West Seattle history 518 results

HISTORIC HOUSE FOR SALE: 3045 64th SW, with previous owners including Ivar Haglund, Doc Maynard

Thanks to John for the tip: This Alki house that just went on the market – so new a listing, it didn’t even have a shingle up when we went by tonight – isn’t a landmark, but it has history. 3045 64th SW is listed in King County files as having been built in 1900 but multiple accounts say it dates to the late 1800s – like this one with a historic photo. In 1993, Seattle Times columnist Erik Lacitis declared it Seattle’s “oldest surviving house.” His story says it’s believed to have been built for “Doc” Maynard (yes, the West Seattle Water Taxi vessel’s namesake) on another Alki site, from which it was moved to its current location – and that it was later owned by another legendary West Seattleite, Ivar Haglund. It’s listed at $630,000 and on almost 5,000 square feet of land with single-family zoning.

‘Legends of the Road’ screening at The Admiral to raise $ for mural restoration

The next big event at West Seattle’s Admiral Theater has two big reasons to be on your calendar – the film that you’ll see, “Legends of the Road,” and the cause that you’ll be supporting. From the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Restoration of the art-deco underwater murals of West Seattle’s Historic Admiral Theater will get a boost this summer with a one-night screening of a documentary that showcases a project by local students to salute the black baseball barnstorming phenomenon of the early 20th century.

(“Legends of the Road” trailer)

“Legends of the Road,” a feature-length, student-produced film, will be screened at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, at the Historic Admiral Theater, 2343 California Ave. S.W., sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

The film, which won the highest audience rating at the 2017 Kansas City Film Festival, will be introduced by Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, and former teacher Gary Thomsen of West Seattle, who led the “Legends” project at Chief Sealth High School. After the film, Kendrick, Thomsen, and several of Thomsen’s former students will be available to answer questions.

Admission will be by $20 donation, which will go to the Historic Admiral Theater mural restoration led by SWSHS. A VIP opportunity, to see the film and visit one-on-one with the featured speakers beforehand, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the theater. This opportunity is available by reservation at a $100 donation.

Both levels of tickets can be purchased online via Far Away Entertainment and at the door.

The Admiral’s murals were revealed during its recently completed renovation process. SWSHS says the mural-restoration campaign will include more special events, as well as details on how proposals for restoration will be sought.

VIDEO: Happy hundredth! West Seattle High School alums’ picture-perfect party

June 4, 2017 12:40 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools


(Photo by Jean Sherrard)

Usually the biggest excitement at the annual West Seattle High School All-School Reunion is indoors.


(WSB photos from here on down)

Not this time.

With WSHS celebrating the 100th anniversary of the building’s opening, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and WSHS Alumni Association collaborated to organize a “Group Hug” photo outside the school’s historic north entrance. SWSHS executive director Clay Eals said the Pacific Rim Equipment-provided lift had the highest-ever potential altitude (43′) for one of their trademark photos:

(2 am update) Photographer Jean Sherrard‘s view from up there is atop this story. (Back to original report) He’s at center in the photo below, with SWSHS’s Brad Chrisman at left and Eals at right:

The hundreds who gathered for the photo enjoyed music by the West Seattle Big Band – founded as a WSHS alumni group, now directed by Jim Edwards:

The crowd also heard from one of their most famous fellow alums, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Class of 1980:

Some alums streamed back inside after the photo, through the doors beneath the balloon arch:

One display remained – every year the reunion gives a special spotlight to whichever class is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its graduation, and this year, it was the Class of 1967:

After the memories, music, and photography, alums were invited to continue the celebration an afterparty at Whisky West in Morgan Junction.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: A downloadable version of the photo is now available from SWSHS, with video from the lift and the ground to be added within a few days.

SUNDAY: ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ tour @ Sea View Hall in South Alki

June 3, 2017 7:33 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Before we get back to reports on what happened today – a couple quick reminders about tomorrow, starting with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented tour of Sea View Hall in South Alki. Here’s a video invitation:

The 1905-built log house at 4004 59th SW is the site of this year’s SWSHS “If These Walls Could Talk” tour, a drop-in, self-guided event, 3-5 pm Sunday – full details are on the SWSHS website.

SATURDAY: West Seattle HS All-School Reunion with centennial ‘Group Hug’ photo

June 2, 2017 9:34 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

One more reminder as the weekend begins – this year’s West Seattle High School All-School Reunion is bigger than ever because of the centennial celebration – WSHS opened 100 years ago. In honor of that, alums, students, staff, and all others interested are invited to gather for a “Group Hug” photo on the north side of the school, coordinated with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Here’s Jim Biava of the WSHS Alumni Association with the invitation:

The All-School Reunion starts at 4 pm; gather for the photo at 6 pm. What happens inbetween – and afterward – is listed in our most-recent preview.

COUNTDOWN: 4 days to West Seattle High School centennial celebration, All-School Reunion, ‘Group Hug’ photo

May 30, 2017 7:05 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Our photo of West Seattle High School‘s north side is from last Saturday evening, around the same time that the big All-School Reunion and Centennial Celebration will be wrapping up THIS Saturday (June 3rd). Reunion planners have just sent full details of how the event will unfold – including the “Group Hug” photo in which all community members (not just alums, students, and staffers) are invited to participate:

West Seattle High School Alumni Association, along with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of our school building at the 2017 All School Reunion on June 3rd.

This year’s event will have a special community photo to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the landmark West Seattle High School building, during which the West Seattle Big Band will be performing.

2017 Schedule of Events

4:00 – 4:30 pm
Pick up programs, name tag, and roam the halls

4:30 – 5:15 pm
Individual Class Reunions in assigned rooms

4:30 – 5:15 pm
“92 Years of Westside Pride” video in the Theater

5:15 – 6:15 pm
Presentations in the Theater: Hall of Fame induction, Scholarships Awarded, Recognition of the 50th Reunion of the Class of 1967

6:15 – 6:30 pm
Assemble outside the North Entrance for the Group Hug Photo

6:30 pm
Photo shoot – please be prompt

All are invited to join us for the event. For more information, or to volunteer to help, contact Jim Biava, All School Reunion chair, jim@jimbiava.com, or Clay Eals, executive director, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, clay.eals@loghousemuseum.info.

WSHS All-School Reunion After-Party

And finally, join us at one of West Seattle’s newest and coolest pubs (21 and over), Whisky West (6451 California SW), after the West Seattle High School All-School Reunion. Whisky West is sponsoring the event, with funds raised going to the WSHS Alumni Association.

Grab a bite from the tantalizing menu, catch up with friends and dance the night away with the Nitemates, a well-loved band made up entirely of fellow alumni members who have together been delivering classic rock since 1962. They too are contributing to our alumni association – come check out special music-related auction items to lucky bid-winners! And special appearances by the Brian and Janie Show.

Custom-designed drinks to honor our school, with awesome music and classmates, a beautiful venue in The ‘Hood – what’s not to love?

There will be a silent auction at the ASR with a lineup of exciting purchases to bid on, and a live auction of two music-related items at the after-party.

WEST SEATTLE MUST-SEE: Alki Point Lighthouse tours start Saturday

May 25, 2017 12:25 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(2015 photo by Long Bach Nguyen)

We’ve arrived at the time of year when you don’t have to be in the sky or on the water for a good look at the historic Alki Point Lighthouse. Summer tour season starts this weekend! From Debra Alderman on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary:

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will again be leading free tours for the public at the Alki Point Lighthouse most Saturday and Sunday afternoons Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend.

This weekend the group plans to offer tours on Saturday, Sunday, and Memorial Day Monday as well.
Hours: 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. (last group enters site at 3:40 p.m.)

All ages welcome, but only those 6 and up may go to the very top of the lighthouse tower.

The Lighthouse is at 3201 Alki Ave. SW. Questions? alkilighthouse@cgauxseattle.org

West Seattle weekend scene: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse centennial ‘group hug’

Thanks to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for sharing the “group hug” photo by Jean Sherrard from today’s centennial celebration at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse! The building housed Fauntleroy Elementary School until 1981 and is now home to Fauntleroy Children’s Center on the north end, The Hall at Fauntleroy on the south end, and other community organizations and small businesses inbetween. Watch for video from today’s celebration on the SWSHS website soon.

P.S. Next chance to be in a photo like this is another centennial – West Seattle High School is also celebrating its 100th anniversary, and this year’s All-School Reunion will include a “group hug” photo – 6:30 pm (gather at 6) Saturday, June 3rd – more info here.

