West Seattle history 543 results

FOLLOWUP: Bruce Stotler finalizes his gift to Schmitz Park’s future

Six weeks after the City Council signed off on the deal for Bruce Stotler‘s Schmitz Park-neighboring property, so that it’ll eventually become part of the park, he signed the final paperwork in a small ceremony at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum headquarters.

With Stotler in the celebratory photo above are, from left, Chip Nevins from Seattle Parks, Vicki Schmitz-Block, former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – who had worked for years to help make it happen – and SWSHS vice president Nancy Sorensen. The photos are courtesy of SWSHS executive director Jeff McCord, who says, “The Southwest Seattle Historical Society was pleased to host the signing at the Log House Museum, and we believe property owner Bruce Stotler is doing a great thing for our West Seattle community!” Backstory is in our previous coverage – here, here, and here.

‘Heart-bombing’ planned for C & P Coffee Company, day before Valentine’s Day

(Photo provided by Historic Seattle, from Bungalow Magazine, September 1913, via Seattle Public Library)

Embedded below is a slideshow provided by Historic Seattle, showing its past “heart-bombing” events – shared as they plan one for West Seattle’s C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor):

The fate of C & P’s site at 5612 California SW remains undetermined, four weeks after its owners put it on the market, with C & P subsequently crowdfunding and working to muster a counter-offer. (Nothing to announce when we last checked in with them.)

If you’re a C & P fan, you’re invited to join in what Historic Seattle has planned. The organization’s announcement explains that heart-bombing is …

… a form of advocacy, a fun and creative way to bring people together and raise awareness about what’s cherished in a community — places both safe and threatened– with homemade valentines that serve as a sort of love letter to places that matter. This February, groups and individuals across the country will be heart-bombing the places that matter to them. To join in, you craft up a valentine and then go out and show some love for the places that matter to you. Next you take a picture, and share on social media using #heartbombSEA and #IHeartSavingPlaces to be a part of the local and nationwide love fest.

On February 8 from 4-6 pm, we are hosting a heart-bomb valentine craftmaking “party” at our headquarters on First Hill. Following that, on February 13 from noon-1 PM, Historic Seattle staff and other advocates will be gathering to heart-bomb C & P Coffee (and take a group photo).

This isn’t a surprise party – C & P already knows. You’re welcome to be there on the 13th whether or not you make it to the craft party five days earlier (Historic Seattle, by the way, is at 1117 Minor Ave.) – or, if you can’t be there in person, you can drop off your Valentine at C & P before then.

NEW EXHIBIT: ‘Navigating to Alki’ opening reception @ Log House Museum

Good crowd at the Log House Museum for the opening of its new exhibit, “Navigating to Alki,” with tonight’s reception continuing until 7 pm.

The focus is on maps of our area – dating back to the Native traditions of keeping “mental maps,” continuing through the earliest printed maps of the area in the 1700s, and on to the early 1900s, including this map showing former cities (including West Seattle) annexed to Seattle during that time:

The exhibit also includes a sound backdrop – the sea! – and some items you’re invited to touch.

Amy Gorton is the museum’s manager:

The museum is in the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s historic log-house headquarters, 61st and Stevens, half a block inland from Alki Beach. If you miss this – go see “Navigating to Alki” during the museum’s regular hours, noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays – it’s scheduled to be on display until September.

REUNION! West Seattle High School Class of ’68 sets celebration date for 50th

Continuing our series of reunion announcements arriving in the WSB inbox, the half-century milestone for West Seattle High School’s Class of 1968 is approaching:

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1968 50TH REUNION

We have set a date! Our 50 th reunion will be on Saturday June 2, 2018. We chose this date so that folks coming from out of town could attend the All School Reunion held at West Seattle High School prior to our get-together.

So here are the details so far.

Location of the 50th reunion will be the Brockey Center at South Seattle College. Address is
6000 16th Ave. SW.

Social Hour 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Dinner at 7:00 PM

We decided to use the Brockey Center again (this is the location that we had our 40 th reunion)
for a few reasons the best reason is we felt we could get more bang for our dollar at this venue.

This venue allows us to bring our own beverages of choice (BYOB). The Brockey Center will
provide glasses, ice and mixers.

We do not have a cost or price yet but should have all of that information in early spring along
with the invite emails.

We are trying to get the word out early for the best possible attendance of classmates!

