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Entries Tagged as 'History'

Queen Anne Historical Society meeting on Thursday highlights Queen Anne Christian Church

March 24th, 2014 by Laura

QA Christian ChurchThis season’s Queen Anne Historical Society (QAHS) meetings have focused on local Queen Anne churches, and the tour de church is wrapping up this Thursday, March 27th, 7pm, at the Queen Anne Christian Church.

Build in 1911, the church is located at 1316 3rd Ave W at the corner of Lee and 3rd Ave W. The QAHS meeting begins at 7pm with a tour of the church by Pastor Laurie Rudel, highlighting the history of the church, its original structure and renovations, and its role in the Queen Anne community.

In addition to original 1911 architecture, the church includes a sanctuary from the 1950s that was remodeled in 2000 with an ear to acoustics – the sanctuary is a popular venue for concerts today.

All are welcome to attend the meeting and tour to learn more about Queen Anne history!

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Windstorm knocks down tree next to Ballard Mansion on Highland Drive

January 12th, 2014 by Laura

The winds today were not kind to a tree along the side of the Ballard Mansion (aka Ballard House) at 22 W Highland Dr. A reader sent us the video that was sent to KING 5 (thanks, Mark!) – you can see the tree come down to the left of the house:

Ballard House video

The Ballard House was spared from tree damage. Built in 1901 as the home of Martin D. Ballard, founder of the Seattle Hardware Company, the home now houses six apartments.

According to the KING 5 article, the house was undamaged as the tree landed in between the house and a garage. Here’s a picture of where it landed from a reader via Facebook (thanks, Rhia!):

Ballard House side view

This downed tree may help explain an earlier power outage near Highland and Queen Anne Ave N, which has since been resolved, per Seattle City Light.

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Queen Anne library turns 100 in January – help mark a century with your own scrapbook entry

December 16th, 2013 by Laura

QALibraryOur Queen Anne library branch one of the coolest spots on Queen Anne – ok, I’m partial to libraries, but you have to admit, our branch is beautiful!

What makes our library so special, other than that it’s ours? Well, for starters, it’s one of six Carnegie libraries in Seattle. From the brickwork to the windows to the multi-colored roof, I think everyone can admit it’s pretty unique and a special spot on Queen Anne.

Library Plaque

Plaque with 1913 construction date

Andrew Carnegie gave Seattle $200,000 to build a new fireproof library after the original Yesler Mansion burned in 1901. In 1910, he went on to donate $105,000 for the West Seattle, Green Lake, and University District branches. Another gift of $70,000 resulted in our Queen Anne branch in 1914 and the Columbia branch in 1915.

The Queen Anne branch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated as a landmark building by Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board. In addition to its architectural significance, the Queen Anne branch is also a key part of our neighborhood’s history, and it’s celebrating a big birthday – 100 years – in January.

QA Library kids

SPL Collection: Queen Anne Library branch
ca. late 1950s-early 1960s
Submitted by Mrs. Floyd W. Mason, Jr. Queen Anne Manor

It looks pretty good for a centenarian (thanks in part to a 2007 renovation), and is well loved by patrons both young and old.

Although, it did cause quite a stir for one Queen Anne resident 100 years ago – one parent sent the following letter to Miss Helen Watson, the branch’s first children’s librarian:

“Dear Madam: Will you please stop John and Mary from getting any more books as we can’t get anything out of them at all – they won’t go to bed at night and won’t get up in the morning and won’t do anything but read when they do get up.”

To celebrate the special anniversary, the Seattle Public Library is planning a free celebration at the Queen Anne branch on Sunday, January 12th from 2pm to 4pm. Activities include:

  • Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection exhibit of vintage clothing and an interactive hat show – step back in time and try on one or more of 50 vintage hats!
  • Historical information provided by Queen Anne Historical Society
  • Music and refreshments
  • A commemorative bookmark
  • Children’s craft activity making whirligigs
QA Library Scrapbook paper

Queen Anne library scrapbook paper
Pick up yours today!

And, you can be a part of the preparations via an anniversary scrapbook that the library is putting together. Just stop by the library and share written stories now about your favorite Queen Anne branch experiences on specially designed scrapbook paper.

The paper is available now at the branch, so be sure to take part in the storytelling today.  Your story may be featured in another 100 years, just as the “stop John and Mary from getting any more books” story was shared today!

