Category Archives: Seattle Now and Then

Seattle Now & Then: Third and Madison, 1916

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK TO ENLARGE

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

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

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

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

WEB EXTRAS

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

Meanwhile . . .

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

Looking northwest over the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Monroe Street, and the poplars that once bordered the latter.
CLICK TO ENLARGE:  Lincoln Hotel before the poplars on Madison. The Seattle Public Library is on the right, and the harbor is exceptionally busy with the illustrator’s fleet. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)
On of the many parades produced for the 1911 (or possible ’12) Potlatch Parade passed through the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Spring Street. Together the Lincoln, on the left, and the Elks Lodge, on the right, press against their neighbor, a frame house  larege enough to hold lodgers.

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 LINCOLN’S FATE BY FIRE

Larry Hamilton gave me a witness’s account of the 1920 fire that destroyed the Lincoln Hotel. Larry and I became friends through our common interest in local history and more, our study of it as well. Larry did the darkroom work for the Museum of History and Industry, although by the time I met him he had moved on from that charitable work to others, like accompanying me to lectures and shows and such. I drove. This photo of the ruins comes from Larry and it was accompanied with his story of the fire. If memory serves he arrived in Seattle on the day of the fire or the day before it. Whatever he could give it a sensational refiring. We kept it up – our explorations and friendship – until his death in his 90’s. Would that you (dear reader)  and I could bank that vitality. Perhaps his greatest virtue was his sense of humor. He was good a promotion for life everlasting. Hamilton would never run from or out of wit. See you later Hamilton. Just kidding Larry. “Nor can joy be long sustained.” George Santayana. (1863 – 1952). From this southeast prospect here is surely a building in trouble. It requires an inspection from the west to dampen – with the fire fighters’ shower – any thought of restoring the Lincoln.
Looking down we  find some of the Real Estate Row facing the sidewalk on the east side of Third Avenue.

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THEN: With feet nearly touching the Madison Street Cable Railway’s cable slot, five “happy workers” squeeze on to the front bumper of an improvised Armistice Day float. (Photo courtesy Grace McAdams)

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

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

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:

THEN: A mix of workers, friends and guests pose together on the front porch of Sarah Frances Baker’s hotel at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Marion Street in 1895. Built ten years earlier by Martin and Elisabeth Stacy as their first mansion, the warring couple never lived in it. Used in the early 1890s by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, followed by Baker and her hotel, the Second Empire styled mansion’s last tenant was the Maison Blanc Restaurant, which was closed by fire in 1960. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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

 

Seattle Now & Then: A Denny Home at 3rd and Union

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THEN: Built in 1869 by Seattle pioneer Carson Boren at the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Union Street, the charming structure was home for Carson’s mother Sarah Denny and her second husband John Denny, the father of Seattle founders Arthur and David Denny. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: The city’s main branch of the federal post office was built on the corner in the first years of the 20th Century. Its sandstone beaux-arts architecture was replaced in the late 1950s by a modern glass curtain.

On the flipside of the scuffed original print, the caption reads “Built in 1869 by Carson D. Boren for his mother Sarah Latimer Boren Denny – it is now the present site of main post office at Third and Union.”  Actually this tidy home was built for both Sarah and her husband John Denny, the father of Seattle founders, Arthur and David Denny.  She was John’s second Sarah, who, in 1851, with her grown son Carson, joined David and his sons for the seven-month trek on the Oregon Trail to the Willamette Valley.  (John’s first Sarah, his wife for 27 years, died in 1841 at the age of 44.)

The early work of construction on the city’s grand P.O. at the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Union Street was confounded by the city’s decision to regrade Third Avenue the distance from James Street to Pine Street where Third was interrupted by Denny Hill. The lowering of Third Avenue resulted in the addition of new ground floors (and basements) for many of the businesses and homes facing Third Ave. Here at Union the new P.O.’s planned front doors facing Third were accommodated with steps that reached well into the sidewalk. This extension can be found above the trolley approaching Union Street in the bottom-right corner of in this photograph.  Similarly, at the corner, new steps are spread across the sidewalk.  Both proved popular, and became oft-used places for arranged meetings among workers and shoppers.  “I’ll be waiting at the Steps.”

The Dennys had been a successful farming family of exceptional industry, building successful farms in both Indiana and Illinois before together catching the “Oregon Itch” for the warmer and more lugubrious winters promised in the Willamette Valley.  There they built a third farm, while their grown children continued on to Puget Sound’s Elliott Bay to found a town they named after the helpful Duwamish headman, Seattle.  In 1858 the parents joined their pioneering children in Washington Territory.

While still in Illinois John Denny had served in the state’s legislature with his friend Abraham Lincoln.  Both were admired – and elected – as Whig wits with the gift for telling good stories.  Gordon Newell, one of Washington State’s author-solons, described John Denny as an “American pioneer and frontiersman, citizen soldier and homespun politician.”  As John’s sense of humor provoked mirth he was often chosen as speaker, or master of ceremonies for community events such as a Fourth of July celebration. In 1868, as a member of the fledgling Seattle Library Association, Denny gave what pioneer historian Thomas Prosch described as a “series of lectures on the progress of science and art,” which Prosch attended.

In her still enjoyed book “Pig-tail Days in Old Seattle,” Sophie Frye Bass remembers her great-great-grandmother Sarah and the atmosphere of her home.  (John had died in 1875, the year that Sophie started primary school.)  She writes, “Great Gramma’s place was a little white gabled house with wide porches.  It had tiny panes of glass on either side of the front paneled door and a funny bell which I loved to ring.  I recall the hit-or-miss rag carpet, the marble-topped table with the knitted cover that held the family album and stereoscope.  If I were a good girl, I was allowed to peek through the stereoscope, which seldom happened. … On the dresser in the tiny bedroom were bottles of hartshorn and camphor. The little house had the sweetest odor – indescribable – an odor of spices and old mahogany furniture and a whiff of some delicious cake backing in the oven.”

A detail pulled from the panorama below it by G. Moore in the early 1870s. Here the Territorial University stands top-center on Denny’s Knoll with a still forested First Hill horizon behind it. The clear-cutting was on its way. The John and Sarah Denny Home is at the southeast corner of Third Ave. and Union Street, directly below the school on its knoll. A portion of the coal railroad’s narrow-gauge track runs along Pike Street just beyond the undeveloped lots above the fence at the bottom.   In the 1870s the coal was carried by rail from the south endof Lake Union to bunkers at the end of the Pike Street Wharf.   The operation was moved in 1878 to the new coal wharf and bunkers off of King Street..  These CANNOT be seen in the panorama below, nor can the tracks that would be extended across the tideflats from the King Street Wharf to Renton and Newcastle for more coal. 
G. Moore’s pan looking south from the southern slop of the southern summit of Denny Hill.  (Courtesy, MUSEUM of HISTORY and  INDUSTRY)
CORRECTION: Would like to change the last  sentence of the feature above from March 5, 1995 to read “two or three years before this view was recorded.”   We continue to learn – and make  mistakes.

