Category Archives: Seattle Now and Then

Seattle Now & Then: Independence Day at 3rd and Yesler

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Looking east up Yesler Way with the Seattle Police Department during the city’s celebrations for the 1899 Independence Day.
NOW: The construction disruption at Third Avenue and Yesler Way includes City Hall Park, once home for the Seattle City Hall with the nickname “Katzenjammer Kastle.”

With both muncipal landmarks – the one on the hill and the other at the southeast corner of Jefferson Street and Third Avenue  – aka the Katzenjammer Kastle –  one may compare the photograph above with the Baist map detail above it.

WE INTERRUPT THIS FEATURE WITH A LOOK AROUND THE CORNER & NORTHEAST TO THE INTERSECTION OF JEFFERSON STREET & THIRD AVENUE.  THE CITY HALL – AKA KATTZENJAMMBER CASTLE – IS ON THE RIGHT, AND THE YESLER HOME – (a domestic castle with 27 rooms) – ON THE LEFT.

The reader will easily note that with few exceptions the featured photo’s line-up of Seattle Police on the north side (left) of Yesler Way, between Second and Third Avenues, are looking east at the long parade float that is either crossing Yesler Way or standing in its intersection with Third Avenue. The rooftop banner that runs the length of the float names the sponsor, the “National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.”  The flip side for at least one of the four MOHAI prints covering this Independence Day scene, holds a type-written sticker that reads “taken July 4, 1898, before the Spanish American War veterans returned.  Picture made in front of police headquarters.”  A hand-written addition to the sticker reads “3rd and Yesler,” and the gray-blue back of the print itself concludes the captioning with “Called ‘Electric Float’ Taken by W.T. Milholland.”    

Another record of the Electricians float (Courtesy, MOHAI)

The inscribed date, 1898, is very inviting.  The Independence Day weekend that year included the sensational news that America’s revenge for the February 15th unexplained sinking of the USS Battleship Main – “Remember the Maine!!!” – in the Havana harbor was at hand.   On the third of July, with the American navy in pursuit, the Spanish Caribbean fleet fled the Santiago, Cuba harbor.  In the days that followed the Spanish dreadnaughts that were not destroyed, surrendered.  Certainly this waxing war news was on the minds of nearly every one among the estimated 75,000 citizens and visitors that crowded downtown Seattle on the 4th for 1898. One year later this patriotic party was remembered by The Times reporter covering the 1899 Independence Day festivities as “the biggest celebration that the city ever had.”   However, and almost certainly, this Yesler Way scene was not part of that record-setting event.  The caption was incorrect by one year.  The float named “Electric” won second place in the 1899 – not 1898 – parade competition.

Read the left column for a partial description of the 1899 Independence Day parade. Pulled from the Times for July 5,1899.  CLICK to ENLARGE

In The Times 3 O’clock Edition for July 5, 1899, [SEE ABOVE] the float is described as a “dynamo in full operation.”  The electricity was generated by steam from a boiler flaunted on the float.  It powered a “call system of the Postal Telegraph Company, a phonograph and a telephone” and was also wired to a printing press carried on the Metropolitan Printing and Binding Company float was next in line. On the far-right end of the float a tower of steam shoots from its roof.  Most likely the hissing noise of escaping steam also attracted the attentive white-gloved police. 

Standing beside the sidewalk on the east side of Third Avenue, the photographer looks northeast at the Seattle Police Department’s first motorized paddy wagon in 1907. posed beside the entrance to the garage it still shared with horses and at the front steps to City Hall, aka the Katzenjammer Kastle.  

Independence Day for 1899 was a wet one, and many outdoor events were either canceled or avoided.  The fireworks, however, were not expunged but rather admired for their reflections off the low clouds.  In the featured historical photo, the gray sky offers little contrast with the scene’s two famous towers, both of them serving for part of their careers, as King County Court Houses.  In 1890, the top-heady tower on the First Hill horizon, replaced the frame one rising far left on Third Avenue. With King County moved up the hill, its abandoned home at Third Avenue and Jefferson Street served as Seattle’s City Hall from 1890 to 1909, and was famously nicknamed the Katzenjammer Kastle for its Rube Goldberg collection of additions, which included the police department. 

From July 30, 1898, the first clip was could find covering news about Union No. 77 of the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of Seattle.

Below: ANOTHER TIMELY INTERRUPTION with PALMISTRY from in-with-and-under the Late-19th Century (the clip is from July 5, 1898) and its claim to have broken or penetrated the barriers between the PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE and so ALSO of or between NOW and THEN, or if your prefer THEN and NOW.   (Note that scheduled sittings with a “reader” are required.)

A Clip from The Seattle Times for July 5, 1898.

WEB EXTRAS

A Yesler mess…

Anything to add, boyos?  Yes Jean the kids on the block have a few past features to adjoin.  Some of these will be like growing chestnuts to some of the reders.   (Note: a careful or curious eye will find blog contributor Ron Edge posing in one of them, but only after clicking) May we ask that the mother of all learning is what?   May our mothers answer, “REPETITION.”)

THEN: For the first twenty years of his more than 40 years selling tinware and other selected hardware, Zilba Mile's shop looked south across Yesler Way down First Ave. S, then known as Commercial Street.

THEN: This “real photo postcard” was sold on stands throughout the city. It was what it claimed to be; that is, its gray tones were real. If you studied them with magnification the grays did not turn into little black dots of varying sizes. (Courtesy, David Chapman and otfrasch.com)

THEN: Looking north-northeast from the corner of Main Street and Occidental Avenue two or three weeks after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy the Museum of History and Industry – MOHAI)

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: At Warshal's Workingman's Store a railroad conductor, for instance, could buy his uniform, get a loan, and/or hock his watch. Neighbors in 1946 included the Apollo Cafe, the Double Header Beer Parlor, and the Circle Theatre, all on Second Avenue.

THEN: With the clue of the ornate Pergola on the right, we may readily figure that we are in Pioneer Square looking south across Yesler Way.

