I’m grateful to Issy, who won the sixth installment of our Great Seattle Gargoyle Hunt, because I’ve learned so much about a building whose reticence was buggin’ me sore. Issy identified these “gargoyles” as being the lions on the building on Second and Spring’s northeast corner, and she even specified that these were the two that glower over the entrance to the alley on Spring between Second and Third. Which is true.
This is a building that I’ve wondered about, since it has neither a visible address nor any name on it. But I raided Paul Dorpat’s Baist Map repository and discovered that it’s the J. A. Baillargeon Building, whence the Bs in the shields on the (non-corner) pier caps. From there I dug a little and found out that after having been built by Mr. Baillargeon in 1908 — and at only four stories — to house his retail store, it has spent most of its life in banking. It was renovated for finance work in 1918 (including a remodeled façade) and given a fifth floor in 1941, and it has been structurally integrated with the bank building next to it since that newcomer was built in 1958.
Here’s a photo of the building in its infancy.
Here’s a more recent shot by Joe Mabel.
As a first-time winner, Issy gets a limerick fashioned in her honor. Here it is. Thanks for playing, Issy!
It’s Issy who answered our question
thanks — oddly — to traffic congestion.
While dodging its hassles
She’d noticed the tassels
That stand for the lions’ digestion.”