West Seattle history – West Seattle Blog… https://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sun, 19 Aug 2018 13:30:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 ‘Sound Spots’: New music-history exhibit opens at Log House Museum https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/sound-spots-new-music-history-exhibit-opens-at-log-house-museum/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/sound-spots-new-music-history-exhibit-opens-at-log-house-museum/#comments Fri, 10 Aug 2018 05:04:25 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=925023

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.

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West Seattle’s historic murals: Here’s how you can help save the rest of them https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/west-seattles-historic-murals-heres-how-you-can-help-save-the-rest-of-them/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/west-seattles-historic-murals-heres-how-you-can-help-save-the-rest-of-them/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2018 20:55:41 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=924655 (WSB photo, April 2018)

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.

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West Seattle weekend scene: Touring the house where REI started its climb https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/west-seattle-weekend-scene-touring-the-house-where-rei-started-its-climb/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/08/west-seattle-weekend-scene-touring-the-house-where-rei-started-its-climb/#respond Mon, 06 Aug 2018 01:57:04 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=924587 (WSB photos)

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.

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Ticket sales start today for Southwest Seattle Historical Society tour @ Gatewood house where REI began https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/ticket-sales-start-today-for-southwest-seattle-historical-society-tour-gatewood-house-where-rei-began/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/ticket-sales-start-today-for-southwest-seattle-historical-society-tour-gatewood-house-where-rei-began/#comments Mon, 23 Jul 2018 16:54:14 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=923299 (King County Assessor photo)

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.

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At Summer Fest: Southwest Seattle Historical Society celebrates $100,000 donation from Adah Cruzen https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/happening-now-southwest-seattle-historical-society-celebrates-100000-donation-from-adah-cruzen/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/happening-now-southwest-seattle-historical-society-celebrates-100000-donation-from-adah-cruzen/#comments Fri, 13 Jul 2018 23:20:07 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=922294

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:

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Morgan Junction mural restoration complete – with Easter eggs! https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/morgan-junction-mural-restoration-complete-with-easter-eggs/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/morgan-junction-mural-restoration-complete-with-easter-eggs/#comments Wed, 11 Jul 2018 04:32:39 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=922001 (WSB photos)

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.

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West Seattle 4th of July 2018: Historical Society’s annual picnic https://westseattleblog.com/2018/07/west-seattle-4th-of-july-2018-historical-societys-annual-picnic/ Wed, 04 Jul 2018 23:37:24 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=921370 (WSB photos)

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.

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Hot new exhibit ‘Fired Up’ now open at Log House Museum https://westseattleblog.com/2018/06/hot-new-exhibit-fired-up-now-open-at-log-house-museum/ Sun, 10 Jun 2018 20:18:01 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=919162 (WSB photos, except last image)

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).

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FOLLOWUP: Morgan Junction mural progress https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/followup-morgan-junction-mural-progress/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/followup-morgan-junction-mural-progress/#comments Sat, 26 May 2018 03:12:37 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=917765

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.

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Alki Point Lighthouse tours start this weekend – but only one day per week this year https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/alki-point-lighthouse-tours-start-this-weekend-but-only-one-day-per-weekend-this-year/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/alki-point-lighthouse-tours-start-this-weekend-but-only-one-day-per-weekend-this-year/#comments Wed, 23 May 2018 22:47:10 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=917500

(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.

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TOMORROW: Southwest Stories spotlights architect Arthur Loveless, with a bonus! https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/tomorrow-southwest-stories-spotlights-architect-arthur-loveless-with-a-bonus/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/tomorrow-southwest-stories-spotlights-architect-arthur-loveless-with-a-bonus/#comments Sun, 20 May 2018 02:10:53 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=917197 (Photo by Eric Dennon, Dennon Photography)

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.

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VIDEO: ‘The West Seattle story will live on,’ thanks to Adah Cruzen’s gift toward restoring the murals her husband made happen https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/the-west-seattle-story-will-live-on-thanks-to-adah-cruzens-gift-toward-restoring-the-murals-her-husband-made-happen/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/the-west-seattle-story-will-live-on-thanks-to-adah-cruzens-gift-toward-restoring-the-murals-her-husband-made-happen/#comments Wed, 16 May 2018 02:55:02 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=916801 (Adah Cruzen, left, with Lora Swift and photo of Earl Cruzen)

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.

Swift said the money – plus community contributions, with a crowdfunding campaign to come – would “restart, restore, refinish” and return the murals’ historic scenes to West Seattle in all their glory.

Eals explained that he was the president of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s board at the time of the mural project.

“We were in the midst of history fever in West Seattle,” he explained, for a variety of reasons, and The Junction – home to 10 of the murals – “needed a tonic.” Earl Cruzen was inspired by murals he had seen traveling along the Northwest coast, as far north as British Columbia, and he had a “vision and a mission” to bring murals to West Seattle. So he “brought people together” while finding walls and money and artists. “The murals are his most prominent gift to our community.” They won awards, too, and played a big role in the final award of Earl Cruzen’s life, the 2014 Orville Rummel Trophy for Community Service, which Adah Cruzen carried in that year’s West Seattle Grand Parade (Earl was on doctor’s orders to stay home):

(2014 photo by Steve Fuller)

With the gift to the murals’ future, Eals said today, “Now, the murals will have new life … today is proof the West Seattle story will live on.”

It’s an “essential project,” agreed Jeff McCord, who succeeded Eals as executive director of the Historical Society. He also expressed hope of new future murals featuring historical West Seattle scenes – perhaps the Duwamish people, perhaps the truck farmers of Westwood.

Also at the podium, Dan Austin recalled how it’s been two and a half years since he started talking about getting the Morgan mural restored. Above him, Bob Henry – first introduced last month as the restoration artist – continued to work:

“Art is alive in West Seattle!” Austin exclaimed jubilantly, not only because of the restoration project but because of new work – Graves “Desmond” Hansen‘s signal boxes, starting with the Jimi Hendrix portrait just yards away; Jesse Link, with work on 3 West Seattle buildings so far – too. He said his simple goal was to save the Morgan mural and to perhaps set up a “blueprint” for “someone” to save others – and then he partnered with Swift, and the rest was, well, history. He also thanked major contributors toward the Morgan restoration, including building owner Frank Genzale and Ken Olsen, longtime proprietor of a drugstore in the building, who was at the announcement with daughter Pam:

As Morgan Community Association vice president Phil Tavel (below with MoCA president Deb Barker, and Austin in the background) enthused, “It’s a great moment for West Seattle!”

So what’s next? The Morgan restoration has more than a week of work to go. The other mural work is not yet scheduled, and is likely to cost a total of $195,000, so it’s now more than halfway to its goal, with crowdfunding and other fundraising measures ahead – you’ll hear more about those before the end of the month.

P.S. From the Junction Association, a full list of the murals:

Mural #1: West Seattle Ferries by Bill Garnet

Mural #2: The Junction by Eric Grohe

Mural #3: Midnight Call by Don Barrie (removed in 2016)
4713 44TH AVE SW

Mural #4: Mosquito Boat Landing by Susan Tooke

Mural #5: The First Duwamish Bridge by Robert Dafford
4740 44TH AVE SW

Mural #6: Morgan Street Market by Bruce Rickett

Mural #7: Alki in the Twenties by Bruce Rickett (re-created in 2016)

Mural #8: Tuesday Bank Day by Alan Wylie

Mural #9: The Hi Yu Parade by Lanny Little

Mural #10: The Old Mud Hole by Mike Svob
4520 44TH AVE SW

Mural #11: Press Day by Alan Wylie
4727 44TH AVE SW

There’s more backstory on the murals here.

