Two special spotlights previewed for Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s 2014 Gala Champagne BrunchAugust 28, 2014 at 11:24 am | In How to help, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off
Fall is approaching, and that means fundraising-gala season. So again this year, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society gathered board members and longtime backers at The Pacific Institute across from Seacrest Park for a preview of this year’s Gala Champagne Brunch. At last night’s gathering, SWSHS executive director Clay Eals announced that the gala, 11:30 am November 8th at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), will feature two special spotlights.
The totem pole was carved from a log cut in Schmitz Park, one of the West Seattle treasures donated by the Schmitz family, whose Vicki and Dietrich Schmitz will discuss the family’s unique historical legacy.
Also in the spotlight at the SWSHS gala brunch: A panel spotlighting West Seattleites’ roles in the world-renowned Northwest music scene – “Why West Seattle?” Marty Riemer and Jodi Brothers will host panelists including Chris Ballew, Tim Bierman, Gary Crow, Megan Jasper, Nicole Vandenberg, and Matt Vaughan. Here’s Marty’s video invitation:
Postal-mail invitations are going out soon, but even if you don’t get one, you’re very much welcome at the event (sponsors, by the way, include WSB). Reservations will be available via the SWSHS website in about a week. If you reserve your seat by October 8th, you’ll get a $10 discount – we’ll publish an update as soon as we get word the page is live.
(County archives photo of the building now known as Charlestown Court)
We’re at the Municipal Tower downtown, where the city Landmarks Preservation Board voted this afternoon to reject landmark status for Charlestown Court. The building is proposed for demolition to make way for an 8-unit townhouse project.
This was the second time the Tudor-style 1920s-era brick fourplex at 3811 California SW had been nominated; the last time, in a process that played out 2007-2008, the board said “no,” but development proposals then stalled until the current one, and the city said too much time had elapsed for them simply to refer to that previous vote, so the process needed to start again.
Before today’s presentation about the building, Paul Cesmat said he has owned it since 2007 and declared it has structural issues – “the brick’s not structurally sound, the chimney has issues, this has been pointed out to us … and we have insurability issues … I feel that this building does not meet historical criteria … and it’s not structurally worth saving.” It is wood-framed without concrete backing the brick, he explained in response to a question later.
The presentation focused on changes made to the building, including its windows, contending the changes made over the years affected the fourplex’s “physical integrity.” The photo you see at the top of the story was shown, with the comment “It’s a shame that’s not there any more.” (The nomination document from the June meeting, including photos and history, can be seen as a PDF here.)
In pre-vote discussion, board members said basically that while you could consider it “handsome” or “charming,” it just didn’t “rise” to landmark status.
Saturday with SW Seattle Historical Society: Volunteer orientation in the a.m., WS Outdoor Movies in the p.m.August 1, 2014 at 10:10 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news, West Seattle Outdoor Movies | Comments Off
Make it a historic Saturday:
VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION: 11 am-1 pm tomorrow (Saturday, August 2nd) at the Log House Museum, it’s the next orientation for prospective Southwest Seattle Historical Society volunteers. No, you don’t have to know all about WS history to help – learn some along the way, and put a variety of skills into action. Read about it here, then show up at the LHM, 61st/Stevens.
WEST SEATTLE OUTDOOR MOVIES: SWSHS is sponsoring tomorrow night’s West Seattle Outdoor Movies presentation of “Sleepless in Seattle,” which you probably know includes a famous – and contextually infamous – West Seattle scene. It’s also a wrapup event for this summer’s celebration of the West Seattle Bridge’s 30th anniversary; Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), adjacent to the WSOM screen/courtyard, still has anniversary T-shirts and commemorative coffee on sale. Gate opens 6:30 pm, movie at dusk (9-ish), free but bring $ for benefit raffle tickets/concessions.