The anniversary scrapbook will be on display during the celebration, so make plans now to share your stories to mark the happy occasion. If you can’t make it to the library, you can also email your story to carnegiememories@spl.org and it’ll be included in the scrapbook. Submissions will be taken up to January 12th.

And, mark your calendars to join in the celebration on January 12th, and Happy (early) Birthday, Queen Anne library!

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Queen Anne Historical Society showcases Bethany Presbyterian on Thursday

November 19th, 2013 by Laura

As part of its ongoing series of presentations on historic Queen Anne churches, the Queen Anne Historical Society is holding its community meeting this Thursday at Bethany Presbyterian Church. The meeting begins at 7pm and all are welcome to join and learn about the “best kept historic preservation secrets” of the church at 1818 Queen Anne Ave. N.

BethanyAccording to the QAHS, the sanctuary has been taken apart and built again to meet today’s high seismic standards. Steve Stroming of RAFN, the project contractor, will explain the church’s retrofitting and preservation success story.

Church staff-member Sylvia Lidell will provide an overview of congregation history since the church’s founding 125 years ago this month. (Happy Anniversary, Bethany Presbyterian!)

The meeting is free and open to all members of the community, and light refreshments will be provided.

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Queen Anne Historical Society meeting highlights the history and architecture of St Anne’s

September 23rd, 2013 by Laura

This Thursday, September 26, the Queen Anne Historical Society (QAHS) kicks off its new program year with a public meeting at St Anne’s Catholic Church. This season, the QAHS is examining the architecture of churches on Queen Anne, and to do so, the free meetings will be held at the featured churches.

St Anne Church 1910

St Anne’s, c. 1910
Photo courtesy of QAHS

“The History and Architecture of St Anne’s Catholic Church”, includes a visit to the sanctuary, and talks by Parish Coordinator Ron Ryan and architect Stephen Lee. Ryan will review the church’s history and Lee will discuss the architecture of the current church, built in 1963 and renovated in 2008.

A discussion will follow, and coffee and snacks will be served. The meeting begins at 7pm at St Anne’s – the church entrances are at W Lee St on the 2nd Ave West end of the building and on the 1st Ave West end, directly across the street from the school stairs (directions here). All are welcome to attend to learn more about our neighborhood’s architectural history!

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Queen Anne Boulevard tree – trimmed or mangled?

July 31st, 2013 by Laura

BigelowTreeIf you were out walking, running, or biking Queen Anne Boulevard this morning, you may have heard the ruckus around Bigelow Ave N and Lynn St, where a work crew were trimming one of the historic Boulevard trees – and trimming is using a loose definition of the word.

There were chainsaws and wood-chippers attacking one of our historic Boulevard trees, with no care to the history or shape of the tree.

BoulevardTree

Queen Anne Boulevard Tree -
trimmed or mangled?

Now, these trees do run along power lines, so proper trimming is necessary. However, the poor tree that was subjected to trimming this morning got more than a simple haircut.

Instead of using precise cuts to protect the 80+ year old tree, the crew hacked away at it with chainsaws, cutting out a large right-angle chunk from the tree’s canopy. Honestly, it looks awful and is a terrible loss to our historic street – which is also a City of Seattle park.

We’ve notified the City of Seattle arborists, and while the damage cannot be undone, let’s hope it can be prevented in the future. If you see work crews trimming (or, let’s be honest, hacking away at) historic trees, contact the City of Seattle arborist at 206.684.TREE (8733).

And, let’s hope this doesn’t happen again.

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Walking tour of Queen Anne this Sunday will benefit the Queen Anne Historical Society

July 5th, 2013 by Laura

A series of walking tours highlighting our neighborhood’s real estate and architectural history continues this Sunday, July 7th, with a 10am start at Kerry Park. These tours, entitled “Real Estate Speculation and Innovation”, are held every first Sunday through September with a minimum $20 donation per person, with proceeds benefitting local organizations.

Kerry 0613 web

Kerry Park will be the starting point for Sunday’s walk

Sunday’s tour will focus on the historical development of Queen Anne and the residential architecture of homes on the hill. It’ll also include information on the evolution of real estate ventures from the late 1800s to present day.

