Tour Mt Pleasant Cemetery with the Queen Anne Historical Society on Saturday

Mt Pleasant Cemetery entranceIt’s time for the annual Mt Pleasant Cemetery tour, so get your walking shoes ready for a free guided tour by the Queen Anne Historical Society.

The tour starts Saturday, August 20th, at 10am at the main entrance to the cemetery, located on Raye St between 6th Ave W and 7th Ave W. The tour will feature roughly 15-20 grave sites, all of which help tell the story of Queen Anne history.

Photo by Priscilla Long, courtesy of

Photo by Priscilla Long, courtesy of

Mt Pleasant Cemetery dates back to 1879 with many notable Seattle names gracing the markers in the 40 acre site. If you know our Queen Anne streets, the gravestone marker to the left carries a familiar name. With over 60,000 graves at Mt Pleasant, the Queen Anne Historical Society tour will help guide you to the historically significant sites.

The tour will not cover all 40 acres, but comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Plus, with temperatures now reaching their summer peak of mid-upper 80s, plan to bring a bottle of water with you.

Per Mt Pleasant Cemetery rules, dogs are not allowed on cemetery grounds, so please leave your pooches at home for this walking tour.

Modern architecture on Queen Anne takes center stage with Queen Anne Historical Society tour

When many people think of Queen Anne and historic homes, the images that come to mind are the classic American Foursquares, Craftsmans, Bungalows, and Tudors that make up much of the neighborhood. But, if you’re a fan of the clean lines of modern architecture, the Queen Anne Historical Society has a tour for you.

Courtesy of Robert Reichert Collection, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

Courtesy of Robert Reichert Collection, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

The third annual Modern Queen Anne Tour features four notable examples of modern architecture on Queen Anne. Three residential homes are featured along with KEXP’s new home at the Seattle Center.

The architects responsible for each of the sites – Jeff Murdock, Marvin Anderson Architects, Olson Kundig, and SkB Architects – will be on hand to describe the projects, provide insider knowledge, and answer questions.

Photo courtesy of Marvin Anderson

Photo courtesy of Marvin Anderson

The tour takes place on Saturday, August 13th, starting at 2pm. Tickets are $10 each, and you’ll need to provide your own transportation to get from site to site. (A car is advised due to the distance between the tour locations.)

Post-tour, members of the Queen Anne Historical Society can attend a members-only reception. If you’re not a member, you can become one via Brown Paper Tickets by adding it to your tour purchase. Or, you can visit the Queen Anne Historical Society website to become a member and learn more the organization’s efforts to educate residents and preserve Queen Anne history.

This tour has limited availability and sells out, so if you want to join it, buy your tickets today at Brown Paper Tickets.

Fourth of July on Queen Anne: then and now

FlagHappy Fourth of July! As we celebrate the 4th on Queen Anne with block parties, BBQs, and fireworks-watching, it’s interesting to pause and look back in history at a past Independence Day celebration on Queen Anne.

Per the Queen Anne Historical Society archives, 1907 was notable because the local Japanese community hosted a celebration complete with fireworks provided by a Japanese sea captain. From the QAHS archives:

“For one summer day in 1907, Queen Anne Hill was the center of attention not just of Seattle, but of two continents. With a spectacle the likes of which has not been seen before or since, Seattle’s Japanese community hosted the city’s Independence Day festivities at just west of what is now Kerry Park on West Highland Drive.

The Seattle P-I reported that “ten thousand citizens of Seattle” packed the hill’s sidewalks, porches and rooftops to watch the exotic Oriental fireworks brought by a visiting Japanese sea captain. A military band from Fort Lawton blew march music, then colorful bombs in outlandish shapes burst against Seattle’s skyline, from the newly erected spires of St. James Cathedral to the half-moon shoreline of Elliott Bay. Straw hats, parasols and fancy dresses filled the streets. Children scrambled to capture prize-laden balloons as they landed. Prominent Seattle preachers, judges, politicians and a future U.S. secretary of the interior — stood side-by-side on a podium with sailors from the Shinano Maru, in port down at Smith Cove, and local Japanese American leaders. Waving overhead were the Stars and Stripes and Rising Sun.”

