Seattle Now & Then: Big Clock in Big Snow, 1916

(click to enlarge photos)

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 Big Snow of 1916 trims two jewelers’ clocks on the west side of Second Avenue, north of Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: The landmark entryway to the otherwise razed Burke Building abides on the far left.
NOW: The landmark entryway to the otherwise razed Burke Building abides on the far left.

Along with Jean Sherrard, photographer for these weekly “now-and-thens,” I would like to have another BIG SNOW.  The kids would love it.  In the 165 years since the pioneer Denny Party stepped ashore on Alki Beach, in the rain, our temperate city has been capped with only two snows big enough to print in upper-case.  The first and deepest was the Big Snow of 1880, with four-foot drifts dumped

With much of its big blanket dwindled, the Great Snow covers Yesler's Wharf and the King Street Coal Wharf beyond it, with the West Seattle ridge on the horizon. The photo was taken from the back 2nd floor window or porch of the Peterson & Bros studio at the foot of Cherry Street.
With much of its big blanket dwindled, the Great Snow of 1880 covers Yesler’s Wharf and the King Street Coal Wharf beyond it, with the West Seattle ridge on the horizon. The photo was taken from the back 2nd floor window or porch of the Peterson & Bros studio at the foot of Cherry Street.  Note that at least one of the sheds have collapsed.

from above.  The second was heaven’s dish-out, the Big Snow of 1916, sampled in the featured photo.  Aside from their depths, the difference between the two Big Snows was cameras.  There survive, perhaps, a dozen photos from the 1880 winter-tide. But there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of amateur snapshots and professional “real photo” postcards that in 1916 were witnesses to its eccentric Big Snow.  By then cameras were commonplace, and the piling snow, in spite of the chill, was an enticing subject.

Feb. 2, 1916, looking south on Fourth Avenue from near Pike Street.
Feb. 2, 1916, looking south on Fourth Avenue from near Pike Street.
1916 Big Snow looking west on Pike towards Fourth Avenue.
1916 Big Snow looking west on Pike towards Fourth Avenue.
1916 Big Snow, First Ave. looking south toward Pike Street with the Liberty Theatre on the left.
1916 Big Snow, First Ave. looking south toward Pike Street with the Liberty Theatre on the left.
Scene from the 1916 Big Snow, looking south on Second Avenue from Pike Street.
Scene from the 1916 Big Snow, looking south on Second Avenue from Pike Street.

Certainly for the featured photograph’s  look north on Second Avenue, it is the 1916 Big Snow’s alluring banking on the Hardy and Co. Jeweler’s big clock that attracted the photographer.  A second sidewalk clock, for the Burnett Brothers’ Jewelry Store, stands behind it. According to Seattle historian Rob Ketcherside, both of them survive in communities south of Seattle: the Hardy Clock in

A Hardy adver from The Times for December 26, 1915.
A Hardy adver from The Times for December 26, 1915.
The Burnet Bros clock surviving at 9400 Gravelly Lake Drive S.W.
The Burnet Bros clock surviving at 9400 Gravelly Lake Drive S.W. in  Lakewood. (Courtesy, Google Earth)

East Olympia and the Burnett Brothers in Lakewood. Ketcherside’s study of Seattle’s clock history began about five years ago, and the origin of his scholarship seems ordained with a revelation.  Falling asleep on a bus while returning from the Eastside, he awoke wondering what time it was, while the bus was momentarily parked beside a street clock. The historian also woke up to a new passion for research: the history of Seattle’s sidewalk clocks.  Ketcherside makes note that a jeweler’s unique opportunity to advertise with a sidewalk clock required that his clock ran on time. Three times in the 1920s the street clocks were checked by the City, inspired at least in part by complaints about incorrect times.  Ketcherside notes that “at their peak around 1930, there were about fifty street clocks in Seattle. From the intersection of Pike and Fourth Avenue you could see sixteen of them.” 

One of the few survivors: the clock on Fourth Avenue south of Pike Street. I remember taken the photo but not when, so I contribute a circa 1999 date.
One of the few survivors: the clock on Fourth Avenue south of Pike Street. I remember taking the photo but not when, so I contritely contribute a circa 1999 date.
The Stetson Post Building (1883) at the northeast corner of Marion Street and Second Avenue.
The Stetson Post Building (1883) at the northeast corner of Marion Street and Second Avenue.
The Stetson Post Building at the northeast corner of Marion and Second Ave. with the Empire Building behind it and under construction, ca. 1907.
The Stetson Post Building at the northeast corner of Marion and Second Ave. with the Empire Building behind it and under construction, ca. 1907.

Leaving the clocks, on the far right we can catch a glimpse of the Stetson Post Building.  This snow-capped Victorian at the northeast corner of Marion and Second was constructed in 1883.  Through its thirty-five years of existence it was also known as the  New York Kitchen Block, the French Row Dwellings, and the Rainier Block.  Next to it, in the featured photo,  stands one of Seattle’s first steel skyscrapers, the American Savings Bank (1904-6), also known as the Empire Building and the Olympic National Life Building.  You may remember its sensational destruction on February 28, 1982, with Seattle’s first implosion. To its left and across Madison Street stands the Leary Building (1909), named for the last family to live in the pioneer Weed home, which was razed to make way for its construction. (Both John Leary and Gideon Weed served terms as Seattle’s mayor.)

The Leary/Weed home with a large front lawn at the Northeast corner of Madison Street and Second Avenue. Mayor aka Dr. Weed poses behind the fence.
The Leary/Weed home with a large front lawn at the Northeast corner of Madison Street and Second Avenue. Mayor aka Dr. Weed poses behind the fence.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
Ca. 1903, with the pioneer endurer, the Stetson Post Building on the right, and the post-1889 fire red brick landmark, the Burke Building, on the left. Of course the view looks north on Second Avenue through its intersection with Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Ca. 1903, with the pioneer endurer, the Stetson Post Building on the right, and the post-1889 fire red brick landmark, the Burke Building, on the left. Of course the view looks north on Second Avenue through its intersection with Marion Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
First appeared in Pacific, January 25, 2004.
First appeared in Pacific, January 25, 2004.

Far left in the featured photo and in the photo directly above is a slice of the Romanesque Revival Burke Building, which was planned but not built before the city’s Great Fire of 1889 by Thomas Burke (of the avenue, monument and museum).  Burke also developed the Empire Building noted above.  Finally, we will point out, upper left, optician Charles Holcomb’s oversized spectacles attached outside the window to his second floor office.  Like the sidewalk clocks and the five-globe street standards, the spectacles also make an exquisite ledge for the fallen Big Snow. 

A Times ad for Chas. Holcomb and his iconic opticals. (And that may be one of the better if many uses of "iconic" you will trip over this week.)
A Times ad for Chas. Holcomb and his iconic opticals. (And that may be one of the better if many uses of “iconic” you will trip over this week.)
Optician Holcomb's Obituary from The Seattle Times for October 5, 1921. He was a mere 55 years old.
Optician Holcomb’s Obituary from The Seattle Times for October 5, 1921. He was a mere 55 years old.
Click-Click to enlarge and find the glasses hanging outside the second floor window above-left of the arched entrance to the Burke Building. Also note the Har
Click-Click to enlarge and find the glasses hanging outside the second floor window above-left of the arched entrance to the Burke Building. Also note the Hardy and Co. Jewelers storefront to the right of the corner entrance into the Burke Building.  There is here as yet not sidewalk clock for the jeweler.
First appeared in Pacific March 3, 1996.
First appeared in Pacific March 3, 1996.
Lawton Gowey's Sept 14, 1967 portrait of the Burke Building. Perhaps Lawton knew it was doomed.
Lawton Gowey’s Sept 14, 1967 portrait of the Burke Building. Perhaps Lawton knew it was doomed.
Lawton Gowey's record of the Burke's deconstruction as of February 5, 1971.
Lawton Gowey’s record of the Burke’s deconstruction as of February 5, 1971.
Following the Great Fire of June 6, 1889 cleared and available lots were fitted with tents for temporary use of the local businesses dispossessed if not ruined. This prospect looks north on Second from Marion Street. The photographer most likely climbed that first stairway to the upper floors of the Stetson Post Building at the northeast corner of Marion Street and Second Avenue.
Following the Great Fire of June 6, 1889 cleared and available lots were fitted with tents for temporary use of the local businesses dispossessed if not ruined. This prospect looks north on Second from Marion Street. The photographer most likely climbed the first stairway to the upper floors of the Stetson Post Building.  The Burke Building would soon fill much of this block on its western side north of Marion Street.  The Burke was in planning before the fire.  (click click)
Mid-block on the east side of Second Avenue between Marion Street and Madison Street in the early 1890s. Appears first in Pacific, May 7, 2000
Mid-block on the east side of Second Avenue between Marion Street and Madison Street in the early 1890s. Appears first in Pacific, May 7, 2000

WEB EXTRAS

Greetings, lads! Before I ask my perennial question, let me add a shot of the same scene from the 6th of February – riddled with a few flakes; pathetic compared to any of our Big Snows, but rare enough to intrigue, I’m thinking…  Darn sure Jean, and directly below the first of you snowflake additions we will insert a rear view of the Burke Building arch that appears as stand along artifact on the far left of you photo.   The one we join with it was taken by Frank Shaw in November 1974 and therefore soon after the Federal Building was completed with the Burke’s keepsake gateway retained in memento.

NOW 2: Same location as 'Then' with a dusting of snow
NOW 2: Same location as ‘Then’ with a dusting of snow
The salvaged arch front door arch to the Burke Building, recorded by Frank Shaw in November 1974.
The salvaged arch front door arch to the Burke Building, recorded by Frank Shaw in November 1974.

And here’s a few more shot that same morning…

Looking up First toward Pioneer Square
Looking up First toward Pioneer Square
Portraits in snow of Henry Yesler and family, not far from their early home
Portraits in snow of Henry Yesler and family, not far from their early home  (Jean, more likely this is Henry, Sarah and their dog.)
The Chief looks especially somber with a mantle of white
The Chief looks especially somber with a mantle of white
Here Jean in another counterpoint with the leitmotif of your flurries is Mary Randlet's portrait of Murray Morgan, the "The Dean of Northwest Historians" posing with the Chief.
Here Jean in another counterpoint with the leitmotif of your flurries is Mary Randlett’s portrait of Murray Morgan, the “The Dean of Northwest Historians” posing with the Chief.
Looking north from the Marion Street pedestrian overpass
Looking north from the Marion Street pedestrian overpass – and Jean, keeping our rhythm going, we will follow your snow-traced Marion with a look north from its during the 1916 Big Snow.   This was fun Jean.   May we duet again sometime soon?
Looking north on Railroad Avenue while it is a work-in-progress clearing snow.
Looking north on Railroad Avenue while it is a work-in-progress clearing the 196 snow, and simply on the waterfront.   Wagon’s carried the contributions from other business district streets as well.  

Anything to add, fellahs?   Jean we will start again with a few Edge-Links that Ron has pulled from recent features.   Tomorrow, following a late breakfast (it is 5a.m. now) of oatmeal and maple syrup we will search for a few more features of greater antiquity, scan ’em and put ’em up.  We wonder now and out loud if there is any retired lover of local history who will help us to in scanning the bulk of the nearly 1800 features we have written and illustrated in the last 34 years, then please step forward and be embraced.   We will supply the scanner and plenty of packets of instant oatmeal.

THEN:

THEN: Of the three largest Seattle roofs – the Alki Point Natatorium, a grandstand section of the U.W.’s Denny Field, and the St. James Cathedral dome - that crashed under the weight of the “Northwest Blizzard” in February 1916, the last was the grandest and probably loudest. It fell “with a crashing roar that was heard many blocks distant.” (Courtesy Catholic Archdiocese.)

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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)

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THEN: Adding a sixth floor to its first five in 1903, the Hotel Butler entered a thirty-year run as “the place” for dancing in the Rose Room, dining at the Butler Grill, and celebrity-mixing in the lobby. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

 

USS Turner Joy in the Chittenden Locks this morning

Just a little bonbon for naval gazers. This morning, Bremerton museum/ decommissioned destroyer USS Turner Joy passed through the Chittenden Locks after a few weeks of being spiffed up in Lake Union. According to museum director Frank Portello, she’s one of the largest ships to pass through the locks. Here’s a series of shots that show her progression:

Coming through the Ballard Bridge
Coming through the Ballard Bridge

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Geese returning as well….

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Seattle Now & Then: Two Marches (on 4th Avenue)

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Lawton Gowey looks north through the tail of the 1957 Independence Day Parade on Fourth Avenue as it proceeds south through the intersection with Pike Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: Lawton Gowey looks north through the tail of the 1957 Independence Day Parade on Fourth Avenue as it proceeds south through the intersection with Pike Street. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: For his repeat Jean Sherrard, of course, chose Seattle’s contribution to the nation-wide “Women’s March” on January 21st last. Jean explains, “I trotted along a few yards in front of the main body of the marchers, who were greeted by a crowd of thousands lining the streets. The event had an air of celebration and togetherness. The police escort, both on motorcycles (shown in the now photo) and on bicycles, were greeted with warm applause and cheers as they cleared a path for the protesters."
NOW: For his repeat Jean Sherrard, of course, chose Seattle’s contribution to the nation-wide “Women’s March” on January 21st last. Jean explains, “I trotted along a few yards in front of the main body of the marchers, who were greeted by a crowd of thousands lining the streets. The event had an air of celebration and togetherness. The police escort, both on motorcycles (shown in the now photo) and on bicycles, were greeted with warm applause and cheers as they cleared a path for the protesters.”

Lawton Gowey, once the Director of Finance for the Seattle Water Department, recorded this week’s “then” subject.  This old friend, now three decades deceased (1921-1983), was a public worker who studied and extensively photographed the built city.  He carried a 35mm camera loaded with Kodachrome transparency (slide) film. Gowey’s subject is a relatively recent one, dated July 4, 1957.  It is still easy to place.  For this Independence Day Parade portrait, Lawton took his photographer’s crouch on the east side of Fourth Avenue, standing just off the curb and a little less than a half-block south of Pike Street.

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The Mayflower Hotel at the southeast corner of Olive Way and Fourth Avenue.
The Mayflower Hotel at the southeast corner of Olive Way and Fourth Avenue.

Most of the structures, but not the businesses, in Gowey’s photo survive, including the Seaboard Building (1906-9) at the northeast corner of Fourth and Pike, to the right of the light standard.  Behind the same standard, but two blocks north on Fourth, the Mayflower Hotel stands at its southeast corner with Olive way. Nearby, the Great Northern Railroad’s long popular symbol of a mountain goat looks from its monumental neon circle up the center of Fourth Avenue.  Its rooftop perch was at the northeast corner with Stewart Street. Surely, many PacificNW readers remember it.  

Horace Sykes December 1956 record of the Bon Marche's corner Christmas Tree
Horace Sykes December 1956 record of the enlarged Bon Marche’s corner Christmas Tree
The Colonial Theatre and the Bon Marche at its old height, ca. 1947.
The Colonial Theatre and the Bon Marche, on the right, at its old height, ca. 1947.

The block-sized Bon Marche, opened in 1929 and remodeled in 1955 as the “largest department store west of Chicago,” holds the center of the subject. To this side of The Bon, the two three-story-tall gaudy signs for Gasco (1932) and the Colonial Theatre (1913) rise side-by-side above the busy sidewalk where street photographers vended to pedestrians their candid portraits.  Many

Clay Eal's mom caught on Fourth with the Mannings sign behind her and Jerry Johnson, I believe.
Clay Eal’s mom caught on Fourth with the Mannings sign behind her and Jerry Johnson, I believe, beside her, ca. 1945.
The Gasco Building's invitation to a housewarming for April 29, 1932.
The Gasco Building’s invitation to a housewarming for April 29, 1932.

of these unwitting but generally willing subjects were on their way either to or from Manning’s Coffee at 1533 Fourth Avenue.  Manning’s, a small chain, were the “Acknowledged Quality Coffee Stores of the Pacific Coast,” and so perhaps, the too-often forgotten fountainhead of Seattle’s rich coffee reputation.    

A Manning's ad pulled from The Times for April 1, 1925.
A Manning’s ad pulled from The Times for April 1, 1925.
Click This To Read It. The Bigelow business building that held the northwest corner of Pike and Fourth Ave., until replaced
Click This To Read It. The Bigelow business building that held the northwest corner of Pike and Fourth Ave., until replaced in 1923. 
Elizabeth Leonard's beauty and charm school was a long-time tenant of the Bigelow Building. This adver. was clipped form The Times for May 14, 1957.
Elizabeth Leonard’s beauty and charm school was a long-time tenant of the Bigelow Building. This adver. was clipped from The Times for May 14, 1957.
A Times clip from Jan 2, 1955, promoting the many services of Elizabeth Leonard at her l
A Times clip from Jan 2, 1955, promoting the many services of Elizabeth Leonard at her School of Charm in the Bigelow Building.

Left of center at the northwest corner of Fourth and Pike stands the seven-story Bigelow Building.  It was named for the pioneer couple Harry and Emma Bigelow, who after purchasing the water-logged corner from Arthur and Mary Denny in the 1870s left it to its croaking.  It was soon named “Harry’s Frog Pond.”  They replaced the wetland with their big home in 1883.  The Bigelow Building in the “then” was built in 1923 and replaced in the 1980s by the grander Century Square retail and office complex.

A Lunquite-Lilly ad inviting you to save money by climbing their steps.
A Lunquist-Lilly ad inviting you to save money by climbing their steps to the second floor of the Empress Theatre Building, an earlier location for them..