”Before the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Union Streets was chosen by the feds for Seattle’s new and grand beau arts P.O., the corner was home to the Plummer Block. (We have written about this with a feature but cannot for the moment find the clipping to scan – for you.

WEB EXTRAS

Just for beauty’s sake, I’ll toss in an early morning shot of Rainier, taken from the 80th St. overpass over I-5 last week:

Anything to add, ducks?  Jean, proud are Ron and I with our quackery are inserting more features from the neighborhood.  However, and frankly, we wonder if in choosing to insert this “The Mountain That Was God” testimony, had you taken note of what we think is an eagle soaring there and not a duck.  While we do not blame you, we wonder if you could have been more careful. 

THEN: Looking north from Seneca Street on Third Avenue during its regrade in 1906. (Photo by Lewis Whittelsey, Courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

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

THEN: With the stone federal post office at its shoulder – to the left – and the mostly brick Cobb Building behind, the tiled Pantages Theatre at Third Ave. and University Street gave a glow to the block. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Thanks to Pacific reader John Thomas for sharing this photograph recorded by his father in 1927. It looks north across Times Square to the almost completed Orpheum Theatre. Fifth Avenue is on the left, and Westlake on the right.

THEN: Sometime between early December 1906 and mid-February 1907 an unnamed photographer with her or his back about two lots north of Pike Street recorded landmarks on the east side of Third Avenue including, in part, the Washington Bar stables, on the right; the Union Stables at the center, a church converted for theatre at Pine Street, and north of Pine up a snow-dusted Denny Hill, the Washington Hotel. (Used courtesy of Ron Edge)

THEN: Plymouth Congregational Church barely reached maturity – twenty-one years – when it was torn down in 1913 for construction of the equally grand but less prayerful Pantages Theatre, also at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and University Street. (Museum of History & Industry)

THEN: The “then” photo looks southeast across Union Street to the old territorial university campus. It was recorded in the Fall of 1907, briefly before the old park-like campus was transformed into a grand commercial property, whose rents still support the running of the University of Washington. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Looking east on Pike Street from Fifth Avenue early in the twentieth century. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Looking west on Pike Street from Fourth Avenue, the variety in the first block of this retail district includes the Rhodes Bros. Ten Cent Store, Mendenhall’s Kodaks, Fountain Pens and Photo Supplies, Remick’s Song and Gift Shop, the Lotus Confectionary, Fahey-Brockman’s Clothiers, where, one may “buy upstairs and save $10.00”. (Courtesy, MOHAI)

THEN: This rare early record of the Fourth and Pike intersection was first found by Robert McDonald, both a state senator and history buff with a special interest in historical photography. He then donated this photograph - with the rest of his collection - to the Museum of History and Industry, whom we thank for its use. (Courtesy MOHAI)

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Looking south on Third and thru Union Street to work-in-progress on the city’s new Post-Office. The tower of Plymouth Congregational Church stands at the end of the block facing University Street.   Ca. 1904
Showing beneath the slightly older photo printed above are the new front steps of the new P.O. facing the lowered  grade on the new Third Avenue.  And take note, perhaps, of the people meeting on the steps.

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Like the two “shots” that follow, this was recorded in the mid-1980s.  The glass-curtain modern facade from the 1950s has since been remodeled for other tastes.

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A pioneer Seattle baby photographed by the same Moore who recorded the panorama near the top.

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Seattle Now & Then: The Leland Hotel at Pike and Post

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THEN: The Leland Hotel survives – although with many changes – as a market corner stone where Pike Place begins at the foot of Pike Street. One of the earliest adjustments cut away its east façade with and for the 1906-7 development – at an angle – of Pike Place. . (Courtesy, University of Washington Library’s Northwest Collection.)
NOW: In a “tug-of-peace” between repeating the “then” outside with some of the Pike Place pavement, Jean Sherrard, after attending a meeting in HistoryLink’s newest home inside the Market, wisely chose this interior recording, which includes a mother and son, we assume, reaching for Rachel, the Market’s mascot and its bronze piggy bank. The five posers at the center are, left to right, Marie McCaffrey, a HistoryLink founder, publisher Petyr Beck, and HistoryLink staff members David Koch, Jennifer Ott and Antonia Kelleher.
Here’s a coupling of the featured photo with a detail from the 1904 real estate and fire map published by Sanborn, The Leland is foot-printed in the map, although not named.    (Click and blow it  UP now) .  The  Leland is titled or named simply “Lodgings” and on the map as in life it is at the foot of Pike Street,  bottom-left.  The front door is there, a little off-center, as it is in the photograph.  Post Alley is in both and well  before the east facade or wall of the hotel was moved in order to make way for the making of  Pike Place in 1906-7.   Note the shacks and sheds north of the hotel on the edge of the of the bluff.   First Avenue is on the right bordering the row of clapboards standing there.  Finally,  note the stairway leading to the waterfront, bottom-left.  It was not the first PIke Street Hill Climb, but nearly. The first was the narrow-gauged railroad viaduct on which the coal gondolas were lowered to the Pike Street Pier or wharf that  led to the bunkers. From 1871 to 1878 this was Seattle’s primary arterial of wealth: coal from the east side of Lake Washington carried to coal colliers from California.   Our coal was, it seems, better than theirs.  
From the back porch or window of their studio at the foot of Cherry Street, Peterson and Bros, pioneer photographers, looked north up the waterfront to the distant Pike Street Coal Wharf in 1876. The steep viaduct that slowly let the coal cars down from the narrow-gauge railroad tracks on Pike to the Pike wharf can be seen in the forest climbing the Pike Street hill-climb on the far right.
The Main Market Building, ca.1915, extended north of the Leland along the bluff and above Western Avenue on the increasingly narrowing wedge-shaped block north of Pike Street, between Western and Pike Place. Please note the temporary boardwalk built around the southwest corner of the Leland.  On its way to Wester Avenue, it switchbacks around the construction sheds showing near the center of the photo. This was an early short-lived variation on the Pike Street Hill-climb.

Of the roughly 150 thousand citizens living in Seattle in 1907, nine answered to Olds – their last name – and six of these lived in the Hotel Leland.  And surely all of them knew by heart the 1904 pop hit “In my Merry Oldsmobile“.  (My dad taught it to me in the 1940s.  He drove one.)

