West Seattle, Washington
Long before SPF30 … remember the Seattle Music Fest at Alki? That poster is part of a new music-history exhibit that opened today at the Log House Museum, just before music fans swarm the beach for Saturday’s big event.
The display case above includes Nirvana memorabilia on loan from local entrepreneur John Bennett, including a smiley face drawn by Kurt Cobain. An interactive component of the exhibit will take you back decades further:
You’re looking at the house that was once home to Ivar Haglund – whose music you can choose to hear; Woody Guthrie, too. (Ivar’s bio explains the link.) Lots of other memorabilia to browse, too:
The museum (61st SW/SW Stevens) is open noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays, and yes, it’ll be open on Saturday during SPF30, too.
The Mosquito Fleet mural on the east side of the city-landmark Campbell Building is next up for restoration in the finally launched project to restore all of West Seattle’s historic murals; it’ll be restored by muralist Bob Henry, who recently brought the Morgan Junction mural back to life. While the campaign to save all the Murals of West Seattle has a good start to the necessary funding – thanks to Adah Rhodes Cruzen‘s gift and to the West Seattle Garden Tour, among others – community contributions are requested, too, and that fundraising campaign has officially launched. This video tells the story:
(Video by This Is It Video Production)
More backstory on the murals and the restoration campaign – plus your options for contributing – can be found here.
Every year, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society offers a tour of a local house with a notable past. This afternoon, while many were watching hydroplane racing and/or Blue Angels aerobatics, this year’s “If These Walls Could Talk” tour invited visitors inside the Gatewood home where Lloyd and Mary Anderson began the business that became REI.
At center in the photo above is SWSHS executive director Jeff McCord, talking with visitors inside the basement where the Andersons launched their buying coop in 80 years ago. After Lloyd died in 2000, Mary – who died last year at age 107 – Mary sold the house.
It’s since been remodeled and expanded, with three more houses added on the site where it was built in 1932, as this Seattle Times Now and Then story explains, but part of the exterior, including the porch and overhang, remain the same.
The site is now known as Anderson Gardens in the couple’s honor. The REI website has more on how they founded the company, which remains a co-op.
P.S. At its own home, the Log House Museum, SWSHS will debut a new exhibit about local music history, noon-2 pm Thursday (August 9th), just in time for its spotlight during Sub Pop’s SPF30 anniversary celebration next Saturday.
That’s the Gatewood house where REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) was founded in Gatewood, 80 years ago. On the afternoon of Sunday, August 5, it will be the site of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tour. Ticket sales will begin at noon today, the SWSHS says. You’ll have two options – the basic tour, or tour plus a VIP reception and talk – as explained on this page, which is also where ticket sales will be activated at noon. As SWSHS summarizes what happened in the house:
It all started with a $15 ice axe — In 1935 Mountaineers Club member Lloyd Anderson purchased an ice axe from an importer in the United States. The axe was at the same time very expensive for that time-period, and also was poorly made. When the axe broke it set Lloyd on a mission that would lead to the formation of a co-op for the Mountaineers that would eventually become REI.
Guest speaker for the VIP event, noon-2 pm, is Bobby Whittaker, son of Jim Whittaker; the SWSHS says he “will be talking about growing up in a climbing family, and his early memories of hanging out at Capitol Hill store location at the time when his father Jim was involved in the operations of REI” as well as showing clips from “Return to Mount Kennedy,” which we reported on in May.
4:20 PM: The next beneficiary of Adah Cruzen‘s philanthropy: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society! We got the news from SWSHS while here at West Seattle Summer Fest and took the photo at the SWSHS booth minutes ago.
(Right now) at Summer Fest longtime West Seattle resident Adah Cruzen is (visiting to) tell some stories (to) be turned into impromptu poems by Typewriter Rodeo creator Sean Petrie. Adah recently donated $100,000 from the estate of her late husband, Earl Cruzen, the largest single gift that the historical society has received in its 34-year history.
Adah and Earl’s legacy gift helps the historical society in two major ways: Firstly, for capital repairs and ongoing care to the Log House Museum on Alki such-as porch deck and railing repairs, fence repairs, electrical upgrades, and other much-needed modifications and maintenance; and secondly “staff development and support,” an effort to help the society to expand its offerings to the public by increasing curatorial staff hours, professional development and training, etc. Presently the Log House Museum has two new exhibits on display that the Curatorial team has developed: “Fired Up: Neighborhood Fire Stations on the Duwamish Peninsula,” and “Navigating to Alki: Early Maps of the Duwamish Peninsula.”
The museum will also be launching a music-related exhibit, “Sound Spots: Music of the Duwamish Peninsula,” which opens on August 9, from 12 – 2 pm at the Log House Museum (in part to coincide with Sub Pop’s SPF30 music festival on Alki on Saturday, August 11, 2018).
“Adah and Earl’s gift will help — and has already been helping us — in major ways in our immediate future, and the ripple effects with the Cruzen gift will continue to help us for many years to come. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society owes Adah and Earl Cruzen a huge debt of gratitude for this major legacy gift.”
Comments from Jeff McCord, Executive Director of Southwest Seattle Historical Society
I recently met with Adah Cruzen at the Log House Museum to give her a tour. She and her assistant, Alfredo, stopped by and I took them through our galleries and showed them the exterior of the building. She was pleased to see what we had accomplished, both at the museum and within the community at large.
Adah said that she wanted to share some good news with us about funding that she wanted to provide. She was acting upon the wishes of her husband, who himself was very active in the community. Earl had been a key force behind the creation of 11 murals that originally appeared throughout the Alaska Junction, along with a key mural in the Morgan Junction behind Starbucks. Earl also spearheaded the effort to create the iconic “Walking on Logs” sculpture along the Fauntleroy Expressway and was on the Advisory Council of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
I shared with Adah our initiative of ‘Reaching New Audiences, Telling New Stories,’ and talked about the new curator staffmembers we’ve been bringing on to provide more resources for historic interpretation, all of which struck a chord with her. She expressed her support for our staff development, as well as seeing some of the needs we had about capital repairs and improvements to our ADA ramp, porch shoring, fence repairs, lighting and security updates.
Adah then gave us the amazing news about a $100,000 gift to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Thank you Adah and Earl!
ADDED 8:38 PM: Jeff shared images of two poems from this afternoon, as well as video of Sean reading one to Adah:
After 176 hours spread across 22 days, the Morgan Junction mural restoration is complete! (See a “before” image here.) We stopped by this afternoon as restoration artist Bob Henry met with project masterminds Dan Austin – who first hatched the idea more than 2 1/2 years ago – and Lora Swift.
We also got a tour of the “Easter eggs” you can look for in the finished work (west wall of the building on the southwest corner of Fauntleroy/California) – like a license plate honoring a key figure in the West Seattle murals’ creation and restoration, Earl Cruzen:
And another one in honor of this particular mural’s co-creator:
The restorer added a self-portrait too:
Next up in the quest to restore the murals – the Mosquito Fleet mural on the east side of the Campbell Building in The Junction.
Another 4th of July tradition: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s annual picnic at its headquarters, the Log House Museum on Alki. We stopped by around noontime and caught guest speaker Clay Eals, local historian and past SWSHS executive director:
He was speaking about Erma Couden, who died recently at age 103. As noted in her obituary, Ms. Couden was an advocate of “civil rights and local heritage preservation, all grounded in the pursuit of caring human connections.” She also was the wife of SWSHS founder Elliott Couden. Eals’s successor as SWSHS executive director, Jeff McCord, spoke too:
One of the things he wanted to be sure everyone knows about: The SWSHS is celebrating summer with a new event, Open Draw. On three upcoming Thursday nights (July 26th, August 23rd, and September 27th), 5-7 pm, you can draw and drink wine in the Log House Museum’s Native Plant Courtyard. Free of charge except for the wine, which will be $5/glass. The LHM is at 3003 61st SW and is regularly open Thursdays-Sundays, noon-4 pm.
