mr

alki-nat-detail-of-s-facade-w-wagon-web

=====

=====

=====

CA. 18[90 sketch of Alki Point from Sunset bluff.
=====

=====

=====

=====

Seattle Now & Then: The Northwest Folklife Festival

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Members of the Love Israel Family performing beside the Flag Plaza Pavilion (note the sign upper-left) at the Folklife Festival on May 30, 1976. (photo by Frank Shaw)
NOW: Members of the Mad Robins posing for Jean Sherrard in front of Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion, which replaced the Flag Pavilion in 2002. From left: Michael Karcher (caller), Brandon Ananias Martin-Anderson, Amy Hanson Wimmer, Diana Herbst, Isaac Sarek Banner, Abigail Hobart, Anita Anderson, Melissa Coffey, David Kessler

Both groups posing her performed at Seattle’s by now venerable Northwest Folklife festival.  The earlier pleased posers are all members of the Love Israel religious community, living then near each other in several homes on Queen Anne hill.  They are performing from the Seattle Center stairway, between the Flag Plaza Pavilion built for Century 21 (our World’s Fair of 1962) and the Folklife visitors seated on the plaza behind photographer Frank Shaw. (You cannot see them.)  Shaw was a skilled amateur who filled several binders with his 2×2 negatives and transparencies (slides) recorded on his camera, a Hasselblad I envied then and still do.

Another Shaw photograph, this of the family’s booth at the same 1976 Folklife Festival at Seattle Center.

Posing for Jean, the contemporary players have named themselves the Mad Robins, and dress appropriately. Earlier singing a cappella (without instruments), they accompanied contra dancers at this year’s Folklife Festival. By Jean’s accounting they sang very well. To prove it, Jean both recorded their performance and edited it into a youtube video that you will also find with a link below under WEB EXTRAS.. The Mad Robins’ own description of themselves is packed with joyful influences.  ”We are a group of eight contra dancers who also sing in a variety of traditions: sea shanties, barbershop quartet, Sacred Harp, pub carols from the British Isles, folk songs, Broadway show tunes, and choruses.”

Later than Love Israel, a quartet of “old music” players perform on Seattle Center steps that seem to be under repair. I, Dorpat, took this about 30 years ago. Perhaps someone will write us with all the names and we will insert them for old time posterity.

Thanks to Red Robin Melissa Coffey for help with the Red Robins and to both Rachel Israel and Charles LeWarne for their help with Love Israel history. Historian LaWarne’s book, published by the University of Washington Press and sensibly named “The Love Israel Family,” is in print.

An early Folklife scene by Frank Shaw, which he carefully dated on the slide’s holder, May 28, 1973,
Probably the only one-man band at the 1986 Folklife Festival.
Folklife 1986, lead member of the popular band then, the Dynamic Logs, takes an opportunity to rest his guitar between acts.
Seattle Folk legend, Stan James, at Folklife in 2003, or possibly 2004, as a member of the Halibuts, a trio; of friends who performed songs written by local Clam King, Ivar Haglund.
Tired dogs at the unseasonably warm 2009 Folklife. These dogs were also employed to sell a chow that was purely for pets and by some generous appreciation of our best friend was promoted at the folk festival.
A portion of the landscaping at the east end of the Flag Plaza Pavilion in the 1970s photographed by Fred Bauer.
Hucksters/Hustlers at the 2012 Folklife Festival. I gave them five dollars with the promise that they would heal their pipe for as I explained I doubted that they could get a new one  out of my philanthropy.  . 

WEB EXTRAS

Jean here. I’ve added a photo of The Mad Robins in performance at this year’s Folklife:

And here’s a short video of their performance provided by member Melissa Coffey:

Anything to add, compañeros?  First, congratulations to Jean on completing the staging and directing what I’ll estimate was your 75th play with the good student-thespians of Hillside Academy.  Will you please estimate the number of productions that comprise your total Hillside opera, so far? Hillside is featured with a link at the top  of the blog’s front page, in the column directly to the right.)

Here follows a small spray of weekly links pulled from the last 37 years.   CLICK to open and CLICK to enlarge.

THEN: We imagine that the photographer A.J. McDonald waited for one of his subjects, the cable car to Queen Anne Hill, to reach the intersection of Second Ave. N. and Aloha Street below him before snapping this panorama in the mid-1890s.

THEN: In the first years of the twentieth century, visiting circuses most often used these future Seattle Center acres to raise their big tops. After 1911 the favored circus site was moved to the then freshly-cleared Denny Regrade neighborhood (Courtesy, Mike Cirelli)

guild-45

THEN: In the 32 years between Frank Shaw's dedication picture and Jean Sherrard's dance scene, Freeway Park has gained in verdure what it has lost in human use.

THEN: The Moose float heads south on First Avenue at Columbia Street during the 1912 Potlatch parade of fraternal and secret societies. Behind them are Julius Redelsheimer's clothing store and the National Hotel, where daily room rates ran from 50 cents to a dollar.

41st-aurora-pedes-overpass-10-22-36mr

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

Temporarily untended the Good Shepherd orchard awaits its fate, ca. 1978.

