Seattle Now & Then: The Making of Western Avenue

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: James P. Lee, Seattle’s busy public works photographer of the early 20th century, recorded this 1922 look north from near the west end of Denny Way on the bluff above the then-forming Elliott Way. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
THEN: James P. Lee, Seattle’s busy public works photographer of the early 20th century, recorded this 1922 look north from near the west end of Denny Way on the bluff above the then-forming Elliott Way. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: For three generations, going on four, the Andrews family has owned the two buildings bordering the “postage stamp” park, which holds to what is left of the bluff that James Lee used as a prospect for his 1922 photo. The is a mix of planting, ramps and a few parking place. It is maintained with the volunteer stewardship of the Andrews.
NOW: For three generations, going on four, the Andrews family has owned the two buildings bordering the “postage stamp” park, which holds to what is left of the bluff that James Lee used as a prospect for his 1922 photo. The is a mix of planting, ramps and a few parking place. It is maintained with the volunteer stewardship of the Andrews.

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.

The Great Northern pier and elevator as seen from Queen Anne Hill. The Photographer Andres Wilse dates this March 21, 1899, and (if I understand his caption) described this ship Kidship Maru as the first vessel to visit the GN's pier.
The Great Northern pier and elevator as seen from Queen Anne Hill. The Photographer Andres Wilse dates this March 21, 1899, and (if I understand his caption, bottom-left) describes this ship, Kidship Maru, as the first vessel to visit the GN’s pier.

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.

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MAPS AND AERIALS OF  CONCERNED CORNER FROM 1904, 1912, 1929

This detail from the 1904 Sanborn real estate map shows the line-up of First Avenue W. and Denny Way and the string of squatters shacks that were ultimately razed for the Elliot Ave. regrade and, if they survived into the 1920s, the continuation of Western to Elliott.
This detail from the 1904 Sanborn real estate map shows the line-up, bottom-center,  of First Avenue W. and Denny Way and the string of squatters shacks that were ultimately razed for the Elliott Ave. regrade and, if they survived into the 1920s, the continuation of Western to Elliott.
Detail of the same site from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map.
Detail of the same site from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map.
A detail of our corner, and a little more, from the 1929 aerial survey of Seattle. Courtesy, Municipal Archive and Ron Edge.
A detail of our corner, and a little more, from the 1929 aerial survey of Seattle.  The intersection (or meeting of concern or study here ) is left-of-center. Denny Way comes in from the upper-right.   Western runs from the bottom-right corner to the upper-left.  Courtesy, Municipal Archive and Ron Edge.

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. 

Looking north on First Avenue West from where it meets the extended Western Avenue before Western was continued to the new Elliot Ave. soon after the featured photos was recorded by Lee. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey, not from his camera but his research and collecting. This is very possibly also a Lee photo, but an earlier one by a decade or so.))
Looking north on First Avenue West from where it meets the extended Western Avenue before Western was continued to the new Elliot Ave. soon after the featured photos was recorded by Lee. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey, not from his camera but his research and collecting. This is very possibly also a Lee photo, but an earlier one by a decade or so.)
This is my - and neither Jean's nor Lawton Gowey's - repeat of the supposed Lee photo above it. This means that I probably wrote one of the now about 1750 Pacific "now and then" features, but have since misplaced it. Which makes me date to ask, if there is anyone among you dear readers who would give me a hand in organizing and scanning this 34-year opera I will embrace your help and also have a better chance of batting 2000 sometime in 2021. Bless you - bless me.
This is my – and neither Jean’s nor Lawton Gowey’s – repeat of the supposed Lee photo above it. This means that I probably wrote one of the now about 1750 Pacific “now and then” features on this comparison, but have since misplaced it.  Which makes me dare to ask, if there is anyone among you dear readers who would give me a hand in organizing and scanning this 34-year opera I will embrace your help and also have a better chance of batting 2000 sometime in 2021. Bless you – bless me. (CLUE: I’ve dated this “now” photo, 1995.)
Here it is! Our intersection in the foreground where Western meets Denny Way, on the right, and extends it north to First Avenue West, at the curve. This too is possibly an earlier Lee recording. [Bless Lee and Gowey and the Seattle Municipal Archive.)
Here it is! Our intersection in the foreground where Western meets Denny Way, on the right, and extends it north to First Avenue West, at the curve. This too is possibly an earlier Lee recording. [Bless Lee and Gowey and the Seattle Municipal Archive.)  I may have also done a now-then feature on this, but have not stumbled upon a “now” as I did for the now-then above this eureka.  Note that the billboard furthers to the right appears in both the above shot and in the one above it as well. 

