BOOMING SEATTLE, looking for an open staging place north of Pioneer Square in the business district's new retail neighborhood, found it...

BOOMING SEATTLE, looking for an open staging place north of Pioneer Square in the business district’s new retail neighborhood, found it here at this — depending on how you stretch it — five- or seven-star corner at Fifth Avenue and Stewart Street.

Two disruptions of the city grid prepared this intersection for civic celebrations. The oldest was the pioneer turn in the city’s street grid at Stewart Street. Next, in 1906, Westlake Avenue, between Pike Street and Denny Way, was cut through the grids, creating along the way pie-shaped blocks and several wide intersections, like this.

The 1915 addition of this newspaper’s elegant terra-cotta tiled Times Square Building (far right in both views) gave this civic space a stage from which to address political rallies, announce and post sports scores, and review Independence Day parades.

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Jean Sherrard took advantage of the recently parading Lions on Fifth Avenue to make his repeat for the ca. 1926 American Legion-sponsored Fourth of July parade.

“My shot was taken late morning, with the sun high in the southeast,” Sherrard says. “Fifth Avenue at Stewart didn’t begin to emerge from shadow until the last few minutes of the parade. The crowd was thick enough that I stood in the crosswalk at Stewart, hoisting and lowering the camera pole without causing injury to strolling prides of Lions.

“Waves of parade participants flowed down Fifth Avenue, from the red and black banners and umbrellas of youngish German Lions to the yellow jerseys favored by exuberant marchers from both mainland China and Taiwan.

“Interestingly, American branches tended to be older and a bit more sedate than their international brethren.”

Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard’s blog at