West Seattle history 709 results

3811 California landmark-nomination update

October 6, 2007 10:03 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Since our report yesterday quoting a 3811 California tenant as saying the endangered 80-year-old brick 4-plex across from Charlestown Cafe 3811cali.jpgwas apparently being evaluated for city landmark status, we’ve found out more from the city Landmarks Preservation Board. Coordinator Sarah Sodt tells WSB that the board has “asked the property owner to submit a landmark nomination … as part of the MUP-SEPA process.” That’s Master Use Permit and State Environmental Policy Act, both aspects of the development process. According to the city website, “All buildings over 50 years old that are proposed for redevelopment are referred to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board as part of the city’s SEPA policies.” However, Sarah also said the board has not “been in communication” with the owner, and has not arranged for a site tour (contrary to what the tenants were led to believe, apparently), but believes the owner is “working on preparing the nomination” paperwork. The bar for landmark status seems pretty high; the list of official city landmarks in WS contains only two residential properties (the Hainsworth House on 37th, sold earlier this year for $1,490,000, and the Satterlee House, aka Painted Lady, still on the market for $2.2 million). The process is explained here; looks like the next step after the nomination application would be a public meeting. The board’s website says it takes up to a month to determine if an application is “complete,” and it wouldn’t be scheduled for consideration at a public meeting until it is. Here’s the board’s schedule for the rest of the year. If a landmark designation does happen, a whole separate process begins regarding setting guidelines for what can be done with the property and which of its features must be preserved; that’s all outlined here. We’ll keep checking with the Landmarks Board to see how this progresses.

Me-Kwa-Mooks sign unveiling: The video

October 6, 2007 12:04 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | West Seattle video

As mentioned in our previous post about the pre-unveiling vandalism of the sign’s cover (which has since been cleaned up, according to an update from Herongrrrl on the previous post) – there was a lot more to this morning’s event, which featured participants including West Seattle history expert Judy Bentley from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Alan Schmitz (from the family that has given so much parkland to West Seattle). Rhonda’s got a couple of nice pix up at Beach Drive Blog; here’s 4 clips. First one, the actual unveiling:

Alan Schmitz talked about growing up in the area we all know now as parkland (the current Me-Kwa-Mooks site was once a Schmitz family homestead):

Judy Bentley explained the five layers of site history that are detailed in the new sign:

Longtime Alki-area activist Alexandra Pye also had something to say at the event, praising the many individuals and organizations who helped it happen:

West Seattle had its own holdout

This P-I article today reminded us of something similar along West Seattle’s waterfront Condo Row about 10 years ago — a Harbor Ave condo complex that went up in a U shape around one semi-ramshackle little house whose owner refused to sell. We managed to find an archived P-I article mentioning the Harbor holdout, photo included (scroll down this page). According to city permit records, the house finally came down, and the condo buildings came together, in 1999. Haven’t yet found a record of how much the holdout house finally sold for, though.

And the rest is history

September 26, 2007 10:53 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle people

The rest of this post, anyway. Its loose theme — history.

-This obituaries (Times, P-I) for ski-school legend “Buzz” Fiorini, who died in what’s described only as a “West Seattle nursing home” the other day, makes us think — when you drive by all our fine elder-care facilities, The Kenney (11:20 PM UPDATE: a reader tells us that’s where Mr. Fiorini died) or The Mount or any of the many others, think about who’s in there, living out lives that were remarkable in their own way, big or small. Programs like Friend to Friend find people to remind them they’re not forgotten.

-The Duwamish Tribe longhouse project on the eastern edge of WS — their ancestral lands — will get a boost from a fundraiser downtown tonight. The P-I has a good writeup with an interesting spin regarding how none of us really know how to pronounced “Seattle.” Meantime, Indian Country Today has an update on the project, as well as on the campaign in Congress to get official recognition for the tribe.

-West Seattle’s wonderful Log House Museum has remodeled its website. We discovered this after learning the Log House Museum is one of the participants in this Saturday’s Smithsonian-sponsored Museum Day (hat tip to saveseattleschools.blogspot.com for mentioning that nationwide free-admission event). Looking further into the fall, the museum will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a fundraising gala November 3rd @ Salty’s.