THEN: The Lebanon aka Jesse George building at Occidental and Main opened with the Occidental Hotel in 1891. Subsequently the hotel’s name was changed first to the Touraine and then to the Tourist. The tower could be seen easily from the railroad stations. It kept the name Tourist until replaced in 1960 with a parking lot. (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: Built in 1900 the Corgiat Building lost its cornice and identifying sign to the 1949 earthquake. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)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: A winter of 1918 inspection of some captured scales on Terrace Street. The view looks east from near 4th Avenue. (Courtesy City Municipal Archives)

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: Pioneer mailman Dutch Ned poses on his horse on Cherry Street. The ca. 1880 view looks east over First Avenue when it was still named Front Street. (Courtesy: The Museum of History and Industry, aka MOHAI)

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: Adding a sixth floor to its first five in 1903, the Hotel Butler entered a thirty-year run as “the place” for dancing in the Rose Room, dining at the Butler Grill, and celebrity-mixing in the lobby. (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.)

THEN: Local candy-maker A.W. Piper was celebrated here for his crème cakes and wedding cakes and also his cartoons. This sketch is of the 1882 lynching from the Maple trees beside Henry and Sara Yesler’s home on James Street. Piper’s bakery was nearby (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

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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: When it was built in 1864 Charles and Mary Terry’s home was considered the finest in Seattle. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

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First appeared in Pacific on June 1, 2008.

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THEN AND NOW : LOWER YESLER WAY

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR parade up Yesler Way during national convention or something similar.
THEN: Looking east up Yesler Way with the Seattle Police Department during the city’s celebrations for the 1899 Independence Day.

Seattle Now & Then: Queen City Florist at 13th & Union

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: I speculate that in order to lift the photographer for this elevated look south over Union Street and the nearly new Queen City Floral Co.’s nursery, the photograph was recorded from the top of a Madison Street Cable Car. In the mid 1890s, the German-born John Holze got his Seattle start as a florist-gardener for the Madison Street Cable Railway Company. His residence then was at Madison Park. (Courtesy, Dan Eskenazi)
NOW: With a fortunate fate for Jean’s repeat photography, the southwest corner of 13th Ave. East and Union Street was recently cleared revealing most of the row of seven frame houses north of Spring Street that in 1900 were squeezed together on four lots on the east side of Thirteenth Avenue. The large green home survives in the ‘now’ although without its pointed tower that was “remodeled” away. The green home can be discovered in the “then” above the florist’s home.

Here’s looking south and a little east to the Queen City Florist Co.’s verdant nursery at the southwest corner of Union Street and 13th Avenue.   The Florist’s names were John and Sophia Holze. Most likely they are standing at the gate, bottom-center, posing for the unnamed photographer.  (We speculate on whom the photographer might be in the “then” caption.)

John and Sophia’s marriage certificat, June 22, 1898.

The couple – John, 36 and Sophia, 21 – had a June 22 wedding in Seattle 1898.  John was thirty-six and Sophia twenty, which was John’s age when he first immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1883.  It is, I think, probable that the German couple’s nuptials were conducted in German.  Sophia’s parents emigrated from Germany, although she was born and raised in Wilson, Kansas, a railroad town with its own enclave of Pennsylvania Dutch, and so also a German-speaking community. The mid-west was then well stocked with them. (Leaning on the analogy and evidence of the Dorpats and my mother’s family, the Christiansens, all my mid-western grandparents spoke German and/or Danish more comfortably than English.)

In this detail from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map, Union Street is at the top and 13th Avenue runs up-down the middle of the detail. Madison Street cuts through the upper-left (northwest) corner. The Floral enterprise fills lots 8,9 and 10 of Block 9. The row of four lots holding seven structures on the east side 13th Ave. appears in the featured photos above the florists home on Union Street. Most of these homes survive.
A detail of blocks 9 and 16 from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map.
Block 9 and 16 from the 1929 aerial survey of Seattle. Again, note the endurance of the seven homes running north on the east side of 13th Avenue from Spring Street.   Can you find it in the greater or larger detail included below?
A larger detail of our blocks from the 1929 aerial survey. CLICK TWICE to ENLARGE – (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)]
Blocks 9 and 16 between 12th Ave. on the left, 14th on the right, Union at the top and Spring at the bottom. (Courtesy, Goggle Earth)

In 1909, about seven years after they opened their nursery, the Holze’s ran a classified in The Times seeking “Girl for General Housework; two in family; German preferred, 1223 E. Union.”  In the 1910 federal census, Emily L. Taylor is listed as living with the Holze’s, but at age 57, the “cook and servant” Emily was hardly a girl.  Herman Andrews, the 63-year-od “laborer, gardener,” also living with them, was also born in Germany.  Keeping track of the Germans on Union Street, the “wage worker” Ernestine Mohr, age 62, and listed in the 1920 federal census, was born in Germany and naturalized here.  Like the widower Andrews, Mohr was a widow. 

The Seattle Florist Association’s ad for its 1905 Chrysanthemum Show in Christensen’s Hall in the Arcade Bldg., on Second Avenue.

In 1912 the Holze’s added a store to their nursery: a “nicely fitted glass structure.” The Florist’s Review for Nov. 14, 1912 reported, “The company has the satisfaction of knowing that the place is now thoroughly up-to-date. The stock is all looking first-class … and everything is in condition for a large business.”  And as it grew the couple and their flora did well.  In 1905, soon after they moved into their Union Street quarters, John served as assistant secretary for the Seattle Florist Association’s flower show, which, the Times reported, was not only an artistic success, but paid for itself.”  It was Seattle’s first big flower show, and The Times concluded that it went a long ways towards proving something “not to be so … the flippant saying that the men and women of Seattle are so busy making money that they have no time for the finer things.”  Meanwhile Sophia did the accounting. 

Longer open hours for munitions workers during World War One. A clip from the Seattle Times for January 18, 1918.
“Respectable” florists promoting softer sales “in the time of bereavement.” A Times clip from October 20, 1914.

For their first adventure after retiring the Union Street enterprise in 1927, the German-American couple vacationed in Germany.  Sophia was 49 and John an appropriate 65.  They stayed involved.  From the 1929 Northwest Florist Association Show they won first prize for Maroon Carnations. 

ACROSS THIRTEENTH AVENUE

A detail from the 1904-5 Sanborn Real Estate Map showing our two featured blocks between 12th Avenue, on the left, and 14th Avenue, on the right, and with E. Union Street on the top and E. Spring Street at the bottom.  

