While the film crews were busy moving their animals and gear from location to location on September 6, 2000, further preparations were being made smack in the middle of Spring Street -- pictured in the top photo in 1924; in the second, third, and fourth photos in 1937 (at 7th and 8th Avenue); in the fifth photo in 1963 during freeway construction, and in the bottom two in 2002.
About 25 yards east of 7th Avenue, an ornate gate to Rose Red was constructed. At this place, a dark sign of Rose Red lingers in the blacktop patch (pictured in the bottom photo) applied to the street to repair the damage done to it while installing the gate. The same great gate was also used in front of the Thornewood Mansion in Lakewood. For individual props it is something of a star in Rose Red, with a number of confrontations -- nearly all hyperventilating -- occurring beside it.
Spring Street between 7th and 8th avenues represents a break in the rise of First Hill. There is a short plateau there. It would have been a fine place to build -- and keep building -- a mansion both, for ease of construction and also for the view. Just north of Spring Street is the ridge that makes both First and Capitol hills turn slightly to the east. The site thereby affords anyone or thing in the higher gables of the mansion Rose Red the ability to look west to the growing city, Elliott Bay beyond, and also north to Lake Union.
A view of the lake from the tallest part of the mansion over its many rooftops and chimney pots is used a few times in the film as an exit to commercials. This digital montage however looks down not from 7th and Spring but from the Capitol Hill bluff above the I-5 Freeway and Lakeview Avenue. By eliminating Fremont, Ballard and the Chittenden Locks, the scene joins Lake Union with Puget Sound. To cap this picturesque scene at its horizon, Mount Rainier is plopped on Port Townsend. A cinematic joining of the same waterways occurs in the Tom Hanks' vehicle Sleepless In Seattle, when the tired hero boards a small rowboat on Lake Union and steps out of it onto Alki Beach.
The screen of trees on Spring Street between 7th and 8th avenues is one reason this block suited the great gate -- the limbs blend nicely with it. The trees are also used in the "reverse shot" in which the downtown skyline is framed by them and the opened gate. Spring was chosen mainly because it was the only street leading up to First Hill on which traffic could be stopped for filming without sending the central business district into gridlock.