Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Entries Tagged as 'Arts & Culture'

Two Seattle Center buildings approved for historic landmark status

October 21st, 2014 by Laura

International Fountain MOHAI

International Fountain Pavilion, photo courtesy of MOHAI

The Seattle City Council has approved the historic designation of the Seattle Center’s Northwest Rooms and International Fountain Pavilion. Both buildings were designed by architect Paul Thiry for the 1962 World’s Fair.

These two newest Seattle Center landmark buildings join others such as the Space Needle, the Seattle Center House (aka the Armory), and the Monorail. A complete overview of the Seattle Center campus and the buildings that are either landmarks or pending landmark status is available as a pdf.

Northwest Rooms Ken Prichard

Northwest Rooms, photo courtesy of Ken Prichard

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program is responsible for the designation and protection of over 400 historic structures, sites, objects, and vessels.

You can learn more about landmark designation and also search the full list of city landmarks online.

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Tonight’s Uptown Art Walk features art, music, and pumpkins too

October 15th, 2014 by Laura

Uptown Art Walk MainIt’s the third Wednesday of the month, and that means it’s time for the Uptown Art Walk.

The free walk is a great way to celebrate local artists and businesses in Uptown/Lower Queen Anne. Sponsored and hosted by local merchants, the Uptown Art Walk runs from 3pm to 9pm (or 10pm, depending on merchant).

Here’s a sample of some of tonight’s events:

The Sitting Room is hosting a carved pumpkin installation, with pumpkins donated by Trader Joe’s.

The Vera Project is celebrating 10 years of screen-printed posters and art created by Weapons of Mass Design. There will be a live demo and prints will be available for sale with part of the proceeds helping buy Vera a new conveyor dryer for their screen printing studio.

Solo Bar is throwing an artist reception for Stasia Burrington’s mixed media on handmade paper exhibit “Stargazing”, curated by Ghost Gallery.

After a long stretch of summery weather, get used to getting out in the rain again and enjoy tonight’s Uptown Art Walk!

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Green Stage’s Backyard Bard returns to Rodgers Park with free Shakespeare

July 21st, 2014 by Laura

Nothing says summer like Shakespeare in the park – or, even better, Shakespeare in a Queen Anne park!

Green Stage BB castGreen Stage’s Backyard Bard performances brought Shakespeare comedies to David Rodgers Park last summer, playing to a full lawn of adults, kids, and even dogs. This year, they’re back with two plays at Rodgers Park.

The theatrical spectacle begins this Saturday with a double feature of All’s Well That Ends Well and The Comedy of Errors. Then, on Saturday, August 9th, the troupe returns for an encore performance of The Comedy of Errors. Each performance is about 45 minutes long and four actors perform all the roles. Hilarity ensues!

Green Stage BB fightGreen Stage is performing across Seattle through August 16th. Last year’s performances were a lot of fun, so grab a blanket or chair, a picnic or snacks, and head to Rodgers park this Saturday or August 9th.

Performances begin at 7pm both dates and are free to all!

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Check out the Seattle Center piano in the park and enter to win a Concerts at the Mural performance

July 20th, 2014 by Laura

Earlier this week, the City of Seattle and King County Parks launched Pianos in the Parks, a summer campaign that runs from July 17 to August 17. Twenty pianos that were nearing the end of their lives have been refurbished and made into works of art by the Gage Academy of Art faculty, students and friends.

Seattle Center piano

Seattle Center piano, courtesy of Pianos in the Parks

Fifteen Seattle parks and public locations each got a piano as part of the program.

According to Mayor Ed Murray, “We are delighted to host the pianos at 13 city parks, Seattle Center and City Hall plaza. Pianos in the Parks will enliven our parks and engage communities through the power of art and music.”

Each piano is open to the public and play is encouraged! Plus, to invigorate a sense of competition, KEXP has joined in to sweeten the pot with a Facebook contest. All you have to do is play the Seattle Center piano (or any of the other pianos outside of our neighborhood), upload your performance to the Facebook page, and wait for the “likes” to pour in.

Your music selection must be original music or a piece from the public domain, and you have to be ready to perform! The 5 most-liked videos will be judged by a community panel and the winner will have a feature performance at the August 22nd Concerts at the Mural event.

