The Hoo-Hoo House was built on the University of Washington campus as part of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. It was used originally by the Hoo-Hoos, a lumbermen's service group, but over the years also served as a faculty retreat house until it was razed in 1959.
CERTAINLY THE local enthusiasm directed to this year’s centennial celebration for Seattle’s “first world’s fair,” the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, exceeds that demonstrated for Seattle’s 150th anniversary: its sesquicentennial of only a few years past. The exhibits, Web sites and publications interpreting the A-Y-P are filling a big basket.
An early example is enthusiast-collector-scholar Dan Kerlee’s site www.aype.com. Dan also gave generous help toward the publishing of historylink.org‘s “timeline history” of the exposition. Vintage Seattle is another community Web site that is attending to this centennial. Visit www.vintageseattle.org/2008/05/28/hoo-are-you-hoo-hoo and you will discover undated snapshots of the A-Y-P’s Hoo-Hoo House — above on the left — when it was still used by the University of Washington’s Faculty Club.
Ellsworth Storey, the Northwest architect admired for his variations on the Craftsman style, designed it for the Hoo-Hoos, not a club for retired Santas but a lumbermen’s fraternity, which used it throughout the fair for banquets and parties in which their love for cats and the number 9 always played some part. Nine house cats helped run the place, curling up at night on any piece of Mission-style furniture they preferred. Sculpted black cats with electric green eyes met visitors near the front door.
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The more rustic structure on the right was a facsimile of the Hudson Bay Company’s blockhouse at Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. In 1909, the original was a mere 56 years old; a century later it survives as one of the oldest buildings in British Columbia. The A-Y-P facsimile was commissioned by and served as fair headquarters for the Vancouver, B.C., Daily World newspaper.
Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard’s blog at www.pauldorpat.com.