When the Joshua Green Building, far-left in the featured photo at the top, opened in 1913, the men’s clothier Lundquist – Lilly occupied the second floor, a higher level but with a lower rent. The partners promised to share the savings with their customers. (See their sign.)  Lundquist and Lilly hoped that their clientele would be impressed by “The big saving we make in side-stepping the tremendous operative expense which all street-level clothiers are up against . . . Our furniture and fixtures are very plain; you pay only for clothes.  That’s why we give you a $25.00 suit for $15.00.”   

This too is state July 4th, 1957
Like the featured photo at the top this too is dated July 4th, 1957

The July 4, 1957 parade of mostly marching military units that celebrated the nation’s 181st anniversary of America’s assertion of independence from King George III was a modest display.  By police estimates the parade attracted a crowd of about 25,000.  This was pint-sized parading when compared, for instance, to the 150,000 who lined Fourth Avenue to greet President Harry Truman during his 1948 visit to Seattle.

Harry Truman waving from the open convertible Cadillac at the center of the photograph. I remember the excitement attendant on Truman's visit to Spokane during the same campaign. I felt charmed by being in the same city with the President of the United States. Now, I confess to finding the same imagined coincidence a mix of dread and repulsion.
Harry Truman waving from the open convertible Cadillac at the center of the photograph. PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE.   I remember the excitement attendant on Truman’s visit to Spokane during the same campaign. I felt charmed by being in the same city with the President of the United States. Now, I confess to finding the same imagined coincidence a confused mix of wonder and repulsion.
Pres. Warren Harding's parade thru Belltown during his 1924 visit to Seattle. He was not feeling well, and died soon after while continuing his west coast tour in San Francisco.
Pres. Warren Harding’s parade thru Belltown during his 1923 visit to Seattle. He was not feeling well, and died soon after in San Francisco – probably of a heart attack – while continuing what he called his Voyage of Understanding.   At the time Harding became the sixth of eight presidents to die in office.  His tour had included a visit to Alaska.  His widfe would not allow an autopsy.

WEB EXTRAS

Hi guys. Before inviting your contributions, I’ll post a few faces from the 2017 march as clickable thumbnails.  YOUR parade shots are embraceable Jean.  Give us more if you have them.  By those that find them they will be often returned to – I expect.

Anything to add, gentles?   We will search about for a few more parades, and similar sensations.  Ron has put up – I’m counting – 23 Edge links to former features, and the last of those is a return to the 1883 celebrations connected with the completion of the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad.   And the last part of the 23rd feature shows off the song writing and playing skills of the local band Pineola.   We often return to Pineola and listen too.   Enjoy.

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.

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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: 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: While visiting Seattle for some promoting, silent film star Wallace Reid shares the sidewalk at 4th and Olive with a borrowed Stutz Bearcat. (Courtesy, Museum of History & Industry)

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

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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: About a year after he recorded this fashionable throng on Second Avenue celebrating the visit of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet in the spring of 1908, Frank Nowell became the official photographer for Seattle’s six-month-long Alaska Yukon and Pacific Exhibition in 1909.

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

THEN: In the first years of the twentieth century, visiting circuses most often used these future Seattle Center acres to raise their big tops. After 1911 the favored circus site was moved to the then freshly-cleared Denny Regrade neighborhood (Courtesy, Mike Cirelli)

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 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: An unidentified brass band poses at the intersection of Commercial Street (First Ave S.) and Main Street during the 1883 celebration for the completion of the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad.

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BELOW: A FEW OLDER FEATURES and then tomorrow after a few hours slumber some more Seattle parades.

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MORE ELEPHANTS on PARADE

Most likely near 5th and Thomas. Queen Anne Hill is seen on the horizon. The future Seattle Center campus was the favorite circus venue in the early 20th Century. The circus animals were often paraded from the circus grounds thru the business district to help promote the show.
Most likely near 5th and Thomas. Queen Anne Hill is seen on the horizon. The future Seattle Center campus was the favorite circus venue in the early 20th Century. The circus animals were often paraded from the circus grounds thru the business district to help promote the show.  Photo by Max Loudon.

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Memorial Day Parade, Seattle - 1936.
Memorial Day Parade, Seattle – 1936.

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Like Conqueror – While thousands of persons lined the sidewalks of Second Avenue for the Roosevelt parade yesterday, other throngs his automobile up the street, crowding so closely about the car that watchers had difficulty in getting a glimpse of the governor. Here is how the procession looked.
Sept. 20, 1932: Like Conqueror – While thousands of persons lined the sidewalks of Second Avenue for the Roosevelt parade yesterday, other throngs his automobile up the street, crowding so closely about the car that watchers had difficulty in getting a glimpse of the governor. Here is how the procession looked.

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The Santa Parade in Times Square
The Santa Parade in Times Square

SANTA CLAUS PARADES 

The SANTA CLAUS PARADE tradition began in 1949.  The first parade was held on November 12 and it brought out what The Seattle Times – one of its sponsors – reported that afternoon  “The biggest parade crowd in Seattle’s history turned out this afternoon despite rainy weather to view the gigantic Santa Clause parade.” Seattle Police Chief George D. Eastman estimates the crowd surpassed the Seattle record then of 150,000, which greeted President Truman in 1948.  (See the Truman Parade press photo above, the last illustration here before Jean’s question about “Web Extras.” )

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The Santa parade heading south on Fifth Avenue towards the Pine Street intersection.
The Santa parade heading south on Fifth Avenue towards the Pine Street intersection.

The Santa Claus parades ran at least through the 1940s.  We will include at the bottom of our Santa parade photos a colored record of the parade by Frank Shaw from Nov. 19, 1960.  The rest are press shots from The Seattle Times.   The Santa parades typically featured the region’s best high school marching bands and the parade’s stars, giants balloons representing classic cartoon characters and monsters – the shapes most likely to thrill the kids, many of whom were also dressed in costumes.  (We imagine, only, that the balloons were recycled from one of the east coast department store parades, like Macy’s in New York City.)

(pause)  Please compare the below photo from an AYP-related parade down Fifth Avenue in 1909, with the above photo.  They were recorded from nearly the same prospect.

Compare this 1909 parade looking south on Fifth towards Pine Street with the one above it - if you like.
Compare this 1909 parade looking south on Fifth towards Pine Street with the one above it – if you like.
The Santa Parade (one of them) passing thru Times Square. The terra-cotta clad Times Building is the flat-iron shaped beauty on the upper-right. The aerial looks south along and over Fifth Avenue.
The Santa Parade (one of them) passing thru Times Square. The terra-cotta clad Times Building is the flat-iron shaped beauty on the upper-right. The aerial looks south along and over Fifth Avenue.
The parade heading south on Third Ave., reaches Union Street and a line-up of the then popular Turf Club, the Embassy Theatre and Talls Cameras. The Evergreen High School band follows. The Times caption reads, "Mythical Monster: A crew of Boy Scouts struggled valiantly to control a 110-foot griffin balloon, which wound its way along Third Avenue near Union Street in yesterday's parade. It took 50 Scouts, working in 25-member teams, to guide the griffin."
The parade heading south on Third Ave., reaches Union Street and a line-up of the then popular Turf Club & Grill, the Embassy Theatre and Talls Cameras. The Evergreen High School band follows. The Times caption reads, “Mythical Monster: A crew of Boy Scouts struggled valiantly to control a 110-foot griffin balloon, which wound its way along Third Avenue near Union Street in yesterday’s parade. It took 50 Scouts, working in 25-member teams, to guide the griffin.”
Near the start, the Santa Parade heads south on Third Avenue approaching Virginia Street.
Near the start, a Santa Parade heads south on Third Avenue approaching Virginia Street.

The mid-November PARADE was popular enough to sell out downtown lodgings for the night before.   The Times reported that “one hotel on the parade route reportedly turned down at least 300 requests for reservations.”  In 1949 the Santa Claus parade route went south of Second Avenue from Virginia Street to Yesler Way and returned north on Third Avenue with a reviewing stand at Third and Virginia.   In 1950 the route changed to Third (going south) and Fifth Avenues.   Two years more and the directions were switched, south on Fifth and north on Third.  The 1956 parade features a dozen bands and forty balloons or “Novelty Units.”  This year the route was again first heading south on Third Avenue from Virginia Street and then returning from Yesler Way by way of Fifth Avenue.

At least for one of its several years running, the Santa Claus parade came west on Union Street to turn south on Third Avenue. The Post Office is upper-right.
At least for one of its several years running, the Santa Claus parade came west on Union Street to turn south on Third Avenue. The Post Office is upper-right.
Frank Shaw's record of the Santa Claus parade for November 19, 1960.
Frank Shaw’s record of the Santa Claus parade for November 19, 1960.

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POTLATCH PARADES – A Few Examples from the first Golden Potlatch Parade in 1911, followed by a Dad’s Day promotion from the 1913 Potlatch Parade.   

The Afro-American Float at the intersection of Second Avenue and Marion Street, with the Stetson Post Building (1883) behind it.
The Afro-American Float at the intersection of Second Avenue and Marion Street, with the Stetson Post Building (1883) behind it.
A glimpse of the review stand in the recently cleared Denny Regrade neighborhood, 1911.
Above and below:  two glimpses of the review stand in the recently cleared Denny Regrade neighborhood, 1911.

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A 1911 parade poser at the intersection of Marion Street and Third Avenue. The southeast corner with the nearly new Central Building rises behind it.
A 1911 parade poser at the intersection of Marion Street and Third Avenue. The southeast corner with the nearly new Central Building rises behind it.
A line-up of electric cars passing the Central Building in the 1911 Potlatch parade. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)
A line-up of electric cars passing the Central Building in the 1911 Potlatch parade. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)

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First appeared in Pacific, June 15, 1986.
First appeared in Pacific, June 15, 1986.
Motorcars were themselves still made a thrilling parade during the early years of the Golden Potlatch Days.
Motorcars still made for a thrilling parade during the early years of the Golden Potlatch Days. The subject looks north on Second Avenue towards its intersection with Madison Street.

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MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL PREPAREDNESS PARADES

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On First Avenue south of University Street.
On First Avenue south of University Street.  Here the Diller Hotel is bedecked – not so in the photo that is two above it.
A Force marches south on Fourth Avenue in front of the Rainier Club.
A Force marches south on Fourth Avenue in front of the Rainier Club.

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Draft Parade on Second Avenue north from Stewart Street, 1917.
Draft Parade on Second Avenue north from Stewart Street, 1917.

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Playing Soldiers, a band marches south on Second Ave. though the welcoming arch at Marion Street for the Knights Templar conference here in 1925.
Playing Soldiers, a band marches south on Second Ave. though the welcoming arch at Marion Street for the Knights Templar conference here in 1925.

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FAT TUESDAY PARADE:  During the 1970s it seemed like every February includes a few unseasonably warm days.   Once of these natural lapses was used to stage a Fat Tuesday parade from the Pike Place Market to the drinking reservoirs of Pioneer Square.  The size of the downhill entourage was huge.  Here are two shots featuring the Friends of the Rag.   Both were snapped by Frank Shaw.

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WALLINGFORD KIDDIE PARADE from the early 1950s and its DISTINGUISHED QUINTET of Hoary Parade Marshalls from 2008, I believe.

Wallingford Seafair kid's parade from early 1950s.
Wallingford Seafair kid’s parade from early 1950s.

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POSTSCRIPT

Another record of the 1883 Villard visit with his entourage. The terrirtorial university is on the horizon of Denny's Knoll, and the photo was taken from 3rd Avenue near Union Street.
Another record of the 1883 Villard visit with his entourage. The territorial university is on the horizon of Denny’s Knoll, and the photo was taken from 3rd Avenue near Union Street.

Seattle Now & Then: Looking East from Ninth and Pike

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THEN: This 1939 glimpse east from Ninth Avenue follows Pike Street to the end of the about three-quarter mile straight climb it makes on its run from the Pike Place Market to its first turn on Capitol Hill.
THEN: This 1939 glimpse east from Ninth Avenue follows Pike Street to the end of the about three-quarter mile straight climb it makes on its run from the Pike Place Market to its first turn on Capitol Hill.  [CLICK to ENLARGE and so on]
NOW: A swath of landscaped concrete first poured and planted in the 1960s has replaced the row of former hotels and shops that once lined Pike Street in its ascent of Capitol Hill. Jean Sherrard has put his back to the window-arched tunnel that distinguishes Pike Street where it passes beside the Washington State Convention Center.
NOW: A swath of landscaped concrete first poured and planted in the 1960s has replaced the row of former hotels and shops that once lined Pike Street in its ascent of Capitol Hill. Jean Sherrard has put his back to the window-arched tunnel that distinguishes Pike Street where it passes beside the Washington State Convention Center.

The featured look east on Pike Street from Ninth Avenue is dated May 21, 1939.  In about two decades more this neighborhood would be cut, crushed, and cleared for the construction of the Seattle Freeway. Through these two blocks between Ninth Avenue and Boren Street, Pike’s mixed neighborhood of cafes, hotels, barbershops, and furniture upholsterers would be revamped into a concrete ramp over a concrete ditch.  That this part of Pike was once an “upholstery row” surprised me.  In 1938 (I have a city directory for 1938 but not 1939) there were five furniture upholsterers listed in the few blocks between Eighth and Melrose Avenues.  It is at Melrose that Pike begins its turn east to conform to the more recently platted street grid on the ridge.  The jog’s directional change is indicated with an adjustment in the name to East Pike Street, which in 1939 was one of Seattle’s principal “auto rows.” East Pike also marks the subjective – and by now traditional – border between the First and Capitol Hill neighborhoods.

Another same day snap by the billboard rangers, Foster and Kleiser, on Pike Street, but here one block east at Terry Street. The hotels here include the William Penn, far left,
Another same day snap by the billboard rangers, Foster and Kleiser, on Pike Street, but here one block east at Terry Street. The hotels here on the south side of Pike include the William Penn, far right, Hotel Crest, left of the power pole, and the Wintonia, which I remember for its wild tavern in the 1970 with bad manners contesting with good music.  Across Pike and a block east is the Villa Hotel at the northeast corner of Boren and Pike..

Also with the help of the Polk City Directory for 1938 I have counted four hotels in these two blocks between Ninth Avenue and Boren that were lost to the Seattle Freeway (Interstate Five): the Stanley, here at Ninth Avenue, the William Penn and the Crest near Terry Avenue, and the five-floor Hotel Alvord, on the left.  (Jean Sherrard’s repeat also reveals a survivor. The Villa Hotel at the northwest corner of Pike and Boren can stands out in the photo above.  It cal also be glimpsed directly above the trolley in this Sunday’s “then.”  It is more difficult but not impossible to find in the “now.”)  

A Times clip from December 8, 1924
A Times clip from December 8, 1924
A Seattle Times clip from March 3, 1933
A Seattle Times clip from March 3, 1933
A Seattle Times clip: Oct. 23, 1936.
A Seattle Times clip: Oct. 23, 1936.
Sprinkled throughout most hotel and apartment house histories are true crime stories of many sorts. This one was published in The Times for July 23, 1930.
Sprinkled throughout most hotel and apartment house histories are true crime stories of many sorts. This one for the Alvord was published in The Times for July 23, 1930.

The Alvord’s publicity stream begins in 1924, the year of its construction, and reaches its most sensational height around midnight on March 1, 1933. Mildred Russell, the 24-year-old bride of violinist and orchestra leader Jan Russell, opened a window in search of fresh air and used all five of the hotel’s floors to fall to the ground below.  The Times qualified the ground as “soft earth.”  From her merciful bounce, Mildred received only a few bruises and a cracked skull.  “I had just lit a cigarette,” she said. Only three years later, Margaret Thaanum fell from the Alvord’s third floor to her death.  The trained nurse was trying to walk the three-inch ledge outside her window. 

The single and double fees for the Alvord Hotel a few weeks before the economic crash of 1929. And below: a few weeks more than one year following the crash.
The single and double fees for the Alvord Hotel a few weeks before the economic crash of 1929. And below: a few weeks more than one year following the crash.
From The Times classifieds for Feb. 21, 1931.
From The Times classifieds for Feb. 21, 1931.

Returning now to the trolley heading east on Pike Street, on this spring day there was a growing sense that these often rattling common carriers were about to lose out to the busses and trackless trollies promoted by internal combustion and “big rubber.”  Two years more and most trolley tracks in Seattle were pulled up and the disrupted brickwork patched with asphalt and/or concrete.   

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COMING UP - This Spring the 50th ANNIVERSARY of the FOUNDING of HELIX. We hope to completed the scanning of every page - by then. Keep watch. The above was printed on a back cover of one of the (very roughly) 130 weekly (for the most part) tabloids.
COMING UP – This Spring the 50th ANNIVERSARY of the FOUNDING of HELIX. We hope to completed the scanning of every page – by then. Keep watch. The above was printed on a back cover of one of the (very roughly) 130 weekly (for the most part) tabloids.

On this Sunday, May 21, 1939, we learn from The Times that while Hitler and Mussolini were preparing a military alliance with their Rome-Berlin pact, Seattleites were anticipating in the week the grand Potlatch Pageant and its big parade.  (Hitler and Mussolini vented that “Germany and Italy have no intention of using any country as a tool for egotistical plans, which is happening only too clearly on the other side.”)  Two days later Boeing’s Yankee Clipper inaugurated the first commercial airway service between the Unites States and Europe. Perhaps playing it safe at the start, other than the crew of fifteen, the clipper carried only mail, four tons of it. 

