West Seattle, Washington
With so many older homes (at least, older as the West Coast goes!) in our neighborhoods, do you ever wonder about the stories behind them? Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Seattle Public Library present the stories behind an architect who designed homes in many Seattle neighborhoods, Arthur Loveless – and this time, it’s not just a talk, you’ll also be invited on a post-talk tour! It’s the next Southwest Stories event, 2 pm Sunday at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, featuring Susan Shorett, whose great-grandmother was Loveless’s sister. From the announcement:
(Loveless’s) iconic Tudor Revivalist style helped shape many of Seattle’s earliest neighborhoods. Susan and her cousin documented the most thorough list to date of Loveless’s body of work which totals over 100 residential and commercial properties. In 2017, they formulated the idea to document as many of his designs in an attempt to help preserve his architectural legacy in a book of photography of his work as the properties look today.
Susan will be joined by the book’s photographer, Eric Dennon (of Dennon Photography). The two of them will be talking about Arthur Loveless’ body of work, and will show a presentation of the beautiful photography that will be appearing in the upcoming book.
After the talk, everyone there will be invited to a nearby home that Loveless designed a little over a century ago for someone who had “long been heavily involved in early real estate development in West Seattle,” via the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company. It’s all free; the library branch is at 2306 42nd SW, and the tour address will be provided at the event.
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
The “father of West Seattle’s murals,” Earl Cruzen, was there not only in spirit but also in photo as his widow Adah Cruzen announced a big gift toward their restoration.
“He left me a bunch of zeroes,” Adah Cruzen quipped about her husband, who died last year at age 96. Five of them were on the ceremonial $100,000 check displayed this afternoon, as she joined community leaders at the foot of the mural that’s being restored right now in Morgan Junction.
The announcement was hosted by Lora Swift of the West Seattle Junction Association and Dan Austin of Peel & Press, whose restaurant is in the building that’s home to the Morgan mural that artist Bob Henry is now working on. (Added: Video of the event:)
As it began, both Swift and local journalist/historian Clay Eals told the story of the murals – 11 in all – that were painted in West Seattle between 1989 and 1993.
Thanks to Meyer for the photo: A little over two weeks after we reported that the project to save West Seattle’s murals would kick off with restoration of the one in Morgan Junction, the artist is at work. Meyer spotted Gig Harbor artist Bob Henry at work today on the mural behind the California/Fauntleroy building that houses five businesses including Peel and Press, whose proprietor Dan Austin is spearheading this part of the project. We expect to hear more next week about broader plans for restoring more of West Seattle’s murals.
(WSB file photo, past spring cleanup at Log House Museum)
The home of West Seattle’s history – including a collection of more than 14,000 historical artifacts and archives – is getting ready for the summer season and would love help from you. 10 am-2 pm this Saturday (May 5th), it’s annual spring cleanup time at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s Log House Museum. From museum manager Valerie Kendall:
We need help to:
· clean the museum exterior
· clean windows
· brush off cobwebs
· repair our fence
· building a community board and more!
Just show up on Saturday – if you have questions before then, you can e-mail Valerie at email@example.com. The museum is at 3003 61st SW.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After years of planning and discussion, the next step toward restoring West Seattle’s murals will soon go from plans and hopes to reality.
We first reported in October 2015 that Dan Austin, owner of Peel and Press in Morgan Junction, was leading a project to save the mural on the west side of the California/Fauntleroy building that holds his business and four others.
It’s been a long road but that road reached one big milestone back in January, when the Morgan Community Association committed money to the restoration project. Then, another milestone this week, when the muralist who will restore it got his first look at it.
He is Bob Henry from Gig Harbor, and we were there as he visited the mural Tuesday with Austin, MoCA’s president and vice president Deb Barker and Phil Tavel, and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s executive director Jeff McCord and past ED Clay Eals, plus Lora Swift of the West Seattle Junction Association, which is working toward restoration of the Junction murals too.
That’s the “Mosquito Fleet” mural on the east side of the city-landmark Campbell Building in the heart of The Junction – vandalized and fading, but now slated for some help. The West Seattle Garden Tour (coming up on June 24th) has announced its 2018 beneficiaries – the nonprofit efforts that will get grants from the tour’s proceeds – and one is the West Seattle Junction Association, with the money earmarked specifically for restoration of that mural. The other beneficiaries will be:
*ArtsWest (for its Theater Education Program)
*The Arboretum at South Seattle College (for a new message hub and kiosk)
*Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden (for the design and construction of a Victory Garden)
*Little Red Hen Project (for an artistic and functional trellis in its “Winter Feast Garden”)
*PlantAmnesty (to help fund its 10th annual Urban Forest Symposium)
*Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge (to enhance it with three varieties of camellias)
You’ll find more information about the beneficiaries are on the WSGT website. WSGT expects to raise more than $26,000 for the seven projects, through tour tickets (which you can buy online right now), the tour-day raffle, and sponsorship revenue.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org -thank you!
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.
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.
On Calif now! pic.twitter.com/3IYXs3RId6
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 3, 2017
12:35 AM: And it’s off!
NB on California.
And north of Oregon pic.twitter.com/vEJ4LPinXY
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 3, 2017
1 AM: This is moving fairly fast. Already through The Junction – our video is from California/Oregon.
Passing Andover. pic.twitter.com/QdeUjhBR7A
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 3, 2017
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.
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!
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.
(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.
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.
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:
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.
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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: