Seattle’s newest Heritage Tree is on Queen Anne

An amazing tree in Queen Anne Park is now a Heritage Tree. If you haven’t walked or driven by 3218 Conkling Place W, you’re missing out not only on a nice walk around Queen Anne Park, but also on the sight of the gigantic Northern Catalpa – you can’t miss it. Here’s a photo from the owner of the tree, it’s just starting to leaf out for the season:

3218 Catalpa 2

Per the owner, the tree was planted in the late 1930s and today it measures 54 inches in diameter. Not only is it now in the City of Seattle’s Heritage Tree program, Arthur Lee Jacobson also featured it in his book “Trees of Seattle”.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 6.11.51 PMPlantAmnesty kicked off the Heritage Tree Program in 1996, with the City of Seattle joining in as a co-sponsor a few years later. Today, the Heritage Trees are mapped and searchable online (they are orange on the map), and surprisingly, the Queen Anne Park Northern Catalpa is only the eighth Heritage Tree on Queen Anne.

With so many amazing trees on Queen Anne, how can we get more Heritage Trees on the list? Here is the info you need from the Heritage Tree site:

Heritage Trees may be on either City or private property. Each candidate tree is assessed by a certified arborist and evaluated by a review committee. Heritage Trees must meet criteria for health, in addition to being selected according to one of the following categories:

  • Specimen – A tree of exceptional size, form, or rarity.
  • Historic – A tree recognized by virtue of its age, its association with or contribution to a historic structure or district, or its association with a noted person or historic event.
  • Landmark – Trees that are landmarks of a community.
  • Collection – Trees in a notable grove, avenue, or other planting.

To nominate a Heritage Tree, go to this site and then click on the form to nominate a tree. You’ll be contacted and if your tree is considered, a team of arborists will visit to see the tree in person. They then notify you via mail to let you know if the tree has been accepted or not. If accepted, you get a certificate and the option to get a plaque for your tree too.

According to the owner, the process took several months. She also had an independent arborist assess the tree and conduct diagnostics to ensure its health. This particular step is not required, but it will help make your case and provide a clean bill of health for the tree. Here’s the Northern Catalpa fully leafed out:

3218 Catalpa

Weather-wise, this week is a great week to take a walk – plan ahead and swing by 3218 Conkling Place W to see the tree in person, it’s pretty spectacular!

SPL building nominated for Landmark Status in advance of sale

SPL Telephone todayThe 1920s brick building directly across the street from the Queen Anne library branch has been nominated for Landmark Status. The Seattle Public Library owns the former Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Building and it’s planning to sell the building. As part of the sale preparation, it has submitted a landmark nomination to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board.

Built in 1921 and 1929 (two phases), the building at 1529 4th Ave W sits on a 12,000 square foot lot. After a third story was added in the 1930s, bringing the total square footage to just over 23, 000 square feet. SPL acquired the building in the 1970s, converting it to a warehouse.

Per the nomination:

“If a property is designated as a city landmark, it comes under the jurisdiction of the LPB [Landmark Preservation Board] for design reviews and approval of proposed changes to specific historic features. Typical designated features include a building’s exterior and site, and significant public interior spaces. However, a property owner may still develop the property.”

The nomination includes a detailed history of the building, courtesy of the Queen Anne Historical Society. It’s an interesting write-up that is required reading for any history buffs – it covers the history of the building and the early days of telephone and telegraph industry on Queen Anne. Plus, it has several historic photos of the building, including this one from 1936:

SPL Telephone bldg 1936

If you have comments for the nomination, you can attend a public meeting:

Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board meeting
Wednesday, March 16 at 3:30pm
Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor (Room 4060)

If you can’t make the meeting, you can submit written comments. Comments must be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following address by March 15 at 3:00pm:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

There’s no indication yet of what type of development could happen at the site, but if the building is approved for Landmark Status, the exterior would likely remain intact – or at least have a chance at remaining as-is (with some earthquake retrofitting), as any design reviews would include approval from the Landmark Preservation Board.

Do you know this house?

The Queen Anne Historical Society is looking for a house, and not just any house. This particular house is documented in a scrapbook with the sweet title “Our Home on Queen Anne Hill” and was sent to QAHS by The Skowhegan History House Museum in Maine. Here’s the cover (note: you can click on any of the images for the high-res version):

Queen Anne Home scrapbook from Maine

The scrapbook is handmade and features an exterior shot of the house on the cover and interior shots of the the dining room, living room, and reception hall (aka entryway) inside the book’s pages.

Queen Anne Home scrapbook from Maine reception room_edited

Since these photos are very old, the quality isn’t what we expect of photos today, but perhaps some features will stand out if you own this home or live nearby.

Queen Anne Home scrapbook from Maine dining room edited

And, keep in mind that some exterior details may have changed, like the tree outside may either no longer be there or it may be enormous by now.