Next Saturday night, “Sleepless in Seattle” (the movie that inspired the cry, “You can’t get to Alki like THAT!”) will be onscreen as part of West Seattle Outdoor Movies, sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society as a wrapup of the summerlong celebration of the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the “high bridge.” As you know if you’ve been to a WSOM screening before, the screen is on a big wall in the courtyard outside Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), which has been partnering with SWSHS in the summerlong celebration.
Back on July 14th, 30 years to the day after the bridge’s dedication, the courtyard was the site of a panel discussion of the bridge’s history – not just how it got built, but also, the bizarre spinoff story that became a murder mystery. In case you missed that event, here’s our video:
Back to next Saturday’s WS Outdoor Movies presentation: According to the full preview on the SWSHS website, preshow entertainment includes live music and more of those historic bridge-related video clips previewed here earlier this month. And as with all WSOM shows, it’s free! But you can bring $ for not only nonprofit-benefiting concessions and raffles, but also to buy an anniversary T-shirt and commemorative coffee. Make a night of it – August 2nd, 4410 California SW.
That photo was taken on the grounds of the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, shortly after its 1917 opening. Though it’s not in service as a public school any more, it’s part of the heart of the Fauntleroy community, and that’s why planning is already accelerating for the schoolhouse’s centennial celebration. Fauntleroy communicator/community advocate Judy Pickens shares this information on how to help, starting now:
The Fauntleroy Schoolhouse will turn 100 in 2017, and a planning committee is laying the groundwork for several events to honor “A Century of Serving the Community.” Here’s how you might help:
§ Photos and memorabilia from your time at the school, either donated or loaned.
§ To build a database, your full name, contact information, and year(s) you were a student or staff member at the school.
§ Centennial event planning. If you would like to help, meet at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 31, at the Original Bakery.
If you can help with any of the above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first centennial event will be an open house next May. Grander celebrations will follow in 2017.
The schoolhouse (file photo above) has been community-owned since the purchase from Seattle Public Schools was completed four years ago.
Three days until West Seattle Summer Fest – our area’s biggest party of the year, in the heart of The Junction, Friday-Sunday, July 11th-13th. We’re continuing to roll out previews of what you can see and do, and today we have an update from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which will have a booth at the fair to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the “high bridge,” partnering with Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor). SWSHS’s Clay Eals sends word that in honor of another anniversary – the state’s 125th birthday – you can “meet” Seymour History at the booth. That’s Seymour at left; he is a 10-inch-high doll replica of an Olympic Marmot, the state’s official land mammal, available for photo ops at the booth, where you can also enter a contest to win him or other prizes including two “History Is Not for Wimps” T-shirts, the book “Washington Curiosities,” and four guest passes to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. If you stop by the booth 11 am-3 pm on Summer Fest day 1 this Friday, you’ll also meet staffers from the Washington State Historical Society; other hours, SWSHS volunteers will do double duty as Seymour’s handlers, while also leading the bridge-a-versary activities including an interactive art opportunity and more chances to buy commemorative T-shirts and coffee beans. Get ready for everything Summer Fest has to offer by browsing the official site here.
West Seattle 4th of July: Picnic, bridge-anniversary celebration, volunteer awards at Log House MuseumJuly 4, 2014 at 1:23 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off
How many bridges have connected West Seattle to the mainland? What year did the first one open? What year did the bridge get hit by a freighter, paving the way (so to speak) for the current high bridge? Those are three of the trivia questions* that Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals has asked so far in a quiz during the Log House Museum‘s traditional 4th of July picnic.
