Get schooled on UW architecture, with a Seattle Architecture Foundation tour

Ever strolled onto the University of Washington campus, marveled at all the different architecture, and thought, “Gosh, I’d sure love to learn more about these buildings from a knowledgable person, for a modest fee?”

Well, you’re in luck, dear reader! Because the Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF) is doing just such a thing.

Via email:

Purple and Gold: From Gothic to Modern at the UW Core

Come see how this glorious “University of a Thousand Years” has managed through its first 150. Go back in time to bask in the rich detail of Gothic, Renaissance, and Beaux Arts architecture. Stroll through serene quadrangles, lush gardens and awe-inspiring interiors along the way. Witness some new stars as contemporary buildings change with the needs of this fine institution. Oh, and did we mention it has the most fabulous view of Mount Rainier.

The tours run from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM on July 27, August 31*, September 28*, and October 26* (the last Saturdays of the next four months).

Tickets are $15 ($10 for SAF members, $25 day of IF there are any available). Advance tickets are strongly recommended, and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets, here.

The Seattle Architecture Foundation is a non-profit organization that connects people to the architecture, design and history of Seattle. SAF provides entertaining workshops, dynamic tours, educational seminars and enthusiastic community advocacy.

*A word of caution: All of these starred tour dates are also Husky Football home game dates. You may want to consult the Husky Football season schedule before choosing one of these dates; however, not all the game times are set as of this writing.

Children’s Home Society land FOR SALE: 3.7 acres on NE 65th St could be yours

The Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA) posted on their website today information about the sale of the Children’s Home Society of Washington (CHSW) property at 3300 NE 65th St.


View Children’s Home Society of Washington land for sale in a larger map

CHSW owns the entire block of 3300 NE 65th St, which neighbors the private Catholic school Assumption-St. Bridget, the Bryant Corner Cafe, the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library, and lots of single family housing.

Offers on the property are due by Friday, May 17. A source of ours said that CHSW expects to raise $12-15 million dollars from the sale.

From the offering memorandum (PDF):

The Property encompasses the entire city block bounded by NE 65th Street, NE 68th Street, 32nd Avenue NE and 34th Avenue NE in Seattle’s Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood. The Site totals 3.7 acres and has seven existing buildings. The Site has been home to CHSW for over 100 years, receiving its first intake of children in 1908 when the area was still a woodsy exurb of bustling Seattle. Since the closure of the Cobb Center for Youth in 2010, the Site has been used by CHSW solely as administrative office space. CHSW currently operates out of the office building on the south end of the property and one of the cottage buildings. The two remaining cottage buildings are currently unoccupied.

The property carries three different zoning designations across its length: NC 1-30, LR-2, and SF-5000. (More information on what these zoning classifications mean here.)

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At the RBCA’s next board meeting on Tuesday, May 7, the sale of the property will be discussed. All residents are welcome to attend.

According to HistoryLink.org, “[t]he National Children’s Home Society was formed in Illinois in 1883 on the new idea of placing orphaned children for adoption in family foster homes rather than in orphanages.” Reverend Harrison D. Brown and his wife Libbie Beach Brown, who first oversaw the society’s work in Oregon, built a small receiving home in Green Lake in 1899. After it was destroyed in a fire in 1905, a new building was constructed in Ravenna, on donated land. Brown Hall (named for the Reverend) stood from 1907 until it was demolished in the 1970s to make way for more modern facilities.

City Hall Chapel Cam live streaming on Sunday; watch it here

UPDATE (Sunday): Today’s events are also being live-blogged on the marriage.seattle.gov site.

And if you have an iOS device (and the Seattle Channel live feed below is causing you trouble), KIRO 7 has another live feed that should work for you.

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One hundred and forty weddings are scheduled for City Hall this Sunday, December 9 — the first of their kind in Washington State, thanks to the passage of R-74 which legalized gay marriage.

Four chapels have been made available inside City Hall (for those who RSVP’d in time) for weddings after the three day marriage license wait period. And outside city hall, there’s a party. For everyone. Via married.seattle.gov:

Come join the celebration at City Hall Plaza from 10 AM to 5 PM, on Fourth Avenue downtown between James and Cherry streets.

Congratulate and admire the newlyweds coming down the steps from City Hall and enjoy food trucks, coffee and festivities. Don’t miss this historic day in Seattle!