Here, in the featured photo at the top, stands the Hotel Leland at the northwest corner of Pike Street and the Post Alley, circa 1904.  There was then, as yet, neither a Pike Place nor a Public Market, nor any intimation of either.  The alley-wide arterial on the right is not a Place but an alley, Post Alley.  The building of Pike Place, between this intersection and the foot of Virginia Street at Western Avenue, came suddenly, as did the founding of its namesake public market.

A rare early look west on Pike from First Avenue into the building of Pike Place. The Post Alley descends on the left, and the Hotel Leland stands upper right with its remodel including a bay window over the hotel’s front door, still on the south wall.   The hotel’s bay window can also be seen in the photograph above this one, which also shows the added two floors – at the base – which came with the blocks’ new grade between Pike Place and Western Avenue. 

Pike Place was cut thru in 1906-7 on the incentive of activist engineers and not by budget-conscious homemakers conspiring with truck-gardeners to exchange cash for produce in a public place like Pike Place. ( With the coming of the Market the farmers could get around the wholesale grocers’ gouging on Western Avenue.)  It was the transportation planners at city hall who successfully connived to cut through the neighborhood. In this public work of creating the eccentric Pike Place, they completed City Engineer Reginald Thomson’s Route No. 15, an arterial from northwest Seattle directed into the city’s new retail center to the sides of Pike Street.

A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map includes the Leland Hotel at its new sharpened corner at Pike and Pike Place. Note the stairway to Market Street. As described above it was for a brief period replaced with a switchback sidewalk-ramp built around the south west corner of the hotel. In 1908.  Here  there is, of course, as yet no sign of the Market. Rather this is the Pike Place designed for drivers and not farmers parking their wagons packed with produce.  (Keep Clicking to Enlarge these Illustrations.)
In the Goodwin Real Estate Co. adver from May 7, 1907 there is no hint of Pike Place’s fated Market, but rather a recognition that “Pike Place will be the main channel through which the North Seattle water front travel will pass.”

Perhaps we would be right to imagine that the suited man with the watch chain standing above, and perhaps posing, at the Leland’s front door is its owner Gamaliel T. Olds. The helpful Kate Krafft, one of Seattle’s most effective activists for historic preservation, dates the construction of the Hotel Leland in 1902-3.  In the Aug. 11, 1907 classifieds for The Seattle Times – a mere week before the Pike Place Market’s grand opening – the Olds hotel was offered for sale and described as a “Lodging House, eighteen rooms; good furniture, good location.”

While the Olds were building their Leland on Pike they were running another Leland on First Avenue, north of Pioneer Square. There Gertrude Myren “inspirational psychic clairvoyant” was one their tenants. The capacities she claimed are impressive. She could diagnose and cure diseases, restore lost affection, locate mines, and “tell you all from cradle to grave.” (But why must she bring up the graves!)
Nervous about the effects of the planned Pike Place Market approaching opening, the “commission men” speculate among themselves and for a Times Reporter  on Aug. 7, 1907, a long week before the Market’s first sales between farmers and families, that Pike Place will be busy with “more hucksters” who first purchase their produce from the commission houses, than farmers who picked them from their own gardens.  
In its August 18, 1907 advertisement printed in The Times, the Goodwin brothers played on the crowded success of the public market on its first day while announcing the sale of three of their properties “south of Pine Street.” On easy terms.
A Clip from the Seattle Times for Sept. 4, 1907.

It was the Goodwin brothers, the market neighborhood’s first spirited developers, who purchased the hotel while keeping one of the Olds on as its manager.  Surprisingly, the democratically stressful part of the Market’s popularity soon upset M. Olds. The Times for Nov. 10, 1907 reported that he had complained that the police should “do something to prevent Socialists from attempting to hold street meetings on Pike Place . . . He complains particularly about the crowds, which he says congregate in front of his hotel much to his annoyance.”  Now after the Pike Place Public Market’s first 111 years of clamoring activism, M. Olds complaining comes across as partially prescient and partially pathetic.

A clip from The Times for Nov. 10, 1907.
Lots of besuited bother at the Socialist State Convention in Seattle, 1914.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, mates?  Surely captain.   More from the neighborhood.

THEN: A circa 1920 look north along the tiled roofline of the Pike Place Market’s North Arcade, which is fitted into the slender block between Pike Place, on the right, and Western Avenue, on the left. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: In this April morning record of the 1975 “Rain or Shine Public Market Paint-in,” above the artists, restoration work has begun with the gutting of the Corner Market Building. (Photo by Frank Shaw)

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: The 1974 fire at the Municipal Market Building on the west side of Western Avenue did not hasten the demise of the by then half-century old addition of the Pike Place Market. It had already been scheduled for demolition. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

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THEN: The Hotel York at the northwest corner of Pike Street and First Avenue supplied beds on the American Plan for travelers and rooms for traveling hucksters. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Steel beams clutter a freshly regraded Second Avenue during the 1907 construction of the Moore Theatre. The view looks north toward Virginia Street.

THEN: Seattle Architect Paul Henderson Ryan designed the Liberty Theatre around the first of many subsequent Wurlitzer organs used for accompanying silent films in theatres “across the land”. The Spanish-clad actor-dancers posed on the stage apron are most likely involved in a promotion for a film – perhaps Don Q, Son of Zorro (1925) or Douglas Fairbanks’ The Gaucho (1929) that also played at the Liberty. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Thanks to Pacific reader John Thomas for sharing this photograph recorded by his father in 1927. It looks north across Times Square to the almost completed Orpheum Theatre. Fifth Avenue is on the left, and Westlake on the right.

THEN: An early-20th-century scene during the Second Avenue Regrade looks east into its intersection with Virginia Avenue. A home is being moved from harm's way, but the hotel on the hill behind it would not survive the regrade's spoiling. Courtesy of Ron Edge.