QAHS 4th of July

You can read more about this historic event on the QAHS web site here. And, get ready to watch tonight’s fireworks from vantage points across East Queen Anne. The show is set to start at 10pm.

As we look back at history, here’s the Wilke House today, one of the oldest homes on Queen Anne. Built in 1898, it still stands today, as it did back in 1907. During the celebration of 1907, this home wasn’t even a decade old yet:

Wilke House flag

Happy Fourth of July!


Local businesses lost: let the City know what businesses you miss or fear will close

easy-signOne of the downsides to rapid development is the loss of local businesses, often pushed out by new construction or rising rents. We’ve lost quite a few businesses on Queen Anne in just the past few years, and with more development on the way, we could lose more.

To help save local neighborhood businesses, Councilmember Lisa Herbold is proposing a Seattle Legacy Business Program with the mission of preserving the bars, restaurants, cafés, and shops that give Seattle its unique character and sense of community. The mission is simple:

Keep the Doors Open for Historic Neighborhood Businesses

Herbold is working with the Washington Trust for Historic PreservationHistoric Seattle, and 4 Culture for the proposed program, and it currently consists of three elements:

  • Survey community members to identify our most important business establishments
  • Identify elements that contribute to the culture, character, and history of Seattle
  • Establish tools to protect them

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 6.27.08 PMHow can you help save your favorite businesses? Or, let the City know what businesses are gone forever? Take the survey. It’s short – you can see the short list of questions to the right.

The survey results will help educate the City Council about businesses that may have escaped their radar – a true community-inclusion approach.

The results will be taken to the Mayor’s office, informing the Mayor’s Commercial Affordability Taskforce and its efforts to determine what policies and/or funding support may be necessary to preserve and protect Seattle’s iconic small businesses.

Let your voice be heard, take the survey today!

How is Queen Anne still a hill? Find out at this Thursday’s free QAHS event

The Queen Anne Historical Society is tackling the topic of topography with David B. Williams, author of “Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography” via a free presentation that’s open to all.

In 1928, the city of Seattle embarked on the Denny Regrade project, removing hills and changing the urban landscape. Remarkably, it was completed just a few years later in 1931. The cost? $1,885,240. What changed? Take a look at the before and after photos below (click the photo for a huge image to zoom in and around) – somehow, Queen Anne remained unscathed:


This Thursday, May 26th, you can learn more about the changes that took place around Queen Anne, not only the Denny Regrade, but also changes to Interbay and the Ship Canal.

Join the free Queen Anne Historical Society meeting, hear from Williams, and learn more about our neighborhood’s history. The meeting is open to all and begins at 7pm at the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave W), Room 3.

Seattle Architecture Foundation hosts a walking tour of Queen Anne this Saturday

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 8.05.56 PMSeattle Architecture Foundation is kicking off its summer series of Queen Anne walking tours this Saturday, May 21st. The walk runs (or walks, rather) from 10am to noon, and features a look at the architecture of Queen Anne.

From residential homes to historic apartments, with some repurposed buildings thrown in for variety, the tour should satisfy architecture buffs, visitors, and Queen Anne residents alike.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 8.09.34 PM[Side note: if you like architecture, our Instagram feed is full of images like the ones in this post, plus gardens and hidden Queen Anne gems…]

The tour is $15 per person, with tickets available online. It starts at the old West Queen Anne Elementary School (now condos) at the corner of W Galer St & 6th Ave W.

Here’s the info you need from SAF:

Tours are approximately 2 hours and run rain or shine, dress accordingly! Advance registration is strongly encouraged; walk-ups are limited to space available for a cost of $25 (cash only/exact change required). For more information on SAF tours, visit our FAQ page or call 206-667-9184. Interested in discounted tickets? Members get discounts on all SAF events and receive a free tour  just for signing-up ($40-level and above). Learn more about our membership program here. Join us. Shape Seattle!

If you can’t make this weekend’s tour, the same tour will be repeated on June 18th, July 16th, August 20th, September 17th, and October 15th. Tickets are available online for upcoming tours, so you can plan ahead for summer guests!

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