Seattle Center's open spaces, ca. 1925
It was here that those first pioneers cultivated their garden, one large enough to help feed the few hundred citizens living nearby in a village — Seattle.
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THE INTENDED subject here is almost surely the obvious one: two blocks of grass. From the intersection of Fourth Avenue, on the right, and Harrison Street (its sidewalk) on the left, the view looks north-northwest to Queen Anne Hill.
One long block away, and near the scene's center, rests the Troy Laundry, a two-story factory of suds at the northeast corner of Nob Hill Avenue and Republican Street. For Pacific NW readers who remember last week's Belgian Waffles, the laundry is only one block east (here to the right) of where that Century 21 confectionary was built in 1962. (In the "now" shot, the laundry would be in the high seats of Memorial Stadium's north-side seating.)
Fred Cruger, our reliable motorcar collector-historian, has helped us date this scene. With the aid of a blowup, Fred studied the Fords parked near the laundry and recommends "1925 or '26." We imagine that the historical photographer thought this might be the last unobstructed look through David and Louisa Denny's swale. It was here that those first pioneers cultivated their garden, one large enough to help feed the few hundred citizens living nearby in a village — Seattle — distinguished by Puget Sound's first steam sawmill.
Bertha Landes, Seattle's first and so far only female mayor, was a powerful booster of what our unnamed photographer surely knew was coming: a civic field, auditorium and arena. Elected in 1926 before the construction started, Her Honor was out of office in 1928, weeks before her civic center was dedicated. (Mayoral terms then ran a mere two years.)
In altered forms Seattle's cultural center of 1928 survives. Memorial Stadium was dedicated in 1948 to honor former high-schoolers who died in World War II.
Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard's blog at www.pauldorpat.com.