For those of us in the rest of the city unable to make it down to City Hall to take part in the celebrating, the Seattle Channel has a solution: “You can follow the day’s progress by watching livestreams of City Hall lobby and of the procession of new married couples exiting City Hall towards the plaza,” says the city’s marriage website.

Says the Seattle Channel: “We’ll have two views: a wide shot of the lobby with ceremonies in progress and close-up coverage with commentary from newlyweds via our ‘couple cam.’”

On Sunday, grab a box of tissues, and enjoy:


And if you ARE downtown — either for the parties or for your own wedding — learn how to share wedding day/celebration photos with the city here.

And if you’re from Ravenna, we’d love to hear about your special day, too.

Author’s old Roosevelt residence to make way for apartments (UPDATES)

UPDATE (Sunday, May 20): We received an email from Paula Becker who wrote both the HistoryLink.org and Seattle Press essays on Betty MacDonald, and she has clarified the timeline for us:

Betty’s mother bought the house at 6317 15th Avenue NE around 1930.  Prior to that, the family had been living in Chimacum — Betty with her husband Robert Hackett and two young daughters Anne and Joan, her mother and other family members nearby — those are the years described in The Egg And I.  Betty left her marriage in ca. 1931 and moved in with her mother and other family members.  The following years are those described in Anybody Can Do Anything.  It was in this house that Betty was living when she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and entered Firland Sanatorium for treatment during 1938-1939.  Her daughters stayed with her mother in the house.  The family lived in the house until ca. 1942, when Betty married Don MacDonald and her mother apparently sold the house — at any rate, they moved out.

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The Roosevelt home of author Betty MacDonald (“The Egg and I,” “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle,” and more) will be removed should the city’s Department of Planning and Development approve plans for apartments in its place.

Author Betty MacDonald resided here at 6317 15th Ave NE between 1931 and 1938 (correction).

The large white Notice of Proposed Land Use Action sign describes Project # 3013282 as “Land Use Application to allow four three unit apartments (12 units). Existing single family residence (6313 15th Ave NE) to remain; existing single family residences (6317 & 6321 15th Ave NE) to be removed. For a total of 13 residential units.”

6313 15th Avenue NE (left, light green) will remain

The house was built in 1910. A picture of the residence taken in 1939 is included in the HistoryLink.org slideshow of the King County homes of Betty MacDonald and her sister, Mary Bard.

Betty MacDonald (1908-1958) was the author of ten books, many of which were autobiographies detailing her humorous and adventurous life in Washington state. The best known of these, “The Egg and I,” published in 1945, was based on her experiences running a chicken farm with her husband on the Olympic Penninsula. A film loosely based on the book came out in 1947, and starred Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray.

From the self-guided walking tour of MacDonald’s 1933 Roosevelt: “Time Traveling in the Roosevelt District with Betty MacDonald” (via the Internet Archive):

Elsie (Sydney) Bard, Betty’s mother, was widowed when Betty was twelve years old. Left with five children, Sydney lived on in the big house in Laurelhurst she and her husband had purchased in 1919. By 1924, reduced funds and the desire to be closer to the new Roosevelt High School, which opened its doors in 1922, brought the Bard family to 15th Avenue NE. Sydney and various of her children lived in the house, number 6317, for almost twenty years.

MacDonald describes the house at the time her family resided there in her 1950 book, “Anybody Can Do Anything:”

According to real estate standards Mother’s eight-room, brown-shingled house in the University district was just a modest dwelling in a respectable neighbourhood, near good schools and adequate for an ordinary family. To me [...] that shabby house with its broad welcoming porch, dark woodwork, cluttered dining room plate rail, large fragrant kitchen, easy book-filled firelit living room, four elastic bedrooms–one of them always ice-cold–roomy old-fashioned bathrooms and huge cluttered basement, represents the ultimate in charm, warmth and luxury.

UPDATE (2:35 PM): The notice on the property lists a comment period ending May 16, but could be extended to May 30. Comments can be sent to PRC@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-8467. Be sure to mention the project number: 3013282.

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North Link Light Rail Update: QFC closing, Brooklyn Station naming, street greening

Roosevelt Station updates

Signs of impending light rail construction are bittersweet, aren’t they? The FUTURE is coming, but the neighborhood has to make room for it first.