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. 

Looking south up the completed link on Western Ave. to the also new Elliott Ave. on the right. Is it not a wonder how still it is?
Looking south up the completed link on Western Ave. to the also new Elliott Ave. on the right. Is it not a wonder how still it is?   This is the early 1920s; O.M. Kulien’s Northwest Industrial Buildings do not as yet fill the flat-iron block center-right between Western and Elliott.

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.”  

WEB EXTRAS

I’m going to divert attention from our historical remit for just a moment to wish Stu Dempster a very happy 80th birthday!

A photo Jean took of Stu in 2008
A photo Jean took of Stu in 2008

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.)

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

THEN: A circa 1912 look at the Wall Street finger pier from the foot, not of Wall, but Battery Street. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

belltown-moran-then

https://sherrlock.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/bell-st-bridge-then-web1.jpg?w=1122&h=673

THEN: Tied momentarily to the end of the Union Oil Co dock off Bay Street, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s ship Maud prepares to cast-off for the Arctic Ocean on June 3, 1922. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: In 1913, or near to it, an unnamed photographer recorded this view southeast across the Lower Queen Anne corner of Denny Way and First Avenue North. Out of frame to the left, the northeast corner of this intersection was home then for the Burdett greenhouse and gardens. By its own claim, it offered plants of all sorts, “the largest and most complete stock to choose from in the state.” Courtesy, the Museum of North Idaho.

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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TIMELY INTERRUPTION from JAN 25, 1922 (The Times)

Z-ST-Jan-15,-1922-Copettes-w.-pistols-WEB

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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 paul@dorpat.com

Here they are in no particular order.

[BEWARE and careful with the traffic]

No. 1

FK---Elliot-EL-240'-N-[prob-web

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No. 2

FK-Elliott-(EL-240'-s-of-Mercer-Pl-R-90-Sept-29-39-web

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No. 3

FK-Elliott-&-Harrison-(NW)-Seattle-11-28-41-web

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No. 4

FK-ELLIOTT-&-Harrison-(sw)-March-14,-1940-web

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No. 5

FK-Elliott-&-Prospect-pl.-N.E.-[lk-no.]-B-2612-Aug-13-40-web

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No.  6

FK-ELLIOTT-&-republican-(nw--Jan.-31,-1939-web

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No. 7

FK-ELLIOTT-&-W-Prospect-Pl--Jan-31,1939-web

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No. 8 [Elliott Ave. lk. n. to 4th W., 1940]

FK-Elliott-Ave-lk-n-to-4th-W-1940-web

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No. 9 [Elliott near Roy and Prospect, Feb. 12, 1940]

FK-ELLIOTT-Ave.-[near-Roy,-Prospectd]-2-12-1940-web

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No. 10 [Elliott lk s. fm 4th Ave. W.  Sept 21, 1939]

FK-Elliott-Ave.-lk-s-fm-4th-Ave.-W.-Sept.21,-39-web

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No. 11

FK-Elliott-meets-Westlake-&-Thomas-(WL-60'-s-Thomas-P-1)-March-19,-1937-web

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No. 12

FK-ELLIOTT-near-Thomas--6-10-1940-web

 

 

 

# Euro 2016 Place de la Contrescarpe

 

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

FOOT_Lomont_076At the end of the match after « the Bleus » ( french team ) had beaten Germany 2 – 0 and so they reach the final facing  Portugal on next Sunday.

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

EURO2016-07-07-2016

Oh happy night !!!

Oh nuit de bonheur !!!

Seattle Now & Then: The Rhodes Mansion (with 2 Electric Cars)

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The ‘Seattle showplace’ Rhodes mansion on Capitol Hill, ca. 1916. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
THEN: The ‘Seattle showplace’ Rhodes mansion on Capitol Hill, ca. 1916. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Leila Gorbman, a long-time friend, stands in with her battery motivated KIA Soul EV for our ‘repeat.’
NOW: Leila Gorbman, a long-time friend, stands in with her battery motivated KIA Soul EV for our ‘repeat.’

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

Kitty-corner to Rhodes during a Golden Potlatch parade (we figure) of soon after one.
Kitty-corner to Rhodes during a Golden Potlatch parade (we figure) or soon after one.

