Historic Places, Sites, & Landmarks

Bridges, Boulevards, Streetcars & Views

Businesses & Public Buildings

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The Garfield Exchange: Landmark Sold

Update 2020:  Queen Anne Exchange apartment rentals

Published  10/18/17:  “Concerns over size, scope of Garfield Exchange plans,”
Queen Anne News

Posted Nov.  8, 2016:  The Garfield Exchange, which was designated a city landmark earlier this 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.

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”