West Seattle history 519 results

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.”

NEXT SUNDAY: WSB, year 10, at SouthWest Stories

February 12, 2017 11:59 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Advance calendar note for next Sunday – the Southwest Seattle Historical Society has invited us to be featured in the monthly series they co-sponsor with the Seattle Public Library, SouthWest Stories. SWSHS executive director Clay Eals will host a conversation with your WSB co-publishers Tracy Record and Patrick Sand in honor of WSB’s 10th year reporting news 24/7 news for West Seattle. (We started turning toward news with the December 2006 windstorm and then officially became a business in fall 2007.) We’ll see you at the newly upgraded High Point Library (35th SW/SW Raymond), 2 pm on February 19th. As always with SouthWest Stories, admission is free and seating is first-come first-served.

JUNCTION LANDMARK CAMPAIGN: Valentine photos; February 15th meeting updates

February 11, 2017 6:16 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

What you see above is a collage of the 70 “Be My Junction Valentine” photos taken by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s “We Love the Junction” task force last Sunday in front of the Campbell Building at California/Alaska. As we showed you here on WSB that morning, people turned out despite the rain; final tally for those photos was 149 people and 13 dogs. If you were among them, SWSHS has sent you this link (where anyone can go to see the photos one by one, whether they participated or not). And the SWSHS has this reminder about what’s happening the day after Valentine’s Day:

​Also in the e-mail to the photo subjects was an indication of the timing of the two Junction-related hearings scheduled during the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board meeting on Wednesday, February 15, at City Hall.

According to the meeting agenda, the landmark designation hearing for the Hamm Building (main tenant Easy Street Records) will start about 4:10 p.m. and last 45 minutes. The agenda also says the landmark nomination hearing for the Campbell Building (main tenant Cupcake Royale) will start about 4:55 p.m. and last 60 minutes.

The task force is encouraging people to attend the hearings. The task force will ask all supporters in the room to stand to show their support for Hamm and Campbell landmarking. Those wishing to speak at either hearing will be limited to one minute each.

The task force also asks that people e-mail messages of support to Erin Doherty, city landmarks coordinator, at this address by Sunday, February 12, to allow for the messages to go to board members in time to read them before the hearings.

More information on the Junction landmark campaign can be found here.

City Hall is at 400 5th Avenue. The meeting will be in the Boards and Commissions Room on its 2R level, which you can reach via elevator from the main and lower lobbies. And if you’d like to review the nomination documents for the two proposed landmarks – which are full of information and historic photos – the Campbell Building is here, the Hamm building here.

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: Internment-camp survivor to speak at South Seattle College

Next Wednesday, February 15th, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) plans an event in honor of the Day of Remembrance, with speakers including an internment-camp survivor. Here are the details from SSC:

This year’s Day of Remembrance marks the 75th anniversary of President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which led to the evacuation and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans to internment camps throughout the west coast.

South Seattle College will have two speakers on February 15 and an exhibit running until March 3 to commemorate the injustices and hardships during this time, and discuss how it relates to our society today.

Speakers Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the Olympic Hall Theater (OLY)

10 am – 11 am: Atsushi Kiuchi
Atsushi Kiuchi is an internment camp survivor. He will discuss events before, during and after Feb. 19, 1942, when Executive Order 9066 was signed. Kiuchi will also discuss the military exploits of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, comprised of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought in World War II, and connect current events with his past experiences.

11 am – 12 pm: Professors Gail Nomura and Steve Sumida
Professor Gail Nomura and her husband Professor Steve Sumida are Japanese American. They recently retired as professors from the University of Washington in the American Ethnic Studies department with a focus on the Asian American experience. They will discuss the Japanese American experience during the time period surrounding Executive Order 9066.


Through March 3: Fred T. Korematsu and the Pursuit of Justice Exhibit in the Campus Library (LIB):

President Bill Clinton awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, to Fred Korematsu in 1998, saying, “In the long history of our country’s constant search for justice, some names of ordinary citizens stand for millions of souls.”

Through photographs, archival documents and quotes, the Fred T. Korematsu and the Pursuit of Justice Exhibit tells Mr. Korematsu’s story of challenging the WW II exclusion and confinement order.

Korematsu worked as a shipyard welder after graduating from high school until he lost his job after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was 22 when the U.S. plunged into war. On May 9, 1942, his parents and three brothers reported to the Tanforan Assembly Center, but Korematsu stayed behind with his Italian-American girlfriend. His refusal to comply with the evacuation order led to his arrest on May 30, 1942. His fight against the mass removal of Japanese Americans resulted in a landmark Supreme Court case concerning wartime civil liberties.

In 2011, California held its first Fred Korematsu Day, the first day in the U.S. to be named after an Asian American, commemorating his lifetime of service defending the constitutional rights of Americans.

