It’s the fourth week of the month at Lens and Pen by Sally’s Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge and that means it’s time for Challenger’s Choice. Even though this looks like a creepy basement it’s actually my entry in the street photography category as this was an open air Seattle sidewalk in 1890.
Seattle’s original business owners made the unfortunate decision to build their new town on tide flats around Puget Sound not realizing the streets would flood during every high tide. After the great fire of 1889 fire burned through every structure in the downtown business district city government decided to rebuild the town one story higher lifting everyone out of the flood zone and creating a proper angle for new sewer pipes to drain away from homes and sidewalks. No one wanted to wait several years before rebuilding though so landowners agreed to add entrances to both their first and second floors in order to accommodate the soon to be raised streets. Retaining walls were built along the original roads, fill dirt was washed into these sections and vaults were added over the first sidewalks to support new sidewalks above.
This area is one of those original ground floor sidewalks. The round couch is not period, it was left here after a movie shoot in the 1970’s but I like the dramatic touch of red in this dark space.