SUNDAY: All aboard for SouthWest Stories’ look at local streetcar line


(Seattle Municipal Archives photo of what’s described as the Highland Park-Burien line’s Hillside Station – possibly in Riverview – 1915)

13 years before light rail’s scheduled return to West Seattle, you’re invited to learn about one of the streetcar lines that rolled through our area decades ago. At 2 pm tomorrow (Sunday, May 21st), streetcar historian Mike Bergman is the featured speaker in the Southwest Seattle Historical Society/Seattle Public Library-presented series SouthWest Stories, telling you about the “History of the Highland Park & Lake Burien Railroad.” Here’s his video invitation, courtesy of SWSHS:

SW Stories rotates between library branches, and this time you’ll find it at the Delridge Library (5423 Delridge Way SW).

Landmark-nomination hearing set for Avalon Substation building

img_6928
(WSB photo from October 2016)

The former Avalon Substation building at 3243 SW Genesee has been proposed for landmark status and will go before the city Landmark Preservation Board in July. Here’s the official public notice of the hearing; here’s the official nomination document submitted to the city, including photos of its interior and exterior. In this case, it’s not necessarily that the 1954-built building is believed to merit that status, but meets criteria requiring considerations while the ex-substation is reviewed for proposed demolition. (We first told you back in October about City Light’s plan to tear it down and clean up mercury contamination.) In case you’re wondering, the landmark nomination does not include the building next door that houses Pecos Pit (WSB sponsor), which is using the ex-substation’s parking lot. Public comments are welcomed at and before the hearing, which is set for 3:30 pm Wednesday, July 5th, at City Hall downtown.

JUNE 13TH CORRECTION: Story has been amended above after City Light pointed out that it owns the land that holds the Pecos Pit restaurant but not the building.

FAUNTLEROY SCHOOLHOUSE ‘GROUP HUG’: You’re invited to be in the picture!

May 10, 2017 6:40 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

In a week and a half, on Sunday, May 21st, the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse celebrates its centennial. Part of the celebration will be a “group hug” photo like the ones organized in each of the past three years for the Log House Museum totem pole (2014), the Alki Homestead rescue (2015), and the Admiral Theater renovations (2016). Unlike those three, this one will not have hundreds of elementary schoolchildren in attendance – and while alums of the former Fauntleroy Elementary (1917-1981) have been invited, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society says everyone is invited to be in the photo. Here’s a video invitation:

The photo – to be taken by Jean Sherrard of “Now and Then” fame from a 26-foot-high Pacific Rim Equipment Rental scissor lift – is set for 11:30 am on May 21st, right after a flag-raising ceremony and a few brief speeches, and then the centennial celebration will continue until 3 pm, with a variety of activities – find out more here, and set your calendar to be there and celebrate an important part of West Seattle history!

PHOTOS: West Seattle/South Park open house for HALA rezoning, other city programs

10:12 AM: We’re at Westside School (WSB sponsor) at 10404 34th SW in Arbor Heights, where the city’s second “open house” centered on the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning proposals has just begun. (Use this clickable/zoomable citywide map to see how your neighborhood would be affected.) Unlike the December open house in The Junction, there’s lots of room for lots of people at this one – it’s in the upstairs multipurpose room at the school – the staircase is right inside the main entrance from 34th.

In addition to HALA – with general information as well as a table for each of this area’s five Urban Villages (The Junction, Morgan Junction, Admiral, Westwood-Highland Park, South Park) …

… you’ll also find tables for SDOT, Metro, the upcoming May 25th Highland Park Find It/Fix It Walk, and Democracy Vouchers

… among other things. And the HALA HoloLens “what it would look like under the rezoning” view is indeed being offered.

We’re off to explore some more.

10:35 AM UPDATE: Along with the HoloLens, here’s some of what else is new at this event, if you’ve already been to meetings and discussions about HALA rezoning. For one, we haven’t seen these boards, attempting to put faces and names to the affordable-housing shortage:

Also, a new timeline – the next big touchstone in the process, the draft Environmental Impact Statement, was due out this month. This board says it’s not expected until June, which means a comment period ending in mid-July:

And on the individual Urban Villages’ tables, we’re seeing sheets pointing out projects involved in the city’s previous program for below-market-rate housing in some projects – that’s the Multi-Family Tax Exemption project, in which property tax isn’t charged on the residential portion of projects for 15 years if they agree to rent a certain percentage of units to people making a certain level of income:

That project is unrelated to HALA and has been in place for many years – most of the newer, larger developments in West Seattle are participants. Meantime, back at the “so what would things look like if the rezoning happens?” area in the corner, along with the HoloLens 3D view, there’s also a monitor running a slideshow showing the difference between, for example, development zoned to 40′ currently, and what it would become if HALA adds a floor, to 55′.