The exhibit was created by the Seattle University Law Library for the launch of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law.

SSC is at 6000 16th SW on Puget Ridge; here’s the campus map, if you need help finding the buildings mentioned above.

Make Valentine history in The Junction this Sunday

2017 02-01 Junction valentine Whittaker Bennett
(West Seattleites Bobby Whittaker and Aurora Bennett, photographed by Leda Costa)

You can get a fun, free Valentine photo – like the one above – this Sunday, courtesy of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. With the Campbell Building’s landmark nomination getting its first hearing before the Landmarks Preservation Board this month, SWSHS’s We Love The Junction” campaign is using it as a backdrop for photos this Sunday during the West Seattle Farmers’ Market. Here’s the official announcement:

The “We Love The Junction” Task Force of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society has a fun and unique way for you to obtain a free digital valentine with your sweetie and show your love for the Junction at the same time.

It’s called “Be My Junction Valentine.” Here’s how it will work:

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Sunday, February 5, 2017, the task force will be at West Seattle Farmers Market taking FREE valentine photos at the northeast corner of the Junction in front of the Campbell Building, 4554 California Ave. SW. (main tenant: Cupcake Royale).

You – with a companion, with your family or even by yourself – will be able to pose for a valentine photo while holding a sign with the “We Love The Junction” logo.

The photo will be digitally placed into a heart-shaped template and e-mailed to you in time for you to circulate it – and post it on social media – on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, Feb. 14, as your 2017 valentine greeting. The “We Love The Junction” Task Force also will post the photos on Facebook.

The first 25 people to have their “Be My Junction Valentine” photos taken will receive a free Cupcake Royale “Babycakes” cupcake – one cupcake per photo.

Those getting their “Be My Junction Valentine” photos taken also will come away with a flier describing how they can write to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board about their support for landmark status for the Campbell Building and Hamm Building.

The flier also will include logistical information on showing support by attending the Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, meeting of the landmarks board at City Hall downtown.

The landmarks board’s Feb. 15 meeting starts at 3:30 p.m., but hearings on designation of the Hamm Building (built in 1926) and nomination of the Campbell Building (built in 1911/1920) likely will take place later in the afternoon and early evening. More precise times for the hearings will be known when the agenda is released the week prior to the meeting.

Here’s our recent preview of that meeting. For more on this Sunday’s photo event – which will happen rain or shine! – go here.

VIDEO: Log House Museum celebrates students & elders’ involvement in ‘Telling Our Westside Stories’

January 27, 2017 11:52 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(WSB photo)

Something else you can do today – or any Thursday/ Friday/ Saturday/ Sunday afternoon, when the Log House Museum is open – go check out its ongoing project “Telling Our Westside Stories” exhibits. A reception at the museum last night celebrated both the culmination of the project and the involvement of both youth and elders in interviews done as part of it. In our photo above are Lola Demurger and Zoe Harper, 16-year-old West Seattle High School sophomores who were Madison Middle School students when they were part of the project. They’re talking with Seaview resident Detlev Kroll of West Seattle’s Kroll family, as in Kroll Map Company. Questions during their interview demonstration last night were largely about what had changed since he was their age. He recalled the Admiral Theater‘s single-screen days, and shops that used to be in the Morgan Junction area, including the old butcher shop at the corner of California/Graham (it was in this building demolished back in 2008).

Before the demonstration interview, the project was explained last night by former Southwest Seattle Historical Society president Judy Bentley and Madison MS teacher Amy O’Donoghue, whose language arts/history students were part of the project. You’ll hear from them, followed by the demonstration interview, in this video from last night, recorded by SWSHS executive director Clay Eals:

Curator Lissa Kramer emceed the reception. “Telling Our Westside Stories” includes exhibits themed “Land” (2012), “Work” (2014), and “Home” (2016).


The program was funded in part by 4Culture. Regular hours at the Log House Museum are noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays.

Remembering Earl Cruzen, father of West Seattle’s murals (and more), 1920-2017

(2009 WSB photo)

Family, friends, and neighbors are mourning Earl Cruzen, 96, someone who worked long and hard – and well into his golden years – to make West Seattle a better place. A memorial is planned next month. Here’s a remembrance sent by Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

The father of the famed Murals of West Seattle has died.

Earl Cruzen, a lifelong resident and longtime business leader in West Seattle, died Jan. 23, 2017, at his Duwamish Head condominium overlooking Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. He was 96.

Earl was perhaps best known for conceiving and executing the art/history project called the Murals of West Seattle, centered in the West Seattle Junction.

On vacation trips with his wife, Virginia, and friends Moe and Bonnie Beerman, Earl encountered historical murals in Long Beach and Ilwaco, Washington, and Chemainus, B.C., and saw their potential for drawing tourists and bolstering local business.

