Last Saturday evening, we stopped in at Stu Dempster’s 80th birthday celebration at the Good Shepherd Center. It was a gas! And Stu is a force of nature…
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Here the reader will wonder, we hope, how Jean and I sought and found (we are confident) the site for his contemporary repeat. While the date, “1-4-22,” carefully hand-printed at the lower-left corner of the subject, does not, of course, name the place, the general environs and directions are familiar. The right horizon is Queen Anne Hill with the dark forehead of its Kinnear Park landscape top-center. Magnolia makes the more distant horizon, on the left, and below it the dark elevator on the Great Northern Railroad’s Smith Cove pier stands tall.
Considerable help for our search arrived when we flipped the hard card on which the original print was glued and gratifyingly read another caption: “Streets Western Ave. W. looking N.W. from 1st Ave. W. Jan 14, 1922.” Note that the caption’s author has misread by 10 days the date printed on the print itself, which was most likely both correct and written by the photographer and city employee James P. Lee. Lee’s early 20th-century photography for public works was both prolific and in focus. Obviously, Lee liked his work, and on the fourth of January 1922 he was at it on a Saturday.
MAPS AND AERIALS OF CONCERNED CORNER FROM 1904, 1912, 1929
Lee is looking from where First Avenue North and Denny Way would have formed an intersection except for this bluff. If we draw lines (or consult Google Earth) west on Denny Way and south on First Ave West, they meet here. First West and Denny “met” by extending Western for a half block between them, while not yet cutting it through to the waterfront, which in 1904 and 1912 was still the beach. In Jean’s repeat, the sidewalk along the west side of Western Avenue West continues down and north to the waterfront. What the municipal photographer is showing his engineers is where they will be both cutting and filling to extend Western Avenue down to the also new Elliott Avenue, part of the tidelands regrade and reclamation then under way below the bluff.
The decision to continue Western on to the waterfront north of Denny Way was made in 1917 but prevented by the city’s preoccupations with building ships and handling transshipments during World War I. By then, Seattle had become the second busiest port in the nation (after New York), and it was hard to keep city employees from fleeing for better work in the shipyards. Here, below, the Elliott sanitary fill is taking form, lifting the old tidelands to three feet above high tide. In 1923, both Elliott Way and Western, reaching with 15th Avenue N.W. to the then new Ballard Bridge, created a new speedway to the north end for a commuting population then riding rubber wheels, not hooves.
In the late 1920s, O.M. Kulien built the Northwest Industrial Buildings that still stand here on the west side of Western Avenue West. Later, the Andrews family purchased the buildings, and later still, in 2000, remodeled them with a new name: the Northwest Work Lofts. Sid Andrews explains, “The Andrews family have by now owned the buildings for three generations – with the fourth in training.”
I’m going to divert attention from our historical remit for just a moment to wish Stu Dempster a very happy 80th birthday!
Anything to add, lads? Surely Jean, and an joyful excuse. (You might might have included more of tonight’s photos of Stu and the crew. It was because we enjoyed tonight’s orchestral tribute to Stu at the Chapel performance space in Historic Seattle’s Wallingford venue at Good Shepherd, and preluded it with a visit to a private affair celebrating Historylink’s prexy Marie McGaffrey’s 65th Birthday that we did not get as far into this week’s blog as we might have. The neglect was worth it. We start these “adds” with more links panned-out by Ron Edge, and will turn tomorrow with more discoveries including a dozen looks along Elliott Avenue mostly in the 1930s. We will put it then to our readers to repeat any of them with their smart phones or other digital hardware and send them along to us and we will will slip them in. All of them and with much credit and thanks. What fun. I may do it too Jean. Ron? (These mildly manic proposals are probably influenced by Fats Domino to whom I am now, by coincidence. listening, “all by myself” at 3am Sunday morning.)
TIMELY INTERRUPTION from JAN 25, 1922 (The Times)
AN ELLIOTT REPEAT CHALLENGE (or Game)
We invite you dear readers to take your digital cameras and repeat the dozen or so recordings below of Elliott photographed by/for the Foster Kleiser Billboarders between 1938 and 1942. All of them have their own captions, however beware. The descriptions are of the billboards and their positions in relationship to the nearest streets that intersect with Elliott. Most of the captions also include company code. If you have the gumption to partake in this Repeato-Exploration then please send us your digits and we will insert them with credits. Include any insightful or heart-felt captions you like. Jean where do they send them? Paul, they should send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here they are in no particular order.