If you want to be a member of the planning committee you can contact John Herron at
johnshelleyherron@gmail.com

We will post more detailed information after the 50th reunion committee has completed the planning process.

See you all on June 2, 2018 at the Brockey Center!

Reunion coming up? We’d be happy to announce yours too – e-mail the info to editor@westseattleblog.com -thank you!

VIDEO: One more step to go in Hamm Building landmark process

January 26, 2018 4:11 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

1937photo

Next Monday, the full City Council has the final vote on what’s known as the “controls and incentives” agreement that’s the final step of the city-landmark process for the Hamm Building on the NW corner of California/Alaska in the West Seattle Junction. That follows a committee discussion and vote this past Wednesday that had one twist of note.

At 16:15 into that Seattle Channel video of the Finance and Neighborhoods Committee meeting, the committee gets briefed on the agreements for a new landmark downtown and for the Hamm Building (known officially as the Crescent-Hamm Building for two of its original tenants). The agreement finalizes what part of the property is protected – “the exterior of the building.” (You can read it here.) At the table with Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Bruce Harrell, and Erin Doherty from the city Landmark Preservation staff, was Tracey Hsia, a member of the family that owns the Hamm Building. Before the vote, Harrell said he’s always interested in feedback on the landmarking process. Hsia replied by saying that her family, which has owned the 92-year-old building for more than 35 years, “kind of felt like we were attacked” – the landmark designation was proposed by community organizations, and had so much support that they felt there was “no way we could fight it.” She stressed, however, that the family had, and has, no plans to make changes (aside from having a new tenant moving into the ex-Corner Pocket space next month, as noted here).

Also speaking at Wednesday’s meeting (at 5:42 in the video, during the public-comment period) was Jeff McCord, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which played a key role in the process of pursuing landmark designations for the Hamm Building and for the Campbell Building across the street. Monday’s final vote is expected during the 2 pm full council meeting at City Hall.

AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: West Seattle ‘log house’ on the move to its new home

11:33 PM: Exactly one year after first word it might be saved … nine months after word it WOULD be saved … a century-plus-old “log house” is on the move. As we’ve shown you, it’s been trimmed down and jacked up in recent weeks, and now in the hours ahead, starting right after midnight, the house rescuers of Nickel Bros will be moving it north, mostly on California SW, from SW Findlay to its new east Admiral location. We’ll be updating along the way.

11:52 PM: Monitoring & escorting vehicles continue arriving. Also, Jeff McCord, the SW Seattle Historical Society executive director who had previously been with Nickel Bros, is here. He says they estimate the move will take 4 hours.

12:10 AM: Jeff (in hard hat, above)tells us the departure onto California will be closer to 12:30.

12:35 AM: And it’s off!

NB on California.

1 AM: This is moving fairly fast. Already through The Junction – our video is from California/Oregon.

1:10 AM: Now approaching Charlestown. (Our video above is from just south of there, at Andover.)

1:15 AM: We’ve gone a few blocks ahead to wait at Hanford, where our understanding is that the house will make the turn eastward here.

1:35 AM:
Proceeding very very slowly up this last block before Hanford.

1:51 AM: Now at Hanford, and doing some delicate maneuvering to get in position to head directly east onto the street, past St. John the Baptist.

1:56 AM: Up the hill it goes, off the California SW straightaway and into residential streets.

2:35 AM: Two hours since the departure from California/Findlay. Very slow going on Hanford because of trees in the planting strips …

Crew members are pushing them back to make room for the house’s full width.

2:57 AM: The house made it past that section and is now moving more quickly east on Hanford, Meantime, thanks to Derek for this aerial view of the house moving past Manning on California earlier:

One of the officers escorting the house tells us it will be backing into its final turn one more block from here.

3:09 AM: This last bit of movement will be an art more than a spectacle, so we’re pulling out and will come back after dawn to see the house on its new site.

11:51 AM: The house still has to be placed into its new spot off Fairmount north of Hanford – we went by a little while ago and it’s still attached to the Nickel Bros truck that carried it there overnight. That section of Fairmount is blocked off with “road closed” signage in the meantime.

SATURDAY NIGHT MOVE: Final preps for transporting California/Findlay ‘log house’ to its new West Seattle home

(WSB photos)

Tomorrow is the big night – we confirmed today that Nickel Bros is still on track to move the 5458 California SW “log house” to its new home starting late Saturday night. Their crews are on site again today making final preparations.