Earl launched the Murals of West Seattle project in 1988, and over the next five summers 11 murals by world-renowned artists sprouted on the walls of business buildings in and around the Junction. The murals, depicting scenes from West Seattle history, were funded by local building owners and matching city and county grants. Nine of the murals remain to this day, with a 10th repainted in a new location.

An offshoot, affectionately called the “12th mural” in reference to its original intent, was Phillip Levine’s “Walking on Logs” sculpture. Depicting children balancing atop driftwood, it is part of the West Seattle Gateway along the Fauntleroy Expressway and was dedicated in 1996. Earl led not only its development but also the hands-on maintenance of its hillside grounds for 12 years.

Several awards recognizing the Murals of West Seattle came Earl’s way, including, most recently, the 2014 Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community. He typically credited his mentors and partners and promoted the value of service to others.

“It’s not what you are getting out of life,” he said when then-Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels proclaimed Sept. 13, 2008, as Earl Cruzen Day, “but what you are giving to the life in your community.”

The mural project capped a full life. He was born Earl Robert Cruzen on Sept. 9, 1920, and raised in what was called the Dumar area of the Highland Park neighborhood in the southeastern corner of West Seattle.

A 1939 graduate of West Seattle High School, where he was a newspaper columnist and editor of the annual, Earl attended the University of Washington for a year before joining the World War II effort by working at Boeing, testing airplanes before they were delivered to the Army Air Corps. Later during the war, he joined the Merchant Marines.

Earl started and grew his auto-parts distribution business, Cruzen Distributing Inc., near the Georgetown neighborhood, over the next four decades. He also served as chair of the Junction Development Committee, an umbrella group of the Junction Merchants Association, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and West Seattle Trusteed Properties.

After his retirement, Earl continued his community involvement for 20 years with a variety of organizations. He volunteered at S.C.O.R.E. as a financial counselor. Underscoring his passion to help students pursue further education, he served on the foundation board for South Seattle Community College, establishing endowed scholarships for automotive students and in the name of the West Seattle High School class of 1939.

His involvement extended to the Rotary Club (downtown and West Seattle), Fauntleroy Church, West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA, Horizon House, Southwest District Council, the People to People International program for educational travel and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, for which he was an Advisory Council member.

Earl was married to his first wife, Virginia, from July 21, 1943, until her death on May 2, 1998. Earl married Adah Rhodes on his 80th birthday on Sept. 9, 2000, and they enjoyed the Alki waterfront for his next 16-1/2 years.

Besides Adah, he also is survived by a daughter, Carla Friehe (Berend); grandchildren Katharina Rainis (Michael), Derek Friehe (Amber), Phillip Friehe (Justine), and Stephanie Cumaravel (Collin); great grandchildren Sebastian Friehe, Emma Friehe, Caleb Rainis, and Ethan Rainis; Adah’s stepdaughter Sally Crouch and Sally’s sons Garth Crouch (Nickie) and Scott Crouch (Yana).

Cruzen was preceded in death by his parents, Wesley and Ora Mae Cruzen, and sisters Bernice Tonkin and Vivian Floyd.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, at Fauntleroy Church, 9140 California Ave. SW. Arrangements are by Evergreen Washelli. Remembrances in lieu of flowers may go to South Seattle College, the Rotary Club of West Seattle, the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCAs, or the Mural Restoration and Maintenance Fund of the West Seattle Junction Association.

Earl would summon a phrase from Joshua Green and say about the Murals of West Seattle, “When these you see, remember me.”

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

JUNCTION LANDMARKS? Campbell Building nomination to be considered February 15th, same meeting as Hamm Building vote

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


The February 15th meeting of the city Landmark Preservation Board has now become, in part, a West Seattle doubleheader, now that the 1918-built Campbell Building has been added to the agenda. From Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board hearing and vote on our nomination of the Campbell Building for landmark status has been scheduled for the board’s meeting at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, at Seattle City Hall.

This is the same meeting that the board has scheduled its hearing and vote on designation of the Hamm Building for landmark status. (The board voted unanimously in favor of our landmark nomination for Hamm at its meeting Jan. 4, 2017.)

At the Feb. 15 meeting, the Hamm designation hearing and vote likely will take place prior to the Campbell nomination hearing and vote.

In anticipation of the Feb. 15 meeting, we encourage supporters of landmarking the Hamm and Campbell buildings to take one or both of the following steps:

(1) Write messages or letters in support of Hamm designation and Campbell nomination to the board via e-mail to Erin Doherty, historic preservation coordinator for the board, or via a letter mailed to the board at PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649.

(2) Plan to attend the Hamm and Campbell hearings, which likely will begin in the late afternoon and could extend to early evening. About a week prior to the meeting, when the complete agenda is released, we will announce more specific times for each hearing as well as a plan to help guide people to the meeting from the West Seattle Junction transit center.