[BEWARE and careful with the traffic]
No. 8 [Elliott Ave. lk. n. to 4th W., 1940]
No. 9 [Elliott near Roy and Prospect, Feb. 12, 1940]
No. 10 [Elliott lk s. fm 4th Ave. W. Sept 21, 1939]
Yesterday night, we watched the EURO 2016, at « Delmas » the large café located place de la Contrescarpe in the 5th arrondissement. For great sports events, it is very usual in Latin Quarter, to share one’s emotions in cafés .
Hier soir, nous avons regardé l’EURO 2016, au” Delmas “le grand café situé Place de la Contrescarpe dans le 5eme arrondissement . Pour les grands événements sportifs , c’est habituel au Quartier Latin de partager ses émotions en chœur et au café.
During the match
Durant le match
A la fin du match, après que “les Bleus ” ( l’équipe française ) aient battu l’Allemagne 2 – 0 , et donc parviennent en finale contre le Portugal dimanche prochain
Oh happy night !!!
Oh nuit de bonheur !!!
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Certainly many PacificNW readers are familiar with the elegant Rhodes residence at the northwest corner of 10th Avenue E. and E. Howell Street. Although a fortress-sized hedge largely guards the house gardens from sight, the street is by now a busy arterial. It is a century since the couple moved into this Capitol Hill prospect. From plans by local architect Augustus Warren Gould, the mansion was built big but not vast. Albert and Harriet Rhodes were childless. Their ‘dependents’ were the 500 employees who worked in their Rhodes Department Store. Before the move to Capitol Hill, the
Rhodes lived for a few weeks in the New Washington Hotel (now the Josephinum Apartments) on Second Avenue, conveniently only three blocks north of the couple’s prosperous store at Second and Union Street. Their intention to leave the hotel for the hill was announced in the Society section of The Times for December 11, 1915, where it was also reported that Hotel management had hosted a complimentary goodbye banquet for the couple and their friends. On the next day, the 12th of December, the paper’s classified section included a notice that the Rhodes were seeking “a thoroughly competent girl for general housework: references required; apply 1901 10th Av. N.”
We have learned from Carolyn Marr, librarian for the Museum of History and Industry, that this week’s featured historical photograph was recorded by the Webster and Stevens studio, for years the editorial photographer for this newspaper. If this photo was used in The Times, we have not found it. However, we do know the car. With help from Fred Cruger, our Granite Falls–based antique cars expert and collector, we know that this is a battery powered Detroit Electric. (For goodness sakes, Fred owns one.)
But is that Harriet Rhodes pausing at the open door to the battery-powered hardtop? Or is it, perhaps, a hired model posing for the local Detroit Electric dealer (also on Capitol Hill) promoting the dealership’s pride in front of a status-radiating mansion? Actually, we do think it is Harriet, based on the somewhat soft evidence of two later portraits of the department store owner. (You might consult the blog listed below, and there compare the ‘resemblances’ and decide for yourself.)
Albert met Harriet in the Dalles, Oregon, while he was working as a traveling salesman of household goods for a Portland firm. They married in 1893, living first in Tacoma, where Albert was joined by his three brothers who had followed him west from Wisconsin. Together they started several stores, from populist five-and-dime dispenseries to posher shops, all with the family name attached. After their move to Seattle the couple was consistently charmed with both business and social successes. What Albert lacked was longevity. The front-page banner headline of The Times for February 17, 1921, reads: “A.J. Rhodes Dies in New York.” He succumbed to the flu while visiting New York on business for the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. He was fifty-six.
Harriet began her remaining twenty-three years by expanding their department store. One of the additions was an impressively large Aeolian Duo Art organ in the lobby dedicated to the memory of Albert. Harriet also travelled often, collecting art. She returned to her Capitol Hill home with what an unnamed Times arts reporter described on August 9, 1931, as “endless treasures, yet each so complementing the other and partaking so surely in the dominating personality of the house that it is a home of rare beauty, not a museum.” Harriet Rhodes died in 1944 after visiting New York and staying in the same hotel where her Albert had died. Her obituary reads, “Close friends believe that Mrs. Rhodes knowing she was ill, made the journey out of sentiment.”
