West Seattle history 481 results

REMINDER: Admiral Theater ‘Group Hug’ tomorrow morning

In case you missed our original mention and are going to be in The Admiral District at midmorning tomorrow (Friday), a reminder that almost a thousand students will be there too, for the “Group Hug for The Admiral” event. As reported here last week, it’s a big photo op to commemorate the soon-to-start major renovations at the historic Admiral Theater, organized by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which did the same thing for the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge on the first Friday of June last year. SWSHS executive director Clay Eals says neighbors in the area all have received a notice; students will start arriving, on foot, around 9:30 am, from Alki, Lafayette, and Schmitz Park Elementary Schools. The ceremony/photo is set for 10 am; former mayors Norm Rice and Greg Nickels (an Admiral-area resident) are scheduled to speak to them briefly. No streets will be closed but a few parking spaces in front of the theater will be off-limits for the duration of the event.

West Seattle history: What’s beneath the Talarico’s facade

12:54 PM: Thanks to David Williams for the photo and first word that a bit of Junction history is exposed right now – in front of Talarico’s Pizzeria at 4718 California SW. The restaurant doesn’t open until 3 today so we haven’t yet reached anyone to ask for details of the work (and the sign’s fate) but an online permit filing has the notation, “Install 45 lineal feet of rigid canopy on storefront with no signage or graphics.” Meantime, Mike Phelps also sent a photo, which we’ve cropped for a closer look:


Mike adds, “The revealed signage predates (the old) New Luck Toy. Predates me; interesting to see if any readers remember or have photos.” The recently released West Seattle Junction Historical Survey says this building dates to 1950.

1:51 PM: As “Chemist” points out in comments, the address is identified on this Junction-history site as having belonged to “Star Radio” before New Luck Toy in 1950.

5:30 PM: During a brief stop at Talarico’s this afternoon, we learned this work is part of a bit of remodeling of the entire front, including the windows. The sign, we’re told, is from when Schuck’s was in part of the building. No plans to preserve it, so if you’re interested in seeing it in person, get down there fast. The work is only expected to take a few days.

SUNDAY: Carol-Ann Thornton tells her SouthWest Stories @ SW Library

May 14, 2016 7:27 pm
|    Comments Off on SUNDAY: Carol-Ann Thornton tells her SouthWest Stories @ SW Library
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

Sunday afternoon at 3 pm, come to the Southwest Library to find out something you probably didn’t know about West Seattle history. You’ll hear it from Carol-Ann Thornton, whose video invitation, below, is provided by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Thornton will talk – with you, not at you, as she said in the video – about “Culture Shock: The Awakenin of Alki and West Seattle in 1962 and Beyond.” It’s the latest chapter of the SouthWest Stories series, co-presented by SWSHS and SPL; her stories include her experience as the first African-American student at Alki Elementary. The event is free, and everyone’s welcome; SW Library is at 35th SW/SW Henderson.

Farewell celebration planned for Schmitz Park Elementary: Anything to share in advance?

In case you haven’t already seen this in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – it’s now just three and a half weeks away, and you might have something to contribute in advance:

As Schmitz Park Elementary plans its move to Genesee Hill this fall, we thought it was important to celebrate the legacy of Schmitz Park Elementary, which has been open since 1956, having moved into its current building in 1962.

We invite those in the community – especially those that were involved at Schmitz Park as a teacher, student, or parent – to join us on Friday, June 3rd at 6:30 p.m., at the school, to reminisce, walk the halls, view photos, etc.

Those who wish to be involved are invited to:

*Attend the event in June.
*Send in photos or request someone to copy their photos or memorabilia.
*Share an anecdote or memory via email.
*Consider being interviewed by a student.
*Add their email address to the mailing list for more information.
*Spread the word to neighbors and relatives that may have been at Schmitz Park.

Please contact Fiona at history@schmitzparkpta.org or visit the school’s web page for more information.

If you’re wondering about the future of the SPE site – it remains up in the air. Seattle Public Schools says there’s no plan to use it for anything next school year, for starters. We’re following up on the process for determining its longer-range future.

