Category Archives: Seattle Now and Then

Seattle Now & Then: Margaret Denny’s First Hill Home

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THEN: The Margaret and Mary Ann Denny home spent its waning years, first in 1925 as The Chateau with rentable “accommodations for particular people in the most beautiful residence on First Hill,” followed in 1926-27 as The Hospitality Club, advertised as “for young business girls and students.”
NOW: Architect Earl W. Morrison’s Marlborough House assumed the corner in 1928. In an advertisement from January 24, the hotel’s management was already confident that “To live at Marlborough House is a mark of social distinction.” They were right.

While I do not know the exact date for this portrait of Margaret Denny’s First Hill home, it can be compared to another and similar photograph that appeared in the “Real Estate and Business News” section of The Seattle Times for July 1, 1901.  The newspaper’s caption reads, in part, “The accompanying halftone is a representation of the new Denny Home … one of the most sightly spots in the city.” I think in this instance “sightly” means both “good to look at” and “good to see from.” Understandably, the latter connotation was used repeatedly for promoting the Marlborough House Apartments, seen in Jean Sherrard’s repeat, which succeeded the Denny home in 1928.  From the Marlborough’s ten stories one could take in panoramas of both the Cascade and Olympic Mountains and the continued proliferation of other First Hill apartments as they more often than not replaced single-family homes, some of them near-mansions similar to the Denny Home.

A clip from The Times for July 7, 1901

The Times’ caption for its 1901 halftone continues, “The building was erected according to designs prepared by architects Charles Herbert Bebb and Louis Leonard Mendel … It is of brick and is of the Elizabethan Gothic style of architecture.” In their essay on Bebb and Mendel in “Shaping Seattle Architecture,” a UW Press book, architectural historians David A. Rash and Dennis A. Andersen credit Bebb and Mendel with building “the most prominent architectural practice in Seattle during the first decade and a half of the 20th Century.”  First Hill was increasingly dappled with their creations. In the spring of 1900 The Times credited Bebb with drawing Margaret Denny’s new home, adding that it was “perhaps the handsomest dwelling commenced this year.”

The footprint for Margaret Lenora Denny’s home appears near the center of this detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map. It sits on lots 1 and 4 of block 116 of her parents, Arthur and Mary Denny’s Broadway Addition at the Northeast corner of Boren Avenue and University Street. For some unknown reason it has been marked by an earlier hand with a penciled “X” as has the kitty-corner kit at the northwest corner.  On lots 5 and 8, sits Margaret’s brother Orion Denny’s home, another Tudor.  Immediately below we join an illustrated clip on this neighbor.   North across University Street on Lot 9 of Block 115 rests the banker Backus’ brick home that we feature at the bottom of this little history.  
Like Margaret Denny’s home, her brother Orion Denny’s residence at 1204 Boren was designed by the architects Bebb and Mendel. They sat back-to-back on the east side of Boren Avenue between Seneca and University streets.

Both the featured photograph at the top and The Times halftone look to the northwest corner of Margaret Denny’s home.  Addressed at 1220 Boren Avenue, it rests on Lots 1 and 4 of Block 116 in Denny’s Broadway Addition – the southeast corner of University Street and Boren Avenue.  Arthur Denny, Margaret’s father and a Seattle patriarch, named the former street in the 1850s. He hoped to build a university – and did – in the early 1860s:  the University of Washington.  Boren Street was named for the family name of Mary Ann Denny and her brother Carson.  Arthur and Mary Ann Denny are most often described as the “Founders of Seattle” and their six children – younger daughter Margaret Lenora included – helped promote them as such. In 1901, two years after Arthur’s death, Mary Ann accompanied Margaret to their new First Hill home.  The industrious daughter, an astute business woman, at the time was collecting rent then from several renters, including The Seattle Times for the new plant it was building on Denny property downtown at Second Avenue and Union Street.

Margaret Lenora* Denny *namesake for the Seattle street.
A Times report from Nov. 2, 1930 on a tea scheduled for apartments in the Marlborough House.

Mother Mary Ann Denny died late in 1910.  The funeral was held on the first day of January 1911, here in their First Hill home.  Four years later the 68-year-old `Margaret Lenora Denny drowned in the Duwamish River with three others, after the chauffeured car they were riding in plunged into the river from the bridge at Allentown.

At the southwest corner of Boren and University, the Sunset Club was across Boren from Margaret Denny’s home.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, amigos? Si  For his Edge Links we conspired to include 25 links that related to the neighborhood.  Twenty-sixth concludes the list not for any relevant to the Denny Home but for the sad stroke that recently closes Wallingford’s Guild 45 Theatre.

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

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The northeast corner of University Street and Boren Avenue, across University from the Denny Home on the southeast corner.  Note that this subject is a rough continuation of the one above it.

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: 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: Looking north-northeast from a low knoll at the southwest corner of Seneca Street and Seventh Avenue, circa 1916. By 1925, a commercial automobile garage filled the vacant lot in the foreground. [Courtesy, Ron Edge]

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

THEN: The Perry Apartments is nearly new in “postcard artist” M. L. Oakes look at them south on Boren to where it intersects with Madison Street. (Courtesy John Cooper)

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.)

THEN: Completed in 1900, the Graham mansion on First Hill at the southwest corner of 9th Avenue and Columbia Street is getting some roof repairs in this 1937 photo looking south across Columbia Street. It was razed in the 1966 for a parking lot by its last owner and neighbor, the Catholic archdiocese.

THEN: At the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Boren Avenue, two of the more ordinary housing stock on First Hill in the 1890s. (Courtesy MOHAI)

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THEN: An early view of Virginia Mason Hospital, which opened in the fall of 1920 at the northwest corner of Terry Avenue and Spring Street. In 1980 for its anniversary, the clinic-hospital could make the proud statement that it had “spanned sixty years and four city blocks.” Courtesy Lawton Gowey

THEN:

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: 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: 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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Seattle Now & Then: A Fifth Avenue Regrade, 1911

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THEN: Beginning in 1876, Seattle’s downtown streets were all regraded, starting on First Avenue (aka Front Street). Here, thirty-five years later in 1911, the cutting has reached Fifth Avenue at Cherry Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: For his “repeat” Jean Sherrard had two choices: to use his twenty-five foot extender pole to lift his camera closer to the elevation of the historical photographer, or to record Fifth Avenue looking north through its intersection with Cherry Street from the new grade made in 1911. He chose the latter.

