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No Finer Site

VIII. The University District

CAUGHT ON THE CAR

"Your trolley's off." "Isn't there even a strap left?" "Let the boys enjoy themselves." "How many are there on the roof?" "Watch me make a rush for centre." "Well, I guess it's a case of stand up." "Extra fare for riding on the trolley-rope." "This street car system is all right--I don't think." "Have your worn your bloomers, yet? Yes, you bet." "I'm going to marry a foreigner, a nobleman, too." "I never felt so good as when I had my bloomers on." "Excuse me, did I have my foot in your lunch basket?" "Prof. Taylor should take a course in street car signaling." "This is my twenty-fifth ride and the first time I've had a seat." "A ride in one of these cars is worse than a day's work in the gym." "It's funny how long some people can talk who haven't got a word to say." "When there are no boys on the car to give up their seats, the girls like to stand."

-- Pacific Wave, 1895


This Asahel Curtis view of the University District is from about 1905. The University campus is in the trees at the back. (Curtis 3190)

The University District

What is now known as the University District was largely undeveloped when it and an area extending to Magnolia were annexed by Seattle in 1891. The year before the Brooklyn Addition to the west of what is now the University campus had been platted. It and the future site of the University campus were crossed by the Seattle, Lakeshore and Eastern Railway in 1888. The latter had been incorporated in 1885 by Judge Thomas Burke, Daniel Hunt Gilman, and others to build a railroad from Seattle to Sumas, where it would connect with the Canadian Pacific Railway. One railway stop was in the University District.


The Seattle, Lakeshore and Eastern Railway (UW 5479)


University Station (UW 15121)

The University Line Streetcar

David Denny extended streetcar service to Brooklyn when he built the Latona Bridge over Lake Union. The tracks to Brooklyn were completed about 1892. The line was then extended to Ravenna Park. It was reorganized as the Third Street and Suburban Railway in February 1895. Leslie Blanchard in The Street Railway Era in Seattle says, "Most of the area through the northern part of this system's route was inhabited only by squirrels and gophers." With the move of the University to the new campus, most students were faced with a five-mile streetcar commute from downtown Seattle. An editorial on the "Streetcar Question" in the October 1895 "Pacific" issue of the Pacific Wave complained about high fares and the need for extra cars: "When 85 people are crowded into a single car, as to our knowledge has been the case on the Third Street line, something unpleasant is very apt to occur." The line was later called the University Line and it and other streetcar lines were consolidated in 1900 as the Seattle Electric Company, owned by the firm of Stone and Webster.

UNIVERSITY LINE

Cars start from Third Avenue and Yesler Way.
Leaving at 6:10 A. M. and every 15 minutes thereafter until 9:40 A. M.--leaving at 10, 25, 40 and 55 minutes after the hour; also between 1:55 P. M. and 6:40 P. M. Between 9:40 A. M. and 1:55 P. M., and between 6:40 P. M. and 12:00 M., cars leave every 20 minutes, on the hour, and 20 and 40 minutes after the hour.
Late cars leave at 12:30 and 1:00 A. M.

P E K I N !

While passing, and come in while waiting for the car.

Long Branch Wafers.....................................................15c
Graham Wafers..........................................................15c
Butter Wafers, 2 for...................................................25c
Salmon Steaks..........................................................20c
Veal Loaf..............................................................15c
Deviled Ham............................................................10c
Select Sardines...................................................10 & 15c
Long's Jams............................................................25c
Long's Preserves.......................................................35c

Wouldn't that dribble you?

The Little Store on the Corner
UNIVERSITY STATION

-- Pacific Wave, January 24, 1902

Platting of the University District

The Brooklyn Addition was platted in 1890. With the move of the University to the new campus, the University District grew rapidly. Between 1895 and 1909, ten subdivisions were platted in the vicinity of the University.


The above photograph is of 10th Avenue NE, looking south.

"UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS"

"An item of interest at the present time is the development of our University Community. The Moore Investment Company, at 114 Columbia street, is preparing to open up the tract of land bordering on the campus just above the University car station to be known as "University Heights." The new addition will be furnished with water and everything to make it a desirable residence district. Among those who expect to locate in University Heights are Pres. Graves, Prof. Reeves and Prof. Landes. In addition to selling the lots, the company will have houses built on them for those who so desire. The WAVE wishes them success in the undertaking, for one thing we need is a larger University Community."

-- Pacific Wave, May 17, 1899

Views of The University District


The "Big Tree" in Ravenna Park had a circumference of 44 feet. In 1908 it was named for Teddy Roosevelt. Ravenna Park was purchased by the city from W. W. Beck in 1911.


The College Inn was built by Charles Cowen to provide accommodations for those attending the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. It opened on June 1, 1909, the first day of the AYP. (Cowen donated Cowen Park to the city in 1906.) (UW 4619)


Excavating the Montlake Cut, 1913 (UW 2381)

The Montlake Cut

As early as 1853 a canal to connect Lake Washington with Puget Sound was suggested. In subsequent years various routes were recommended, including one across Beacon Hill. In 1883 a small canal was constructed near the current Montlake cut in order to float logs from Lake Washington into Lake Union. The Montlake cut was made about 500 yards north of this canal. Excavation work started in September 1909. The coffer dam at the Lake Union end of the cut was breached in December 1913. The Lake Washington Ship Canal was dedicated on July 4, 1917.


"Letting Lake Union Into the Lake Washington Canal, December, 1913 (UW 2382)


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Last modified: Tuesday November 25, 2008