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.”    

A clip from the Times for Dec. 11, 1915, on the eve of the Rhodes moving to their new home featured here at the top.
A clip from the Times for Dec. 11, 1915, on the eve of the Rhodes moving to their new home featured here at the top.

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.) 

A Detroit Electric ad from the fall of 1915.
A Detroit Electric ad from the fall of 1915.
An earlier clip from April 7, 1912
An earlier clip from April 7, 1912
A clip form August 26, 1917.
A clip from August 26, 1917.

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.)

Here, we believe, are three of Harriet Rhodes. You can agree or not or remain puzzled by comparing the detail from the featured photo, at the center, with the identified portraits of Harriet to the left and right.
Here, we believe, are three of Harriet Rhodes. You can agree or disagree  or remain puzzled when comparing the detail from the featured photo, at the center, with the identified portraits of older Harriets to the left and to the right.
Harriet Rhodes Seattle Times obituary from July 6, 1944.
Harriet Rhodes Seattle Times obituary from July 6, 1944.
The Rhodes owner honored in The Times for Feb. 28, 1932.
The Rhodes owners honored in The Times for Feb. 28, 1932.

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. 

The Seattle Times front page (the top of it) from February 17, 1921.
The Seattle Times front page (the top of it) from February 17, 1921.  Click to ENLARGE although probably not enough to read the fine print. 
Times front page September 26, 1926
Times front page September 26, 1926 – CLICK CLICK CLICK  and hope.
Times clip for the New Rhodes and its lobby organ. December 7, 1927.
Times clip for the New Rhodes and its lobby organ. December 7, 1927.

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.” 

More about Rhodes and his organ. This from Times for May 8, 1960. Best to click this TWICE, although it may be too small for some eyes.
More about Rhodes and his organ. This from Times for May 8, 1960. Best to click this TWICE, although it may be too small for some eyes. (CLICK)
A. J. Rhodes rememberd by "Just Cogitating" Conover, a pioneer journalist/real estate promoter who kept writing for the paper into his 90s.
A. J. Rhodes remembered by “Just Cogitating” Conover, the pioneer journalist/real estate promoter(he named our “Evergreen State”)  who kept writing for the paper into his 90s.  Click it TWICE and his feature may pop large enough  for some of you dear readers to negotiate his cogitations. 

WEB EXTRAS

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.

Rhodes mansion beyond the topiary
Rhodes mansion beyond the topiary and Queen Anne Hill on the horizon too.

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.

z-ST-april-19,-1931-Babcock-sprinklers-at-Rhodes-home-WEB

A Times classified from July 27, 1926.
A Times classified from July 27, 1926.
June 19, 1927 - again a Time classified.
June 19, 1927 – again a Time classified.
The south end of Lake Union from the Rhodes lawn. It dates from the early 20s, unless we are contradicted. The City Light steam plan on Eastlake (and Fairview) appears above the photo's center-right.
The south end of Lake Union from the Rhodes lawn. It dates from the early 20s, unless we are contradicted. The City Light steam plan on Eastlake (and Fairview) appears above the photo’s center-right.

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.

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

broadway-widening-1blog

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

Holy Names THEN

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

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

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

THEN: The Volunteer Park water tower was completed in 1907 on Capitol Hill’s highest point in aid the water pressure of its service to the often grand homes of its many nearly new neighbors. The jogging corner of E. Prospect Street and 15th Avenue E. is near the bottom of the Oakes postcard. (Historical Photo courtesy Mike Fairley)

MINOR-&-THOMAS-P-patch-THEN-mr

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

THEN: A.J. McDonald’s panorama of Lake Union and its surrounds dates from the early 1890s. It was taken from First Hill, looking north from near the intersection of Terry Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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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?

DEC. 9, 1928, FROM THE TIMES.
DEC. 9, 1928, FROM THE TIMES.
An elaborate inventory of the Rhodes home supply of art and artifacts. From the times for August 9, 1931.
An elaborate inventory of the Rhodes home supply of art and artifacts. From the times for August 9, 1931.  CLICK CLICK
FROM THE TIMES, APRIL 7, 1918.
FROM THE TIMES, APRIL 7, 1918.
From THE TIMES for December 21, 1914.
From THE TIMES for December 21, 1914.
November 25, 1917.
November 25, 1917.

z Electric-Car-crash-web

By Bob Bradley, 1967.
Above: By Bob Bradley, 1967.
Courtesy, Seattle City Archive
Courtesy, Seattle Municipal  Archive
FROM THE TIMES, MAY 11, 1931.
FROM THE TIMES, MAY 11, 1931.

