Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Learn more about historic Queen Anne apartments this Thursday at a free QAHS talk

March 24th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Victoria AptsThe Queen Anne Historical Society continues its series of free presentations and lectures on historic Queen Anne apartment buildings this Thursday, March 26th. If you have an interest in the history of our neighborhood or how apartments helped shape it, be sure to mark your calendar for this week’s talk.

The meeting will be held at St. Anne Catholic Church (1411 1st Ave W) at 7pm and features Kim Myran, one of the co-authors of the QAHS book, “Queen Anne: Community on the Hill” – a must-read for Queen Anne residents and history buffs alike.

QAHS bookMyran will delve into the “Apartments and Development on the Hill” chapter that focuses on multifamily housing development from 1890 to 1940 – specifically speaking to the building changes, additions, and disappearances since the book’s 1993 publication date.

The book has a variety of essays and chapters on various elements of Queen Anne history. You can order a copy online from the QAHS web site. Highly recommended reading!

Join the QAHS on Thursday, March 26th at 7pm to learn more about the buildings that help shape the character of Queen Anne, both today and through the years. Parking is available in the church lot at W Galer & 1st Ave W or in the St. Anne School’s lot at 101 W. Lee St.

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Queen Anne Historical Society wins 4Culture grant

February 5th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

QAHS logoThanks to its ongoing efforts to preserve the heritage of Queen Anne, the Queen Anne Historical Society has been awarded a grant from 4Culture, King County’s cultural services agency.

After a highly competitive process through 4Culture’s Heritage Sustained Support program, QAHS was named a recipient of an award of $2,000 per year for both this year and next.

4culture logoThe Heritage Sustained Support program recognizes organizations with a two-year history of interpreting heritage and providing programs and experiences to King County residents. QAHS meets these requirements with ease; it’s been active since 1971, has documented our neighborhood’s history in a community archive, and hosted free events including historical presentations and the annual Mt Pleasant Cemetery tour.

According to QAHS President, Michael Herschensohn:

“We are so proud to be recognized in this way by 4Culture. Funding from 4Culture will allow us to carry on important work to preserve Queen Anne’s heritage, while providing an opportunity to extend our footprint in the community.”

4Culture praised QAHS’ work in promoting diverse creative activities, community identity, and history for King County residents and visitors. QAHS President Michael Herschensohn commented on both the role of QAHS and the significance of a supporting organization like 4Culture:

“The Queen Anne Historical Society is uniquely positioned to influence the preservation of the historic character of our neighborhoods. This award acknowledges our successes and provides resources to continue the good work. 4Culture’s grant programs sustain many arts and heritage organizations. King County is lucky to have such a forward looking funding source.”

The Queen Anne Historical Society is an independent non-profit organization and is open to all with an interest in the history of Queen Anne. You can check out membership information and learn more about our neighborhood’s history via QAHS articles and upcoming events.

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QAHS presents free talk on Queen Anne apartments and women developers this Thursday

January 19th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Do you live in one of Queen Anne’s historic apartment buildings or just admire them from the exterior? Or, are you interested in the history of women developers on Queen Anne. If yes to one or more of these questions, mark your calendars.

QAHS Diana JamesThe Queen Anne Historical Society (QAHS) continues its exploration of Queen Anne apartment buildings with a free talk this Thursday, January 22nd. Bringing in an expert in the field, QAHS hosts Diana James, historian and author of “Shared Walls: Seattle Apartment Buildings, 1900-1939”.

James will focus her talk, Women Developers in Seattle, on women apartment developers who made their mark on our neighborhood between 1900 and 1930.

The free event will be held at the Queen Anne Christian Church, 1316 3rd Ave W, and begins at 7pm. Light refreshments will be served after the talk.

All are welcome to attend the talk and learn more about the history of Queen Anne, and the role that women developers played in the evolution of apartment dwelling in our neighborhood.

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Queen Anne Historical Society hosts a free talk on Queen Anne apartments this Thursday

November 18th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

Narada Apartments

Narada Apartments,
photo courtesy of Queen Anne Historical Society

Walking around Queen Anne you can spot all shapes and sizes of apartment buildings – big, small, brick, or wood – some prominently featured along main arterials, others tucked into quiet spots in the neighborhood. If you’ve ever been intrigued by these various apartment buildings, this Thursday’s event is the Queen Anne Historical Society meeting for you.

QAHS is hosting a free talk at 7pm this Thursday, November 20th, entitled “Apartment Buildings and their Changing Impacts on Neighborhood Character” by Mimi Sheridan. According to QAHS, Sheridan’s master’s thesis is the “go-to source of information about the apartment buildings on Queen Anne’s south slope” – and she’s considered one of the most well-regarded preservation historians in Seattle. Plus, the event is free and light refreshments will be served.

QA Masonic Lodge

The meeting venue is also of note – it’ll be held at the historic Queen Anne Masonic Lodge #242 at 1608 4th Ave W.

One of the first buildings on Queen Anne, the structure dates back to c. 1905. It hasn’t always been a Masonic Lodge. As a former telephone exchange, the site hosted telephone operators who helped connect Queen Anne residents via the new-fangled technology of the day.

Clubhouse Interior

The Clubhouse Interior
Photo courtesy of The Clubhouse

The Masonic Lodge has undergone a rebranding as it opened its doors for events. “The Clubhouse on Queen Anne” can be rented for events, even providing catering and alcohol service for your events. The photos on its web site showcase a rich-but-cozy interior that you wouldn’t guess existed from the pale blue exterior.

Learn more about the apartments that contribute to Queen Anne’s character this Thursday and step back in time, all are welcome!

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Join the QAHS for a tour of modern architecture on Queen Anne

May 25th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

If you’re a fan of modern architecture and want to see striking examples on a guided tour, mark your calendars for Saturday, June 14th. The Queen Anne Historical Society is hosting a “Modern Queen Anne” tour that highlights Canlis and the Swedish Club, along with five recently completed new residential homes.

QAHS Modern TourThere are two versions of the tour available – one by car, one by bike. Pick your poison and join the QAHS to learn more about the mid-century architectural style embodied by Canlis and the Swedish Club, and hear from the architects of the five contemporary homes. Note – the tour is of the exteriors only, no interior access.

The bike tour begins at 1:30pm at the Swedish Club (1920 Dexter Ave N), the car tour begins at 2pm at Canlis (2576 Aurora Ave N). Refreshments (coffee and princess cake) will be provides at the Swedish Club for tour attendees.

Tickets are available via Brown Paper Tickets – $15 for QAHS members, $20 for non-members.

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

March 24th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

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

July 5th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

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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QAHS Hosts “Seattle Stairway Walks” Authors this Thursday

January 22nd, 2013 by Laura Fonda

Scene from the Queen Anne Stairway Walk
October 2012

You may recall – or may have even participated – in the Queen Anne Stairway Walk back in October. It was led by Cathy and Jake Jaramillo, authors of the new book “Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods”, and the group traversed both easy-to-find and somewhat hidden stairways in Southwest Queen Anne. It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and a good workout to boot!

If you missed the walk or have an interest in our Queen Anne stairways, the authors will be speaking at this week’s Queen Anne Historical Society’s monthly meeting – which is free and open to all. The Jaramillos will be discussing their experiences ascending and descending the many stairways on Queen Anne and in other nearby neighborhoods. You can check out more on their book in this article by our news partner The Seattle Times.

For a handy pocket-guide to all 120 of our Queen Anne stairways, check out the “Map of the (Oft) Pedestrian Public Stairs of Queen Anne”. It’s available through the QAHS and also at Charley+May (it’s in their display window right now). I’m currently working my way through all 120, and the pocket guide is certainly handy for finding those hidden stairways in our neighborhood!

Key Details:

  • What: QAHS Meeting – Stairs of Our Neighborhood
  • When: Thursday, January 24 at 7:00pm
  • Where: Seattle Church of Christ, 2555 8th Ave W

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Queen Anne Stairway Walk – a Great Way to Explore the Neighborhood

October 27th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

As reported last night, the Queen Anne Stairway walk took place this afternoon, led by the authors of the upcoming “Seattle Stairway Walks” with added historical insights from members of the Queen Anne Historical Society. Despite the rain, about two dozen people showed up for the walk, and promptly at 1pm, the weather cooperated and the rain let up for the 2 hour tour. It was a fast-paced up-and-down tour, but what a way to spend a Saturday!

The crowd was a mix of Queen Anne residents and visitors from other neighborhoods. I talked with several out-of-neighborhood visitors, and their comments further cemented why Queen Anne is my neighborhood of choice – “beautiful”, “serene”, “spectacular views”, and “amazing houses” were just a few of the comments.