The Boeing Clipper at Matthews Beach, its testing harbor on Lake Washington.
The Boeing Clipper at Matthews Beach, its testing harbor on Lake Washington.

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WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, blokes?  Blokes but not bullies we will find some links and other decorations and put the UP.

THEN: In the 32 years between Frank Shaw's dedication picture and Jean Sherrard's dance scene, Freeway Park has gained in verdure what it has lost in human use.

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

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

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THEN: First dedicated in 1889 by Seattle’s Unitarians, the congregation soon needed a larger sanctuary and moved to Capitol Hill. Here on 7th Avenue, their first home was next used for a great variety of events, including a temporary home for the Christian Church, a concert hall for the Ladies Musical Club, and a venue for political events like anarchist Emma Goldman’s visit to Seattle in 1910. (Compliments Lawton Gowey)

THEN: 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: The Ballard Public Library in 1903-4, and here the Swedish Baptist Church at 9th and Pine, 1904-5, were architect Henderson Ryan’s first large contracts after the 20 year old southerner first reached Seattle in 1898. Later he would also design both the Liberty and Neptune Theatres, the latter still projecting films in the University District. (Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: The home at bottom right looks across Madison Street (out of frame) to Central School. The cleared intersection of Spring Street and Seventh Avenue shows on the right.

THEN: As explained in the accompanying story the cut corner in this search-lighted photo of the “first-nighters” lined up for the March 1, 1928 opening of the Seattle Theatre at 9th and Pine was intended. Courtesy Ron Phillips

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

THEN: Built in 1909-10 on one of First Hill’s steepest slopes, the dark brick Normandie Apartments' three wings, when seen from the sky, resemble a bird in flight. (Lawton Gowey)

THEN: The brand new N&K Packard dealership at Belmont and Pike in 1909. Thanks to both antique car expert Fred Cruger for identifying as Packards the cars on show here, and to collector Ron Edge for finding them listed at this corner in a 1909 Post-Intelligencer. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry.)

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

THEN: Swedish Lutheran (Gethsemane) Church’s second sanctuary at the northeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Steward Street circa 1920, photo by Klaes Lindquist. (Courtesy, Swedish Club)

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

THEN: We are not told but perhaps it is Dora and Otto Ranke and their four children posing with their home at 5th and Pike for the pioneer photographer Theo. E. Peiser ca. 1884. In the haze behind them looms Denny Hill. (Courtesy Ron Edge)

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: 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: 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)

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A detail from the 1912 Real Estate Map. Note the two brick structures (including Seattle Taxi) in block 108 on the right.
A detail from the 1912 Real Estate Map. Note the two brick structures (including Seattle Taxi) in block 108 on the right.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

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Seattle Taxi is on the left in this look south 9th Ave. from Pike Street.
Seattle Taxi is on the left in this look south 9th Ave. from Pike Street.

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The buildings on Ninth Avenue south of Pike Street, including the Seattle Taxi, are still standing in this aerial of the neighborhood photographed sometime before it was cut through by Interstate-5.  Compare to the photo below.

Courtesy, Ron Edge
Courtesy, Ron Edge

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RETURN to a detail of the neighborhood pulled from the 1912 Baist Real Estate map
RETURN to a detail of the neighborhood pulled from the 1912 Baist Real Estate map

Seattle Now & Then: Seattle’s First Chinatown

(click to enlarge photos)

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 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.)
NOW: The Phoenix Hotel was destroyed with the 1928-29 Second Avenue Extension. The hotel was replaced with the new street’s intersection, while the surviving Chin Gee Hee Building, originally behind it, was reshaped for the new northeast corner of Washington Street and Second Avenue.
NOW: The Phoenix Hotel was destroyed with the 1928-29 Second Avenue Extension. The hotel was replaced with the new street’s intersection, while the surviving Chin Gee Hee Building, originally behind it, was reshaped for the new northeast corner of Washington Street and Second Avenue.

Public historian Kurt E. Armbruster, one of our sensitive explorers of Seattle’s cityscapes, recently sent me his snapshot of the Chin Gee Hee Building at the northeast corner of Washington Street and the Second Avenue Extension.  Kurt regards it as “a little gem” and, it seems, it is the last remaining piece of architecture to survive from Seattle’s First Chinatown, in the neighborhood of Washington Street and Second Avenue.  It was a community of the mostly single men who help build the region’s earliest railroads, labored as domestics and on the pick and shovel gangs that helped dig, for example, the canal between Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

Kurt Armbruster's snapshot of
Kurt Armbruster’s snapshot of the “little gem.”    Thanks Kurt.

Chin Gee Hee arrived in Seattle in the mid-1870s and soon prospered as a labor contractor, a merchant and a builder.  Partnering with Chin Chun Hock, another and even earlier Chinese contractor-merchant, Hee and Hock hired Seattle’s earliest resident architect, William E. Boone, to design two commercial buildings for them in Chinatown.  Although both were consumed by the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, they were quickly replaced by the two

Chinese labor contractor at his desk.
Chinese labor contractor at his desk.
Chin Gee Hee
Chin Gee Hee
Seattle Times clip from Feb. 15, 1927 comparing Chin Gee Hee to the Great Norther Railroad's Jim Hill.
Seattle Times clip from Feb. 15, 1927 comparing Chin Gee Hee to the Great Northern Railroad’s Jim Hill.

grander three-story hotels featured in the featured photo at the top.  The greater part of Chin Chun Hock’s Phoenix Hotel is to the left of the darker power pole in the photo’s foreground, and the full front façade of the Chin Gee Hee Building, facing Washington Street, is to the right of the pole.  Boone styled both as orthodox Victorians.  It is claimed that Chin Gee Hee’s hotel was the first brick building completed following the ’89 fire, however, we may be permitted to show some reservation about this claim as we do many other “firsts” in local history.  The thirty-plus blocks of the business district was a cacophony of construction following the fire with the builders’ general racing urge to open first.

The Phoenix Hotel on the right with the
The Phoenix Hotel on the right with the Chin Gee Hee building out-of-frame to the right., ca. 1912.  Long ago we did a now-then feature using the above and blow photos.  When we find it we will insert it.

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A clip from The Seattle Times for August 25, 1897.
A clip from The Seattle Times for August 25, 1897.

Judging from news coverage, the Phoenix was the seedier of the two hotels.  On August 11, 1905, the hotel’s manager W.A. Morris was charged with robbing one of its drunken guests of $45.00.  While the manager confessed his innocence, the police told the Seattle Times that “Morris conducts one of the worst dives in the city.”  Earlier that summer the police had made an opium raid on the Phoenix, noting that the hotel had “developed into a full-fledge opium den and in the last month a half-dozen smokers have been caught there.”  Meanwhile, also in 1905, the Phoenix’s neighbor, Chin Gee Hee, left Seattle to build a railroad in China.  He was subsequently awarded by the last emperor with the honor of a peacock feather and a retinue of servants and soldiers, presumably to help him guard the rails.    

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THE SECOND AVENUE EXTENSION as seen from the SMITH TOWER.  Above before: March 14, 1928.  Below after: June 11, 1929.   The Phoenix Hotel at the former northeast corner of Second Avenue and Washington Street can still be seen (below the center) near the bottom of the 1928 photograph.  The Chin Gee Hee Building  is behind it, to the left.   In the 1929 photo below, the Phoenix has been sliced away and the southwest corner of the Chin Gee Hee clipped.

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A detail from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map, still twenty years prior to work on the Second Avenue Extension. Our choice intends to feature at the top the intersection of Washington Street and Second Avenue with the Phoenix Hotel named at its northeast corner. And please not the green marked park at the top.
A detail from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map, still twenty years prior to work on the Second Avenue Extension. Our choice intends to feature at its top the intersection of Washington Street and Second Avenue with the Phoenix Hotel named at its northeast corner. And please not the green marked park at the top.  We will show more of it below.  
A detail of the same intersection (upper-left) from 1912. Later an owner of the bound Baist map drew through the detail the borders of the Second Avenue Extension, which cuts through the Fire Department Headquarters at the northwest corner of Main and Third Avenue.
A detail of the same intersection (upper-left) from 1912. Later an owner of the bound Baist map drew through the detail the borders of the Second Avenue Extension, which cuts through the Fire Department Headquarters at the northwest corner of Main and Third Avenue.   In the photograph that follows directly below the extension work is underway with a remodel of the building at the southwest corner of Main Street and Third Avenue.  The doomed fire station is directly across Main Street, and behind and above it the transcendent Smith Tower inspects it all like an adolescent  hall proctor.  It’s fifteen years old.  
Looking south on Second Avenue S. over Yesler Way and the Fortson Square park and trolley stop. The Phoenix Hotel can be found on the left.
Looking south on Second Avenue S. over Yesler Way and the Fortson Square park and trolley stop. The Phoenix Hotel can be found on the left.  A feature clip about Fortson Square is include with the line of features placed at the bottom of this feature.  [CLICK TO ENLARGE]
Looking south on Second Ave. S. during an early Potlatch Parade. Note the Phoenix Hotel upper-left.
Looking south on Second Ave. S. during an early Potlatch Parade. Note the Phoenix Hotel upper-left.

