MANY OF THE landmarks included in our “Now & Then” stories have appeared in these pages more than once, with instructive changes. This feature is a fine example.
Some of the constructions included here have been featured earlier, often approached from different prospects.
This week’s “Then” photo, which looks northeast from the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Washington Street, is a fine example of themes with variations. In our decades of recording “performances” here, the stage of this intersection has brought along five such encores. There are six repeaters, if we include the Yesler Way viaduct over Fourth Avenue in the count. And we should.
Seen here on the far left, Yesler Way is a landmark that keeps on giving. The first pioneers soon discovered and followed it as a native path between Lake Washington (near and before the big lake’s Leschi Beach was named) and Elliott Bay (near Pioneer Square or, if you prefer, Pioneer Place).
Many of us have long memories of this feature’s centerpiece, the Grand Union Hotel. We noticed it first with our young eyes as a dilapidated and then-deserted landmark built across Yesler Way from Seattle City Hall at 400 Yesler Way. Mayor Wes Ullman was the municipal hall’s savior around 1970. Here it is mostly hidden behind the old hotel, although parts of the hall’s ornate corners reach above the hotel. That’s the top-heavy tower of the old King County Courthouse, upper right.