West Seattle scene: Junction art dedication

April 7, 2016 9:26 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle scene: Junction art dedication
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(WSB photos. Above, artist Lezlie Jane, with former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen)

It’s been years in the making – in this WSB story from five years ago, for example, you’ll find a mention of sculptural art planned at what is now Junction 47, as part of the “public benefits” required for the City Council to grant an alley vacation for the two-building megaproject. Tonight, community advocates and neighbors gathered to celebrate what was eventually created and installed – prolific local artist Lezlie Jane‘s 10 panels telling West Seattle stories, including that of our area’s First People:


With the panel honoring the Duwamish, we photographed Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen and Ken Workman. Tonight’s gathering included a walking tour and cake from Bakery Nouveau:


The Junction Neighborhood Organization and West Seattle Junction Association, both involved in advocacy throughout the planning of the development as well as its public benefits, co-hosted tonight’s gathering.

(From left, JuNO’s René Commons, WSJA’s Susan Melrose, JuNO’s Abdy Farid, past JuNO leader Erica Karlovits)

You can go see Jane’s artwork any time, on the southeast corner of California and Alaska – view and learn about each of the 39-inch-tall panels via this section of her website.

VIDEO: This year’s ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ tour site chosen – The Kenney

March 27, 2016 1:30 pm
|    Comments Off on VIDEO: This year’s ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ tour site chosen – The Kenney
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society has announced the location of this year’s “If These Walls Could Talk” home tour – The Kenney:

Join the Southwest Seattle Historical Society​ on Saturday, June 25, 2016, for a tour that focuses on rarely-seen and -shared background on how this inspiring institution got its start 107 years ago in the woods north of Lincoln Park and along the Fauntleroy streetcar line.

In the video above, Stuart and Michele Kenney, the great-great-great-nephew and -niece of Samuel and Jessie Kenney, founders of The Kenney, invite you to the tour, which will run from 3 to 5 p.m.

Admission is by donation: $10 for historical-society members and $15 for non-members.

Featured will be display panels on the history of The Kenney, its founders, its prominent residents over the years, and much more.

Stay tuned for more details. (An invitation-only VIP opportunity will be available earlier in the day. If you are interested, please e-mail Clay Eals, executive director, at clay.eals@loghousemuseum.info.)​

P.S. If you missed the mention in our daily preview, the SWSHS’s Log House Museum is closed today for Easter, but will be back to its full regular hours/days next week – noon-4 pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Full-house launch for SouthWest Stories: Market first; music next

(WSB photos)

If you didn’t get to High Point Library on Sunday afternoon for the first-ever edition of SouthWest Stories, with Rob Ketcherside telling the tale of the Morgan Street Drive-Up Market, stand by for video – we weren’t able to record it but as always, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society did, and will publish it when ready (that’s their camera in our photo). The library’s meeting room had a full house for the event, in which Ketcherside explained the Morgan Street Market’s place in the short-lived trend of California-style “drive-in markets” in Seattle.


It was at 4201 SW Morgan, exactly where you will find West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) now. Ketcherside wrote an in-depth story about these types of markets, built in the late 1920s and early 1930s – read it here.

The second SouthWest Stories presentation (co-sponsored by SWSHS and the Seattle Public Library) will be at 2 pm April 17th, Delridge Library, featuring vibraphonist and West Seattle High Hall-of-Famer Tom Collier, on “Across the Bridge: West Seattle Heritage in Jazz.” Free!

SUNDAY: Morgan Street Drive-In Market starts off SouthWest Stories

Chances are you only know the Morgan Street Drive-In Market from that mural on the west side of the building on the southwest corner of Morgan and California – if at all. Tomorrow (Sunday, March 20th) is your chance to get to know it much better. As first previewed here four weeks ago, urban historian Rob Ketcherside is the first presenter in the new Southwest Seattle Historical Society series SouthWest Stories, and he’ll be talking about the market, seen in this 1937 assessor’s photo:
It’s on the site where West Seattle Thriftway [WSB sponsor] is now, and was at the time part of a trend toward “drive-in markets.” Whether you drive, walk, bicycle, bus, or find some other way to get there, be at the High Point Library at 2 pm (sooner, since it’s first-come, first-served for seating) tomorrow. (The Seattle Public Library, by the way, is co-sponsoring the series; see its future monthly guest speakers and topics on the SWSHS website.)

Restoring the Alki Homestead: Landmarks Board committee briefed as next decision approaches


By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Next Wednesday afternoon, the full city Landmarks Preservation Board will formally consider the Alki Homestead‘s restoration plans. As a prelude, Homestead owner Dennis Schilling and his architect Jeff Hamlett spoke this morning with the board’s Architectural Review Committee – almost exactly one year after we first reported that Schilling was the historic Fir Lodge‘s new owner, and more than seven years after the fire that ravaged and closed what had been a beloved restaurant.

What is before the board now isn’t the full site plan, which is eventually expected to include apartments to the south of the city landmark. But because much of the Homestead is protected, changes and repairs have to get approval from the board as well as from city staff.

The committee meetings are open to the public but informal, so this morning’s session was a discussion more than a presentation. And this stage of the review generally follows months of discussions between building owners and city staffers:

Read More

VIDEO: ‘We Love The Junction’ campaign to seek landmark status for 2 ‘iconic’ buildings

(Mouse over the window to reveal video “play” button; click for :15 panorama including the 2 potential landmark buildings)

11:00 AM: When we covered the West Seattle Junction Historical Survey announcement back on Wednesday, the SW Seattle Historical Society promised to announce the “next step” today. And indeed, that’s what’s happening right now at the corner of California and Alaska in The Junction – SWSHS is announcing that it will nominate two buildings at this corner for city-landmark status – the Hamm Building (home to businesses including Easy Street Records):


And the Campbell Building (home to businesses including Cupcake Royale):


Toplines are on the SWSHS website.

11:51 AM: The announcement event is over – we’ll add video and photos after our return to headquarters. (Added – here’s the video):

The campaign to get these buildings nominated and protected as city landmarks is under the title We Love The Junction – three co-chairs, Peder Nelson, Brad Chrisman, and Crystal Dean, were introduced. SWSHS is applying for a $12,000+ grant to cover the cost of preparing the comprehensive nomination documents, but executive director Clay Eals warned that’s not a sure bet, so they’re launching other fundraisers, including the sale of We Love The Junction buttons, which just went on display at Husky Deli:

(Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller and WLTJ campaign co-chair Crystal Dean)

Here’s a closer look at the button:


You’ll find We Love The Junction on a new website, where you (added) will eventually be able to find out where and how sign a statement of support for the landmark nominations (no digital version yet); you’re also invited to a town-hall-style meeting at 6 pm Wednesday, March 16th, at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library (2306 42nd SW).

(SWSHS executive director Clay Eals with an old business sign for the builder of the prospective landmarks)

ADDED SATURDAY NIGHT: A few more notes from the announcement:

-While there’s no digital petition you can sign right now, there is something you can do until you happen onto one of SWSHS’s signature-collecting events (the first one is set for tomorrow at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market) – get on the mailing list by sending a note to contact@welovethejunction.org

-Along with Husky Deli, two other locations are selling the “We Love The Junction” buttons ($1 each, for either size) right now – Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW; WSB sponsor) and the Log House Museum (61st/Stevens, open noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays)

-These would be the fourth and fifth buildings for which SWSHS helped secure landmark status, if it happens – the other three, as Eals discussed at today’s event, are the Admiral Theater, Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge, and the organization’s own Log House Museum (formerly the Fir Lodge’s carriage house). As noted in comment discussion following our coverage of Wednesday’s historical-survey unveiling, The Junction has no landmarks now – the closest is the old substation at Dakota Place Park, a short distance north. (Here’s a city list of all Seattle landmarks.)

-They don’t expect to hear back about the requested grant until May. That and other work in the landmark-nomination process mean, Eals said, that the campaign will likely stretch at least into the fall.

FOLLOWUP: Vandalized mural’s future in question

(WSB photo, taken this morning; remaining top half of vandal’s marking has been blurred – bottom half was painted over)

12 days after we first reported on this vandalized mural in The Junction, its future remains unsettled. Paint has been used to cover the lower half of the big black-paint markings with which it was defaced – the part that was not on the mural itself. But while West Seattle Junction Association director Susan Melrose was hopeful at first that a graffiti-paintout firm would be able to handle the rest, that turned out not to be the case. We asked her about it at today’s Junction Historical Survey event; she tells WSB she has called in a muralist to evaluate it. After taking a first look this past weekend, she says, the muralist concurred that it’s major damage without an easy solution – the mural already was too faded, and the vandal’s paint just soaked right in. They’re still talking to see what can be done, but in case you’re wondering why the tag is still partly visible – that’s why.