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Most likely hard to read but still revealing of the early hopes for the Second Avenue Extension. The Seattle Times clip dates from Oct. 18, 1925. And far right is part of a clip on Ye Old Curiosity Shop founder Pop Standley's curios-congested West Seattle home.
Most likely too hard to read but still revealing of the early hopes for the Second Avenue Extension. The Seattle Times clip dates from Oct. 18, 1925. And far right is part of a clip on Ye Old Curiosity Shop founder Pop Standley’s curio-congested West Seattle home.
The completed extension.
The completed extension.
A detail from the citiy's 1936 mapping aerial. The completed Second Ave extension leaves several sliced structures including the Chin Gee Hee Building. Can you find it?
A detail from the city’s 1936 mapping aerial. The completed Second Ave extension leaves several sliced structures including the Chin Gee Hee Building. Can you find it?  Note the Smith Tower, upper-left, and across Yesler Way from it the triangular park  named for Fortson, a Spanish American War volunteer – a heroic one.

The Phoenix’s transgressions were fixed forever in 1928 when it was razed with the “improvement” of the Second Avenue Extension, a 1,413-foot cut through the neighborhood between Yesler Way and Jackson Street.  It was hoped that the extension would make Second Avenue a ceremonial promenade leading to and from the train depots. The Chin Gee Hee Building was saved with only its west end sliced away.  This eccentric reduction, combined with the recessed gallery cut into the third floor above Washington Street, surely heightened the building’s gem-like charms.   Martin Denny, the proprietor of the Assemblage, the Chin Gee Hee’s principal commercial tenant, shared the greater neighborhood’s underground mystery that the Phoenix Hotel’s basement may well survive under the intersection.

THREE OTHER GLIMPSES OF THE CHIN GEE HEE BUILDING

A 1963 tax photo looking north over Main Street and the Second Ave. Extension to the shining southwest facade of the Chin Gee Hee Building.
A 1963 tax photo looking north over Main Street and the Second Ave. Extension to the shining southwest facade of the Chin Gee Hee Building.
The Central Business District with Chin Gee Hee near the center of this record from the Great Northern tower., ca. 1930.
The Central Business District with Chin Gee Hee near the center of this record from the Great Northern tower., ca. 1930.  [CLICK TO ENLARGE]
Rubble from the 1949 earthquake. The subject looks south on the Second Avenue Extension from its southwest corner with Yesler Way. The southwest facade of the Chin Gee Hee Building rises with its six windows above the damaged swept-back auto parked on the right.
Rubble from the 1949 earthquake. The subject looks south on the Second Avenue Extension from its southwest corner with Yesler Way. The southwest facade of the Chin Gee Hee Building rises with its six windows above the damaged swept-back auto parked on the right.

WEB EXTRAS

Here’s detail of the Chin Gee Hee Building, which Kurt adores:

The Chin Gee Hee building
The abbreviated Chin Gee Hee building

Anything to add, les mecs?   Certainly Jean, first a long list of features pulled  by Ron Edge from the last eight years or so of Now-and-Then, and then a few more and earlier features.

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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

When compared to most city scenes relatively little has changed in his view west on Main Street from First Avenue South in the century-plus between them. (Historical photo courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

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)

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 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)

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: On his visit to the Smith Tower around 1960, Wade Stevenson recorded the western slope of First Hill showing Harborview Hospital and part of Yesler Terrace at the top between 7th and 9th Avenue but still little development in the two blocks between 7th and 5th Avenues. Soon the Seattle Freeway would create a concrete ditch between 7th and 6th (the curving Avenue that runs left-to-right through the middle of the subject.) Much of the wild and spring fed landscape between 6th and 5th near the bottom of the revealing subject was cleared for parking. (Photo by Wade Stevenson, courtesy of Noel Holley)

THEN: This “real photo postcard” was sold on stands throughout the city. It was what it claimed to be; that is, its gray tones were real. If you studied them with magnification the grays did not turn into little black dots of varying sizes. (Courtesy, David Chapman and otfrasch.com)

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

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First appeared in Pacific, Feb. 9, 2003
First appeared in Pacific, Feb. 9, 2003

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First appeared in the Times, Feb. 28, 1999.
First appeared in the Times, Feb. 28, 1999.

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First appeared in The Times, March 14, 1999
First appeared in The Times, March 14, 1999

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Evidence that Jean visited Pioneer Square during our recent flurry.
Evidence that Jean visited Pioneer Square and the Chief during our recent flurry.

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Above, and continued below, a July 2, 1929 clip from The Seattle Times.
Above, and continued below, a July 2, 1929 clip from The Seattle Times.

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First appeared in Pacific, May 9, 1999
First appeared in Pacific, May 9, 1999

Seattle Now & Then: The Last of Denny Hill, Part 2

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN 1: Recorded on April 14, 1928, about sixth months before the Denny Hill Regrade No. 2 began, the last of the scarred Denny Hill rises to the right of Fifth Avenue. Denny School (1884) tops the hill at the northeast corner of Battery Street and Fifth Avenue. On the horizon, at center, Queen Anne Hill is topped by its namesake high school, and on the right of the panorama, the distant Wallingford neighborhood rises from the north shore of Lake Union. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)
THEN 1: Recorded on April 14, 1928, about sixth months before the Denny Hill Regrade No. 2 began, the last of the scarred Denny Hill rises to the right of Fifth Avenue. Denny School (1884) tops the hill at the northeast corner of Battery Street and Fifth Avenue. On the horizon, at center, Queen Anne Hill is topped by its namesake high school, and on the right of the panorama, the distant Wallingford neighborhood rises from the north shore of Lake Union. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)  DOUBLE-CLICK TO ENLARGE
THEN 2: The pre-Regrade No.2 brick business buildings on Fifth Avenue survived the cutting, which otherwise turned the last of Denny Hill into undeveloped land that resembled a sprawling parking lot. The photo was taken on September 22, 1931. Like the 1928 panorama and Jean Sherrard’s late 2016 repeat, the “after” shot was taken from the roof of Hotel Andra, formerly the Claremont Hotel (1926), at the northeast corner of Virginia Street and 4th Avenue. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)
A modern crop roughly matching the borders of the two ‘Thens’
NOW: Jean Sherrard’s repeat unfolds a lifting of the neighborhood with high-rises that far reverse the 110 feet of glacial dirt cut and dumped in Elliott Bay during the combined Denny Regrades.

I came upon this week’s revealing pair of historical photos in the mid-1970’s during my initial visit to the Seattle Engineering Department’s photo-lab at City Hall. Both were given curt captions at their bottom-left corners, identifying this public work as Denny Hill No.2 Regrade.  The diptych reveals with “before” and “after” panoramas the final humbling of Denny Hill between 1928 and 1931.  (Last week’s feature gave another point of view on that last regrade.) The digging for Denny Hill Regrade No. 1 began in 1903.  In 1911 the cutting paused for seventeen years before resuming in 1928 with Denny Hill Regrade No. 2.  By pulling a lever, Seattle Mayor Frank E. Edwards scooped the last electric shovelful in the forenoon of December 9, 1930.   Both the 1928 and 1931 pans include the south facade of the Windham Apartments at the northwest corner of Fifth Ave. and Blanchard Street.  With its 1925 brick facade intact, the Windham still serves but is now, from the Claremont’s roof,  for the most part hidden behind the chisel-shaped glass curtain at the southwest corner of Fifth and Blanchard.  

WEB EXTRAS

Thanks to Hotel Andra (nee Claremont) for hosting our trip to their rooftop. Also, big thanks to Brian Cunningham, Chief Engineer, for his assistance on high.

Chief Engineer Brian Cunningham on the roof
Chief Engineer Brian Cunningham on the roof

He related a Hotel Andra secret, which can only now be revealed! If you examine the photo below, note the twin architectural details high above the hotel’s Fourth Avenue entrance. The grenade-shaped protuberances at the top of each feature seem to be intact…but, no! The one on the right went missing at least a decade ago.

Twin architectural features (or are they?)
Twin architectural features (or are they?)

Brian discovered that a Nerf football, scribed to approximate the lines of the original, painted gray and glued into place would suffice, certainly from a distance. I think it looks pretty fine close up as well (click to enlarge to see for yourself).

Not concrete but Nerf!
Not concrete but Nerf!
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Gull looking west

Finally, a shot of the Space Needle from the rooftop:

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The only remaining view of the Needle from the old Claremont. For French film buffs, I dedicate this photo to the film Jacques Tati’s ‘Playtime’ (not ‘Holiday’)

Anything to add, lads?  