At the end of the summer program, the pianos featured in the parks will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Proceeds will benefit Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP and Gage Academy of Art.

Check out the Seattle Center piano at the Mural Amphitheatre or discover other pianos in the program, and enter to win your 15 minutes of fame!

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Uptown Art Walk features exhibits, live music, and interactive events this Wednesday

July 15th, 2014 by Laura

Uptown Art Walk July posterThe time seems to fly this summer! It’s already time for another Uptown Art Walk, and the weather (while a bit warm for some) continues to cooperate for the monthly event.

Special events on tap for tomorrow night include:

  • Meet the Queen Anne Historical Society and the Uptown Alliance at SIFF Uptown Cinema to grab some chalk and create art right where the proposed Uptown Parklet will reside!
  • Mercer Street Books will host a live reading with author William Kuko at 8:30pm. Also showing accompanying art from Nathan Wood.
  • Caffe Ladro will be showing works by Lashem from Mossy Tree Mercantile.
  • Oil painter Tracy Wallschlaeger will be showing her latest work at BECU.

This go around, the Art Walk committee has provided a map of the walk along with a list of participating vendors and merchants, so you can plan ahead:

Uptown Art Walk July map

Enjoy tomorrow’s Art Walk and mark your calendars for the third Wednesday of August (August 20th), when the Art Walk energizes the area again!

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Planning a Little Free Library? Enter the Architecture for Humanity LFL competition

June 23rd, 2014 by Laura

LFL Map 051814Queen Anne is home to 21 Little Free Libraries, but there’s always room for more! This summer, LFL creators can enter the Architecture for Humanity Seattle’s Libraries on the Loose design competition. The competition is open to individuals, teams, and businesses across Seattle. Wouldn’t it be great to see a Queen Anne LFL win?

If you’re interested in entering the competition, you need to first register with Architects Without Borders – Seattle. Then, design, build, install, and submit documentation for your LFL to compete against other Seattle LFLs. Additionally, you’ll need to submit digital and physical documentation of the LFL.

Some tips – the maximum budget cannot exceed $150, and additional criteria include adaptability, assembly, community, and creativity.

Details on submission requirements are available online, and you can send any questions to the organizers via email.

LFL GalerKey dates to keep in mind:

  • Registration Deadline – August 1st
  • Submissions Deadline – August 27th at 1pm
  • Judging – September 6th
  • Winners Announced: Grand Prize – September 6th; People’s Choice – September 14th
  • Exhibits: September 6th – 7th during the Seattle Design Festival’s Design Block and September 13th – 14th during the Seattle Design Festival Conference

If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a Little Free Library steward, here’s your opportunity to showcase your creativity and our neighborhood. If you enter the competition, be sure to let us know (and send photos!).

Edited for correction: contest is sponsored by Architecture for Humanity Seattle.

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Uptown Art Walk plus live mural art experience and more this Wednesday

June 15th, 2014 by Laura

Uptown Art Walk JuneOn Wednesday, June 18th, the Uptown Art Walk celebrates all things art and local Lower Queen Anne businesses open their doors to make it a lively experience for all.

This time around, the organizers invite everyone to start the Art Walk at any time during the day, with official hours running from 3pm to 9pm/10pm (depending on merchant). Don’t forget to pick up a Raffle punch card and drop it off at the after party at the Tin Lizzie Lounge at 9pm.

The Art Walk is also a great place to donate to the Queen Anne Food Bank. With the onset of summer, there’s a higher need for food as kids are out of school and school lunches are not an option. You can bring non-perishable food (tuna, peanut butter, etc.) and drop it off at Tin Lizzie’s donation bin. Bring 3 or more items and you get an extra stamp for the Raffle.

Bombsheller GrafittiFinally, the Art Walk will be running at the same time as a live mural experience at Mud Bay Uptown and an art show by local artists Few and Far Women in “the Bombshelter” at 424 Queen Ave. N. Here are the details on these special events:

Everyone is welcome to stop by the live mural event during the Uptown Artwalk to see artists create art from a blank wall. Plus, there’ll be hands-on art activities for kids presented by The Vera Project and a skate demo-clinic by Skate Like a Girl.

For more information on these special events, visit the Bombsheller page.

