A look back at Seattle High School, ca. 1903
Lincoln, Seattle's second high school, opened in Wallingford in 1911, the year Seattle High changed its name to Broadway and first opened night classes.
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WHAT, WE WONDER, motivated this photographer to move off the sidewalk and use these mid-block weeds in the composition? Was it, perhaps, to keep the new stone apartment on the left in the picture? The address is 1425 Harvard Ave., and the apartment is fittingly named the Boston Block. It opened its flats to renters in the summer of 1903.
However, the primary subject here is probably the "vaguely Romanesque" but also new Seattle High School on the nearby horizon, which opened in 1902. Facing away from Union Street, the photographer looks two blocks north to the school's south facade on Pine Street.
Soon motorcars and their servers would crowd the sides of the nearby Pike Street with showrooms and parts stores for Seattle's first auto row. The domestic clutter here would, for the greater part, be replaced with business blocks, converted into boardinghouses or succeeded by substantial apartment houses like the one on the left.
Lincoln, Seattle's second high school, opened in Wallingford in 1911, the year Seattle High changed its name to Broadway and first opened night classes. In 1946, Broadway was given over entirely to adult education, including classes for veterans returning from World War II.
After the space was sold in 1966 to Seattle Community College, Dr. Ed Erickson, the school's president, said he hoped that "nostalgia and emotions will not get in the way" of the college's plans to raze what some of the school's alumni still lovingly called the Pine Street Prison. Alumni and architects on both sides were enlisted for the battle that followed to preserve or pull down Broadway High. The Broadway effort managed to keep only the school's auditorium.
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