Seattle Now & Then: An Eastlake Cutie

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: A carpenter’s jewel with Victorian ornaments recorded by a tax assessor’s photographer in 1936, nestles at 615 Eastlake beside the surviving Jensen Apartments, aka the O’Donnell Building, on the left. (Courtesy Stan Unger)
THEN: A carpenter’s jewel with Victorian ornaments recorded by a tax assessor’s photographer in 1936, nestles at 615 Eastlake beside the surviving Jensen Apartments, aka the O’Donnell Building, on the left. (Courtesy Stan Unger)
NOW: For a wider perspective on the now crowded address, Jean Sherrard has shot west from the east side of Eastlake, a half block north of Mercer Street.
NOW: For a wider perspective on the now crowded address, Jean Sherrard has shot west from the east side of Eastlake, a half block north of Mercer Street.

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. 

A tax card for our feature's first neighbor to the north, the larger four unit apartment house from 617 thru 619 Eastlake. The photo was most likely taken on the same visit to the addition in 1937. Our Gothic "cuties' is hidden behind it, but the part of the Jensen Apartment on the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake is showing on the far left.
A tax card for our feature’s first neighbor to the north, the larger four unit apartment house from 617 thru 619 Eastlake. The photo was most likely taken on the same first visit to the addition in 1937. Our Gothic “cutie’ is hidden behind it, but part of the Jensen Apartments on the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake is showing on the far left.

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.

This detail from the 1893 Sanborn map includes thee footprints of our feature side-by-side with its twin upper-center
This detail from the 1893 Sanborn map includes upper-center the footprints of our feature side-by-side with its twin upper.  They snuggle together to the right of the block’s number “900” and left of the printed “street,” which then was still Albert and not yet Eastlake.  The street running left-right nearly thru the center of the frame, is Mercer.  The blocks to the right of Albert are now taken by I-5.   Compare this to the next Sanborn map, from 1904/5. 
Mercer and Roy are named in thsi 1905 Sanborn detail, and our Gothic twins are still facing Albert/Eastlake, left-of-center, and their block is now joined but two structures to the north. The larger of these is shown on the tax card print two images up.
Mercer and Roy are named in thsi 1905 Sanborn detail, and our Gothic twins are still facing Albert/Eastlake, left-of-center, and their block is now joined but two structures to the north. The larger of these is shown on the tax card print two images up.  Here, bottom left is the footprint for four storefronts at the southwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake.  This corner is shown next below, circa 1909. 
The southwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake, ca. 1911.
The southwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake, ca. 1911.

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. 

 

 

Churchill Warner's early 1890s look east across the south end of Lake Union to Capital Hill includes a the Gothic twins on Albert/Eastlake.
Churchill Warner’s early 1890s look east across the south end of Lake Union to Capital Hill includes the Gothic twins on Albert/Eastlake.  They stand out as the two white boxes left-of-center.  Note the two floors of windows. We may imagine their  unobstructed views west to Puget Sound and the Olympics.  The box, far right, also on Albert/Eastlake, sits at its northwest corner with Republican.  This plain home would soon be remodeled (or perhaps rebuilt) with Gothis features.  The Western Avenue trestle begins its run to Fremont at the bottom of the scene.  (Remember to CLICK CLICK to enlarge)
A detail pulled from a mid-1890s McDonald pan, also looking east across the south end of Lake Union and also showing left-of-center the Gothic twins and their not ornamented but bright western facades.
A detail pulled from a mid-1890s McDonald pan, also looking east across the south end of Lake Union and also showing left-of-center the Gothic twins and their not ornamented but bright western facades.  Here also is the bright white home at the northwest corner of Republican and Eastlake, now beginning it second life long into the 20th century as a Gothic landmark.  (We will soon – tonight or tomorrow – include a close-up of its near the bottom.) Note the several tries at grading Republican up Capitol Hill, on the far right.
Here the Gothic twins are no more. Which one survives, we do not know (as yet). The Jensen Apartment, right of center has moved in the from the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake, so perhaps it was the south twin that was razed or moved far away.
Here the Gothic twins are no more. Which one survives, we do not know (as yet). The Jensen Apartment, right of center has moved in from the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake, so perhaps it was the south twin that was razed or moved  away.  The surviving twin has been moved far enough to the west and away from Eastlake to make room for passages between it and both the Jensen Apartments and the smaller four-unit apartments to the north, as well as opening a front lawn.  These changes are revealed  in the featured photo.