The organizers of these walks are asking for a minimum donation of $20 per person, with the tax-deductible proceeds from Sunday’s walk benefitting the Queen Anne Historical Society

The tour will be just under 2 miles, taking about 1.5 hours to complete. Limited spots are available for each walk, so if you’re interested in the history of real estate and architecture on Queen Anne, be sure to RSVP via email or call 206.271.1267.

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

June 19th, 2013 by Laura

Have you ever walked, run, biked, or drove by Mt Pleasant Cemetery and wondered what lies within the cemetery walls? (well, maybe not as much as back when the laurels towered over the road, really obscuring the view) The answer is 40 acres with a rich history dating back to 1895, and you can learn more in a free walking tour of the cemetery this Saturday, June 22nd.

Mt Pleasant CemeteryIn addition to being one of the oldest cemeteries in Puget Sound, Mt Pleasant also boasts “one of the largest varieties of mature trees of any cemetery on the West coast”.

Plus, a roster of historical names that you can discover with the Queen Anne Historical Society this Saturday at the 21st Annual Mt Pleasant Cemetery Tour. Among the notable names, many were early Queen Anne founders and residents: pioneer Asa Mercer (yes, that Mercer); pioneers William and Sarah Bell, members of the Denny Party who arrived in Seattle in 1852; Nils Peterson, first homesteader of the Queen Anne area; and Rev. Daniel Bagley, the pioneer who gave Queen Anne its name.

Mt Pleasant mapLearn more about these early Queen Anne settlers, the 1906 S.S. Valencia Disaster, the 1916 Everett Massacre, and more in the 2 hour tour led by Kim Turner, the Queen Anne Historical Society’s Research Lead and historian of Mt Pleasant Cemetery.

The tour begins at 10am at the south entrance, west of the office. Dress for the weather (it’s supposed to be nice, again!), wear sturdy shoes, and learn what history can be found on top of Queen Anne.

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QAHS Photo of the Month: SIFF Uptown

June 17th, 2013 by Laura

It’s time for a monthly trip back into our neighborhood’s history, courtesy of the Queen Anne Historical Society. This month’s featured building is the SIFF Uptown Theatre.

SIFF Uptown
by Michael Herschensohn, President, Queen Anne Historical Society

For the second year running SIFF has centered its May-June festival at the Uptown, a name commonly given to American movie theaters. Ours is a rare case where the name has been taken by its surrounding neighborhood.

Uptown 1937

Uptown Theater 1937
Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Archives

As the 1937 view shows, the building had only one theater.  As in many small movie houses, the second story shared restrooms to either side of a lounge. Behind them a narrow projection room with huge wheels of 35mm film that turned in front of extremely hot lights.

Uptown 2013

SIFF Uptown, 2013
Photo courtesy of Michael Herschensohn

Having grown into the space of the shops on its south side (remember le Tastevin?), the Uptown today has three theaters while the marquee installed in 1953 hides the lounge windows.

Not surprising, with 35mm film replaced by digital technology, the stove pipe that vented the heat of the projector light bulb sits idle. Otherwise, architect Victor W. Voorhees’ 1926 design has shrunk by some 234 seats to accommodate new bathrooms and a larger lobby.

If you’re interested in the history or Queen Anne, you can join the QAHS at individual or family levels online. The QAHS meets bi-monthly with programs about the history of Queen Anne, with the goal of preserving the heritage of our neighborhood.

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Annual Meeting of Queen Anne Historical Society focuses on Kinnear Park conservation

May 20th, 2013 by Laura

This Thursday, May 23rd, the Queen Anne Historical Society (QAHS) will be hosting its annual meeting at the Seattle Church of Christ at 7pm.

kinnear-park-1911

Kinnear Park, 1911
Photo courtesy of QAHS

In addition to brief QAHS business such as board elections, the meeting will spotlight the conservation efforts for Kinnear Park and the Southwest Queen Anne greenbelt.

Kinnear Park is located on the southwest corner of Queen Anne, and thanks to recent efforts by Friends of Lower Kinnear Park (FOLKpark) and Citizens for Off Leash Areas (COLA), it’s also now home to an off-leash dog park for Queen Anne (and visiting) canines.

Kinnear Park is one of several Queen Anne parks that were donated by residents, including Kerry Park, Marshall Park, Parsons Garden, and Bhy Kracke Park). As with our other Queen Anne parks, there are unique vistas to be had from Kinnear – views of Puget Sound can be had, and large champion trees fill the park with a rich canopy.

