We move one block north and look west again on Columbia to Elliott Bay. In the foreground, worn planking gives a texture to Columbia, but at Second Avenue...
Last week we looked west on Cherry Street from Third Avenue in 1892. Here, a few years later, we move one block north and look west again on Columbia to Elliott Bay. In the foreground, worn planking gives a texture to Columbia, but at Second Avenue it runs into brick.
Behind the pole on the right stands the stately little classic that was Seattle’s post office for most of the 1890s. When it moved to new quarters in 1899, the sidewalk news depot and stationary store survived. A few of the periodicals offered are hung in display beneath the large awning.
At the corner with Second Avenue, the ornate two-story Colonial Building was built by Harvard graduate Herman Chapin, who also raised the four-story brick Boston Block directly across Columbia at its southeast corner with Second. Constructed in 1887-88, their timing and locations were most fortunate: both buildings escaped major damage in the city’s Great Fire of 1889, and afterward they were temporarily stuffed with businesses displaced by it.
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The broad-shoulder Haller Building holds the northwest corner of Second and Columbia, right of center. Built after the fire from a design by architect Elmer Fisher, its principal tenant here is the Seattle National Bank, one of whose directors was Theodore Haller.
Signs evident here in this first block on Columbia show you could buy a sewing machine, photograph supplies, a haircut, a Turkish bath, a newspaper and a meal at the Alley Restaurant. At the waterfront, a tall ship with two masts still rests in the slip between the Yesler and Colman docks.
“Washington Then and Now,” by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard, can be purchased through www.washingtonthenandnow.com ($45) or through Tartu Publications at P.O. Box 85208, Seattle, WA 98145.