The White Chapel District:
In the depression of 1893 there stood on opposite corners of Washington Street and Third Avenue, at the foot of "profanity hill," what was referred to as the most financially solvent institution in Seattle: The first Catholic Church of Seattle "Our Lady of Good Help," built in 1869 by Father P.I. Prefontaine, (#1) and Lou Gramham's Brothel (#2). This area of the tenderloin district extending to Jackson Street, was referred to as the White Chapel District.
Seattle's first China Town:
Washington Street, between Third Avenue and Second Street, was also the heart of Seattle's first China Town. Its most prominent building the W. Quong T[?]ck Co.'s Canton Building, built in 1889, still stands at Second and Washington Street. (#3)
The Norton Building:
When on June 6, 1889 Seattle's fire wiped out much of this district, Charles Hibbard & Homer Norton were here. Hibbard came to Seattle in 1881. In 1887 Hibbard established the first wool pullery and became president of the Hibbard-Stewart Co. which besides dealing in hides and wool, became the largest buyer of walrus ivory in the world. In 1892 Homer Norton joined him to form the Hibbard & Norton Co., which also absorbed Edgewater Tannery, then located at 121 West Main Street.
In 1904 the company built this Norton Building, one of the few remaining heavy [l]umber structures in Seattle. (#4)
In the same year the RR tunnel under Seattle was completed with its south entrance visible on the Fourth Avenue side of this building.