Tour Old Station 38 on Saturday, tour New Station 38 in March

Fire stations all over the city of Seattle will open their doors to their neighborhoods this Saturday, February 12, from 11am-2pm, as a part of the Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s 17th Annual Neighbor Appreciation Day. There will also be activities for the kids, face painting, refreshments and a free raffle. The Seattle Fire Department and the Firefighter’s Union, Local 27 will be co-sponsoring the event.

This will be our neighborhood’s last chance to visit Fire Station 38 (5503 33rd Ave NE) while it houses fire fighters: Staff will start moving in to the new station down the hill (4004 NE 55th St) next week.

And what will become of the old station? I got the 911 411 from Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman, Helen Fitzpatrick:

[H]ere is the information I received from the City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services. The City intends to sell the old station most likely through a competitive bid process.  The prospective buyer will need to be aware that the building has historical protection and the zoning is limited to multi-family use (this can also be for a single residence as well).  Any use outside of what is allowed through zoning would need the okay from the City’s Department of Planning and Development.  Any alterations to the outside of the building would require an okay from the Landmarks Preservation Committee.  Any alterations that could change the character of the building, specifically the front façade and the hose tower would be prohibited.

As we noted in an earlier post, a 2009 appraisal of the property came in at just over a million dollars. However, a competitive bidding process could make the old station more affordable. Money from the sale of the property will go back into the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy fund (which made the upgrading of Station 38 possible).

Fire Station 38 is one of 22 landmark status properties and/or objects in Northeast Seattle (full list here), and was nominated and granted this status in 2004. If you have the time, I would encourage you to read the full Seattle Fire Station No. 38 Landmark Nomination Report (pdf; 26 pages!). It is CHOCK full of history, not only of the station itself, but our entire area.

Now, walk down the street (to the east) with me…

View Old and New Fire Station 38 in a larger map

As I mentioned above, the new Station 38 will start the move-in process next week. And after the staff has had some time to move in and get acquainted with the new building, the public will have a chance to do the same. (Well, not the move in part.)

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 12, 11am-2pm 1pm, when Seattle Fire Department staff (and the new station’s architect, whom I met on the property today, by happy coincidence) will be on hand to welcome the public to their new fire station give us a tour. A postcard invitation in the mail in the next several weeks.


Picardo P-Patch Fundraiser Dinner – Eatin’ in the Rain

It was the evening of Friday, September 17th.  The sky was grey, the clouds were ominous, and the rain was ABUNDANT.  I think I saw Noah himself at one point, wandering through the garden, muttering about lumber and cubits.  But the 40 or so diners (and dozen or so volunteers) who came to the first ever Picardo P-Patch Fundraiser Dinner that night had a great time, regardless of the evening’s weather.

[Click on any of the following photos to view a larger version.]

No jacket and tie necessary, but savvy diners arrived clad in functional beauties like THESE.

The original plan for the event was that the wine tasting portion would be held over by the Garden Goddess statue (yeah, THAT Garden Goddess statue), but of course the Weather God had other plans.

Instead, a canopy tent was set up in between the tool barn and the permanent shelter area. Appetizers (tapas) were in the tool barn, wines for tasting were under the canopy tent, and the “dining room” was the shelter area. Diners didn’t get wet unless they strayed out from under cover, or happened to be standing in the small gap between the shelter and the tent. It made for a very cozy and intimate, if still damp, arrangement.

Gosh, I wonder where exactly the table bouquet flowers came from. I have a good guess.

Music and tapas in the tool shed. Kind of made me wish there were guitars in here all the time, along with the shovels and rakes and the like.

Here we have 3/4 of the evening’s vintners: From left to right – Milton Tam (Picardo gardener and winemaker), and Andy Shepherd and Tim Bates, 2/3 of Roosevelt’s Eight Bells Winery.  All three graciously donated some of their respective wines to the event.

Andy and Tim were pouring their 2008 syrah and 2009 chardonnay. Milton was pouring AT LEAST 6 different wines of his own making (2009 pinot gris, 2007 viognier, 2004 cabernet franc, 2001 cabernet, 2006 syrah and 2007 cabernet sauvignon).  There were also a few other wines from another Picardo winemaker available for tasting, including a blackberry wine and a plum wine.

The fund raising possibilities didn’t stop at the dinner ticket price: Bottles of Spanish wines were available to go back to the table with your plate of paella.

Quality control: That’s what separates the professionals from the amateurs.

Happy customers raise their glasses.

Sangria in the making!

Here we see (l-r) Composting Toilet Committee member David Atcheson, Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Supervisor Rich Macdonald, and gardener/bon vivant Milton Tam enjoying the wine and weather canopy.

This was the salad.  How anyone could devour such a beautiful thing, I cannot say.  But there were no leftovers whatsoever.

This is Jim Kuhn, the Paella King and Picardo gardener, at work on the main course. He’s very fast.

King Jim with wife, Queen Claudia, building Paella the Second.

I was not yet at the garden to witness the beginning of the paella (nor would I want to divulge any of Jim’s paella secrets, if there are any), but I did take a series of pictures as the final ingredients were layered in.

Hey, where’s the rice?

[time passes]

Ahh, there’s the rice!

His Royal Highness, adding tomatoes.

The final product, in Technicolor.

Time to dine.

Dinner, served.

It was at this point that the photographer (moi) tried a few bites of the paella (delicious!) before she had to tromp back through the now BLACK p-patch and head home.  A dessert buffet provided by Picardo gardeners closed out the meal.


From the Ravenna Blog post of September 14th that advertised this first ever fundraiser dinner for the Picardo P-Patch:

Why a fundraiser dinner for the garden?  Well, mostly because of this beauty:

interior, wide

Have a seat!

It’s the Picaloo, Seattle’s first composting toilet (read about its grand opening back on Saturday, April 3rd here). This fundraiser dinner is designed to help retire the last of the composting toilet debt, as well as provide funds for other Picardo projects (among them: new hose holders and more blueberry plants).

Take a Tour of NE Seattle P-Patches on October 16

This just in!

Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods is hosting six different van tours of the city’s P-Patch Community Gardens and Neighborhood Matching Fund projects.

The tours are hosted by the Department of Neighborhoods staff and volunteers, and they are FREE! But space is limited and reservations are required.

Here is the full schedule of tours (all of which are held on Saturdays from 1-3pm), with the one for our area highlighted:

Southeast Seattle:  September 18
Southeast Neighborhood Service Center, 3815 South Othello Street,  98118
Featured Gardens: Hillman City, Bradner, Colman, New Holly Gardens, and Thistle.

Southwest Seattle:  September 25
Delridge, 5405 Delridge Way Southwest,  98106
Featured Gardens: High Point Gardens, Delridge, West Genesee, Roxhill and Lincoln Park.

Lake Union Area:  October 2
Fremont Neighborhood Service Center,  908 N. 34th St , 98103
Featured Gardens: Cascade, Belltown, Queen Pea, Eastlake and Interbay

Central Seattle:  October 9
Central Neighborhood SC, 2301 S. Jackson St, Suite 208,  98144
Featured Gardens: Judkins, Hawkins, Spring Street, Squire Park, and Howell Collective

Northeast Seattle:  October 16
University Neighborhood Service Center  4534 University Way NE, 98105
Featured Gardens: Picardo, Pinehurst, Maple Leaf, Roosevelt and Ravenna

Northwest Seattle:  October 23
Greenwood Neighborhood Service Center, 8515 Greenwood Ave North, 98103
Featured Gardens: Good Shepherd, Fremont, Hazel Heights, Greg’s Garden and Ballard

For more information, and to make reservations, visit the tour homepage.