Then & Now: Market Street in 1953

The Seattle Municipal Archives Photograph Collection is a time machine of sorts, providing Seattleites with the ability to look back in time at their city, neighborhood, and block.  I browse the archives for fun, looking at old photos, maps, and other city documents that are available online, that is how I came across the photos for this post.  I had seen them several times, but never investigated further because the description provided by the city was limited to the following:


That was it.  No address or other indication of location was provided.  Armed with the plat name, I went to work locating the approximate address of the photos you’ll see below.  I was surprised to find that these photos were of homes on Market Street, between 6th & 7th Ave NW.  When you think of Market, you don’t think “residential street”, you think noise, big trucks, and traffic!  These photos paint a different picture of Market and it looks rather quiet.

Kroll Map 2

Kroll Map of 1920.  Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives Map Index, #1868.

The photos were part of a petition to the city, by Belanger and Belanger, asking that two parcels located in Block 2 of Ballard’s Addition to Gilman Park be rezoned. The request is dated January 26, 1953, which was four years after the Ballard – UW Extension, also known as the Ballard Spur, was created in 1949.

Ballard’s Addition to Gilman Park is a plat name provided by a long forgotten frontier developer, and block 2, which was reference by the city, is circled in red on the Kroll Map. This plat is made up of 10 blocks in the heart of the West Woodland Neighborhood, bordered by Market Street to the north, NW 50th Street to the south, and between 8th Ave NW & 3rd Ave NW.

The city denied the Belanger’s request for a rezone that year.  I wasn’t able to find what zoning the Belanger’s were requesting, or why their request was denied.  More to hunt down later.  Enjoy the Market Street views circa 1953.

6th and market - then

Looking south west on Market Street.  The street sign on the left side shows 6th Ave NW.  Photo courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 168422.

6th and market - SW

Then – January 26, 1953 & Now – March 9, 2016

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Looking south on 7th Ave NW towards Market Street.  Photo courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 168424.

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Then & Now

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Looking south east near 7th Ave NW & Market Street in 1953.  Photo courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 168423.

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Then & Now

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Looking south west near 7th Ave NW & Market Street in 1953.  Photo courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 168421.

6th and market - SW 2

Then & Now

About Plat Names:

Plats in Seattle have unique names provided by the land owner.  So while you may live on the west side of Phinney, your plat name may be something Ballard related.  Most plat names in our area were assigned during the land grab between the City of Ballard & City of Seattle, and owners may have chosen names to show where their allegiance lie.

In 1895, one frontier neighbor even went so far as to deed the City of Ballard a huge chunk on land on the west side of Phinney Hill.  This parcel later became Greenwood Park, see Baist Map of 1905 below. Today, there’s just a sliver of this park remaining – Greenwood Triangle Park.

A plat is a section of surveyed land that the owner has created a plan for, including lot sizes and identifying where they believe streets will be.  A plat document is used for construction purposes, filing for permits with the city, and showing to prospective buyers. The document shows how the area will be developed for personal use or lots sold for home building, but it does not mean that the area is already developed with basic infrastructure like roads. Sometimes items shown on plat documents are for future planning purposes and they currently only exist on paper.  Something to consider when looking at old documents.

You may find that you live in a plat called “Steel Works Addition” or “Salmon Bay City”, both on the west side of Phinney Hill.  Remember those are not neighborhood names, they are simply names assigned to a specific chunk of land by the property owner.  You can learn about Seattle’s current plat process available HERE.

Baist map 1905

One Final Shot of Market Street:

This photo was taken 2 years after the photos above, in 1955, and was part of the file created to document the completion of the Market Street Widening project.  Look closely at the right hand side of this photo, you can see the mid-century house that was once on the lot Belanger wanted to rezone.  There are several other data points you can compare & connect with the photos above.  I won’t point them all out – enjoy the hunt!

Market and 8th - Aug 1955

Looking east from 8th Ave NW & Market Street, 1955.  Photo courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 52744.

Then and Now - Market and 8th

Then & Now

West Woodland Goes Hollywood!

Updated April 11, 2018

Seattle has been a backdrop for some of Hollywood’s biggest films. Amazing views and diverse scenery make for a breathtaking cinematic experience.  Check out these movies and TV shows filmed, in part, in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood.


Twice in a Lifetime:  Filmed at 311 NW 51st Street

There have been several movies and TV shows filmed in and around the West Woodland Neighborhood, including Twice in a Lifetime staring Gene Hackman and Ann-Margret. The video clip available HERE shows the home at 311 NW 51st and great views of the surrounding area.  Current view of the home is available HERE.

If you decide to watch the movie, you will be treated to glimpses of Seattle in the 1980’s, including the Kingdome, Mike’s Chili Parlor, and the original Dubliner in Fremont. The good ol’ daze.

Video clip:

More about this movie:

Below: 311 NW 51st Street, courtesy Puget Sound Archives. Approximate date, 1937.  

Movie House - 311 NW 51st Street

Huhumpdaympday:  Filmed at 612 NW 50th Street

Our next movie Humpday is about two guys who take their bromance to the next level, and was partially filmed at 612 NW 50th Street. The movie is rate R, so you all have been warned. If you do decide to watch you will catch glimpses of Ballard, Edith Macefield’s house (1438 NW 46th Street), and Woodland Park.

Video clip:

More about this movie:

Blood, Whiskey, and Silver:  Filmed at 418 Public House

An Indie film you may not have heard about, Blood, Whiskey, and Silver was filmed at the 418 Public House. The film was created in 2013 as part of the Guerrilla Film Challenge, and at 6 minutes in length you will want to watch it a couple times. Enjoy!

Video available here:

Below: 418 NW 65th Street. Approximate date, 2014.  

418 NW 65th Street - 2014

evilEvil-In-Law:  Filmed at 6245 5th Ave NW

West Woodland has shown up on the small screen as well. Evil-In-Law filmed two episodes at 6245 5th Ave NW. Both of these episodes aired in December 2013 and show the interior of the home.

I happen to be walking by when they were filming and met the Producer and set personnel. The film crew worked for Screaming Flea Productions, a production company based in Seattle. The Producer shared that they are always looking for new homes to film at, if interested please visit: for more information.

More about this show:

Did I miss your favorite movie or TV show filmed in the neighborhood?

Comment below or email

Then & Now: NE corner of 5th Ave NW & NW 62nd Street

The summer of 2014 will be remembered because of beautiful blue skies and extreme temperatures. On one of those sultry summer days, I was busy in the attic space at Grace Fellowship Church (now Calvary Ballard Church), digging through dusty files, old hymnals, and boxes full of Christmas decor. I had contacted Steve Nelson, the Minister of Grace Fellowship, just a week prior asking if he could share a bit about the churches history. Steve was kind enough to visit with me in his office and allowed me access to the building, to photograph and dig up any juicy bits of history that might be hidden away.

The NE corner of 5th Ave NW and NW 62nd wasn’t always a parking lot. In the 1940s it was once home to the Northwest Church of Christ. The church sold the building to the Southern Baptist Church on July 20,1952 for $9,500 and the name was changed to the Woodland Baptist Church.

woodland baptist church

Photo courtesy Dr. Taffey Hall, Archivist for the Southern Baptist Church Historical Library & Archives.  Date unknown.

Then & Now - NE corner of 5th and 62nd

Then & Now:  Woodland Baptist Church

By the 1960s, the congregation had grown to over 300 members and more space was needed. The new church, which sits at 410 NW 62nd, was built in 1968 one parcel to the east of the original building. The original church was torn down in 1968 and the lot has been used for parking since that time. In 1999, the congregation voted to change the name of their church from Woodland Baptist Church to Grace Fellowship in order to better reflect their mission in the community.

In the “Then” photo below you see the home that once occupied the lot where Grace Fellowship is located. Behind the home was an accessory structure that had been converted into an apartment and rented as a “1/2” address.

Then & Now - 410 NW 62nd St

Black & white photo dated 1937, courtesy Puget Sound Archives.

Steve shared with me that the congregation built the current church with their own hands and used their own money. They broke ground before their plans had been finalized and raised needed funds through special church collections, loans, and selling at least one church van. The interior of the church was never completely finished. Spaces that would not be used on a regular basis are still “mud and taped”, no paint on the walls.woodland baptist church - demolitionThe church also owns a parsonage, where Steve and his family live.  Located right around the corner at 6208 5th Ave NW, the home was originally a duplex built in 1944.  Steve’s family pet is one very talkative bird, which you will often hear while walking by.

6208 - 10 5th Ave NW

Church parsonage.  Photo courtesy Puget Sound Archives, dated 1945.

Authors Note:  This post was originally written in September 2014.  Pastor Steve Nelson of Grace Fellowship Church passed away in October 2015.  Steve moved to Seattle, WA in 1969, and became a parishioner at Woodland Baptist Church.  In 1986, he became the worship leader, and in 2001 he became the pastor of the church where he served until his death.  Additional photos and information about Steve available HERE.

steve nelson

Pastor Steve Nelson


Then & Now: 8th Ave NW & NW 58th Street

The black & white photo, courtesy Anna Jensen Kvam, was taken between 1903 & 1934 and appears in the book, Passport to Ballard, and is from the photo collection of Paul Dorpat.

The photo is undated, but we are able to assign an approximate date based on two factors. In 1903 the “Cow Ordinance” went into effect making it illegal for cows to roam freely. Then in 1934, our neighborhood became a construction zone when the city started grading and paving the dirt roads.  Since the cow is leashed and the road is dirt, we have an approximate date.


8th and 58th - 2

Then & Now:  Looking north from the corner of 8th Ave NW & NW 58th Street

The location is approximate because there were too few data points for me to confirm the exact location. The first aerial photos of our neighborhood were taken in 1936, and by this date 8th Ave NW had been graded, widen and paved. One home in the original photo is still standing at 5816 8th Ave NW. Today the home is almost completely covered by trees and shrubs and barely visible in the photos.

then and now -1

The photo is of Jesse Jensen, who once lived at 330 NW 51st Street. Jesse was Anna Jensen Kvam’s father.  A 1967 Seattle Times article (see: JENSEN, K – April 9, 1967 – Seattle Times), describes Jesse as a “dairy farmer” and also as owning a “plastering business”.

If you believe you have additional information to help confirm this photos location, date or subjects, let me know. I would love to see how close I came to the exact information!

Thank you to my husband and sweet baby boy for humoring me on Sunday morning and walking up and down 8th Ave NW in order to figure out the approximate location.

Then & Now: NE corner of 6th Ave NW & NW 62nd

Updated: 03/22/2018

In the early 1900s, if you lived in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood and needed a bicycle, you would visit George Carlin’s Cycle and Mower Shop and rent one.  Bicycles were still considered a luxury for many families at the turn of the century and Carlin’s made it possible for children to experience the joy of flying down Phinney Hill, without the heavy price tag of ownership.  Carlin’s rates were five cents per hour, or twenty-five cents for all day use.

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George Carlin’s Cycle & Mower Shop – 1937

After Carlin’s closed in 1939, Mary Archibald, who lived at 6202 6th Ave NW, opened a women’s wear shop in the vacant space.  Archibald’s original shop was in downtown Seattle, suite 202 of the Republic Building, located at 1511 3rd Ave.

One long time neighbor, Vern Vellat, lived near her shop in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood and said that Mary Archibald was a much sought after dressmaker.  While local ladies didn’t have the resources to schedule time with Archibald, Vellat shared stories of Seattle’s elite arriving at her shop in chauffeured cars to have a dress altered or a new frock made.

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Mary Archibald’s Home – 1937

About 1957, she sold both the shop and her home, which were replaced a year later by an eight unit apartment building, which is still present at the address.

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8 Unit Apartment Building at 6200 6th Ave NW – 1958

Approximate current view below and available HERE courtesy Google Street View.

Ballard West Woodland 6th Ave NW and NW 62nd Street - 2014

Then & Now: 418 NW 65th Street

Constructed in 1925, this building’s first tenants included the Minni Belle Fountain Lunch restaurant at 418 NW 65th Street and West Woodland Hardware at 416 NW 65th Street. Just east of the building, at 412 NW 65th Street, White Rock Service Station was providing automobile services for vehicles in the neighborhood.

Business was booming on NW 65th Street in the 1920s as the West Woodland District continued to grow. Minni Belle’s closed about 1936, and West Woodland Hardware took over the coveted corner retail space where they would operate until moving to 501 NW 65th Street in 1944.

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West Woodland Hardware, 1937


The New Woodland District Hall:

In 1937, the West Woodland District moved it’s district hall into the space previously occupied by West Woodland Hardware at 416 NW 65th Street. The original Woodland Hall, which is still standing at 419 NW 60th Street, became a grocery store for the growing neighborhood.

At the new location, several community groups were able to conduct business on behalf of the West Woodland Neighborhood.  One of these groups was the West Woodland Commercial Club (WWCC), a grassroots organization that had previously been meeting in homes and public spaces.  The WWCC organized Klondike Days, a two-day neighborhood celebration that included a parade, games of chance, music and dancing. The club also acted on behalf of the business district and neighborhood petitioning the City of Seattle for funds to improve roadways and other public services.

Another group that moved into the new West Woodland Hall was a social movement called Technocracy. The “technocrats” proposed replacing politicians and business people with scientist and engineers who had the technical expertise to manage the economy. This group grew in popularity during the 1930s, and all but disappeared after the start of WWII.

418 nw 65th - PS archives_Page_1

Marcella’s tavern cafe, 1944


Recent Changes:

In 1944, the building was again full of food and laughter when Marcella’s Tavern Café opened its doors. For the next 60+ years the location changed names many times; Ben’s Tavern opened in the late 1940s, Dan’s Tavern in the 1950s,  and Hagar’s Tavern in the 1980s.   Most neighbors remember Hagar’s because of the risque mural that once covered the west facing exterior wall of the building.  More recently, this building has been home to the Reading Gaol and 418 Public House.

The White Rock Service Station has been closed for many years, but you can still see the cement footprint of the station building in the NE corner of the lot.

There have been few changes made to the exterior facade of this building. The southeast corner has been modified so there is no longer an entrance and retail windows at that address. Several doors and windows have been modified on the north side of the building as well. Still present, the diamond roof-line embellishments and exaggerated external columns.

The property was put on the market Summer 2014 and sold Spring 2016.  For additional sales information click HERE.

418 two - Now

418 Public House, 2014

The black & white photos, courtesy the Puget Sound Archives, show the NE corner of 5th Ave NW and NW 65th in 1937 and 1944.

New York Library Makes Thousands of Photos Available Online

This week the New York Public Library released thousands of its public-domain items — including maps, posters, manuscripts, sheet music, drawings, photographs, letters, ancient texts — as high-resolution downloads, available to the public without restriction.

The general public, including those of us who live in Seattle, can now access thousands of amazing high-resolution photos for free. Previously users would have to make a request and pay a processing fee.

I did a quick “public domain only” search, using Seattle as my search term, and 32 results appeared, including this amazing lithograph of early Seattle by Henry Wellge, dated 1884.

seattle 1884

This is a great resource for researchers, or a great way for the rest of us to kill an hour or two.  To access materials click HERE.

Little Jimmy & the Gilman Shelter House Chimney

One of my favorite West Woodland Neighborhood stories took place in January 1953 at a snow covered Gilman Playground.  The boy’s name was Jimmy Wright and his adventure made the front page of the Seattle Times.

Little Jimmy was enjoying a day at the park, playing in the snow with his school chums, when he decided to climb to the top of the Gilman Playground shelter house.  Side note, the Gilman Playground shelter house is listed by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods on their Historical Site Database.  For more Gilman Playground history click HERE.  

Once on top, Jimmy showed his friends that he could indeed fit in the chimney opening…. and swoosh!  Just like Santa Claus, Jimmy slid down the chimney into the room below.   Unfortunately for Jimmy, the shelter house was locked from the outside and the only person with a key was park superintendent Ben Evans.

After finally being released, he ran to his step-father, soot faced tears streaming down his cheeks, and proclaimed, “Never again!”  One trip down the chimney was enough for Jimmy.

Article below courtesy the Seattle Times Archive.

jimmy wright.jpg

Then & Now: Looking west from NW 55th Street onto Market

The black & white photo was taken on March 1, 1956 and comes to us courtesy the Seattle Municipal Archives Photograph Collection, Item No: 53109.

The “Then” photo was taken at the corner of NW 55th Street and NW 55th Place (west tip of Greenwood Triangle Park) to record the completion of the Market Street widening project. The photo shows Eagle Service Station at the corner of 6th & Market and directly across the street an IGA Grocery Store, which today is home to Brimmer & Healtap Restaurant. To the north of these businesses, you can see the Curly Cone ice-cream stand which once stood on the parcel now occupied by Veraci Pizza.

This old grocery store’s facade is elegant and includes a corner entry topped with a gabled parapet and cast stone ornamentation. It is clad in yellowish tan brick, with decorative brickwork that extends around the exterior of the building. The original display windows with intact transoms flank the entry and the wood-and-glass door is original. As a result, the building is included in the Seattle Historical Site Inventory. For additional information about the building, please visit:

Market and 52 BH Then and Now - Market and 55th short

Then & Now: Looking East at the corner of 8th Ave NW and Market Street

The black & white photo, courtesy the Seattle Municipal Archives, shows the intersection of 8th Ave NW and Market Street in August 1955.

The “Then” photo was taken to record the completion of the Market Street widening project. The project expanded Market Street and connected it to North 46th Street. On the right side of the photo you can see Moss Grocery and the homes that once lined the south-side of the intersection.

In the “Now” photo, Shell Service Station sits on the parcel once home to Moss Grocery and Ballard Mandarin Restaurant is on the left side. This same restaurant was once home to Inn Binn Restaurant, a wonderful family owned eatery that served amazing pot-stickers.

Market and 8th - Aug 1955 Then and Now - Market and 8th