BACKSTORY: The mural is The First Duwamish Bridge” by Robert Dafford, and is on the north side of 4740 44th SW, facing The Junction’s southernmost 3-free-hours parking lot. It dates back a quarter-century now, along with nine others noted here.

VIDEO: ‘What makes The Junction special?’ West Seattle Junction Historical Survey unveiled

(Heart of The Junction, 1926. Photo courtesy SWSHS)

9:02 AM: We’re at Husky Deli in The Junction, where the first-ever West Seattle Junction Historical Survey is being formally announced, with a gathering of local advocates, businesspeople, electeds, and more.

We’re recording video and will be publishing toplines live. (added 3:24 pm – here’s the video – the heart of the briefing starts 1:30 in):

For starters – the report and highlights are here. It’s in three parts: A survey of 58 Junction buildings that are 40+ years old; summaries of interviews with nine Junction building owners; summary of a public survey done last summer. As Clay Eals, executive director of the SW Seattle Historical Society, has just pointed out, it’s been almost exactly a year since this effort was announced. More to come!

9:07 AM: Community advocate Chas Redmond is opening the event with backstory – he was on the Southwest District Council when the idea first came up 3+ years ago. Current SWDC member Deb Barker (who also happens to be on the city Landmark Preservation Board) mentions that King County’s 4Culture helped fund this, and that the building survey was done by architectural historian Mimi Sheridan.

The buildings surveyed are between Genesee and Edmunds, mostly along California SW, some on 44th and 42nd. The survey categorizes buildings, primarily by whether they might be eligible for landmark status. Two wound up in that category (A) – the Campbell and Hamm Buildings in the heart of The Junction (NW and NE corners of California/Alaska – see them in the historical photo atop this story), built in 1918 and 1926 respectively. Six buildings are Category B – potentially eligible to be designated as landmarks, pending further evaluation – Hotwire/dental, Courtesy Accounting, JF Henry, ex-JC Penney, Curious Kidstuff, Technical Analysis. The rest of the 40+-year-old buildings were not considered eligible for potential landmark status.

9:15 AM: Susan Melrose from the WS Junction Association is introducing the building owner interviews – and she says the transcriptions are worth diving into; they often were the first time these owners had ever been asked about the buildings, how they came to own them, and more.

She’s followed by Eals, summarizing the public interviews done during events in the area last summer, on paper, with 260+ respondents who “were eager to share their observations and opinions – and every syllable of what they wrote is in the report.” The question included “favorite buildings” and Eals says they were named by their main tenants, Easy Street Records and Cupcake Royale, – the Campbell and Hamm Buildings mentioned above – were the leading answers. What’s worth preserving? History and small-town feel, he said – and 43 of the respondents had a one-word answer to that question: “Everything.” Eals says the logical question to all this is, what’s next? The Historical Society will answer that question in its own event at 11 am Saturday in The Junction, outside Key Bank if it’s not raining, at Husky Deli if it is. The interim time is in order for the survey to “be absorbed” and appreciated, he says.

9:20 AM: Now, the electeds (and an ex-elected). King County Executive Dow Constantine kicks it off, recounting The Junction’s century-plus history. (We’re recording video and will have it up within a few hours.)

With him, as you can see in our photo, are King County Council chair Joe McDermott, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, and former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. Constantine says The Junction is always “where the community came together.” And, he notes, the survey is meant to help this area “move forward by honoring the past” and to “learn more about what makes this place so special to the community.” (He is a native West Seattleite, if you didn’t already know that.) He says 4Culture’s support of this involved a $10,000 grant. He says he’s “excited about the proactive approach taken by (those who did and oversaw) this survey.”

Councilmember McDermott, introduced by Constantine as another “old-timey West Seattleite,” calls West Seattle “truly a unique community.” But he stresses that for historical preservation, something has to have “meaning,” and the new report documents “what’s going on here, not just what used to go on here” – although he subsequently recounts memories including an early job here at Husky Deli. He says the report will assist with “an informed and solid conversation about meaningful use and historical preservation.”

Councilmember Herbold brings this into the context of a current issue, affordability (housing and otherwise), saying that “not just about saving these buildings because of why we love them, but because of what we want to retain moving forward – the affordability of this community, the use of local businesses … a place that is an economic engine for our local businesses.” She chairs the community that oversees economic development and believes it will be “useful to bring these findings to the council” including as assistance to other communities in Seattle struggling with these same issues. “For me, what this survey represents is hope” – for West Seattle and elsewhere.