SWSHS officially submitted the landmark nominations last September. You can see the nomination documents for both buildings – which contain detailed background and historical photos, among other things – on the city website. The Campbell Building nomination is here; the Hamm Building nomination is here. (And here’s our coverage of the meeting at which the board advanced its nomination to be considered for landmark status.)

To see which West Seattle sites are already landmarks (and others around the city), check out this map.

TOMORROW: ‘Secret Lives of Houses’ @ SouthWest Stories

Even if you don’t live in a house, you might be interested in tomorrow’s SouthWest Stories presentation with King County archivist Greg Lange (whose video invitation is above) – “Welcome Home: Searching for the Secret Lives of Houses.” Maybe there’s a house or other building that you walk, ride, or drive by, and often wonder about. Some information is available online, but not all, so Lange will explain where to look and what you might find. Just be at Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson) at 2 pm Sunday – it’s free, seating is first-come, first-served, in the upstairs meeting room. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Seattle Public Library are co-sponsors of the series.

P.S. Details aren’t final yet but your WSB co-publishers have been invited to be next month’s “SouthWest Stories” guests (February 19th), since this is WSB’s 10th-anniversary year – stand by for more on that.

West Seattle Junction’s Hamm Building lauded as ‘jewel’ in first step toward designation as city landmark

(Above, Hamm Building in 1956; below, sixty years later)


By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A hearing February 15th is the next major step in determining whether the 91-year-old Hamm Building in the heart of The Junction gets city-landmark status.

The proposal to confer that status reached one milestone this past week, after an hour-and-a-half city Landmarks Preservation Board hearing that included both a strong show of community support and a declaration from a member of the family that owns the building saying the nomination “blindsided” them. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, leading the campaign for landmark status for this building and the Campbell Building across the street, explained the notification process afterward, saying it had been talking with the family’s lawyer for months.

We reported briefly on Wednesday’s hearing shortly after its conclusion. Ahead in this report are details of how the hearing unfolded, and what happens next: Read More

Landmark status for Hamm Building? Board OKs first step – nomination

Quick update from the city Landmark Preservation Board meeting downtown: Minutes ago, the board gave its approval to the first stage of the process that could result in city-landmark designation for the Hamm Building on the northwest corner of California/Alaska in The Junction.


Their unanimous approval tonight means they support the nomination of the 1926 building – next step, they will consider whether to designate it a landmark. Full report on the meeting tomorrow, including not only the show of community support but also a member of the family that has long owned the building telling the board that the nomination “blindsided” them. No date yet for the next hearing.

2016 LOOKBACK: The year’s most-commented-on WSB stories

And now, in the final minutes of 2016, the one lookback we publish every year … the 10 most-commented-on WSB stories of the year. Like last year, this year it’s a Top 11 list because of a tie along the way:

September 9th – 122 comments

March 30th – 123 comments

December 7th – 128 comments

April 7th – 136 comments

September 20th – 145 comments

January 19th – 145 comments

March 26th – 152 comments

January 15th – 154 comments

October 7th – 214 comments

November 9th – 216 comments

March 28th – 269 comments

If you want to look back even further – here are past years’ lists:

1 week until Landmarks Board considers West Seattle Junction’s Hamm Building


The agenda is out for next Wednesday’s Landmarks Preservation Board meeting, which will include consideration of the Hamm Building in the West Seattle Junction as a potential city landmark. The board will meet at 3:30 pm in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall downtown; if the estimated time for the agenda items before this nomination run as projected, it will be about an hour and 45 minutes until the board gets to this nomination (4:45 pm). The public is welcome, and there will be a time for public comments, which also can be sent via postal mail (this notice explains how). The Hamm Building is on the northwest corner of California/Alaska and is best known as home to businesses including Easy Street Records. From the 54-page nomination document, which you can see here, the “statement of significance”:

The Crescent-Hamm Building is a pivotal commercial building in West Seattle. Completed in 1926 during a decade of rampant growth, the building remains a familiar visual anchor at the center of “the Junction,” West Seattle’s most prosperous business district. It was designed by the prolific architect Victor W. Voorhees at the behest of W. T. Campbell, a highly successful local developer and community booster of the period. Although altered in minor ways, the building retains typical massing, spatial arrangements, and distinctive terracotta detail of a 1920s business block.

If the board gives its approval to the nomination, it would have at least one more meeting to consider formally designating the building as a landmark. Meantime, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society also is proposing landmark consideration for the Campbell Building on the northeast side of the same intersection; no date set yet for its consideration by the board.

