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Pacific Northwest | July 18, 2004Pacific Northwest MagazineJuly 18, 2004seattletimes.com home
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CONTENTS
COVER STORY
PLANT LIFE
TASTE
NORTHWEST LIVING
NOW & THEN
PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


WRITTEN BY PAUL DORPAT

Ballard Gets Smart
Photo
COURTESY OF BALLARD HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Built in 1909, the elegant red-brick Adams School was ornamented with terra-cotta tiles. The successful school bond of 1984 paid for the modern replacement that was built directly behind the original structure. Bricks were sold and terra-cotta pieces salvaged to help build and ornament a reminder of the old Adams in the new.

 
 Photo
PAUL DORPAT
WHEN CITIZENS of the shingle capital (Ballard) voted in 1907 to incorporate with Seattle, they swallowed their pride and then Seattle's better drinking water. Improved water probably figured more prominently than new schools in the vote to annex because a dead horse was found in the Ballard reservoir on the eve of the election.

Seattle's many 1907 additions to its extremities — Columbia City, West Seattle and Ballard — were growing mightily, and school construction was then one of the great local industries. The newly joined Ballardians were in such need that their school was one of the two largest built by the Seattle School District in 1909. With the Colman School, it followed the district's plan for the popular Jacobean-styled structures: a T shape with an eight-room addition at the back of the standard nine-classroom plan, which featured four classrooms on the first floor with the school offices, and five more up stairways built at either end of a long hall.

Adams School opened in 1910 at the southwest corner of 26th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 62nd Street. The rest of the double block to the south was developed as a playfield in the spirit of the popular "playground movement" of the time, with cooperation from the Seattle Parks Department and the School Board. The site is still used for education, recreation and a community center.

In the earlier view, several boys are posing with shovels and rakes on the graded but rough school grounds facing 26th Avenue. On Arbor Day 1910, the older boys were sent into the adjoining woods to bring back — alive — small trees to landscape the grounds. This may be a scene from that effort. Many of those plantings flourished, and some have survived.

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

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