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.

Jensen's' Grove cartooned and nostalgically recalled by a bike shop in the Times for April 27, 1919.
Jensen’s’ Grove cartooned and nostalgically recalled by a bike shop in the Times for April 27, 1919.

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.

A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map. Note the red-colored red brick footprint for the Jensen Apartments at the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake.
A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map. Note the red-colored red brick footprint for the Jensen Apartments at the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake.  The surviving Cothic twin is shown here to the right of “19,” the new number for the block.  Its length is disturbing, and probably a mistake.  Or was the missing twin simply attached to the west facade of the surviving one?  The third illustration above, which includes it, it not detailed enough to rule  this speculation in or out.
By the time this tribute was published in The Times on Feb. 25, 1906, the brothers-in-law immigrants from Germany were well known hosts for food, spirits and bowling too.
By the time this tribute was published in The Times on Feb. 25, 1906, the brothers-in-law immigrants from Germany were well known hosts for food, spirits and bowling too.   Jensen is top-left and Koch top-center.

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.

 

A Jensen testimony from Sept. 15, 1910.
A suffering Jensen with his get relief testimony from Sept. 15, 1910.
Another 1937 tax photo, this one looking southeast at 1317 Roy Street but also showing parts of our three primary subjects, the north facade of the Gothic 'miniature,' far left, above it the rear east facade balconies of the Jensen Apartments, and far left the north facade of the 4- unit apartment on Eastlake. This is another formerly "lost" image released by
Another 1937 tax photo, this one looking southeast at 1317 Roy Street, but also showing parts of our three primary subjects, the north facade of the Gothic ‘miniature,’ far right, above it the rear east facade balconies of the Jensen Apartments, and far left the north facade of the 4- unit apartment on Eastlake. This is another rescued image recently uncovered by Stan Unger.

WEB EXTRAS

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?

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

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

THEN: Photographed in the late 1950s, the floating restaurant’s huge on deck hooligan got no competition as yet from the Space Needle (1962) in breaking the horizon.

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

THEN: The now century-old Norway Hall at the corner of Boren Avenue and Virginia Street opened in 1915, on May 17, Norwegian Independence Day. (Courtesy, Nordic Heritage Museum)

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

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

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

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

THEN: Built in the mid-1880s at 1522 7th Avenue, the Anthony family home was part of a building boom developing this north end neighborhood then into a community of clapboards. Here 70 years later it is the lone survivor. (Photo by Robert O. Shaw)

THEN: In 1913, or near to it, an unnamed photographer recorded this view southeast across the Lower Queen Anne corner of Denny Way and First Avenue North. Out of frame to the left, the northeast corner of this intersection was home then for the Burdett greenhouse and gardens. By its own claim, it offered plants of all sorts, “the largest and most complete stock to choose from in the state.” Courtesy, the Museum of North Idaho.

THEN: A.J. McDonald’s panorama of Lake Union and its surrounds dates from the early 1890s. It was taken from First Hill, looking north from near the intersection of Terry Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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

THEN: This portrait of the Seattle Gas Company’s storage tank dates from the spring of 1907, which explains its somewhat steeper topography. Between 1908 and 1911, both Republican Street, here on the right, and 9th Avenue N. were lowered to a grade close to that of Westlake Avenue, which is behind the photographer.

THEN: William O. McKay opened show rooms on Westlake in July of 1923. After fifty-seven years of selling Fords, the dealership turned to the cheaper and more efficient Subaru. Now reconstructed, the old Ford showroom awaits a new tenant.

Seattle Now & Then: The Kenney Home

(click to enlarge photos)

KENNY-HOME-then-mr
Seattle’s famed architects John Graham and David John Myers joined to design the Kenney Home. This view, prior to 1927 when the Seattle Streetcar Co. trestle was removed, looks north from the corner of SW Othello Street and 47th Avenue SW. (Courtesy Richard Wilkens)
NOW: Descendants Stuart and Michele Kenney pose at the same intersection, sans trestle. The former Ashton Grocery building, shown in the “then” view, remains, at left.
NOW: Descendants Stuart and Michele Kenney pose at the same intersection, sans trestle. The former Ashton Grocery building, shown in the “then” view, remains, at left.