This public works photograph looks into a regrade trench marked on its sides by the claws of the two steam shovels shaping the pit. The teams with their wagons wait patiently to be rattled while being filled with Ice Age droppings.  From another photo, also recorded on February 20, 1911, we know that at least two more wagons are here out-of-frame to the right. All are pointed north down the center of

The highest assigned number, “20128” – of the three surviving shots (either taken on February 20, 1911 or less likely developed then) of work on the 5th Avenue Regrade as it enters the intersection with Cherry Street.   A sign for the Crawford House is posted above the sidewalk, upper-right.  We will attach below The Times Classified section on “Spirit Mediuims” below.  Marked with yellow, we find Professor Ali Baba (hmm sounds familiar) from Bombay India, available for readings at the Crawford House, aka Bombay West.  (Courtesy MOHAI)
A Classified for an impressive handful of “spirit mediums” including Ali Baba and his readings in the Crawford House at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Cherry Street in 1911.

Fifth Avenue at its new grade.  Ultimately, of course, Fifth Avenue will be hard-paved – it is in the contract – but not for the comfort of horses.  They prefer the mud.  After a wagon’s turn comes up and it is filled, its team will turn left (west) down the freshly dug cut on Cherry Street to the paved avenues below, proceeding to make its assigned delivery, perhaps on the tideflats.  The teams will try not to slip.

The same corner a little later and still looking north thru Cherry on 5th. Note that the residence on top has been lifted to blocks for moving to a new but not indicated location. Copies from The Times for March 30, 1911.

We can estimate the speed of this digging with a photograph published in The Seattle Times on March 30, 1911, “printed” above.  It aims in the same angle as the featured photo from the west side of Fifth Avenue, but The Times photographer has moved on and followed the shovels’ work to the north side of Cherry Street.  The stately home, near Columbia Street, seen in the featured photo at the top  in the clear light just to the left of the shovel’s exhaust also appears in The Times published photo, where it is, however, set on blocks preparing for removal to some friendlier lot.  The helpful Times caption also offers some context and statistics for this regradeThe Fifth Avenue Regrade reached from Washington Street to Madison Street and moved 190,00 cubic yards of earth at 49 cents a yard. (We may, again, sympathize with the horses.) The contracts for grading, sewerage, water mains, walks, lights and (to the horses potential distress) paving, came to $270,000.

The third surviving shot of the regrading at Fifth Avenue and Cherry Street. This looks south on Fifth and over Cherry.

Later in November, 1911, the work was stalled when the contractors Marks, Russell and Gallagher (their name is signed on each steam-shovel below the operator’s window) stopped digging until the city agreed to indemnify them from any further slides that might damage buildings along what was left of the Fifth Avenue Regrade.  By then seven structures had been wrecked, most of them near Yesler Way. (The THIRD of the Edge Links that follow this little essay will open another feature that concentrates on the Fifth Avenue slides at Yesler that accompanied the regrading of Fifth Avenue nearer its start.)

Public works watching was a popular pastime during the early 20th-century regrading years.  A line of regrade watchers seen in the featured photo on the right stand on or near Cherry Street. Soon, however, these spectators will have their platform upset when the shovels continue their clawing to the east (right) as far as Sixth Avenue where Cherry Street reaches a natural steppe, or plateau, that paused First Hill’s climbing for one block, as far as Seventh Avenue.

Above: A Times clip reporting on two renters fall into the regrade ditch while trying to move furniture from the Leland Hotel at 511 Cherry Street.  
The Leland Hotel’s footprint appears in red far left on the south side of Cherry Street, east of Fifth Avenue and next to the alley.  This detail is from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map.   CLICK TO ENLARGE.

In this block between Fifth and Sixth Avenues the regraders exposed but did not upset the Kneeland House (aka the Leland Hotel), a red brick hostelry at 511 Cherry Street.  It was three-stories high with thirty-six rooms and set on the south side of the street just west of the alley.  The cutting on Cherry left the hotel about thirty feet higher, and with this difference came a tragedy.  On the fifteenth of November, renter Ella Johnson, with her helper Nettie Herserma, when lowering furniture from the hotel into the new cut, the hotel’s railing gave way. The women were delivered to the Wayside Hospital in the Bonney Watson hearse, which doubled as an ambulance when not busy with “loved ones.”  Struggling with a broken back, Johnson died, while Herserma recovered.

[from The Times for Sept. 21, 1912.  ASK HEAVY DAMAGES – Judgment for $100,000 for the death of Mrs. Ella J. Johnston was asked in the superior court yesterday afternoon against George Nicholls, owner of a building at 511 Cherry Street, which Mrs. Johnston rented.  On November 15 last a porch rail gave way beneath her weight and she was precipitated thirty feet to the ground, sustaining a broken back, from which injury she died later.  James T. Lawler, administrator of the estate, brought one suit for $50,000, and the three minor children of Mrs. Johnston joined in another for a similar amount.]

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, mates?  Many relevant links Jean – most either from the neighborhood or of other street regrades.   Note, again, there is more on the Fifth Avenue regrade in the third of the twenty-seven  “Edge Links” stacked immediately below.

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: Seattle’s new – in 1910-11 – cluster-ball street lighting standards stand tall in this ca. 191l look north on Third Avenue from Seneca Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry.)