Seeing that the high shrubbery concealed all but the top of this lovely mansion, I peeked around the leaves and grabbed a snapshot of the front of the house.
And here Jean to compliment your innocent peek is an advertisement from April 19, 1931 that uses the Rhodes manse and its landscape to promote Babcock Sprinklers. The Rhodes big home was used by many as a handy landmark for piggy-backing prestige with directions. Following the sprinklers, we will follow with two examples.
Anything to add, mes braves? Yes, again and again we discover more than we have time to scan and put in place. Again, Ron Edge has saved the day and found a dozen-or-so features to add from the neighborhood. These are all grabbed from past blog posts. There are about 50 others that have yet to be scanned, earlier features from before 2008.
MORE RHODES AND ELECTRIC TRANSPORT
Harriet Rhodes gave a lot of her time, wealth and study traveling the world to collect art and artifacts for her home. She was also a frequent sponsor of local art events and programs, and hostess to groups that were similarly disposed. Included in the clips below is by any standard a wonderfully rich one describing what was inside the Rhodes home. And the author is not credited?
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For this week’s “then” we have picked another of the tax photos saved from the County Assessor’s wastebasket. About sixty years ago, Stan Unger, then a young King County employee with affection for the built city, salvaged about three-thousand of these prints. Like this portrait of 615 Eastlake, most were copied from 2 1/2 by 4 inch negatives, originally exposed for the late-1930s Works Progress Administration’s survey of taxable structures in King County. On the whole this ambitious study was the work of skilled WPA workers using good cameras with sharp lenses. For the most part, however, the tax cards and files that described the measurable qualities, including lot sizes, fixtures, building materials, architects, values, and much more, were destroyed, including those for this charming home yearning to be enjoyed as a Victorian landmark.
Often the subject’s date of construction was hand-printed on the back of the surviving prints, but not on this one. We will need to use other sources to summon an outline of the home’s history.
From earl real estate maps and other photographs (and Ron Edge’s help in uncovering them), we learn that 615 Eastlake had a twin standing beside it from at least the early 1890s until 1906. It was removed for the construction of the three-story Jensen Apartments and storefronts (601 to 611) at the northwest corner of Eastlake Ave. and Mercer St. The Jensen, restored in the 1990s, stands on the left of our “now.” The surviving Victorian cottage, showing in our “then”, was moved west in 1905 or 1906 to create more open space between the new apartment house and the substantial frame residence (617) on the right.
Built on the lowest part of Capitol Hill’s western slope and from their many rear windows looking east over the Cascade neighborhood “flats,” these charming Gothic twins were not dainty. Their daylight basements served more like lower main floors, and were fitted with several windows each. (See them three photos up.) Still it was their well-ornamented east facades that these Victorians showed-off to Eastlake Avenue. And on the evidence of the 1893 Sanborn real estate maps, they were also originally closer to the avenue. (See five images up.) Beginning in the mid-1880s Eastlake was the railed route for horse-drawn cars carrying picnickers and others to Lake Union. With users assured, immigrant William Jensen developed Jensen Grove, a German beer-garden, boat rental, bowling green and swimming beach attraction at the southeast corner of the lake.
When built, we speculate in 1890, the Victorian twins were set at the center of the block between Mercer and Roy Streets with the property line squeezed between them. But who built the twins and who first lived in them? The 1892 Colbert Directory has German immigrant, William Koch, at home in the north twin, while living in the snuggling south twin was William Jensen, the same Jensen of the Grove. Most likely they built them too. In the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map, Jensen’s name is printed on his south side of the block. By then the south twin (most likely) has been removed to make way for the Jensen Apartments at the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake.
The two Williams, neighbors Koch and Jensen, were partners in the Louvre, a popular café-tavern built quickly at the northeast corner of Madison St. and First Ave. following the 1889 fire. The partners were also brothers-in-law. Koch’s sister, Hulda , arrived in Seattle two weeks after its Great Fire, and soon married her brother’s business partner. In the fall of 1909, the Times reported, “Mrs. William Jensen (Hulda) was hostess at a very pretty reception given in honor of their daughter Gertrud’s eighteenth birthday.” By 1910 Jensen was sufficiently celebrated to lend, or more-likely sell, his name for use in a local advertisement for rheumatism and lumbago cures.