The trivia quiz is part of the SWSHS-led celebration of the 30th anniversary of the high bridge’s completion, with more events to come, as listed here – including a special booth during West Seattle Summer Fest July 11th-13th and an event at the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) courtyard on the 30th anniversary of the bridge’s completion, July 14th. Meantime, today’s picnic is on until 3 pm, and you’re welcome to come by – 61st/Stevens, one block inland from the beach, home of the renovated Admiral totem pole, and if you’re not already a SWSHS member, consider signing up during your visit (info here). The museum also celebrates its volunteers on this day; President’s Volunteer Service Awards were received by two people – (L to R) volunteer coordinator Bethany Green presented the awards to Kerry Korsgaard, and Dave Hrachovina:
*(Trivia answers: 13, 1890, 1978. The T-shirt Clay Eals is wearing was today’s quiz prize – the special commemorative shirt you can still buy at the LH Museum & Hotwire.)
Just got word of this, and it’s a rare opportunity: Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks is offering a free public walking tour tomorrow (10 am Saturday) of Hiawatha Playfield, designed by John Charles Olmsted more than a century ago. Meet by the park entrance at Walnut/Forest. Prepare with this history lesson (and find out about the other Olmsted parks in West Seattle via this clickable map).
Quick update from the city Municipal Tower downtown: The city Landmarks Preservation Board has just voted to approve the nomination of Charlestown Court, the brick fourplex at 3811 California SW, as a potential city landmark. A consultant hired by its owners – who want to demolish it and replace it with eight townhouses - said they don’t think it merits landmark status, a decision reached by the board six years ago when another demolition/redevelopment proposal was pending. (Since more than five years have passed, city reps explained, a new review was warranted.) Today’s vote sets the stage for a final vote on August 6th.
West Seattle Bridge’s 30th anniversary! Celebration starts rolling at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse during Thursday’s WS Art WalkJune 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 11 Comments
(Photos courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
Every West Seattle Art Walk has a multitude of reasons for you to visit local venues and see what – but tomorrow night, there’s an extra reason: The start of a summer-long celebration of the West Seattle Bridge’s 30th anniversary – a reason to talk about the bridge WITHOUT a discussion of traffic trouble! The photos accompanying this preview – and others – went up tonight at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), which will be showing them off as part of the June Art Walk (and beyond).
Hotwire and other local businesses are collaborating with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for the multi-site, multi-date celebration. Stop by Hotwire Thursday night not only to see the photo exhibit but also to see the new “Bridging the Gap” T-shirt in honor of the anniversary and meet its artist (more info on the SWSHS website) and to check out the “Bridge Blend” coffee beans that Hotwire is launching. Part of the proceeds from T-shirt and coffee sales will benefit SWSHS.
(Added: As Mike points out in comments, today is the 36th anniversary of the ship-vs.-bridge collision that led to construction of the new bridge!)
Read on for other highlighted events celebrating the anniversary over the next month and a half or so:
More Log House Museum totem-pole celebration photos: The people who were there to write a new chapter in its historyJune 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 2 Comments
(Our first report on this morning’s ceremony is here)
(Photo by David Hutchinson)
This morning’s celebration of the former Admiral Way totem pole’s new home at the Log House Museum wasn’t really about the pole – it was about the people. Not just the dignitaries:
(This and subsequent photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)
It was especially about the kids – most of whom arrived with the dignitaries – County Executive Dow Constantine walking from his alma mater, Schmitz Park Elementary, through the park:
Mayor Ed Murray, who attended Alki Elementary, walked with its students, and talked with kids even once he was in place:
At Murray’s left is Marcy Johnsen from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, a childhood playmate of his, from her time living in what’s now the museum. The young attendees made the event especially memorable:
Some helped keep their fellow students safe, as they guarded intersections on the walk to the museum – following a quick run to get ahead:
Also there with safety in mind – SPD:
(Photo by Liesbet T.)
Considering the Schmitz Park, Alki, and Lafayette students on hand helped the crowd total pass 900, it was amazingly calm. Finally, the big moment came, and student representatives joined dignitaries in pulling streamers to unveil the totem pole:
Here’s video of what happened from there:
(More of the ceremony is in the archived Livestream video in our first report.) A Native American blessing was bestowed by Blake Shelafoe:
The energetic voice that guided everyone through today’s event, that of Historical Society executive director Clay Eals, who emceed:
Some of the people who were there today represented both past and present – the Schmitz family, for example, represented by family members including Dietrich Schmitz and Vicki Schmitz Block:
The pole was carved in 1966 from a log that came from a tree in the Schmitz Park forest.
