Tag Archives: First Hill

Seattle Now & Then: First Hill Row Houses

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: At the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Boren Avenue, two of the more ordinary housing stock on First Hill in the 1890s.  (Courtesy  MOHAI)
THEN: At the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Boren Avenue, two of the more ordinary housing stock on First Hill in the 1890s. (Courtesy MOHAI)
NOW: The parking lot that replaced the razed homes is linked here, in part, with the familiarly-colored red and yellow-orange busses of O’Dea, the high school on the west (out of frame to the left) side of the block.
NOW: The parking lot that replaced the razed homes is linked here, in part, with the familiarly-colored red and yellow-orange busses of O’Dea, the high school on the west (out of frame to the left) side of the block.

When I first saw this pioneer print pulled from its MOHAI files, I recognized none of it and yet sensed all of it.  By the qualities of its housing stock, a hilltop topography that is kind to construction, and the street work, this, I thought, is First Hill.  For judging my hunch, I quickly went to the top of Coppin’s water tower where the photographer Arthur Churchill Warner recorded a few clear impressions of that then adolescent neighborhood in 1890 or 91. Of course, I did not actually climb the tower but rather studied the Warner panorama that looks east northeast from high above the intersection of Terry Avenue and Columbia Street. 

A merging of two of Warren's recordings from the Coppins Water Tower.  The view looks north, with good parts of northwest and northeast to the left and right, respectively.  We used this comparison in our, with Berangere Lomont, Repeat Photography exhibit in MOHAI for their last production in their previous Montlake home.  Jean's repeat is below.
A merging of two of Warner’s photos from the Coppins Water Tower. The view looks north, with good parts of northwest and northeast to the left and right, respectively.  With Beranger Lomont, we used this comparison in our Repeat Photography exhibit in MOHAI for the now venerable museum’s  last production in their previous Montlake home. Jean’s repeat is below. CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE

Jean's-coppins-pan-n-northeast-WEB

Warner’s revealing photograph can be found on page 142 of Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill, Historic Seattle’s still new book on the Propriety, Profanity, Pills and Preservation of what we think of as Seattle’s first exclusive neighborhood.  However, First Hill was not really so restrictive, and these two residences are proof of its equitable side.  While trim and even pleasing, they are still not fancy. In the Warner pan, they can be easily found side-by-side at the northwest corner of Columbia and Boren.

The part of the pan I first used as a Pacific Magazine feature early - March 6, 1988.
The part of the pan I first used as a Pacific Magazine feature, March 6, 1988.  CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE

On the left at 1016 Columbia Street is a typical box house of the time, with some trimmings.  There were many more examples of modest residences like this in every Seattle neighborhood.  Next door at 1020, the three stairways to the three front doors make this row house appear bigger than it is.  Its central tower gestures at the grandeur of its neighbors, many of the city’s biggest homes.  Within

The King County Tax Card for the row at 1020 Columbia with a photo of the row in 1937.  Courtesy Washington State Archive
The King County Tax Card for the row at 1020 Columbia with a photo of it fromt 1937. Courtesy Washington State Archive

two blocks are the Lowman, Hanford, Carkeek, Stacy, Lippy and Ranke mansions, and many more were under construction.  Of these just noted, only the Stacy mansion at the northeast corner of Boren and Madison survives, as the University Club.  By the authority of a King County tax card, the corner row house was razed in 1952, and probably its smaller neighbor, too.   The card’s construction date for the row house, 1875 (see above), is almost certainly too early by years.  

About a century ago a worker named N.G.Tormo took up the Seattle Times offer to contributed some "creative writing" for publicaition in the paper, and the paper did it.   Tormo lived in our  - or rather his row house at 1020 Columbia.
About a century ago a worker named N.G.Tormo took up the Seattle Times request that readers contributed some “creative writing” for publication in the paper, and the paper like Tormo’s impression of the  “chromatic symphony” one might her on their way up First Hill after work.. Tormo lived in our – or rather his –  row house at 1020 Columbia.

“Pacific Northwest” readers are encouraged to find a copy of Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill.  Well-wrought and well-illustrated (with Jean’s panorama from the Smith Tower on the cover), it is Historic Seattle’s admired study of the diverse history of this neighborhood, which includes among its preserved mansions the Dearborn House, home since 1997 for Historic Seattle.  

FrontCover-web

WEB EXTRAS

And here’s a look just around the corner at O’Dea High School:

O'Dea on a winter's day...
O’Dea on a winter’s day…

Anything to add on this beautiful Spring weekend?

