The city's boom years of the early 20th century were accompanied by a proliferation of services and institutions in Seattle's new neighborhoods.
THE CITY’S BOOM years of the early 20th century were accompanied by a proliferation of services and institutions in Seattle’s new neighborhoods. Among the new establishments were churches, including this Episcopalian one in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood.
Often the idea for a new church was seeded by members of an older or pioneer parish that was founded in the central business district. As Epiphany Episcopal Church archivist Mary Henry explains in her historylink.org essay on the parish, the idea for this congregation was promoted when “Bishop F.W. Keator took a group of Episcopalian men from St. Mark’s Episcopal (later St. Mark’s Cathedral) on a yachting trip in Lake Washington, and as they passed the Madrona area, he commented on the need for a church in the neighborhood.”
The date for this inspiration was August 1907, which makes this the centennial year for the parish. The rustic English Gothic chapel seen here took four years to build and another 67 years to become an early pick for Seattle’s official registry of landmarks in 1978.
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The natural charm of this wood-and-brick sanctuary was created to complement the style of the “city beautiful” Denny-Blaine Addition, which is appointed with streets that do not march through the neighborhood on a grid but rather curve through the natural topography as it descends to Lake Washington. Many of the Denny-Blaine homes are also landmarks, and a few are by one of Seattle’s most cherished architects, Ellsworth Storey (1897-1960). Storey was both a member of Epiphany Episcopal and the architect of this, its first parish.
Henry’s thumbnail history of the parish on historylink.org is Essay 7825. Later this year Epiphany will be the subject of a book by Barbara Spaeth.
Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and has published several books on early Seattle.