Who built Stadium High School in Tacoma, WA?

KorbenDallas

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This one I actually ran into, while on a Sunday drive a few weeks ago. To say that this is an overkill for a school is to say nothing. It could be a monastery, or a "whatever". Once again, there is a picture of the so-called construction process (renovation actually), but this is where it ends.

The building had clear signs of the so-called Mud Flood. Some of the bottom level windows on the North, and South sides of the structure were below the ground level. Made me wonder how many levels below the street surface were out there. In front of the school there was that very same purple glass signature, which is a trademark of the Seattle Underground.

purple-glass-sidewalk.jpg

The building was supposedly designed by Frederick Heath. He arrived in Washington State at age 34 and started working in 1898, establishing his practice in 1901. The buildings he designed have been said to include "some of the most notable and beautiful structures of the city." Whatever else he built you can reference in this Wikipedia article: Frederick Heath (architect).

The school was to replace the building gutted by a massive fire on October 11, 1898. The main building was constructed by architects Hewitt and Hewitt for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company and the Tacoma Land Company at what was then known as Blackwell Point. Construction began in 1891 with the intention of building a luxury hotel resembling a French château. The Panic of 1893, however, brought construction to an abrupt halt when the Northern Pacific was faced with financial disaster. The unfinished building became a storage facility, with much of the building materials still inside. On October 11, 1898, the building was gutted by a massive fire.

The Tacoma School District purchased the gutted building on February 19, 1904, with the intent of turning it into a high school. The redesign and later renovations were planned by the school's architect, Frederick Heath. It was repaired and renovated into a school. The reconstructed building opened on September 10, 1906, as Tacoma High School.

Here it is, the Stadium High School

Tacoma_-_Stadium_High_School_1.jpgStadium_High_School_6_(Tacoma,_Washington).jpgTacoma_-_Stadium_High_School_2.jpgTacoma_-_Stadium_High_School_3.jpgTacoma_-_Stadium_High_School_4.jpg
Tacoma_-_Stadium_High_School_5.JPGTacoma_-_Stadium_High_School_a.jpgTacoma_-_Stadium_High_School_c.jpgTacoma_-_Stadium_High_School_b.jpg
Clearly, while Mr. Heath did some renovations, the building itself was constructed by G. W. & W. D. Hewitt. Too bad both died long time ago. Otherwise getting some sort of documented proof of the construction, i.e. - chain of supply, engineers/foremen employed, payroll documents, etc, would have been much easier.

Obviously Frederick Heath is of no interest, for the purposes of looking into this specific building. We are interested in George Watson Hewitt, and his brother William Dempster Hewitt. Though contemporary witnesses preferred to call George's brother John.

Wikipedia has very little info, but whatever is available looks to be summarized here: G. W. & W. D. Hewitt (fl. 1878 - 1907). Both of the brothers went to Burlington College. If somebody knows what Burlington College there was in NJ in the mid-19th century, please drop a link in the comments below.

William allegedly studied mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Philadelphia (could be Polytechnic College of Pennsylvania), receiving his degree in 1865. After getting his degree William immediately joined troops bound for the Civil War. Following the War, Hewitt spent six months traveling in Europe and then returned to work with his brother. What mechanical engineering has to do with architecture, I'm not really sure. It seems civil engineering would be more appropriate for working as an architect.

George, upon getting done with attending Burlington College received some office training in the ecclesiastic projects. That's it for George.

With no real place to confirm their civil engineering education, the fact of their expertise remains to be proved and substantiated.

If you can find a picture of either of the two brothers, please upload in the comments below. This as all I was able to find. How is it even possible? Check out some the buildings they allegedly built. And no pictures of the actual architects easily available?

William_H_Hewitt.jpg
Weird again, there is a building, there are architects, and there is an informational dead end. Who really built the initial building remains unknown. Clearly, we have an assigned Hewitt and Hewitt (whatever they are). Once again we have a fire destroying a stone building. These 19th century fires were real popular back then.

Well, and on top of this we have some tunnels under this Tacoma School. Kudos goes to some school kids who filmed the tunnel back in 2015.

Though there are plenty of tunnel, and underground info covering the City of Tacoma.
I would not bet an eye on any of the above links covering the story from the perspective of true knowledge.

* * * * *
Anyways, here we have another one. One in the list of hundreds of thousands of buildings having no real history besides the one you can find on Wikipedia. As soon as you start digging deeper, you realize, that there are no pictures, no documents, and sometimes no real people standing behind their construction.
 
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in cahoots

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not specifically relevant, but I have a personal kink for another mysterious Seattle architect, Elmer H Fisher, as he was also involved with the reconstruction of my post-fire town of Vancouver BC.

Wikipedia : "Fisher claimed to have been born in Scotland and moved to Massachusetts at age 17 where he received an architectural apprenticeship in Worcester. This now appears to be untrue according to the City of Seattle's research.... "

So we have another run-o'-the-mill, roving, continental building designer. With no traceable education.

"Fisher came to Seattle in 1889 before the Great Seattle fire devastated the city. He is considered the most prolific of the architects involved in rebuilding the city for designing almost half of the major downtown buildings between 1889 and 1891. "

Such a funny coincidence these guys roll into town and encounter great success years before the fires even happen. Pretty good preparation to have a quality architect in town, just in time for a civic disaster!

Later he is "scandalized" and vanishes into professional obscurity in LA, which is weird, because the dude built at least 15 buildings in '89. So these guys are all Freemasons, I'm guessing.
 

humanoidlord

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This one I actually ran into, while on a Sunday drive a few weeks ago. To say that this is an overkill for a school is to say nothing. It could be a monastery, or a "whatever". Once again, there is a picture of the so-called construction process (renovation actually), but this is where it ends.

The building had clear signs of the so-called Mud Flood. Some of the bottom level windows on the North, and South sides of the structure were below the ground level. Made me wonder how many levels below the street surface were out there. In front of the school there was that very same purple glass signature, which is a trademark of the Seattle Underground.


The building was supposedly designed by Frederick Heath. He arrived in Washington State at age 34 and started working in 1898, establishing his practice in 1901. The buildings he designed have been said to include "some of the most notable and beautiful structures of the city." Whatever else he built you can reference in this Wikipedia article: Frederick Heath (architect).

The school was to replace the building gutted by a massive fire on October 11, 1898. The main building was constructed by architects Hewitt and Hewitt for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company and the Tacoma Land Company at what was then known as Blackwell Point. Construction began in 1891 with the intention of building a luxury hotel resembling a French château. The Panic of 1893, however, brought construction to an abrupt halt when the Northern Pacific was faced with financial disaster. The unfinished building became a storage facility, with much of the building materials still inside. On October 11, 1898, the building was gutted by a massive fire.

The Tacoma School District purchased the gutted building on February 19, 1904, with the intent of turning it into a high school. The redesign and later renovations were planned by the school's architect, Frederick Heath. It was repaired and renovated into a school. The reconstructed building opened on September 10, 1906, as Tacoma High School.

Clearly, while Mr. Heath did some renovations, the building itself was constructed by G. W. & W. D. Hewitt. Too bad both died long time ago. Otherwise getting some sort of documented proof of the construction, i.e. - chain of supply, engineers/foremen employed, payroll documents, etc, would have been much easier.

Obviously Frederick Heath is of no interest, for the purposes of looking into this specific building. We are interested in George Watson Hewitt, and his brother William Dempster Hewitt. Though contemporary witnesses preferred to call George's brother John.

Wikipedia has very little info, but whatever is available looks to be summarized here: G. W. & W. D. Hewitt (fl. 1878 - 1907). Both of the brothers went to Burlington College. If somebody knows what Burlington College there was in NJ in the mid-19th century, please drop a link in the comments below.

William allegedly studied mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Philadelphia (could be Polytechnic College of Pennsylvania), receiving his degree in 1865. After getting his degree William immediately joined troops bound for the Civil War. Following the War, Hewitt spent six months traveling in Europe and then returned to work with his brother. What mechanical engineering has to do with architecture, I'm not really sure. It seems civil engineering would be more appropriate for working as an architect.

George, upon getting done with attending Burlington College received some office training in the ecclesiastic projects. That's it for George.

With no real place to confirm their civil engineering education, the fact of their expertise remains to be proved and substantiated.

If you can find a picture of either of the two brothers, please upload in the comments below. This as all I was able to find. How is it even possible? Check out some the buildings they allegedly built. And no pictures of the actual architects easily available?

Weird again, there is a building, there are architects, and there is an informational dead end. Who really built the initial building remains unknown. Clearly, we have an assigned Hewitt and Hewitt (whatever they are). Once again we have a fire destroying a stone building. These 19th century fires were real popular back then.

Well, and on top of this we have some tunnels under this Tacoma School. Kudos goes to some school kids who filmed the tunnel back in 2015.

Though there are plenty of tunnel, and underground info covering the City of Tacoma.
I would not bet an eye on any of the above links covering the story from the perspective of true knowledge.

* * * * *
Anyways, here we have another one. One in the list of hundreds of thousands of buildings having no real history besides the one you can find on Wikipedia. As soon as you start digging deeper, you realize, that there are no pictures, no documents, and sometimes no real people standing behind their construction.
three things:
1: look at those spires! this building would have looked impressive back in the atmospheric eletricity age
2: this photo:

is very interesting indeed, look at the chaotic terrain and compare it to this earlier pic:

and this recent one:


not only we have the ubiquitous short trees but we also have evidence via the terrain that this photo was taken very shortly after the mud flood

3: i have looked at the hewwits brothers wikipedia page and i have seen that they building style varied very greatly, wich makes the fact that they were assigned archictects compare this thing:


to this monstrosity only an year (!) later:

 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Well, we established that things do not check out, but what's next?
 

Ice Nine

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Holy Crappola! the terrain around the school is nothing like it is in this early engraving/sketch. Jeeez, I've been by it many many times and like I say..holy cow!

something ain't right, I know that bay and boat dock aren't there anymore.

Brother! I'll try to get to a shot on the Carbon River where we find petrified wood and there is an exposed cliff of the Osceola mud flow, it is quite deep :eek: I do know it is/was oh crap, 324 feet in places and another mud flow, lahar before that was 924 feet. I can't recall the name off hand now, the Round Mud Flow perhaps..I'll check later.

stadium.jpg
stadium 1911.jpg
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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That entire area of Tacoma south and uphill from the museum, and all the way west to Puget Sound is a suspect. I believe there is an old city buried in that hill.
 
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