(Photo by Liesbet T.)
And now you can make your own memories – visit the pole on 61st south of Stevens any time, and learn about West Seattle history inside the Log House Museum during its regular hours Thursdays-Sundays, noon-4 pm. (You might even want to become a volunteer – the next orientation is tomorrow morning, 11 am Saturday!)
P.S. If you missed our earlier reports including more about the pole’s history – see this page on the museum website.
ADDED 4:17 PM: Time-lapse of the event by SWSHS volunteer Brad Chrisman, starting with preparations, then the gathering of the immense crowd, and beyond:
It’s All-School Reunion night at West Seattle High School – this year’s spotlighted 50th-anniversary class is the Class of 1964, gathering in the Commons, while other years gather in rooms around the school. Also there, Marcy Johnsen from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, just hours after their big totem-pole ceremony, showing off the SWSHS tote bags ($20):
And Janet Jones with the Steps at Stevens project, which has another design meeting coming up June 23rd. If you have some ties to WSHS, drop by in the hours ahead!
8:14 PM: Also seen during our brief stop – Gail Stevens Anderson, WSHS ’63, with the West Seattle Garden Tour book for this year:
The tour’s coming up July 20th; WSB is again among the co-sponsors. And from the class of ’63 and ’64 respectively, Mike Munson and Marsha Munson:
Along with socializing and reminiscing, the All-School Reunion also includes scholarship presentations.
Thanks to Gary Jones for sharing photos from the P-51 Mustang flyover previewed here last night – scheduled to wrap up right about now at the Snohomish County home of the Historic Flight Foundation, which coordinated it in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day today. The warplanes flew over downtown around noontime:
Click the top photo to open a similar view at twice the size. (And thanks again to Bob, who gave us the heads-up about this!)
ADDED 5:48 PM: A view from Jim Clark:
1st report: Log House Museum hosts hundreds to celebrate Admiral Way totem pole’s new home and public displayJune 6, 2014 at 10:25 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle live, West Seattle news | 8 Comments
(Added – our photo from immediately after the unveiling)
10:25 AM: We’re testing live streaming today with the Log House Museum totem-pole unveiling – here’s the link to the page on Livestream.com where you’ll see live video/audio, if it’s working.
11:10 AM: Awesome event! Lots of coverage to come.
(Including County Executive Dow Constantine and Dietrich Schmitz leading Schmitz Park Elementary students on a walk down to the museum – where they joined Alki and Lafayette students as well as other attendees.)
(Crowd & media, with Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen at center, in hat)
11:25 AM: Adding a photo or two here pending full coverage later. And here’s the archive of the second half of our live stream, which includes the unveiling – our second report later will have our main clip, but check this out for starters:
Thanks to those who checked out the live stream – it was done via handheld iPhone, and there are steadier ways to do it, but you have to start somewhere. P.S. The Log House Museum is open until 4 pm today (noon-4 Thursdays-Sundays), and the totem-pole exhibit we mentioned yesterday is now open to visitors too.
4:49 PM: It’ll be mid-evening before our mega-roundup is done – we’re off to cover a few early-evening stories. Two photos we wanted to add here in the meantime – both from Alki photographer David Hutchinson. First, Mayor Murray walking from Alki Elementary:
And a splendid view of the totem pole:
At 10:30 tomorrow morning, the intersection of 61st and Stevens outside the Log House Museum – home of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society – will be closed to vehicles and full of people: Hundreds of students from Alki and Schmitz Park Elementaries, dozens of VIPs including County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, and former Mayor Greg Nickels, and as many other spectators as care to show up. The occasion: A ceremony unveiling the former Admiral Way totem pole, fixed up and shined up and placed (as we showed you Tuesday) in its new home outside the museum. Inside the museum, a new “mini-exhibit” will open in honor of the occasion, and it’s being worked on right now. We stopped by earlier this afternoon to check in with museum manager/exhibit curator Sarah Baylinson (below) and SWSHS executive director Clay Eals.
