Pacific Northwest | December 14, 2003Pacific Northwest MagazineDecember 14, 2003seattletimes.com home
Home delivery
Search archive
Contact us
CONTENTS
COVER STORY
PLANT LIFE
TASTE
ON FITNESS
NORTHWEST LIVING
NOW & THEN
SUNDAY PUNCH
LETTERS
PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


WRITTEN BY PAUL DORPAT Special Arts Issue

From Bricks to Balls
Photo
COURTESY OF LAWTON GOWEY and SEATTLE MUNICIPAL ARCHIVES
Soccer balls guided by members of the Bush Blazers — the Bush School's girls soccer team — are on (or very near) the site where this "mysterious" brick yard appeared on the Washington Park grounds in 1912. Another obvious change is in the background, where the old Madison Street trestle has long since been filled in.

 
 Photo
PAUL DORPAT
ONE OF THE helpful traits of many an official photograph is that it may, like this one, have a caption inscribed directly on the negative. Although not printed here, the description says, "Brick Culls 30 Ave. (N. of Madison St.) 2-28-12."

My first reading of this caption was immediately accompanied by one of those "eureka" experiences that are the liquor of research — I swooned. There on the horizon was my first unobstructed full sighting of the Madison Street trestle. It was built originally to take the cable car across Madison Valley and the stream that once meandered north through it to Union Bay. However, the "brick culls" in the scene remained such a puzzle that I kept the picture back, waiting for another revelation. Obviously, I have stopped waiting; these bricks remain a puzzle. I hope some reader will come forward with information.

One munificent source on Washington Park history is Don Sherwood. Don and my research paths often crossed decades ago when he was the Parks Department employee let loose to follow his bliss by preparing handwritten histories of every park in Seattle. Typed transcriptions of these histories (with facsimile reproductions of Sherwood's accurately sketched maps) can now be visited online (www.cityofseattle.net/parks/history/sherwood.htm).

I encourage all readers to visit the site, if they can, and read Sherwood's detailed history. You will learn about the filling and grading of the ravine to this side of Madison Street to create the athletic field evident in the "now" photograph. You will also discover much else, including the location of the 350,000 cobblestones taken from Madison Street and buried in the park. However, you will learn nothing about bricks.

Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and has published several books on early Seattle.

  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
 MAGAZINE SEARCH
Today Archive

Advanced search

 
advertising

seattletimes.com home
Home delivery | Contact us | Search archive | Site map | Low-graphic
NWclassifieds | NWsource | Advertising info | The Seattle Times Company

Copyright

Back to topBack to top