This is the first photograph that Jean recorded for our fair-festival project. We had just entered the Bumbershoot gate on Mercer with press passes (The only way we could effortlessly afford it.) and followed instructions to the press room where with Ron Edge we were outfitted with other “special” passes and stickers and ephemera into other inner-spaces, which we rarely used, for we kept to the outside for the three days of Bumbershoot.
The proper and polite name for this space in front of the McCaw Hall is the Kreielsheimer Plaza – or is it the Kreielsheimer Promenade? This uncertainly is evidence for what we knew at the time it was being built and dedicated; that is was unlikely that many would remember the proper name. First it was a difficult name, and even if named Jones Plaza it would soon be swallowed whole by McCaw.
On an inspiration, Jean with his tall pole took this shot through the screens that are at night – sometimes – used as surfaces for colorful projections. (As least I hope they are still used so.) Jean and I, along with Mike James, Genny McCoy and Sheila Farr wrote the book history of the Kreielsheimer Foundation, which gave the money for the plaza (or promenade) and about about 100 million more for art around the Northwest, although most of it’s in Seattle. The family name with a difficult spelling is attached to many places hereabouts, but. again, rarely is it remembered or recognized. It’s a shame. While writing the book we grew fond of the family.
Jean’s recording at the top was for his pleasure. In it there is a band playing at the end of this promenade. I knew we had many photographs of the old Civic Auditorium and Opera House too, and we will next attach a few with short captions. None of them will be a “scientific” repeat or prefiguring of Jean’s shot, but they will all be of the place or very near it.
This No. 10 comparison on Boulevard East parallels the No. 9 on Boulevard West from yesterday. Both of the unidentified photographers are looking north with their backs near Thomas, although nearer here than there.
Much of where Second Avenue extends gently downhill from Thomas Street thru Harrison and on to Republican where it levels out preparing to soon climb Queen Anne Hill has been used by many Bumbershoots as a Food and Craft Way. During Century 21 this stretch was called Boulevard West and much of it was sided by a colorful array of consumables and cosmopolitan exhibits with price tags squeezed into tight quarters.
Something like the Pay Streak of nickle and dime amusements at Seattle’s first big fair, the 1909 Alaska Yukon and Pacific Expo. on a U.W. Campus remade for it, Century 21’s Gayway was given to cheap thrills and gaudy sensations, and so was popular. Checking Ron Edge’s double-vision map directly below, the Gayway – section No. 7 – is found sprawling east from the Food Circus between the Monorail terminus and Memorial Stadium. It was filled with the kind of modular constructions that could be brought in big pieces on big trucks and assembled quickly on the spot. Its most eastern and southern parts are now covered by the Experience Music Project (EMP). North of the Gayway, the fair’s most erotic sensations – the intended ones – picked up at the fairgrounds northeast corner, a site we’ll visit later.
(Click the blow – and all else – TWICE to Enlarge.)
Remembering that Jean used his ten-foot pole to peek over the southeast corner of the Memorial Stadium to repeat the now-then we featured earlier today, for the repeat below he kept his camera high on the pole and turned about 140 degrees clockwise to the southeast to look over what was the Gayway to the EMP, thereby repeating Frank Shaw’s nearly same prospect to the southeast entrance to the Fair.
The clipping from the Nov. 14, 1993 printing of Pacific. And by the way, the video history of Seattle promoted at the bottom of the clipping is still available – now on DVD. See the “store” connected to this blog for instructions on how to order its sublime story of the “Seattle Spirit.” Although I lived off such huckstering in ’93, this documentary is cheaper now, as am I. (Click to Enlarge)
FINALLY and from the same prospect, there goes the sun.
A better photograph of this plywood construction that suggests that it warrants the name is printed on page 247 of The Future Remembered, historylink and the Seattle Center Foundation’s well-wrought book on both Century 21 and Seattle. For its caption the book’s authors, Paula Becker and Alan J. Stein, explain the intentions of this manipulatable construction – and its name too. “In response to projected overpopulation in the future, the Home of Living Light was designed to provide private refuge on small, scarce building lots. Walls of wood paneling, rigid in one direction and flexible in the other, could take any shape while supporting the required roof loads. Four conical skylights located over each major area of the house and could be turned toward or away from the sun to adjust the level of natural lighting.” Hence Living Light!
This leaves only the hide-and-seek securer – Ron Edge’s map sandwich – for the reader to peg the Century 21 location for the Plywood Home of Living Light. HINT: Look for the smugged “60” that reads more like “80.”
Ivar’s Century 21 fish and chips bar – or stand with Hamburgers! – was nestled to the north side of the Monorail terminal. It opened directly onto the southwest corner of the carni’ part of the fair called the Breezeway. Here below – and again – is Ron Edge’s superimposition of a recent space shot of Seattle Center over the 1962 Century 21 map, which both names and numbers its primary parts – but not Ivar’s, as such. DOUBLE CLICK this for your hide-and-seek. (Clue: No. 63)
Ivar’s mid-20th century band-wagoning with what’s modern was most flirtatiously expressed for the Ford Edsel – although Ivar never purchased one, nor did many others. (CLICK to ENLARGE)
Most of today’s fair/festival repeat looks northwest from the corner of Republican Street and Second Avenue. The centerpiece during the fair was the northwest terminus of the fair’s Union 76 Skyride. Earlier it was the home of a long-lived apartment that, as you will learn from the short feature reprinted as a clipping near the bottom, began in the early 1890s as an ornate home/dormitory for single working women, which was converted into a hospital first and then for most of its life the apartments that were razed for Century 21. The Rep’s Bagley Wright Theatre was completed in the early 1980s, and it survives with some additions, most notably the smaller Kreielsheimer stage at the north end. Again, for a hide-and-seek prelude, we put at the top Ron Edge’s superimposition of a recent photo of Seattle Center taken from space (ca. 2007) with a map of Century 21 that numbers and names its attractions, most of them temporary.
Returning to Thomas Street from No. 2 of yesterday, we here look south from the Monorail Century 21 terminus to the base of the Space Needle. We introduce this comparison with another showing of Ron Edge’s superimposed maps: from Century 21 and ca. 2007. Seek and find the spot. (Click TWICE to enlarge.)
This comparison jumps ahead – or behind – to a future Seattle Center scene when there was a yet no Space Needle nor Breezeway nor Monorail, but only the first inklings that these civic acres might be overhauled for all humankind and their most recent and magnificent inventions; that is, for a worlds fair. The approximate date here is 1955, and the view looks west on Thomas Street past a short row of houses and sheds where a ramp to the monorail would be built. A block away Thomas intersects with Nob Hill Avenue and then continues west beside the south facade of the Armory, aka Food Circus, aka Center House. (Click TWICE to enlarge)
TOMORROW – Another look at the Monorail ramp – across it to the base of the Space Needle.