THEN: Looking south from Pine Street down the wide Second Avenue in 1911, then Seattle’s growing retail strip and parade promenade. (courtesy of Jim Westall)

belltown-moran-then

THEN: In 1910, a circa date for this look north on First Avenue across Virginia Street, the two corners on the east side of the intersection were still undeveloped – except for signs. The Terminal Sales Building, seen far right in Jean Sherrard’s repeat, did not replace the billboards that crowd the sidewalk in the “then” until 1923. (Seattle Municipal Archive)

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

THEN: Charles Louch’s grocery on First Avenue, north of Union Street, opened in the mid-1880s and soon prospered. It is possible – perhaps probable – that one of the six characters posing here is Louch – more likely one of the two suited ones on the right than the aproned workers on the left. (Courtesy RON EDGE)

THEN: Mark Tobey, almost certainly Seattle’s historically most celebrated artist, poses in the early 1960s with some Red Delicious apples beside the Sanitary Market in the Pike Place Market. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Pike Place Market’s irregular block shapes and bluff-side topography joined to create a multi-level campus of surprising places, such as this covered curve routing Post Alley up into the Market. Here, in 1966, the “gent’s” entrance to Seattle’s first Municipal Rest Room (1908) is closed with red tape and a sign reading “Toilet room, closed temporarily for repairs.” The Market was then generally very much in need of repair. (by Frank Shaw, courtesy, Mike Veitenhans)

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Seattle Now & Then: Where Rails Meet Sails – An 1884 view from Beacon Hill

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Seattle pioneer photographer Theo E. Peiser’s mid-1880s panorama of pioneer Seattle when it was still awash in the tidelands south of King Street. One prominent landmark that our “then” and “now” share is the Magnolia Peninsula. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: I last visited this picnic prospect in Dr. Jose Rizal Park at the north end of Beacon Hill nearly a quarter-century ago. It was not this flora that impressed me then but the impressive tangle of the concrete trestles where Seattle’s freeways meet and mingle. Now much of the concrete is hidden behind the park’s orchard of apple and crabapple (genus Malus) trees. We are told by the Parks Department that the latter are the reddish ones.

Given its generous prospect, we might have expected that Seattle’s earliest photographers would have made many climbs up Beacon Hill for recording panoramas of the city.  If I have counted correctly, there were a mere half-dozen pans taken from the hill before the city’s Great Fire of 1889.  Carlton Watkins, the itinerant California photographer best known for his early records of the Yosemite Valley, shot the earliest one in 1882.  We featured it in this column a century later on October 3, 1982.

Watkin’s 1882 pan from a location some yards north of the prospect chosen later by Peiser. Note the changes.  You can find the Watkins pan and its featured essay in Seattle Now and Then Volume One, which is featured on this blog.   CLICK TO ENLARGE
Moore’s 1872 panorama of Seattle (combined from three prints) looking south from Denny Hill. Second Avenue cuts thru the center of the photograph, and Pike Street crosses it left to right until its path is interrupted by the roof of the shed in the foreground. The Beacon Hill horizon is at the pan’s center. Yesler Wharf juts into Elliott BAy on the right. The UW campus is upper-left on Denny’s Knoll. CLICK TO ENLARGE

By comparison, local recorder George Moore made his first pan of the city aiming south from Denny Hill in 1872.  That was thirteen years after E.A. Clark, almost certainly the city’s first resident with a camera, recorded the city’s first extant photograph, a daguerreotype of Sarah and Henry Yesler’s home at the northeast corner of James Street and Front Street (First Avenue).

E.A. Clark’s portrait, probably from his own camera, the first one (again probably) resident in Seattle.
E.A. Clark’s recording of the Yesler home, with Sarah Yesler on the porch, is conventionally dated 1859, and so the earliest extant photo of any part of Seattle. And not surprisingly this is Pioneer Place or Square with the rough grade of James Street climbing First Hill with the water flume standing on its south side and extending from a tank of fresh water collected near what is now City Hall Park. The tree line is near Fifth Avenue. CLICK TO ENLARGE

To repeat this week we return to Beacon Hill’s desirable prospect with Theo E. Peiser’s 1884-85 pan of the city and its tideflats. Peiser’s pan shows four rail-supporting trestles heading across Plummer’s Bay to the Beacon Hill shoreline.  The parallel quays on the left were new in 1884, and the space between them was soon filled with oversized warehouses. This was Puget Sound’s most prosperous trans-shipment harbor, “where rails meets sails.”   (And soon steamers, as well.)  This is Seattle, the “Seaport of Success,” and the booming beginning of its now 137 years as Washington State’s principal metropolis.

First published in 2005 in a limited edition for Seattle Libraries and its City Council.  A copy is also included on this blog. 

Seattle historian Kurt E. Armbruster is the most helpful unraveler of the sometimes snarl of Seattle’s railroading history.  The Washington State University Press recently reprinted his book “Orphan Road”.  We highly recommend it to PacificNW readers who especially want to research the “rails meet sails” part of our pioneer history.  Our readers might also wish to consult my “Illustrated History of the Seattle Waterfront,” available for free use on our blog dorpatsherrardlomont, in which I often quote from Armbruster’s book.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, compadres?  We have rummaged our files for you Jean.  May your and your student’s play go well – the one you are producing soon at Hillside School which rests in its own forest wonderland near the top of Bellevue’s Cougar Mountain. (Which means if there is a heavy snow, the students generally stay home.)  Interested, dear reader, in Hillside’s offerings for your children or the children of others? 

You will find near the top of this blog a bug or icon to click, which will take you to the school’s web page.  A good advertisement for a Hillside education is Jean himself.   Now 60 years old (oh my!) Jean was its first student, and now teaches drama and writing there, and produces the plays his students perform.   [Sincerely Signed, Paul Dorpat]

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

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

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

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 Terry-Denny Building, better known in its earlier years as Hotel Northern, was part of the grand new Pioneer Place (or Square) neighborhood built up in the early 1890s after the old one was reduced to ashes by Seattle's Great Fire of 1889.

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)

Looking southwest from Walker Street to the burning ruins.

THEN: The work of filling the tidelands south of King Street began in 1853 with the chips from Yesler’s sawmill. Here in the neighborhood of 9th Ave. S. (Airport Way) and Holgate Street, the tideland reclaiming and street regrading continue 70 years later in 1923. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)

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: Sometime before her first move from this brewery courtyard in 1912, Lady Rainier was moved by a freeze to these sensational effects. She did not turn her fountain off. (Courtesy of Frank & Margaret Fickeisen)

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

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

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

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

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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Seattle Now & Then: The Spring Street Regrade, 1906-07

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THEN: The 1906-7 regrades on Seattle’s Second and Third Avenues required grade changes on the streets that crossed them as well. Here Spring Street is being lowered to fit the new grades at its intersections with the avenues. (Courtesy: Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: The northwest corner of the Seattle Public Library’s post-modern block is partially hidden here behind the One-Way sign at the intersection of Second Avenue and Spring Street.

Penned across the bottom-right corner of this week’s featured photo, is its location: Second and Spring Streets.  The caption is easily confirmed by both landmarks and signs. For instance, the street name, ”Second,” is nailed to the power pole on the left.  This view looks east up Spring Street from Second Avenue.   (We have also posted below Jean’s “now” the flip-side of the featured subject,) which is kept in the Museum of History and Industry’s collection of historical photographs.)