Now, Rasmussen, who left the council a few months ago after deciding not to run for re-election. “We’re not just here to talk about saving buildings … but also we want to save what’s unique about this neighborhood, including the small locally owned businesses.” He talks about working with other areas, including Pike-Pine on Capitol Hill, which is “now one of the most successful neighborhoods on the West Coast. … When you save what is unique about (a) neighborhood, then you also save the local businesses … when you bulldoze a neighborhood or block, it is very difficult for local businesses (to move back in).” He points across the street to two new apartment buildings in this block, which now primarily have chains occupying or moving into its spaces. Just arrived, it’s announced, deputy mayor Hyeok Kim.

9:33 AM: Next up, business owners – Lora Swift of Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) and Ann Walker of Curious Kidstuff.

Swift says she is grateful and honored to have been part of this business community for 15+ years. “As I look around the room, I find that I’ve served coffee to most of you. … I hope to see everyone of you for the next 15 years.” Walker says the neighborhood “looked very different” when she opened her shop 18 years ago. She says she never realized when she started the store that it would go on so long, and she would have customers whose children are now customers with their own children. “It’s a lot of work, and it’s hard, but it’s so valuable,” she says, regarding running a small business.

9:37 AM: Next – two of the nine business owners who were interviewed, Menashe and Sons Jewelers (WSB sponsor)’s Jack Menashe, and Husky Deli’s Jack Miller.

Menashe says he grew up in Seward Park but was brought to West Seattle as a child every Sunday to have Spud Fish and Chips, and the family would drive to The Junction. He went into business here when he was 25, he says, fulfilling a wish voiced by his parents. He thanks those who supported him over the years and hails West Seattle as a “very, very loyal community” – saying the thanks for that goes to everyone in the community. “With all the changes in business, from forms of advertising with the Internet and all the different things and everything that’s happened to our city … many people outside West Seattle have come into this area for the unique area it is and the unique shops … and they love this area, the uniqueness, the older buildings … we can go everywhere (they say) but ‘please keep this area a unique, loyal area’ and that has stayed with me all these years.”

Miller says it’s not just the businesses – “Lincoln Park is not just a park, Alki is not just a beach … The Junction is not just a place to shop … we’re lucky to be here … I’m lucky to have been born into a family that has been here for 84 years. … We’re not just selling sandwiches and ice cream, there’s community here. It’s dear to us, and I’m hoping .. we have some kind of vision to preserve the feel, and loyal people here.” He recounts the story of how loyalty led to a Ben and Jerry’s franchise (where Cupcake Royale is now) not lasting long.

9:46 AM: The briefing is wrapping up; we’re the only news media here, and we ask whether the owners of the two buildings identified as potential landmarks, without even further evaluation, think about the concept. Eals says the Campbell Building (Cupcake Royale & more)’s ownership indicated potential support for preservation, but they so far have not been able to reach the Hamm Building (Easy Street & more)’s owners. All building owners, adds Barker, have been notified of the survey’s results. And as mentioned above, Eals reiterates to us, the Historical Society will have more to say on Saturday.

We’ll be adding more photos, as well as the video, of this event, after we get back to HQ.

SouthWest Stories: New history series on 6 future Sundays

Historian Rob Ketcherside recently shared that 1937 photo from tax-assessor files via the WSB Flickr group. It might look familiar even if you weren’t around in the ’30s – it’s the subject of the mural behind the commercial building on the southwest corner of California and Fauntleroy in Morgan Junction. It shows the Morgan Street Drive-In Market; Ketcherside will be speaking about the market (on the site where West Seattle Thriftway [WSB sponsor] is now) at the kickoff event for the SouthWest Stories series just announced by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. If you want a sneak peek, read his story about the city’s drive-in markets, including this one, and see his photo roundup.

Ketcherside’s presentation is four weeks away – 2 pm Sunday, March 20th, at High Point Library; it’ll be followed by five more presentations on the third Sunday of each month, scheduled out through August, rotating among WS and South Park branches of the Seattle Public Library (which is co-sponsoring SouthWest Stories) – see the list on the official flyer. All free!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Mural vandalized; backpack stolen

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon:

(WSB photo – we’ve blurred the tag but you can still see how large it is)

MURAL VANDALIZED: One of West Seattle’s award-winning murals has been vandalized. While in The Junction at lunchtime, we noticed the tagging, in black paint, on the “First Duwamish Bridge” mural that covers the north side of the building south of the parking lot behind Northwest Art and Frame. While tagging/graffiti vandalism is rampant here and elsewhere, this is the first time we can recall seeing it actually done to one of the quarter-century-old murals around The Junction. We called Susan Melrose at the West Seattle Junction Association; she said that other murals have been tagged and the WSJA picks up the cost of paintovers – she’s contacting their preferred firm Goodbye Graffiti right now.

STOLEN BACKPACK SOUGHT: Ethan‘s car was hit by thieves overnight:

Ethan lives near Juneau/Fauntleroy and says, “The only thing that was taken was my school backpack. It’s a white and blue Dakine. My school work was only valuable to me and I’m hoping the folks that stole it may have thrown it out their window. Hoping West Seattle can help me track it down.”

West Seattle scene: Demolition reveals another ‘ghost sign’


On Wednesday, we wrote about the demolition work at 3219-3221, clearing an old commercial building for residential development.

Today, WSB’s Christopher Boffoli sends the photo above, showing faded signage on a newly revealed brick wall alongside 3225 California (which is not part of the current project – the building is currently home to West Seattle Healing Tree). These are what are now known as “ghost signs” – you’ve probably seen a few in West Seattle, and other parts of the city.

Christopher points out that the words “WHOLE FAMILY” and “We do boot repairing here” are visible. Online archives show the Jurians’ Family Shoe Store was in operation there for a dozen years until selling the business in 1931. (The King County Assessor’s Office website, however, traces the building only to 1922.)

Ghost signs are usually painted onto buildings – old brick buildings like this one – but sometimes there are other signage surprises, like the one we showed in 2013 after demolition at 4730 California SW.

KEEP CLAM! And set a reminder for Paul Dorpat’s ‘Fish Tales’ about Ivar, 2 weeks away

In case you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – we’re now exactly two weeks from your chance to hear and see photo historian Paul Dorpat tell “Fish Tales” about West Seattle character and entrepreneur Ivar Haglund, linked to the exhibit at the Log House Museum, but happening at a local Seattle Public Library branch. Here are all the details, from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Is there anyone better than Paul Dorpat at “keeping clam” about Seattle legend and West Seattle native Ivar Haglund?

Dorpat — the city’s pre-eminent photo historian, who has entered his 34th year of weekly “Now and Then” columns in the Seattle Times — for more than a decade also has been researching and writing a massive biography of Haglund, the iconic restaurateur, folk musician, Port of Seattle commissioner, and goofy promotional wizard.

Sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and ​T​he Seattle Public Library, the genial Dorpat will present “Fish Tales,” a talk accompanied by scores of rare photos of Haglund, at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, February 7th, in the basement meeting room of the West Seattle ​B​ranch of ​The ​Seattle Public Library, 2306 42nd Ave. SW in The Admiral District.

The FREE presentation will end about 3 p.m., after which those attending can stop in down the hill at the historical society’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum to see its latest exhibit, on loan from the Nordic Heritage Museum, called “Keep Clam and Carry On: The Ivar Haglund Story.”

Dorpat’s talk will emphasize the deep West Seattle roots of Haglund (1905-1985), the grandson of Hans Hanson, who for many years posted a lantern at Alki Point that predated the 1913 construction of the Alki Lighthouse. Haglund’s maternal grandparents purchased the Alki Point land in 1869 from Seattle pioneer David “Doc” Maynard.

All of this and much more will be covered by Dorpat, who also will be available at the museum exhibit after his talk. The exhibit features display panels, vintage TV footage and radio recordings, along with a “clam gun” ​and one of the clam outfits used to promote Ivar’s restaurants in Seattle parades and commercials. To see the exhibit, stop in during regular open hours, noon to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.​

Ivar died in

11 WSB stories comprise the ‘top 10’ for most comments in 2015

Since WSB is more about “what’s happening now” and “what’s happening next” than “what happened,” we don’t do much looking back at the end of each year – except for what’s become a tradition: The top 10 “most-commented” stories. As we always note, the number of comments isn’t an indicator of how many people care about a story, how many people read a story, etc. – in some cases, there’s just nothing to say – but it’s a point of curiosity, so here we go with this year’s edition. It’s actually a top 11, since we had a tie at #8:

#10: ZATZ A BETTER BAGEL CLOSING, June 12th, 102 comments

#9: PORT TRUCK BACKUPS, September 15th, 106 comments


#8 (tie): SDOT TO REDUCE SPEED LIMITS, February 13th, 108 comments



Read More

3 West Seattle landmarks get $ boost from Building for Culture

(WSB photo from February)
Three landmark buildings in West Seattle are getting a boost from a county cultural-grant program.

(SW Seattle Historical Society photo from May: Dennis Schilling, Alki Homestead owner, with logs for restoration)
Here’s the announcement from West Seattle’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott, one day before county and cultural leaders gather to celebrate the list of grants that includes these three:

Renovation of the Admiral Theater and restoration of the Alki Homestead highlight a list of the projects in West Seattle and throughout King County that will receive funding to help maintain their buildings and preserve the arts and heritage programs that are held inside.

“As a lifelong West Seattle resident, I grew up going to the Admiral Theatre and Alki Homestead,” said Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott. “I am proud to promote the rich cultural history in West Seattle through the Building for Culture grant program.”

The Admiral Theater received $95,000 towards a renovation that will see the number of screens double from 2 to 4. The 111 year old Alki Homestead was awarded $83,000 towards its complete restoration, after a fire destroyed it in 2009.

The funding for maintenance, repairs, and preservation were allocated from the Building for Culture Program and unanimously approved by the County Council. Building for Culture is a partnership between King County and 4Culture, King County’s cultural services agency, using bonds backed by the hotel-motel tax to build, maintain, expand, preserve, and improve new and existing cultural facilities.

After the Council approved the creation of the Building for Culture Program, 4Culture put out a request for proposals to nonprofit arts, heritage and cultural organizations and eligible public agencies, as well as owners of national-, state-, or local-designated or eligible landmark properties. 4Culture then convened independent peer panels composed of arts, heritage, and preservation professionals, and other community representatives to review applications and make the final selections.

Facilities receiving funding in West Seattle are:

Admiral Cinema LLC – Admiral Theater Renovation – $95,000
Delridge Neighborhood Development Association – Elevate Youngstown – $100,000
Dennis Schilling – Restoring the Alki Homestead – $83,000 $45,190 (correction from CM McDermott’s office on 11/24/2015)

The bonds supporting these projects are made possible by early retirement of the Kingdome debt. State law requires that hotel-motel tax revenues King County collects this year after repayment of the Kingdome debt be directed to arts and cultural programs.

Read more about the grant program here.

West Seattle history: Denny Party anniversary today; SWSHS annual meeting tomorrow

Two West Seattle history notes:

DENNY PARTY LANDING ANNIVERSARY TODAY: On November 13th, 1851, as the marker at 63rd SW and Alki Ave SW (top photo) points out, the Denny Party landed here, the end of a journey that had started in Illinois. HistoryLink has the thumbnail version of the story. On the 150th anniversary of the arrival, The Seattle Times checked in with some of their descendants.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S ANNUAL MEETING TOMORROW: This gives us a reason to remind you that the annual meeting of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is tomorrow (Saturday), six days after the organization’s record-setting gala (WSB coverage here). All are welcome at tomorrow’s meeting, 1:30 pm-3 pm at the High Point Library (35th SW & SW Raymond), which will feature County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who, as a former Underground Tour guide, is a lively storyteller. More info here.

P.S. Because of the meeting, the Log House Museum will NOT be open tomorrow. Otherwise, you can visit noon-4 pm Sunday (and subsequent weeks, the usual Thursdays-Sundays).

VIDEO: Southwest Seattle Historical Society brunch crowd goes ‘Home to the Homestead’ and gives big

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“In this room, at this moment, this is West Seattle,” declared Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals, toward the start of Saturday’s sold-out Champagne Gala Brunch fundraiser.

And West Seattle showed its generosity as well as its spirit – Eals tells WSB that the revenue from the event, which filled the Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) event rooms from windowed wall to windowed wall, totals “$77,180, up 26.4 percent from last year.”

Early on during the brunch, Eals had other numbers of note: SWSHS’s 31st anniversary, and the 100th birthday of Erma Couden, widow of its founder Elliott Couden.