As announced back in March, the house is being moved to a new location in Admiral. The owners of the California/Findlay site were originally going to demolish it to make way for six live-work units, but Nickel Bros got permission to offer the house for sale/move – their specialty – and it all worked out.

It will be taken directly up California SW most of the way, starting some time after 11 pm Saturday night, continuing into early Sunday morning. It should be quite a sight, as was the last on-the-road house move we covered, in 2010 (which involved two hours of travel time to get from The Junction to Admiral). We will of course cover this as it happens, so if you’re up late/early, check in!

YOUNGSTOWN 100: How this ‘rare and special place’ has evolved

(Frank B. Cooper School, 1930s – Seattle Public Schools photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Your next chance to celebrate West Seattle’s history – with an eye toward the future – is Sunday, at Youngstown 100, the party in honor of the centennial of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, the historic former school building at 4408 Delridge Way SW.

What was Youngstown School in 1917 and became Cooper School in 1939 is by no means a relic from the past. Today, it pulses with creativity and promise, from the artist live/work studios up top, to the classrooms, performance areas, and offices below.

But its future was in doubt, not so long ago.

Youngstown is owned and managed by the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. So for a look back at this part of the historic schoolhouse’s history, as the 100th-birthday party approaches, we sat down for a conversation with DNDA co-founder Paul Fischburg.

Read More

ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY: ‘Youngstown 100’ in honor of Cooper School centennial

November 15, 2017 8:49 pm
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 |   Delridge | Fun stuff to do | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, WSB file photo)

Two and a half weeks until our area’s next centennial celebration – “Youngstown 100,” in honor of historic Cooper School, now known as Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, opened in 2017. It’s been in our calendar a while and now, with 2 1/2 weeks to go, the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association has sent this reminder:

Built in 1917, the Frank B. Cooper School on Delridge Way has a long and storied history of providing education to youth throughout the years, and more recently is known as the home of local nonprofits and artists alike. The historic building remains a vibrant and thriving place for youth to create, engage and participate in community activities, education, arts and culture. This year, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, as it’s now known, celebrates its centennial on Sunday, December 3rd, 2-5 pm, 4408 Delridge Way SW.

The free, family-friendly event will feature an open house of the school, art sales from resident artists, performances from local faves including Seattle’s own Kore Ionz, interactive art for the kids, a 3D time capsule and more.

“This amazing building turns 100 years old this year,” said David Bestock, Executive Director of Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA), the nonprofit organization that owns and operates Youngstown. “It is a center of community, a hub of arts and culture, a safe space for youth of color, queer youth, anyone, everyone.”

As part of the event’s mission to raise 100 donations of $100, people are asked to “buy a brick” in support of the next 100 years of the celebrated building. Those who attend the party will have the chance to decorate their “brick” and add it to the featured time capsule.

Tickets for the event are free, but registration is encouraged. Those who can’t attend are encouraged to donate to support the next 100 years of Youngstown.

If you are interested in donating – with or without going to the party – you can do that here.

P.S. Cooper School is historic not just because of the building, but because of some of what happened there – including the first African-American teacher to work in the Seattle school district, Thelma Dewitty, hired in 1947; Youngstown’s theater is named for her now.

FOLLOWUP: Moving night 3 weeks away for 5458 California SW ‘log house’

That photo texted to the WSB 24/7 hotline earlier this week shows some of the prep work that’s getting under way for the move of the 108-year-old “log house” at 5458 California SW. The move itself is still three weeks away, we’ve learned, but getting the house ready for it is going to look fairly dramatic.

First, some backstory – we first reported a year and a half ago that the owners of the site (where Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) was a longtime tenant, had decided to redevelop, originally planning to demolish the house. Then Nickel Bros, which specializes in moving buildings, got involved. As reported back in March, a local couple agreed to buy and move it. The six-live-work-unit project for the site proceeded through the city review and permit process. And now, it’s almost moving time. (Former tenant Ventana has since moved its offices a half-mile south to 5958 California SW.)

The executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, Jeff McCord, was with Nickel Bros when the plan was made to rescue the house, and he answered our questions today about where things stand. He says the move is now set for overnight Saturday, December 2nd, into Sunday, December 3rd – a few weeks later than previously planned, because of the permit process. What’s imminent is removal of the roof, necessary so they’ll be able to get the house under power lines; it will get a new roof when it’s on its new site. Crews also will be removing two rooms (which were a long-ago addition) from the back of the house.

Then when moving night arrives, the house will be taken north on California SW to its destination, the Bauersfelds’ home near West Seattle High School. McCord says they just learned that there won’t even have to be parking restrictions on California that night, because it’s wide enough for the house to get through. It’ll still be something to see, as was the overnight move of a Junction house in 2010 (different company, though). We’ll update again as the move gets closer.

UPDATE: Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s ‘Power of Community’ champagne gala brunch raises $82,000+

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

5:33 PM: We stopped by Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) at midday for photos just as the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s champagne gala brunch was getting started. Above, new SWSHS executive director Jeff McCord and board president Karen Sisson; below, former executive director Clay Eals and former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen:

Another West Seattleite retired from politics, former Mayor Greg Nickels, was there with wife Sharon Nickels:

Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller was scheduled to be a star of the show, in a conversation with broadcast journalist Connie Thompson:

As with many galas, donated one-of-a-kind auction items were a major attraction. This one is a classic Pearl Jam poster:

Donations big and small are the lifeblood of nonprofits like SWSHS – that includes lots of volunteer power, so you can give time to support its work – and/or you can give money, too.

ADDED 8:23 PM: From Jeff McCord, a wrap-up with words of thanks:

Southwest Seattle Historical Society would like to thank the Community for coming out today to our 2017 Champagne Gala Brunch at Salty’s on Alki. We had some great highlights, like former executive director Clay Eals being awarded a “Power of Community” hand-blown glass ornament created for the occasion by Avalon Glassworks, and long-time supporter John Bennett, owner of Luna Park Cafe, leading off donor support this year as the Presenting Sponsor. This is in addition to the help John has always given us in the upkeep and care of the Log House Museum.

The Gala Committee worked tirelessly to put on the event, including creating four “Fun in the Junction” auction packages for the Morgan, Alaska, and Admiral Junctions, as well as the Alki business district. Some packages included things like B’s Po Boy on Alki contributing a five-course meal for six with wine pairings; Wiseman Appliances providing a stainless steel Frigidaire 38-bottle cooler for the Admiral Junction package; and, in the Morgan Junction, Thriftway making up a huge Seahawks-themed gift basket.

Between challenge funders, exciting live auction & raffle items, we are proud to announce that the community came together to help us raise over $82,000.

CHIEF SEALTH ALUMS: Got memorabilia? This request is for you

October 23, 2017 9:00 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

This year’s Chief Sealth International High School auction celebrates the school’s 60-year anniversary. If you or someone in your family spent time at the school during those 60 years, maybe you can help with this request:

Are you a Sealth Alumni? Do you know one? We are looking for MEMORABILIA throughout the ages. The Sealth Auction Committee is looking for items to use for decorations at the 9th Annual Auction for Sealth, PTSA, DSPA and Athletics. Do you have old Letterman jackets, pictures, annuals? Old uniforms? We’ll borrow or take whatever you’ve got. Maybe ask your neighbor that’s lived in the area for a long time. We are celebrating 60 years of Sealth, 1957-2017!

The auction is on November 18th at the Brockey Center. We’d love any help the community can offer us in locating these items. We are especially looking for the years late ’50s, ’60s & ’70s! Please contact Kristin Arvidson at chiefsealthptsa@gmail.com

TICKET TIME: Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s 2017 Champagne Gala Brunch

October 3, 2017 7:37 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Everybody loves a discount. If you buy your ticket(s) for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Champagne Gala Brunch before Thursday night (October 5th), you save more than 25 percent … $95 now, $125 starting Friday. This year’s brunch is at 11 am Saturday, November 4th, at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor). The theme is “The Power of Community” and along with the live auction, golden-ticket drawing, and more, the event will feature one West Seattle legend – broadcast journalist Connie Thompson – in conversation with another – Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller. This celebration is always sold out before the event day arrives, so you get a guaranteed seat along with a discount if you buy now – you can do that online, here.