Spring Street regrade looking west from the alley between Third and Fourth Avenues. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Looking north on Third Avenue from Spring Street, following the regrade of both Third Avenue and the front hump or summit of Denny Hill. It cannot be found here.   Circa 1909.
Lawton Gowey’s look south on Second Avenue and over its intersection with Spring Street, on April 16, 1967, and so not quite the “summer of love.”

Most historical photographs taken in the central business district record the relatively long avenues that run north and south along the western slope of First Hill.  The streets climbing the hill are wonderfully revealed from Elliott Bay but not up close.  With Seattle streets, pioneer photographers gave some interest to Mill Street (Yesler Way), Madison Street, and Pike Street.  The others were given less regard.

Detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate map with Seneca on the top, Madison at the bottom and Spring between them. The detail extends  west to east from Second Avenue on the left to Sixth Avenue on the right. You will find here the Seattle Public Library, Providence Hospital, Lincoln Hotel, the Elks Club Bldg, and upper-left all the structures facing Spring Street – most of them brick (red) – between Second and Third Avenues.
The Lincoln Hotel as seen looking northwest over the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Madison Street. The latter is bordered (still) by its poplars. (Courtesy, MOHAI)

The featured photograph’s  look up and through the regrade upheaval on Spring Street includes small parts of structures that in their time were proudly considered landmarks.  Also unsparingly revealed here, upper-right, is one big landmark: the Lincoln Hotel,  Covered with white bricks and stone, it stood for twenty years at the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Madison Street. Opened in 1900, its inaugural name, the Knickenbacher, was later dropped for

reasons not explained in the boasting advertisements and press releases that described it as “Seattle’s first apartment hotel.”  For the generally upscale tenants it came with a lavish pleasure garden on the roof.  For its last tenants the Lincoln left with tragedy: a sudden fire that killed four including a father and daughter who jumped together from their sixth floor apartment to the alley.

The west facade of the Lincoln Hotel ruins with the Elks Club on the left and the Carnegie Library’s south side facing Madison Street beyond the right side of the ruins.

We will use the hotel to find parts to three more landmarks.  First Seattle’s central library, the largest of the Seattle libraries built with a Andrew Carnegie endowment.  We can find most of its roofline, but not much else, to the left of the Lincoln. Like today’s library it faces west from the east side of Fourth Avenue, between Madison and Spring Street. The Carnegie library was dedicated on December 19, 1906, where that public guardian of the vox populi still stands two plants later.  Its northwest corner shines near the center of Jean’s repeat.

The Carnegie Library during its late construction and so without the elaborate stairway that came with the Fourth Avenue Regrades. The view looks east from the southwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Spring Street. (Courtesy, Seattle Public Library)
The Seattle Public Library fronting Fourth Avenue with its grand stairway.

After a half-century of wear the beau-arts structure was razed in the last 1950s for a modern one of mostly glass.
Providence Hospital on the east side of Fifthi Avenue as seen from (apparently from the roof or upper window of the new library. Madison Street, lined with its poplars, is on the far right.

The cross rising here (in the featured photo) seemingly from the roof of the library, topped Providence Hospital, another pioneer landmark. The construction began in 1882 on the east side of Fifth Avenue. Fifty-seven years later the site was fitted with the surviving Federal Court House.

The Federal Court-house on the east side of Fifth Avenue, between Spring and Madison Streets.

With some help from the what remains of the Third Avenue Theatre at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Madison Street, we have pulled circa dates of late 1906 or early 1907 for the featured photograph. The barn-like rear of the theatre partially hides the west façade of the Lincoln Hotel.  The regrade’s deep cuts at Third and Madison left the theatre’s front door stranded high above the new grade.  Russel and Drew, the theatre’s managers explained in a caption to another photo of the threatened theatre that “The work (of razing the theatre) will be started at once, and in a few days a vacant lot will greet the eye where once stood one of the most popular and successful playhouses in all the West.”

THE THIRD AVENUE THEATER looking northeast thru the intersection of Third Avenue (on the left) and Madison Street, with the Lincoln HIotel still standing upper-right.
First published in The Times on December 12, 2004.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, goslings?

THEN: Looking north from Seneca Street on Third Avenue during its regrade in 1906. (Photo by Lewis Whittelsey, Courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

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: 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 south from the Schwabacher Wharf to the Baker Dock and along the Seattle waterfront rebuilt following the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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First appeared in The Times long ago – on December 12, 1984 with Ronald Regan in the high chair and the promise of an Orwellian Christmas for all faiths.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

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Seattle Now & Then: The Hamilton in Georgetown

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THEN: A stately side of Georgetown’s business district, ca. 1920. (Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Only the brick Hamilton Building survives, centered on the west side of 12th Avenue South between S. Vale (on the right) and S. Harney Streets

This week PacificNW readers are asked to figure on their own the date of this Georgetown street scene, perhaps from the motorcars that are parked on it.  Whatever the year, and I’m speculating ca. 1920, the spread of businesses in the three contiguous business blocks snugly grouped here on the west side of 12th Avenue South, south of Vale Street (on the far right) is downright inviting.

We have (as yet) not a date search for this Frasch real photo postcard, but he was very active between (about) 1907 and 1914. Somewhere on the Web a descendant has followed his career. Perhaps you can find it. (For me, it is now 4am.)

Starting at the sidewalk on the left, at the corner with S. Harney Street, are “Roma Imported,” mostly hiding behind the open delivery van, and a market of fresh produce sharing the first floor of the smallest of the three two-story buildings grouped here.  One can imagine vegetables in the boxes shining through the plate glass window. Most likely there are a few rented apartments upstairs.

Here on Jan 3, 1926 Georgetown got its coverage from The Times series on local neighborhood in the 1920s.   CLICK TO ENLARGE

The bigger building at the center is “The Hamilton.”  It is prominently and appropriately signed in relief with more bricks carefully set on its all-brick façade.  We have learned from John Bennett, one of Georgetown’s contemporary freeholders, that it is actually a concrete box covered on the street side with a layer of decorative brick.  More than a century of rains have seeped between the box and its covering, staining some of the latter. The construction date, 1907, has been artfully split to either side of the hotel’s name.

A Times clip from July 12, 1908.   (click to enlarge)

The structure’s three sidewalk shops are, left-to-right, first a shoe repair, neighbor next to the Working Man’s Store, which features both clothes and shoes.  (Perhaps one could purchase both new and used shoes here, although we will note that this glass negative was recorded by the Webster and Stevens Photography Studio years before the Great Depression when used shoes were in greater demand.)  The third of the merchants busy at the sidewalk is the White Front Restaurant.  It is neatly signed on the window.

The Seattle Times for January 3, 1908, reports that “The Georgetown post office and the Georgetown pharmacy have been moved into new quarters in The Hamilton Building, a brick structure.” These are nearly the building’s first tenants for the Hamilton was then barely a year old.  Also in 1908, The Hamilton welcomed as a tenant John Mueller, the manager of Georgetown’s new and huge Rainier Brewery.  Mueller opened an office in The Hamilton for his mayoral campaign, which he easily won.  The Times explained that George Brown, his opponent, “is not making an active fight.”

Marcus and Martha Hamilton and their family lived behind their namesake hotel and hall. They owned the block.  Marcus served many mostly uncontroversial years as a King County Commissioner.  When the first five floors of the City-County Building at 4th and Jefferson were dedicated on May 4, 1916, Marcus was the keynote speaker along with Hi Gill, Seattle’s exceedingly controversial mayor.

With its big room and high ceiling on the second floor, Hamilton Hall served a wealth of patrons for campaign rallies, dances, secret society meetings and such and such.  Its rooftop sign radiates like the sunrises it faced over Beacon Hill between 1903, the year of its construction, and 1972, the year of its tear-down.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  Sure Jean, sometimes we aim to please.   Other times we need to sneeze.  It is one still step after another.  Keep on trucking.  Tragedy/Comedy.   Here’s more from the neighborhood widely conceived

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Tim O’Brian, Georgetown historian, on his stairway.

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King County Hospital in Georgetown

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Looking southwest from Walker Street to the burning ruins.

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: 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: Sometime before her first move from this brewery courtyard in 1912, Lady Rainier was moved by a freeze to these sensational effects. She did not turn her fountain off.  (Courtesy of Frank & Margaret Fickeisen)

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 work of filling the tidelands south of King Street began in 1853 with the chips from Yesler’s sawmill.   Here in the neighborhood of 9th Ave. S. (Airport Way) and Holgate Street, the tideland reclaiming and street regrading continue 70 years later in 1923.  (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)

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: 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)

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THEN: Auburn’s Main Street decorated for its Aug. 14, 1909,  “Good Old Days” celebration.  Photo courtesy of the White River Valley Museum.

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

 

Seattle Now & Then: The Seattle Seven On the Courthouse Steps

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THEN: At the Federal Courthouse on February 17, 1970. By and Courtesy of Doyal Gudgel Sr. and Jr.
THEN: Still at the Courthouse, on April 17, 1970. By and Courtesy of Gudgel Sr. and Jr.
NOW: Some combination of Jean’s quick wit and good fortune allow us to repeat the ecstatic protester with his arms raised with a pigeon preparing to either land or take off from the Courthouse’s top step. Jean’s and my friend, the author Clay Eals, reminds us that “The pigeon is the dove of the street.”
A few Freeway protest shapshots by Doyal Gudgel Sr. mixed in with Federal Courthouse scenex, also by Gudgel, looking east across 5th Avenue from the rear of the Seattle Public Library.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
A Times clipping from April 18, 1970.

I first read Kit Bakke’s ‘Protest on Trial’ as a work-in-progress. The book’s publisher, Washington State University Press, shared a copy of the manuscript with me for comment, and as I read through it I increasingly responded with recommendations.  This week’s edited excerpt of the book’s brilliant late chapter on courtroom mayhem should, I hope, inspire many PacificNW readers to read it all.

Doyal Gudgel Sr. snapped the two “more” historical photographs printed here in 1970 at the front door of the Federal Court House, directly across Fifth Avenue from the Seattle Public Library.  The oldest one, with the phalanx of helmeted Seattle police guarding the courthouse’s broken front door, was photographed on Feb. 17, 1970.  That was TDA or “The Day After”, a one Winter day of protest.  (Again, I’m confident that readers will be enlivened to learn more about the TDA and the many political shenanigans surrounding it by reading the book.)  Besides smashing the front door, angrier TDA protesters also threw paint, and some of it can be seen in long drippings above the front door.

The caption for this Times clipping of April 18, 1970 reads, “S.L.F. in COURTHOUSE PROTEST, Members of the Seattle Liberation Front gathered on the steps of the United States Courthouse yesterday to denounce the Justice Department for wht they called an attempt ‘to crush our organization.’  The accusation was made after eight S.L.F. leaders were indicted by a federal grand jury for inciting violence in a demonstration at the courthouse February 17. – Times staff photo by Pete Liddell.”

It seems (at least) that in the second Gudgel snapshot (at the top) the running paint survives as a smear above the same door on April 17, 1970 when it was time for another organized protest.  (Read the book, OK?) As a “stringer” providing both still shots like these and 16mm film for media clients and law enforcement investigations, Gudgel responded to opportunities he first discovered on the police radio reports he listened to while tending his store, Burien Radio and Television.

A 5th Avenue sit-in related to the TDA of 1970. The Federal Courthouse it off-camera to the right and the public library to the left, both out-of-frame.

The photographer most likely arrived somewhat late for the April recording at the Courthouse.  The day started with a protest march in morning rain, while here the afternoon sun casts long afternoon shadows.  To these eyes Gudgel’s April recording resembles a designed tableau.  The man on the far left seems to be drawn, at least in profile, from a central casting for tough investigators.

A comparison with the righ half a detail clipped from the second photo from the top and the left half also showing Seattle Seven member Jeff Down on the far left. That the two Doyal Gudgel photos were shot on the same day can be figured from some of the clothes shared between them. 

The sunlit April photograph is aiming at one of the Seattle Seven: Jeffrey Alan Dowd, who at 20-years-old carried a mop of curly hair above a still cherubic face.  Now decades later Dowd, living in Southern California, is better known as “The Dude” an eccentric pop creation from Hollywood.  Here the pre-dude Dowd is cradled by admirers of his political courage, some of them showing fists and one of them slim arms reaching, it seems, in reverence.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, troublemakers?  Yes Jean we will stir a few more column inches below with more features.

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

Then: The 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: With feet nearly touching the Madison Street Cable Railway’s cable slot, five “happy workers” squeeze on to the front bumper of an improvised Armistice Day float.  (Photo courtesy Grace McAdams)

THEN: When the Oregon Cadets raised their tents on the Denny Hall lawn in 1909 they were almost venerable.  Founded in 1873, the Cadets survive today as Oregon State University’s ROTC. Geneticist Linus C. Pauling, twice Nobel laureate, is surely the school’s most famous cadet corporal.  (courtesy, University of Washington Libraries)

Looking southwest from Walker Street to the burning ruins.

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

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

THEN: 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)

 

 

 

 

Seattle Now & Then: Second and Columbia, 1886

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THEN: Both of this week’s featured photographs were recorded from the same elevated prospect, but by different professional photographers: T. E. Peiser and D.R. Judkins. The latter’s can be identified by the studio sign that rises high, far left on a post at the southwest corner of Second Avenue and Columbia Street. Both photos date from 1886, and include different cues: the one of uniformed Knights of Pythias member-musicians marching south on Second and the other for the most part of primary students posing on the boardwalk. Both photographs also include, right-of-center, the home built by J.T. Jordon, Seattle’s second mayor, at the northeast corner of Second and Columbia, and left-of-center at the northeast corner of Second and Marion, the Stetson-Post Terrace, Seattle’s first swank apartments designed for its first ‘1 percent.’
NOW: Jean Sherrard has used his extension pole to approach the elevation exploited by the two pioneer photographers on the second floor of a neighbor’s home on the west side of Second Avenue.

Pioneer photographs of any Seattle street other than Mill Street (Yesler Way), Commercial Street (First Ave. S.), and Front Street (First Ave. north of Mill Street) are rare.  Here are two exceptions.  Both are on Second Avenue and both were recorded from the same prospect – within inches of one another.

In the 1880s pioneer photographers Theodore E. Peiser and David Judkins set up studios a block apart on the west side of Second Avenue.  They were competitors and almost certainly did not plan this propinquity.   Peiser’s studio was on the second lot south of Marion Street and Judkins’ on the southwest corner with Columbia Street.  The two professionals photographed parades of different sorts near their studios on Second Avenue, and only about six weeks apart.

I am long familiar with Peiser’s May 13, 1886 record of parading members of the secret society Knights of Pythias pausing for his professional snap. As a pioneer classic it has appeared often in publications and exhibits.  We used it for its own “now and then” in PacificNW on January 17, 1999. (see above)  Judkin’s photo, (2nd from the top) however, I had never seen before last week.  I was thrilled.

Nearly the same prospect looking north on Second from between Cherry and Columbia Streets, although recorded a quarter-century later during the 1912 Golden Potlatch Celebraton.

The alert Ron Edge discovered it while helping the Museum of History and Industry scan some of its oldest prints. The print of Judkins’ line-up of primary school children – about 200 of them on the east side of Second Avenue filling the block between Columbia and Marion Streets, and more – is dated June 23, 1886.

Handwriting on the back makes a claim for Emma Blocksom.  It is her “school picture” and Emma is probably one of the posing 200 or so.  The Blocksoms are listed once in the 1886 city directory, below,  living on Washington Street.  The promising family lead stops there. (And for us, now, as well.)

Seattle opened Central School in 1883 four blocks up First Hill from here. Central School was big enough to handle as many scholars, and more, as those lined up. Perhaps this late June day is the last before summer vacation for these students, and taking one school picture is certainly more efficient than several.  (In 1886 Seattle’s population of school-age citizens between four and twenty-one years old was 2,591.)

Central School, the impressive white box with a tower seen here, sat on the south side of Madison Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues. This view of it was recorded ca. 1886 from near the corner of Ninth Avenue and Columbia Street. It shows how to the east of 6th Avenue First Hill nearly leveled off, pausing in its climb. Later in the 1960s this interruption became a more convenient topography for building the Seattle Freeway [Interstate-5).
Central School looking north from near Mill Street (Yesler Way) in the mid-1880s.  Apparent here, again, is the pause in First Hill’s climb east of Sixth Avenue. Seventh Avenue is on the right.

What is not explained for either of these pros is how did they lift or carry their heavy cameras so high above the boardwalk?  Here I am again thankful for help from Ron Edge. In the MOHAI collection off older prints, Ron found an 1887 panoramic look from Denny Hill that includes an unobstructed sighting down Second Avenue. While it is soft on focus, it still shows many of the landmarks included here.  Most importantly, the leafy tree near the northwest corner of Second and Columbia, on the left in both of the featured photos, is standing in the panorama, a welcomed help for our ‘hide-and-seek’ after the photographer’s prospect.  About a third-of-a-block south of Columbia Street a two-story residence stands at the curb and over the sidewalk that uniquely runs below it. The residence, we suspect, was constructed before Second Avenue was developed from a path into a street.  Most likely both photographers were invited by this neighbor to shoot their parades from the this second floor veranda.

BEST IF YOU ENLARGE THIS NOW.  Putting our heads and pictures together, Ron Edge and I have found what we think – but cannot yet prove — is the likely perch for the two photographers. It is, as noted in the text,  a few yards south of Columbia Street on the west side of Second Avenue.   The young tree that stands here above the center of the photograph is on the west side of Second Avenue and to the left of the two story clapboard that shines brilliantly in the late afternoon sun sometime in 1886.  It is the same tree that shows next to the sidewalk at the left border of the Judkins photograph, second down from the top.   Now you best pay attention.  Under the tree and a few yards beyond it up the west side of Second Avenue is a shadow caste by a structure which is not seen except for two well-lighted (by the same sun) posts.  We hope to determine later if these support a balcony over the sidewalk or an enclosed second floor in the here  otherwise hidden structure.   It is from there, we suggest and nearly believe, that the two photographers took their two similarly elevated recordings of Second Avenue  north of Columbia Street.  This detail was pulled from  a panorama taken from Denny Hill and reveals much else including  the Plymouth Congregation Church steeple, which appears in both of the neighbors’ photographs on the east (left) side of Second Avenue.   The large ornamented structure beyond and to the right of our intersection is the Occidental Hotel before its 1887 additions.  When destroyed by the city’s Great Fire of 1889 the hotel (its rubble) filled the flatiron block of Mill Street (Yesler Way), James Street, Second Avenue and Pioneer Place. 

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, cherubs?

THEN:

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

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

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

THEN: With feet nearly touching the Madison Street Cable Railway’s cable slot, five “happy workers” squeeze on to the front bumper of an improvised Armistice Day float. (Photo courtesy Grace McAdams)

THEN: Looking south from Pine Street down the wide Second Avenue in 1911, then Seattle’s growing retail strip and parade promenade. (courtesy of Jim Westall)

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

THEN: A float for the 1911 Potlatch parade carries piggyback a smaller 1897 version of a Polk City Directory on a much bigger 1911 copy. The fourteen years between them is meant to symbolize the growth of the city since the Alaskan/Yukon gold rush of 1897 that the Golden Potlatch of 1911 was created to commemorate. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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)

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Seattle Now & Then: Savery Cherries

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The southwest end of the University of Washington’s Savery Hall, still under construction, on the left, was completed in 1920, also a likely year for the photograph. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: The dependable March blooming of the Quad’s Yoshino cherry trees, is compliments of the University’s Arboretum and the Washington State Department of Transportation. The trees were moved from the Arboretum and transplanted in the Quad during construction of the Evergreen Point Bridge and SR-520. Thereafter, as revealed by Jean’s repeat from his 21-foot pole, the Quad has become a favored setting for wedding photos.

