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Lost Seattle Hardcover – December 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

For a city that was founded as late as 1851, Seattle has a wealth of history. In less than a century, Seattle went from pioneer settlement to regional metropolis. Having lost almost all of its downtown buildings in the devastating fire of 1889, it took every bit of the city's famous "Seattle Spirit" to rebuild and start again. While many more landmarks have been lost since 1889, this richly illustrated book brings back to life the city's forgotten buildings, structures and neighborhoods to reveal the Seattle that once was.

Lost Seattle features many previously unpublished images of architectural treasures that were lost to the wrecking ball long before the era of historic preservation. As well as the outright losses, like Yesler Mansion, Elks Hall and Kingdome, Lost Seattle also includes sites that have been damaged, significantly altered or repurposed over the years. Among these losses are whole areas that have been transformed (the City of Georgetown, Denny Hill and Japantown), forms of transportation that have become obsolete (interurban railways and cable cars) and buildings that have been totally reconstructed (Carnegie Central Library, Plymouth Church and the Coliseum).

Offering a rare glimpse into the past, Lost Seattle includes the extravagant buildings of the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition and the 1962 World's Fair, elegant hotels (Occidental, Denny and Seattle), grand department stores (MacDougall & Southwick and Frederick & Nelson), as well as the city's once thriving theaters and picture palaces (New Pantages, Orpheum and Fox). Landmarks that have been lost more recently, like Boeing Headquarters, the Fun Forest and Fort Lawton are also featured. To revisit these sites and many more, open these pages, step back in time and enjoy the glorious architectural past of Seattle.

From the Back Cover

Lost Seattle looks at the cherished places in the city that time, progress and fashion have swept aside. As well as celebrating forgotten architectural treasures, Lost Seattle also looks at building that have changed use, vanished under a wave of new construction or been transformed beyond recognition.

Losses include:
Yesler Mill - Occidental Hotel - Denny Hotel - Luna Park - Colman Dock Clock Tower - Golden Potlatch - Carnegie Central Library - Hotel Seattle - Plymouth Church - New Pantages Theater - Kalakala - Orpheum Theater - Fox Theatre - Frederick & Nelson Department Store - Rainier Brewery - Kingdome - Boeing Headquarters - Nippon Kan - Washington Mutual - Fun Forest - Fort Lawton

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Product Details

  • Series: Lost
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Pavilion (December 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909108634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909108639
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 11.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rob Ketcherside writes about local history through a series of blended rephotography (then and now) for the Capitol Hill Seattle blog. He has led tours of Seattle's historic clocks for the Seattle Architecture Foundation and neighborhood history for Seattle's Museum of History & Industry. His various contributions at MOHAI--including research of artifacts and photographs--recently earned him Volunteer of the Year. Rob is an appointed member of the Mayor's Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, stopping more treasures from being lost. He lives in Seattle.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Timothy A. Hogg on November 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seattle is one of many towns of the great Pacific that is in love with itself -- and for good reason. Although not an ancient city, it has a rich and vibrant history. This book brings back to life a number of lost treasures. As this city gets eaten up by the likes of Amazon and other technology firms who prefer to destroy these landmarks and build new, hip, giant bubbles, Ketcherside's book chronicles landmarks of the old Seattle-- a Seattle that is all too quickly disappearing. In essence, the city is making history by destroying the history-- but no one is chronicling it.
Except Lost Seattle does just that and it does it in a coffee table style which is sure to captivate your holiday guests-- it is a very beautiful, well written book and belongs on everyone's coffee table. It is sure to stir up conversation of the way things used to be. From the old shots of the Kingdome (a monstrosity of concrete) to the lusty lady, this book will take you on a walk though a time that has passed. The best part of the book might just be the birds eye views of the city in the inlays of the book.
Really a great value and worth getting for anyone who loves this grand metropolis that this once was (and still is).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. D. Levinger on November 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book, both for history fans and for people (like me) who typically are less captivated by history. The format of the book and Ketcherside's great writing make this a real pleasure to read. Because you can pick it up and absorb it in the 2-page chunks of the Lost Seattle icons, it is an awesome book to share with friends.

Having lived most of my adult life in Seattle, much of the material was still new to me. For example, in the pre-WWII era, Seattle put on a summer gala called the "Golden Potlatch" paying homage to both the goldrush and the Native American potlatch. The vignettes and series of losses helps chart the rapid trajectory of the city from a one-mill lumber town to an international city over the course of a century and a half.

Ketcherside is a great storyteller and selects well from his material, so you'll end up feeling like you know more about things that--while perhaps physically gone--are still present in the way they shaped Seattle. Really happy that I bought it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott E Ryan on December 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Unlike the bland, impersonal writing style typical of encyclopedias, LOST SEATTLE reeled me in with an engaging series of stories that focused as much on the people who were integral to breathing life into the city as on the buildings themselves.
For instance, the demise of the Yesler Mansion, by then the public library downtown, includes a description of the librarian getting a call after midnight that the mansion was on fire, and how he ran in the snow from Beacon Hill, but was unable to save any of the 25,000 books.
The sidebar on the same page includes juicy gossip about the Yeslers, "In 1890, Henry was remarried to Minnie Gagle, who was both 60 years younger and his first cousin once removed. The newspapers whipped it into a scandal, and things got out of control after Yesler died in 1892. No will could be found and Minnie was sued by the City of Seattle for supposedly defrauding the public out of money Yesler had promised. After six months of courtroom fireworks, the parties settled and the case was dropped."
It's these sorts of concise yet colorful descriptions that give LOST SEATTLE such richness. It is hard to believe this is Ketcherside's first book! I predict a long publishing career ahead of him!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bfbauer1 on February 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great look back at the changes in Seattle over the years. After being born in Seattle and living there for over fifty years before moving away the book serves as both a great reminder and a nice glimpse of the past. My only suggestion if a subsequent edition is published, correct the name of the Supersonic coach from Larry to Lenny (Wilkens). A very entertaining read and a great first work from a dedicated and hard working historian.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David C. Cook on December 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It does a very good job of showing what has been lost. In many cases though, I would be interested in seeing what is there now.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By p47dude on November 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Being an amateur history nut, this book hits a home run. My father, now 94, was born in and raised in Seattle until being relocated to one of those "War Relocation Centers" by FDR. The book shows scenes of which no longer exist but that my father's family likely saw each day.

Incredibly researched, the author does a very detailed and accurate job of describing the scene and culture at that particular time.

If you or your grandparents came from Seattle, this is a wonderful door into their past.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By starke on November 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. The photography is amazing and the author, Rob Ketcherside, is very knowledgeable (and funny). It is the perfect size for a coffee table book and you will want to show it off.
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