So if you come to this (or are here already), don’t miss that in the corner on the right side of the stage.

11:02 AM: Half over already. Here’s the current crowd – still lots of room:

We have to move on, so that’s our last look at this event. If you couldn’t be here and haven’t commented on HALA MHA yet, you can still do that via halainfo@seattle.gov.

Clay Eals, first-ever Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director, announces he’s leaving

He’s the man who literally wrote the book on West Seattle history, and for the past 4+ years, he has been the main cheerleader for appreciating, stewarding, celebrating, exploring, and recording it. Today,Clay Eals has announced he’ll be making way for someone else – not yet hired – to lead the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Here’s the news release:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society soon will seek a new executive director to succeed heritage advocate Clay Eals, who has resigned after four-and-a-quarter years in the position.

In a letter to the organization’s board, Eals wrote that his decision to step down stems from “a desire to spend more time focusing on other aspects of my life.”

His departure will be effective in mid-July. The board plans to begin advertising for the full-time position later this month and hopes to fill the position in time for the successor to overlap with Eals, who has been involved with the historical society since its founding in 1984.

Eals became the historical society’s first executive director in January 2013. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity, adding that he is confident that the organization’s mission, track record and board leadership will result in continued organizational success.

The author, historian and ex-journalist wrote in his resignation letter that the timing of the transition would be “as good as it gets” for the organization.

“We just finished a huge phase of our Junction landmark campaign, and between now and mid-July several manageable events (including the Sea View Hall home tour) can be pulled off while attention is devoted to a hiring process,” he wrote. “Most important is that there is enough time to get a new executive director on board to become immersed in the planning and execution of our 2017 Champagne Gala Brunch.”

As executive director, Eals has seen himself as a pied piper, bringing together members, volunteers, donors, sponsors and community leaders to achieve and monitor landmark status for iconic buildings, assemble Group Hug photo events featuring school children and others at key sites, champion programs and collections of the organization’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum, deepen relations with the Duwamish Tribe, create and sustain two monthly speaker series, revive the historical society’s annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tours, broaden the organization’s visibility, and deepen its financial viability.

Primary responsibilities of the position are fundraising, outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff supervision and overall management. In addition to the full-time position of executive director, the historical society has two paid part-time staff positions of curator and museum operations coordinator.

“We will so miss Clay in his departure from our organization,” says Karen Sisson, who became board president of the historical society in January.

“We have appreciated the guidance Clay has shown us,” she says. “Clay has left us in such a better place than when he came to the organization, so now we are able to take what he has given us, build on that solid ground and reach for the stars! We wish him well with his ventures and will welcome his involvement with us in the future as a seasoned volunteer.”

For more information on the search for a new executive director, please contact Karen Sisson at 206-579-0126 or karensisson12@gmail.com.

(Photo credit: Joanne Murray)

VIDEO: ‘A sign is everything’ – and now the Duwamish has four


(WSB photos and video by Patrick Sand and Tracy Record)

“A sign might not seem like a big deal, but a sign is everything.” That’s how Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals kicked off a media briefing this morning next to the sign you see above – one of four now in place on the low and high West Seattle Bridges, marking the waterway they span, which carries the name of our area’s First People.

That’s our video of the entire event, held along the bicycle/pedestrian path on the “low bridge” alongside its control tower. Eals explained that the signage was first suggested about a year ago at the launch of a photography book called “Once and Future River” and was shepherded by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. She did not attend this morning’s briefing, but Eals was joined on the bridge by two well-known members of the Duwamish Tribe. Ken Workman, member of the Duwamish Tribal Council, is great-great-great-great-grandson of Chief Seattle, and noted that the sign is over the stretch of the river where his family once had a longhouse:

James Rasmussen is coordinator of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition:

Both acknowledged and hailed the significance of the signage – a small yet mighty form of recognition, even as the tribe continues battling for federal recognition of its existence and treaty rights, which Workman said is a matter once again in Bureau of Indian Affairs review. Rasmussen also talked about the ongoing river cleanup, with which the DRCC is deeply involved, and voiced concern about how the new administration in Washington, D.C., will affect the cleanup. It’s half-done, he said, and that’s no time to stop. He is currently most concerned about the Pollutant Loading Assessment in the watershed, which is suddenly looking for help with “modeling” – “the project right now is basically stopped” without that help, he explained, and in need of more funding.