At the northeast corner of Spring and Thirteenth the first of seven 1900 homes built on the east side of Thirteen on the first four lots north of Spring Street. [CLICK TO ENLARGE] (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, kept at the branch on the Bellevue Community College Campus.)WEB EXTRAS
Another of the seven, this at 1118 13th Avenue.
The most northerly of the seven, and resting beside the Zelma Apartments, on the left and below.
Jean’s featured NOW repeated. The Zelma Apartments are across Thirteenth Avenue on the far left
One of hundreds of apartment house snapshots taken by The Seattle Times for its Real Estate Pages in the 1930s. This is the same Zelma Apts that appears on the far left of the photograph above this one. The Times explains this photo so.  “The Zelma Apartments, located at 1128 13th Ave., are among the most popular on First Hill. According to Mrs. Pearl Jensen, owner, the apartment rental situation [in the great depression] is much in favor of tenants. Although operating costs, she says, have advanced, rentals have remained the same.” Reports and advertisements for the Zelma begin in the 1920s and with a different name, the Solana Apartments. The name change came soon after the “Great Crash” of 1929 that began the shattering of the economy.  A pre-crash Times classified for May 25, 1928 reads “Under New Management Solana Apts., 1128 13th Ave. near Union. Overstuffed furniture, free ice, gas, light, phone service, linen, dishes, silver. Large sunny rooms, shower bath. Outside dress-room, corner apartment , accommodate 3, $50 to $65.”

WEB EXTRAS – Anything to add, lads?   Yup Jean.  Thirty-four featured links from the neighborhood loosely conceived, and whatever they hold of other links.  Surely many of these will be familiar to our most dedicated readers, who I imagine accept my mother’s wisdom – which we repeat again and again – that “Repetition is the Mother of All Learning.”

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

yesler-way-umpire-day

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 home at bottom right looks across Madison Street (out of frame) to Central School. The cleared intersection of Spring Street and Seventh Avenue shows on the right.

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

tsutakawa-1967-then

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THEN:

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

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

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THEN: Constructed in 1890 as the Seattle Fire Department’s first headquarters, these substantial four floors (counting the daylight basement) survived until replaced by Interstate Five in the 1960s. (photo by Frank Shaw)

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

THEN: Looking west on Madison Street from Seventh Avenue circa 1909. (Courtesy, Washington State Museum, Tacoma)

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: 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: 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: This Seattle Housing Authority photograph was recorded from the top of the Marine Hospital (now Pacific Tower) on the north head of Beacon Hill. It looks north to First Hill during the Authority’s clearing of its southern slope for the building of the Yesler Terrace Public Housing. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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

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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)

sorrento-late-construction-WEB

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)

Seattle Now & Then: The Armour Building

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The Chicago packer’s J. Ogden Armour’s namesake building at the northeast corner of Third avenue and Jackson Street, ca. 1912.
NOW: A glass-enclosed stairway now leads from the Second Avenue Extension down to the track level of King Street Station.

While surely formidable, the Armour and Co. building at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Jackson Street was not designed to be admired on the merits of its east façade, as seen here looking west from the sidewalk on the west side of Fourth Avenue South.  Instead the building’s show-front looked south over Jackson Street to the railroad depots.  The railroad tracks showing here connect the Great Northern Depot with the tunnel that still passes north under the business district to the foot of Belltown’s Virginia Street.  The tunnel, first opened in 1905, was the best reason why J. Ogden Armour, the “millionaire Chicago packer,” chose this location for his refrigerated distribution center for the Pacific Northwest, as well as Alaska, which was then still paying for some of its meat with nuggets.  Seattle was also nearer than either California or Portland to the hoped-for meat eaters of the Far East.  

Detail from a mid-1920’s Seattle map showing the footprint for the Armour Building and many of its neighbors.

Among Armour’s nationally distributed offerings were Star, “The Ham What Am,”  and “Simon Pure” leaf lard.  Billboards for those once popular brands stand on the roof built over the reinforced concrete delivery apron that was for the ready use of trucks and teams off Jackson Street, where the Armour Building climbed to its crown without interruption. The height of this building was six -, or seven -, or even eight – stories, depending upon one’s prospect and also upon how one counts floors.  

The Armour building as it preferred to be seen from the GN Depot. The photo also displays  a variety of U.S. Postal Service vehicles. The top floors of the Richmond Hotel on the southeast corner of Main and 4th Avenue rise above the Jackson Street level approach to the GN Depot. [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

In the Armour’s featured photo put at the top of this little essay and   above the tracks, the building’s cornice reveals a shortage of symmetry. Above the sidewalk on Jackson Street the building’s crown is larger [see the photo directly above] than that turned out atop the windowless brick wall on the north, or right, side.  The east side also makes another construction confession, of sorts.  In 1908 the company lost in its efforts to convince the Seattle City Council that it be permitted to eliminate an exterior fire escape and standpipe on the grounds that its sturdy new northwest headquarters would have both inside.  And, besides, the owners reasoned, the building was fire proof.  Instead, the two unwanted fire apparatus climb the east façade together.  Given the short life of the Armour Building, they were most likely never used.

Taken from the Smith Tower, this real photo postcard reveals the neighborhood southeast of the tower a few years before the 1928-29 Second Avenue extension razed the Armour Building and much else.  This ca. 1919 panorama shows the relative size of the Armour building (just below the subject’s center) and the Richmond Hotel, far left.  You may wish to compare this pan with the two that are placed below near the end of this  exposition – the written part – which were also taken from the Smith Tower a few years later.  [Click to enlarge]
A Seattle Times clipping from November 1, 1909
The Times review of the opening in a clip from Nov. 4, 1909.

On November 2, 1909, Armour’s Northwest manager Thomas Kleinogle introduced the plant to 20,000 visitors.  Kleinogle also served sandwiches, pickles and coffee throughout the day, accompanied by an orchestra.  The Times faint review (above) had the musicians playing an “interesting program.”  The engine room in the basement was a steady draw.  It ran the plant’s refrigerating machines, coolers, and a steam-heating plant.  It also controlled the atmosphere for six smokehouses, the sweet pickling of meats, and the churning room for the company’s butter (ultimately two-thousand pounds a day).   And the Armour Building soon had tenants, including the first home for Seattle’s Sears and Roebuck, electrical equipment manufacturers NePage McKenny, Waak-Killen Piano Co. and the Seattle Branch for the Pennsylvania Oilproof Vacuum Cup Tires, which were understandably popular on Seattle’s perilously slippery hills. 

From the Times for April 22, 1915.

A decade more and the doors were again opened, on May 4, 1919, to the public for inspection, including what The Times complimented as a “splendid new beef cooling room.”  Armour had spent $100,000 on its newest improvements.  Just eight years later the company was paid, by court order, $400,000 for the building, the most valuable property razed during the course of the 1928-29 Second Avenue Extension.   

Construction on the Second Ave. Extension through the block that previously held the Armour Building. The view looks southeast with the Union Depot on the Right.
Second Avenue Extension looking north from the RR Station for a variety of railroads, i.e. a “union station” for the Milwaulkee RR, the Union Pacific, the Oregon and Washington RR, and others.
Detail from the 1912 Baist Map through which someone has drawn the thruway for the Second Avenue Extension. Note the Armour Building at the bottom-right and the Fire Department Headquarters, near the center of the subject.  Of these  working landmarks were razed for the 1928-29 Extension.
Before the extension – nearly. The photograph from the Smith Tower is dated March 14, 1928. The southeast corner of Second Avenue and Washington Street has just been razed. [Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive]
After the extension (just) with neither the Fire Station nor the Armour. Photographed on June 11, 1920.

WEB EXTRAS

A couple more shots in the vicinity:

Looking north into the railroad tunnel
Old graffitied columns support Fourth Avenue’s west side

And in answer to Eric Adman’s query – here’s a detail from the historic photo:

Graffiti on the boxcar?

Anything to add, amigos?   Yes, and germane Jean: Edge Links and a few more relevant and more ancient features.

a-king-gas-3247-blog

gn-depot-e-on-king-blog

THEN: Looking northwest from the 4th Avenue trestle towards the Great Northern Depot during its early 20th Century construction. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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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: In the older scene daring steel workers pose atop construction towers during the 1910 building of the Union Depot that faces Jackson Street.

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: The Pacific House, behind the line-up of white-gloved soldiers, might have survived well into the 20th Century were it not destroyed during Seattle’s Great Fire of 1889. Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry

THEN: The Lebanon aka Jesse George building at Occidental and Main opened with the Occidental Hotel in 1891. Subsequently the hotel’s name was changed first to the Touraine and then to the Tourist. The tower could be seen easily from the railroad stations. It kept the name Tourist until replaced in 1960 with a parking lot. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: At Warshal's Workingman's Store a railroad conductor, for instance, could buy his uniform, get a loan, and/or hock his watch. Neighbors in 1946 included the Apollo Cafe, the Double Header Beer Parlor, and the Circle Theatre, all on Second Avenue.

THEN: The Freedman Building on Maynard Avenue was construction soon after the Jackson Street Regrade lowered the neighborhood and dropped Maynard Avenue about two stories to its present grade in Chinatown. (Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: This “real photo postcard” was sold on stands throughout the city. It was what it claimed to be; that is, its gray tones were real. If you studied them with magnification the grays did not turn into little black dots of varying sizes. (Courtesy, David Chapman and otfrasch.com)

THEN: Looking north-northeast from the corner of Main Street and Occidental Avenue two or three weeks after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy the Museum of History and Industry – MOHAI)

THEN: Looking north from Yesler Way over the Fifth Avenue regrade in 1911. Note the Yesler Way Cable rails and slot at the bottom. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: Built in 1900 the Corgiat Building lost its cornice and identifying sign to the 1949 earthquake. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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.)

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FOUR OR FIVE YEARS BEFORE THE ARMOUR

An early view north from the Great Northern Tower a few years before the construction of both the Armour Building and the Richmond Hotel  [CLICK to ENLARGE]

Seattle Now & Then: Broadway and Republican

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The billboard for Karo Syrup is the intended subject in this early 1930s cityscape at the Capitol Hill intersection of Broadway and Republican Street.
NOW: The early twentieth-century frame box at the corner was razed in 1977 for a brick commercial block.
The county tax photo, probably from 1937 when the first WPA illustrated inventory of taxable structures reached Capitol Hill. (Courtesy Washington State Archive)
We were kicked out of the corner box in 1977 when it was razed for this brick retail corner. This is the first tax photo of the change and “must” date from the late 1970s. If memory serves it was Winchell’s that first took the corner. A quarter-century later and it would have been Starbucks, and is.

It was a delightful surprise to come – but not stumble –upon this week’s “then.”  In the mid-1970s I lived on the second floor of this big box at the southeast corner of Broadway and Republican Street.  I shared the space with other instructors and students connected with the nearby Cornish School of the Arts.  (Seattle’s by now celebrated empresario Norm Langill [of both One Real and Teatro ZinZanni] had the attic – and the steep stairway to it.)

Norm Langill at my 40th birthday party in the fall of 1978. By then we had both moved off Broadway.  Bill Burden, then my new roommate, but in the Cascade Neighborhood and not on Broadway, tried to take a portrait of everyone attending the party in the third floor artists’ lofts on the top and Third floor of the American Meter Machine building on Westlake Ave.  Bill Burden is known to some of you as the propagandist-promoter for the good night salutations “Nighty-Bears.”  Bless him.

The featured photo at the top is another of the several 5×7 inch negatives included in a study of billboards and their settings photographed during the years of the Great Depression, from 1929 into the early 1940s. Many of the billboard negatives come with a full day-month-year date, but not our  featured photo.  For guidance we turned next to the property record cards from the 1937 W.P.A. photo-survey.

Another Billboard negative, this one looking south on Broadway from Harrison and especially interested in the billboard on the south side of Thomas. This one is dated Augurst 26, 1940. Fifteen year later Ivar Haglund would remodel the service station on the right into his first Capitol Hill eatery. It featured a mix of Puget Sound seafood, Mexican, Chinese and hamburger menus.
The hamburger grill at Ivar’s on Broadway. The camera looks south across Thomas Street.

The cards show that the narrow vacant lot seen here to the south of our corner lot was developed in 1935 by a jeweler named William Cobb. So our “then” dates from before 1935.  (See the right side of t he ca. 1937 tax photo five cards up.)  Coming with his own sidewalk clock, Cobb lent some class to the block-long collection of often-typical retailers on this east side of Broadway between Harrison and Republican Streets. The strip included a G.O. Guy Drugs, a Diamond 5c to $1.00 Store, a Brehms Delicatessen, the Yoshihard Laundry, Sam Tanneff’s Shoe Repair, John Jone’s Meats and three greengrocers, including the long-time tenant Queen City Grocery here at 434 Broadway. Whatever their age, there is something fresh about the retailers here, both brick and frame.  Between Harrison and Roy Streets they were all – including the big box – dragged east in 1930-31 for the widening and somewhat fussy straightening of Broadway. 