Sure Jean, a sight tan on the top of my bald head, and your repeat looking north-northeast from the Coppins Water Tower,  which we may decide to insert into the text “proper” above, side by side or following the historical view.  And the tower ascends again near the bottom with two more Times clips from former Pacific features.  But now we begin with more links pulled by Ron Edge from the archive of those now-then features which we have hither-too scanned, and often used for other of this blog’s Sunday sets.

THEN: Built in the early twentieth century at the northeast  corner of Jefferson Street and Boren Avenue, Bertha and Frank Gardner’s residence was large but not a mansion, as were many big homes on First Hill.   (Courtesy Washington State Museum, Tacoma)

BOREN-&-University-Denny-&-Ainsworth-Homes-THEN-mr

THEN:  This detail from the prolific local photographer Asahel Curtis’s photograph of the Smith/Rininger home at the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Summit Avenue dates from the early twentieth century when motorcars, rolling or parked, were still very rare on the streets of Seattle, including these on First Hill.  (Courtesy, Historic Seattle)

THEN:

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MORE OF THE COPPINS WATER TOWER

A September 14, 1986 clipping from Pacific.
A September 14, 1986 clipping from Pacific. CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE
CENTRAL SCHOOL from Coppins Water Tower - a clip from Pacific for July 28, 1996.
CENTRAL SCHOOL from Coppins Water Tower – a clip from Pacific for July 28, 1996.

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The Coppins Water Tower seen from the tower of the Haller Mansion at the northeast corner of James Street and Terry Avenue.   The towering Central School at Sixth and Madison and the Olympic Mountains, across Puget Sound appear beyond the water tower.
The Coppins Water Tower seen from the tower of the Haller Mansion at the northeast corner of James Street and Terry Avenue. The also towering Central School at Sixth and Madison and the Olympic Mountains, across Puget Sound, appear beyond the water tower.
The Granville Haller big home at the northeast corner of James Street and Terry Avenue as seen form the back lawn of the Campbell home.
The Granville Haller big home at the northeast corner of James Street and Terry Avenue as seen form the back lawn of the Campbell home.
Our last look down from the Coppins tower.  This view looks to the southeast.  The markings were made with the help of Carrie Campbell Coe, my primary informant on life on First Hill as the end of the 19th Century when she lived kitty-korner to the Haller Mansion.  Included among Carrie's marks are the Haller home on the far left.
Our last look down from the Coppins tower. This looks to the southeast. The markings were made with the help of Carrie Campbell Coe, my primary informant on life on First Hill at the end of the 19th Century when she lived kitty-corner to the Haller Mansion. Included among Carrie’s marks are the Haller home on the far left and her family home nearer the center.
Tea with Carrie Campbell Coe in her Washington Park home nearly thirty years ago.
Looking at historical photos and having some tea with Carrie Campbell Coe in her Washington Park home nearly thirty years ago.

 

 

Seattle Now & Then: The Gardner Home on Boren Avenue

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Built in the early twentieth century at the northeast  corner of Jefferson Street and Boren Avenue, Bertha and Frank Gardner’s residence was large but not a mansion, as were many big homes on First Hill.   (Courtesy Washington State Museum, Tacoma)
THEN: Built in the early twentieth century at the northeast corner of Jefferson Street and Boren Avenue, Bertha and Frank Gardner’s residence was large but not a mansion, as were many big homes on First Hill. (Courtesy Washington State Museum, Tacoma)
NOW: The Minor and James Clinic opened its new block-size brick home in 1988.
NOW: The Minor and James Clinic opened its new block-size brick home in 1988.

Judging from Asahel Curtis’s negative number 5479, inscribed at the bottom-right corner, this photograph of the home of Dr. and Mrs. Frank Gardner was taken on or very near 1906, the year which the King County tax records claim it was built.  A more likely date for the construction is 1905.  On the Society Page for The Seattle Times on March 10, 1905, Betha Gardner – then still more regularly called Mrs. Frank P. Gardner – is credited with hosting in her home, here at the northeast corner of Jefferson Street and Boren Avenue, the annual “at home” meeting for the “ladies of the Sorosis Club.” The Times added that “The subject of the afternoon will be the ‘Religion and Music of Russia.’”

