2008-11-16 A Pioneer Square Victorian

(Original title: “A Victorian delight in Pioneer Square”)

The Terry-Denny Building, named for two of Seattle’s early Euro-American settlers, Charles Terry and Arthur Denny, was constructed following the Great Fire of 1889 and completed in 1891. Most likely because it was built mid-block on First Avenue South, between Yesler Way and Washington Street, it is not so noted as the grand structures at the corners. But it is a Victorian delight and reminds me of the ornamented brick architecture I have enjoyed from the top deck of a red bus while bumping along the Strand in London.

This London association may come by way of the imagination of the English architect Edwin W. Houghton, who joined Boston-raised architect Charles W. Saunders only three months after the ’89 fire to exploit the many design opportunities that followed it. Architectural historians Jeffrey Karl Ochsner and Dennis Andersen, in their book “Distant Corner,” note that with no surviving accounts of their brief partnership, “it is impossible to identify particular projects with each partner.”

The brick-and-stone structure was better known in its earlier years as the Hotel Northern. Its upper floors were closed off a few years after World War II, as they were in many structures in then-down-and-out Pioneer Square. That unwittingly saved them for later restoration.

If memory serves, in 1999, I was invited to visit the sealed hotel to admire its high ceilings, brass fixtures, paneling and hardwood floors with a group of other Allied Arts time travelers. The invitation most likely came through the Samis Foundation, then preparing to restore the building and create 40-odd high-ceiling lofts and eight penthouse units with “breathtaking views.”

THEN: The Terry-Denny Building, better known in its earlier years as Hotel Northern, was part of the grand new Pioneer Place (or Square) neighborhood built up in the early 1890s after the old one was reduced to ashes by Seattle's Great Fire of 1889.
THEN: The Terry-Denny Building, better known in its earlier years as Hotel Northern, was part of the grand new Pioneer Place (or Square) neighborhood built up in the early 1890s after the old one was reduced to ashes by Seattle's Great Fire of 1889.
NOW: Jean Sherrard gained entrance to the second floor of another post-fire building across First Avenue South to record this view of the restored Terry-Denny building with the trim address, 111 First Ave. S.
NOW: Jean Sherrard gained entrance to the second floor of another post-fire building across First Avenue South to record this view of the restored Terry-Denny building with the trim address, 111 First Ave. S.

3 thoughts on “2008-11-16 A Pioneer Square Victorian”

  1. Getting a Tour through the Globe

    She led me through the Globe Building
    to show me what she’d accomplished since way back last Spring, and she introduced me to a few
    new tenants in refurbished bays
    off First Avenue, you know nothing too formal,
    with a casual remark here and there, like
    “This is Grant, my partner in the Globe Building,”
    “Hi,” I said quizzically, “What a beautiful space
    you’ll have when your up and running,”
    “So glad to meet you, Marilyn;
    you from around these parts?”

    As she guided us through more doors and hallways into the big new kitchen in the basement,
    I told her what a great job she’d done,
    how the old floors looked so beautiful,
    how the patches old and new, were a polished history for future generations to make up their own stories.

    Big Doug firs that stood on
    this ground were the first trees for
    Yesler’s sawmill in 1853 and
    Getting a Tour through the Globe

    She led me through the Globe Building
    to show me what she’d accomplished since way back last Spring, and she introduced me to a few
    new tenants in refurbished bays
    off First Avenue, you know nothing too formal,
    with a casual remark here and there, like
    “This is Grant, my partner in the Globe Building,”
    “Hi,” I said quizzically, “What a beautiful space
    you’ll have when your up and running,”
    “So glad to meet you, Marilyn;
    you from around these parts?”
    As she guided us through more doors and hallways into the big new kitchen in the basement,
    I told her what a great job she’d done,
    how the old floors looked so beautiful,
    how the patches old and new, were a polished history for future generations to make up their own stories.
    Big Doug firs that stood on
    this ground were the first trees for
    Yesler’s sawmill in 1853 and
    David Maynard built his Mercantile Exchange out of the boards from these trees, and this
    is where Maynard became “Doc” when the store became a hospital in 1863.
    This is also where Chief Seattle posed
    for his photograph in 1865
    by Edward M. Sammis from New York State.
    It’s where his daughter Kikisoblu befriended
    Catherine Maynard in her home and where Catherine
    gave Kikisboblu the name Angeline.
    They were friends until Angeline died
    in 1896.
    Doc Maynard’s place became the town’s
    first library in 1875.
    It is also where Seattle’s largest hotel,
    The Arlington, stood four stories high
    until the Fire consumed everything
    in 1889.
    May 15, 1890,
    when the first bricks were laid for the Globe Building, the city had transformed. A hundred and
    twenty “fire-proof” brick buildings were
    going up in the “Burn District” doubling the
    population to 40,000.
    By early in 1891 this
    great, four-story stone
    and brick Globe Building was completed–
    twenty-one inch thick walls in the basement
    nineteen inch on the first
    and sixteen inch second and third
    and twelve inch thick on the fourth.
    But I wondered if they could see the hammer
    kisses in the colossal, vertical grain
    beams of Doug Fir from Henry Yesler’s
    mill and whether they could smell the burnt linseed oil in the tongue-and-groove floor decking?
    H.C. Schmidt’s Saloon
    is no longer on the corner upstairs; and
    the Migliavacca Wine Company that sold un- adulterated, California wine in the
    basement under the areaway is gone
    but you can still smell it when it rains.
    The wainscoting in the halls upstairs
    is the original paneling that graced the
    corridors of Mrs. L. E. Jones’
    Globe Hotel, but all her furniture
    from New York City is gone now
    as well as all her pretty paintings.
    The big front doors swing smooth
    into the lobby where her brother E. B. Masterson managed a hundred rooms each with its own sink and woodstove. The chestnut, yardage counter from Harry Lobell’s clothing store
    is still upstairs in the reception of Jones & Jones Architects, Landscape Architects and Planners, Ltd.
    And I wondered if they’d see the grease stains
    in the brick from farm machines and engines
    sold by Mitchell, Lewis and Staver or
    if they’d smell the salt in the mortar from the Fireboat Snoqualmie’s five-inch stream of
    seawater that dowsed the huge fire
    started at two pm on the second floor
    that exploded in the freight-elevator shaft when a can
    of asphaltum burst, or was it booze,
    that Wednesday on May 8th in 1901?

    Grant Jones
    September 5, 2015

    The Globe Building, original name Marshall Walker Building, was designed by William E. Boone for Ebenezer Marshall and Cyrus Walker in 1890 on Piner’s Point.
    Restoration architects: Jones & Jones.
    Present owners since 1979, Globe Partners LLC,
    Grant Jones, FASLA and Ilze Jones FASLA, AIA.
    A block from here across Occidental Park was the famous Duwamish Village of 8 longhouses each about 60 feet by 120 feet, called in Lushootseed, Djicjila’letc (djee-djee-lah-letsh) ”little crossing over place,” home to 200 people. “Dzee-dzee-Lah-letch” was the largest village on Elliott Bay and home of Si’ahl, Chief Seattle, warrier, orator and head of both the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes.

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