West Seattle, Washington
(UPDATED 1:48 AM with removal of the rest of the awning)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
It’s been battered over the years, but not broken. Now, though, Easy Street Records‘ famous neon-decorated awning is coming down.
Half gone already, as of a little while ago, when we took these photos, and the demolition crew is still on the job.
It was more than half a century old, according to Easy Street proprietor Matt Vaughan, and it’s a wonder it lasted this long: Almost three years ago, a truck hit a tree, which in turn took out part of the neon. At the time, Vaughan commented via Twitter that the neon had only just been fixed from the last time it was affected by truck trouble. (We’re not sure if that was the 2008 incident on which we also reported.) But overall, we were told at the store this afternoon, the awning was just flat old and rusty.
Beloved just the same – news of the awning’s imminent removal caused an uproar on Facebook this afternoon – as of this writing, 133 comments on Easy Street’s page, and more than 45 comments on the WSB Facebook page, where we had shared the ESR update.
Some concerned commenters asked if the awning could get protection from the city’s historic-preservation authorities. Short answer – Not without the building having landmark status. When the city inventoried local properties several years back, it offered the opinion that the Hamm Building – the 1926 home to Easy Street and other businesses – might merit that protection. To our knowledge, that hasn’t been sought. City records even show a demolition/development proposal dating back to 2007, though it doesn’t appear to have advanced from the early stages.
As for what if anything will replace the awning, ESR isn’t sure yet, they told us when we first inquired this afternoon. But one thing’s for sure – many West Seattleites, most of whom probably haven’t even heard of its in-progress removal, will miss it – as the understory of the sign that stands over the awning so often offering messages reflecting the community mood, even simple holiday greetings like the one in our November 2009 photo:
We’ll follow up to see what happens from here.
1:48 AM UPDATE: Thanks to Dennis for sending photos of the California SW-side removal:
And that side of the building, awningless:
The famous marquee remains:
ADDED TUESDAY: Thanks to WSB’er Datamuse for pointing out in comments that Easy Street’s website has this expanded statement on the awning situation.
First one we’ve happened onto, anyway: An apartment project proposed for 5949 California SW (map), north of Morgan Junction, is described as a “boarding house,” one of the phrases used in city documentation for what’s becoming more widely known as “microhousing.” Its initial paperwork listed five levels (one basement, 4 above ground) and five residential units – but, as noted in City Council discussions recently, there has been a city loophole in which microhousing was allowed through the system despite equating the number of common kitchens to the number of units, instead of just declaring the total number of rentable units. That loophole is on its way out, and revised paperwork for this “five-unit” project shows it will include 38 “sleeping rooms.” Here’s the city webpage for the project; it hasn’t turned up on the Land Use Information Bulletin yet, so we’re not sure yet about the deadline for comments, but will check tomorrow.
Thanks to the people who tipped us about some kind of police operation under way in the vicinity of the Super 24 store along Delridge. WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand arrived and found SWAT officers, guns drawn, and someone apparently in custody. No one is commenting at the scene so we are trying to find out more. Traffic was stopped on Delridge for a while but Patrick says it’s just been allowed to resume.
With this record-setting heat, we’ve been getting questions about when the city’s wading pools open. Schedule’s not out yet, but the short answer: Not till next month. The questions, however, inspired us to check in on the new addition to West Seattle’s outdoor aquatics scene this summer – the Highland Park Spraypark, going in at the site of the wading pool that’s hasn’t been open since 2008. Seattle Parks project manager Kelly Goold says the spraypark is currently on track for completion by the end of this month, and shared construction photos with WSB:
The top photo, he explains, “shows concrete being poured in one pad and forming for the next – concrete for this project is part of the final phase.” The second photo shows “the very cool bronze inlays that tie to the planetary theme of the spray-park.” As he notes, most of the work has been “in-ground; a lot of piping for the spray-park equipment.”
Another new Junction-area development is set for its first hearing before the Southwest Design Review Board. A May 23rd meeting has just turned up on the SWDRB schedule for 4745 40th SW. The city’s online files say it is proposed for 150 apartments, 9 live-work units, and 100 parking spaces in a building of up to eight stories on a site north of SW Edmunds, south of a future city park, west (across 40th) from the Masonic Temple, and steps away from the southwest edge of the future Whole Foods (etc.) project (also across 40th). The May 23rd meeting is scheduled for 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle at California/Oregon.
(Before then, the board will meet this Thursday [May 9th], also at 6:30 at the Senior Center, for its first look at 4535 44th SW, a 4-story, 35-apartment, 4-live-work-unit project first mentioned here in March.)
Shortly after we took that photo, a tow-truck crew righted the car, which had flipped onto the south side of the 20th/Henderson intersection, just east of Delridge Way. No official information on circumstances at this point but police told us one person had been taken to a hospital.
5:15 PM UPDATE: This was a two-car crash, according to Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore, whose department does not investigate the cause but does treat the victims, so he was able to tell us that the person taken to the hospital as a precaution was the 28-year-old woman driving the flipped PT cruiser. She got herself and a 3-week-old baby girl out of the vehicle before Engine 11 arrived; the 25-year-old woman and 4-year-old in the other vehicle were not hurt.
8:02 PM UPDATE: A commenter who lives nearby says the 4-year-old was actually in the flipped PT cruiser and the baby in the other car.