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Friends of SPL auctioning off rare books about the Pacific Northwest next week

June 12th, 2014 by Laura

SPLFriendsIf you’re a bibliophile or just interested in cool old books on the Pacific Northwest, then check out this special eBay auction. Starting next Thursday, June 19th, the Friends of The Seattle Public Library will hold a special 7-day auction on eBay of rare and collectible books about the Pacific Northwest.

Per the Friends of SPL, some of the titles featured in the auction include “The Story of Seattle” by Roberta Frye Watt, “The Early Pacific Coast Photographs of Carleton E. Watkins” by J.W. Johnson and “The Saga of a Mountain: A Legend of Mount Rainier” by El Comancho. Most auction items will start at $9.95.

You can also support SPL via books sold by The Friends online at Amazon and Abe Books, as all proceeds from both sales and auctions benefit The Seattle Public Library through grants made by the Friends of The Seattle Public Library.

Check out the auction next week, and see what Pacific Northwest treasures you can add to your collection!

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Puppy love at the Towne on Queen Anne

May 27th, 2014 by Laura

We covered the new Towne mosaics a couple of weeks ago, and now it’s time to zero in on the bronze puppy sculpture that’s front and center in the courtyard:

Towne sign and puppy

The cute pup, with a nametag that reads “Boomer”, and a ball inscribed “Queen Anne 2014” is hard to miss – and I’ve already seen families, kids, and individuals interacting with the sculpture. Georgia Gerber, the artist for Rachel the Pig at Pike Place Market is the puppy’s creator, with some help from her husband Randy Hudson and several studio assistants, Boomer came to life and settled on Queen Anne.


Georgia Gerber with the puppy in his clay stage

Why a puppy? According to Gerber:

“Queen Anne has a great love for dogs in their community.  The piece also needed scale for the plaza it was to be located. The extra large puppy with ball was a good fit for this site. It is a one of a kind piece specifically for this project.”

The puppy is sizeable, weighing in at about 350 pounds. Larger than life, he was scaled by Gerber to be an appropriate size for the large Towne courtyard, but not so big that he’d be intimidating for children. Ideally, kids will interact with both the puppy and the ball, climbing and sitting on it are encouraged and enhance the experience.

Gerber, with help from Hudson and studio assistants Victor Ramos and Virginia Keck made the puppy in sections, you can see the bronze being poured in the photo below by Randy and Virginia:


Then, the finishing touches and he was loaded into a truck for the trip to his home on Queen Anne:



The developers of The Towne have ensured that the Queen Anne community has outdoor public art to enjoy, and the artists credit them with “making the plaza so inviting and community oriented.”


Puppy with Ramos, Gerber, and Keck

Gerber and team hope the puppy becomes a part of our community for everyone to enjoy. Check out the perch the ball provides, give Boomer a hug, and snap a photo!

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Uptown Art Walk is tonight

May 21st, 2014 by Laura

Uptown Art WalkLooking for something to do tonight? The weather is supposed to be pleasant, so what better way to spend the early evening than the Uptown Art Walk?

The Art Walk is tonight, Wednesday, May 21, from 5pm to 7:30pm. Each 3rd Wednesday the Art Walk highlights businesses and blocks of Uptown/Lower Queen Anne.

This month’s featured walk follows this route:

  • Roy Street and Queen Anne Avenue, heading east to the corner of Roy St. and 5th Avenue N
  • Roy St. and Queen Anne Ave N,  going south to the corner of Queen Anne Ave and Harrison St
  • 5th Ave N and Mercer, going west on Mercer to 1st Ave N

Participating businesses will have white “Uptown Art Walk” signs in their storefront windows.

Stop by the Tin Lizzie Lounge at the MarQueen Hotel for a card that you can you get stamped at participating businesses (and maybe win a free raffle prize). Then, walk around the Art Walk blocks and enjoy live music and art that ranges from visual art, theater, poetry, pottery, jewelry, and more!

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SIFF buys Uptown Theatre, becomes permanent Queen Anne resident

May 15th, 2014 by Laura

SIFF Uptown signThe Seattle International Film Festival has purchased the SIFF Cinema Uptown, becoming a permanent resident of Lower Queen Anne/Uptown. SIFF announced the purchase, with funding from its “Angels of the Uptown,” David and Linda Cornfield, at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival.

SIFF has leased the Uptown Theatre, built in 1926, for the past two and a half years. Since opening night, SIFF has been a key fixture in Lower Queen Anne – and it’s drawn new customers to neighboring businesses. SIFF estimates it has brought over 500,000 people to the area, exposing them to both new cinematic experiences and the neighborhood.

According to SIFF:

“The SIFF Cinema Uptown has now become the heart of lower Queen Anne. The theatre bolsters many lower Queen Anne businesses by raising the profile of the area and bringing in new audiences to experience what local businesses have to offer.”

The cinema has become a fixture on Queen Anne Ave N, and will remain so for years to come, hosting film festivals, arts programs, and regular movie screenings for both residents and visitors to the neighborhood.

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New Towne courtyard features a Queen Anne map of mosaics and more

May 7th, 2014 by Laura

The new Queen Anne Towne mixed-use complex is nearing completion, and the front courtyard art maps out the neighborhood and familiar Queen Anne sites. Plus, there’s a puppy sculpture designed by Georgia Gerber, the Northwest artist who also created Rachel, the Pike Place Market pig.

Towne sign and puppy

Local Queen Anne artist Lydia Aldredge designed the courtyard as a map – the meandering brickwork represents roads, the green sections mark parks, ravines, and the Boulevard. Stainless steel stair image mark stairways and there’s also a stainless steel “you are here” marker. A stainless steel star is a “you are here” marker and the seven mosaics mark historic and notable Queen Anne sites.

The sites chosen for the 7 mosaics were a mix of Aldredge’s input, suggestions from Queen Anne Historical Society, and requests from the building owners.

If you’d like to figure out the mosaic sites on your own, read no further. If you want a cheat-sheet, see the list and descriptions below from Lydia Aldredge:

Towne mosaic QA High School1. Queen Anne High School: This building is an architectural and cultural landmark. It’s full block size, stone facade, intricate detail, and adaptive reuse as a condominium make it a significant visual neighborhood anchor. This is a view of the west facade of the school so as to include one of the adjacent radio towers.

Towne mosaic QA Library2. Queen Anne Library: This lovely library, designed in the Richardson Romanesque style is another architectural landmark and cultural center. Generations of Queen Anne families have appreciated its interior resources and exterior beauty.

Towne mosaic church3. Bethel Presbyterian Church: Another historic landmark and architecturally significant structure.  This building has been a center of community life for generations and is an oasis of green along the rapidly developing avenue.  It’s steeple and rose windows are striking.

Towne mosaic Wilke House4. Wilkes Farmhouse: A historic landmark and one of the oldest remaining farmhouses on the hill.  The star patterned fascia boards are unusual as are the elaborately patterned porch balustrades. [The Wilkes farmhouse is just a few blocks away from the new Towne, at 2nd Ave N and Newton St.]

Towne mosaic bridge5. Ravine Bridge on McGraw Street: This is a lovely arched bridge with elegant historic light posts. It’s hard to see the structure in summer as the dense forest canopy recalls the original forest landscape of the hill.

Towne mosaic QAFM6.  Queen Anne Farmers Market:  A great recent neighborhood event is the Thursday Queen Anne Farmer’s Market.  This is an image of a fall Farmer’s market table with baskets overflowing with squash, broccoli, red cabbage, carrots, and swiss chard.

Towne mosaic Lost Cedar7.  The Lost Cedar Tree:  An ancient cedar tree grew at 912 2nd Ave. West.  It was so large that clipper ships used this tree to navigate their entrance into Elliott Bay and Seattle.  It was sacred to the local tribes and was known as the Treaty Tree or Powwow Tree.  A settler homesteaded this land and insisted on cutting down this 2,500 year old tree to create a level building site.  That house is now a historic landmark.  Small, remnant cedar seedling trees can be seen along the property line.

Aldredge also designed the Towne sign – it’s based on the image of a picket fence with climbing roses.  According to Aldredge, one of the founders of the Queen Anne neighborhood, Louisa Denny, brought sweetbriar rose cuttings to Queen Anne from Virginia.  Rumor has it that descendants of these original cuttings still can be found in the wild around the hill.

Towne sign

Check out the new artwork and map of our neighborhood at the Queen Anne Towne courtyard, on Queen Anne Ave N between Crockett St and Howe St.

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