Case in point, the Roosevelt QFC’s last day is Saturday, May 12. Roosiehood reports that the store’s staff will be transferred to other local QFC stores. According to the Seattle Times, the Roosevelt QFC was the first in the chain, opening in 1955.

The other recent sign of the impending FUTURE is the Standard Radio building being dismantled. Sound Transit’s contractor has removed the Vitrolite glass tiles from the building’s exterior. In May, the curved canopy and its neon lettering will be removed, and stored for later use in the station.

And one last bit of Roosevelt Station-related news: The stretch of NE 66th St (from I-5 to 15th Ave NE) identified by the Seattle City Council as a “Green Street”* is getting a planning committee (made up of Sound Transit and “neighborhood representatives and city staff”). For more on “Green Streets,” visit the City of Seattle’s website here.

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In other North Link Light Rail news, there are some upcoming events for Brooklyn Station (or whatever you choose call it) that you might be interested in…

Brooklyn Station Construction Open House

Tuesday, May 1, from 6-8:30 PM, at the Neptune Theatre (1303 NE 45th St). Presentation starts at 6:30.

Agenda items include:

  • Revised construction schedule
  • Updated street, sidewalk and parking restriction plans
  • Construction noise and the nighttime noise variance process
  • Potential construction mitigation measures
  • Station naming

Brooklyn Station 60% Design Open House

Wednesday, May 23, from 6-8:30 PM, at the Neptune Theatre. Presentation starts at 6:30.

Agenda items include:

  • Design plans for Brooklyn Station
  • Initial concepts for station art
  • Station naming

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* Not the same as a “Greenway,” by the way. Here’s a Seattle Department of Transportation page on “Greenways.”

Old University Village appreciation post

With the news yesterday of the Miller-Pollard store at University Village closing (and a Microsoft store opening in its place), there’s been a lot of chat on twitter about University Village and the other stores that used to be there.

University Village in 1962 (from the Seattle Municipal Archives; click to view a larger version)

And, as much as I tire of hearing about all the cool things that USED TO BE in this area, I thought I might open up a post so we could remember the good old days of Ernst, Lamonts and the Village Lanes that used to be down the street.

To get things started, here are some of the things that the Ravenna Blog tweeps (“twitter peeps”) have had to say about both the old and the new University Village  (I’m updating it through the day):

  • maggim Miller Pollard was awful enough, now we have to have the blight of a Microsoft store on our precious village? #bahhumbug
  • SarahSchacht Oooh! The drama! Apple & Microsoft Stores to face off, glaring at each other from across the U Village parking lot in Seattle.
  • RavennaBlog I can’t wait for the rumbles in the parking lot a la West Side Story! #MSFTvsAPPL
  • maggim When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way, from your first MacBook Pro to your last iPod day. @sarahschacht
  • NorthESea Yep. I will miss Miller Pollard for sentimental reasons. I remember wandering around that store as a kid.
  • lukobe Oh no! The transformation of University Village is nearly complete…. now all they have to do is get rid of the Ram
  • CamanoCommunity I remember Lamonts. Hell, I remember Rhodes. Geez…
  • SivPrince I still miss Lamonts and Ernest hardware. #olduvillage
  • NorthESea Yes! When I went to Roosevelt HS you used to be able to take bowling, at Village Lanes, as a gym credit. And I’m not that old!
  • arrrmin Yeah, the U-Village bowling alley was where Office Depot is now…and Lamonts department store is where QFC is now!
  • pokano QFC used to be where Restoration Hardware, etc. is. There used to be a wonderful little plant store across from it.
  • pokano @arrrmin No, QFC bought the old Carnation dairy. The old Lamont’s is where Barnes & Noble & Eddie Bauer are now.
Neighborhood: What do you remember about the early days of University Village? Leave your recollections in the comments.

Obama-cade: The video!

President Obama’s motorcade heads down NE 75th Street through Ravenna and into Wedgwood for his Seattle Backyard Conversation.

Filmed from the corner of 23rd Avenue NE and NE 75th Street:

Living here can be the pits.

Photograph courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives.

Photograph courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives.

Vintage Seattle has a post up today concerning a sinkhole that swallowed up a portion of Ravenna Boulevard back in 1957.  She’s a doozy.

Thanks to Ann for the link.