Denny Hotel & Regrade Pt. 1

October 20th, 2011 @ 12:29 am by Cliffe | Sorted Photo Exposure |
Ronald Edge
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was kind enough to send along these fantastic shots of the Denny Hotel and Regrade that he procured years ago. Dates and original photographer are unknown.
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Click below for the high res shots.
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Thanks Ronald!
Click Denny Hotel & Regrade. Photo courtesy Ronald Edge.
Click Denny Hotel & Regrade. Photo courtesy Ronald Edge.
Click Denny Hotel & Regrade. Photo courtesy Ronald Edge.

15 Responses to “Denny Hotel & Regrade Pt. 1”

  1. Ryan says:

    I think that guy in the lower left is on his cell phone. ;)

  2. LC3 says:

    I love how these photos highlight the scale of the degrade project. It’s insane to think about how ambitious they were despite the fact they still relied on horses to haul the dirt out! Imagine if our civic leaders had remained this ambitious and ballsy through the years up to current times.

    Thanks for sharing these great photos!

  3. Colin says:

    That could have been Seattle’s own Empress Hotel. Bah humbug!

  4. wafflesnfalafel says:

    I still don’t have a very good feel for how it looked before the hill was removed. It doesn’t seem to me to be a very big space – only 4-5 blocks to fit that huge hill? It must have butted up right next to the southern tip of Lake Union. Has anybody ever seen pics of Denny hill taken from that side? The local leaders must have been awfully gutsy – imagine if today the mayor of say, Redmond said – “we are going to flatten half of Rose Hill so all you people living there are going to have to move, and you businesses are gone too.”

  5. Bruce says:

    And what a waste of classic old buildings and neighborhoods!!! If only…..

  6. Jana says:

    Awesome photos. I never really thought about the magnitude of the horse and cart land removal. Wow. Thanks for posting high res versions so we can enjoy the details there.

  7. Allen says:

    I’ve read about all the reasons for the regrade but I just can’t believe they thought this was a good idea. There seems to be arguments on both sides about the eventual outcome but the whole thing seems so ridiculously ham-fisted. I will admit that when they started they had no way of knowing that the automobile would take the place of the horse and solve the uphill problem. Nor did they know that a depression would set in by the time they finished the project decades later. Even without those things I still think it was a VERY stupid idea.

  8. Andy says:

    before and after:

    I am glad they do it. I am glad lots of people have replaced their horses with cars but some of us still walk and I am glad we have at least one area thats not a treacherous hill

  9. Colin says:

    But now its a treacherous parking lot! Half of the regrade area never got built up because of the depression and it ended up a wasteland and still kind of is.

  10. irishbrave says:

    That hill was what, about 75 feet high (assuming the white horse in the top photo is about 5 feet?) How much real estate value did they unknowingly forfeit, I wonder?

  11. Ben says:

    I don’t have much to weigh in with about the regrade. Its one of those things I grew up hearing mentioned among the older men I was around, but never really had a need to understand. I do find the photographs absolutely fascinating because not only do they remind me of stories of “Mike and Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” but they demonstrate the layering of time as well. The hotel is stunning in craftsmanship, and the presence of a cement curb in the foreground reveal the influence of the automobile and yet, shoring is moved by hand, and earth is carted away by draft horse. What’s that man doing up on the cliff’s edge in the center of each photo?

  12. Jeff says:

    They really are fantastic photos. I suppose the hotel may not have survived even if there hadn’t been a regrade, but it sure was a beautiful building to lose!

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