Seattle 1978

Seattle 1978

Sunday, November 3, 2013

1930s Seattle Business District

I've been in thrift stores and have been told they actually throw away used postcards!!!  Can you believe it?! Those are my favorites!  I've mentioned before I love peeking at the messages.  This one from e-Bay is a bonus as it labels some buildings (although not 100% correct) and has a bit of a curious message on the back.
"New Washington Hotel, Seattle P. O., M. D. Bldg, Northern Life Bldg, Telephone Bldg, Olympic Hotel, Elks Club"

P - 100 Section of Seattle Business District - Asahel Curtis

Postmarked June 10 1940.
"Dear Tom, This is the best I can do in Seattle. There hasn't been a new P. O. built here in 55 years therefore Seattle is ashamed to photo the old one Hear's(Here's?) where it is located. Greetings G. Switzer"
I'm imagining that these two fellas, G. Switzer and Thomas J. Ashe, travelled frequently for business. For whatever reason, they promised to mail each other postcards of the towns' post offices. But Mr. Switzer was unsuccessful finding one during his visit to Seattle.  He did pretty well labeling Seattle buildings in this one but it's quite a bit harder when you don't have the benefit of Google Maps.  The building labeled "M. (D?) bldg" between "Seattle P. O." and "Northern Life bldg" is actually 1411 Fourth Avenue Building.  Perhaps he thought it was the Medical Dental building which is three blocks further north.  The Post Office was completed in 1908 according to King County Snapshots so was 32 years old in 1940 - I'd love to know where he got "55 years" but he was probably just being snarky ;-).

I do have some images of some of the buildings he's labeled - from left to right
"New Washington Hotel"

"The New Washington Hotel, Seattle, Washington"

"The New Washington Hotel, Seattle, Wash."

The "New Washington Hotel" is now known as
The Josephinum
1902 Second Avenue (Stewart)
It was completed in 1908 and still stands

This was fun . . .  I was looking on-line for Seattle post office images the same day my "new" postcard arrived in the mail and not very successful finding good ones but lo-and-behold, I open my flickr contacts' Photostream and there is a beauty right at the top.  Thanks TrackWalker!
"Seattle P. O."  AKA  U.S. Court House, Custom House, and Post Office  AKA The Federal Building
Acccording to King County Snapshots, it was completed in 1908 and torn down in 1958.
Check out the Google street view for the current Post Office in the same location.  Really?  (shaking my head) I'm sure there was a really good reason to build it that way without much character. 
Seattle Post Office, 1912
Less than a week later, I acquired my own postcard of the old Post Office

"U. S. Court House and Post office, Seattle." The Lowman & Hanford Co., Seattle.  If you return to the postcard at the top of this, you'll see "Lowman & Hanford" painted on the side of the Empire building on the lower right - the publisher of this and many other old Seattle postcards.

Further to the right in that current Google Street View you can see The Northern Life Building now known as the Seattle Tower with the three spires on top.
Here is another view of the Northern Life and Telephone Buildings - 1968 from Seattle Municipal Archives.  The Josephinium is appears left of the Space Needle.
Seattle, looking north on Third Avenue, 1968
They both still stand - this photo gives you an idea of how dwarfed they are now. (photo linked to Wikimedia Commons where it was found  - Joe Mabel)
Seattle Northern Life 05

1411 Fourth Ave. Building (the one labeled "M. D. Bldg") 
Completed in 1929 and still standing. (Photo linked to Wikimedia Commons where it was found  - Joe Mabel)
Seattle - 1411 Fourth 04

The Olympic Hotel
411 University Street.  Completed in 1924 and still standing.

The Elks Club (B. P. O. E. Building "Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks") was built in 1913 at the corner of 4th & Spring.  It was demolished about 1966 to make way for the Sea-First Building AKA The Box the Space Needle came in AKA Safeco Plaza.
From Jasperdo's photostream
B.P.O.E. Building, Seattle.

The building in the lower right of my new old postcard: "The Empire Building" was also known as "The American Saving's Bank" was at 920 Second Avenue - it was built in 1906 and demolished in the 1970s.

The Wells Fargo Center (999 3rd AVE) was completed in that block in 1983.

I just thought it was fun to examine this postcard and learn more about the buildings in it.

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