TOMORROW: Camp Long’s 75th anniversary spotlighted @ SouthWest Stories

December 17, 2016 5:44 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

One of West Seattle’s crown-jewel parks, Camp Long, celebrated its 75th anniversary this year (WSB coverage here). Even if you went to the party – there’s more to learn about its past, and its future. Above is Camp Long education supervisor Sheila Brown, inviting you to tomorrow afternoon’s SouthWest Stories presentation, co-sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society (which shared her video invitation) and Seattle Public Library. Come to Delridge Library (5423 Delridge Way SW) at 2 pm Sunday to hear what she has to say about “The Diamond Anniversary of Camp Long: Rocking Outdoor Recreation for 75 Years.”

WEST SEATTLE HISTORY: Hearing set for Hamm Building’s landmark nomination


Nine months after the Southwest Seattle Historical Society launched its campaign to get city-landmark status for two buildings in the heart of The Junction, a hearing date is set for the first one to be considered, the Hamm Building on the northwest corner of California/Alaska, where Easy Street Records is the anchor tenant. Here’s the official announcement from the city today, explaining how you can comment:

Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the Crescent-Hamm Building at 4302 SW Alaska Street/4559 California Avenue SW on Wednesday, January 4 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, Floor L2) in the Boards and Commissions Room L2-80.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following mailing address by 3:00 p.m. on January 3, 2017:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

A copy of the Landmark Nomination is available for public review at the West Seattle Branch Library, 2306 42nd Avenue SW (206-684-7444), and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ office in Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor (206-684-0228). It is also posted on the Department of Neighborhoods website, under the heading of “Current Nominations,” or you can view it here (PDF).

The landmark nominations for the Hamm and Campbell Buildings were officially submitted in September. No date is set yet for consideration of the Campbell Building. Despite its place in West Seattle history, The Junction currently has no city-designated landmarks – the nearest one is the old utility building at Dakota Place Park. You can find a list and map of all city landmarks here, along with more information about the designation process.

Councilmembers propose more ‘affordable housing’ $ without diverting police $

You’ve probably heard about City Councilmember Kshama Sawant‘s campaign to get the city to build affordable housing with the money it might otherwise spend on a new nine-digit police precinct in North Seattle. Today, she is one of six councilmembers – along with West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold – proposing a new plan:

Six Councilmembers introduced a new proposal today intended to create up to 500 new units of affordable housing for Seattle residents. The housing production would be funded by newly utilizing the City’s existing bonding capacity and paid off over a 30-year term. Councilmembers Bagshaw, González, Herbold, Johnson, O’Brien, and Sawant have signed on to the proposal, which will allow it to be reviewed and discussed at this Wednesday’s 9:30 a.m. Budget Committee meeting.

Councilmembers Bagshaw, González, Herbold, Johnson, and O’Brien said, “In this time of crisis, we thank the advocates in encouraging us to join together in support of a new use of the City’s bonding authority, namely, affordable housing production. There are several details yet to work through, but, with this proposal, we are signaling our common desire to create solutions in this year’s budget deliberations. This proposal does not pit Seattle’s housing needs against other citywide priorities, such as public safety needs.”

The proposal is a measured approach that adds bond funding for housing which, if leveraged with other resources, could result in development support for up to an additional 500 units of affordable housing in 2017. The $29 million is in addition to the Housing Levy’s anticipated 2017 $54 million allocation.

The following memo is illustrative of the opportunities this funding could support. The details and direction of the proposal will be further refined through the Council’s budget deliberations.

Those deliberations are approaching their final stages, with budget adoption due before Thanksgiving.

VIDEO: Hope, generosity set the stage for successful Southwest Seattle Historical Society gala

(WSB photos/video unless otherwise credited)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Honoring our area’s history is “the stuff of identity, legacy, and hope,” Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals told the 230 guests gathered for the organization’s annual Champagne Gala Brunch today.

Though Eals emceed most of the 3 1/2-hour event, he presented that message via a video preceding the gala’s major fundraising round – and it clearly resonated, in this time of seemingly light-speed change; that round and other components of the brunch brought SWSHS $107,759, 36 percent more than last year.

This is a rock-n-roll Historical Society, with those in attendance at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) spanning a wide range of ages and affiliations. Though “Loving Our Landmarks” was the official theme, the history celebrated was from the relatively recent past, too. Among the live-auction items was a Pearl Jam poster with band autographs (including those of West Seattleites Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament).


It went for $1,200. And during the bidding – ring-led by auctioneer Ron Hippe – Vedder’s wearing of an Easy Street Records cap during World Series Game 7 was mentioned – ESR’s Rod Moody, given the microphone for a moment, told brunchers that ever since, “we’ve sold SO MANY hats.” The Chicago Cubs’ historic win also got a nod from Eals, briefly donning a Cubs hat toward the start of the brunch – he was interviewed on NPR last weekend as biographer of music legend and mega-Cubs fan Steve Goodman.