While the brunch’s theme was “Coming Home to the Homestead,” he cited a long list of highlights for the year even before the historic Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge‘s sale was announced and restoration commenced, including:

Art Wolfe speaking
Admiral Theater upgrading (the SWSHS saved the Admiral a quarter-century ago)
West Seattle Junction Historical Survey launched
-Museum Manager transition, Sarah Baylinson succeeded by Lissa Kramer
Count the Lincoln Logs” contest
-Supporting the Duwamish Tribe‘s fight for federal recognition
“If These Walls Could Talk” tour of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop founder Daddy Standley‘s house
-Coat of paint and other touchups for the museum
-Interior work, new shelving at museum
Riverside walking tour
-Third year of the Words, Writers, & West Seattle literary series
Totem Pole Cruise to Alaska
Richard Hugo tribute concert and film screening in White Center
School Daze pop-up museum at The Kenney (WSB sponsor)
First-ever Family Halloween on the Porch

The society won two big awards this year: Last year’s Totem Pole unveiling was at the heart of 2 awards, one from Association of King County Historical Organizations, “best single-impact-event award,” and SWSHS was crowned Nonprofit of the Year by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

But the biggest news of all this year was new ownership of the landmark Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge, purchased in March by Dennis Schilling, who quickly embarked on its restoration, six years after the landmark was charred by fire. For so long, its fate remained unknown, Eals reminded the brunch audience, showing the 2010 “This Place Matters” gathering, echoed by a photo op this past summer – “This Place Still Matters” – that was more of a celebration.

The Homestead rebirth by itself has inspired myriad events, including the log-structure-restoration lecture/demonstration by David Rogers in August. Also, Homestead memories are being shared on the “virtual chicken dinner” page on the SWSHS website. And the 1,000-plus-student photo op on June 5th dubbed “Group Hug for the Homestead” was a morning to remember, as we showed you here.

(WSB photo, June 5th, as students were still arriving)
Eals enthused about the memories that event generated for a new generation:

Read More

First-ever Family Halloween on the Porch @ Log House Museum

October 31, 2015 2:11 pm
|    Comments Off on First-ever Family Halloween on the Porch @ Log House Museum
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

2:11 PM: Can’t wait until nightfall to trick or treat? One of the Halloween afternoon events happening right now is at the Log House Museum on Alki, where the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is hosting its first-ever “Family Halloween on the Porch.” We just stopped by the museum’s big covered porch, and if you can, you should too – for a little trick-or-treating, a few treats (cider and cookies), some storytelling, and what can be spookier than history? Go inside the museum and see what happened in West Seattle long ago. The museum’s at 61st and Stevens, and the party’s on until 3 pm.

ADDED 2:48 PM: It really *is* a family event – with enough room to pull up a corner of the porch and read:

Teen volunteers from the National Honor Society at West Seattle High School are helping too, including at the craft table:

Next up for SWSHS – the Champagne Gala Brunch one week from today – updates here.

Looking into the future with Southwest Seattle Historical Society: Champagne Gala Brunch updates; Family Halloween on the Porch

October 29, 2015 5:06 pm
|    Comments Off on Looking into the future with Southwest Seattle Historical Society: Champagne Gala Brunch updates; Family Halloween on the Porch
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(WSB photo taken during recent Admiral District business mixer @ Brookdale Admiral last week)
What Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals is holding in our photo is one of the “Slice of the Homestead” log sections that’ll serve as table centerpieces during the SWSHS’s Champagne Gala Brunch, now just nine days away (11 am Saturday, November 7th, at Salty’s on Alki [WSB sponsor]). The sections of original logs from the century-old landmark will also be auctioned off during the Homestead-themed gala (see the program here), which Eals reports is “at capacity,” earlier than ever, but you can get on the waitlist – go here. Everybody who’s there will enjoy the “Wait, Wait, West Seattle … Don’t Tell Me!” panel – whose celebrity participants were announced this week. And even if you are not going to the brunch, you can buy one of the 100 “Golden Tickets” on sale for a drawing that’ll happen during the gala: $100 gets you one of 100 chances to win a cruise, your choice of four destinations via Holland America Line. Here’s how to get yours, whether at the gala or at the Log House Museum starting one week from today.

Speaking of the museum (61st SW & SW Stevens, half a block from the Homestead), you’re invited to stop by for its first Family Halloween on the Porch, 1-3 pm Saturday – free treats, cider, cookies, arts and crafts, story time … find out more here.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann