West Seattle history 711 results

Time and tide: Looking back, looking ahead

May 11, 2008 6:07 pm
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 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle history

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One more look back, not just at this past week’s megalow tides, but into history … Susan Grossman of Singingpixel Photography sent that photo of the old Luna Park pilings during one of their low-low-tide appearances. This gives us an excuse to remind low-tide fans to mark the calendar for the first week of June (tide table here), when we will again see this type of low tide (and even lower, with two minus-4 tides, “bottoming out” just before noon on June 4th, with a -4.1).

Happening today/tonight: Two restaurant events

April 29, 2008 5:35 am
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 |   Alki Homestead | Neighborhoods | West Seattle history | West Seattle restaurants

ALKI HOMESTEAD: A post in the WSB Forums brought first word of an “antique” sale there 3-7 pm today. (By the way, the business – not the building – is still for sale; this listing was renewed just yesterday.)

ENDOLYNE JOE’S: Part of tonight’s proceeds will benefit the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s Fauntleroy Fall Festival. (More here.)

Bulletin: Satterlee House owner loses city appeal

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Just received a copy of the decision issued this afternoon by city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner after several days of testimony we covered last month: The Hearing Examiner affirms the Landmarks Preservation Board‘s denial of a “certificate of approval” for Satterlee House owner William Conner to build three houses on the Beach Drive landmark’s front lawn (photo above). That doesn’t mean he can’t build on the front lawn, but the particular proposal he had put forth – which required Landmarks Board approval because of the property’s status as a city landmark – will not be approved. WSB was the only news organization to cover the hearing that stretched out across almost three weeks last month (you can find the previous stories in reverse chronological order by looking here). 5:15 PM UPDATE: We have messages out to Conner’s lawyer Richard Hill seeking comment; this is the city’s final decision in the matter, so any further challenge would have to come in court. Also, here is a link to the full 16-page decision if you would like to read it yourself. 5:20 PM UPDATE: Quick reply from Hill: “Mr. Conner respectfully disagrees with the Hearing Examiner’s decision. He will be reviewing his options.” No decision on that expected for at least a week. Meantime, we’re still working on the summary of the decision. 6:39 PM UPDATE: As promised, here’s our full writeup on the Hearing Examiner’s decision, with excerpts:Read More

More “West Seattle 101”: 2 places, 2 types of history

April 20, 2008 1:51 pm
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 |   West Seattle 101 | West Seattle history

bookcover1.jpgOne month since we debuted a new WSB section — featuring (note the “tab” link on our header) stories from the popular book “West Seattle 101” by Lori Hinton. lorimugshot.jpgWe’re continuing to add to the list of “West Seattle 101” stories available on WSB: today, we’ve added two more, both fun places to go and both deeply linked to West Seattle history: the Log House Museum on Alki, and Husky Deli in The Junction. You can find all nine “West Seattle 101” features published here so far by going to the WS 101 on WSB “home page”; more to come!

Wednesday late-afternoon miscellany

April 16, 2008 5:50 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle history | West Seattle online

THE GROUCHOS OF NORTHERN PIGEON POINT: Have been meaning to share West Seattle writer Mark Bourne‘s Grouchos writeup on Film.com, for anyone who didn’t catch it when it was aggregated on our More page.

WATER AND WALKING: Chas Redmond happened onto this city page re: the Westcrest Park reservoir’s history. He was doing research for this project; another public workshop’s coming up in South Seattle on April 30. Another project he’s involved in, West Seattle Walking Trails (originally reported here), is progressing — a grant application to fund some of the wayfinding kiosks has made it to the next stage of a process that has several more months to go; meantime, tomorrow he and Feet First reps will brief the Seattle Design Commission (agenda here) on the entire project.

WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY UPDATE: 40+ sales signed up so far for the 4th annual version of the big all-over-West-Seattle selling and shopping day May 10th, from individual sales to school/block sales — if you don’t want to register a sale because you’d have only have a few things to sell, there’s a location offering you space – get the latest WSCGSD info (including of course how to register) by going here (we’re updating that site, westseattlegaragesale.com, daily; if you have any questions before or after registering, please e-mail garagesale@westseattleblog.com).