Easy Street also ties to this year’s theme because it is the anchor of the Hamm Building, one of the two buildings in the heart of The Junction for which SWSHS is seeking city-landmark designation, along with the Campbell Building across the street. The West Seattle Junction Historical Survey that paved the way for the landmarking proposal was lauded as one of this year’s SWSHS highlights.

Some of the local buildings that already are landmarked played a prominent role in the gala, too, particularly the Admiral Theater, now in the midst of a long-awaited renovation that will transform it into a four-auditorium venue. SWSHS led the fight to save it more than a quarter-century ago. Photos from the ongoing work were displayed – the first signs of the upcoming stadium seating:

(SWSHS photo as displayed onscreen at the gala)

And glimpses of long-hidden murals that will likely be the subject of another restoration campaign, potentially with crowdfunding:

(SWSHS photo as displayed onscreen at the gala)

The Admiral also figured into the auction items, including the chance to “christen” it when the work is done sometime next year. (As we have reported, the moviehouse is staying open during the work, showing one movie at a time right now, but the completion will merit a “grand reopening” anyway.) It also inspired the choice of Hollywood as a sub-theme of the gala; other auction items were donated by actors with area ties, Dyan Cannon (who grew up in West Seattle) and Karolyn Grimes (who lives right across the Sound in Manchester and is known best for playing Zuzu in “It’s a Wonderful Life“). Yet another item offered a tour of local stars’ former homes, guided by Eals and SWSHS vice president Peder Nelson.

The most charming view into West Seattle’s movie-related history, though, came during West Seattleite and longtime KOMO-TV reporter Connie Thompson‘s interview with Jim Bonholzer, who was a teenager working at The Admiral on its opening night in 1942. Here’s our video:

Bonholzer’s family surprised him earlier this year by throwing him a 90th-birthday bash at the Admiral. Asked about his hopes for the landmarked moviehouse’s future, Bonholzer said he hopes that in 75 years, his descendants would stand on the corner of California and Admiral and point out that their great-great-great-great (etc.) grandfather worked there 150 years ago.

Another milestone birthday prominently mentioned at the gala – that of Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller, who got a “Happy Birthday” serenade when the crowd was told he recently turned 60.


Miller also was part of the panel that played what has become a SWSHS Champagne Gala Brunch tradition, a version of the popular radio trivia game “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” You probably won’t be surprised to hear he won, racking up more correct answers than the other panelists, former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, West Seattle Junction Association director Lora Swift, local radio star John Maynard, and your editor here. Brian Calvert from KOMO was the lively host:


No prize, but Miller has bragging rights! (He also donated auction items including a 4-hour sunset tour on his boat and the rights to have a Husky Deli ice-cream flavor created by and named in honor of the winning bidder.)

Yet another gala tradition: The Golden Ticket drawing. Up to 100 tickets are sold at $100 each, and the winner gets a Holland-America cruise. This year’s winner, Jennifer Farria – a Fauntleroy resident who moved to West Seattle less than a year ago – had just left the event minutes before the drawing but rushed back on hearing the news:

(Photo of Golden Ticket winner Jennifer Farria with SWSHS’s Clay Eals, courtesy Gail Ann Photography)

The gala also looked toward SWSHS’s future. Toward the start of the gala, SWSHS supporters learned that board president Marcy Johnsen is stepping down. She has had a unique tie to the organization – having grown up in the building that is its headquarters, the Log House Museum (open noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays at 61st/Stevens on Alki), originally the carriage house to the nearby Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge, whose restoration, Eals said, is “on track.”

Also looking ahead, Eals mentioned a plan to create a bicycle ride between the Log House Museum and the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, further solidifying ties with our area’s First People. Duwamish Tribe member Ken Workman is on the SWSHS Advisory Council and greeted the brunchgoers in Lushootseed. He also has been a speaker in SouthWest Stories, one of the two monthly speaker series that SWSHS presents (the other is Words, Writers, West Seattle).

Along with those in attendance, the gala was made possible by an army of volunteers and a long list of sponsors (featured in the official program); WSB was a media sponsor. After some hours to reflect, Eals offered these final words on the gala’s success: “We are deeply gratified by the generosity of those who ‘love our landmarks’ and appreciate the important role history plays in connecting, engaging, and inspiring all of us, including the succeeding generations we will never know.”

P.S. Want to know where all of West Seattle’s official landmarks are? Here’s the city map.

Want to get involved with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society? Its annual membership meeting is at 10:30 am next Saturday (November 12th) at Providence Mount St. Vincent (4831 35th SW).


