West Seattle, Washington
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
About 17 concerned citizens attended tonight’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting about the proposed apartment complex at 2222 SW Barton.
Architect Justin Kliewer, who is now with Cleave Architecture and Design, presented three different massing (size/shape) options for the complex, which will be situated on what Kliewer called a “tricky” triangular parcel of 15,500 square-feet, on a steep grade, currently home to a small apartment building. The area is a bit of a mix, with Westwood Village within a stone’s throw, and single-family houses to the east and south.
The idea of 70 to 80 units shoe-horned into the space was not warmly received by those present.
“I can hardly believe they can squeeze in 80 units, it’s absurd, massive, way too big for the site,” said a neighbor named Sebastian, who lives directly uphill from the site. He said it would be visible for eight to 10 blocks and become a “monolithic presence.”
While the first day of the fall semester at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) isn’t until September 26th, more than 100 new students got a jump start this week. They are in the 13th Year Promise program – which pays first-year tuition to graduates of three Seattle Public Schools high schools, including Chief Sealth IHS. Here are full details from SSC:
South Seattle College celebrated its largest incoming class of 13th Year Promise Scholarship recipients on Sept. 15 since the program’s inception in 2008. 110 students completed orientation this week and will start their higher education at South this fall with their first year of tuition paid for through the scholarship program.
The celebration came at the end of a three-day “Bridge Program” orientation, where incoming 13th Year scholars learned key skills and resources to help them navigate the transition from high school to college.
“I want to truly encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity,” South Seattle College President Gary Oertli said to the incoming class. “Be committed in your heart to say ‘I’m going to do this,’ whatever your goals may be.”
For Chief Sealth International alum Matthew Burckhard, that goal is training to carry on a family tradition.
“I’m going into culinary or pastry because my grandfather was a baker … (and) a couple years ago he passed away and I figured I should take on his legacy and see if I can become a baker as well,” Burckhard said.
The scholarship guarantees one year of free tuition at South Seattle College for all high school graduates from Chief Sealth International, Cleveland, and Rainier Beach high schools, regardless of their grades or finances. Scholars’ first year of tuition is covered through a combination of donations to the South Seattle College Foundation and financial aid rewards.
Someone else new on campus was spotted at today’s ceremony:
The otter is a new – so far nameless – mascot. The 13th Year program started with Cleveland in 2008; Sealth was added in 2011.
As expansion/renovation work continues at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) headquarters in The Triangle, staffers are getting ready today for a celebration tomorrow – the grand opening of the new Kids Zone, 4-8 pm Friday. We got a sneak peek with the Y’s Joleen Post on Wednesday afternoon. Above, the big indoor play structure is in the “Adventure Zone” for 3- to 5-year-olds; the “Tween Zone” for ages 9 to 13 includes a ping-pong table:
Lots of work going on when we stopped by, but tomorrow, it’ll all be done in time for the celebration. There are also specific programs for babies, toddlers, and 4- to 9-year-olds, with three separate indoor areas – adjacent to the Y’s gym – including new restrooms and a new outdoor play structure that’s being installed soon. These are all drop-in child-care areas included in Y family memberships. But you don’t have to be a member to enjoy tomorrow’s celebration – come in, look around, try things out. (If you decide to join, the Y has a “no joining fee” special through mid-October. And if you’ve never been there – the temporary entrance is along SW Snoqualmie, between 36th SW and 37th SW.)
(Photo by Jean Sherrard, courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society; click here to see full-size version on SWSHS website)
Three and a half months after the “Group Hug” event (photo above) celebrating the historic Admiral Theater‘s impending renovation work, the operators of the landmark moviehouse just got the permit they needed to get going! Here’s the big announcement of what happens next, just in from Jeff Brein of Far Away Entertainment:
With all required city building permits in hand, upgrades, expansion and renovations of the Historic Admiral Theater in West Seattle will begin in earnest on Monday, Sept. 19 with completion expected in November.
Moviegoers will be able to see films at the Admiral during the construction period, according to Jeff Brein, managing partner of Far Away Entertainment, the Bainbridge Island-based group that operates the theater.
“Our principal goal is to keep the theater open during this process, albeit on a limited basis,” Brein said. “Initially, weekday films will be presented in a single theater, with expanded schedules on weekends. As the project progresses and additional auditoriums are readied we expect the number of movie offerings to increase.”
Brein and partner Sol Baron have worked with building owner Marc Gartin for several years to plan a history-based renovation of the iconic 1942 theater, for which the Southwest Seattle Historical Society secured city landmark status 27 years ago. The Gartin family purchased and reopened the theater in 1992 after a three-year closure.
The current two-auditorium footprint will expand to four and will feature stadium seating in two larger auditoriums. Additional enhancements will include new, state-of-the-art digital laser projection systems, a 3D auditorium, Dolby Digital sound systems, new seating with beverage cup holders, and upgraded carpeting, concessions area and restrooms.
“Additionally,” Brein said, “we have been working with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and plan to reveal and eventually restore the original, interior auditorium murals featuring underwater appliqués that have been hidden since the theater was twinned in 1973. We also have been working together on other improvements, including repainting of the lobby and preservation of its 1942 mural of Captain George Vancouver and other artwork. Other less apparent enhancements will include a revised traffic flow pattern for ticket sales and more open space in the lobby, improved theater floor lighting and an upgrade of the theater’s marquee.”
The Admiral Theater project team includes Swinterton Builders, CDA Architecture, and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, as well as the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, which approved the renovation in June. Credit also goes to King County Council member Joe McDermott and King County Executive Dow Constantine, both West Seattle residents, for helping secure a $95,000 “Saving Landmarks” grant from 4Culture last November.
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society eagerly anticipates the renovation, said Clay Eals, executive director. “We are thrilled that these many improvements will allow the Admiral Theater to thrive well into the future and can occur without harming – and actually exposing and showcasing more of – the building’s historic features,” Eals said.
“We salute Far Away Entertainment and the Gartin family ownership for their perseverance and heart,” he said.
“This renovation project and the existence of the theater itself wouldn’t be possible without the grassroots effort that saved it in 1989, and the history of this moviehouse, an art deco masterpiece, is a shining example of how neighbors engaging in the landmark process can add economic vitality to the city while building community pride.”
Our archived coverage of The Admiral is here, including our report on the Landmark Board’s approval of the work back in June, and the February 2015 announcement of the agreement between the building’s owner and operators that paved the way for this work.
(WSB file photo)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:46 PM: The 2016 West Seattle Harvest Festival has just been announced for Sunday, October 30th, 10 am-2 pm in The Junction. If you’re new here – the Harvest Festival is the annual street-fair combination of family activities, business trick-or-treating (that part starts at noon), and WS Farmers’ Market. The West Seattle Junction Association presents it, and director Lora Swift says they’re currently inviting prospective sponsors (WSB is already on board) and activity presenters. Go here ASAP if you’re a business interested in being a sponsor, and/or a business, nonprofit, or school interested in presenting an activity. (And yes, there will be a chili cookoff again this year, with the fee for tasting/judging benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank – more to come on that.)
3:19 PM UPDATE: Here’s the scoop on how to enter the chili competition:
§ Be a West Seattle business.
§ Bring two gallons of hot chili made in commercial kitchen and an electric warmer. Maintain chili’s temperature to meet health standards.
§ Provide a chili server who has a current Food Handlers Card.
§ Be ready to serve at 11 am! With 2 gallons of chili, we’ll be able to serve about 100 flights and the competition will probably be done by 1 pm.
§ Space is limited to 8 competitors, and a minimum of 4 competitors are needed.
We’ll provide everything else. To register – email@example.com with your business name, contact person, and agreement that rules will be followed.
The festival also includes a costume parade at 11:30 am, led by the West Seattle High School Marching Band.