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: 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: 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: 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: The address written on the photograph is incorrect. This is 717 E. Washington Street and not 723 Yesler Way. We, too, were surprised. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

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: Friends of the Market president, architect Victor Steinbrueck, leads a cadre of Friends marching for Market preservation in front of the Seattle City Hall most likely on March 18, 1971. (Photo by Tom Brownell from the Post-Intelligencer collection at MOHAI)

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: Before this the first shovel of the last of Denny Hill was ceremonially dropped to the conveyor belt at Battery Street, an “initial bite of 30,000 cubic yards of material” was carved from the cliff along the east side of 5th Avenue to make room for both the steam shovel and several moveable belts that extended like fingers across the hill. It was here that they met the elevated and fixed last leg of the conveyor system that ran west on Battery Street to the waterfront. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

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)

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Seattle Now & Then: Coo Coo Flats

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THEN: On December 6, 1962, Frank Shaw recorded this look north from Cherry Street. The doomed structures that remained for only a few more weeks were in the chosen path for the Seattle Freeway. The block-wide line between Sixth and Seventh Avenues was chosen in the 1950s for the construction of Interstate-5’s concrete landscape through the business district.
NOW: A notable surviving landmark, a large apartment building, is repeated upper-left at the northwest corner of Marion and Sixth Avenue. Embellished with bay windows, it has changed its color at least once, from red brick to a painted beige or buff. As historic preservationist Diana James discovered while writing Shared Walls, a history of Seattle’s apartments built between 1900 and 1939, it has also changed its name at least four times, beginning as the Laveta Flats in 1904, followed by the Highland, the Amon, and since the mid-1930s, the Dover.  The early snapshot from the Smith Tower, below, includes the Laveta Flats (now the Dover) on the far left without its bottom two floors, and so before the regrade of Marion Street between Fifth and Seventh Avenue.  The regrade is described in  the fifth feature include in this weeks Edge Features below.   In the photograph below most of the block featured this week can be found on the far right.  
This detail from from the Smith Tower (dedicated in 1914) shows St. James Cathedral, upper-right corner, with its cupola still intact, uncrushed by the heavy snow of February 1916.  Far left, across Seventh Avenue from the formidable brick pile of Central School, the Laveta Flats aka Highland aka Amon and now Dover Apartments stands at the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and Marion Street, as  yet without the two floors added with the Marion Street Regrade between Fifth and Seventh Avenues.  A feature treating on that  regrade is included below as the fifth illustration in the “pile” of EDGE EXTRAS that follow below.   Most of this week’s featured block appears far right.  
The record of I-5 clearing on the right looks north over James, Cherry, Columbia, and Marion Streets to the temporarily surviving wall on the north side of Marion, which was built to support a Central School brick annex.
Frank Shaw’s August 15, 1964 record of the Seattle Freeway creeping south, reaching  as far as Jefferson Street.

This Sunday’s feature is another witness to photographer Frank Shaw’s interest in the changes to our cityscape that came with the building of the Seattle Freeway on the western slope of First Hill.  Through its construction in the 1960s, this part of the I-5 Freeway kept to a block-wide swath between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Shaw dated this example of his Hasselblad’s work December 6, 1962, a mere fifty-seven years ago.

Fire Dept headquarters at the southwest corner of Columbia and 7th Avenue photographed by A. Wilse in the 1890s. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

PacificNW first visited this block with another now-and-then feature pulled from the Shaw collection that showed the sunlit façade of the same brick and stone building whose back fills most of this week’s feature.  Located at the southwest corner of Columbia Street and Seventh Avenue, it was the Seattle Fire Department’s new headquarters built soon after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. We may speculate that the preservationist in Shaw took his earlier photo in admiration of his subject’s substantial architecture, as well as it distinguished past.  Dated August 6, 1960, it was first printed in Pacific on Sunday, January 19, 2014. (Shaw’s colored shot of the fire station and the 2014 feature that interpreted it, are included below as the first of the many Edge Extras that follow Jean’s question below “Anything to add, blokes?)

A detail from the 1888 Sanborn real estate map showing block 304 bordered by Columbia Street at the top and 7th Avenue on the right. The first two parts of the row built along the west side of 7th Avenue take lots 11 & 12. The back-porch is included with a dashed line. Lots 5-thru-8 would be taken by the fire station. The house on lot 15, facing Cherry Street, would survive 70-plus years of changes in the block.
The featured block in this detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate map is No. 47. Here the row at the northwest corner of Cherry Street and Seventh Avenue has grown to include five residences. The brick Monticello Hotel is just north of the row and the fire department headquarters north of the hotel.

The more “in your face” subject in the feature at the top is the collapsing rear stairway of the three-story apartment row that in time strung five addresses together on the west side of Seventh Avenue, north from its corner with Cherry Street to the Monticello Hotel.  Construction of the row began in the late 1880s, but not at the corner.  Footprints of its first two flats, the most westerly units of the row, are drawn in the 1888 Sanborn Fire Insurance map.  (Included here two illustration up.)  These two were built on the largest of the row’s five lots, and their roofs distinguished them from the addresses beginning at Cherry Street.  It seems fitting that the

This detail pulled from a c.1913-14 panorama taken from the then new Smith Tower includes most of the block. The five-part row begins on the far right with a pointed tower above the northwest corner of Cherry and Seventh Avenue. The rows fourth part, near the center of the detail, has its unique – for the row – roof. The back-porches here are the same as those failing in the featured photo at the top. The fire station and its tower are on the left with the brick Monticello Hotel sitting snug between the row and the fire station. (CLICK to ENLARGE)
Lawton Gowey (again) took this look at First Hill east from the Smith Tower on June 6, 1921. The featured block appears on the far left. It is still intact, but not for long. James Street climbs the hill at the center of Lawton’s snap. Fifth Avenue is at the bottom. CLICK TO ENLARGE
The featured block’s northern half selected here from a 1950 aerial. Some of the Coo Coo Row appears on the above-center right. The Yale Apartments fill the block’s northwest corner at Columbia and Sixth Avenue. (Courtesy MOHAI)

often generous flow from the First Hill springs that supplied pioneer Seattle are shown rushing across the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Cherry Street in the 1878 birdseye view of the city.  Perhaps the centuries-old fluid dynamics at this corner had something to do with the eleventh-hour settling of the Coo Coo’s back porch.