VIDEO: Countdown to discount deadline for SW Historical Society brunch gala

October 2, 2016 1:30 pm
|    Comments Off on VIDEO: Countdown to discount deadline for SW Historical Society brunch gala
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Wednesday is your last chance for discounted early-bird tickets to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Champagne Gala Brunch – which will feature an auction item donated by a star with West Seattle roots:

Dyan Cannon was Diane Friesen in her West Seattle days. Meantime, the discount deadline on Wednesday (October 5th) will be exactly one month before the November 5th “Loving Our Landmarks” gala (for which WSB is a media sponsor). Her donation will be part of a live-auction item the SWSHS is calling the “Hollywood Star Tour of West Seattle.” Be there November 5th at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor)! Get your ticket here before the price goes up.

FOLLOWUP: Attic keepsakes find their way to family members


Eight days after we published that photo from Stephanie, the “history mystery” is solved – items found in her attic are in the hands of relatives of the man in the photos, George Lee Hoke. She was getting leads via a Facebook group, commenters here, and people outside West Seattle after a TV station picked up the story. Earlier this week, we pointed her to this comment on the story, from Sandi … and today, Stephanie just sent word that the connection’s been made:

The two cigar boxes found in my attic have been given to George Lee Hoke’s son. Rollie is thrilled to get the photos! They are a treasure to him and his family. They are some of the sweetest, friendliest, most down to earth people I have ever met. The woman in the picture that I posted is the woman who lived in my house for over 50 years. She is Rollie’s mom, Detta, who passed away years ago.

Detta, Stephanie explains, was married to George Hoke, but after they divorced, she remarried, and both she and Rollie (Roland) took a different last name: “Roland knew very little of his father and was raised by his step-father. He eventually changed his last name back to Hoke because he knew that was his father’s name.” George Hoke had returned to his home state, Missouri, remarrying and starting another family. They were reached first in this quest but told Stephanie that she should find Roland, whose son, it turns out, lives “5 minutes” from her home in White Center. She adds:

The most touching part of the story was that these two cigar boxes were very well hidden in the attic. Roland said multiple times that he thought he cleaned the attic out really well after his mom had to move out because of her health. My husband had been up there a lot too, and only when we were ripping out ducting, did the boxes appear. Rollie and I both believe that those boxes were hidden up there by his mother for him to find later. When she was older, she must have forgotten about them. Rollie said he had so many questions that he wished he would have asked Detta, but just never did. The boxes are the closest connection he has with his dad. I am so thankful for all of the interest and help that I got with this endeavor.

TICKET TIME: Southwest Seattle Historical Society brunch gala, ‘Loving Our Landmarks’

September 23, 2016 8:59 am
|    Comments Off on TICKET TIME: Southwest Seattle Historical Society brunch gala, ‘Loving Our Landmarks’
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

The annual brunch benefit for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is a month and a half away, and you have a week and a half to get tickets at the early-bird price. Here’s the SWSHS announcement:

Loving Our Landmarks” is the theme of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s 2016 Champagne Gala Brunch, and for good reason.

The Admiral Theater, the Alki Homestead, the “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum — all are city landmarks that exist because of community support of the historical society. Plus, with further community help, the two jewels of the West Seattle Junction, the Campbell Building (Cupcake Royale), and the Hamm Building (Easy Street Records), are in the pipeline to become city landmarks.

The historical society will celebrate these landmarks and help keep the good work going at its 2016 Champagne Gala Brunch, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 5, at Salty’s on Alki, 1936 Harbor Ave. SW.

Tickets are on sale now. Click here to purchase them online. Or mail a check to the organization’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum at 3003 61st Ave. SW. Or stop by the museum at that address to buy tickets in person.

The early-bird deadline to purchase tickets at $95 is less than two weeks away, Wednesday, Oct. 5. Tickets are $110 thereafter.

The Gala program promises to be the best ever, says Clay Eals, executive director.

For the Gala crowd, West Seattle’s Connie Thompson, 42-year veteran of KOMO-TV, will interview Jim Bonholzer, who worked the opening night of the Admiral Theater in 1942.

Also, the popular quiz panel, “Wait, Wait, West Seattle … Don’t Tell Me,” a take-off on the popular NPR show with a similar name, will return, with longtime KOMO radio and TV newsman Brian Calvert, a West Seattle resident, as host.

The five people who will make up Brian’s quiz panel are:

John Maynard, longtime radio personality (“Robin & Maynard”) and former West Seattle resident

Jack Miller, owner of Husky Deli in the West Seattle Junction

Tom Rasmussen, West Seattle resident and former three-term Seattle City Council member

Tracy Record, editor of West Seattle Blog

Lora Swift, director of the West Seattle Junction Association and former owner of Hotwire Online Coffeehouse

The 2016 slate of Live Auction items all will relate to the “Loving Our Landmarks” theme and are items that cannot be obtained anywhere else. The historical society will roll out details and videos about these items – including a few surprises – on its website and public announcements in the coming weeks before the event.

