GSGH #12 solution

I thought that Gargoyle #12 might keep even Issy occupied for a while since its location is a little bit off the beaten path of my usual wanderings, but she pegged it as the Eagles Auditorium on the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and Union Street. Here’s a wider shot of the eagle that posed for our original hunt post:

The west entrance to what is now called Kreielsheimer Place, just one of its many names.

This is another building I have zilcho history with, and in fact I only noticed the decorative eagle on it for the first time when I was out one day shooting city fountains for our Aqua Urbana tour. That doesn’t mean the building doesn’t have any history, and in fact it has been “as busy as Issy” since its completion in 1926, if you’ll allow the minting of a new phrase.

The old Eagles Auditorium has housed A Contemporary Theater since 1995.

The building now is called Kreielsheimer Place and houses ACT Theater (sic), which, because people have always insisted on appending the word “theater” to its acronym, has given in to common usage and must now pretend that its acronym does not mean anything, or at least that it does not already include the word ‘theater’ — an untenable turn of events for the dwindling race of strict grammarians, equivalent to a normal person’s zombie apocalypse.

The hall in earlier days, around 1926. This is the southwest corner of the building, or the northeast corner of Seventh and Union. Image property of Museum of History and Industry.

But where were we? Oh yes, we were about to go back in time. But I’ll let the National Park Service repeat what’s on their “Seattle: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary” web page, since it’s so evocatively told:

On February 6, 1898, a group of theater managers met to discuss some business matters. The men decided to take a walk along the tide flats, and upon reaching the shipyards, settled upon some pilings, where the conversation took a philosophical turn. Combining their ideas on democracy and brotherhood, it was decided that an organization should be formed to reflect this spirit, an organization called the “Seattle Order of Good Things.” Later renamed the “Fraternal Order of Eagles,” the society’s constitution asked its members to “make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness, and hope.”

I don’t know anything about the Eagles, except that I met and danced with my wife at a folk dance in a hall that they built in Ballard, so for that reason alone they’re okay in my book. I find the above vignette actually very moving and while I know that some of these fraternal organizations surround themselves in great secrecy and wear funny hats and develop secret handshakes and assume austere titles for themselves, I think if they’re also achieving in any measure the goals they set for themselves in their original constitution then they’ve done well.

Eight hundred members of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) raise their hands in a yea vote to continue a strike in 1937. For the naysayer behind his hat in the front row, his vote is something he'd rather not have his neighbors find out about in the morning paper, a reminder that extraordinary courage used to be required of ordinary people at regular intervals. Image property of Museum of History and Industry.

The building was, I think, a hotel at some point called the Senator, although I have no more information than that and don’t know when that might have been. In the 1950s it passed into the hands of the Unity Church of Truth, which did its thing there until 1960, and from the mid-’60s until 1970 it hosted many musical acts, including Leon Russell, the Grateful Dead, John Mayall and Jethro Tull.

Here’s a shot of the avian decoration above the south-facing entrance on Union. Thanks again for playing, Issy. Every time you (or anyone else) win one of these hunts, I learn something about my town I didn’t know before.

This Eagle is slightly smaller and its wings are stretched out to its sides rather than upward.


3 Responses to “GSGH #12 solution”

  1. 1 kiwidutch April 11, 2012 at 08:32

    I’m not taking part in the hunting because I wouldn’t know where to start in an entire city …
    but you know I adore historical stuff like this so I’m really enjoying reading up about the history and events that took place in these beautiful places.
    Liked the Indian in the last hunt, like these eagles even more… stunning!

  2. 2 Matt April 11, 2012 at 08:55

    Hi KD,
    Glad you’re enjoying these. I think most of the people reading this blog now are way-out-of-towners. I keep posting the gargoyle hunts because I took so many photos and it seems interesting to me and because I don’t have the time or energy lately to write the essays, which I enjoy doing more but require focus that I don’t have right now. I hope your foot is all healed.

    • 3 kiwidutch April 11, 2012 at 11:08

      Still plodding on the foot front, some of the bones are better back into place than others, so I’ve still got some crookedness but it’s better than before.
      The damage turns out to be greater than Drs first thought, so it’s taking longer to fix than we first thought it would …and my asthma steroid meds have made the bones thin so that’s not helping.
      I can shuffle stick-free (sideways LOL) in the house for limited periods and can walk with one crutch short distances but otherwise it’s still two crutches for longer stints and no driving etc yet. Stairs continue to be a challenge (and I have two flights at home) Yes it’s frustrating… but there is no alternative but to do all the exercises and hope it goes quicker than they predict.
      I’m working 32 hours and have intensive physio … understand about the time and energy.. family is all consuming some days as you will well know 🙂

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The Great Seattle Gargoyle Hunt


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