by Paul Dorpat FOR A FEW years after its remodel in the early 1920s, the University Methodist Temple at the southeast corner of Brooklyn...
For a few years after its remodel in the early 1920s, the University Methodist Temple at the southeast corner of Brooklyn Avenue Northeast and 42nd Street was known as “The Church of the Revolving Cross.” The slender spire that had topped the 1907 sanctuary at its corner leaked and was replaced during the remodel with a motorized cross. The mechanism, however, was less than miraculous. It frequently broke down, and the cross, seen here, was soon removed.
North End Methodists first met in Latona (now part of Wallingford) in the busy year of 1891. Seattle annexed new territory as far north as 85th Street in 1891. The first electric trolley crossed the then-new Latona Bridge that year, and the state chose the northeast shore of Lake Union at Brooklyn for a new university campus (but waited four years to make the move).
By the time the Methodists built their first small chapel here on 42nd in 1902, Brooklyn was just as likely to be called the University District.
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The larger corner sanctuary was added in 1907, a year made repeatedly noisy by the dynamite used to shape the nearby campus for the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Besides replacing the spire with the cross, the ’20s remodel also expanded the sanctuary, joining it to the chapel, as seen here. Even so, in 1927 the Methodists left this clapboard sanctuary for a bigger brick one on 43rd Street, across 15th Avenue from the campus.
Church historian David Van Zandt says Warren Kraft Jr. is the only surviving church member who walked in the Sunday parade to the new church. Kraft was a 2-year-old whose wandering distinguished him at the dedication ceremony. The first words spoken by Dr. James Crowther from his new pulpit were, “Has anyone seen Warren Kraft Jr.?”
Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and is co-author of “Washington: Then and Now.”