This is NOT the clip
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] This is NOT the 1905 Times clipping noted above, but another from nine years later in which Bertha Gardner and her Sorosis Club are noted.   While enjoying a hide-and-seek for Gardner and her club  you will  survey a typical society page from The Seattle Times a century ago.   Besides the long list of club activities there are some commonplaces, like the sensational advertisement at the bottom-left corner, and the seeming promise for a stretched figure from the adver. top-right promoting I. Isbin & Co, a ladies tailors on Third Avenue, and another fountain of youth (for your face) at the bottom-right corner.  .
Sophie Gardner's portrait published in the Dec. 22, 1922 issue of The Seattle Times.
Bertha Gardner’s portrait published in the Dec. 22, 1922 issue of The Seattle Times.

Pennsylvanians Frank and Bertha Gardner first lived on Capitol Hill in a more modest home.  (Should you like to check it, you will find it surviving at 1629 13th Avenue.)  By First Hill’s often sumptuous standards, their second home was neither small nor grand with ten rooms, five upstairs and five down.  But the whole effect was pleasing in its symmetry, especially this west façade facing Boren Avenue, with its elegant but restrained ornamentation.  There was nothing here so assertive, for instance, as the central tower on the Granville Haller home, seen peeking around the corner at the left of the Cardner home.

At the top of the hill, Granville O. Haller's tower extended the superlatives of his big home at the northwest corner of James and Minor.
At the top of the hill, Granville O. Haller’s tower extended the superlatives of his big home at the northeast corner of James and Minor.
A helpful detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map - even without the street names.  The bigger red dot marks the northeast corner of Boren and Jefferson, the site  of the Gardner home, and the small dot rests beside the footprint for the Haller mansion at the northeast corner of Minor and  James.  [courtesy, Ron Edge]
A helpful detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map – even without the street names. The bigger red dot marks the northeast corner of Boren and Jefferson, the site of the Gardner home, and the smaller dot rests beside the footprint for the Haller mansion at the northeast corner of Minor and James. Note, the red footprint upper-left for the Colony Apartments.  It is one of the relevant Edge- links attached below.   An essay – or perhaps even two – treating on the Haller home “Castlemount” will also be found in one – or perhaps more – of the links below.  [courtesy, Ron Edge]

When the Haller home was built at the top of First Hill in 1883-5 at the northeast corner of Minor Avenue and James Street, some of the fir and alder forest that once covered the hill was still standing.  While clearing the site, Colonel Haller’s workers uncovered the skeletons of two Native Americans, casualties, perhaps, of the 1856 U.S. Navy’s howitzer bombardments at the hill during what is popularly called the “The Battle of Seattle” in 1856.  Known as the “old Indian Fighter,” Haller crassly kept the skulls in his tower for the amusement of the neighborhood’s children.

Boren-&-James-TAX-card-WEBThere is now a fine opportunity to study the diverse history of First Hill with Historic Seattle’s recently published book on the subject, whose title, while long, is both descriptive and pleasing to the ear: Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill, Propriety, Profanity, Pills and Preservation.  Both Pill and Profanity have been popular names for Seattle’s First Hill or parts of it, as have Yesler and, more recently, even Goat.

The increasingly "Pill Hill" part of First Hill photographed from Haborview Hospital in 1956, the year Bertha Gardner died.   The Gardner home appears here directly below the large and dark three story (or four) apartment, upper-right.   Her physician husband's death precede Bertha's by many decades.  By 1956 she had moved to the University District.
The increasingly “Pill Hill” part of First Hill photographed from Haborview Hospital in 1956, the year Bertha Gardner died. The Gardner home appears here directly below the large and dark three story (or four) apartment, upper-right. Her physician husband’s death preceded Bertha’s by twenty-six years. By 1956 she had moved to the University District. [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

Bertha and Frank shared their comely First Hill home until 1930 when the doctor died at the age of sixty-one. At some time during the 1930s, Bertha was joined by her brother Wilmer Kahle, president of the Crescent Manufacturing Company; following his death in 1943, she sold the house.  We learn from her Times obituary of April 10, 1956, that at the time of her death she lived across from the UW campus in the Malloy Apartments on 15th Avenue NE, and that she had been a charter member of the Sorosis Club, and so dedicated to bringing together “representative women in art, literature, science, and kindred spirits.”

A Times clipping from Nov. 2, 1954 shows Bertha voting at
A Times clipping from Nov. 2, 1954 shows Bertha Gardner voting at the Wesley House polling station, which was one block south of her apartment in the Malloy, both directly across 15th Ave. from the U.W. campus.  Bertha is fourth from the right and fifth from the left.  The Churchill report on the left, may also be worth your time.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
The Campbell home at the southwest corner of James and Minor.  Their long front yard, which reached the block to Boren Avenue, was the Gardner's "next door" neighbor.
The Campbell home at the southwest corner of James and Minor. Their long front yard, which reached the block to Boren Avenue, was the Gardner’s “next door” neighbor.   Across Minor Ave stands the Phinney home, far left.   [Courtesy Lucy Campbell Coe]

WEB EXTRAS

Lots to add this week…eh, Paul?

Before we begin, however, I thought I would answer your request for more material with a feat of whimsical legerdemain. As you know, I teach drama and writing at Hillside Student Community. This past Friday, I took a few of my 5th and 6th graders on a field trip to the Woodland Park Zoo and through the miracle of photoshop, converted several into lion cubs.

Your students as metamorphs see wary, but not quite ready to leave the nest for the next step where it will be every cat for him or herself.   We do have seven links Jean.  Any reader who consults them thoroughly will find within most of the features we have done thru the years on subjects that border Boren.   There are more than a dozen of them – unless I am contradicted.   At the bottom we will ad a feature done first in 1985 about the Campbell home.  With its park-sized front lawn it took the entire north-half of the block on which the Gardners built there home about twenty years after Campbell, a hardware merchant, built his in the mid-1880s.   The youngest daughter, Lucy, was one of my earliest mentors on Seattle’s pioneer history.

And now for something completely different...
And now for something completely different…

Back to our regularly scheduled program. Take it away, boys.

THEN: First Hill’s distinguished Old Colony Apartments at 615 Boren Avenue, 1910.

BOREN-&-University-Denny-&-Ainsworth-Homes-THEN-mr

THEN: The Perry Apartments is nearly new in “postcard artist” M. L. Oakes look at them south on Boren to where it intersects with Madison Street. (Courtesy John Cooper)

https://i2.wp.com/pauldorpat.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/mrs-anderson-then-mr1.jpg?resize=474%2C333&ssl=1

THEN:

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The Campbell home at the southwest corner of James (on the left) and Minor (behind it).
The Campbell home at the southwest corner of James (on the left) and Minor (behind it).

[Please note that the number 24 in the header refers to the chapter number in the book from which this was scanned, Seattle Now and Then, Volume Two, first published in 1987 - if memory serves.]
[Please note that the number 24 in the header above  refers to the chapter number in the book from which this text was scanned, Seattle Now and Then, Volume Two, first published in 1987 – if memory serves.]
Campbell-home-in-snow-WEB

The clinic that replaced the home.  I took this sometime in the 1980s.  Perhaps the car is a clue.
The Minor an d James Clinic that replaced the home. I took this in 1985.

Campbell-home-text-PART-2-WEB

Lucy Campbell Coe in her Washington Park Home ca. 1985 - with a student.
Lucy Campbell Coe in her Washington Park Home ca. 1985 – with a student.
Seen from Denny Hill, Seattle in 1885, the year of Lucy Campbell's birth.
[CLICK & CLICK TO ENLARGE] Seen from Denny Hill, Seattle in 1885, the year Jesse, the Campbells oldest of three children, was born.  On the right horizon stands the forest on Beacon Hill.  Both the Minor and tower-topped Haller First Hill mansions appear on the left horizon – remembering that the Campbells lived kitty-corner to the Hallers. both  at Minor and James.  The “other tower” is Coppins Waterworks at the southeast corner of 9th and Columbia.    Central School is temporarily near the center horizon.  It burned to the ground in 1888.  Second Ave. descends (in elevation only) from the lower-right corner.

 

Paul and Jean at Town Hall

James Street Alley blend
James Street Alley blend

Join us for an evening of entertaining yet erudite edification at Seattle’s Town Hall, 7:30 PM, this coming Friday! Historical whimsy mixed with a whiff of sulfur and a touch of elysium.

Also, come early (or stay late) to explore the redecorated North Lobby, jam packed with Now and Then comparisons hot off the presses. Reception follows the (very) illustrated lecture.