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.’”

The very top is missing here because I shot this a few years ago from a moving car window. Paul
The very top is missing here because I shot this a few years ago from a moving car window.  I see that the color of the tower has changed between this uncertainly dated “now” and Jean’s recent repeat.  Paul

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. ]

z Ashton-on-Otherllo-then-WEB

z OTHELLO-St.-WEB

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 classified for a "big view lot on bluff between Lincoln Beach and Kenny home" appeared in the Times for December 19, 1915.
This classified for a “big view lot on bluff between Lincoln Beach and Kenny home” appeared in the Times for December 19, 1915.
This early social note from the Times for Nov. 26, 1908
This early Thanksgiving note from the Times for Nov. 26, 1908 may be the first news bit to treat of the “inmates” – all sixteen of the early birds – then at the Kenny Home. 

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.

 

This may be a bit hard to read, but click it with your mouse several times and for some it may enlarge enough to negotiate. It is an early description of the Kenny Home when it was still in planning.
This may be a bit hard to read, but click it with your mouse several times and for some it may enlarge enough to negotiate.  Print in The Times on July 21, 1907,  It is an early description of the Kenny Home when it was still in planning.

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.

z South-Alki-trolley-stop-web

First appeared in Pacific, August 25, 1991 - a quarter-century ago!
First appeared in Pacific, August 25, 1991 – a quarter-century ago!

WEB EXTRAS

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?

THEN: The clerk in the city's old Engineering Vault attends to its records. Now one of many thousands of images in the Seattle Municipal Archives, this negative is dated Jan. 30, 1936. (Check out www.cityofseattle.net/cityarchives/ to see more.)

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

THEN: The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge was built on a road, in a neighborhood, and near a public school all named for the developer Carlisle Gatewood, who also lived in the neighborhood. The three women posing in the third floor’s open windows are the Clark sisters, Jean, Dorothy and Peggy, members of the family that moved into the home in the late 1930s.

THEN: In 1852 many of Seattle’s first pioneers removed from Alki Point by dugout canoe for the deeper and safer harbor along the east shore of Elliott Bay (our central waterfront). About a half-century later any hope or expectation that the few survivors among these pioneers could readily visit Alki Beach and Point by land were fulfilled with the timber quays and bridges along Spokane Street. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: The Seattle Times in its lengthy coverage of the then new Seattle Steel in the paper’s Magazine Section for Sept. 10, 1905 – the year this photograph was recorded – noted that “the plant itself is a series of strong, substantial, cavernous sheds, built for use, not for beauty.” (Courtesy, MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Looking southeast from above Alki Avenue, the Schmitz Park horizon is serrated by the oldest trees in the city. The five duplexes clustered on the right were built 1919-1921 by Ernest and Alberta Conklin. Ernest died in 1924, but Alberta continued to live there until well past 1932, the year this photograph was recorded. (Seattle Municipal Archives.)

THEN: The Craftsman bungalow at 1910 47th Ave. S.W., shown in the 1920s with an unknown adult on the porch and two tykes below, is now 100 years old. The house beyond it at the southeast corner with Holgate Street was for many years clubhouse to the West Seattle Community Club, and so a favorite venue for discussing neighborhood politics and playing bridge. (COURTESY OF SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY)

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A FEW MORE FEATURES FROM OUR PAST & THE NEIGHBORHOOD

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First appeared in Pacific, May 19, 1985,
First appeared in Pacific, May 19, 1985,   Click-Click to Enlarge.

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Appeared in The Times first on January 23, 2000.
Appeared in The Times first on January 23, 2000.

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Alki-Beach-logs-ne-m-64th-WEB

Alki-Beach-NOW-ne-fm-64th-WEB

Alki-Beach-lk-ne-fm-near-64th-WEB

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First appeared in Pacific on Jan. 9, 2000.
First appeared in Pacific on Jan. 9, 2000.

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Denny-Low Cabin Alki MR web

Alki-Cabin-Lowdown-11142004-web

Alki-Cabin-LOWDOWN-now-WEB

=====Maynard-home-st-7-24-1988-WEB copy

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Alki-Beach-w-Bandstand-web

Alki-bandstand-NOW-web

 

First appeared in the Times on Oct. 17 , 2004.
First appeared in the Times on Oct. 17 , 2004.

Now & Then here and now

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