The featured block bordered by Sixth and Seventh Avenues and Cherry and Columbia Streets.  A detail  is first selected here from Seattle’s 1878 birdseye, and followed by the entire lithograph. (Click Click to Enlarge.) Note the route of the creek (with bridges) cutting across the upper-right corner of the detail and hence through the featured block.  

The recent revelation of the row’s last name, Coo Coo, seems to us both appropriate and surely silly.  The name of the apartments and the tavern at the corner appear in my copies of the Polk City Directory for 1938 and 1950.  In the 1938 edition the Coo Coo’s proprietor, George H. Thomas, lives at 701 1/2 Seventh Avenue, and so perhaps above the Tavern listed at 701 Seventh Avenue.  We learn from a Times clipping for May 12, 1944, that both George and his wife Ethel had their tavern license suspended for twenty days for their “purchase of improperly stamped beer from an unlicensed wholesaler.”  This, I’m guessing, was a profitable racket learned during Prohibition and continued afterwards.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, blokes?  Yup Jean, and its again more features (relevant or appropriate)  that we unload on your digity-dock.  

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: A close “read” of this concrete pile at 714 7th Ave. will reveal many lines of tiles decorating its gray facades. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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.

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

THEN: Looking northwest to Seattle General Hospital at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Marion Street, circa 1909. (Courtesy of Michael Maslan)

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

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: The Perry Apartments is nearly new in “postcard artist” M. L. Oakes look at them south on Boren to where it intersects with Madison Street. (Courtesy John Cooper)

THEN: Through its now long life as a local landmark, the Sorrento Hotel, at the northwest corner of Madison Street and Terry Avenue, has been variously referred to as Seattle’s “Honeymoon Hotel,” its “Most Romantic Hotel,” a “remnant of Seattle’s original cocktail culture,” and now, more often, “Seattle’s original boutique hotel.” (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry.)

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

THEN: A half-century after they reached the top of First Hill, electric streets cars and cable cars prepare to leave it. (Courtesy, The Museum of History and Industry)

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

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: At the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Boren Avenue, two of the more ordinary housing stock on First Hill in the 1890s. (Courtesy MOHAI)

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.)

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Seattle Now & Then: Mysterious Dance at Olive and Terry

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THEN: For some unrecorded reason in the late 1920s, I figure, an unnamed photographer was attracted to the diverse urban clutter to the sides of this intersection of Olive Street (upper-left) and Terry Avenue (lower-left.) [Courtesy, Lawton Gowey]
NOW: The building boom that continues to punctuate both the Denny Regrade and Denny Triangle neighborhoods with high-rises has so far missed the small flatiron shaped block on which the Church of the Covenanters in 1894 first built their sanctuary facing Olive Street.

Long ago, years before The Times first encouraged me in late 1981 to submit these “now and then” features to Pacific, I came upon this street scene while gently thumbing through a stack of vintage Seattle photographs.  I was stirred by the unnamed photographer’s composition.  Was it the church on the left, or the classy Schoenfeld Standard Furniture billboard beside it that was first intended for recording until, that is, four motorcars reached the intersection and put a lock on it. Did the photographer then sacrifice the church’s steeple and dip her or his camera to record the roofs of the two parked cars and the Detroit square dance that has formed in the intersection of Olive Way and Terry Avenue?

CLICK-CLICK to enlarge. A detail, far right, taken from an early-20th Century real estate map, shows the location that of the Reformed Presbyterian church at northwest corner of Olive and Terry, joined with a thankful snatch of the corner from a Google Earth street shot, and a repeat of the featured photo, also looking northwest through the Olive/Terry intersection.

Perhaps this is less a dance than a tableau of vehicles pausing for something or someone to unclog the jam they have created.  The man in the dark overcoat at the photo’s center is standing very near the right front fender of the small coupe that is clearly prevented from continuing east on Terry by the classy sedan on the left.  We suspect that the latter is waiting to turn north – and left – on to Terry. Meanwhile another sedan at the far right, heading west on Olive Way, waits for the coupe to get out of the way.  The man in the overcoat may believe that he has the right-of-way.  We know the drivers’ rights.  Note the two stop signs: the one, bottom-right and the other standing across the intersection in the narrow parking strip.  Clearly, the right to cross here belongs to the vehicles, the sedan on the left and the sedan entering the intersection far right, on Olive Way

 

For comparison: Two views, above a circa 1892 look east on Street before the Denny Regrade and below it another from ca. 1912, taken after the south summit of Denny Hill was raced and replace with modern office buildings and the New Washington Hotel, the prospect for the second photograph. the below.

FOR COMPARISON, ABOVE AND BELOW – TWO LOOKS EAST ON OLIVE STREET FROM THE ELEVATED PROSPECTS OF DENNY HOTEL on top of Denny Hill (FIRST) AND THE NEW WASHINGTON HOTEL, built as Second Avenue and Stewart Street following the regrade.  With a careful search the south facade and steeple of the Reformed Presbyterian can be found in the second photo (below) but not in the older look (above) east on Olive.    Olive begins at the recently regraded bottom of the photo below where it separates from Stewart Street at Fourth Avenue.  Again, Gethsemane Lutheran with its shining white facade can be spied  five blocks east on Stewart Street at Ninth Avenue. The Volunteer Park standpipe breaks the Capitol Hill horizon on the left.

Both the man in the overcoat and the driver in the coupe (with his elbow hanging out of his rolled-down window) have, it seems, their eyes on the driver of the big sedan.  Perhaps the two pedestrians crossing Terry Street, on the left, are walking briskly to escape any developing collision.  Everyone involved might have been comforted by what is written on the door of the coupe, which, although hard to decipher in this printing, reads “Seattle Health Dept.”