VIDEO: Four West Seattleites’ World War II memories

The video is from Mark Jaroslaw, a local video journalist who was asked by the Senior Center of West Seattle to record four local residents’ memories of World War II, in connection with today’s 72nd anniversary of its end. These aren’t military memories – though one participant did join the U.S. Coast Guard during the war – just everyday citizens, including two who lived in Europe at the time. Mark shared the 8-minute video with us and we’re sharing it with you.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: Last 2017 chance to tour Alki Point Lighthouse

(Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary)

If you’re staying here on our beautiful peninsula for the holiday weekend, this might be one last thing on your summer bucket list – tour historic Alki Point Lighthouse. Again this summer, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has opened the historic lighthouse for free tours on many weekend days, but this weekend is it for the year – you can tour Saturday, Sunday, and/or Monday, 1 to 4 pm, be there by 3:40 pm to be sure you get in before it closes. The auxiliary’s Debra Alderman, who keeps us updated all summer on changes in tour dates, invites you to: “Come see a special piece of West Seattle history that has been keeping mariners safe for 104 years and still glowing strong! For more information, visit our website.” The lighthouse is at 3201 Alki SW.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: One more ‘group hug’ for Clay Eals

On an Alki-area patio Sunday night, one last “group hug” photo for the man who has orchestrated them outside local landmarks as part of the job he’s just left. The occasion, a gathering to wish Clay Eals good luck in his next round of adventures, after four and a half years as the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s first executive director. That’s Clay in the red shirt, with wife Meg, to the left of “It Takes a Village”; his successor Jeff McCord is second to the right of it. In a short speech not long before the photo, Clay recalled deciding to take a risk in jumping from a full-time job to what was potentially a very part-time, short-term role that became so much more. “Don’t be afraid to take a risk,” he urged all within earshot, voicing gratitude for everyone who helped make SWSHS a “happening organization.”

P.S. This is just our unofficial photo; Sunday night’s “official” group-hug photo – like the ones for the Log House Museum totem pole (2014), the Alki Homestead rescue (2015), the Admiral Theater renovations (2016), the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse and West Seattle High School centennials (both this year) – was taken by Jean Sherrard.

VIDEO: Final farewell for ex-Alki Tavern

Four and a half years after the final Taco Thursday, it’s Farewell Tuesday:

1:14 PM: Thanks to Carolyn Newman for the photo! Last week, we showed you the start of ground-level demolition for the mixed-use project at 1307 Harbor SW that includes the site of the former Alki Tavern, which closed in March 2013; its fans have been coming for a last look as the demolition equipment got closer. (If you’re new here, the tavern was long a popular spot for riders, especially on Taco Thursdays; the last one before the tavern’s permament closure was in March 2013.)

ADDED 4:53 PM: And now, the rest of the story … as the building came down. It’s part of this “video obituary” courtesy of Mark Jaroslaw:

Last call for Alki Tavern from JaroslawMedia on Vimeo.

West Seattle mural mystery: Vandals’ tags finally, suddenly, unofficially cleaned up

blurredtag(WSB photo from February 2016 – we blurred the tag; in ensuing months, others were added)

A year and a half ago, we published that photo, with disheartening news: One of West Seattle’s historic murals had been vandalized in a big way. Other defacement followed. No official cleanup plan was finalized. But now, suddenly, unofficially, that mural – on the north side of 4740 44th SW, along the south side of The Junction’s southernmost free parking lot – has been cleaned up:

We got first word last night from Guy and Joy Smith, best known for sharing interesting news from Alki Point. They wrote:

We go to dinner at Elliott Bay Brewery every Monday night. We always park in the lot to the west of Northwest Art and Frame. We’re happy when we get there, but everything is ruined when we see the graffiti on the big mural to the south.

Last Monday when we pulled in the lot, there was a woman taking photos of the graffiti and we could tell that she was not a happy camper. We asked her what she was up to and she said she reached the boiling point with the ever-increasing graffiti. She was on a mission to do something about it. It turns out she is a muralist and she knew she could fix it. She also said she was afraid she might get in trouble for doing it. …

When we drove into the parking lot (last night), we were dumbfounded to see that there was no more graffiti on the mural and it didn’t show any signs that any had ever been there.

We had to see it firsthand to believe it – and indeed, there it was, or should we say, there it wasn’t. Our “after” photo was taken just before sunset last night.

