Wednesday, September 17, 2008

922 Virginia Street

Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008 — Old garage building at Virginia St. and Terry Ave. Drawn on location on pocket moleskine sketchbook, colored later with gouache.

William Fransen must have had a lot of cars back in 1921 —I wonder how much gas cost then. The Department of Neighborhoods cites original drawings for this building saying it was designed as a "Garage Building for William Fransen." I tried to google him but no clear leads to any information. The garage was built in 1922 and is listed as a historical site, therefore it deserved a sketch.

[ William Fransen debía tener muchos coches en 1921 —me pregunto cuánto valdría la gasolina entonces. Según el Departmento de Barrios del Ayuntamiento, que cita planos de construcción originales, este edificio fue diseñado como "garage de William Fransen". He intentado buscar el nombre en Google pero no he econtrado ninguna buena pista sobre quién fue este señor. El garage fue construido en 1922 y está registrado como sitio histórico, por lo tanto se merecía un apunte. ]


  1. This may be more than you wanted to know, but...

    William Fransen was born June 1863 in Denmark and immigrated to the US in the early 1880's. He married Julia Eve Thompson about 1896. They had one son, Walter Clarence Fransen, born Oct. 27, 1898 in Seattle.

    The family lived at 1737 Boylston Ave. in Seattle. William was a real estate agent for 40 years and ran his own real estate office. Apparently he did well for himself because at one time the family had a live-in servant. The house at 1737 Boylston is still there and looks to be rather large. (Google satellite image)

    Walter C. Fransen attended the University of Washington in the 1920's and was a civil engineer. He was a registered land surveyor for the State of Washington and had his own surveyor's office in Seattle. Walter was still single at the age of 31 in 1930 and living with his parents. He passed away in Seattle in 1990.

    Guess on my part: The garage was built as a customer/agent parking lot for the real estate business. I'm also guessing father and son shared office space in a nearby building.

  2. Gouache? Never thougt to use it. Thats a good tip.

  3. Yesterday I was sketching a building remarkably the same as this one in Railroad Square, Santa Rosa, Ca. -- the same exact roofline,in fact. I only had a pencil,though. Was wishing I had some tips on how to represent bricks without drawing every single row... You have captured it beautifully!

  4. wow Speck, thanks so much for all the research! Your guess makes a lot of sense. I'm trying to picture all those cars here back in the 1920s, with people wearing fancy clothes and hats.

    thanks everyone for the comments!