When I first saw this packed subject, I knew that I could easily return to the intersection with my own camera because of a clue on the horizon at the top-center: the Gethsemane Lutheran steeple on the southeast corner on Boren Street and Ninth Avenue. For decades it was across Ninth from the bus depot.

After enlarging this aerial with a pair of CLICKS you will be able to find both the Presbyterians and the Lutheran – and a few other denominations as well. The southern end of the recently completed Denny Regrade shows with its naked blocks on the far left. Both the Bon Marche and Frederick and Nelson department stores hold their grand footprints at the bottom, but still without their added stories. To find the Presbyterians find Olive Street on the far right.

By the 1920s this was a neighborhood of churches, some new, and others decamped from their original and fiscally more valuable pioneer locations, in what became the central business district. The Reformed Presbyterians dedicated their church on Olive Street in 1894. They had also purchased the corner lot at Terry Avenue and probably collected rent from the billboard company.  The church was later lifted and fitted with a basement for a kitchen and Bible School classes.  Eventually most of the neighborhood churches either closed or relocated to more distant residential neighborhoods where the land was, again, cheaper.  The Reformed Presbyterians, also known as the Church of the Covenanters, moved in the 1940s to the Ravenna neighborhood, where they to continue to worship.

Long before there were scanners and personal computers, a  hand-held snapshot of a clipping  from The Seattle Post-Intelligencer for May 26, 1947,

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, bubba?  Jean this bubba-blog business is by now routine.  How many years have we been at it?  Only you carry the keys to these mysteries.  So we start again with a few Edge Links – 25 if them – pulled from past blogs by Ron Edge for the Horatian instruction of our readers, and follow it with a few more distant (in time of publishing) features scanned from clips.  We proceed, we keep hinting, hoping that some happy reader will help us scan the rest – about 1200 of them – perhaps  for a break from your surfing or injurious habit.   By now we know that for many of you these added layers and  metalayers within them are becoming increasingly familiar to the attentive readers we imagine among you – bless you.   Finally, please search for the Gethsemane Lutheran Church steeple repeated in the first three of Ron’s links.  It also appears in the featured photo at the top.

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

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: 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: 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

THEN:The early evening dazzle of the Roosevelt Theatre at 515 Pike Street, probably in 1941. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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)

THEN: With her or his back to the Medical-Dental Building an unidentified photographer took this look northeast through the intersection of 6th and Olive Way about five years after the Olive Way Garage first opened in 1925. (Courtesy, Mark Ambler)

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)

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: Where last week the old Washington Hotel looked down from the top of Denny Hill to the 3rd Ave. and Pine St. intersection, on the left, here the New Washington Hotel, left of center and one block west of the razed hotel, towers over the still new Denny Regrade neighborhood in 1917. (Historical photo courtesy of Ron Edge)

THEN: The row house at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and Pine Street in its last months, ca. 1922-23. (Museum of History and Industry)

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THEN: Thanks again and again to Lawton Gowey for another contribution to this feature, this ca. 1917 look into a fresh Denny Regrade and nearly new “office-factory” at 1921 Fifth Avenue. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey.)

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: 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.

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THEN: The city’s north end skyline in 1923 looking northwest from the roof of the then new Cambridge Apartments at 9th Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: We give this panorama from the roof of the Washington Athletic Club a circa date of 1961, the year that Horizon House, a First Hill retirement community, first opened its doors to residents at Ninth Avenue and University Street. The high-rise L-shaped Horizon stands top-center. (Lawton Gowey)

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BELOW: Later – note the Washington State license plate from 1938, the nativity year for one of us.

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Seattle Now & Then: The Alley That Became I-5

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Everything here is terminal. When Werner Lenggenhager recorded this section of Melrose Place N. in the mid-1950s he understood that soon after – in five years or ten – it would be transformed into the Seattle Freeway. It was especially revealing to find the tall hillside home, here on the left, in an aerial photograph, also from the mid-1950s.

 

NOW: Jean Sherrard’s repeat was recorded from the Denny Way overpass above Interstate Five, or nearly two blocks south of the muddy prospect from which Werner Lenggenharger recorded his spattered Melrose Lane North. Readers wishing to look upon Lenggenhager’s spot should head north on Melrose Avenue North to the point from which they can look directly west across the freeway to the letter Q in the Recreational Equipment Coop’s sign on the west side of Eastlake Avenue. That’s just north of John Street. Werner’s muddy alley was close to the freeway’s existing green center-stripe.

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180 DEGREE VARIATION 

Here gain is Werner Lenggenhager on Melrose Place North, but this time looking in the opposite direction to the north and in the summer with the Place now dry and looking like it has been so for a while.    We do not known which of the two Werner shot first.   We used this one a few years back in our book Washington Then and Now, and the summer comparison also appeared in Pacific, but before they added color to our pages – and many others – in the magazine.   

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Again, for this Sunday “repeat” (at the top) Jean respects the historical prospect of the featured photograph and returns to it – barely.  To really repeat the prospect of the featured photographer, Werner Lenggenhager, would require a hovering drone or the guiding and guarding of a phalanx of the Washington State Patrol Troopers accompanying Jean north of Denny Way to the narrow green belt of shrubbery between the Seattle Freeway’s lower south bound lane and its higher north bound lane.

While I cannot prove it, I’m pretty confident that Werner Lenggenhager  knew Lawton Gowey, the photographer of this look north through the grading work on I-5 where Denny Way temporarily crossed over with a wooden trestle.

What Jean did instead was take to the closest prudent prospect: a position above interstate-5 on the Denny Way overpass.  From there, looking south, his “now” reveals an electric cityscape of high-rises and cumulous clouds standing above the north-bound late-morning traffic.  It is an eye-popping contrast.  Within a few seconds of an I-5 driver heading north under Denny Way they will pass by Lenggenhager’s “alley-scape” position in the mid 1950s. It is about a block and a half north of Denny Way.  (We found it with the help of aerial photographs.) The sensitive perambulator was then exploring what he knew was the doomed block-wide strip between Eastlake and Melrose Avenues, then recently condemned for cutting the Seattle Freeway.