Every fire station has a story. The history of West Seattle’s five Seattle Fire Department stations, plus a few others present and past in the greater WS/South Park/White Center area, is the subject of the Log House Museum‘s new exhibit “Fired Up: Neighborhood Fire Stations on the Duwamish Peninsula.” We stopped by for its opening celebration on Saturday. You’ll also see the history of a few of West Seattle’s bigger fires, like this one a century ago:
We also noticed this souvenir of sorts from a big fire 21 years ago:
Even a memory from West Seattle’s short-lived history as a city all its own:
The exhibit’s guest curator Bob Carney was among those talking with visitors on Saturday:
Jeff McCord – executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which is headquartered at the museum – was there too, and shared with us this photo of Seattle Fire personnel who visited on Friday night during a sneak peek.
You can see “Fired Up” – and the rest of what’s on display at the museum – Thursdays through Sundays, noon-4 pm, at 61st and Stevens [see a map here]. Admission is free (suggested donation $3 adults, $1 kids; SWSHS is an independent nonprofit).
Passing through Morgan Junction this afternoon, we spotted muralist Bob Henry continuing his work restoring the mural on the west wall of the Peel & Press/Starbucks/Pet Elements/West Seattle Vision/Subway building, so we stopped to check in.
It’s been about two weeks since he started. Check out how bright and clear the mural is looking!
It depicts a late-1930s scene across California SW, where West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) is now, with the homes of north Gatewood Hill behind it. As announced in front of the mural a week and a half ago, the restoration of this almost-30-years-old mural is intended to spark restoration of the others painted around that time in The Junction.
(2015 photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
We just confirmed with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary that Alki Point Lighthouse tours will start this weekend, as is customary. But there’s one big change this year – they’ll be offering the free tours only one day per weekend, on Sunday afternoons. The time window will be 1-4 pm as usual, and you need to be there by 3:45 pm to get in before the day’s tours end. New here? The lighthouse is right on the point, just before Alki Avenue SW turns into Beach Drive SW [map]. Check the lighthouse website before you go, in case of cancellation (and we’ll update our calendar when we get word, too). Last scheduled tour of the season will be Sunday of Labor Day weekend (September 2nd). P.S. For the lighthouse’s history, check the story we published when its centennial was celebrated five years ago.
With so many older homes (at least, older as the West Coast goes!) in our neighborhoods, do you ever wonder about the stories behind them? Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Seattle Public Library present the stories behind an architect who designed homes in many Seattle neighborhoods, Arthur Loveless – and this time, it’s not just a talk, you’ll also be invited on a post-talk tour! It’s the next Southwest Stories event, 2 pm Sunday at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, featuring Susan Shorett, whose great-grandmother was Loveless’s sister. From the announcement:
(Loveless’s) iconic Tudor Revivalist style helped shape many of Seattle’s earliest neighborhoods. Susan and her cousin documented the most thorough list to date of Loveless’s body of work which totals over 100 residential and commercial properties. In 2017, they formulated the idea to document as many of his designs in an attempt to help preserve his architectural legacy in a book of photography of his work as the properties look today.
Susan will be joined by the book’s photographer, Eric Dennon (of Dennon Photography). The two of them will be talking about Arthur Loveless’ body of work, and will show a presentation of the beautiful photography that will be appearing in the upcoming book.
After the talk, everyone there will be invited to a nearby home that Loveless designed a little over a century ago for someone who had “long been heavily involved in early real estate development in West Seattle,” via the West Seattle Land and Improvement Company. It’s all free; the library branch is at 2306 42nd SW, and the tour address will be provided at the event.
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
The “father of West Seattle’s murals,” Earl Cruzen, was there not only in spirit but also in photo as his widow Adah Cruzen announced a big gift toward their restoration.