FOLKpark has been at the forefront of the revitalization of Lower Kinnear Park, and volunteers led by steward Howard Langevelt tend the Southwest Queen Anne greenbelt to the north. Howard and Debi Frausto of FOLKpark will join QAHS board members Holly Smith and Aaron Luoma to discuss the past and the future of the park and greenbelt.

Light refreshments will be provided and the free meeting is open to all. And, if you’re interested in the history or Queen Anne, you can join the QAHS at individual or family levels online. The QAHS meets bi-monthly with programs (like this one) about the history of Queen Anne, with the goal of preserving the heritage of our neighborhood.

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QAHS Photo of the Month: Alexander Hall

May 19th, 2013 by Laura

It’s time for a monthly trip back into our neighborhood’s history, courtesy of the Queen Anne Historical Society. This month’s photo features Alexander Hall, which you may recall from our post on its nomination for City of Seattle landmark status.

Alexander Hall, Seattle Pacific University

by Michael Herschensohn, President, Queen Anne Historical Society

Alexander-Hall-1910

Alexander Hall, 1910
Photo courtesy of QAHS

Queen Anne residents don’t often linger on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. If they did, they might discover Alexander Hall, one of the most charming brick buildings in Seattle.

Nominated for city landmark status just this past week, Alexander Hall may indeed be the oldest building in all of Queen Anne. It certainly is among the oldest surviving masonry load-bearing buildings in town.

Alexander Hall hunkers on the southwest corner of the elliptic drive known as Tiffany Loop on the west side of 3rd Avenue West.  Designed in 1891 by English-born carpenter/architect John Charles Parkinson (1861-1935) for the Free Methodist’s new Seattle Seminary, it was first called the Red Brick Building.

Alexander Hall Now

Alexander Hall, 2013
Photo courtesy of QAHS

In spite of radical alterations to its fenestration and entryways that show in the now photograph, the building’s four octagonal towers, projecting bay and round arch entrance make it an intriguing example of Richardsonian Romanesque Revival design.

Nils B. Peterson donated five acres of his kitchen garden for the seminary. Five of his children were among the first 12 students to attend classes when the building opened in April, 1893. Alexander Beers served as the school’s first principal while his wife Adelaide took charge of the academic side of things.

In 1940, the Red Brick Building was renamed in honor of the first principal, but Seattle Pacific College trustees, fearing malicious associations with his patronymic used only his first name.  In a very welcomed change of policy, Seattle Pacific University itself initiated the process to designate the building a city landmark.

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SPU’s Alexander Hall is up for Landmark status with public hearing set for May 15

May 8th, 2013 by Laura

The Landmarks Preservation Board is considering City of Seattle Landmark status for Seattle Pacific University’s Alexander Hall, with a public hearing scheduled for next Wednesday, May 15, at 3:30pm in the Seattle Municipal Tower, (700 5th Avenue, 40th Floor, Room 4060).

SPU Alexander Hall

Alexander Hall
Photo courtesy of The Johnson Partnership

Alexander Hall was completed almost 120 years ago, in October of 1893. It was the first building on the new grounds of what was then the Seattle Seminary. The 4-story brick building was the school’s only building and was originally called the “Red Brick Buidling” – later renamed Alexander Hall.

Designed by Seattle architect John Parkinson, in its early days the building served many roles – it housed classrooms, a library, administrative offices, a chapel, and it also was a dormitory for both teachers and students. Fast forward to 1972, and Alexander Hall was placed on the Washington Heritage Register.

SPU bldg 24Today, Alexander Hall houses the offices for the School of Theology, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Social Sciences, History, Political Science, Geopolitics and Geography, and Sociology. It’s located in the Tiffany Loop – building 1 on the map to the right.

The public is invited to attend the upcoming meeting and make comments. If you cannot make the meeting, you can submit written comments to the Landmarks Preservation Board (deadline is 5pm, May 14) at the following address:

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

You can read more about Alexander Hall in the Landmark Nomination Report prepared in advance of the nomination.

The Landmarks Preservation Board is coordinated by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program. The Historic Preservation Program handles the identification and protection of more than 400 historic structures, site, objects, and vessels, as well as eight historic districts throughout Seattle. For more information, contact 206.684.0464.

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