P.S. You can take personal action to help the Duwamish River, two weeks from tomorrow – it’s the spring edition of the Duwamish Alive! planting/cleanup events held concurrently at many spots along the river and in its watershed, 10 am-2 pm April 22nd – go here to find out how to help.

P.P.S. Though he didn’t take a turn at the podium, the “Once and Future River” photographer Tom Reese was at the briefing too:

Rasmussen also contributed an afterword to the book, which is available through UW Press.

West Seattle Junction’s Campbell Building becomes a city landmark, with board’s unanimous vote

(Supporters of landmark status pose in front of the Campbell Building during a “We Love The Junction” event in February)

By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The Campbell Building on the northeast corner of California and Alaska in the heart of The Junction is now an official city landmark, after a unanimous vote during Wednesday’s Landmarks Preservation Board meeting at Seattle City Hall.

After the board voted in February to nominate the historic building – which currently houses Cupcake Royale and three other storefronts facing SW Alaska Street, along with residential and office space upstairs – for landmark status, this was the last step toward protection for the century-old building. Read More

ANOTHER JUNCTION LANDMARK? Campbell Building decision this week

April 3, 2017 11:42 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

cupcake
(Campbell Building. Above, WSB photo, March 2016; below, undated photo from landmark-nomination document)

campbellbuildingphotofromnom

A month and a half after the city Landmarks Board designated the Hamm Building on the northwest corner of California/Alaska as an official city landmark (WSB coverage here), it will decide this Wednesday (April 5th) whether to do the same for the Campbell Building on the northeast corner, built incrementally in 1911 and 1920, named for West Seattle real-estate entrepreneur and civic booster WT Campbell. The agenda is out for the meeting in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall downtown (601 5th Ave.) and the hearing on the Campbell Building is expected to start about an hour into it, around 4:30 pm. If you can’t be there but have a comment about it, you can still e-mail landmarks coordinator Erin Doherty (erin.doherty@seattle.gov); if you are interested in testifying in support of it, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society suggests contacting SWSHS board vice president and We Love The Junction campaign co-chair Peder Nelson (fensterws@gmail.com).

BACKSTORY: It’s been 13 months since SWSHS announced its campaign to seek landmark designations for the Campbell and Hamm Buildings, and half a year since the nominations were submitted to the city. You can see the full Campbell Building nomination document – history, photos, and more – by going here.

VIDEO: Admiral Theater ‘grand reopening’ celebration, report #2


(Admiral Theater’s historic lobby mural, photographed during celebration by Leda Costa)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It was a night 28 years in the making.

From the time the Admiral Theater was shuttered in 1989 – then saved – its future as a moviehouse was never fully guaranteed, until now, with its transformation to a first-run fourplex, celebrated last night. The gala included a ribboncutting with a “ribbon” made of film (across the center of the photo), presided over by Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals (below left), whose involvement dates back to leading the campaign to save it:


(WSB photos by Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)

Eals proclaimed that everyone there last night was “standing in history.” The ribboncutting was the kickoff to a night in which four movies, from The Admiral’s “Four Eras,” were screened – as detailed here, from silent movies celebrating the building’s early history as The Portola, through a brand-new (and very popular) film.

This happened six months after the restoration work at the circa-1942 moviehouse started in earnest, more than a quarter century after it was designated a city landmark as part of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society campaign to save it. The company that owned it in the late ’80s abruptly decided to close it in 1989, and said the following year that it might not ever be a moviehouse again.