“He left me a bunch of zeroes,” Adah Cruzen quipped about her husband, who died last year at age 96. Five of them were on the ceremonial $100,000 check displayed this afternoon, as she joined community leaders at the foot of the mural that’s being restored right now in Morgan Junction.
The announcement was hosted by Lora Swift of the West Seattle Junction Association and Dan Austin of Peel & Press, whose restaurant is in the building that’s home to the Morgan mural that artist Bob Henry is now working on. (Added: Video of the event:)
As it began, both Swift and local journalist/historian Clay Eals told the story of the murals – 11 in all – that were painted in West Seattle between 1989 and 1993.
Thanks to Meyer for the photo: A little over two weeks after we reported that the project to save West Seattle’s murals would kick off with restoration of the one in Morgan Junction, the artist is at work. Meyer spotted Gig Harbor artist Bob Henry at work today on the mural behind the California/Fauntleroy building that houses five businesses including Peel and Press, whose proprietor Dan Austin is spearheading this part of the project. We expect to hear more next week about broader plans for restoring more of West Seattle’s murals.
(WSB file photo, past spring cleanup at Log House Museum)
The home of West Seattle’s history – including a collection of more than 14,000 historical artifacts and archives – is getting ready for the summer season and would love help from you. 10 am-2 pm this Saturday (May 5th), it’s annual spring cleanup time at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s Log House Museum. From museum manager Valerie Kendall:
We need help to:
· clean the museum exterior
· clean windows
· brush off cobwebs
· repair our fence
· building a community board and more!
Just show up on Saturday – if you have questions before then, you can e-mail Valerie at email@example.com. The museum is at 3003 61st SW.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After years of planning and discussion, the next step toward restoring West Seattle’s murals will soon go from plans and hopes to reality.
We first reported in October 2015 that Dan Austin, owner of Peel and Press in Morgan Junction, was leading a project to save the mural on the west side of the California/Fauntleroy building that holds his business and four others.
It’s been a long road but that road reached one big milestone back in January, when the Morgan Community Association committed money to the restoration project. Then, another milestone this week, when the muralist who will restore it got his first look at it.
He is Bob Henry from Gig Harbor, and we were there as he visited the mural Tuesday with Austin, MoCA’s president and vice president Deb Barker and Phil Tavel, and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s executive director Jeff McCord and past ED Clay Eals, plus Lora Swift of the West Seattle Junction Association, which is working toward restoration of the Junction murals too.
That’s the “Mosquito Fleet” mural on the east side of the city-landmark Campbell Building in the heart of The Junction – vandalized and fading, but now slated for some help. The West Seattle Garden Tour (coming up on June 24th) has announced its 2018 beneficiaries – the nonprofit efforts that will get grants from the tour’s proceeds – and one is the West Seattle Junction Association, with the money earmarked specifically for restoration of that mural. The other beneficiaries will be:
*ArtsWest (for its Theater Education Program)
*The Arboretum at South Seattle College (for a new message hub and kiosk)
*Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden (for the design and construction of a Victory Garden)
*Little Red Hen Project (for an artistic and functional trellis in its “Winter Feast Garden”)
*PlantAmnesty (to help fund its 10th annual Urban Forest Symposium)
*Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge (to enhance it with three varieties of camellias)
You’ll find more information about the beneficiaries are on the WSGT website. WSGT expects to raise more than $26,000 for the seven projects, through tour tickets (which you can buy online right now), the tour-day raffle, and sponsorship revenue.
Six weeks after the City Council signed off on the deal for Bruce Stotler‘s Schmitz Park-neighboring property, so that it’ll eventually become part of the park, he signed the final paperwork in a small ceremony at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum headquarters.
With Stotler in the celebratory photo above are, from left, Chip Nevins from Seattle Parks, Vicki Schmitz-Block, former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – who had worked for years to help make it happen – and SWSHS vice president Nancy Sorensen. The photos are courtesy of SWSHS executive director Jeff McCord, who says, “The Southwest Seattle Historical Society was pleased to host the signing at the Log House Museum, and we believe property owner Bruce Stotler is doing a great thing for our West Seattle community!” Backstory is in our previous coverage – here, here, and here.