When classes first began Sept. 4, 1895, on the University of Washington’s new Interlaken campus, the students were greeted by  the school bell, carried from the old campus to the new, but hanging in the Denny Hall belfry.  Denny Hall is out-of-frame up the paved path that runs through the columns to the right.  The bell soon became annoyingly familiar after sunrise when the bell ringer took, it seemed, cruel pleasures in waking not only students but also the citizens of Brooklyn. (Brooklyn was the University District’s first popular name.) If the weather were right, the bell could be heard in Renton.

The twenty-foot tall hand-carved columns were examples of the Greek Ionic order. Inevitably, perhaps, they also became iconic, and for some the University’s most representative symbol. Each weighing about one-thousand pounds, they were originally grouped along the façade of the school’s first structure on the original 1861 campus, near what is long since the northeast corner of Seneca

Here, in 1907, the first campus main hall has been pivoted 90 degrees clockwise from its original footprint near the northwest corner of Fourth Ave. and Seneca Street and moved north to face Union Street, while its fate was still not decided. The four columns have been kidnapped to the new campus. The view looks southeast from near Union Street and Fifth Avenue, before the latter was cut through the campus soon after this photo was recorded.

Street and Fourth Avenue.  When the classic quartet was detached and moved to the new campus, student preservation activists continued to hope that the entire building would follow them to be reunited in time for the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition.  It was not to be.  Instead, selected remains of the University’s first home were carved into commemorative canes. The four surviving columns were consigned to this position in the then still future Quad. They were named, “Loyalty”, “Industry”, “Faith”, and “Efficiency.”  Neither Jean nor I know which is which.

The blooming Quad in the Spring of 1996 with members of the Volunteer Park Conservatory Orchestra  posing with David Mahler, their director, far left.

In 1915 the school’s Board of Regents embraced architect Carl F. Gould’s “Revised General Plan of the University of Washington,” which included the Quad and prescribed that the architectural style to be used in its several buildings should be Collegiate Gothic.  Commerce Hall, the brick and tile example on the right of the featured photo at the top, was completed in 1917.  Work on Philosophy Hall, on the left, was delayed by the material needs of the First World War, and completed late in the fall of 1920. By 1972 the names of both halls were changed to Savery, in honor of William Savery, the head of the University’s Department of Philosophy for more than forty years.

Icon inspects icon: history professor Edmund Meany in a Feb. 21, 1930 clipping from The Seattle Times.
Loyalty, Industry, Faith and  Efficiency get a cleaning, from a Seattle Times clipping for May 12m 1942,

The columns see from the rear of the Sylvan Theatre with Anderson Hall around the corner.
The Sylvan Theatre in late November, 1993.

With the completion of Commerce and Philosophy Halls, the quartet of columns was moved in 1921 to the Sylvan Theatre, which had been prepared for them. The Seattle Times noted that “It was the first time that the traditional pillars have been tampered with without some sort of ceremony.”  Since then the “ancient pillars” have witnessed a good share of pomp and circumstance during school’s graduation exercises.

“Postcard Artist Ellis”” colored record of the Quad before the Cherries.
The Quad with Cherry trees but not their blossoms in the 1960s during the “winter of our discontent” and a student demonstration in favor of “getting the war machine off campus.”
WEB EXTRAS

As per your request, Paul, I’ll toss in a few just for fun:  They make us better Jean.

Anything to add, blossoms?

THEN: For the four-plus months of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the center of commerce and pedestrian energy on University Way moved two blocks south from University Station on Northeast 42nd Street to here, Northeast 40th Street, at left.

THEN: Named for a lumberman, and still home for the UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the upper floor’s high-ceilinged halls, including the Forest Club Room behind Anderson Hall’s grand Gothic windows, were described for us by the department’s gregarious telephone operator as “very popular and Harry Potterish.” (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: An estimated 50 percent of the materials used in the old Husky Union Building were recycled into its recent remodel. The new HUB seems to reach for the roof like its long-ago predecessor, the AYP’s landmark Forestry building. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: When the Oregon Cadets raised their tents on the Denny Hall lawn in 1909 they were almost venerable. Founded in 1873, the Cadets survive today as Oregon State University’s ROTC. Geneticist Linus C. Pauling, twice Nobel laureate, is surely the school’s most famous cadet corporal. (courtesy, University of Washington Libraries)

THEN: Above Lake Washington’s Union Bay the Hoo-Hoo Building on the left and the Bastion facsimile on the right, were both regional departures from the classical beau arts style, the 1909 AYPE’s architectural commonplace. Courtesy John Cooper

THEN: We suspect that this quiet exposure of the Washington State Building was photographed before the gates of the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition were first opened, and certainly before a bandstand gazebo was built in the grassy circle between it and the Forestry Building. (Courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections)

THEN: On March 25, 1946, or near it, Wide World Photos recorded here what they titled “University Vet Housing.” It would soon be named the Union Bay Village and house the families of returning veterans. The first 45 bungalows shown here rented for from $35 to $45 dollars a month. It would increase to a “teeming conglomerate of 500 rental units.” With housing for both married students and faculty. The view looks north over a street that no longer exists. The homes on the right horizon face the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail on N.E. Blakeley Street near N.E. 45th Place. (Courtesy Ron Edge)

THEN: The Gothic University of Washington Campus in 1946 beginning a seven-year crowding with prefabricated dormitories beside Frosh Pond. In the immediate background [on the right] is Guggenheim Hall. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: The first house for Delta Gamma at N.E. 4730 University Way. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: sliver of the U.W. campus building called the Applied Physics Laboratory appears on the far right of this 1940 look east towards the U.W. campus from the N.E. 40th Street off-ramp from the University Bridge. While very little other than the enlarged laboratory survives in the fore and mid-grounds, much on the horizon of campus buildings and apartments still stand. (Courtesy, Genevieve McCoy)

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ANOTHER IONICICONIC – MOVED&SAVED

PLYMOUTH CONGREGATIONAL COLUMNS, March 21, 1966.

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MORE of MAHLER AND WAGNER

More of Mahler – and with Wagner – posing on campus in 1996.