That was proven wrong after local entrepreneur Marc Gartin bought it in 1992. (He owns it to this day.) He was thanked last night by Sol Baron from Faraway Entertainment, which runs the moviehouse business and collaborated on the renovation plan, which was officially announced two years ago:

(WSB photo, February 2015)

Read More

REPORT #1: ‘Four Screens, Four Eras’ special night @ Admiral Theater

March 22, 2017 7:22 pm
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 |   Admiral Theater | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

The ceremony is over but the “Four Screens, Four Eras” movies are showing one more time each this evening, and you still have time to get to the Admiral Theater (2343 California SW) to enjoy one of them if you’re not there already. We’ll have photos and video from the festivities later, but above – that’s Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals with one of the theater’s historic mural appliques, subject of an upcoming restoration campaign – if you go to one of the special screenings tonight, you’ll hear about that too.

Next showtimes tonight, from the full preview on the SWSHS website:

ERA ONE, the Portola Theater’s opening in 1919: A slate of classic silent films: Charlie Chaplin’s war parody “Shoulder Arms” (1918), plus three shorts, Harold Lloyd’s “The Marathon” (1919) and Buster Keaton’s “One Week” (1920) and “Cops” (1922). “Shoulder Arms” played the Portola Theater in August 1927. Second showtime 8:40 pm

ERA TWO, the Admiral Theater’s opening on Jan. 22, 1942: The Humphrey Bogart detective story “The Maltese Falcon” (1941), which played the Admiral Theater six weeks after it opened in 1942. Second showtime 8:50 pm

ERA THREE, the Admiral’s twinning in spring 1973: The nostalgic comedy “American Graffiti” (1973), which played the Admiral Theater in August 1974. Second showtime 9 pm

ERA FOUR, the renovation of the Admiral to four screens in fall 2016: The new Disney fantasy “Beauty and the Beast” (2017), which is slated to open at the Admiral on the previous Friday, March 17. Second showtime 9:10 pm

More to come in report #2!

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL CENTENNIAL: Newest plan for June 3rd

Organizers of the June 3rd celebration of West Seattle High School‘s centennial are sharing new information about how the event will unfold:

100th Year Commemoration of the opening of our School Building!

West Seattle High School Alumni Association along with the SW Seattle Historical Society will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the opening of our school building at the 2017 All-School Reunion on June 3rd, 2017.

This year’s West Seattle High School’s All-School Reunion has a special community photo to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the landmark West Seattle High School building.

2017 Schedule of Events:

4:00 – 4:30 pm Pick up programs, name tag and roam the halls
4:30 – 5:15 pm Individual Class Reunions in assigned rooms.
4:30 – 5:15 pm “92 Years of Westside Pride” video in the Theater
5:15 – 6:15 pm Presentations in the Theater: Hall of Fame induction, Scholar-ships Awarded, Recognition of the 50th Reunion of the Class of 1967
6:15 – 6:30 pm Assemble outside the North Entrance for the Group Hug Photo
6:30 pm Photo shoot – please be prompt

ALL ARE INVITED TO JOIN US FOR THE GROUP HUG PHOTO EVENT:

The photo known as a Group Hug for West Seattle High School will be taken at the conclusion of the annual All-School Reunion that afternoon.

Mark the date, June 3rd, 2017!

For more information, or to volunteer to help, contact Jim Biava, All-School Reunion chair, 206-387-2683, jim@jimbiava.com, or Clay Eals, executive director, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 206-484-8008, clay.eals@loghousemuseum.info

To see what the “Group Hug” photo shoot will resemble, check out our coverage of other “Group Hugs” orchestrated outside West Seattle landmarks by the SWSHS – the Admiral Theater last June and the Alki Homestead a year before that.

California/Findlay ‘log house’ saved: Here’s who’s buying it, to move it

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s been almost a year since we first reported that the distinctive log-house-turned-office at 5458 California, where WSB sponsor Ventana Construction has long been the tenant, was planned for demolition and rebuilding. Commenters wondered if the house could be moved rather than demolished. Then in December, we published the announcement by Jeff McCord from house-moving firm Nickel Bros that the property’s owners had given approval to look for someone to buy it for moving to another site. And someone did! Clay Eals from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society found the new owners before we did, and tells the story:

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(December 2015 photo courtesy Jeff McCord)

By Clay Eals
Special to West Seattle Blog

To house mover Jeff McCord, it’s “a creative way to slow the loss of neighborhood character.”

To Seattle University urban-planning professor Marie Wong, it’s an illustration of “our responsibility to historicism.”