If you didn’t get the opportunity to take the tour, you can do so yourself by following along with the mapped walks in the upcoming “Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods” – it will be published in December, and if you pre-order, you can save 25% with the code “SEASt12”. For a preview of the book, take a look at the pictures on the Seattle Stairway Walks website.

And, personally, I highly recommend “Map of the (Oft) Pedestrian Public Stairs of Queen Anne”, which was created by Thomas Horton, a local architect. It is a great guide to all of our public stairs, and the hand-drawn map and annotations are unique. The map is available online from the Queen Anne Historical Society, and also at Queen Anne Books (until they close on October 31).

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Learn About Our History! QAHS Features Oral Histories on the 1962 World’s Fair Impact on Queen Anne – Free Event this Thursday

September 25th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

The Queen Anne Historical Society’s mission is to preserve the history and fabric of our neighborhood, and this Thursday, QAHS presents “What Oral Histories Can Tell Us About Neighborhood Change” – your chance to hear oral histories from long-time Queen Anne residents, and talk with them about their experiences. Norma Cathey, Bob Frazier, and Kim Turner all experienced the metamorphosis following the 1962 World’s Fair, and their oral histories detail the changes Queen Anne experienced in the 1970s and 80s.

Space Needle & Queen Anne, circa 1962

The QAHS will play sound bites from the oral histories and show images of Queen Anne before, during, and after the Fair. Guest speaker Debbie Fant, Deputy Director of Northwest Folklife (2012 winner of an Archie Green Fellowship for the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress), will also discuss the importance of oral histories.

Thursday’s meeting is free and open to all, providing Queen Anne residents with the opportunity to learn more about our neighborhood’s history, how much it’s changed since 1962, and ask questions of the residents who experienced that history.

Key Details:
- What: QAHS Meeting
- When: Thursday, September 27, 7pm
- Where: Seattle Church of Christ, 2555 8th Ave West
- Cost: FREE

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Queen Anne Historical Society looking for volunteers

October 13th, 2011 by Cory Bergman

The Queen Anne Historical Society is looking for volunteers. Michael Herschensohn, the president of the society posted this information in the Queen Anne View forum:

The Queen Anne Historical Society is a 30-year-old all-volunteer organization dedicated to the history and preservation of our Queen Anne neighborhood. The society urgently seeks volunteers to help with publicizing meetings, tours and other activities; writing articles for our newsletter; updating our website; coordinating five or six public meetings per year; writing potential landmark nominations and much, much, more. Let us know here if you can help. We will get back quickly.

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Sunset magazine highlights QA’s historic stairs

August 28th, 2009 by Thea

I finally got my hands on a copy of the latest Sunset Magazine (the September issue) and sure enough, there is in fact a three-page spread dedicated to Queen Anne.

Our neighborhood hill has – count them – 121 hidden public stairways. And for the “Inside Seattle” city scape feature, writer Kathryn True highlights four can’t-miss routes for urban hiking up and down Queen Anne’s historic staircases.

For those of you who aren’t able to pick up a copy, here are True’s top picks:

The Galer Traverse: a nine stairway, 225-step (QA’s longest!) route beginning at the East Queen Anne Greenbelt and ending at the Galer Crown, the highest stairs on the hill.

From Kinnear Park to Kerry Park: soaks in the views from Kinnear to Parsons Gardens Park to Wilcox Wall and finally Kerry Park, where you can catch a view of the whole city.

The Garden Route: Start at Soundview Terrace Park and make you way over to the Interbay P-Patch Community Garden for a tour of colorful gardens with a view of the Olympic mountains in the background. (P.s. Keep you eye out for pick-able blackberries along the way).

The Romantic Walk: Begin at the Comstock Grande Dame and make your way down the “kissing” staircase just a hop and a skip away from Queen Anne Avenue.

Back in February True did a longer piece about Queen Anne’s hidden stairways for the Seattle Times. Read that story here.

For a hand-drawn (and waterproof!) map of Queen Anne’s historic stairways, check out the “Map of the (Oft) Pedestrian Public Stairs of Queen Anne Hill”, created by Thomas Horton, an architect and cartographer who lives on Queen Anne Hill. You can pick one up at Queen Anne Books for $5, or order it online from the Queen Anne Historical Society.

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