Pacific Northwest | November 2, 2003Pacific Northwest MagazineNovember 2, 2003seattletimes.com home
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CONTENTS
COVER STORY
PLANT LIFE
TASTE
NORTHWEST LIVING
NOW & THEN
LETTERS
PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


WRITTEN BY PAUL DORPAT  Wine & Spirits 2003

The Path of Progress
Photo
COURTESY OF JAN KLIPPERT & KING CO. DIV. OF ROADS
About 90 years separate these two scenes. Both look north on Ravenna Avenue through its intersection with Northeast 65th Street.
Photo
PAUL DORPAT


A photographer from King County Public Works took this view looking north on 22nd Avenue North (Ravenna Avenue) through its intersection with Northeast 65th Street sometime between 1910 and 1920, when this was one of the primary trunks to the Bothell Highway. The road to Bothell and on to Everett was made pleasantly smooth by 1913. That year, the section between Lake Forest Park and Bothell was even paved, much of it with red bricks. But not this section, although it is clearly graded.

On the left is the nearly new brick Ravenna School, completed in 1911 from a model drawn by architect Edgar Blair. Six of the rooms were used for classes. At the end of its first year, Ravenna School had an average daily attendance of 190 students, taught by six teachers earning a combined salary of $5,649 and making study plans from a mere 464 books. We know the diversity of the student body was slim because students were still profiled. Only one black child and one Chinese child are recorded. The rest were Euro-Americans.

The big sign facing the intersection has a lot to tell about the neighborhood:

"RAVENNA HALF ACRE HOME TRACTS. Rich, level land, cleared smooth as a lawn, city conveniences without city taxes, prices $600 to $800 easy terms . . . Attractive new Bungalow. Modern poultry houses, flowers, garden and shrubbery . . . See Robert Maltby or L.C. Stacy at the 1010 Alaska Building." (The town north of Woodinville is named after this same Maltby.)

What this scene does not reveal is how appealing such offers were: Booming Seattle rapidly stretched north of 65th. Consequently, only 10 years after it was completed, the Ravenna School added 10 classrooms and an auditorium. Now it is home to the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center.

Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and has published several books on early Seattle.

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