Street Trackage
Seattle's Terry Avenue

Views of the Former Northern Pacific Industrial Tracks
at the South End of Lake Union

James E. Lancaster

Photos on this web page are the property of Alan Winston and James Lancaster.
They are 
Copyright 2009 and may not be used without permission.


During the 1990s Alan Winston built a large web site named Seattle Spur and Spot.  The web site documented what Alan called "loose car railroading" serving local industries.  

One of the locations Alan documented was the NP trackage along and near Terry Avenue at the south end of Lake Union.
Terry Avenue was reached by a line that came east from Interbay along the south side of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, under the Aurora Bridge, then south-southeast along the west side of Lake Union. Click here to view a reconstructed version of Alan's original Terry Avenue web page.

This web page provides a comparison of many of Alan Winston's photos and captions from the 1990s with photos I took along Terry Avenue in May 2001.  It starts at the south end of the track, just north of Denny Way, and works north to Lake Union (the original Seattle Spur and Spot page goes all the way to Interbay).
I wish to thank Alan for giving his permission to include his photos and captions.

Photo 1. Alan wrote how the track ended just north of Denny Way, but formerly extended across and into the doorway at left center. He identified the building with the doorway as Frederick & Nelson's furniture warehouse. (Alan Winston photo and paraphrased caption)

Photo 1a. This view is similar to Photo 1 but was taken from a point closer to Denny Way, the street coming down the hill from the left. Across Denny Way on the left is the building with a large roll-up door where the track once ended. Previously identified as a Frederick & Nelson warehouse, a March 1951 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map identified the building as Wm. Volker & Co., a manufacturer of linoleum and window shades. The building on the right with the Quito(n) name was identified on the Sanborn map as a Frederick & Nelson warehouse, including repairing and upholstering. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 2. This photo was taken one block north of the end of track, still looking south. A spur leads to the right and another ends in the right foreground where the wheel stops are located. (Alan Winston photo and paraphrased caption)

Photo 2a. The view in this photo is similar to that in Photo 2 but it was taken from one block further north along Terry Avenue. The street trackage is visible going up the center of the street. The middle building on the left (where a trailer is far enough into the street to be over the rails) is Bunge Foods. A June 1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance map identified the large building just to the south of Bunge Foods as the Bon Marche Dept. Store General Merchandise Warehouse. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 3. The Bunge Foods spur goes to the left off the three-way switch. (Alan Winston photo and caption)

Photo 3a. Bunge Foods. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 4. The Bunge Foods tank car unloading area suggests an interesting model railroading project. Oil to the left of the door, "heavy corn" to the right. How do we know? (Alan Winston photo and caption)

Photo 5. It says so! "Heavy corn" is presumably corn syrup or "corn sweetener." (Alan Winston photo and caption)

Photo 6. It says "oil" here, but it's awfully hard to read. (Alan Winston photo and caption)

Photo 7. This view looks north along Terry Avenue from just south of the three-way switch shown in Photo 3. (Alan Winston photo and caption)

Photo 7a. This view is similar to that in Photo 7. It looks north along Terry Avenue from the three-way switch shown in Photos 3 and 7. Photos 7b through 7e show details of the three-way switch and other street trackage. (James Lancaster photos)

Photo 7b.

Photo 7c.

Photo 7d.

Photo 7e.

Photo 8. This view looks northwest across Thomas Street and Terry Avenue toward the former NP Terry Avenue Freight House. The former Northern Pacific Freight House is on the west side of Terry Avenue behind the trees. For a time it was a restaurant named "The Terry Avenue Freight House," with passenger and freight cars on the adjoining tracks. Note the diamond crossing of the two spurs on the near east (right) side of the street. (Alan Winston photo and paraphrased caption)

Photo 8a. The diamond crossing of the two spurs, shown in Photo 8, is near the center of this photo. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 8b. Another view of the diamond crossing of the two spurs shown in Photo 8. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 8c. This view is looking south along Terry Avenue. The spur leading to the diamond crossing shown in Photo 8, curves to the left in this photo. Another spur curves to the right to a building just south of the freight house. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 9. The north end of the freight house and one of the railroad cars. (Alan Winston photo and caption)

Photo 9a. This is a similar view to Photo 9 but by 2001 the passenger cars that were on these spurs had been removed. The ex-freight house and ex-restaurant had been converted into an office building. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 9b. The truck loading dock on the west side of the former freight house had been replaced by a row of office windows by 2001. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 10. Looking north on Terry Avenue, we see a spur curving through a corner lot and across Republican street, where it will curve back into the alley a half block east. There it will switchback into the alley this side of Republican, as well as continue north to end in a pair of spurs just south of Mercer Street. (Alan Winston photo and caption)

Photo 10a. The photo above, as well as Photos 10b and 10c, below, follow the spur shown in Photo 10 from the switch in Terry Avenue to where it curves around the brownish building. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 10b.

Photo 10c.

Photo 11. A half block west of Terry, this spur came north out of the team track area north of the freight house, to cross Republican Street, and end on a trestle tucked between two buildings. (Alan Winston photo and caption)

Photo 12. Looking south along Terry Avenue from across Mercer Street. The end of the trestle spur mentioned in Photo 11 is just to the right of the light colored building above the visible spur. (Alan Winston photo and paraphrased caption)

Photo 12a. This is an opposite view to Photo 12. It looks north along Terry Avenue to Lake Union in the distance. The yellowish building on the left is the light-colored building on the  right in Photo 12. (James Lancaster photo)

Photo 13. From the north (Lake Union) side of Valley Street, this view looks south the length of the Terry Avenue street trackage. The track in the foreground formerly ran up the east side of Lake Union. For more on that area, and the trackage between this point and Interbay, click here(Alan Winston photo and paraphrased caption)

The final four photos show different loading doors along Terry Avenue in 2001. (James Lancaster photos)

Click Here to go to Jim Lancaster's Trains Page for a gallery of railroad photos. 
Last Update: 12/3/09