Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Living Across from the Pantages

I went back to my old neighborhood the other day for haircut and was reminded how much things have changed since I abandoned the city for the suburbs. Nothing ever stays the same, and I certainly don’t expect things to remain as I remember them. But with every change l observe in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood I feel that much more disconnected from my past. My recent past.

After my haircuit I took a walk and noticed that no less than four large, old houses near my old building on Harvard Avenue had been razed and fashionable new apartment buildings erected in their place.

I also discovered that on the corner across from my old building a magnificent old home characterized by sweeping steps cascading off the covered porch to the sidewalk had been lovingly and meticulously restored. I was pleased to see the grand old home looking so fine, and I stopped for a moment to admire it.

I had walked by that old house hundreds of times and had not a clue of its historical significance. A placard recently placed in front of the home tells us that it is the Pantages House, built in 1907.

Pantages, if you do not recognize the name, was a vaudevillian who built many theaters, many of which are still around today in cities like Minneapolis, Toronto, Kansas City, Tacoma, San Diego and of course the famous Pantages Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of Los Angeles.

So inasmuch as I am saddened to see so many changes in the old neighborhood, I am more than pleased to see such a unique old house saved from disorder and disrepair.

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