The fate of C & P’s site at 5612 California SW remains undetermined, four weeks after its owners put it on the market, with C & P subsequently crowdfunding and working to muster a counter-offer. (Nothing to announce when we last checked in with them.)
If you’re a C & P fan, you’re invited to join in what Historic Seattle has planned. The organization’s announcement explains that heart-bombing is …
… a form of advocacy, a fun and creative way to bring people together and raise awareness about what’s cherished in a community — places both safe and threatened– with homemade valentines that serve as a sort of love letter to places that matter. This February, groups and individuals across the country will be heart-bombing the places that matter to them. To join in, you craft up a valentine and then go out and show some love for the places that matter to you. Next you take a picture, and share on social media using #heartbombSEA and #IHeartSavingPlaces to be a part of the local and nationwide love fest.
On February 8 from 4-6 pm, we are hosting a heart-bomb valentine craftmaking “party” at our headquarters on First Hill. Following that, on February 13 from noon-1 PM, Historic Seattle staff and other advocates will be gathering to heart-bomb C & P Coffee (and take a group photo).
This isn’t a surprise party – C & P already knows. You’re welcome to be there on the 13th whether or not you make it to the craft party five days earlier (Historic Seattle, by the way, is at 1117 Minor Ave.) – or, if you can’t be there in person, you can drop off your Valentine at C & P before then.
Good crowd at the Log House Museum for the opening of its new exhibit, “Navigating to Alki,” with tonight’s reception continuing until 7 pm.
The focus is on maps of our area – dating back to the Native traditions of keeping “mental maps,” continuing through the earliest printed maps of the area in the 1700s, and on to the early 1900s, including this map showing former cities (including West Seattle) annexed to Seattle during that time:
The exhibit also includes a sound backdrop – the sea! – and some items you’re invited to touch.
Amy Gorton is the museum’s manager:
The museum is in the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s historic log-house headquarters, 61st and Stevens, half a block inland from Alki Beach. If you miss this – go see “Navigating to Alki” during the museum’s regular hours, noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays – it’s scheduled to be on display until September.
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1968 50TH REUNION
We have set a date! Our 50 th reunion will be on Saturday June 2, 2018. We chose this date so that folks coming from out of town could attend the All School Reunion held at West Seattle High School prior to our get-together.
So here are the details so far.
Location of the 50th reunion will be the Brockey Center at South Seattle College. Address is
6000 16th Ave. SW.
Social Hour 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Dinner at 7:00 PM
We decided to use the Brockey Center again (this is the location that we had our 40 th reunion)
for a few reasons the best reason is we felt we could get more bang for our dollar at this venue.
This venue allows us to bring our own beverages of choice (BYOB). The Brockey Center will
provide glasses, ice and mixers.
We do not have a cost or price yet but should have all of that information in early spring along
with the invite emails.
We are trying to get the word out early for the best possible attendance of classmates!
If you want to be a member of the planning committee you can contact John Herron at
We will post more detailed information after the 50th reunion committee has completed the planning process.
See you all on June 2, 2018 at the Brockey Center!
Reunion coming up? We’d be happy to announce yours too – e-mail the info to firstname.lastname@example.org -thank you!
Next Monday, the full City Council has the final vote on what’s known as the “controls and incentives” agreement that’s the final step of the city-landmark process for the Hamm Building on the NW corner of California/Alaska in the West Seattle Junction. That follows a committee discussion and vote this past Wednesday that had one twist of note.