First of 2 West Seattle Crime Watch notes: If you’ve had a bicycle stolen lately, in addition to checking with police, keep checking our WSCW reports, because more keep coming in. We mentioned a few in this WSCW report over the weekend; then this morning, Anne e-mailed to say that TWO mountain bikes have turned up on her out-of-the-way street (steep slope of SW Lander), likely left by thieves. She says both are “men’s mountain bikes. One is a medium blue and one is red.” She has reported them to police but would like to get them back to their owners.
(added) If you’re missing a bike that might be one of those two – e-mail Anne at email@example.com.
Second, Chris says a hit-run crash on Saturday left these marks on his car:
My car was backed into (Saturday) morning in the West Seattle Trader Joe’s parking lot. I was parked next to the spot that’s not a spy on the north side of the parking lot. An older model navy blue SUV was parked in that spot and I believe it was this car that backed into me. I am looking for whoever did this or anyone who might have seen something. A photo of my back quarter panel with the offending back bumper mark across it is attached.
Third, just received as we were about to publish this, Annlee reports a car prowl at Lincoln Park:
I was enjoying a beautiful sunny day at Lincoln Park (Sunday) with my sister and kids. We got back to my car and noticed the doors were unlocked. I had only left my window opened a crack but it was enough for the thief to use someone’s broken-off antenna to hook and unlock my doors. My purse and my sister’s purse were stolen out of the trunk with everything inside them. Even my daughter’s sleeping bag was stolen and she was absolutely devastated. Please keep an eye out while visiting Lincoln Park. If you happen to see any gray purses or black wallets with IDs in them, please turn them in. If you happen to see anyone suspicious wandering around the parking lot with a pink princess sleeping bag, please call the police!
(February photo of Delridge Way work, from SDOT via Flickr)
The second phase of the Delridge Way SW repaving project is almost over, with the third phase expected to start next week. So says SDOT in this advisory just out of the WSB inbox:
The Seattle Department of Transportation expects paving work on Delridge Way Southwest to progress to the next phase on Wednesday, May 15. The contractor will detour southbound traffic on Delridge from Southwest Holden to Southwest Thistle streets, and reopen the stretch from Southwest Thistle to Southwest Trenton streets. The new detour, from Holden to Thistle, is expected to remain in place through mid July. This work is Phase 3 of the project that is rebuilding much of Delridge Way Southwest.
Delridge will remain open to northbound traffic except for intersection work. Local access to businesses and residents will be maintained. SDOT will release a map and details of the new detour as the date approaches.
After the contractor completes work between Thistle and Trenton, Delridge will be striped between Thistle and Henderson streets. Also, crews expect to return by late May to the stretch between Trenton and Henderson for weather-dependent crack seal work.
This is a five-phase project. At the end of Phase 3, construction activity will move north to Phase 4, between SW Orchard and SW Holden streets.
It’s beautiful from the sky as well as the ground – North Delridge’s Dragonfly Garden (aka Pavilion)! has dragonfly-shaped landscaping too? Thanks as always to Long Bach Nguyen for sharing West Seattle aerial views like this! Meantime, while regular Monday events are on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here are three today/tonight-only highlights:
HIGH-SCHOOL BASEBALL POSTSEASON: Metro League playoffs start with West Seattle High School vs. Bainbridge Island at Hiawatha, 3:30 pm, same time that Chief Sealth International High School will be on the road vs. Eastside Catholic. (Thanks to Greg Slader, the WSHS parent who’s been contributing updates all season, for the details.)
HELP HI-YU – MEETING TONIGHT: 6:30 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, it’s the next general meeting for everyone interested in the West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival – which as you probably know is not a one-day one-time “festival” but instead a collection of summer events including the annual construction of the last Seattle neighborhood traveling parade float. As reported here over the weekend, Hi-Yu needs more community help to keep the 79-year tradition alive to see its 80th anniversary. Showing up tonight is a start. (California/Hanford)
TALK THEATER: Go behind-the-scenes in a live, free conversation with cast members and key staff from ArtsWest’s current production “33 Variations,” 7:30 pm. (4711 California SW)
If you’re interested in having a say before the Seattle City Council adopts citywide rules for marijuana production, processing, selling, and delivery – now’s the time to speak up. Today’s edition of the twice-weekly city-issued Land Use Information Bulletin includes an announcement of proposed amendments – such as the potential for indoor growing sites spanning up to 50,000 square feet – on which they’re now taking comments along with the main proposals. While the notice says comments will be accepted up until the final vote – not scheduled yet – councilmembers would like to receive comments by 5 pm May 15th, so there’s time for review. Here’s the notice, which also includes links to the proposed rules and amendments.
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
6:57 AM: So far, checking the traffic-watching sources we monitor, “sun glare” is the only thing causing slowdowns here and there. The high temperature is expected to be in the 80s again today.
9:58 AM: If you’re downtown-bound, heads-up – we notice the 911 log lists a crash on NB I-5 just north of the bridge.
11:54 AM: SDOT just updated the Delridge repaving project, saying it’s expected to move to Phase 3, between Holden and Thistle, next week. Here’s the story.
Weekend wildlife scenes to share before the week gets going at full speed! Trileigh Tucker says, “A few of us had a wonderful time watching the Lincoln Park Barred Owls! They were trying (unsuccessfully) to get away from crow harassment in the central part of the park. Here’s what was happening: (The) owl does a luxurious wing and leg stretch! Note leg stretched out vertically below:”
Next, she explains, the owl “tucks his head in his feathers for a brief rest during preening”: