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About The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 21, 1889)
REBUILDING OF SEATTLE.
5EATTLE is on record with not only the greatest
conflagration of the year, but one of the great
est that has occurred in the history of the I'nited
States, nnd this country numbers among its ca
tastrophes, the most destructive fires of modern times.
The actual property loss from the great fire that swept
away the business portion of the proud Queen City of
the sound on the sixth day of last June, as computed
bv reliable and conservative commercial agencies,
reaches a total of $8,000,01)0. The historic burning of
San Francisco, in 1851, caused a property Ions various
ly estimated at from ROOO.OOO to $10,000,1X10, and
the big Portland fire in 1S72 cost but $1,X1,0(10.
Spokane Falls's loss of $7,000,000 and Ellenshurgh'a
$2,IXK),IXX) make memorable thiB fateful season in
Three months since the date of the burning of Se
attle have passed, and that enterprising city has as
good shipping facilities as before the calamity. Its
railway tracks and stations and its warehouses and
.locks have been restored. Its one electric and two
cubic car lines disabled by the fire are again in full
operation, and the construction of a third ruble line
tmx Im-imi commenced. In the burned section streets
have been straiehtcned and widened and buildings
are planned and under construction aggregating in
value about $4.(KX).(XX). The total value of brick
buildings destroyed was about fc'""1
the new buildings are already tiecupietl. or is
i.r...yntl in evcrv hour of daylight, and in a mini-
Imt of instances building rocs on nil night by the aid
of electric light. It required a whole month to en
tirely rxtinniiHh the fire so that the work of clearing
I.U'IIV thi debris could urocress in all iK.rtiotis of the
burned district. For three weeks Seattle was under
martial law and a considerable part of her energies
wiiu .l..vnt...l n alleviatinir the immediate suffering en
tailed by the disaster. But while the soil was so hot
tW it t.. moli-d bv running water in the exca
vations where workmen were engaged, in or.br to
make it possible for them to work, walls were com
menced and carried upward with the greatest possible
spml. The piling on the water front, snaked us it
was with salt water, did not bum readily. My i
the piles were only blackened over and it was only
...rmmry to replace the top timbers and planking j-J
restore ortions of the d.sks. This gave a f.tl.-'M
f-.r pushing the work on the rent of the wharves.
Then the warehouses were ui-kly thrown up a;.'
eloml with corrugabnl iron. The railroad bu.M...gs
were erected with equal haste and the track, .ml
yards placed in belter condition for business than -
' fore the fire. Then the great volume of materials I"
rebuilding the burned city began to flow In from neigh
Wing places, and every means for moving freight
has leen taxed to it utmost capacity.
Such an enormous draft on the building supplies
of a new country like the Pacific northwest ha the
elhvt to send up prices. When Norton or New York
or Chicago burned, each had a wcll-dcveoHd country
to fall hack UHn to produce and xur in upon it a
limitless supply or minding materials. tin feawc
the conditions are ditVercut. (ireat as is the amount
of brick, luinlier. stone and iron in this country, the
supply in the immediate vicinity of the city was not
etpial to such a sudden demand, and prices smut
reached a stage that warranted the imortatioii ol
brick from Oregon and even from Southern t alilornia.
from whence many cargo are lieing brought by
water. On the principal building materials there has
been a straight advance of more than fifty per rent.
since the lire, and the limit appears not to have lecn
reached yet. I nder such ditbcultles the progress ft
uttle has made in rebuilding is nothing less than phe
nomenal. On pages forty-eight ami forty-nine is
given a view of a portion of the burned district as It
apears at the present time, showing some ot the
buildings now under construction.
The following buildings are the most iniortanl
ones in the burned district un.ii which work Is now
actually U ing done: Pioneer IniiMing, ny II I..
ler, northeast cornier of James and Front streets, to
cost j.V).l. J. M Coleman's Mock, on Front street,
Istw.n Columbia and Marion, to cit IJ.Vi.uiO. Hex
ter Morton's building, on Cherry street, I twc-n rW
ond and Third, to est jm.lMRi. W. A. llall-y'
block, southwest corner of S.roii.1 and Cherry streets,
to cost f.1Ki,i. The new county curt bouse, for
which $JwilK were appropriate! I'hiuney , Jones's
building and the new Occidental bl.sk will each cost
l.V),liit. John Noyes, (iilmore A Kirkman andTok
las i Sing- riiian are each constructing buildings r.t
ing '..'.,( l, The al-vi- will I"' from f"i"
st..ri.s"in height and ......troded of brick, stni.e and
iron. Scon s of line hri. k buiLliug eoMuK
fliNllMI each arc going up in every rtU of the
hunicl di-tri. t The records of the building lns-t..r
,i. h olli. ial wa. - rented July 17. over a .....nth after
lllt. ,ir.) show that P.H -ruiil' fr the rmtion of
I lii.MM.have l.m graiil.-!. and a g" "r"
;W,m previous to that date, of which there J.
i r.,.,r.l It will I- .d-rv.,1 that lh l.ny hotel,
1 , , , ..,.. i i-s which i in ro.irs- of ii.n.tnic-
,;,, i.,.t.m tt., Ur.U..." U Is outside lb
wri, d..ri.l The lUnier Iclel and two larg
! buildup- i. I "l,"r '" are
' ,l1,Itt.i r ..i ik. -h-i f