Before publishing this, we checked with two people we thought might know something about it. Clay Eals, former executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and Lora Swift, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association. Guy and Joy said they had told the woman about taking a mural tour with Eals (who led several last year), and suggested she talk with him; she said she knew him. Contacted by us, he said he had seen the cleanup early Monday and wondered about it, but didn’t know for sure who was responsible. Swift, meantime, was completely surprised by the news. (Guy and Joy, meantime, said the artist had given them a name; we’re not publishing it unless we can confirm it, and so far, no response to our inquiry.)

Meantime, as Eals points out, while this is “a positive step,” the future of West Seattle’s murals – 20+ years old and showing wear, aside from the restored mural on the Junction Post Office wall – remains clouded. He wrote about it in summer of last year, after the aforementioned tours. The questions he asked at the end remain unanswered, and waiting for someone to step forward (aside from the Morgan Junction mural that has a restoration project in the planning stage).

P.S. If the rogue mural-cleaner is reading this, Eals and Swift both said they’re glad about it – so you’re not in trouble.

Riverside Memorial deeded to Southwest Seattle Historical Society by Budinich family; cleanup & tour events planned in August

July 23, 2017 9:43 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(Gathered in May to celebrate the transfer of the Riverside Memorial to SWSHS: From left, Riverside natives Mike Budinich, Frank Zuvela, Jerry Vandenberg; SWSHS board president Karen Sisson; vice president Peder Nelson; former presidents Marcy Johnsen & Judy Bentley; trustees Nancy Sorensen & Kerry Korsgaard; Advisory Council members Flora Belle Key, Tom Rasmussen, Ken Workman)

Until now, the only property owned by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society was its Log House Museum. Now, a second history-laden West Seattle site is in its care as well. Just announced:

Budinich gift deeds Riverside Memorial to Southwest Seattle Historical Society

Triangle dedicated to residents of Croatian fishing community becomes local heritage organization’s second piece of property

Historic Riverside Walking tour set Saturday morning, Aug. 5

Thanks to a generous gift by the family of Mike Budinich, the Riverside Memorial triangle that was dedicated in 2012 is now the property of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

Initial documents for the property transfer were signed May 31, 2017, and final documents were signed July 19, 2017. The Riverside Memorial is located at 3810 17th Ave. SW, just off West Marginal Way and almost directly beneath the West Seattle Bridge.

The innovative triangle – a total of 1,010 square feet appraised at $21,200 – features bricks denoting the resident families, largely Croatian, of this historic neighborhood, with the bricks arranged in the configuration of the community’s hillside street grid.

Five years ago, the families who trace their roots to the Riverside neighborhood created and dedicated the memorial, which also includes an interpretive monument and metal fishing-boat artwork. In addition, its eastern parking strip features a small garden and bench.

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society co-sponsored the opening ceremony, “Coming Home to Riverside,” on Jan. 28, 2012, and since then has sponsored an annual walking tour centered on the memorial and conducted by Riverside native Frank Zuvela. He will lead this year’s walking tour at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 (donation of $5).

The Budinich family, which owned the property, deeded the triangle to the historical society on two conditions, (1) that the triangle be preserved and not be built upon without the family’s permission and (2) that the historical society maintain it periodically.


(At the Chelan Café, Mike Budinich signs the transfer agreement for the Riverside Memorial, flanked by his partner Michelle Kelly, left, and SWSHS representatives Karen Sisson, board president, and Ken Workman, Advisory Council member)

Karen Sisson, board president for the historical society, says the property fits the organization’s mission “to promote local heritage through education, preservation and advocacy” and allows the historical society to expand its presence within its service area of the Duwamish Peninsula. The site also is adjacent to early settlements of the Duwamish Tribe.

The historical society’s other property is at 3003 61st Ave. SW, the site of the “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum on Alki, acquired in the mid-1990s.

The historical society plans its first work party to freshen the Riverside Memorial for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, two days prior to the Aug. 5 tour. The public is invited to help weed and do other cleanup at the site.

WEST SEATTLE HISTORY: Luna Park documentarian’s request

That’s West Seattle’s legendary, short-lived and long-gone Luna Park, circa 1910, from the Seattle Municipal Archives. If you have any Luna Park memorabilia/photos, Michael Falcone is hoping you’ll help:

I’m working on a documentary on Luna Park (amusement park 1907-1913) and would like to put out a call for any photographs/materials relating to the park and/or early West Seattle. I will be at the High Point Library Sunday, July 16th from 1-3 pm in the High Point Meeting Room for people to come by with any materials they would like to see included in the documentary.

I will have a laptop, scanner and camera present in case people allow me to copy images at that time. I am working with SW Historical Society in part on this project and seeking a Seattle CityArtists grant with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

If you have questions, you can reach Falcone through his website.

RESTORING THE ADMIRAL’S MURALS: Next benefit brings ‘Silent Film Music Guru’ Timothy Brock home to West Seattle

July 9, 2017 7:28 pm
|    Comments Off on RESTORING THE ADMIRAL’S MURALS: Next benefit brings ‘Silent Film Music Guru’ Timothy Brock home to West Seattle
 |   Admiral Theater | How to help | West Seattle history | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts


(Images courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society)

Two weeks from Tuesday, it’s your second chance to enjoy a one-of-a-kind evening of entertainment and help raise money to restore the 75-year-old murals at The Admiral. Here’s the announcement from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Restoration of the art-deco underwater murals of West Seattle’s Historic Admiral Theater will get another boost this summer with a one-night presentation by a West Seattle native whose orchestral scores for classic movies of the pre-sound era have earned him the title of the “Silent Film Music Guru.”

The event is called “Timothy Brock Returns to West Seattle with Music of the Silent Giants.”

It will take place at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at the Historic Admiral Theater, 2343 California Ave. SW, sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

This exciting evening – to last more than three hours, with an intermission – will start with Timothy Brock being interviewed by his childhood friend, West Seattle’s Dave Beck, a host at KING-FM and longtime former KUOW-FM host. Brock will reminisce with Beck about their West Seattle upbringing and discuss the fascinating process of scoring silent classics. (Brock earned the label of “Silent-Film Music Guru” from Vogue magazine in May 2016.)

Interspersed will be stills and clips from silent films that Brock has scored. Following an intermission, Brock will introduce the screening of the Charlie Chaplin feature “Modern Times,” for which Brock has restored and re-recorded the original 1936 Chaplin score.

Tickets are $20, and proceeds will go to the Historic Admiral Theater mural restoration led by the historical society. A VIP opportunity, to attend the presentation and visit one-on-one with Brock and Beck beforehand, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the theater. VIP tickets are $100.

You can purchase tickets online here, or at the door. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged, as the event may sell out.

Timothy Brock, who has long lived in Bologna, Italy, is internationally renowned for his orchestral scores for the movies of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and many other silent film classics. Over 30 years, he has composed 27 original scores for silent films, and he has served as the film restorer for the Chaplin estate since 1998. Brock also conducts symphonies in live performances of his scores to accompany presentations of silent films all over the world.

This month Brock is making a rare return to his boyhood community, where, as a 10-year-old in the early 1970s, he watched organ-accompanied silent films at West Seattle’s beloved Granada Theater south of The Junction and drew the initial inspiration for his career, which he labels a “lifelong dream.” (The Granada was razed in 1977.)

To see Brock discuss this West Seattle-based inspiration, go here (or view below – time code 1:20-1:50):

Brock’s mother is Berlena Brock, former board member of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

This unique presentation on July 25 will be the second event this summer to benefit the historical society’s fund to restore the auditorium murals of the Historic Admiral Theater. The first event, a screening of the local documentary “Legends of the Road,” drew 200 people to the theater and raised more than $5,000 for the fund.

The murals date to 1942, when the Portola Theater was converted and expanded to the Admiral Theater. They were covered by curtains when the theater was twinned in 1973 and uncovered as part of the theater’s recent renovation to four screens.

The Historic Admiral Theater became an official Seattle landmark in 1989, following a campaign led by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

More information about Brock is available at his website, timothybrock.com.

VIDEO: Looking ahead and back @ Southwest Seattle Historical Society 4th of July picnic

July 4, 2017 9:57 pm
|    Comments Off on VIDEO: Looking ahead and back @ Southwest Seattle Historical Society 4th of July picnic
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

This holiday celebrating our nation’s history is always a day of celebration for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Today, the SWSHS’s annual Independence Day picnic looked ahead and looked back. The former was courtesy of newly hired executive director Jeff McCord, announced last weekend as successor to Clay Eals. He talked about the transition as well as his intent to continue building on Eals’s work:

SWSHS also looked back by paying tribute to Merrilee Hagen (right), who inspired the acquisition of what became its headquarters, the Log House Museum, 20 years ago. She died last spring at 73. McCord read a speech that Hagen had given a few years before the acquisition, in which she had talked about witnessing the “bulldozing” of so many heritage structures she recalled from growing up in the area, and suggesting something needed to be saved before they all were gone.

Also at today’s picnic, music courtesy of the West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ Brass Sextet:

SWSHS continues to present a busy slate of events year-round – next up, 5-7 pm Friday (July 7th) at Barnes and Noble/Westwood Village, see and hear this month’s Words, Writers, West Seattle authors Jeff and Sonja Anderson, with “Mount Rainier’s Historic Inns and Lodges.”

Jeff McCord chosen as Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s next executive director


(Jeff McCord and Clay Eals, photographed by Bill Wright of William Wright Photo)

Just announced by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, its next leader:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society board has selected as its next executive director Jeff McCord, a 24-year resident of West Seattle who has helped save more than 100 historic homes in the Seattle area, served on several community boards and led the revival of a struggling nonprofit.

McCord will succeed the historical society’s first executive director, Clay Eals, who resigned in April and has worked four-and-a-half years in the position.

The selection comes after an extensive search and interviewing process by our board’s Personnel Committee, chaired by vice-president Peder Nelson, as well as by the full board.

“We are delighted to bring Jeff aboard,” says Karen Sisson, board president, “and we are excited about the varied skills, long experience and deep passion that he will bring us.”

The start date for McCord, 54, is today (July 1). The SWSHS board plans to retain Eals for the month of July to provide an overlap during which Eals can orient McCord and introduce him to the historical society’s key supporters and partners.

The public will have its first chance to welcome McCord to the executive director’s position at the historical society’s Annual Picnic, slated from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, in the courtyard of its “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum.

(The picnic also will feature an opportunity for remembrances of the late Merrilee Hagen, former board president who sparked acquisition of our museum building in the mid-1990s, plus live music courtesy of the West Seattle Community Orchestras’ Brass Sextet. For the picnic, the public is invited. Our board provides basic foods, and others are invited to provide extras.)

McCord will begin work as executive director for our historical society while he transitions away from the executive director’s post at the TV cable-access nonprofit Puget Sound Access/Carco Theatre in Renton.

That organization hired McCord two and a half years ago in an effort to restore internal infrastructure and stability.

On the Duwamish peninsula, McCord is perhaps best known as “home rescuer” for Nickel Bros, a company that preserves homes from razing through creative redevelopment or by finding new owners and moving the homes to new locations.

One house that he preserved in place was the home overlooking Lincoln Park in which the REI firm was founded. More recently, he facilitated preservation of the 1908 log home at California Avenue and Findlay Street that is to be moved to the Admiral area this summer.

A resident of Gatewood Hill, McCord also has served as chair of the Southwest Design Review Board and has been involved with the West Seattle Anti-Crime Council and what is now called the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council. In addition, he has worked as a graphic design teacher, as a consultant in Kickstarter fundraising and graphic design and as a producer of video games.

A graduate of the Evergreen State College, with a bachelor of arts degree in media arts, McCord is a current student of the University of Washington Evans School of Governance & Public Policy, from which he expects to receive a master’s degree in public administration in 2018.

McCord says it is his “dream opportunity” to become executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

“Historic preservation has been a very important part of my adult life, having grown up among tall trees and beautiful old buildings in Lexington, Kentucky, only two blocks from Ashland, home of the great American statesman Henry Clay,” he says. “This job perfectly blends my love of historic architecture, cultural histories and locally focused volunteer causes. I’ve watched as the historical society has continued to grow in its offerings, becoming a strong and vibrant voice within — and on behalf of — the Duwamish Peninsula. I am both proud and humbled to be given the chance to build on the organization’s many successes.”

One of his direct connections to our historical society is that his wife, Rosemary Woods, designed the logo for our organization’s museum 20 years ago. Her drawing of the building is still used in our organization’s logo today.

McCord looks forward to orienting himself to our historical society’s wide slate of events and activities and to building relationships with our donors, sponsors and volunteers and the public.

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

McCord’s hours at the Log House Museum will be variable. He can be reached by phone at 206-234-4357 (cell), and his e-mail address will be director@loghousemuseum.info.

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