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A double piece of history happened in the last couple of weeks. The Seattle Opera has been refurbishing their buildings on the north side of the old Seattle Worlds Fair grounds (now called Seattle Center). They started to demolish one of the oldest buildings on the grounds and what was found shocked us all.  A little history first:

The old Seattle Civic Auditorium was built in the mid 1920s.  Here is what it looked like from an old postcard. 58ec53568a137_SeattleCivicAuditoriumPostcard.PNG.f6ddcd33d427d4bace0059b2cfc8dca8.PNG

Next to this was built another building we call the Mercer Forum,  Exposition Building, Civic Ice Arena and Seattle Center Arena.  (see it off to the far left on the postcard) In the old days it was called the House of Suds due to the original patron was a tavern owner.  This building was originally built to house an ice arena as part of the Civic Auditorium complex constructed between 1925 and 1928. In addition to the connected Civic Arena and Auditorium, the complex included an adjacent 35,000-seat Civic Ballfield with wooden bleachers and a freestanding building, which combined a Field House on the ground floor and a Veteran’s Hall on the upper floor. The site selected was diagonally adjacent to Mercer Playground, developed in 1910 and named for Seattle pioneer Thomas Mercer, who homesteaded in the vicinity. 

For the Seattle Worlds Fair they built some other buildings along Mercer Street and to make them all have a modern continuous look they bricked around the whole old Civic Auditorium and the Ice Arena. Years have past and iit was where hockey was played, the opera house used it for a while and concerts performed there.  I even helped set up tradeshows in the building. 

It's time had come to be demolished. No one thought there was much history there even a historian who researched it. So, the wreakers came and low and behold there was the whole building left under the brick. Two gargoyles were smashed before anyone could stop things.  But with some help from a local TV historian the Opera House is saving the remaining two.

Here is an article with video and photos to enjoy.  A little history to behold.

http://www.king5.com/news/local/seattle/demolition-unearths-gargoyles-historic-architecture-at-seattle-center/426646185

And a Wiki article on the building too:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercer_Arena

 

 

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