Also, the popular “Choose Your Cruise” Golden Ticket drawing is returning. For just $100, you can purchase a chance to win a seven-day Holland America Lines cruise for two to one of four destinations – your choice of Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico or Canada/New England. A maximum of 100 tickets will be sold.

“Choose Your Cruise” Golden Tickets can be purchased before the Gala, in person only, at the historical society museum.

Updates will be posted continuously on this page of the SWSHS website.

Again this year, WSB is a media sponsor of the gala.

Landmark status sought for two West Seattle Junction buildings


(WSB photos taken the day of the March 2016 SWSHS announcement)

9:49 AM: Almost seven months after announcing that it would seek landmark status for two “iconic” buildings in the heart of the West Seattle Junction (WSB coverage here), the Southwest Seattle Historical Society has taken the next step in the process. Here’s the announcement just sent:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society this week submitted its landmark nominations to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board for the two West Seattle Junction buildings that have been the focus of its “We Love The Junction” campaign since last March.

The nominations were submitted for two buildings at the intersection of California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Alaska Street:

— The Campbell Building (primary tenant Cupcake Royale), at the northeast corner.

— The Crescent-Hamm Building (primary tenant Easy Street Records), at the northwest corner. (The building is known as the Hamm Building but is identified in the nomination as the Crescent-Hamm Building.)

In the West Seattle Junction Historical Survey released last March, the two buildings were identified at the top of the list of potentially eligible Seattle landmarks in the Junction.

The complete nominations can be seen on the historical society’s website.

The nominations were prepared by consultants Flo Lentz and Sarah Martin, whose work was funded by a grant from 4Culture.

The Campbell Building nomination, at 59 pages, and the Crescent-Hamm Building nomination, at 54 pages, provide a detailed history of the two structures, including information that has not surfaced since they were constructed.

For instance, the Campbell Building, thought to have been built in 1918 based on previous research, actually was built in two parts in 1911 and 1920. (The Crescent-Hamm Building was built in 1926.)

Setting Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board hearings for the nominations may take a month or two, said Clay Eals, executive director. Whether the hearings take place in one meeting or two is yet to be determined by the city, he said.

The nominations were submitted on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. On the same day, the historical society notified representatives of the owners of the Campbell Building and the Crescent-Hamm Building that the nominations were submitted and provided the web link to the nominations.

For the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board to designate a building a city landmark, it must meet at least one of six criteria related to its association with a historical person or event, architectural style, designer or cultural heritage or status as an “easily identifiable visual feature” of its community.

In coming weeks, the “We Love The Junction” Task Force of the historical society will plan its approach to the nomination hearings. Anyone wishing to join the task force and assist in the campaign can contact Peder Nelson, task-force co-chair at fensterws@gmail.com.

Agendas and other documentation related to Landmarks Board meetings can be found here, though, as mentioed in the SWSHS announcement above, nothing related to this is scheduled yet.

P.S. Wondering which West Seattle buildings are already official city landmarks? They’re all on this map.

ADDED 10:48 AM: Some are asking in comments, what about other Junction buildings? As mentioned briefly in the SWSHS announcement above, this was preceded by the release of the results of a historical survey of Junction buildings, including these, which were considered the most likely to qualify (here’s our March report on the survey). Curious about your favorite Junction building(s)? Here’s the section of the survey document that addressed each of dozens of buildings.

FOLLOWUP: 2nd historic-photo mural up at 35th/Avalon

On Tuesday, we showed you the first photo mural to go up on the north side of Aura on 35th SW south of Avalon. The management told us another one would be up today, so we just went over to look, and it is:


As noted in yesterday’s story and in a comment today by the SODO firm that treated the historic photos for installation, Grand Image, these 4-story-high installations are based on historic photos – the ferry West Seattle from 1907, and the trolley from 1930 – obtained via the Log House Museum.


If you’re thinking about going to the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) / Southwest Seattle Historical SocietyHiSTORY HerSTORY OurSTORY YourSTORY” event one week from tomorrow, your RSVP is needed ASAP. Here’s the video invite from the Y’s Josh Sutton:

It’s happening 5:30-7:30 pm Thursday, September 22, at Fauntleroy Church/YMCA (9140 California SW). The details from SWSHS:

It will be a fun evening to share and hear stories about the YMCA from every era of the organization’s 94-year history in West Seattle.

The evening begins with memorabilia and story sharing and culminates when Clay Eals, executive director of SWSHS, interviews West Seattle locals Larry Pierce, Ann Adkins, Bruce Davis, and Ruthie Waid.

If you have Y memorabilia, bring it along. Light refreshments will be provided. The event is appropriate for children ages 6 and older. Free child care is available for ages 4 weeks to 12 years, with reservations required.

Please RSVP by September 15 to Maria Groen at 206-935-6000 or mgroen@seattleymca.org.

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