Fauntleroy Church bell-ringing countdown about to start

April 16, 2008 11:52 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle religion | West Seattle video

That’s a quick look up at the steeple/bell tower at Fauntleroy Church, which is celebrating its centennial this year. As we told you two weeks ago, starting this Saturday, the church bell will be rung daily at noon for 100 days, counting down to the centennial-celebration weekend July 25-27. People are signing up in the church lobby to take turns ringing the bell during those 100 days, in honor of birthdays, anniversaries, you name it. We got a sneak preview of the bell-ringing with the help of the Fauntleroy Church parishioner who’s been a member the longest, David Galbraith — whose parents rang the bell on their wedding day in 1917! — and 4-year-old Eli Johnson, a student at the church’s Little Pilgrims School:

6053 California project moves forward

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Full disclosure, we are sentimentally attached to that 84-year-old building at California/Graham, as we mentioned when the redevelopment plan for that corner first came up almost exactly one year ago (first posted here, including historical reminiscences in the comments; there’s more history here). WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli subsequently went out and took photos of the building for posterity’s sake, including the two you see above. Over the course of the past year, the project has proceeded, as such things tend to do, and then came this morning’s city Land Use Information Bulletin, with only one item — this decision regarding environmental and design review. Next step, final permits for demolition and construction (what will be built there, you ask? 3-story live/work units and townhouses; here’s our coverage of the site’s last Design Review Board meeting, including a design photo).

Now there are 2: How to see Alki’s original Statue of Liberty

April 13, 2008 3:29 pm
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 |   Alki Statue of Liberty | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

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When the recast Alki Statue of Liberty was triumphantly unveiled at Alki last September 11th (WSB coverage, with video, here), we all knew the original statue would eventually take up residence in the nearby Log House Museum. We kept checking for a while and eventually lost track of when it would arrive — till a recent e-mail exchange with museum managers enlightened us to the fact it’s on display now in the Carriage House gift shop adjacent to the Log House Museum, where we took the photo today, as well as this pic of related tchotchkes you can buy in the Carriage House:

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The gift shop has many other offerings too, including several copies of the quintessential West Seattle history book — published 20 years ago (but still endlessly fascinating) — West Side Story. You can check it out, and see the original Alki Lady Liberty, during Log House Museum hours, Thursdays-Sundays, noon-4 pm, southwest corner of 61st and Stevens (map and other info here) – and don’t miss the silent auction with baskets, gift certificates, and more, in the LHM’s main room, now through April 27. P.S. Our most recent update on the “new” statue’s plaza/pedestal project is here.

Fauntleroy Church bell-ringing plan: The sound of history

April 3, 2008 12:35 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle religion

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Judy Pickens shares that historic photo of Fauntleroy Church and its bell tower, along with word that the church will begin 100 days of bell-ringing — every day at noon — starting Saturday, April 19, in honor of the church’s centennial observance. The 100 days will take the observance up to the anniversary of Fauntleroy Church’s first-ever service (July 26). Judy says, “Folks are signing up to ring the bell as a family, to observe a wedding anniversary, to memorialize a loved one, etc.” She also notes, “In the early days, the bell was also rung to alert people to a fire in the neighborhood. In fact, after our evening wedding in 1978, Phil and I rang the bell and a nearby church member came down to see what the emergency was!” So that’s why they’re getting the word out now – make a note that if you’re in the Fauntleroy area, you’ll hear bells daily at noon April 19-July 26. The centennial celebration the weekend of July 25-27 will feature major events including a Friday night community bean feed reprising the event that Judy says was “a community staple through WWII,” vespers on the beach afterward (reprising the beach gatherings that sparked the idea of building a church), a formal Saturday dinner for present/past church members and invited clergy, featuring the premiere of the forthcoming Fauntleroy documentary. We told you earlier this year about the search for a producer for that production; the hire’s been made, and here’s the announcement Judy wrote for the Fauntleroy Church newsletter:Read More

Bulletin: Charlestown Court vote – NOT a landmark

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(1st photo from King County Assessor; 2nd by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)

We’re at the Municipal Tower downtown, where the Landmarks Preservation Board has just voted NOT to designate the brick fourplex at 3811 California (across from Charlestown Cafe) as a city landmark. Pending final decisions on permitting matters, this theoretically clears the way for it to be razed and replaced with a four-story building, apartments over retail. Full details a bit later on why a majority of the board voted no (only three voted in favor of making it a landmark, including board chair Stephen Lee). ADDED 9:50 PM: As promised, here are more details from the meeting and the discussion before the vote:Read More

Save it or raze it? Last comment chance for Charlestown Court

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(1st photo from King County Assessor; 2nd by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)

We have been reporting for almost a full year now on the fate of Charlestown Court, the 81-year-old brick fourplex across the street from the Charlestown Cafe. As we first told you last October, it is under review for possible city landmark status (or possible teardown); on February 20th, we covered the city Landmarks Preservation Board hearing downtown at which board members agreed to consider its exterior architecture for possible landmark designation. Now, it’s decision time — this Wednesday (agenda), the Landmarks Board is scheduled to listen to public comments, and vote. (The process is explained here.) If you want to tell the board what you think, e-mail comments to board coordinator Beth Chave before Wednesday at beth.chave@seattle.gov; you also can speak at the public hearing this Wednesday, 3:30 pm on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown. This process was set in motion by a proposal to tear down Charlestown Court and replace it with a 4-story mixed-use building (official city project page here), a project that’s still in the pipeline pending the outcome of the landmark review.

Saving Fauntleroy Schoolhouse: 3 months to make a plan

schoolhousefoto.jpgThey’re not ready to ask for your money yet – but they’re asking for ideas, and optimism. Board members of the Fauntleroy Community Services Agency convened a community meeting last night to lay out where things stand with Seattle Public Schools decision to sell Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (one of five former schools now declared “surplus”) and FCSA’s hope of buying it — and it’s going to be a challenge, to say the least:Read More

Happening tonight: Future of Fauntleroy Schoolhouse

March 26, 2008 11:52 am
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 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

On the night the Seattle School Board votes on a new “surplus property” policy, the Fauntleroy Community Association invites everyone interested in the future of one of those properties, the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, to gather there tonight, 6:30-8 pm, The Hall @ Fauntleroy.

Satterlee House development dispute: The final witness

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As of 1 o’clock this afternoon, the testimony’s over, and paperwork is what’s next in the fight over what can be built on the big front lawn of the landmark Satterlee House (the “Painted Lady” at 4866 Beach Drive, photo above). The city called one last “rebuttal witness” this afternoon — someone who almost wasn’t called to testify, as the city legal team explained while closing hearing-room proceedings with an official protest following the testimony:Read More

Satterlee House development dispute: Testimony almost over

March 18, 2008 6:53 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

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Now in its third (partial) week before city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner, testimony in the Satterlee House (above) case is almost over, with no more than 2 additional witnesses expected tomorrow afternoon. It wasn’t supposed to continue into this week; property owner William Conner, who is appealing a city Landmarks Board decision about what he can do with the house’s huge lawn, isn’t even sitting in on the proceedings any more as of today:Read More

“Birthday” celebration for legendary West Seattle native Ivar

haglund.jpgIf you’re new-ish to the area, you might not know that “the” Ivar — founder of Ivar’s restaurants — was a West Seattle native. If he hadn’t gone off to the eternal Acres of Clams in 1985, Ivar Haglund (photo left) would be turning 103 this Thursday, and a news release issued by Ivar’s today says they’re offering cups of chowder at $1.03 on Thursday in his honor. You can read a great bio of Ivar (classic pix and all) at HistoryLink.org. (Nearest Ivar’s locations to WS are the downtown waterfront location and the Burien “seafood bar” location; Ivar’s also owns Spud’s on Alki but there’s no indication it’s participating.)

Crunch numbers for a good cause – West Seattle history!

March 14, 2008 10:03 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle history

From the Southwest Seattle Historical Society/Log House Museum:

Are you a retired Accountant or CPA? Are you looking for some meaningful work that will benefit you and your community?

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the Log House Museum are in need of a volunteer like you to be our Board Treasurer. We need a skilled individual who has the time to maintain the accounts of the Historical Society which operates the Log House Museum, Birthplace of Seattle on Alki. Let’s talk! We have a Board of Trustees, a Museum Director and staff that you would work with to keep us “in balance.” Please contact Marcy Johnsen at 206-909-9366 right away!