Then Caption: Amateur photographer George Brown most likely took this view of Portland’s 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition from the north porch of the Washington State Building. Brown also played clarinet in Wagner’s popular concert and marching band, which was probably performing at the Expo. (pic courtesy of Bill Greer)

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: 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)

========

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

=====

 BELOW: A REMINDER TO VOTE THIS NOVEMBER

FRANK SHAW, the photographer lived next door to Seattle Center. He recorded this photograph of circus elephants on July 22, 1965 . We use it here as a reminder to vote this November.

Seattle Now & Then: Third and Madison, 1916

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Sighting northwest through the intersection of Madison Street and Third Avenue, circa 1916. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: SeaFirst Bank began buying up the block in the late 1950s and opened its fifty-floor tower in 1968.

May we note first a happy coincidence –instructive too – between this week’s “then” and “now?” Jean Sherrard has lifted his Nikon to a prospect above the southwest corner of Third Avenue and Madison Street that seems to resemble the elevation reached about a century ago by the more historical, although unnamed, photographer.  Jean has extended his pole-mounted camera into a zone of overhead wires that may resemble – for you too? –  that surreal moment when the spacecraft Cassini passed through the Rings of Saturn.

The Third Avenue Theatre at the northeast corner of Madison Street and Third Avenue.

In fact, Jean’s camera has paused here for his “click” within a few inches of where the sidewalk sat 110 years ago. That was before the Third Avenue regrade cut seventeen feet from the intersection.  Before the cutting, cable cars on Madison Street climbed the third steepest grade in the cable car industry here between Second and Third Avenues.

The rough half-block displayed in the feature photo at the top, survives in this 1913 detail from a photo taken from the Smith Tower in the last months of its construction. Enlarge this illustration and you will better find the signs holding to the half-block in the “Then.”   The Lincoln Hotel is there as well, but not the Elks Lodge.  
Years later (less than six) the half block facing Third Avenue’s east side between Madison and Spring Streets is being fitted for “Real Estate Row”, the one-story brick addition that ran the length of the block.
An advertisement generated from “Real Estate Row” on Sept. 1, 1920. It appeared the The Times, which we can now sample from its digital archives shared by The Seattle Public Library.   If your have a SPL card you will enjoy exploring with it, this we promise.  If not get a card and call the library for instructions on how to link to it.

The intersection’s rough northeast kitty-korner still shows the scars left by the deep grading along both Third and Madison about ten years before the “then” was recorded ca. 1916.  From 1890 until its destruction in 1906 by regrades, this northeast corner was the home of “polite vaudeville,” with a “family formula” featuring acts “without booze, peanuts or catcalls.” Here the scarred corner has been terraced for and signed by the Hopkins Nursery, perhaps the British-born Thomas Hopkins who with his sons later ran an award-winning and long-lived nursery in Bothell.   To this side of the terraced nursery, sits a nifty two door shed at the corner.  It promotes itself as a “union shop” that from toe to top cleans, shines, and dyes “ladies and gents shoes,” and also sells, cleans, presses and reblocks men’s hats.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

The largest sign stuck in the dirt above the corner shed reads, in part, “For Lease or Owners Will Build.”  Soon the east side of Third Avenue between Madison and Spring Streets was fitted with an array of single story brick storefronts, and was popularly called “Real Estate Row.”  All the sidewalk shops were fitted with skylights of the same sort and size – at least ten of them.  Behind the retail  “row” was another of cars, parked west of an alley running the block. East of the alley and up the hill were the two landmark buildings filling much of the frame.  On the right is the Lincoln Hotel built in 1899 and destroyed by fire in 1920. Left-of-center stands the Elks Club, dedicated in 1914 and sold to Jewish Group in 1958 that sold it to the bank in 1964 for the building of their dark glass-curtain tower, dedicated in 1968. (Greg Dziekonski, a helpful fact-checking reader, tells us that “The Seattle Youth Symphony rehearsed in this building from 1958 to 1961 when it was the Jewish Community Center.”)

The SeaFirst Tower was completed in 1968.
Lawton Gowey’s record of the nearly new SeaFirst Tower photographed from the Smith Tower in 1971.

Far left in the featured photo – printed at the top – and facing Fourth Avenue a half-block north, the Independent Telephone Co. completed the photo’s frame on the left.  It joined the hot early twentieth century competition to wire, mostly from competing poles, the city with telephone lines.  Erected in 1902, the building’s “most interesting part,” the Times reported, was its concrete floors and partitions.  It was “a feature never before employed in the construction of any other building in Seattle.”

A Times clip from August 24, 1902 revealing the redundant rush and opportunism of competing telephone companies early in the 20th Century..

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, mes braves?   Surely.   Ron may add some to what below when he arises from his late Spring-Sunday-Morning Sleep.

Meanwhile . . .

:Looking east from the roof of the hotel. The towers on the right belong to Central School facing ‘Marion and Madison streets  between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, and behind those the two towers of Saint James Cathedral can be glimpsed at the southeast corner of 9th Avenue and Marion Street.