Frank Shaw dates this snap of his May 30, 1962. He looks south on the nearly cleared construction swatch between Melrose Ave. (proper) and Eastlake Avenue.  The site is near where the comely stairway on Republican Street climbed the hill east from Eastlake.   The trees here would soon be felled.  The Pontius Court  Apartment House that was built just north of the steps (see the photo below this one)  has been razed.  It was one of the greater victims of or losses to the freeway construction.. 
The Pontius Court, looking east from Eastlake up the Republican Hill Climb.
The Republican Street Hill Climb looking east from Eastlake ca. 1910, before the Court.  We have written features earlier for both the Hill Climb and Pontius Court subjects.  The latter is included at the top of the Edge Links below.  

The Austrian Werner Lenggenhager moved to Seattle in 1939 and was soon working at Boeing.  He lived on nearby Olive Street just up the hill. As already not above, this is not the first time we have followed Lenggenhager to this alley.  On July 28, 2001 “now and then” featured him looking north at it in the summer when the mud had turned to dust.  Next Spring (2018) when Jean and I hope to publish a book featuring an idealized “best of” collection of one hundred picks from the by now nearly 1800 “now and thens” printed in Pacific since the feature started early in 1982, we will want to include one or the other  (mud or dust) of Lenggenhager’s nostalgic preludes to the Seattle Freeway.

A slide-prone section of the I-5 construction near the Lakeview overpass. Note the City Light steam plan with its stacks on the left.

Werner Lenggenhager retired from Boeing in 1966, giving him more time to explore both Seattle and Washington State with his camera.  Parts of the many thousands of prints that make up his oeuvre are kept in public collections, including those at the University of Washington Library, the Museum of History and Industry and the Seattle Public Library.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys?  Yes Jean more faithfully ours and the  readers’ Edge Links that will click us about the neighborhood and beyond, followed by a few more from more ancient features.  For those you’d best click-and-enlarge to read them – sometimes twice.

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: We give this panorama from the roof of the Washington Athletic Club a circa date of 1961, the year that Horizon House, a First Hill retirement community, first opened its doors to residents at Ninth Avenue and University Street. The high-rise L-shaped Horizon stands top-center. (Lawton Gowey)

THEN: The Cascade neighborhood, named for its public grade school (1894), now long gone, might have been better named for the Pontius family. Immigrants from Ohio, they purchased many of the forested acres north of Denny Way and east of Fairview Avenue.

montlake-f-roanoke

THEN: Long-time Wallingford resident Victor Lygdman looks south through the work-in-progress on the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge during the summer of 1959. Bottom-right are the remnants of the Latona business and industrial district, including the Wayland Mill and the Northlake Apartments, replaced now with Ivar’s Salmon House and its parking. (Photo by Victor Lygdman)

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/seneca-7th-mr-then.jpg?w=793&h=592

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: With great clouds overhead and a landscape 45 years shorter than now, one vehicle – a pickup heading east – gets this part of State Route 520 to itself on a weekday afternoon. (courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Werner Lenggenhager's recording of the old St. Vinnie's on Lake Union's southwest shore in the 1950s should remind a few readers of the joys that once were theirs while searching and picking in that exceedingly irregular place.

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

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: 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.)

THEN: The city’s north end skyline in 1923 looking northwest from the roof of the then new Cambridge Apartments at 9th Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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CLICK CLICK the ABOVE to Read Read

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Freeway Park Cannonball. Are you allowed to do this?

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With the Federal Bldg at the center-bottom, and looking north-northeast through the razing and wreckage when I-5 begins its building through the Central Business District.  What else can you identify?  The Exeter appears in both this aerial, near its center, and upper-right in the sculpture photo above it.   The week’s  featured site is just out-of-sight off the top of the aerial.  CLICK CLICK TO ENLARGE by all means.

Seattle Now & Then: Ballard Beginnings

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Looking south – we propose – from near the corner of Ballard’s NW 58th Street and 22nd Avenue NW, circa 1889. (Courtesy Vera Pells Christianson)
NOW:“Public Plaza” is sometimes added to the name Ballard Commons Park. It is one of Ballard’s few parks, and like the community it too is meager on trees. However, for warmer days it features a “Spraypark,” which is a well-wrought fountain for kids to run through.

This week’s feature may be the earliest surviving look into Ballard.  Beyond that we know little about the photo’s intimate parts. We wonder who lived in any of the about thirty minimal structures that can be barely distinguished through the soft focus and smoke.  The white vapors are most likely from stump fires. The photo’s focus may be the responsibility of the age of the print, the camera, or the person who held it.  We don’t know the photographer’s name, nor are we certain of what the community was called at the time of the recording. However, “Farmdale” is scribbled on the flip side of the worn print I first studied.

This captioned photo recorded near the passage where Shilshole Bay narrows into Salmon Bay (later the site of the Chittenden Locks) is dated 1887 and so snapped at about the time that the future Ballard was being first developed as Farmdale with lots for sale and so more than as a homestead. It was also the year when the Seattle Lakeshore and Eastern Railroad first reached Salmon Bay from the Seattle Waterfront. This photo was used in the now-then feature for August 10, 2014 and is included below as the fifth Edge Link. (Courtesy Michael Maslan) 

Farmdale was Ballard’s first and short-lived name.  In 1889 Ballard got its second name, Gilman Park, and the once forested acres that gently sloped south to the north shore of Salmon Bay were divided into hundreds of residential lots and a few larger ones for the factories that were soon strung along the Salmon Bay shoreline.  Daniel Hunt Gilman was one of a quartet of robust capitalists who organized the ambitiously named West Coast Improvement Company to develop the site.  The place was extraordinary fit for building a community for sawyers not farmers. Judge Thomas Burke,

 

Three Swedish knittters in Ballard (Courtesy, Ballard Historical Society)

another of the ruling quartet, was happy to give up his bucolic visions of gardens in Farmdale for factories.  In four or five chop-chop years the mill town became “The Shingle Capitol of the World,” and more often than not it smelled like Cedar. With its 1890 incorporation, came the third try at naming, and the citizens chose Ballard.  It was given in thanks for William Rankin Ballard the steamboat captain who before the railroad made it to Salmon Bay regularly delivered settlers and their needed supplies to its shores.  Capt. Ballard was another of the company’s quartet.

