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Two Early Seattle Views, Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Seattle's Standard Furniture Co.

Fine large image illustrating two early views of Seattle in 1878 and 1913, taken from the same position in the Northwest part of downtown, looking to the south, toward Harbor Island.

The view as created to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Standard Furniture Company - L. Schoenfeld & Sons in Seattle (1888 to 1913), located at Second Avenue and Pine Street.

Constructed in the first decade of the 20th Century and opened in 1908, the building which housed Standard Furniture appears to still exist, although it appears to have recently been renovated to residential apartment units.

A promotional image of the building issued in the same time period notes:

This magnificent building, recently constructed by and for the Standard Furniture Company (L. Schoenfeld and Sons) is one of the "show places" of Seattle. Represents an expedition of $500,000.00 and is the largest, finest exclusive home furnishing store in America. 

Standard Furniture Company

The Standard Furniture Company was established by Louis Schoenfeld in 1864 in Virginia City, Nevada. After relocating to Seattle in 1887, the company grew to become one of Seattle’s leading business institutions. The initial Seattle store was housed in a single storefront space in the Occidental Hotel, at Second Avenue and Yesler Way. '

The company sold East Coast fabricated furniture described as “highly polished chairs and rockers, art goods, music stands and cabinets” that was shipped around the Horn to Seattle via San Francisco. After the 1889 fire destroyed the shop, the company was left with only one wagonload of salvaged merchandise.   Additional merchandise was purchased from San Francisco and business continued in a large tent located at Second Avenue and University Street.

A new shop was built in the New York Block at Second Avenue and Cherry, and later moved to Western Avenue near Madison Street before the company, before the company built its first permanent store at First Avenue between Madison and Spring Streets (Schoenfeld Furniture Store Building, c.1900). That six-story store and loft building was designed by the architecture firm of Thompson and Thompson; however, by 1906 the booming furniture business had absorbed and outgrown the building.

The company decided to construct a major new store building at Second Avenue and Pine Street. Many of their fellow businessmen questioned the wisdom of establishing a business of this size so far north of University Street. When the ten-story Standard Furniture Company Store and warehouse building opened in March 1908, it was the largest highrise commercial building to be constructed north of Pike Street and the first large retail enterprise in the new northern retail district. The opening event is reported to have drawn 5,000 people who toured the building.  


The view is very rare.  No examples listed in OCLC or any on line institutional collections.

Condition Description
Minor soiling. Repaired tear near top right, just entering the neatline at the center.