Seattle’s Belltown
October 15th, 2009 by admin


book coverI’ve gone and done up a second Seattle photo history book. This one takes a sharp-focused look at one of the city’s most photogenic, most historical corners and its vicinity.When most of Seattle’s original founders settled at today’s Pioneer Square, William Bell set up his own neighborhood a couple of miles up the waterfront.

“Bell’s Town” grew in the early 20th century, when Seattle leveled the adjacent Denny Hill, and the newly flat regrade became a low-rent district of bars, hotels, and industry.

In recent decades, Belltown has become one of the nation’s fastest growing urban neighborhoods with upscale condominium towers and fashionable restaurants.

This new volume chronicles-in more than 200 images-the colorful history of this diverse and constantly changing area. Readers will enjoy early glimpses of such landmarks as the Seafair Torchlight Parade, the Seattle Center Monorail, the legendary Dog House, and the Edgewater Inn.

Here are some of the book’s many, many subjects:

early belltownPIONEER BELLTOWN

  • William and Austin (“Brain Fever”) Bell
  • The Austin A. Bell Building and Bell Hotel
  • The original Belltown settlement
  • Princess Angeline
  • The original Bon Marche store
  • Native American encampments
  • Waterfront shantytown

denny hill regradedDENNY HILL AND THE REGRADE

  • The Denny family
  • Denny/Washington Hotel
  • The neighborhood that was
  • The first and second regrades
  • Regrade “spite mounds” and holdout houses
  • R.H. Thompson, father of the regrade
  • New Washington Hotel (Josephinium)
  • Moore Theater/Hotel
  • Benjamin Franklin Hotel
  • Orpheum THeater
  • Railroad Avenue
  • Waterfront landfill
  • Denny Park
  • Denny School
  • Fire Station #2
  • Standard Furniture Company
  • Horse stables
  • Crystal Pool
  • Western Avenue Armory
  • Chief Seattle statue
  • Film Row distribution offices
  • Rendezvous restaurant/Jewel Box Theater
  • St. Regis Hotel/Gibson House bar
  • Trianon ballroom
  • Virgil Bogue’s Civic Center plan
  • Golden Potlatch Parade
  • The third regrade


  • The Dog House
  • Igloo restaurant
  • 5 Point restaurant/bar
  • Carnival Drive-In
  • Labor Temple
  • Teamsters office
  • Commodore and Calhoun hotels
  • Security Public Market
  • Fleming Apartments
  • Two Bells Tavern
  • Union Oil depot
  • Gas stations and tire stores
  • Alaskan Way
  • Wartime housing
  • Otis Elevator’s one-story office

paint commercial at komo-tv studiosTHE POSTWAR ERA

  • P-I building and neon globe
  • KOMO Radio-TV
  • American Can plant
  • Alaskan Way Viaduct
  • The First Avenue sleaze district
  • Bell Town Furniture
  • Trader Vic’s
  • Ozark Hotel fire
  • Westlake Chevrolet
  • Elephant Car Wash
  • Skyway Luggage
  • Cinerama, King, and UA theaters
  • Grosvenor House apartments

edgewater innFROM ‘CENTURY 21’ TO CENTURY 21

  • Monorail construction
  • Space Needle construction
  • Princess Margeurite boat to VIctoria
  • Edgewater Inn
  • Pier 70
  • Old Spaghetti Factory
  • Rosellini’s Four-10 restaurant
  • Crawford-Waage Hardware
  • KIRO-TV and J.P. Patches
  • Pacific Galleries and Bushell’s Auction House
  • Firelite Lounge topless bar
  • Federal Army & Navy Surplus
  • Washington Plaza (Westin) Hotel

tugs disco ad with divineRISING AGAIN

  • Virginia Inn
  • Frontier Room
  • Wrex/The Vogue
  • Tugs Belltown
  • Cyclops/”Jell-O Mold Building”
  • Jazz Alley
  • Tula’s
  • Crocodile Cafe
  • Sit & Spin
  • Galleria Potatohead
  • Annex Theater
  • Vera Project
  • Speakeasy Cafe
  • 211 Club billiard hall
  • Mama’s Mexican Kitchen
  • Lava Lounge
  • Shorty’s Coney Island
  • Teatro ZinZanni
  • 66 Bell art studios
  • Belltown Underground/Ola Wyola Boutique
  • Sub Pop Records
  • Darbury Stenderu boutique
  • Waterfront Trolley
  • Myrtle Edwards Park/Fourth of Jul-Ivar’s
  • Apex Belltown Cooperative

luxury apt ads, 1992BELLTOWN TODAY

  • Martin Selig’s office towers
  • First condo and luxury-apartment towers
  • Tom Douglas restaurants
  • Real Networks
  • Art Institute of Seattle
  • Antioch University of Seattle
  • Cornish College of the Arts
  • First Avenue nightclubs
  • Yuki’s Diffusion salon and Apolo Anton Ohno
  • Black Dog Forge
  • Dead Baby Bike Club
  • Belltown P-Patch and cottages
  • Odyssey Maritime Museum
  • Seafair parades
  • Gay Pride parade
  • Millionair Club
  • CASA Latina
  • Jewish Federation shooting
  • Roq La Rue gallery
  • Olympic Sculpture Park

The 128-page (6″ x 9″) paperback has 207 large monochrome pix, meticulously captioned.Get Seattle’s Belltown today direct from the publisher, Arcadia Publishing. It’s also available thru Amazon.

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