In the exhibit, you will see a collection of items from three mini-totem poles on loan from Ye Olde Curiosity Shop (with Baylinson, above) to totem-themed memorabilia:
The Shoppe’s original owner JE “Daddy” Standley brought the totem pole’s predecessor to West Seattle in 1939, 38 years after it was carved by First Nations members in coastal British Columbia. That pole is featured in the 1952 Hi-Yu program cover, shared with us by the museum:
That’s Diane Qualls, Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu 1952. The pole that will be unveiled tomorrow morning was carved in 1966 and stood for 40 years at the northeast-facing viewpoint on Admiral Way, until a newer pole replaced it, at which time it was given to SWSHS with the expectation it would be renovated and displayed. It was taken away in 2012 for work at Artech in Renton, and brought back Tuesday.
(WSB photo from Tuesday)
This afternoon, Eals and volunteers put its interpretive sign into place as one of the finishing touches before tomorrow morning:
The pole’s history, and that of its predecessor, are shown in this slide deck put together by SWSHS. Again, all are welcome at tomorrow morning’s ceremony, which is to include a group photo – but don’t show up at the last minute, because the intersection will be closed and hundreds will be on hand!
(1944 photo of four P-51 Mustangs in flight – not the same ones you might see tomorrow, but similar)
Tomorrow is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the beginning of the end of World War II. Two local notes: First, thanks to Bob for noticing and pointing out a special airborne tribute that you might see in the sky over West Seattle (and/or elsewhere) tomorrow. From the Historic Flight Foundation, which is based at Paine Field in Snohomish County:
To mark this important day, HFF has organized a very rare formation of P-51 Mustangs to visit cities and towns throughout Western Washington on June 6th, the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Led by HFF’s D-Day veteran (four sorties over the beaches of Normandy), P-51B “Impatient Virgin,” the formation will launch from HFF at 9 a.m. and conclude operations at approximately 3 p.m. with a noon-hour tour of downtown Seattle. Special visits include Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Gray Army Airfield. Operations will extend as far north as Bellingham, as far south as Olympia.
For more on D-Day – a West Seattle veteran tells some of the context, perspective, and backstory in a video published on the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s website.
ADDED 9:19 PM: From the HFF website, as pointed out in comments, the expected viewing times/places tomorrow – the afternoon route is the one closest to us, in spots:
Paine Field 11:50
Lake Forest Park 11:56
Seattle Waterfront 12:00
Boeing Field 12:15
Gray AAF 13:00
Tacoma Narrows 13:22
Gig Harbor 13:32
Vashon Island 13:37
Bainbridge Island 13:44
Paine Field 14:10
Also in the comment section, there was word of a possible sighting today. The Times, in fact, has photos from a practice, including the one in this tweet:
— Ken Lambert (@SeaTimesFotoKen) June 6, 2014
Charlestown Court to be reviewed again for possible landmark status, with demolition/development proposal pendingJune 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 12 Comments
(Historic photo from King County Assessor; 2008 photo by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
In 2007, facing demolition for site redevelopment, the Charlestown Court apartments at 3811 California SW were nominated for possible city-landmark status. In a process extensively covered here, the Landmarks Preservation Board ruled in 2008 that it didn’t qualify. A new development proposal preserving the building’s facade subsequently emerged – but the recession hit, and it was never built.
Five months ago, we discovered a new demolition-and-redevelopment proposal in the early stage of public review – this time, to tear down Charlestown Court and build eight townhouses. And now, another twist: Visiting the city Landmarks Preservation Board website for research on an unrelated story, we discovered that Charlestown Court, a Tudor-style brick fourplex built in the 1920s, first will be reviewed again for landmark status, and a hearing is coming up this month.
In a conversation with WSB this morning – before the official notice of the nomination came out – Erin Doherty from the Landmarks Board explained that the documentation was submitted pre-emptively by the owners/developers, as it was likely that as part of the review of their demolition/development proposal, they would have been required to do this anyway – the process is explained in this city document. A new review is required because the last one was more than five years ago.
The first hearing before the Landmarks Board is set for its meeting on Wednesday, June 18th, at 3:30 pm, on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown – here’s the official notice. The full nomination document can be seen here (though it’s dated April, Doherty tells us it had been under review for the past few weeks and actually just went online yesterday). The meeting notice has information on how to comment before the hearing.
If you pass the east side of the Log House Museum on 61st SW at Stevens any time between now and midmorning Friday, that’s what you’ll see – the former Admiral Way totem pole, restored by experts, awaiting its grand unveiling during a big street-closing event Friday morning. Its proud new perch is just yards from where it spent years in repose behind the museum – where we photographed it in December 2011:
Four months later, the pole was trucked off to Artech in April 2012. Tuesday, after an extensive renovation project, they brought it back and installed it outside the museum in an intensive and much-photographed operation:
West Seattle resident Roger Waterhouse and Cody Thomaselli of Artech were the hands-on installers. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society had to get city permits and Landmarks Board approval for what otherwise might have seemed like a simple project – how hard could it be to put up a stand and place the pole on it, right?
Actually, once the pole was hoisted upright, it was somewhat painstaking – move it a bit this way, then a bit that way – until it was just right. We rolled video on the last few minutes:
In the Artech wrapping – later removed once the pole was covered up in the material you see in the top photo – the features were somewhat visible:
If you can, come see the unveiling Friday morning at 10:30, with students from Alki and Schmitz Park Elementaries coming to fill the street (which will close for the occasion) along with West Seattle-rooted dignitaries led by King County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray (who grew up nearby), and former Mayor Greg Nickels. The pole gets a new interpretive plaque, too, shown off Tuesday morning by SWSHS executive director Clay Eals:
If you just can’t get away at midmorning Friday, make plans for a museum visit sometime soon – a special exhibit will open inside. The museum’s hours are noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays.
P.S. With this event and much more in the works this summer, including the West Seattle Bridge 30th anniversary commemorations, volunteer power is more vital than ever to the nonprofit museum’s success – and you can be part of it. This Saturday, the day after the totem-pole celebration, 11 am-1 pm, come to the museum for its next volunteer orientation.
(UPDATED early Tuesday afternoon with totem pole’s arrival)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:01 AM: Later today, the former Admiral Way totem pole will arrive at its new home outside the Log House Museum, where we photographed site preparations on Monday. It will arrive under cover and will stay that way, so you won’t see it until Friday, when the renovated pole will be unveiled in a celebration with so many guests, the street will be closed to make room for them! The dignitaries’ list alone is long enough for a street closure; see it on the Log House Museum’s website. One of them is Diane Morgan, whose husband Michael Morgan was one of the pole’s carvers almost half a century ago. Looking ahead to the event, she shared some memories:
Now, after renovation work at Artech – which also restored the Rotary Viewpoint Park totem pole four years ago – the pole is ready for its new home. You’re invited to be part of the event launching the pole into its future, including a group photo, at 10:30 am Friday (June 6th), 61st and Stevens.
12:35 PM TUESDAY: The totem pole has arrived and has been installed – still covered up! – on its base on the east side of the Log House Museum’s lot. Here’s a quick video clip as the painstaking job of raising it concluded (go here if you don’t see it below):
Shortly, it’ll get a different, temporary cover so the protective blankets from the move can be removed. After that, we’ll have a full update on the installation and more on the plans for Friday. (Trivia point: The pole was carved from a tree that grew in nearby Schmitz Park.)