At 16:15 into that Seattle Channel video of the Finance and Neighborhoods Committee meeting, the committee gets briefed on the agreements for a new landmark downtown and for the Hamm Building (known officially as the Crescent-Hamm Building for two of its original tenants). The agreement finalizes what part of the property is protected – “the exterior of the building.” (You can read it here.) At the table with Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Bruce Harrell, and Erin Doherty from the city Landmark Preservation staff, was Tracey Hsia, a member of the family that owns the Hamm Building. Before the vote, Harrell said he’s always interested in feedback on the landmarking process. Hsia replied by saying that her family, which has owned the 92-year-old building for more than 35 years, “kind of felt like we were attacked” – the landmark designation was proposed by community organizations, and had so much support that they felt there was “no way we could fight it.” She stressed, however, that the family had, and has, no plans to make changes (aside from having a new tenant moving into the ex-Corner Pocket space next month, as noted here).
Also speaking at Wednesday’s meeting (at 5:42 in the video, during the public-comment period) was Jeff McCord, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which played a key role in the process of pursuing landmark designations for the Hamm Building and for the Campbell Building across the street. Monday’s final vote is expected during the 2 pm full council meeting at City Hall.
11:33 PM: Exactly one year after first word it might be saved … nine months after word it WOULD be saved … a century-plus-old “log house” is on the move. As we’ve shown you, it’s been trimmed down and jacked up in recent weeks, and now in the hours ahead, starting right after midnight, the house rescuers of Nickel Bros will be moving it north, mostly on California SW, from SW Findlay to its new east Admiral location. We’ll be updating along the way.
11:52 PM: Monitoring & escorting vehicles continue arriving. Also, Jeff McCord, the SW Seattle Historical Society executive director who had previously been with Nickel Bros, is here. He says they estimate the move will take 4 hours.
12:10 AM: Jeff (in hard hat, above)tells us the departure onto California will be closer to 12:30.
On Calif now! pic.twitter.com/3IYXs3RId6
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 3, 2017
12:35 AM: And it’s off!
NB on California.
And north of Oregon pic.twitter.com/vEJ4LPinXY
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 3, 2017
1 AM: This is moving fairly fast. Already through The Junction – our video is from California/Oregon.
Passing Andover. pic.twitter.com/QdeUjhBR7A
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 3, 2017
1:10 AM: Now approaching Charlestown. (Our video above is from just south of there, at Andover.)
1:15 AM: We’ve gone a few blocks ahead to wait at Hanford, where our understanding is that the house will make the turn eastward here.
1:35 AM: Proceeding very very slowly up this last block before Hanford.
1:51 AM: Now at Hanford, and doing some delicate maneuvering to get in position to head directly east onto the street, past St. John the Baptist.
1:56 AM: Up the hill it goes, off the California SW straightaway and into residential streets.
2:35 AM: Two hours since the departure from California/Findlay. Very slow going on Hanford because of trees in the planting strips …
Crew members are pushing them back to make room for the house’s full width.
2:57 AM: The house made it past that section and is now moving more quickly east on Hanford, Meantime, thanks to Derek for this aerial view of the house moving past Manning on California earlier:
One of the officers escorting the house tells us it will be backing into its final turn one more block from here.
3:09 AM: This last bit of movement will be an art more than a spectacle, so we’re pulling out and will come back after dawn to see the house on its new site.
11:51 AM: The house still has to be placed into its new spot off Fairmount north of Hanford – we went by a little while ago and it’s still attached to the Nickel Bros truck that carried it there overnight. That section of Fairmount is blocked off with “road closed” signage in the meantime.
Tomorrow is the big night – we confirmed today that Nickel Bros is still on track to move the 5458 California SW “log house” to its new home starting late Saturday night. Their crews are on site again today making final preparations.
As announced back in March, the house is being moved to a new location in Admiral. The owners of the California/Findlay site were originally going to demolish it to make way for six live-work units, but Nickel Bros got permission to offer the house for sale/move – their specialty – and it all worked out.
It will be taken directly up California SW most of the way, starting some time after 11 pm Saturday night, continuing into early Sunday morning. It should be quite a sight, as was the last on-the-road house move we covered, in 2010 (which involved two hours of travel time to get from The Junction to Admiral). We will of course cover this as it happens, so if you’re up late/early, check in!