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FOLLOWUP: Work begins on Morgan Junction mural https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/followup-work-begins-on-morgan-junction-mural/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/followup-work-begins-on-morgan-junction-mural/#comments Sun, 13 May 2018 01:37:07 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=916563

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.

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YOU CAN HELP! Home of West Seattle’s history needs your help in the near future https://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/you-can-help-home-of-west-seattles-history-needs-your-help-in-the-near-future/ Wed, 02 May 2018 16:31:01 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=915502

(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 museum@loghousemuseum.org. The museum is at 3003 61st SW.

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Morgan Junction mural to be restored soon: ‘Spark to help save the others’ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/morgan-junction-mural-to-be-restored-soon-spark-to-help-save-the-others/ https://westseattleblog.com/2018/04/morgan-junction-mural-to-be-restored-soon-spark-to-help-save-the-others/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2018 20:57:26 +0000 https://westseattleblog.com/?p=915025 (WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

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.

(L-R, Lora Swift, Deb Barker, Phil Tavel, Dan Austin, Bob Henry, Clay Eals)

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.

Though a long-gone group called the Junction Development Committee led the mural effort almost three decades ago, the murals now basically belong to the buildings where they were painted, and that has already led to some changes and losses – we reported two years ago on the removal of one mural, “Midnight Call,” because of unfixable rot. Another mural was re-created on a wall at The Whittaker (WSB sponsor) after the teardown of the building where it was painted. Other Junction murals have been tagged – like this one, “First Duwamish Bridge,” which got an unofficial partial restoration thanks to a mystery artist, but needs a lot more help. One Junction mural has already been restored – the one on the Post Office, more than a decade ago – but just one.

Back to the Morgan mural:

As Austin put it on Tuesday, they hope to “use this one as a spark to help save the others.” The owners of the building have given their blessing and do not expect to redevelop it for a long time; they also are contributing to the restoration effort. The reason this one mural was painted outside The Junction was that Ken Olsen, owner at the time of Olsen’s Drug Store in the building, was heavily involved in the community and “wanted something here.” It was painted in 1990 by Nova Scotia muralist Bruce Rickett:

Restoration organizers found him and he said that he couldn’t help due to health challenges, but also gave his blessing to the idea of restoration.

The wall will require washing before painting, and that is expected to take off some of the paint; photos will help Henry restore those spots, and the original colors. But if you happen to have any photos of the mural, especially from its early days, that could help (more on that at story’s end).

Henry, by the way, says he has a long history as a wall painter, including commercial work. You can see his work at muralmastersnw.com. This mural was painted directly onto the brick/mortar wall, and that presents some challenges, but it will be coated before and after restoration (which will also protect it from vandalism).

Henry estimates the work will take about two weeks; it’s likely to happen this summer. But the money raised so far is not completely covering the cost yet, so Austin expects to launch a fundraising campaign soon.

It will be teamwork with WSJA, which will serve as the nonprofit fiscal agent for the fundraising. And, as WSJA’s Swift said during a conversation at Peel and Press before the mural inspection on Tuesday, there’s hope that this all may result in a “plug and play” outline for other projects, “giving people the tools to be successful.” And the group also is well aware that murals aren’t just a thing of the past – West Seattle has had a recent renaissance in mural-painting, from Jesse Link‘s work, to Graves “Desmond” Hansen‘s signal-box murals (the first of which is right across the Fauntleroy/California intersection from the soon-to-be-restored mural):

The organizers hope this all will grow into a community-embraced initiative.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW: Though crowdfunding won’t start for a few weeks, Austin says, “We can accept personal pledges for the project and people could contact me at Dan@peelandpressws.com.”

Also – got photos of this mural or any of West Seattle’s others? “We would also love to enlist the help of any one who may have old photos of the murals or are willing to go out and take good quality photos of the murals so we can document their condition. The website MuralsofWestSeattle.org will be live within a few days and we would love to start populating it with more photos.” Same email address.

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