[No video this week as Jean is off visiting Juneau. He will, however, return with visual treasures for a future blog post!]
(click to enlarge photos)
Most likely the name for this classical structure, the Prince Rupert Hotel, was chosen as an allusion either to then proposed British Columbia port city, about six-hundred miles north of Seattle, or to that city’s namesake Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619-1682), the first Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. A contest, for a prize of $250, was held to name the town. The naming match was held by
the Grand Trunk Pacific, the Canadian railway that built its West Coast terminus at Prince Rupert, and, constructed the Grand Trunk Pacific Wharf on Elliott Bay as a link to Seattle’s booming commerce. When completed in 1910 on our waterfront between Madison and Marion Streets, it was the largest wooden pier on the Pacific Coast. Prince Rupert was increasingly in the news.
When the hotel was first noticed in this newspaper it was named the Hotel Prince Rupert. Sometimes it took new hotel builders or managers time to decide between introducing their newest gift to local hostelries with the generic ‘hotel’ at the front or the rear of their chosen name. The Prince Rupert was built during the winter of
1906-07 and opened at 1515 Boren Avenue in May of 1907. Listed in classifieds, the attractions of this five-story fireproof hotel with 115 rooms included “strictly modern, outside windows in every room, short walking distance of business center, within a half-block of four car lines, first-class dining room in connection.” In an August 4, 1907, short report on the hotel, the Seattle Times noted that it “at once became extremely popular, and although it was opened less than three months ago, it is impossible to accommodate all who apply.”
While exploring the former location of the Prince Rupert Hotel’s front door and its four classical columns that faced Boren Street, one will be careful not to fall into the I-5 ditch that took with its cutting this hotel and many others along the western slope of the First Hill/Capitol Hill ridge in the early 1960s. The ever-alert Jean
Sherrard has widened the frame for this week’s ‘repeat,’ second from the top, to include the most western corner of Plymouth Pillars Park. There, although still off-frame to the left, the rescued columns of Plymouth Congregational Church, which formerly faced Sixth Avenue between Seneca and University Streets, are nicely blended within a copse of deciduous trees in their own triangular park at the northwest corner of Pike Street and Boren Avenue.
It is a satisfying coincidence that both the four surviving Plymouth Pillars and those that supported the top floor portico of the Prince Rupert were of the Ionic order, although in their 1966 removal from the demolished church, the Plymouth pillars lost their scrolled capitals. Still we permit ourselves to fashion an Ionic irony that the church’s pillars were saved and moved to Boren Street to replace those of the razed hotel.
Anything to add, lads? Not at this moment. It is early Saturday morning. Soon Jean and Karen will be flying to Juneau for two days with friends there, their first Alaska visit. Also sometime later today Ron will put up about fifteen links to this week’s feature about a hotel and-or apartment, and a swath of its neighborhood lost to the I-5. Late today, in the evening and on into Sunday, I’ll add a few things more that are relevant either to the subject or the neighborhood. For the lead-off video we thought or had hoped to interview Dianna James, author of “Shared Walls,” and local apartment house historian whom we have often featured here. We could not squeeze it in, but will the next time we feature some shared walls, and that’s inevitable. Bon Voyage to Jean and Karen.
Jean and Karen have arrived in Juneau and right-off visited the Mendenhall Glacier, which is practically in town. He sends this picture, which I have joined to a Google Earth detail of downtown Juneau (lower-right) and the Mendenhall (upper-middle). Jean explains his position as “South of the glacier and north of the visitor’s center. Taken on my cell phone. Sent from my iPhone.” Jean and Karen are both well-equipped and clothed for the elements. [Click to Enlarge]
UP THE HILL on BOREN, TWO MORE NEIGHBORS
SURE, AND A PUZZLED JUDGE PONDERS THE CASE