Yes Jean, but first thanks for the roof architecture atop the old Claremont.   I too love “Hulot’s Holiday” and saw it first at the Harvard Exit in the early 1970s.  But you have me puzzled how that trip from Paris for a holiday on the Normandy Coast (I assume) with a stay in a waterfront hotel filled with eccentric guests relates to your textured reflection of the Needle off Garth Vader’s glass skin.  Will you explicate, please?

Yes, Paul, my mistake – I meant to say ‘Playtime’ – the 1967 film which featured Monsieur Hulot wandering through glass and steel skyscrapers, unable to find the Eiffel Tower or the  Arch de Triomphe, except in the glass reflections. A marvel of the cinema (which, was unappreciated at the time, and bankrupted Hulot creator Jacques Tati).

Second, we hope our dear readers will key word our blog for “Denny Regrade” or any other key.  For instance, our Illustrated History of the Seattle Waterfront (found here under the “books bug”) has a thumbnail history of the Denny Regrade.

I snapped this look west through an upper-floor window in the Muni-Building sometime in the 1970s when I was editing through the nitrate negative collection in the Engineering Department's photo laboratory. Some of it was cooking-bubbling and needed to be tossed.
I snapped this look west through an upper-floor window in the Muni-Building (City Hall aka a Texas Hotel) sometime in the 1970s when I was editing through the nitrate negative collection in the Engineering Department’s photo laboratory. Some of it was cooking-bubbling and needed to be tossed.   All of its was illegal, but protected, so to speak, inside city hall and decades of neglect.
A comedic interruption of The Times serious news flow for March 15, 1930, about the time of this week's regrade pans.
A comedic interruption of The Times serious news flow for March 15, 1930, about the time of this week’s regrade pans.
Can the still serving Windham Apts (1925) at the northwest corner of Fifth and Blanchard be glimpsed in any of Jean's shots from the roof?
Can the still serving Windham Apts (1925) at the northwest corner of Fifth and Blanchard be glimpsed in any of Jean’s shots from the roof?

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MY FIRST INTIMATE GLIMPSE OF THE PRE-REGRADE DENNY HILL NEIGHBORHOOD.    The text here is copied from Seattle Now and Then Volume One, the Fifty-Second story.  An earlier version was first printed in The Seattle Sun.  It was that tabloid exposure that, I believe, persuaded The Seattle Times to take me on as a suffering free-lance contributor in the winter of 1981-82.  I discovered the historical photo, which looks south on Second Avenue from its intersection with Bell Street, in a stack of prints that John Hannawalt – still of the Seattle Paperworks in the Pike Place Market (lower level)-  purchased from Loomis Miller, the last keeper of the Webster and Stevens Studio.  It was an exciting moment for me.  I had by then plenty of exposure to regrade pictures, and distant portraits of Denny Hill long before the lowering began, but none of the intimate neighborhood.   They are still rare.   One of the best was featured recently  in “Too High and Too Steep”, David B. Williams historical study of the several natural upheavals that have come with making Seattle.  Our review of David’s well-illustrated study of the “reshaping of Seattle topography” is included here below illustrated with the Anson Burwell House at Denny Hill’s high point the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Blanchard Street.   You will find it below, second from the top with the Edge Clippings,

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CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE FOR READING
CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE FOR READING
You may recognize the three-gabled row house that survives at the southeast corner of Second and Bell. Note please the detail of the hotel above it, and find it below
You may recognize the three-gabled row house, on the left,  that survives at the southeast corner of Second and Bell. Note please the detail of the Blanchard Apartments above it, and find it again twice in the triptych printed below.
The Blanchard Apts appear here to the left of the power pole. Cutting on the east side of Second Ave. begins to take its temporary shape as a cliff.
The Blanchard Apts appear here to the left of the power pole. Cutting on the east side of Second Ave. begins to take its temporary shape as a cliff.
We first published this in The Times sometime after the popularity of the movie with "Pond" in the title. It escapes me for the moment.
We first published this in The Times sometime after the popularity of the movie with “Pond” in the title. It escapes me for the moment.
A minimal Potlatch parade floats poses on the south side of Blanchard across from the Blanchard Apartments after its lowering. The intersection with Second Ave. is on the left. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)
A minimal Potlatch parade floats poses on the south side of Blanchard across from the Blanchard Apartments after its lowering. The intersection with
Second Ave. is on the left. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)
The Blanchard Apartments appear to be occupied during their lowering to the north side of Blanchard Street, between Second and Third Avenues.
The Blanchard Apartments appear to be occupied during their lowering to the north side of Blanchard Street, between Second and Third Avenues.

 

Third Avenue, looking north from near Virginia Street. The Blanchard Apartments, left-of-center, may be approaching their regrade - or may not. What do you think?
Third Avenue, looking north from near Virginia Street. The Blanchard Apartments, left-of-center, may be approaching their regrade – or may not. What do you think?

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THE EDGE CLIPPINGS

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: The northeast corner of Belltown’s intersection of Blanchard Street and Fourth Avenue was about 100 feet higher than it is now. The elegant late-Victorian clutters of the Burwell homes’ interiors are also featured on the noted blog. (Courtesy John Goff)

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

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THEN: The Dog House at 714 Denny Way was strategically placed at the southern terminus for the Aurora Speedway when it was new in the mid-1930s. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Archive, Bellevue Community College Branch.)

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

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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: 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: We imagine that the photographer A.J. McDonald waited for one of his subjects, the cable car to Queen Anne Hill, to reach the intersection of Second Ave. N. and Aloha Street below him before snapping this panorama in the mid-1890s.

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.

THEN: The Seattle Central Business District in 1962. I found this panorama mixed in with the Kodachrome slides photographed by Lawton Gowey. It was most likely taken by my helpful friend Lawton, who died in 1983, or Robert Bradley, Lawton’s friend in the then active Seattle Camera Club. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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In the late 70's, if memory serves . . .
In the late 70’s, if memory serves . . .

Seattle Now & Then: The Last of Denny Hill, Part 1

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Looking west (not east) on Battery Street from Seventh Avenue, approaching the end of the last of Denny Hill’s six regrade reductions. The dirt was carried to Elliott Bay on conveyor belts like the two shown here. (courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives)
THEN: Looking west (not east) on Battery Street from Seventh Avenue, approaching the end of the last of Denny Hill’s six regrade reductions. The dirt was carried to Elliott Bay on conveyor belts like the two shown here. (courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives)
NOW: The two forty-one story Insignia Towers now dominate the skyline and help fulfill the long stalled expectation of the original Denny regraders that when the hill was removed, it would be replaced with skyscrapers.
NOW: The two forty-one story Insignia Towers now dominate the skyline and help fulfill the long stalled expectation of the original Denny regraders that when the hill was removed, it would be replaced with skyscrapers.

One of the Nevada Construction Company’s four “great electric power shovels” is at work on the right digging away to the north on what little is left of Denny Hill by March 15, 1930.  Both the date and prospect are captioned bottom-left in the featured photo, most likely by James Lee, a photographer for the Seattle Engineering Department who by 1930 had been capturing our public works with both negatives and 16mm film for about two decades.

Battery Street looking east from the rear balcony of the Bell Hotel at the southeast corner of Front Street (First Ave.) and Battery Street ca. 1887-88. Denny School (1884) stands in the distance at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Battery. Photo by Mumford.
Battery Street looking east from the rear balcony of the Bell Hotel (shown in the next photo below) at the southeast corner of Front Street (First Ave.) and Battery Street ca. 1887-88.  Denny School (1884) stands in the distance at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Battery. Photo by Mumford.
The Bell (aka Bellview) Hotel at the southeast corner of Battery Street and Front Street (First Ave.). The look up Battery street, above, was photographed from its rear. The Austin A. Bell building stands beside it.
The Bell (aka Bellview) Hotel at the southeast corner of Battery Street and Front Street (First Ave.). The look up Battery street, ( the photo above this one), was photographed from the back of the hotel.  The Austin A. Bell building stands beside it.
This detail from the 1929 aerial survey of Seattle shows the line-up or spread then of the regrade's moveable conveyors and how the join at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Battery Street.
This detail from the 1929 aerial survey of Seattle shows, bottom-right, the line-up or fan-shaped spread of the regrade’s moveable conveyors and how they meet at the main Battery Street conveyor about one block northeast of the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Battery Street. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive and Ron Edge)  CLICK TO ENLARGE
Looking south to the Central Business District from the cliff left in 1911 when the regrading stopped at Fifth Avenue. This public works shot is date March 8, 1929. Battery Street is behind the city photographer.
Looking south to the Central Business District from the cliff left in 1911 when the regrading stopped at Fifth Avenue. This public works shot is date March 8, 1929. Battery Street is behind the city photographer.  C LICK TO ENLARGE
Fifth Avenue, the border between the regrade completed to 1911 and then resumed in 1929 can be found
Fifth Avenue, the border between the regrade completed to 1911 and then resumed in 1929 can be found by studying the building stock in the low-rise neighborhood the runs over the top-half oF this aerial from 1928-29.    It seems to rise at a slant from the roof of the medical-dental building near the center of the subject.  Frederick and Nelson is at the bottom-center. CLICK TO ENLARGE – MAYBE CLICK TWICE!