(Belted Kingfisher – photographed in West Seattle by Matt Olson)
Seven things you need to know for the rest of today/tonight:
DELRIDGE GROCERY FARMSTAND: Earlier this week, we brought you an update on the Delridge Grocery Cooperative‘s longrunning work toward opening a grocery store. Today’s your next chance to visit their weekly farmstand and buy fresh produce and/or find out how to help. 4-7 pm next to Delridge P-Patch. (Delridge Way SW/Puget Boulevard)
WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: Tonight at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, find out about timebanking at 6 pm; potluck at 6:30 pm; guest speaker at 7 pm. Full details in our calendar listing. (SW Oregon/California SW)
WHITE CENTER SHELTER: King County’s plan for an emergency overnight shelter in their former Public Health building in White Center will be discussed at a community meeting tonight, 6:15 pm at TAF’s Bethaday Community Space in Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. Here’s our WhiteCenterNow.com report with detailed background. (605 SW 108th)’
DESIGN REVIEW FOR 2222 SW BARTON: As first announced in August, the ~80-unit, no-offstreet-parking building proposed for a triangular spot across from the southeast side of Westwood Village goes before the Southwest Design Review Board at 6:30 pm. See the “design packet” here. There will be a public-comment period during the meeting, which is at the Senior Center/Sisson Building in The Junction. (SW Oregon/California SW)
OF COURSE, THERE’S MORE … see for yourself on our complete calendar.
9:21 AM: If you’ve noticed police near/inside Lincoln Park this morning – we’ve just found out what the search is about. We started looking into it after a texted tip (thank you!) about police near 47th and Othello. We were unable to get more information at the scene but just reached SPD media-relations Det. Mark Jamieson by phone; he tells WSB, that’s where a resident reported seeing someone break into a neighbor’s house. They told police they saw someone come out of the house “carrying something” and then heading into the park. Officers called for a K-9, who picked up a track and has been helping search – no word of an arrest so far, but as of just before 9 am, according to scanner traffic, they’re still searching.
3:39 PM: Just checked with SPD. No arrest in this case so far. (If you have any info – it’s 16-334518.)
A memorial service is planned next Tuesday for longtime West Seattleite Bob Gamrath. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing:
Robert Gamrath passed away peacefully on September 13, 2016, at 93 years of age.
Born in Opheim, Montana, Bob grew up on the family ranch. Bob attended Opheim High School. At age 22 Bob met Mary Trichilo while he was stationed on Treasure Island in the U.S. Navy. Mary and Bob were married in 1945, came to Seattle on their honeymoon, and ended up living in West Seattle for the rest of their lives. Mary preceded Bob in passing in 1999.
Bob was the father of Sandra, Christy, Thomas, and David Gamrath – all of Seattle. Thomas preceded him in passing in 1975. Bob’s brothers Elmo, Dwight, and Jay also preceded him in passing.
Although Bob left Montana for Seattle in 1941, Bob always held Montana near in his heart, and visited often throughout the years. After completing his apprenticeship as a machinist, Bob joined the Civil Aeronautics Administration in 1947. Bob joined Boeing in 1953 in Shop Load. Bob excelled at Boeing, steadily advancing, and reached the level of Vice President, General Manager of the Fabrication Division, with responsibilities covering Boeing’s manufacturing facilities in Auburn and Seattle, WA, Portland, OR as well as in Georgia and Canada. Bob retired from Boeing in 1988.
Bob stayed active in his retirement, including volunteering in many leadership positions, including at the Italian Club of Seattle. A handyman’s handyman, Bob was highly skilled at carpentry, electrical, plumbing, machining and other skills, and spent much time in these endeavors.
Memorial services and burial will be at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 6701 30th Ave SW, on September 20, 2016 at 10:00, with a viewing beginning one hour earlier.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:15 AM: Good morning – no incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.
7:36 AM: From the scanner – report of a “dark-colored SUV” stalled on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge near Avalon.
8:06 AM: Haven’t heard anything further on that; nothing on cameras or from SDOT, there or elsewhere on the bridge corridor.
10:13 AM: Crash with injuries reported at 35th and Juneau. No word of the traffic effects and we might not be able to go take a look, but, be forewarned if you’re heading that way. Only one SFD unit so far, so whatever the injuries are, they’re not major enough for a medic unit.
10:48 AM: Three-car crash reported on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct just before the Western exit.
Stephanie and her husband just found those items in the attic of their White Center home, and are hoping to find a relative to give them to. The photos seem to include George Lee Hoke, born in 1921, mostly dealing with his military service. Here’s a closer look:
Stephanie says they turned up in the attic – unnoticed in previous looks around, but they’ve been doing duct work, and suddenly, there they were. If you’re a relative, or know someone who might be – let us know!