Satterlee House development dispute: Owner testifies

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Today’s proceedings in the case of Satterlee House (Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady”) owner William Conner vs. the city Landmarks Preservation Board only ran three and a half hours in the morning, but that span included testimony from Conner himself:Read More

Satterlee House development fight: Afternoon testimony

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The city Landmarks Preservation Board lawyers have called all their witnesses, and now the lawyer for Satterlee House (aka Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady”) owner William Conner is calling his, with testimony continuing before city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner at 8 am tomorrow and 12:30 pm Tuesday. It’s already gone on for 2 1/2 days (coverage links: testimony from the house’s previous owner/namesake David Satterlee here; first full day, last Monday, wrapup here; this morning’s testimony here) and is attracting a fair level of attention in the historic-preservation and legal communities, since disputes over development involving official city landmarks almost never get to this stage (an appeal argued before the Hearing Examiner). Here’s what happened this afternoon:Read More

Satterlee House development fight: This morning’s testimony

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Looks like today will be the second full day of testimony in the case of Satterlee House/Beach Drive “Painted Lady” owner William Conner vs. the city Landmarks Board — it originally was set for a half-day but as we mentioned in our previous reports, the case has been taking so long, the city Hearing Examiner had to add extra time to the calendar. Backstory: Conner has owned the house since 2000. After a previous development proposal went nowhere in the early ’00s, nothing happened for a while, till he filed to subdivide the house’s huge front lawn into three separate lots. That was granted; but before anyone could build on those three lots, the city Landmarks Board had to grant a Certificate of Approval, since the house and site comprise an official city landmark. Conner took a proposal for three homes, about 3,000 square feet each, to the board, and it said no. His appeal of that decision is what is being argued now, courtroom-style, before the city Hearing Examiner, in her hearing room on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown. This morning’s testimony included revelations about how much Conner has spent so far — in legal fees as well as on the property — among other things:Read More

From tonight’s FCA meeting: Schoolhouse-discussion date

March 11, 2008 10:20 pm
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 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

As announced at tonight’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting, schoolhousefoto.jpgthe next step in the future of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (photo left, from The Hall @ Fauntleroy‘s website) is a community gathering there March 26 to talk about the general progress of plans to purchase the site, and discuss its future. The Fauntleroy Community Services Association has to have everything together by July, and so far, we heard tonight, it’s all moving forward and they say they’ve done the necessary paperwork to show Seattle Public Schools they’re serious about acquiring the site. (We recapped some backstory last weekend – the district has now declared the schoolhouse as “surplus property” which means it’s ready to sell the site, as the school board votes this month to revise its policy on handling surplus sites.) Also part of the March 26 meeting — finding out from the public how much change would be acceptable for the site, and continuing to encourage citizen involvement in the process of determining its future. A community discussion held last year is recapped on this FCA webpage. It was also noted tonight that the Fauntleroy contingent has the purchase agreement from the old Colman School (where the Northwest African American Museum opened last weekend), for use as something of a template.

“Painted Lady” development appeal hearing: Mid-afternoon update

March 10, 2008 3:04 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Just a few running updates (see earlier coverage further down the page) — In addition to the Landmarks Board witness who testified at midmorning, she was followed by the supervisor of the city’s Landmarks Preservation program, Karen Gordon. She reaffirmed the unusual nature of this hearing – saying she’s worked for the department for more than 20 years and only seen a few cases like this where applicants have challenged the board’s decision on economic grounds. (House owner William Conner’s contention is that he has to build larger houses on the site because that’s all that makes economic sense.) More on the afternoon testimony later. This is all moving slowly and general chatter is that it’s going to be difficult getting all the testimony done in the day and a half allotted before the Hearing Examiner. ADDED 4:09 PM: It’s looks like beyond the prescheduled time on Thursday, this may continue Friday morning as well, and possibly March 18 all day if needed. Those who are here, by the way, include Conner and his lawyer Richard Hill at the table across from the two city lawyers, and a few spectators, here in the Hearing Examiner’s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower. Some of this afternoon’s testimony has included details about the condition of the Satterlee House itself – more on that in our full writeup later.

Shoremont update: Building may be moved instead of demolished

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The design/build firm that recently bought the Shoremont at 57th/Alki (map) — and the neighboring house, which it’s reselling — is looking into saving and moving the building. That’s according to Chris Pardo at Pb Elemental. He tells WSB, “We have been in discussions with two building-moving firms; one is looking at the possibility of moving the existing building to Whidbey Island. The Shoremont has a brick facade rather than structural brick, so it seems feasible for them to move the building.” Pardo says that’s what Pb Elemental would prefer to do, but if the move doesn’t work out, he says, “We also have a few firms, including ourselves, interested in reusing the brick on the new project and nearby developments.” In addition, he sent us this rendering of the five-unit development they’re proposing at the Shoremont site (more details in this previous report):

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Pardo says his firm hopes to start construction by “late spring” and finish by early next year.