James Lee, it seems, was occasionally compass-challenged, as am I. (Jean is generally without flaw.)  Both Lee and Jean are here looking west on Battery Street in the featured photographs at the top, and not east as is mistakenly hand-printed at the lower left corner of Lee’s print No. 8297.  Seventh Avenue, however, is confident.  It is a two-block walk – or ride on the regrade conveyor belts – to reach the low-rise business district that begins on the west side of Fifth Avenue.  It was at Fifth that the Denny Regrade stalled

The same scrape-scape as that in the featured photo only here seen early (Nov. 6, 1929) looking south from a prospect near Fifth Avenue and Battery Street.
The same scrape-scape as that in the featured photo at the top only here seen earlier (Nov. 6, 1929) and looking south from a prospect near Fifth Avenue and Battery Street.  Note St. James Cathedrals twin towers on the horizon, far right.
Fifth Avenue where the main conveyor belt began its run west on Battery Street to Elliot Bay. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
Fifth Avenue where the main conveyor belt began its run west on Battery Street to Elliot Bay, both of which are out of frame to the right.  The photo is dated May 17, 1929. . (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
The main conveyor running the length of Battery Street from Fifth Avenue to the waterfront. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
The main conveyor running the length of Battery Street from Fifth Avenue to the waterfront. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)

in 1911 for seventeen years. To the east of Fifth, a cliff was exposed – or created – that rose to a pie-shaped remnant of the hill, referred to as the “Old Quarter.”  It was generally filled with homes – some of them large – that received few repairs and probably no restorations. The effect was that it got older, cozier and cheaper: a mix of rentals and family-owned homes, a neighborhood inclined to bohemian pastimes and street games.  Regrading was expected to be completed eventually, but not so far-fetched as seventeen years later.

The "Old Quarter" is easily distinguished in this ca. 1917 rendering of the then "apartment house district." CLICK to ENLARGE
The “Old Quarter” is easily distinguished from the Denny Regrade  in this ca. 1917 promotional rendering of  what it calls the “apartment house district.” CLICK to ENLARGE
On the left, the "Old Quarter" looking north on Westlake from the Medical-Dental Building. The green acres of Denny Park are at the top, on the north side of Denny Way.
On the left, the “Old Quarter” looking north on Westlake from the Medical-Dental Building. The green acres of Denny Park are at the top, on the north side of Denny Way.  Compare this with the cleared neighborhood showing two photos down.
Fifth Avenue, the north-south dividing line between the regrade and the "Old Quarter" runs to this side of the temporary bluff. The view looks north toward Lake Union.
Fifth Avenue, the north-south dividing line between the regrade and the “Old Quarter” runs to this side of the temporary bluff. The view looks north toward Lake Union.   The corner of Third Avenue and Virginia Street is at the bottom of the subject.    Queen Anne High School stands up from the hill’s horizon, upper-left.  CLICK-CLICK to ENLARGE
In preparation for the last of the Denny Regrades the "Old Quarter" east of Fifth Avenue has been mostly cleared away.
In preparation for the last of the Denny Regrades the “Old Quarter” east of Fifth Avenue has been mostly cleared away.   Fifth Avenue – of course – is on the left.  
The Immaculate Heart tower topples at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Bell Street - with the help of explosives.
The Immaculate Heart tower topples at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Bell Street – with the help of explosives.

This was the last of the six regrades humbling Denny Hill.  For the first two, in the mid-1880s and late 1890s, First Avenue was regraded initially for the horse cars, and later for the electric trolleys heading to and fro between Seattle and North Seattle, which was then Belltown and Lower Queen Anne.  The remaining four regrades were all serious about eliminating Denny Hill as an obstruction to what the forces of regrade promoted as the “natural northern growth” of the city.  Beginning in 1903, Second Avenue was brought to the grade we now know.  In 1906 there followed the lowering of the south, or front, summit of the Hill between Pine and Virginia Streets and the razing of the grand Denny Hotel perched upon it.  The lowering of the slightly higher north summit followed until 1911

The Denny Hotel with its last developer, James Moore (of the theatre too) scrambling to save it for the regraders.
The Denny Hotel with its last developer, James Moore (of the theatre too) scrambling to save it from the regraders.  (See the same photo with the “extras” below and the short essay that accompanied it in Pacific for May 15, 2000.)
Circa 1910, cliff formation to the east side of Fifth Avenue. The surviving center-section of Denny School appears to the right of the couple working at the cliff-top. The view looks north.
Circa 1910, cliff formation to the east side of Fifth Avenue. The surviving center-section of Denny School appears to the right of the couple working at the cliff-top. The view looks north.
The Klean-Rite Auto Cleaners garage at the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Battery in 1929 with the first section of the main conveyor crossing 5th Ave. for the start of its journey to the waterfront.
The Klean-Rite Auto Laundry Co.  garage at the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Battery in 1929 with the first section of the main regrade conveyor crossing 5th Ave. near the start of its journey to the waterfront.

when, as noted, all cutting stopped, leaving a cliff on the east side of Fifth Avenue.  The cliff was just to this side of the white-faced one-story building at the center of the featured photo, at the southwest corner of Battery and Fifth Avenue.  It is signed the “Klean-Rite Auto Laundry Co.”  Spread out behind the laundry is the grand 1920-21 fire station No. 2 at the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Battery Street.  (See next clip below.) On the  afternoon that Public Works recorded this scene, more than two-hundred-and-fifty fire chiefs and municipal fire officials from around the state were meeting in No. 2’s big auditorium (on the left) for a three-day “fire-prevention convention.”

Appeared first in The Times, Aril 2, 1995.
Appeared first in The Times, Aril 2, 1995.
A clip from The Times for December 9, 1930.
A clip from The Times for December 9, 1930.

Most of Denny Hill was eroded with water cannons, but not this last of the regrades.  The “Old Quarter” was lowered with steam shovels that dumped their catches on to several moveable conveyor belts. The multiple belts led to a master conveyor that carried the last of Denny Hill west on Battery Street to be dumped into Elliott Bay.  As it turned out, the deposits created an underwater Denny Hill, which for the safety of shipping ultimately required dredging. 

A topped-off barge heading into the bay from the terminus for the Denny Regrade's main conveyor Belt.
A topped-off barge heading into the bay from the terminus for the Denny Regrade’s main conveyor Belt.

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WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys? Of course we do Jean, although we will need a second day to completed the laying in of more clips.  Again and again it will be more past features from the neighborhood and now as well la recommendation for how to use this blog to find more about the Denny Regrade.  First in the Illustrated History of the Seattle Waterfront included in our books “file” we have illustrated a history of the regrade.  Key word it.  And under the same file there will be more features about the regrade shared out of Seattle Now and Then, Volumes One, Two and Three.  You could spend the rest of this Sunday on it.  We suggest, however, the the reader begin with the first link below, “The First Shovel.”

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

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THEN: The Seattle Central Business District in 1962. I found this panorama mixed in with the Kodachrome slides photographed by Lawton Gowey. It was most likely taken by my helpful friend Lawton, who died in 1983, or Robert Bradley, Lawton’s friend in the then active Seattle Camera Club. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

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

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

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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: St. Vincent de Paul’s first storefront opened in 1926 in Belltown’s grand clapboard hostelry at the corner of First and Battery. Originally the Bellevue Hotel, it’s reduced here to the “house keeping and transient rooms” of the Bay State Hotel. (MOHAI)

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)

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THEN: While visiting Seattle for some promoting, silent film star Wallace Reid shares the sidewalk at 4th and Olive with a borrowed Stutz Bearcat. (Courtesy, Museum of History & Industry)

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

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 Dog House at 714 Denny Way was strategically placed at the southern terminus for the Aurora Speedway when it was new in the mid-1930s. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Archive, Bellevue Community College Branch.)

THEN: 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: 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.

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Courtesy of Louise Lovely, star of the One Reel Vaudeville Show.
Courtesy of Louise Lovely, star of the One Reel Vaudeville Show.
First appeared in The Times May 14, 2000.
First appeared in The Times May 14, 2000.

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(Above: Looking south on the Wagon Road near Fifth and Virginia, ca. 1886. )

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Appears in The Times, October 27, 2002.
Appeared in The Times, October 27, 2002.

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Appeared first in The Times, June 25, 2000
Appeared first in The Times, June 25, 2000

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Appeared first in The Times, October 20, 2002.
Appeared first in The Times, October 20, 2002.

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First appeared in The Times, June 3, 2007.
First appeared in The Times, June 3, 2007.

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Now & Then here and now