Looking north on Broadway from Harrison St street with the 1931 widening of Broadway a work-in-progress. Note the Broadway Market on the left, and the Pilgrim Congregational Church on the right with its tower topping the northeast corner of Broadway and Republican. That puts our “box rental” at the southeast corner to this side of the church. As a service in this hide-and-seek we’ll include a detail of it below.
(See the caption above.)
The city’s public works photograph took this photo of the work on Broadway on August 25,1931. Again, the subject looks north thru Harrison’s intersection with Broadway. The Pilgrim tower is also showing.
Both our featured box-rental and Pilgrim church appear at the top (center) to either side of Republican Street in a detail from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map. At that time there was not much else on Block 30 of the Pontius Supplement Addition. It is centered in the map detail.

This week’s featured  “then” was probably photographed soon after the move.  Behind the signed windows upstairs are the offices of a chiropractor and the dentist Dr. J. Marvin Brown.  A mention about Brown from The Times in 1931 is not an advertisement for painless extractions, but news that he was part of the Reception Committee for a Capitol Club Banquet at Pilgrim Congregational Church, located across Republican Street from his office.  The impressive line-up of speakers included the governor, the mayor and the president of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. 

The dentist was probably as well known for his trigger-finger as for his drill.  Brown’s hunting and fishing feats often made the news.  He appeared on the front cover of the Seattle Sunday Times color rotogravure Pictorial for November 7, 1954. (Check out the Times archive, if you will.)  In that precursor of this magazine, Brown cuddles in a still life, with his Springer Spaniel, shotgun and bagged pheasant, beside a rustic barn near the Whitman County village of Hay. 

At early ad for Karo Syrup pulled from a Seattle Times for 1917.

But, of course, at least for the “then” photographer, the intended celebrity here is the billboard for the corn product Karo, a table syrup introduced in 1902 and soon advertised nation-wide as “The Great Spread for Daily Bread.”

From The Seattle Times for Sept. 6, 1928 one of the rare mentions of the Queen City Grocery as the main tenant at the southeast corner of Republican and Broadway during its long stay.  CLICK TWIC TO ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, les mecs?   Yes Jean, Ron has gathered a sweet collection of relevant features and will attached them below.  I’m quitting, however, off to nighty-bears.  It’s 5:15am.   I’ll add a few more features and bon-bons after my mid-afternoon breakfast later today.   And if time encourages me I’ll put up a few of the thousands of Broadway Bus Stop portraits I snapped  in 1976-77 from the Kitchen Window on the second floor of our rental-box above Peters on Broadway.  I am fond of them.

THEN: Looking south on 10th Avenue E. to the freshly re-paved intersection where Broadway splits into itself and 10th Avenue North in 1932.

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

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

THEN: Capitol Hill’s Society Theatre first opened its doors in 1911. This record of it most likely dates from 1920, the first year in which the theatre could have shown the four films promoted with sensational posters near its front doors: the comedy “Mary’s Ankle,” “The Sagebrusher,” a western, “Silk Husbands and Calico Wives,” and “Everywoman,” a feminist allegory appropriately filmed in 1919, on the eve of women’s suffrage in the United States. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Most likely in 1902 Marcus M. Lyter either built or bought his box-style home at the northwest corner of 15th Avenue and Aloha Street. Like many other Capitol Hill addition residences, Lyter's home was somewhat large for its lot.

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)

Holy Names THEN

THEN: Both the grading on Belmont Avenue and the homes beside it are new in this “gift” to Capitol Hill taken from the family album of Major John Millis. (Courtesy of the Major’s grandchild Walter Millis and his son, a Seattle musician, Robert Millis.)

THEN: Samuel McKnight’s early 1890s panorama of Lake Union also looks north into most of Seattle’s seventeen square-mile annexation of 1891, when the city limits were pushed north from McGraw Street to 85th Street. Fremont, Edgewater, the future Wallingford, Latona, and Brooklyn (University District) were among the neighborhoods included. (Courtesy, Dan Kerlee)

THEN: A carpenter’s jewel with Victorian ornaments recorded by a tax assessor’s photographer in 1936, nestles at 615 Eastlake beside the surviving Jensen Apartments, aka the O’Donnell Building, on the left. (Courtesy Stan Unger)

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

THEN: 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)

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[below]  BROADWAY & REPUBLICAN BUS STOP AS SEEN LOOKING WEST ACROSS BROADWAY FROM OUR KITCHEN WINDOW IN 1976-77  (at the the bottom of these few examples pulled from hundred of snaps we have put a link to a past feature that also included a few of these Broadway candors.)

A look at the Bus Stop at the southwest corner of Republican and Broadway from the north, looking south across Republican, ca. 1976-77.

https://pauldorpat.com/2010/11/27/seattle-now-then-street-photography/

Seattle Now & Then: East Olive Way, Sept. 21, 1938

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The busy apartment house development on Capitol Hill in the early 20th Century included the Belvedere Vista Apartment, on the left of this 1938 look northeast on East Olive Way. Filling its flatiron block, the Belvedere Vista is also bordered by E. Olive Place and Melrose Ave. East. While the Belvedere Vista does not appear on the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map, it is listed in the 1915 Polk City Directory.
NOW: Seventy-eight years later many of the structures from 1938 survive in Jean Sherrard’s repeat from late winter of 2017.
Later – May 10, 1940 – and a block west on a part of Olive Way that is now the I-5 Freeway overpass,  This is,, perhaps obviously, another Foster and Kleiser billlboard photo.
Olive Way on its ascent to and joining with John Street, August 13, 1942. The view looks southwest thru the block between Howell Street and Bellevue Avenue. CLICK TO ENLARGE
The intersection of Broadway – another “way” and with the Broadway Theatre on the right – looking west on John Street. In the first proposal for the Olive way this two block extension east from Harvard Avenue was planned as an underpass meant to avoid the inevitable jams at Broadway – this intersection.

Without shadows or a sidewalk clock we cannot tell the time of day in our feat ured photo at the top, but we do know the date.  It is printed on the negative: September 21, 1938.  We may easily imagine what the drivers and passengers in these vehicles feel as they percuss across the red brick paving of East Olive Way as it intersects with Melrose Avenue on the west slope of Capitol Hill.  Seattle’s first ‘ways’ – Broadway, Yesler Way, Denny Way – were distinguished for acting as borders between the city’s large sections: i.e., northeast, north, northwest and so on.  The sections also eased the sorting and delivery of mail.  ‘Way’ was later used for roads requiring more eccentric work, such as for cutting a diagonal through a neighborhood. (I’ve counted about 25 of them north of Denny Way.) The diagonals Olive Way and Bothell Way were both supported by ordinances in 1920, followed by bulldozers

A Times report from September 3, 1920 treating on new “ways.” [CLICK to ENLARGE]

A TIMES report from March 23, 1922. CLICK-click to ENLARGE

in 1922-23.  The Olive cut was first proposed in 1907 by what the press –The Times included – identified as a few “real estate boomers.”  The speculators were stopped by a neighborhood protest of over one-hundred “prominent men and women (living in) the Harvard Avenue and Broadway districts.”

From The Times for February 6, 1907
CLICK-CLICK TO ENLARGE – from February 16, 1907

The later slicing for Olive Way began at Bellevue Avenue, where we see it make its turn to the left at the center of the featured photograph, below the Edwards Coffee billboard.  From there, it swoops through five blocks to where it joins with a widened John Street at Harvard Avenue.  The original 1920 proposal to speed the traffic with an arterial underpass beneath both Harvard Avenue and Broadway was dropped.  And so was a new name proposed.  

CLICK CLICK to ENLARGE –  This detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map shows that some later hand has drawn in the proposed Olive Way extension Joining Olive Way with East John Street.  

Originating in Belltown, Olive Street was first named for Olive Julia Bell (1846-1921), daughter of pioneers Sarah and William Bell.  President Warren G. Harding’s death, which followed soon after his 1923 visit to Seattle, inspired a variety of panegyric proposals, including one to City Council for a name change of Olive Way to Harding Way.  The sentiment was, however, denied when the local forces of heritage beat it back.  One City Councilman rationalized the defeat by observing that Olive Way was not really long enough for a president.  

From The Times, October 5, 1923
A clip from The Seattle Times for October 26, 1923.

By reading The Seattle Times archives for September 21, 1938, we can also speculate about what many – probably most – drivers and passengers would be thinking before the day was out.  This was the day when Czechoslovakia accepted the British-French plan of a compromise capitulation (aka the Munich Agreement) for restraining the Czech’s maniacal neighbor, Adolf Hitler, from inciting greater chaos. The Germans were allowed to annex much of the Sudetenland, the Czech borderlands with Germany inhabited primarily by ethnic German speakers. A summary of this World War II kindling began on the front page of this issue of the Wednesday afternoon Times. (We will remind you that The Times archive can be accessed with a library card, computer, and some help from a Seattle Public Library librarian.)

From The Times, September 23, 1938.   CLICK TO ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys?  SURELY Jean, with Ron’s relevant neighborhood and thematic past blog features  first introduced with a full-page clipping from The Seattle Times for January 6, 1907, which puts Olive Way within the border of  what some North End Optimists professed was fast developing into “The Heart of Greater Seattle” in – or by – 1910.   (You may have a chance of also reading the presentations prophetic rationale if you click this scan and then click it again.)

 THEN: For the first twenty years of his more than 40 years selling tinware and other selected hardware, Zilba Mile's shop looked south across Yesler Way down First Ave. S, then known as Commercial Street.

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 Dog House at 714 Denny Way was strategically placed at the southern terminus for the Aurora Speedway when it was new in the mid-1930s.  (Photo courtesy of Washington State Archive, Bellevue Community College Branch.)

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THEN: Roosevelt Way bustling after the war.  This subject first appeared in The Seattle Times on July 7, 1946.  (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: With his or her back to the original Ballard business district, an unnamed photographer looks southeast on Leary Way, most likely in 1936.

THEN: As the caption at the bottom allows, the Juneau Street footbridge opened for pedestrians on March 26,1915. It crossed the main track lines – not spurs – of three railroads and reached east from the Georgetown business district to a sprawling neighborhood of workers’ homes on the gentle slope of the Beacon Hill ridge. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives.)

THEN: The Oregon and Washington Railroad Georgetown Depot was built in 1910 about two blocks north of the Seattle Lighting Company’s Gas Works, far-right. (Courtesy, Frank and Margaret Fickheisen)

THEN: Extended thanks to Ron Edge and his maps and aerials for properly siting Braun’s Brewery, to collector Dan Kerlee for letting us use this company portrait, and to Gary Flynn, the Bellingham-based breweriana collector and brewery historian.

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

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/xassoct-poultry-ext-then11.jpg?w=772&h=568

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THEN: Pioneer Arthur Denny's son, Orion, took this photo of popularly named Lake Union John and his second wife, Madeline, sometime before the latter's death in 1906.

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: Photographed from an upper story of the Ford Factory at Fairview Avenue and Valley Street, the evidence of Seattle's explosive boom years can be seen on every shore of Lake Union, ca. 1920. Courtesy of MOHAI

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

THEN: Pier 70 when it was still Pier 14, ca. 1901, brand new but not yet "polished."  Courtesy, Lawton Gowey

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: The thousands of skaters on Green Lake in this late January 1916 view could not have known that the skating would soon be over, one of the victims of the Big Snow of 1916. Courtesy Fairlook Antiques

THEN:  A circa 1908 look northeast through the terminus of the Loyal Electric Street Railway line at the corner of now Northwest 85th Street, 32nd Ave. Northwest, and Loyal Way Northwest.  (Courtesy, the Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: While visiting Seattle for some promoting, silent film star Wallace Reid shares the sidewalk at 4th and Olive with a borrowed Stutz Bearcat.  (Courtesy, Museum of History & Industry)

 

Seattle Now & Then: Our Lady of Good Help – Part 2

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Our Lady of Good Help at the southeast corner of Jefferson Street and Fifth Avenue, its second home from 1905 to 1949, was abandoned following a shifting of its foundation after a heavy rain. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Originally commissioned in 1978 as a mural for the then nearly new Kingdome, “Tumbling Figure – Five Stages,” is artist Michael Spafford’s interpretation of the classical tale of Icarus falling from the sky. Following the stadium’s destruction in 2000, it was placed in storage. Five years later it found an appropriate home on the exposed east façade of the King County parking garage at 6th Avenue and Jefferson Street. Former Seattle Times Art Critic Sheila Farr recently reflected, “Spafford’s work is timeless. His references to Greek mythology are often about hubris and power. What could be more appropriate to our current political climate?”