Early Ballard waterfront as seen from northwest end of Queen Anne.

Of the two waterways shining in the featured panorama at the (very) top, Salmon Bay is, of course, the nearer one.  The other is Elliott Bay.  The wide headland on the horizon is West Seattle.  Right-of-center, its highest elevation is “High Point,” the top of Seattle. (The high point tanks were included last week in a Bradley snapshot taken from South Alki Beach.  They appear on the horizon.)  High Point is about 9 miles south of the Ballard waterfront and about 510 feet above it. Magnolia is on the right, and Queen Anne Hill on the left, with the lowland, Interbay, between them. Left-of-center, at the southwest corner of Queen Anne Hill, the old growth trees of Kinnear Park stand out – and up. For a formality of one dollar, its namesake sold Kinnear Park to Seattle in the fall of 1887, about the time of the featured photo.

An early color-processed slide (and hand-painted) of Kinnear Park, but not as seen from colorful Ballard.

Our featured photo is also printed on page 24 of the illustrated history “Passport To Ballard, The Centennial Story.”  The caption there reads, “The Gilman Park community on Salmon Bay, on the eve of incorporation.  This is one of the earliest known photographs of the community.  Old notes identify the street as 22nd Avenue NW.”  Jean and I think this likely.  We choose NW 57th Street as the repeat for the graded path and planked boardwalk that runs – ca. 1889 – behind the surviving fir tree on the left.

Ballard ambassadors aboard the friendly Tillicum
Salmon in the window for counting and tourists entering the Lock’s fish ladder and heading east to fresh water.
The Terily Tug leaving the locks and heading west into Puget Sound accompanied by two paddle boards. Magnolia is on the left, across the Shilshole Bay. (Jean took this one evening when we lectured to a traveling group of Yale University graduates at a restaurant near the locks on a warm summer evening.)

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  TaTa Jean the same routine.  We start with a few recent relevant links that Ron has pulled from the blog itself, and then add a few more that we have scanned for some reason or other from our old clippings.  Some day soon we hope to find a phalanx of well-armed volunteers who will scan them all.

EDGE LINKS BELOW

THEN: Looking east from the roof of the still standing testing lab, the Lock’s Administration Building (from which this photograph was borrowed) appears on the left, and the district engineer’s home, the Cavanaugh House (still standing) on the center horizon. (Photo courtesy Army Corps of Engineers at Chittenden Locks)

THEN: James Lee, for many years an official photographer for Seattle’s public works department, looks south over Ballard’s Salmon Bay a century ago. Queen Anne Hill marks the horizon, with a glimpse of Magnolia on the far right. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Ballard photographer Fred Peterson looks south-southeast on Ballard Avenue on February 3rd or 4th, 1916. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Captioned Salmon Bay, 1887, this is most likely very near the eastern end of the bay where it was fed by Ross Creek, the Lake Union outlet. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan Vintage Posters and Photographs)

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: This look west from the West Woodland neighborhood toward Ballard comes by way of the Museum of History and Industry, with some help from both Ron Edge and West Woodland historian Susan Pierce.

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: Built in 1910, Ballard’s big brick church on the northwest corner of 20th Avenue NW and NW 63rd Street lost the top of its soaring tower following the earthquake of Nov. 12, 1939.

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: This panorama could have used a tower (or drone) to better survey the size of the June 1, 191l, crowd gathered in Fremont/Ross to celebrate the beginning of construction on the Lake Washington Ship Canal. (Courtesy, Museum of History & Industry)

THEN: Ballard’s short-lived fire station at the southwest corner of Broadway (NW Market Street) and Burke Avenue (Russell Ave. NW) circa 1903. Looking northwest the view includes, above the horses, a glimpse of Sypher’s Hall, a rentable venue for playful and/or political events. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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First appeared in Pacific, May 6, 2001

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First printed in Pacific, June 14, 2001

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Fist appeared in Pacific, December 11, 1988

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Seattle Cedar looking north across Salmon Bay from the Fishermen’s Terminal, or near it.

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First appeared in Pacific June 24, 1984

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First appeared in Pacific, July 15, 1984

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First appeared in Pacific, August 1, 1999

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Top: Digging the large lock. Middle: Filling the large lock during the Big Snow of 1916 as an emergency measure to moved water taxis and other vessels off the lakes and around Magnolia to Elliott Bay. The trollies between downtown and then north end were all snowed-in. Bottom: The Big Lock with the Army Corps’ stern-wheeler Preston heading for the lakes.  (CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE)
Nearly “dewatered” large lock separated from the passing temporary channel for chipping by a coffer wall. The view look east.

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First appeared in Pacific November 18, 2007
Appeared in Pacific first on October 31, 2004
Ballard from 14th Ave. nw at the northwest corner of Queen Anne Hill. Note the old Ballard trolley and wagon bridge on the far right, and the Great Norther Railroad’s curving trestle to the waterfront.  CLICK CLICK TO ENLARGE

Seattle Now & Then: Sea View Hall

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: In 1954, the then 50-year-old Sea View Hall featured swinging, wooden “logoglyph”-style letters to proclaim its name, next to a large television antenna. (Photo from MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, 1986.5.9199.1.)
NOW: Terry Mann, proprietor (with partner Glen Poor) of Sea View Hall, now an online short-term rental, displays a welcome sign made from beach wood by her daughter, Margie Almario, at West Seattle High School five years ago. (Photo by Clay Eals)

Back when the beaches of West Seattle offered a remote respite from the raucous rebuilding of downtown Seattle, an outpouring of tents, shacks, camps and cottages welcomed visitors for a salty stay. One of the sturdiest of these was in the neighborhood called South Alki, now more plainly Beach Drive. This unique structure was – and still is — called Sea View Hall.  It was not really a hall and didn’t sport a view of the sea. But the no-less compelling vision from this 1904 vertical-log home was of Puget Sound, a vista that remains today from the second and third floors over the rooftops of houses that sit closer to the water’s edge.

