The Masses On Market
Here are two good reasons to celebrate in the middle of Ballard's Market Street. First, we'll give a quick review of the older view recorded by a city photographer on the Sunday afternoon of Jan. 27, 1918.
A crowd of mostly suited males fills the street to listen to Seattle Mayor Hiram Gill compliment them on their "emancipation" from a company that had until this day run with poor service a trolley monopoly. Accompanied by the City Council and the Police Department Band, the mayor rode the 25 minutes from City Hall to Ballard aboard Seattle's own new trolley, along its new tracks and over its brand new Ballard bascule bridge.
The low platform erected in the middle of Market Street put the mayor and his entourage in a populist position only a few feet above the crowd. Marked at its corners by American flags, the platform appears very near the center of the scene. Behind the speaker of the moment, who has too much hair to be Gill, is the ornate street façade of the Majestic Theatre. Built in 1914 it has, with a few name changes and a new, enlarged multiplex in 2000, been in operation ever since.
On the far right of both views is the 1904 Carnegie Library, which the city sold in the mid-1960s to new owners who have preserved the landmark's classical Revival style.
The modern moment of Market Street's surrender to pedestrians is, of course, from this year's Seafood Festival, Ballard's growing summer street fair and piscine party.
"Washington Then and Now," the new book by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard, can be purchased through www.washingtonthenandnow.com ($45) or through Tartu Publications at P.O. Box 85208, Seattle, WA 98145.