2 more items of WS note in mayor’s new budget plan

September 18, 2007 11:02 am
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 |   Utilities | West Seattle history | West Seattle politics

Found in the document billed as “highlights” of the budget Hizzoner presented to the City Council yesterday: $1 million “challenge grant” to help the community buy the Fauntleroy School building (page 8); $4 million for a new “outage-management system” (last page) so City Light can do a better job of telling us what’s going on when we’re powerless like those dark days last December.

Original owner of Spanky’s sets the record straight

On each and every WSB post, there’s just no telling where you all will take the discussion — or if you’ll choose to discuss at all. Last month, we mentioned the addition of an ADULT DVD sign to a Morgan Junction market, with a headline citing Spanky’s, the adult retailer that closed on mid-Cali some years back. That led to some discussion of Spanky’s in the comments; tonight, its former proprietor wrote us (comments are closed on the original item since 3+ weeks have passed) to set the record straight. Here’s his note:Read More

Artful Junction

Two artful displays on Junction buildings — first, we’ve been meaning to post this for a while in case you haven’t taken a close look — the finished renovations on the Junction Post Office Hi-Yu mural are just gorgeous:

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There’s more art just about a block south, as the facade of Shadowland (in the ex-Neilsen Florist building) takes shape (thanks to Christopher Boffoli for these pix):

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We asked Shadowland partner Joe about the artist who worked on those lovely touches along the overhang; he wrote back:

The artist working on the building is named Jaffey. He is a local West Seattle artist.  People keep thinking that he did some sort of a print to get that design on there.  Amazingly, he hand painted all of it. He has done signage at a lot of places in the neighborhood.

We also asked Joe to elaborate a little more on the plans for Shadowland’s menu. He says it will include some entree-sized dishes as well as the currently popular “small plates,” explaining:

The idea is that if you go out as a couple you would probably get two or three of them and share them with a glass of wine. I have found that I have really enjoyed places that offer that.  You get to try more things on the menu and it usually opens up conversation at the table.  It should give our chef some flexibility to allow the menu to change with what is available fresh that day and at the same time keep some of the customers’ favorites on the permanent menu.

A West Seattle sight that truly rocks

Rhonda from Beach Drive Blog (who also runs this week’s Citizen Rain “Blog Of The Week,” The Mortgage Porter) reminds us all that today is your last chance to visit the Walker Rock Garden till next year. She has a nice photo gallery from the garden here.

Hello fire station, goodbye house

WSB reader Val sent the two photos below from 35th & Holden, where the end seems near for a nondescript little house that’s on part of the land where the city will build the new Fire Station 37 to replace the historic building 4 blocks north (the substation next door is on the other part of the land and is going away too).

From Val’s e-mail:

This house was remodeled a few years ago after being vacant for a while (before the remodel, it inexplicably had two front doors) and obviously wasn’t anything special, but I hate to see a loss of housing anywhere. I believe there is a new fire station going in to these two lots, and unlike in Queen Anne, there was no public outcry about the loss of historic housing in the neighborhood. I suppose it is too much to ask to hope that the house is being moved somewhere instead of being trashed … Plus, I’d like to see the old fire station become a local (British for nearby bar). There’s really nothing along 35th, and the E-9 in Tacoma has been doing great business for years.

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Free tix, cool pix

admiral1.jpgThere’s a new link in the gray navigation bar atop the Admiral Theater home page, enticingly titled FREE TICKETS. Click it and you’ll find this page about its restoration project. Donate $40 and they promise a name plate on a new seat, plus two tickets to any regular Admiral showing. Photos on the page include two historic pix, 1930 and 1949.

Admiral Theater wants you back in the balcony

admiral.jpg More information from the folks at the Admiral Theater about plans for its latest round of renovations, previously mentioned here and here. Biggest news: the Admiral’s Steve Garrett says they have the OK to reopen the theater’s long-closed balcony “once certain work is done” — but first, he says, they want to do some restoration work, including painting a mural in the balcony area, and they are looking for bids and proposals. Click ahead for a little more on that, including how to reach Steve if you want to bid, plus news of a prestigious premiere coming to the theater:Read More

TLC for WS murals

August 8, 2007 4:56 pm
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 |   Seen around town | West Seattle history | WS culture/arts

The beautiful murals around the heart of West Seattle are getting some long-awaited TLC. WS Junction Association president Dave Montoure of West 5 describes it as “the long process of restoring the salvageable murals in The Junction.” As our photos below show, they’re starting with the Hi-Yu Parade mural on the side of the Post Office, hit by taggers some time back. Dave also notes regarding the overall project, “Earl Cruzen, the gentleman who was a key figure in the original murals installation project, has stepped forward yet again — he’s a true WS treasure — to locate the original mural artists about restoration, replacement and, unfortunately in some cases, disposal.” Read more about the WS murals here and here.

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P.S. We didn’t realize till a viewer e-mail following this post that the high-rise megaproject on the drawing board west of Jefferson Square is to be called “Mural,” in tribute to the WS murals … scroll down this page for a rendering.

Free to a good home, from West Seattle’s Only Moviehouse

Hot out of the inbox. If you are interested in the free marquee but having trouble reaching Steve, e-mail us and we’ll send you his cell #; just didn’t want to put it out in front of thousands.

Hello from the Admiral Theater,
We are currently going through a restoration phase here at the Admiral and coming across items that may be of use to someone out there.
The first Item that we have come across is a:
12 foot long by 3 foot high double sided lighted marquee sign. It comes with more letter tiles than I care to count.
This sign is free to a good home, just come pick it up. I would hate to see it just be dismantled and thrown away.

Contact: Steve Garrett at 206-938-0360 (theater)

Painted Lady, the next step

July 26, 2007 10:00 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle housing

SatterleeHouse2DON.jpgAccording to Beach Drive Blog, the city’s landmarks board has a meeting tomorrow to talk about what’s going on with the Painted Lady, aka the Satterlee House, on Beach Drive. As we have reported in recent months (May 30, May 12, September) the house and its huge front lawn are for sale, and if they’re not sold together, the front lawn could become home to three other homes.

Happy WSAD

bannerday1.jpg Yes, today’s the day – West Seattle Annexation Day: The 100th anniversary of WS getting annexed into The City … the reason Hizzoner dedicated the tree and the plaque before last week’s Hi-Yu Concert In The Park … the reason you’ve been seeing banners around town like the one at left. HistoryLink.org tells the tale, and also offers a more detailed history of our side of the bay. Today’s Times includes a small blurb with a cool old photo (bottom of this roundup). So … how should we celebrate? Or should we at all? 

Alki Statue of Liberty: Next steps, new logo

July 20, 2007 10:30 am
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 |   Alki Statue of Liberty | West Seattle beaches | West Seattle history | West Seattle parks

Three meetings in less than two weeks, including the Alki Community Council last night, and now we know there won’t be a decision any sooner than fall about whether the Alki Statue of Liberty — removed for recasting exactly one year ago today — will return to its old base, or to a new plaza like this (all architects’ art here):

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Both the couple leading a drive to restart the plaza project, Libby & Paul Carr, and the city Parks Department project manager for the statue, Pamela Kliment, are in difficult positions, to say the least. They all spoke at last night’s ACC meeting, but since it was just one item on a busy agenda, there wasn’t a ton of Q/A time. What’s difficult: For the Carrs, the fact they and their volunteer assistants are working hard on something completely unofficial, since the final say lies with the Parks Department; for Parks, the fact they have to be the “reality check” on a volunteer effort that inarguably is full of enthusiasm, vision, inspiration, and hope — Kliment noted that for one, it’s “distressing” that the statue spot is empty, after one full year, and for two, the situation is larger than the statue itself. Which the Carrs likely would not dispute, as they have a larger vision as well — they hope a grand new home for this “Little Sister of Liberty” could spark a nationwide revitalization project for the many other similar statues that have fallen into disrepair in the half-century since the Boy Scouts donated them. So for now, the Carrs and their group — which is not yet officially certified as a nonprofit — will continue their work, including a new logo they debuted last night (shown below; copyrighted by local artist Phil Jones) that they plan to put on fundraising items such as T-shirts and posters; and the Parks Department will look ahead to a public meeting announced last night, 7 pm Thursday, Sept. 13, location TBD (Kliment said she’s hoping for the Bathhouse but it’s got a “temporary hold” for that night).