First appears in The Times on January 23, 2000.

One year after its 1904 construction in then-unincorporated King County, it hosted “one of the dainty weddings of the season,” the bride being Marguerite Rose Maurer, daughter of the builder, John Mauer. as reported in the Nov. 5, 1905, Seattle Sunday Times, “The house, which is one of the prettiest on the point, was elaborately decorated and lighted only by candles.”  With its “Adirondike styled logs set vertical rather than horizontal like the “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House museum.  The Lodge and the Museum, with the rustic Bernard Mansion (long the Homestead Restaurant), are Alki Point’s three surviving log houses.

The South Alki trolley stop. See its feature below.
The beach south of Alki Point photographed by Robert Bradley on May 4, 1964. Bradley also recorded the time of day on his slide. It was two in the afternoon. Search, if you like, the highest elevation in Seattle, marked by the two water tanks on the left horizon. (CLICK to ENLARGE)
A ca. 1930 Laidlaw Aerial of Alki Point looking southeast to the South Alki neighborhood on the far right. (Courtesy, the Museum of History and Industry)  CLICK TO ENLARGE

The Sea View Lodge soon became a cherished landmark on South Alki warranting its own colored postcard.  One example kept in the archive of the Log House Museum and dated June 17, 1911, reads invitingly “This is a good town having parties here every week.  Big time here on the 4th, firing up the street already.”

The Stockade Hotel at Alki Beach Drive and 63rd Ave. SW, stood where the trolley along Alki Beach first made its turn south to South Alki in 1908.  By then the hotel and “chicken dinner house” was seven years old.  It seems possible, perhaps even likely, that the Stockade’s vertical log construction help inspired John Maurer to choose the Adirondike style for his family’s South Alki Log landmark.  

Our featured “then” photo dates from 1954, five years before Benny Goltz with her two sisters moved into the Hall when their mother, Margaret, acquired it.  Benny recalls, the place was then nearly “falling down” so much that banks wouldn’t loan her mother money to purchase it. But “Mom fell in love with it,” tapped her savings and hired a carpenter to return again and again to “straighten it up.”  Benny was married at Sea View Hall in February 1968.

Somewhere on Alki, ca. 1910.

This week’s feature is our return to Sea View Hall, having first marked it with the postcard photo for a “now and then” on Jan. 23, 2000. (Its is printed here three or more illustrations up.) We revived our interest because after years of careful restoration and renovation of the Hall and its colorful grounds, it is ready for its starring role in the annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tour of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. The tour will be both a wonderfully unique exploration of Sea View Lodge and a fundraiser for the 33-year-old organization that promotes the heritage of the West Seattle peninsula and operates from aforementioned log house-turned-museum.   Runs from 3 to 5 p.m. next Sunday, June 4, rain or shine. The South Alki address for Sea View Lodge, 4004 Chilberg Avenue, is fittingly one block off  the beach and Weather Watch Park.

Porch Hanging on Alki Point, this one site across Stevens Street from the Log Cabin front door.

Those attending (by $10 donation for members, $15 non-members) will be welcomed by proprietors Terry Mann and Glen Poor, as well as volunteer researchers and greeters including Ann McClary, Sandie Wilkinson, Dora-Faye Hendricks, Bobbie Meehan, Molly McNees, Brad Chrisman, Bethany Green, Mary Beth Hatfield. Displays will detail the history of the home and its once-quaint tourist surroundings. For those wanting the benefit of a full presentation on Sea View Hall, plus refreshments and old-time ukulele music, a VIP session is on tap earlier in the afternoon. You can learn more at loghousemuseum.info.

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Climbing on Othello up from South Alki.

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WEB EXTRAS

Just shot a gathering of West Seattle High School alums on the 100th anniversary of its opening. Another in a long series of Clay Eals extravaganzas he calls “group hugs.”

Here’s a pretty high resolution version for your enjoyment:

Anything to add, fellahs?   Yes Jean and we will begin with a question.  How do you reach these heights?  I know you purchased a new extender pole of 22&1/2-plus feet for you heavy Nikon,  Add to that your about nine-foot reach and perhaps a ladder too, with a wide-angle lens – was that the piggybacking that did it?  Or did Clay deliver a cherry-picker to you?

[JEAN ANSWERS HERE:            ]

Somewhere in the bunch of related features below, most of them from West Seattle, you will find one that looks at the same front facade of West Seattle Hi.  It was graciously shot by Clay Eals years ago – when the story was first published.   It was not the first time that Clay helped out with his camera – or more –  for this feature.  Surely there cannot be many others through the history of West Seattle who have given as much exuberant help to its culture as has this director of the West Seattle Historical Society.   I first met Clay thirty-plus years ago when he was the editor of the West Seattle Herald.  I gave him minor help with preparing Westside Story, his and the newspaper’s illustrated history of the peninsula.  I’ve been fond of him every since.

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FIRST a bundle of EDGE CLIPS followed by a few more from ancient features with a reminder from Eda Garena, my mother (also called Cherry) “Repetition is the Mother of All Learning.”  (Note: she may have shared it with Horace.)

MOTHER DORPAT SOMEWHERE IN MONTANA

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RON’S LINKS FIRST, followed by a few OLDER LINKS

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

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.

KENNY-HOME-then-mr

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

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: 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: The first Alki Natatorium was built in 1905 at Alki Point eight years before the lighthouse. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

 

 

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First appeared in Pacific on October 10, 2004.

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First appears in Pacific, May 10, 1994

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First appeared in Pacific, October 17, 2004

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Fist appeared in Pacific, May 19, 1985  CLICK TO ENLARGE

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