Rummaging through Flickr

It is so incredible to be alive during a time when you can run across such interesting information, information that would have simply been unattainable just a few years ago.

While preparing the previous post, I happened to run across this, which shows a drawing of an onramp to the Alaskan Way Viaduct:

senaca onramp alaskan way viaduct by Seattle Municipal Archives

Wow, my old office building is on the left and my office is on the third floor, actually the last window shown on the left. This photo led to this one, which is a real picture from 1959:

senac street seattle by Seattle Municipal Archives

My office building is on the left. If you follow the street back, in the distance you see a wall. The top of the wall is First Street. It represents the regrade that took place after the Great Fire in Seattle in 1889. The fire destroyed the central part of the town. In rebuilding the city decided to raise the street level by several stories, providing better protection from Puget Sound, making it easier for the toilets to flush by gravity and also providing the beginnings of the wonderful Seattle Underground.

But there is still a large discontinuity at Seneca Street and a large staircase still exists for people to move up to the grade at First.

The wall also helps demarcate the position of land fill that can liquify during an earthquake – everything from the wall forward.

To see what the same perspective looks like today, we can thank  Rob Ketcherside who posted this photo:

seneca street seattle by Rob Ketcherside

The meat store is gone. The building is mostly offices now. The old building on the right is a parking lot and most everything else are condos.

Flickr can sure provide a nice history lesson.