The impact of Seattle’s streetcar lines on Queen Anne’s commercial development continues to be part of our daily lives. Even today, following the historic #24 streetcar route — the one that ran up the Counterbalance around a couple of corners and down Sixth to its terminus at W. McGraw — finds us still shopping in historic buildings all along the way. The active stores like Macrina Bakery, Top Pot Doughnuts, or Molly Moon delight us still, but the abandoned ones, like the three at 1828, 1834 and 1900 6th Ave. W. at of W. Howe, draw my eye every day.
All three stores are on the east side of the wider street and were obviously built in response to the 1902 completion of the streetcar line. According to the city’s historic side sewer cards, the shop at 1828 connected to the sewer in 1909 while the one at 1834 on the southeastern corner of W. Howe tied up in 1910. The oldest of the three, at 1900 6th Ave., connected in 1904 barely two years after the streetcar arrived. Oddly, we don’t learn the name of the shop owner until 1907. Unlike the great majority of the brick-clad stores that survive today, these three are two-story wooden structures with at least one apartment over the shops. Fortunately, we have photographs of all three in 1937 and the early 1950s. The 1937 photos were snapped by an under-employed designer working for the Depression-era Works Progress Administration. …Continue reading “Changing times, changing looks: The Wooden Stores at Sixth W. and W. Howe”