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Backhoes edge closer to ex-Butcher Block

We know more now about what’s planned for the NW corner of Cali/Graham (across from the big condo conversion), where as we noted 3 months ago we will be sad to see the ex-Butcher Block Espresso, ex-butcher shop, etc. go:

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Here’s what’s new: The application for a permit to reclassify the site as seven separate parcels, and the land-use application specifying what would go on those parcels: Three 3-story buildings, one described as a “commercial” building with 6 “live/work units,” the other two described as 3-story “townhouse structures” with 9 total units. And these filings reiterate that the “existing structures” will be demolished. Sigh.

Liberty sooner or Liberty later: Meeting #3 tonight

One year ago tomorrow, the old Alki Statue of Liberty was taken down and trucked away. nwartsstatuephoto2.jpgTonight at the monthly Alki Community Council meeting, it’s a third round of discussion about what could, should, and might happen next. (This follows two meetings in the past 8 days organized by community members Libby and Paul Carr, who are trying to re-start the project to build a plaza around the recast statue; here’s our report on the first meeting; a WSB reader’s observations from the second one is in the comments here.) Parks Department rep Pamela Kliment, who’s collecting public comment on all this, tells us she’ll be at this meeting after having to skip the last one; so will the Carrs. It’s an important debate about a West Seattle icon; get in on it by going tonight (7 pm, Alki Community Center) or by e-mailing Kliment (click here).

Your tree, your plaque

We didn’t get pix during the Concert in the Park last night … so here now for your viewing pleasure now, belatedly, are the tree and plaque on the south side of Hiawatha Community Center, officially dedicated last night by Hizzoner in honor of West Seattle’s annexation centennial (so now can we secede? j/k): 

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Liberty sooner or Liberty later: Meeting #2 tonight

You have another chance tonight to hear organizers make their case for keeping the recast Alki Statue of Liberty on hold till a “plaza” and new base can be built for it. We reported on their meeting last Wednesday; they say the gathering tonight by the old statue base, 7 pm, will be similar, and they’re planning to be at the Alki Community Council meeting this Thursday as well. Here’s an updated architect rendering of what the plaza would look like (more here):

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And here again is the e-mail address for the Parks Department (which has the final say) person who’s on the project — write to let ’em know what you think.

Admiral evolution

If you haven’t been to the historic Admiral Theater lately, you may not have noticed it’s starting to expand what it offers — such as, more midnight movies than just the monthly Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday nights …

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… tonight, for example (as per the marquee above – though the rest of it’s a bit out-of-date since we took the pic at midweek), it’s the burgeoning cult fave “Harold & Kumar.” Then there’s a new series of Sunday morning classics kicking off 10 am tomorrow with “Casablanca” (also ahead: “African Queen” and “Singin’ in the Rain”). The Admiral website has been inconsistent lately (the link went to a parking page at last check) but there’s lots of info posted out front at the theater itself, including updates on the fundraising project for major interior fixes (such as, they hope hundreds of people will pony up $40 each so they can buy new seats, which aren’t covered in the types of government grants they’re pursuing for landmark restoration.

P.S. While fishing for Admiral Theater history, we learned that today is a notable anniversary for the Admiral District in general.

Liberty sooner or Liberty later: A bit like Viaduct Vs. Tunnel

nwartsstatuephoto1.jpgMore than two dozen heat-braving souls just wrapped up the first of two meetings led by an earnest Alki couple, Libby and Paul Carr, who are trying to salvage the stalled Alki Statue of Liberty plaza project. Ultimately, the final say on the future of this West Seattle icon rests elsewhere …Read More