And to Admiral couple Neil and Holly Bauersfeld, it’s “a little crazy … but we hope it will be really cool.”

What they’re all talking about is the saving of a beloved log building that was headed for the wrecking ball this summer to make way for a six-unit live/work complex.

With its prominent porch and stone chimney, the log building has stood gracefully for 109 years at 5458 California Avenue SW, on the northeast corner of California’s intersection with SW Findlay Street, midway between the Alaska and Morgan junctions. (The longtime tenant is Ventana Construction, whose lease ends in July.)

Last fall, McCord, a West Seattleite and “house rescuer” for the Washington and British Columbia-based Nickel Bros house-moving firm, received permission from the owner of the property to advertise the opportunity for someone to acquire the historic structure and move it prior to its scheduled demolition.

The opportunity quickly caught the eye of the Bauersfelds, who live near West Seattle High School.

Read More

West Seattle history: Transit token turns up

You never know what you’re going to find when you dig in!

The photos are from Anne Higuera at Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor), who says, “While finishing up the last piece of our large expansion project at West Seattle Nursery (replacing the sidewalk and removing paving from the planting strip in front of both businesses), one of our employees found (this) in the dirt. … The street there has a brick base, so there are many layers of history in that street. The back, with the trees, says “good for one fare” and the front says “Seattle Transit” and the name of the director — looks like Beckett — along the bottom.” The token is smaller and thinner than a penny, she noted:

(Here’s a look at a cleaned-up version of a similar token.) At first they thought it was a token from the trolley days. Online research revealed that Seattle Transit was what the bus system was once known as. Evro M. Becket – who died in 1960 – was on the Seattle Transportation Commission in the ’40s, so the token likely dates back about 70 years. You can find out more about the Seattle Transit System via its annual reports, some of which are available as PDFs through the Municipal Archives. (1940, for example, is hailed as “a year of almost complete changeover from rail to rubber” – as the streetcar system was dismantled. The report features many photos, of buses, streetcars, and examples of streets where the tracks were paved over. And it includes the dates when streetcar runs changed to buses – you’ll see some West Seattle runs listed on page 13. Relevant to the token discovery, page 21 mentions the average Seattle Transit fare was six cents in 1940. The last page, 34, shows the city’s route map.)

UPDATE: One new landmark for The Junction, and one more halfway there, after Landmarks Board hearings for Hamm and Campbell Buildings

(As of 8:22 am Thursday, story now contains full details from both hearings)

easystreet
(WSB photo: Hamm Building, March 2016)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Hamm Building – built in 1926, currently anchored by Easy Street Records – was designated a city landmark by a unanimous vote of the Landmarks Preservation Board tonight at City Hall.

cupcake
(WSB photo: Campbell Building, March 2016)

And its across-California neighbor, the Campbell Building – built in two phases a century ago and currently anchored by Cupcake Royale – is halfway on the road there, with the board voting unanimously tonight to approve its landmark nomination. Next step: An April 5th hearing on finalizing landmark status

We were at City Hall for both votes, five months after the Southwest Seattle Historical Society formally proposed landmark status for the buildings; details to be added to this report later tonight.

ADDED 11:11 PM AND 8:22 AM: Details, as promised, starting with the Hamm Building hearing (then Campbell): Read More

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: Internment-camp survivor speaks at SSC

This morning, internment-camp survivor and military veteran Atsushi Kiuchi spoke at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), as part of the school’s annual Day of Remembrance event. Next Sunday, February 19th, marks 75 years since President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which sent 120,000 people to internment camps. Kiuchi is 87 years old and was in a camp from age 12 through 15. But he had many other memories to share today:

You can also reflect on this chapter of U.S. history through an exhibit in the campus library, “Fred T. Korematsu and the Pursuit of Justice.” Photos, documents, and quotes comprise the exhibit, telling the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient’s “story of challenging the WWII exclusion and confinement order,” as described in the SSC announcement. It will be on display through March 3rd. The exhibit was created by Seattle University for the launch of its Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, which filed an amicus brief in our state’s challenge to the Trump Administration’s immigration ban.

P.S. The next Words, Writers, West Seattle presentation by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Barnes & Noble/Westwood will also spotlight Mr. Korematsu, as Lorraine Bannai speaks at B&N 5-7 pm March 3rd about her book “Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice.”

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