Seattle Now & Then: First Hill and Yesler Terrace

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: This Seattle Housing Authority photograph was recorded from the top of the Marine Hospital (now Pacific Tower) on the north head of Beacon Hill. It looks north to First Hill during the Authority’s clearing of its southern slope for the building of the Yesler Terrace Public Housing.   (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: This Seattle Housing Authority photograph was recorded from the top of the Marine Hospital (now Pacific Tower) on the north head of Beacon Hill. It looks north to First Hill during the Authority’s clearing of its southern slope for the building of the Yesler Terrace Public Housing. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: Jean’s “repeat” from the same prospect is revealing of changes on First Hill and to its sides over nearly three-quarters of a century.
NOW: Jean’s “repeat” from the same prospect is revealing of changes on First Hill and to its sides over nearly three-quarters of a century.

When the Marine Hospital opened in 1933 to eighty-four veteran patients, many moved from the Fed’s old hospital in Port Townsend, the new Art Deco high rise on the head of Beacon Hill looked much higher than its sixteen stories. And from its roof it also “felt” taller, as evidenced by this panorama that looks north over both the

T.T. Minor's Marine Hospital in Port Townsend
T.T. Minor’s Marine Hospital in Port Townsend
From the sky looking northwest over the Marine Hospital to neighborhood below it and Beacon Hill.  The date is July 28, 1935.
From the sky looking northwest over the Marine Hospital to the International District neighborhood below it and Beacon Hill. The date is July 28, 1935.  Much of the “low land” seen beyond the hospital and to either side of Dearborn Street and its billboards, is now covered and congested with the I-5 Freeway.   The next illustration shows that work in progress.

Dearborn Cut (1909-1912) and the Jackson Street Regrade (1907-1909).  This hospital observatory afforded this most revealing profile of First Hill.  It made it actually look like a hill.   Since the early 1960s the developing ditch of the Seattle Freeway, far left

Seattle Freeway construction looking northwest from Beacon Hill, August 20, 1965.  (Courtesy, MOHAI)
Seattle Freeway construction looking northwest from Beacon Hill, August 20, 1965. (Courtesy, MOHAI)

in the “now,” made the western slopes of First Hill more apparent and gave the hill a western border. The slope of its eastern border, here far right, is occupied for the most part by the low-rise structures on the Seattle University campus, east of Broadway.

Another but narrower and earlier look into the I-5 Freeway construction from Beacon Hill.  (Courtesy, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Another but narrower look into the I-5 Freeway construction from Beacon Hill. (Courtesy, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Dearborn looking east through 9th Avenue on Dec. 8, 1938.
Dearborn looking east through 9th Avenue on Dec. 8, 1938.    More billboards.
Although I do not remember snapping this through the windshield while heading east on Dearborn, I will date a date for it of 1980.
Although I do not remember snapping this through the windshield while heading east on Dearborn, I will date a date for it of 1980.

In 1940, the likely year for this “then,” the skyline of First Hill was scored with landmarks that are still standing, although by now most are hidden behind higher structures. These include more apartment buildings and the well-packed Swedish Medical Center campus, which is right-of-center in the “now.”  The grandest exception is Harborview Hospital.  In the circa 1940 photo its gleaming Art Deco tower stands out, left-of-center.  In Jean’s colored “repeat,” Harborview, while half-hidden, still shows its true color, which is like a pale café-latte.

Harborview during freeway construction.  The work required exceptional measures to hold First Hill - aka Yesler Hill, Profanity Hill, Pill Hill - in place because of its hydraulics or fluid dynamics: the springs that the first settlers found so appealing.
Harborview during freeway construction. The work required exceptional measures to hold First Hill – aka Yesler Hill, Profanity Hill, Pill Hill – in place because of its hydraulics or fluid dynamics: the springs that the first settlers found so appealing.  The most northern part of Yesler Terrace appears far-right.  Photo by LaVanaway.

We know the photographer’s primary subject here.  It is neither the First Hill horizon nor the man-made valley between First and Beacon Hills.  Before the regrading began in 1907, the hills were two parts of the same ridge.  Rather, the intended subject is the swath of

F. Jay Haynes, the Northern Pacific Railroads official photographer (with his own car), visited Seattle in 1890.  His records include this revealing look at the waterfront a year-or-so after the city's Great Fire of June 6, 1889.  The Haynes pan also reveals the knoll, right-of-center, that interrupted the ridge between Beacon hill, on the right, and First Hill, on the left.  Much of the landfill used for reclaiming the tides for the Northern Pacific's tracks were cut form this knoll or knob.  This preceded the Jackson Street Regrade by several years.  (Which is to say, I'll find the date later.  It is described in my - and City Council's - Illustrated History of the Waterfront.  You can find it all on this blog, with its own button.)
F. Jay Haynes, the Northern Pacific Railroad’s official photographer (with his own car), visited Seattle in 1890. His records include this revealing look at the waterfront from Elliott Bay  a year-or-so after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. The Haynes pan also includes on its horizon the knoll, right-of-center, that interrupted the ridge between Beacon hill, on the right, and First Hill, on the left. Much of the landfill used for reclaiming the tides for the Northern Pacific’s first tracks was cut form this knoll or knob. This preceded the Jackson Street Regrade by several years. (Which is to say, I’ll find the date later. It is described in my – and City Council’s – Illustrated History of the Waterfront from 2005. You can find it all on this blog, with its own button.) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

open lots and mostly doomed residences that run west to east (left to right) through the center of the subject.  Within two years of this recording, a photographer from the Seattle Housing Authority visited the Marine Hospital again and recorded another panorama

The "pretty much" completed Yesler Terrace photographed from the same Marine Hospital prospect.
The “pretty much” completed Yesler Terrace photographed from the same Marine Hospital prospect.

with the same frame, but of the completed Yesler Terrace Public Housing. Nearly 700 housing units with their own front yards, new General Electric ranges, free utilities and low rents averaging about $17 a month replaced the former neighborhood of mostly modest Victorian residences..

A SEATTLE TIMES clip from August 13, 1941
A SEATTLE TIMES clip from August 13, 1941

There are two more panoramas photographed from the Marine Hospital by the Seattle Housing Authority.  One shows the Yesler Terrace project completed (included here directly below), and the other, an early record of its construction (placed here directly below).  Or dear reader come and see much of this on the big screen at Town Hall this coming Friday evening when Jean and I share illustrated stories on FIRST HILL & BEYOND.  Again, this is next Friday evening, October 3.  The Hall will also then “unveil” in its lobby our “now and then” exhibit of this and other First Hill subjects.

Again from the Marine Hospital and Seattle Housing Authority's unnamed photographer's look into the work-in-progress on the Yesler Terrace Housing project.
Again from the Marine Hospital, Seattle Housing Authority’s unnamed photographer’s look into the work-in-progress on the Yesler Terrace Housing project.   The north approach to the 12th Avenue Bridge spanning the Dearborn cut is bottom-right.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?   Yes.  We will start with seventeen links to past features from this blog.  As is our way, some we will have shown earlier in support of some subject or other.   Ordinarily these links, of course, hold links within.  And so on and on.  For the most part they are relevant to the neighborhoods of the north end of Beacon Hill and the south end of First Hill, and the ridge/regrade that shares them.  The first linked feature looks familiar because it repeats, far left, the Rininger Home at the northwest corner of Columbia and Summit, although at the time we submitted this feature to Pacific Northwest Magazine, now thirteen years ago, we knew nothing about its medical motives.  We concentrated then on the Otis Hotel on the right.   The next link is packed with relevance, built about a rare photo of a pioneer home near the future Deaborn Street on the slop leading up to the ridge that included both First and Beacon Hill before much of it was lowered with the combined cuttings of the Jackson Street Regrade and the Dearbort Cut.  The third link uses the Sprague Hotel on Yesler Way to lead into a small survey of buildings in the Yesler Terrace neighborhood that were removed because of it.   Some of them were surely worth saving and/or moving.  Links sixteen and seventeen, the last two,  give Jean and I an opportunity to first wish you a too early Seasons Greetings and second to promote the First Hill lecture we are giving at Town Hall this coming Friday Evening – early.  It is cheap – $5 – and the title is FIRST HILL & BEYOND.  (The title suggests more hills.)

Thanks again and again – seventeen times – to Ron Edge for finding and putting these “associates” up.

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

THEN: A speeding coupe convertible heads north on Beacon Hill’s 15th Ave. S. in 1937.

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

Looking southwest from Walker Street to the burning ruins.

THEN: The work of filling the tidelands south of King Street began in 1853 with the chips from Yesler’s sawmill.   Here in the neighborhood of 9th Ave. S. (Airport Way) and Holgate Street, the tideland reclaiming and street regrading continue 70 years later in 1923.  (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)

THEN: Part of the pond that here in 1946 filled much of the long block between Massachusetts and Holgate Streets and 8th Avenue S. and Airport Way. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

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THE MARINE HOSPITAL

Marine-Hosptial-THEN-web

MARINE-HOSP-TEXT-10-13-94-WEB

The Feature above was pulled from Pacific Magazine for Nov. 13, 1994.  Perhaps the older of you dear readers will share some sympathy with me when I confess that those twenty years went by far too fast.   “It doesn’t seem possible” that I took the “now” for this – printed directly below – so long ago.  I can still smell the pine cones and feel the breeze off the Bay.

