Almost Nothing Left at First & Denny!

Looking east up the hill at Denny Way and First Avenue. Photo: Seattle Municipal Archives.
Denny Way & 1st Ave Photo: Seattle Municipal Archives

This odd-shaped intersection separating Queen Anne’s Uptown from Belltown is uniquely historic. It doesn’t add much to local history that the line demarcating Queen Anne as studied by the Queen Anne Historical Society runs along the middle of Denny Way. As you might suspect though, our line of demarcation is not a random choice. In fact, it separates William Bell’s 1853 land claim from David Denny’s and provides a neat reminder of the day in February 1853 when David’s older brother Arthur and his brother-in-law Carson Boren jockeyed with Doc Maynard for the site of Seattle’s downtown and argued about how to lay out the city. …Continue reading “Almost Nothing Left at First & Denny!”

Reunions & Farewells

I spent a recent weekend splitting my personality between American Radio Theater’s annual Radio Studio, held at Pioneer Hall by Madison Park, and with 80+ members of my high school graduating class of 1961. The latter event was our 55th anniversary of graduation from Queen Anne High School. It brought back some warm memories of good teachers and classes which ‘rocked’ as far as both learning and entertainment can co-exist.

We talked about the many changes on and around Queen Anne Hill – looking across from the south end of Magnolia Bluff at the Seattle Yacht Club’s marina headquarters. A number of classes have held their reunions here, and it was a welcome venue in both site and hour choice – 4-8 p.m. Most could drive home while it was still fairly light out. …Continue reading “Reunions & Farewells”

The Garfield Exchange: Landmark Sold

Posted Nov.  8, 2016: The Garfield Exchange which was designated a city landmark earlier this is year has been sold by the Seattle Public Library for over $3,000,000. Located in a residential neighborhood opposite the Queen Anne Public Library, the building has phenomenal potential.

Property Reuse & Disposition Overview


Posted March 13, 2016: In these times when nearly everyone has constant wireless connection to the world by a smartphone, it is a wonder that some of us recall picking up a phone that had no dial or dial tone and hearing a ‘smiling’ voice on the other end ask, “What number, please?”

From 1883 and Seattle’s first telephones until the 1950s every phone call whether local, national or international began with talking to an operator and asking for a connection. In those days, every phone line was hard-wired to an exchange building where young women facing a long board connected incoming and outgoing phone calls manually.

PT&T switchboard 1902 (WSHS)
PT&T switchboard, 1902 (WSHS)

The earliest of Seattle’s local telephone companies included the Seattle Automatic Telephone Exchange, the Independent Telephone Company, and the Sunset Telephone-Telegraph Company (“Sunset”). Sunset was incorporated in Seattle in March 1883 providing phone service to 71 businesses and 19 residential customers with an installation charge of $25 and monthly service at $7 for businesses and $2.50 for residences. …Continue reading “The Garfield Exchange: Landmark Sold”