SW Historical Society updates: Lou Whittaker recalls ‘a heck of a ride’; West Seattle Bridge 30th-anniversary party aheadMay 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments
(Video by Mark Jaroslaw)
Thanks to Clay Eals from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for sharing video excerpts from Lou Whittaker‘s West Seattle High School appearance sharing memories from “A Life in the Mountains” (and screening the biographical documentary of the same name). As you’ll hear him observe at one point (or maybe you were there to hear him in person), “It has been a heck of a ride.” And it’s not over yet – he is going strong at 85. More than 100 people came to see and hear him. Read more about it on the SWSHS website.
NEXT UP FOR SWSHS – BRIDGE ANNIVERSARY AND MORE: So much is going on in June, it might take us until then to mention it all here. So instead – check out the right side of the organization’s home page for the latest on the totem-pole unveiling, the next “Words, Writers, West Seattle” author, and … a multi-modal celebration of the 30th anniversary of the high-rise West Seattle Bridge (dedicated July 14, 1984).
(Seattle Municipal Archives photo of The Bridge while it was being built)
According to the SWSHS website, it all starts a month in advance with a special exhibit at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor). Read all about the bridge-i-versary plans here.
Eight days until the Southwest Seattle Historical Society presents Lou Whittaker at his alma mater, West Seattle High School, for a screening of the documentary about his half-century-plus mountaineering achievements, “A Life in the Mountains.” The event is at 6:30 pm Monday, May 19th, at WSHS, and you can buy tickets in advance online through the Log House Museum PayPal account – $10 if you’re a SWSHS member, $15 if you’re not – or get your ticket at the door that night. Less than 3 weeks later, at 10:30 am June 6th, the museum celebrates the permanent display of the totem pole that spent decades at the viewpoint on the northeast end of Admiral Way (details here). The LHM/SWSHS website includes frequent newsy updates on its events, including volunteers canvassing the museum’s neighborhood today with heads-up about the totem-pole event (since it’ll include a street closure) and the LHM’s participation in West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day yesterday.
(Photo by Fred Ueckert of FJU Photography)
What used to be a West Seattle Mother’s Day tradition is coming back tomorrow after skipping a few years. Brad Cooper, the real-estate broker who has long represented the Walker Rock Garden property in West Seattle, says it will be open for Mother’s Day tomorrow, noon-3 pm. The rock creations comprising the “garden” were a labor of love by the home’s longtime residents, the late Milton and Florence Walker, as explained in this “West Seattle 101” chapter republished on WSB.
(2011 photo by Ellen Cedergreen)
Three years ago, it was put up for sale, but records indicated no deal was made, and it went off the market until late last year; the listing is still “active,” meaning no buyer so far. It used to be open to visitors on Mother’s Day, as well as other scattered times of the year, but hasn’t had announced opens on Mother’s Day or another day recently. But Cooper just e-mailed to ask us to let you know that it will be open tomorrow. It’s at 5407 37th SW (map).
(First 2 images courtesy Log House Museum/Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
The date is finally set for a gala ceremony welcoming the former top-of-Admiral Way totem pole to its new home on the east side of the Log House Museum: Friday, June 6th.
Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals announced the plan today, centering on a “public unveiling ceremony featuring public officials, the Duwamish Tribe, and the student bodies of both Alki and Schmitz Park elementary schools.” Part of 61st SW by the museum (61st/Stevens) will be closed for the event, so that overhead photos/video can be recorded. You’re welcome to be there and be part of it. The pole’s history:
Carved by Boeing engineers Michael Morgan and Bob Fleischman from a log harvested from Schmitz Park, the totem pole stood at Belvedere View Point Park from 1966 to 2006. It is a nearly exact replica of a totem pole carved by the Bella Bella tribe of British Columbia and brought to Belvedere View Point Park 75 years ago, in 1939, by West Seattleite and Ye Olde Curiosity Shop owner J.E. “Daddy” Standley.
