And for seven years there, photographer Jean Sherrard has been hosting ACT Theatre and Town Hall's Christmas edition of the series "Short Stories Live."

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THE 1922-23 CONSTRUCTION of Seattle’s Olympic Hotel lured photographers to First Hill to record its grand dimensions while also capturing the central business district’s north end. By then, First Hill was covered in an impressive jumble of brick- and terra-cotta-clad buildings, many housing retail businesses.

In the rear at far left, the Olympic, “Seattle’s first elegant hotel,” is getting topped off sometime in the more verdant months of 1923. The hotel opened Dec. 7 that year as a Christmas gift to the city, only a few weeks after the Sept. 23 dedication of the glimmering terra-cotta-tiled Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, in front of the hotel here.

To get this view, the photographer in 1923 visited an upper floor of the then-nearly new Virginia Mason Hospital (1920). For his “now,” Jean Sherrard went to the hospital’s roof and discovered that the church could still be found — a mere corner of its dome. (Keep looking. It’s there.)

In 1999, Fourth Church received its new calling as Town Hall, which returns us to Sherrard, our weekly “repeater.”

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For seven years, Sherrard has been hosting ACT Theatre and Town Hall’s Christmas edition of the series “Short Stories Live.” Sherrard started out there in the slightly smaller lower-level hall, but his productions became so popular that he and his players were moved upstairs into Town Hall’s Great Hall, beneath the high dome.

On this very Sunday afternoon beginning at 4 p.m., Sherrard and three others (including myself, invited to represent amateurs), will be reading with a little ham, humbug and ho-ho-ho, the program of short stories titled “(Another) Rogue’s Christmas.” For more information about the event visit

Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard’s blog at

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