HOW MANY readers can name the make, model and year of the motorcar at the lower-left corner of this look down Fourth Avenue and through...
HOW MANY readers can name the make, model and year of the motorcar at the lower-left corner of this look down Fourth Avenue and through its intersection with University Street?
I cannot, though I think it resembles a 1909 Pierce-Arrow. Perhaps a modern urge led the unnamed photographer to include the car in the composition. It is in fine contrast to the two-horse express wagon on Fourth. A century ago there were still many more horses on Seattle streets than cars.
Above the car is the new Cobb Building with terra cotta Indian heads banding the facade at its ninth floor. The Cobb took its first occupants early in the summer of 1910, and most of them were dentists and doctors. The Metropolitan Building Co. designed it for them — the first building on the Pacific Coast for such professionals.
Right of center are the White and Henry buildings. Both were completed in 1909, the White first at Union Street. Hip to hip, they were the first two-thirds of what by 1915 was the block-long White Henry Stuart Building, an elegant show strip for this makeover of the old Territorial University campus into “a city within a city.” The majority of the residents there had connections with lumbering. The trio and all else on that block were razed in 1977 while the Rainier Bank tower, with a pedestal boldly resembling a golfing accessory, was completed.
To me, the Cobb seems to still be preparing to open, so I chose a warm spring day of 1910 for this recording. Three years earlier this part of Fourth was about 30 feet higher and covered with campus grass. The 1907 lowering of the campus and regrading of Fourth were completed during the first weeks of construction on the White Building in 1908.
Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard’s blog at www.pauldorpat.com.