Anything to add, Jimmy (I say Jimmy to honor Scotland’s ‘Remain’ vote – on the streets of Glasgow, if you call out ‘Jimmy’ every male in shouting distance will turn in acknowledgement – it’s the Scots equivalent of ‘fellah’)? Yes Jean. Do you imply that Scotland gave its majority to ‘Remain?’ Yes and yes again. Ron has piled below eighteen past neighborhood features, some of which our readers will remember and then, probably remember again, for we do repeat and repeat. That’s what we do, hey Jimmy?
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The Kenney Home on the western slope of the southern West Seattle ridge was both proposed and first funded by an immigrant couple who never saw it, Jessie and Samuel Kenney. Samuel died in 1894 and Jessie six years later. Her will confirmed the couple’s philanthropic plans for a “home or retreat for such infirm persons of both sexes of above sixty (60) years … who, by reason of poverty, are … unable to adequately provide for themselves, and where such persons, irrespective of their religious or political views, shall be gratuitously supplied as far as may reasonably be, with the shelter, care and comforts of a home, which shall be known as ‘The Samuel and Jessie Kenney Presbyterian Home.’”
As we might confirm from the featured photo, when the Kenney Home opened its neo-colonial landmark in 1909, the nearby forest of 100-foot firs still rivaled its Independence Hall-like tower at breaking the skyline. Our “then” looks north from the intersection of West Othello Street (crossing left-right) and 47th Avenue. In this long block, 47th has been developed with a 40-foot-high trestle, which carried the Seattle Electric Company’s streetcars over a gully that reached from a spring on the Kenney Home campus to the Puget Sound waterfront. While the Kenney Home was being constructed, the streetcar line was extended from the Junction on California Avenue to the ferries at Fauntleroy and beyond to a neighborhood jovially called Endolyne (end of the line). [Here we will interrupt this feature with another of the same block. It first appeared in Pacific on April 9, 2000. ]
Along with this admired landmark’s tower, the new common carrier was a great convenience to the neighborhood and often was referenced in classified ads and other published instructions. For instance, a Seattle Times “Club Meetings” listing for June 4, 1920, advised that the “Social Service Department of the Women’s Century Club will give its annual tea and entertainment for the old women at the Kenney Home. Bring Basket Lunch. Leave Pioneer Square at 11 o’clock.” The “old women” reference reminds me that it was not so long ago that a “retirement community,” in today’s preferred parlance, was regularly called an “old folks’ home.” Whatever the label, the Samuel and Jessie Kenney Home was one of our local firsts.
This Saturday, June 25, The Kenney will be open to all of us. On hand to welcome visitors to this benefit for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society will be the founders’ great-great-great nephew and niece, siblings Stuart and Michele Kenney. Also on hand with historical photographs and memorabilia, revealing how The Kenney has been expanded and renovated over its 107 years, will be experts on the subject from the Society. John Kelly will be there, too. A West Seattle historian who moved to The Kenney in 2008, John is an old friend from whom I often take helpful instructions. He explains, “I coast along here at 95. My grandmother lived until 107, and I expect to be here for a while. So think positive, Paul.”
The historical society’s fourth annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tour, focused on The Kenney, will run from 3 to 5 p.m. (Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members.) More info: loghousemuseum.info.
Although it would have been a walk, especially for some living in the Kenny, you could approach the retirement home by taking the waterfront trolley to the beach-side terminus south of Alki Point.
Anything to add, boys? Yes Jean, and at the top of this week’s Edgelinks is something we did a while ago on the Seattle City Archives. Your “repeat” shows City Archivist Scott Cline and Assistant City Archivist Anne Frantilla posing in the archive. This coming Tuesday, the 21st, Cline is giving a public presentation of examples from the archives, and he will explain how they help us understand the history of Seattle. I’ll be there and I think Ron will as well. Can you get away from school Jean and join us?
A FEW MORE FEATURES FROM OUR PAST & THE NEIGHBORHOOD