Queen Anne Home scrapbook from Maine living room edited

Of course, there is always the chance that this house is no more. If you know where it originally stood, that’d be great info for QAHS too, as they document our neighborhood’s history.

Take a look and let us know if you recognize this mystery house on Queen Anne!

Queen Anne Historical Society kicks off free events this Thursday at the Queen Anne P-Patch

P-Patch signEvery year, the Queen Anne Historical Society (QAHS) hosts a series of free events centered on a single theme. Recently, the organization has covered apartment buildings and churches – and now they look to food for inspiration.

This year’s series looks at alternative food sources on Queen Anne, and it begins with the history of the P-Patch program on Thursday, September 24th. The event begins at the Queen Anne P-Patch at 7pm, which has an entrance at 2nd Ave N and Lynn St. (there is also an entrance at 3rd Ave N and Boston, but with limited parking)

P-Patch SWSusan Casey, founder of the Interbay Patch, one of the earliest P-Patches in Seattle, will share information on how P-Patch gardens work, as well as the history of the P-Patch program. Then, everyone will head a few blocks over to Queen Anne Manor (100 Crockett St) for a panel discussion on different ways Queen Anne residents have fed their family over the years.

Upcoming events in the series will cover Prohibition, the Great Depression, grocery stores, restaurants, and home kitchens on Queen Anne.

P-Patch with DahliasAll events in the series are free and all are welcome to attend. The P-Patches hit their summer glory about a month ago, but you can still see amazing dahlias, sunflowers, and the seasonal change as we move into fall.

You can learn more about the Queen Anne Historical Society via their website or Facebook page.

Tour Queen Anne Park with the Queen Anne Historical Society this Saturday

Tudors QAPAs I’ve noted in the blog before, I cover Queen Anne by foot (with dog in tow). It’s a lot of ground to cover, so I divvy it up into sections to make it more manageable. If you don’t live in Queen Anne Park, you may not know about it unless you’ve traversed the hill to check out the northwest corner of our neighborhood…

Queen Anne Park has wide streets that make looping curves instead of a grid, with large lots, and homes that date to the 1920s. While Queen Anne Park homes are from the same decade, there’s variation – Tudors, Spanish-style homes, and Colonial homes sit along winding streets (no grid!).

Spanish QAPQuite a few Queen Anne Park residents take advantage of the larger lots, with lush landscaping and gardens. If you’re a gardener or fan of gardens, take note: this walking tour includes a few gardens as well.

This Saturday, you can discover Queen Anne Park and learn more about its history from the Queen Anne Historical Society. QAHS will tour the neighborhood, as well as the aforementioned select gardens, before concluding with refreshments. Plus, the tour leader is Queen Anne Park resident, Florence Helliesen, so you can get the insider scoop.

According to Helliesen:

“There is a rich history in Queen Anne Park that I’m excited to share with our community. It’s a beautiful and unique part of the hill that often goes unnoticed. Our walking tour will tell an exciting story of real estate development as the roaring ‘20s drew to a close before the Great Depression.”

Turret House QAPThe curving street structure I noted above is not coincidence – the winding roads are designed to fit into the topography of the northwest slope, and many homes have views of the mountains – either the Cascades or the Olympics (some with both), Elliott Bay, and/or the Ship Canal.

The tour will cover three streets in Queen Anne Park – W. Etruria St., 10th Ave W, and Conkling St:

Queen Anne Park map

Tickets for the tour are $15 for QAHS members, $25 for non-QAHS members. You can purchase tickets online via Brown Paper Tickets. The tour begins at 10am on Saturday, August 29th, starting at the dead-end of W Etruria St (where 7th Ave W would be, it’s a SPU parking lot). If you drive to the tour, park at SPU’s Ashton Hall, entering at 5th Ave W and W Dravus St. Look for a gate that leads to W Etruria St and the tour starting point.

Learn more about some of Queen Anne’s hidden – or maybe not so hidden – treasures via the Queen Anne Historical Society, and join Saturday’s walking tour!

Free Queen Anne Historical Society tour of Mt Pleasant Cemetery is tomorrow

Every summer the Queen Anne Historical Society hosts a free tour of Mt Pleasant Cemetery. Today, we got late notice that the tour is tomorrow, Saturday, August 22nd, at 10am. Guided by long-time QAHS member Kim Turner, this year’s tour focuses on gravesites of people affiliated with the former Queen Anne High School – faculty, students, and people involved in the inception and creation of the building, which now houses condos.

You can check out the cemetery map, courtesy of the QAHS, below:

Mt Pleasant Cemetery map

The tour is free and will begin at 10am. It’s estimated to run until noon.

Mt Pleasant cemetery is privately owned and operated – signs posted at the entrance state that dogs are not allowed. The QAHS tour is free and open to all (except dogs, per Mt Pleasant rules).

copyright 2007 - 2016  Next Door Media website by: KILMERHANSEN Design