Recognizing the deteriorated condition of the 1966 totem pole, Seattle Parks and Recreation removed it in 2006 and replaced it with a differently designed and unpainted story pole carved by a descendant of Chief Seattle.
SWSHS’s restoration and display plan has been in the works since then; the pole was taken to restoration experts Artech two years ago, as reported here. Its return will coincide with a new mini-exhibit called “Reaching the Sky: Totem Tales of West Seattle.” You’ll find lots more information about the June 6th event and the pole’s history in the full announcement on the LHM/SWSHS website – see it here. Also, Eals will speak about it at this Thursday’s monthly lunch meeting of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
For the second time in five years, a centennial celebration for Holy Rosary. In 2009, the church marked its 100th anniversary; today, the school. Students were part of today’s Centennial Mass, with a special guest, Seattle’s Archbishop J. Peter Sartain:
Honoring the past and looking to the future, the Mass was followed by a reception and events involving time capsules old and new:
That one was from a quarter-century ago, 1989; here’s some of what was inside:
Archbishop Sartain and Holy Rosary’s pastor Father John Madigan also presided as a new time capsule was placed:
This one is meant to be opened a half-century from now:
What’s in it? That’s supposed to be a surprise for the people who open it in 2064. Earlier centennial events included a group photo last November, featuring more than 400 students (see it in WSB coverage).
This Saturday, a Feet First-presented “Jane’s Walk” presents a look at development in and around The Junction and The Triangle – on foot, with veteran walking ambassadors and WS residents Timothy Lowry and Bryan Fiedorczyk. FF explains the Jane’s Walk concept here: “The walks get people to explore their cities, connect with neighbors, and learn new information about their communities.” Over the course of up to 3 miles – heading out from the Charlestown water tower (map) at 10 am – you’ll hear and talk about the past, present and future. RSVP here!
(WSB photo from April 2012)
Two years after it was bundled onto a flatbed and taken away for some expert TLC with the restoration experts at Artech, the Log House Museum‘s totem pole – which stood for 40 years at the Admiral Way Viewpoint – is finally close to its homecoming. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has announced an event on May 8th featuring Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals detailing the plan to install it soon in its new home on the east side of the Alki-area museum; the plan’s already gone through city review, including the Landmarks Board, since the museum is an official landmark. See photos of the pole’s history, and a sketch of its future site, on the SWSHS/Log House museum website, here.
(Photos provided by The WROC-ers; above, Ms. Ostle’s class)
Reunions aren’t just for high-school classes! This morning, we have a special announcement – with photos – for a reunion of Gatewood Elementary alums who went there more than half a century ago:
*If you attended Gatewood Elementary with the Class of ’56, reunite with your classmates on Friday, August 22nd. We will tour the remodeled Gatewood, then adjourn to Lincoln Park for a catered picnic. *
*In our day, Gatewood sixth graders went to either West Seattle or Sealth. Our 50th high-school reunions inspired us to reconnect with childhood friends from the neighborhood. The WROC-ers (‘Woodies Reunion Organizing Committee) found addresses for 70 of the former ’56ers. The first mailings are out, and the first RSVPs are in. *
(Mr. Acedo’s class)
*If you can help locate missing classmates (see the list below) or if you, a ’56er, haven’t received a flyer, please contact Bruce Thomason, email@example.com*
(Ms. Covey’s class)
*Mark August 22nd on your calendar in ink! We’d love to see you.*
*The WROC-ers: Margaret Cullor Brown, Beth Eldred Davis, Lyn Kraatz, Carol Shipley Stoner, Bruce Thomason*
They also sent a list of people they’re looking for: “We have not found these friends from Gatewood.” – if you’re reading this from the WSB home page, click ahead to see the list:
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