Yesterday we asked you to try and figure out where this photo from a long time ago was taken.
This one was super tricky and we saw guesses from First Hill to Downtown to Belltown. Even the people who cataloged this photo were confused. The name of the photo per the UW archives is ""Seattle, looking east from the waterfront in the vicinity of Pike St." However, as the archives explain, that's not actually true.
"Pike Street" is certainly not accurate, given the location of the Washington Hotel, visible at top center. This is looking east from the Elliott Bay waterfront between Stewart and Virginia Streets. The dirt track rising at left is part of Stewart Street. The first Washington Hotel (1891-1906, center, background) sits atop the small, steep Denny Hill, regraded in 1906-1907. This is taken from somewhere near Railroad Avenue, the present-day Alaskan Way.
Congrats to commenter TF206 for guessing correctly. The Washington Hotel was the giveaway and commenter Fnarf provides some extra insight into what we're looking at.
The Washington Hotel was about where the Moore Theater is now, only way up higher in the air. Those shacks at the bottom of the hill I believe were lived in by remnants of the Duwamish tribe, one of them Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Seattle (hers was probably just off to the right; she died in 1896). Since the regrade doesn’t appear to have been started in earnest, I’m guessing this is earlier rather than later; in 1906 the hill all around the hotel had been gouged away, and the hotel was coming down.
These days the view is quite a bit different...