This "repeat" was moved from the historical prospect of the "then" in order to see around the trees.
This “repeat” was moved from the historical prospect of the “then” in order to see around the trees.  There have, you know, been many changes here since 1994.

Marine-Hospital-in-shadow-WEB

Marine-Hospital-WEB

                                                                        xxx

Seattle Now & Then: The Minor/Collins Home on First Hill

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Built in 1887, the Minor-Collins Home at the northeast corner of Minor Avenue and Cherry Street was one of the grandest and longest surviving pioneer mansions on First Hill.  (Courtesy Historic Seattle)
THEN: Built in 1887, the Minor-Collins Home at the northeast corner of Minor Avenue and Cherry Street was one of the grandest and longest surviving pioneer mansions on First Hill. (Courtesy Historic Seattle)
NOW: After Bertrand Collins gave it a farewell party in 1951, the Minor-Collins home was razed, ultimately to become part of the Swedish Hospital campus.
NOW: After Bertrand Collins gave it a farewell party in 1951, the Minor-Collins home was razed, ultimately to become part of the Swedish Hospital campus.

1. John-Collins-aka-Minor-residence-fm-bookWEB

Built in 1887 by Sarah and Dr. Thomas Minor, it was one the earliest grand homes built on First Hill.  Painted a green so dark it was “almost black,” the red trim contrasted nicely. Interrupted by tragedy, the Minors’ stay there was brief.  Less than three years after the family moved into their mansion, the doctor drowned off Whidbey Island while hunting with two friends, who also perished.

 Minor
Minor

In 1891 when John and Angela Collins became the new residents, it was still addressed 702 12th Avenue, but the street was soon renamed Minor Avenue.   Both Thomas Minor and John Collins served as Seattle mayors: Collins first in 1873 as a dedicated Democrat, and Minor in 1887, a resolute Republican.  Earlier Minor had moved his family to Seattle from Port Townsend where he was also once mayor.

Overgrown and most likely late in the life of the Minor-Collins home.
Overgrown – late in the life of the Minor-Collins home.

If one’s attentions were devoted to this big home’s pioneer origins, then one may still wish to call it the Minor Home.  If, however, one concentrates on the roll of significant events that occurred here, then it is the Collins home, and perhaps even the Angela Collins home. Angela was the second wife of the bold Irishman John Collins.  They were married in 1877, after the locally famous widower of forty-two courted and won eighteen-year-old Angela Burdett Jackling.

Above and below: A feature from the Nov. 11, 1951 Seattle Times.
Above and below: A feature from the Nov. 11, 1951 Seattle Times. CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE

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Widowed in 1903, Angela Collins gave her remaining forty-four years to nourishing Seattle society, the “higher” parts of it here on the summit of First Hill.  Her work was distinguished by programs and parties, some in the garden.  To name a few, Angela was a leader in the Garden Club, the Music and Art Foundation, and the Sunset Club, of which she and, later, her younger daughter Catherine, served as presidents.  Angela was an effective campaigner, raising funds for the Children’s Orthopedic Hospital and the Junior League. The League’s first meetings were held in the Collins home.

SEATTLE TIMES, July 28, 1929
SEATTLE TIMES, July 28, 1929 – Double Click to ENLARGE
Seattle Times, July 16, 1933
Seattle Times, July 16, 1933

John and Angela had four children and all of them excelled. For example, Bertrand, the younger son, was a popular novelist famous here for his exploring wit.  In 1946, daughter Catherine was given the title “Seattle’s First Lady of the Year,” mostly for her work with charities.  Within a year, her mother Angela died after eighty-eight productive years, most of them at this corner.  Her obituary, which appeared in the Seattle Times for September 21,1947, concluded, “From her childhood, Mrs. Collins was a brilliant figure in the social history of the city.”

As witness to her love of gardening and landscape,
As witness to her love of gardening and landscape, during the winter of 1931 Angela Collins rescued one of the horse chestnut trees cut down for street widening on “the University Way side of the University Heights School ground.”  CLICK TO ENLARGE
The MINOR-COLLINS Mansion in its last days
The MINOR-COLLINS Mansion in its last days

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?   JEAN, First below with Ron Edge’s attentions are two links to related features that we return to again.  Following that a few local reminders of the Minor and Collins names.  Other extras were included above within this feature’s primary text.

THEN:

ON MINOR AVENUE

Building a retraining wall along the western border of the Cascade Playfield, depression-time work by the WPA in the 1930.  The view looks north on MINOR AVE. with Thomas Street behind the municipal photographer.
Building a retraining wall along the western border of the Cascade Playfield, depression-time work by the WPA in the 1930s. The view looks north on MINOR AVE. with Thomas Street behind the municipal photographer.  The view below from 1978 looks at a right angle directly east to this section of the completed wall.
Paul Kerby, left, and Bill Burden, right, trucking down Minor Avenue after the snow of Nov. 19, 1978.  Above them is the Cascade Playfield.
Paul Kerby, left, and Bill Burden, right, trucking down Minor Avenue after the snow of Nov. 19, 1978. Above them is the Cascade Playfield.
With no steps to the Cascade Playfield included in the WPA public work in the 1930s, another federal employee with CETA inserted these in the mid 1970s.
With no steps to the Cascade Playfield included in the WPA public work in the 1930s, another federal employee with CETA built these in the mid 1970s. “Watch Your Step”

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Sandbox stories at Collins Playfield, 1909.  (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
Sandbox stories at Collins Playfield, 1909. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)

COLLINS PLAYFIELD

Stories from the Collins Playground sandbox, 1909.

The COLLINS PARK FIELD HOUSE opened in 1913 and closed in 1971.  Here members of the Japanese American Association pose beside it in the 1930s.  (Courtesy, Seattle's Japanese Buddhist Temple)
The COLLINS PARK FIELD HOUSE opened in 1913 and closed in 1971. Here members of the Japanese American Association pose beside it in the 1930s. (Courtesy, Seattle’s Japanese Buddhist Temple)
The COLLINS Building in the early 1890s, photographed by LaRoche.  Better known as the Seattle Hotel, it has been replaced since 1961 by the "Sinking Ship Parking Garage" in the flat-iron block bordered by Second Avenue, James Street and Yesler Way.  This view looks east from Pioneer Place, aka Pioneer Square.
The COLLINS Building in the early 1890s, photographed by LaRoche. Better known as the Seattle Hotel, it has been replaced since 1962 by the “Sinking Ship Parking Garage” in the flat-iron block bordered by Second Avenue, James Street and Yesler Way. This view looks east from Pioneer Place, aka Pioneer Square.
Lawton Gowey recorded this frontal portrait of the Sinking Ship Garage on March 20, 1974, about ten years after its construction.  The builders explained that with the curved backet-handle-shapred pipes running along the tops of the garage's walls, it would fit the neighborhood's windows, like those facing its from across Second Avenue and the top floor of the Collins building.
Lawton Gowey recorded this frontal portrait of the Sinking Ship Garage on March 20, 1974, about ten years after its construction. The builders explained that with the curved basket-handle-shaped pipes running along the tops of the garage walls, it would fit the neighborhood’s windows, like those facing it across Second Avenue from the top floor of the Collins building. BELOW.  Lawton Gowey returns on April 21, 1976 to shoot across the bow of the Sinking Ship to the Pioneer Building whose basket-handle windows were, the garage building’s architects claimed, their inspiration.

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Frank Shaws look across the habitat of the truncated - to two stories - Butler Hotel, to the nearly abandoned Collins Building on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and James Street, and the former homesite of John and Angela Collins, which was destroyed during the city's "Great Fire of 1889."  Note - if you will - the mid-block burlesque house between the Collins Building and the Smith Tower.
Frank Shaw’s look across the habitat of the truncated – to two stories – Butler Hotel, to the nearly abandoned Collins Building on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and James Street. It was the former homesite of John and Angela Collins, destroyed during the city’s “Great Fire of 1889.” Note – if you will – the mid-block burlesque house between the Collins Building and the Smith Tower.  Shaw dates this November 26, 1974.
Looking north on Occidental Avenue to John Collins' Occidental Hotel in the 1870s.
Looking north on Occidental Avenue to John Collins’ hand-colored Occidental Hotel in the 1870s.
The OCCIDENTAL  HOTEL's Thanksgiving menu for 1887.
The OCCIDENTAL HOTEL’s Thanksgiving menu for 1887.

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COLLINS’ CLOSE-CALL AT HOME

An EDGE CLIPPING 

the Daily Intelligencer

Nov. 13, 1878

Collins Nightmare Dintel 11:13:78