 

Another early look at Our Lady of Good Help in its new position at the southeast corner of Jefferson Street and Fifth Avenue, this time with a glimpse of the King County Court House on First Hill behind it.  This first appeared in Pacific  on December 12, 1986, – gosh three decades ago.. We will attach the clip below.  I remember well the precariously steep parking lot which visitors to city hall and the county exec building used  when the meager lots attached to them were full.   The intention here is to show the parking lot and apparently not to reprint the full flow of the 1986 text.  This was scanned out of one of the Seattle Now and Then books, and all three of those can be found on this blog.

We continue last week’s feature about the friendly pioneer priest Father Francis Xavier Prefontaine and his Our Lady of Good Help parish.  On October 12, 1904, The Times published what was most likely the last contemporary photograph of the first Our Lady, although the caption, “Old Catholic Church is Being Torn Down” was premature.  Nearly one month later, the ladies of Our Lady held a one-day bazaar on November 22 in the “parlors of the church,” where beside serving a “hot home cooked dinner, ” they sold their own “fancy (needle) work … at moderate prices.” 

The bazaar was a benefit for Our Lady, but which one?  Certainly not for the little Lady first built by Prefontaine’s own hands at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Washington Street in the late 1860s.  It was enlarged in 1882 for the growing congregation.  (Shown directly above.) The archdiocese, anxious to build its new cathedral, sold the Our Lady corner lot to the Great Northern Railroad for construction of the south portal of its railroad tunnel beneath the city.  At that time a new and nearby Our Lady was in the planning for the southwest corner of Main Street and Fifth Avenue.  However, a month before the benefit bazaar, the city’s building department discovered that James Stevens, architect of the new Our Lady, had drawn outside walls for the church that were higher than the thirty-six feet allowed by the fire code.  Following the process of what the city’s inspector termed “wrestling with the problem,” the new Our Lady of Good Help wound up not on Main Street but here where it is photographed at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Jefferson Street.   It was close to the old corner, but not as close. 

The The Seattle Times for September 25, 1904, the architects sketch illustrates some parish news – and more.  [CLICK to ENLARGE]
A March 19, 1905 clipping from The Seattle Times  CLICK to ENLARGE

A more comely version of the featured photo first appeared in The Times May 13, 1905, with the header “New Church of Our Lady of Good Help Completed.”  (The sizeable power standard on the right was cropped.) The article also noted that “The new edifice will be opened tomorrow with a grand sacred concert … Right Rev. Bishop O’Dea will deliver an address of welcome.  The church will be ready for service on Sunday May 21.”  By then the two painters in the featured photo at the top working at the corner beside the small gothic window with the curvilinear wooden tracery would surely have completed their brushwork.  Weeks later, June 16, 1905, The Times reported that Prefontaine was present for the silver anniversary of Holy Names Academy, noting that he “made a brief address,” for he had “aided in founding the school in 1880.” 

A Times clip from June 6, 1905 notes Prefontaine’s part in Silver Jubilee for the Holy Names Academy.
I copied these three (or four) pages out of the Seattle Public Library’s card catalogue about forty years ago. I can still fee the thrills of flipping those cards in their sturdy drawers, and the smell too.

Most of his remaining years were spent with his niece Miss Marie Pauze and her piano in their home overlooking Volunteer Park.  She later recalled that when the archdiocese moved from Vancouver, WA to Seattle in 1903, the original Our Lady of Good Help at Third and Washington was used for three years as a procathedral while St. James was being built on First Hill. “My uncle didn’t want to leave, but he was the little dog, as we say.  He wouldn’t fight, he simply quit.”

Father Prefontaine died in the spring of 1909 of “heart trouble,” a few months after Pope Pius X made him a Monsignor and five years after Seattle’s mayor R.A. Ballinger named Prefontaine Place for him on Christmas Day 1904. 

An early rendering for Prefontaine’s fountain, above, may be compared to the fountain that was built, below.
The fountain as built. CLICK to ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, fellahs?  Certainly Jean but dawdling.  Following Ron’s faithful clip collecting just below, we will not just now add more of our discovering until tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.  It is 5am and time to climb the stairs in remembrance of Bill Burden’s nighty-bears.  Thanks Ron and thanks bill.

THEN: Looking north from Yesler Way over the Fifth Avenue regrade in 1911. Note the Yesler Way Cable rails and slot at the bottom. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: A winter of 1918 inspection of some captured scales on Terrace Street. The view looks east from near 4th Avenue. (Courtesy City Municipal Archives)

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

THEN: On his visit to the Smith Tower around 1960, Wade Stevenson recorded the western slope of First Hill showing Harborview Hospital and part of Yesler Terrace at the top between 7th and 9th Avenue but still little development in the two blocks between 7th and 5th Avenues. Soon the Seattle Freeway would create a concrete ditch between 7th and 6th (the curving Avenue that runs left-to-right through the middle of the subject.) Much of the wild and spring fed landscape between 6th and 5th near the bottom of the revealing subject was cleared for parking. (Photo by Wade Stevenson, courtesy of Noel Holley)

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: 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: Looking west on Madison Street from Seventh Avenue circa 1909. (Courtesy, Washington State Museum, Tacoma)

THEN: Of the three largest Seattle roofs – the Alki Point Natatorium, a grandstand section of the U.W.’s Denny Field, and the St. James Cathedral dome - that crashed under the weight of the “Northwest Blizzard” in February 1916, the last was the grandest and probably loudest. It fell “with a crashing roar that was heard many blocks distant.” (Courtesy Catholic Archdiocese.)

Seattle Now & Then: Our Lady of Good Help

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: On the left, most likely the first photograph of Father Prefontaine’s Our Lade of Good Help at the northeast corner of Washington Street and Third Avenue, and, on the right, a late and perhaps last record of the enlarged sanctuary.
NOW: The Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts now fill the triangular block bordered by Third Ave, seen here, Washington Street and Prefontaine Place, which was named for the founding priest of Our Lady of Good Help.

Judging by the scrapbook* of collected stories told about him, Roman Catholic Priest Father Francis X. Prefontaine was one of Seattle’s more beloved pioneers.   C.T. Conover, himself a pioneer as well as long-time and often-quoted Times correspondent, described Prefontaine as “large, ruddy, genial and jovial with a liking for his fellowman.”   His relaxed candor included a taste for expensive cigars, whiskey, and real estate.  His reputation as a fine cook mixed well with his conviviality.

Not Prefontaine, but rather the office staff of Crawford and Conover. The partners are close on the left, with Conover, then still a future Seattle Times columnist, sitting.

