Children’s Orthopedic Hospital – 100 Crockett St

Anna Herr Clise

Anna Herr Clise (1866-1936) had became painfully aware of the inadequacy of facilities for treating children when her 5-year-old son, Willis, died of inflammatory rheumatism in 1898. No physician or hospital in Seattle specialized in pediatric care at the time.

On January 4, 1907, Anna and 23 affluent Seattle women friends came together to found the Children’s Orthopedic Hospital Association. They did so to address a health care crisis – namely the lack of a facility to treat crippled and malnourished children. Each of the women contributed $20 to launch the hospital.

In October 1907, the Board of Trustees adopted a policy to accept any child regardless of race, religion, or the parents’ ability to pay.

The hospital started out in a wing of the Seattle General Hospital where 13 tubercular children received care.

Children's, Fresh Air Cottage, 1910
Children’s Cottage, 1910

Because more and more children were being received, it was necessary to seek their own facility. In a short time a lot, [on Crockett Street near Warren Avenue North] atop Queen Anne Hill, was purchased for $5,500. It was felt that the air was cleaner in this top of the town location and fresh clear air was vital to the tubercular children. From this came the name “Fresh Air Cottage.” The cottage had 12 beds and cost $2,218 to build.

In 1911, a 40-bed facility opened on an adjacent site. In 1953 the hospital moved to the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle.

From “Fresh air cottage was start of Orthopedic Hospital on Queen Anne Hill in 1908”, in Queen Anne News, February 11, 1970, page 35:

“[W]omen throughout the city had rallied to the support of this struggling little institution, and there were 13 Orthopedic Guilds concerning themselves with the continuation of the vitally needed medical care for children. [The oldest on-going fundraiser is the Penny Drive started in 1932 during the Depression.]”

“In 1910, the cornerstone was laid for a 50-bed hospital [at First Avenue North and Boston], the nucleus of the building which housed the hospital until 1953. Bit by bit, additions were made: a laundry, X-ray room, brace shop, and so on. In 1919, a fourth floor was added and by 1928, an entire new wing.”

Today the building is known as Queen Anne Manor Senior Living.

Additional Reading

Housing Nurses and Nuns

Children’s, 1949
Children’s Hospital, 1949

It is hard to believe that comparing two Queen Anne buildings constructed to house single women would involve European Renaissance history, the impact of the Protestant rebellion on the Catholic Church and the exploitation of women workers in American hospitals. The buildings are the 1924 Frances Skinner Edris Nursing Home at First Ave. N. and Boston St., adjacent to the original Queen Anne site of Childrens’ Orthopedic Hospital; and the exquisite 1930 Saint Anne Convent at First Ave. W. and W. Comstock.

The historic link between the two buildings can be traced to the Reformation in the 16th century and the spread of Protestantism in Europe. Before the advent of Protestantism, all the nurses in European hospitals were nuns in the Catholic Church. Where Protestants became predominant, Catholic institutions including schools, universities and hospitals were shut down or replaced. The priests, monks and nuns were served in them were dispersed. As Sister Joseph of the Sisters of Providence Order who founded the state’s first hospital made clear, unlike 16th c. Central Europe or England, there was a place in the United States for hospitals associated with the Catholic Church. By the 20th c. in the United States, the women working as nurses in Protestant-managed and secular hospitals were not unlike the nuns they had replaced, single and in need of training and housing. …Continue reading “Housing Nurses and Nuns”

Stuart-Balcom House – 619 W Comstock St

Stuart-Balcom House, 1982
Stuart-Balcom House, 1982

Deette McAuslan Smith (1892-1979) built the imposing brick residence on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill in 1926. She was the widow of contractor Grant Smith (d. 1923) who built the Olympic Hotel and the White-Henry-Stuart Building. He died four months after their marriage in 1923. Mrs. Smith grew up on Queen Anne Hill and wanted a home for herself, her mother, her older sister, and for two children whom she planned to adopt (but never did). Her late husband’s firm handled construction.

The English Georgian style brick building was designed by Abraham H. Albertson (1872-1964), who had worked on the White-Henry-Stuart Building and other downtown projects. The home is on three levels and has a large garden on the south side. A large ballroom opens onto the garden level. The home features a library, living room, dining room, a large nursery, four bedrooms, and staff quarters. …Continue reading “Stuart-Balcom House – 619 W Comstock St”