There were about ten Roman Catholics living in Seattle in 1868 when the thirty-year-old priest relocated here from Port Townsend to make a try at building Seattle’s first Catholic Church, largely with his own hands.  It is mildly ironic that he named it Our Lady of Good Help, for Prefontaine was from the start a skilled persuader of Puget Sound’s volunteering distaffs – some of them Protestants – who were, in turn, persuasive in their own communities.  Prefontaine the impresario scheduled fairs and entertainments from Port Townsend to Olympia to raise funds.  Beyond permission from the bishop to build a church, as a secular priest he received no direct help from either the archdiocese or any religious order.

A detail from the 1878 Birdseye of Seattle shows Our Lady of Good Help at the top-center eight years after the church’s dedication in 1870..   The map-maker has given it the number “7” in the intersection of Washington and Third and both streets are also named on the map.  The creek off of First Hill is also seen passing behind the church where it heads south for “Gas Cove” (named for the gas plant showing in the upper-right corner) outlet onto the tideflats of EllIott Bay. The railroad tracks that cut across the bottom-right corner lead to the King Street Coal Wharf and Bunkers out-of-frame, bottom-right. . The coal came around the south end of Lake Washington from the east side mines.  CLICK to ENLARGE

Prefontaine, architect, painter and decorator, set the foundation for his parish at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Washington Street. He recalled, “Every foot of it was covered with monster trees and dense undergrowth.”  An eight-foot thick fir that measured 230 feet was cut and planed for, at least, the sills of the church’s windows.  Behind the church the priest also built a rockery beside a stream that ran off First Hill. He kept a garden there for vegetables and flowers.  When dedicated in 1870, the little church – thirty by sixty feet – seated one-hundred.  Time’s columnist Conover adjusted this, “It would hold about 200 people if the majority were children, and most of them were.”

Looking northeast through the intersection of Third Ave. S. and Washington Street to a Our Lady enlarged with wings to both the north and south.  (You may find other views of it in the clips below.)
Walla Walla, the largest town in Washington Territory, 1876.  CLICK-CLICK TO ENLARGE

A decade later, by the evidence of the 1880 national census, Seattle had surpassed Walla Walla as the official boomtown of Washington Territory. In 1882 Our Lady of Good Help was enlarged with new wings and a spreading shingle roof that, the story goes, was somewhat miraculously saved from destruction during the city’s Great Fire of 1889.  Conover, again, “reveals” that in the midst of sparks and falling embers, an “old lady came and sprinkled some water on the front around the entrance.  A workman explained, ‘The church is safe, she is sprinkling it with holy water’.”  (A local weather watcher credited a change in the wind.)  In the Spring of 1903, on the urging of Prefontaine and others, Bishop Edward J. O’Dea moved his territorial see from Vancouver to Seattle and claimed Our Lady of Good Help as his pro-cathedral.  The Bishop, however, soon changed his mind about building the archdiocese cathedral in the place of Prefontaine’s Our Lady of Good Help.  The parish’s surrounds had become home to too many sinners: a skid road mix of both parlor and box houses.  O’Dea wrote to the Vatican, “the Church of Our Lady of Good Help is located in the most disreputable section of the city of Seattle, and is almost surrounded by houses of ill fame. A great number of Catholics object to attend it on that account.” The Bishop sold the church and looked to First Hill.

 

As the number listed suggests this was taken from a collection – Seattle Now and Then Volume Two. (It is long out-of-print, although it can be read in toto with this blog. Find it under the books button.)  CLICK CLICK TO ENLARGE.  BELOW – Inside the Graham building at the southwest corner of Washington and Third Ave. S.   

CLICK CLICK TO ENLARGE:  A clip from The Times for October 12, 1904. Compare the wood pile here on the far right with the one in the featured real photo postcard repeated below.

Next week we will conclude with a few more of the barely turned the pages of the Prefontaine scrapbook.*  (*THIS MAY WELL be misleading.  There is no “Prefontaine scrapbook” so far as we known.  We mean the entire opera of his work as revealed in often scattered articles and photos and such.) 

Click Click to ENLARGE. This ca. 1900 rare look at the east facade of Our Lady looks west on Washington from 5th Avenue. CLICK CLICK to ENLARGE for at least some help with reading.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, guys?  Surely jean.  Ron has once again put up an Edge Attachment of many features that related by subject, spirit or neighborhood.   They have all appeared in past blogs.   By now you will be familiar with many of them.  Remember please my mother’s admonition.  “Repetition is the mother of all learning.”   These will be followed by a berry basket full of other features.   Which reminds us to once again appeal to some zestful reader to help us scan the remaining features for use here and elsewhere.   There are about 1400 of them. Ron has also come up with a portable scanner to help.

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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)

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Then: The Pacific House, behind the line-up of white-gloved soldiers, might have survived well into the 20th Century were it not destroyed during Seattle’s Great Fire of 1889. Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry

THEN: The Freedman Building on Maynard Avenue was construction soon after the Jackson Street Regrade lowered the neighborhood and dropped Maynard Avenue about two stories to its present grade in Chinatown. (Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: A winter of 1918 inspection of some captured scales on Terrace Street. The view looks east from near 4th Avenue. (Courtesy City Municipal Archives)

THEN: This “real photo postcard” was sold on stands throughout the city. It was what it claimed to be; that is, its gray tones were real. If you studied them with magnification the grays did not turn into little black dots of varying sizes. (Courtesy, David Chapman and otfrasch.com)

THEN: Looking north from Yesler Way over the Fifth Avenue regrade in 1911. Note the Yesler Way Cable rails and slot at the bottom. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: Looking north-northeast from the corner of Main Street and Occidental Avenue two or three weeks after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy the Museum of History and Industry – MOHAI)

THEN: Built in 1900 the Corgiat Building lost its cornice and identifying sign to the 1949 earthquake. (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.)

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.)

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Our Lady of Good Help with its two near wings can be found in this pan that looks south from the Frye Opera House across Marion Street in the late 1880s – before the Great Fire of ’89.

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NEXT WEEK WE WILL VISIT THE “NEW” OUR LADY THAT WAS BUILT AT THE SOUTHEAST CORNER OF FIFTH AVENUE and JEFFERSON Street.

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You will find Our Lady in this pioneer photo from the 80s.  You will not find the Kingdome anywhere – except in the chunks of concrete both given away and sold following its implosion.