Preservation in Progress

Historic Seattle’s Blog

Britton and Rachel Shepard & the Ronnei-Raum House

Nestled in the center of Fall City and adjacent to the Fall City Masonic Lodge stands the 1904 Ronnei-Raum House. In 2019, Historic Seattle purchased the house from the neighboring Masons, who planned to reinvest the proceeds from the sale back into their historic lodge.

With the purchase, the Ronnei-Raum House became the first Preservation Action Fund (PAF) project undertaken by Historic Seattle. The PAF, created in 2017 by King County and 4Culture in partnership with Historic Seattle and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, is a revolving real estate fund dedicated to purchasing, restoring, protecting, and re-activating historic properties throughout King County (outside of Seattle’s city limits).

Fall City historians and Preservation Action Fund (PAF) team members gathered for a tour of the PAF project site in February 2019 

Historic Seattle’s plans to rehabilitate the house were well underway this spring when an unexpected — yet welcomed — change in plans resulted in the sale of the Ronnei-Raum House this month, in advance of its completed restoration. Fall City resident Britton Shepard was excited by the project and made an offer to purchase it and finish the restoration project. Funds from the sale will be reinvested into the PAF for the next project.

But, you may wonder, who is Britton Shepard? How will he take on the restoration and stewardship of this historic King County landmark? Read on to learn about the man who will play the next leading role in shaping the house’s story.

As a builder and landscape architect, Britton certainly has the sensitivity and expertise necessary to restore the property. “I feel like I am a kindred spirit to your [PAF] group. I recently earned a Landscape Architecture degree from UW, and I share a lot of the core values of the College of Built Environments which have to do with community and cultivating a sense of place,” he explained.

Britton also has plenty of experience restoring old houses. Prior to moving to Fall City, he and his wife, Rachel, owned a 1904 home (the same vintage as the Ronnei-Raum House) in Georgetown. “We put a lot of work into that house to make it happy again. Then, when we moved to Fall City 15 years ago, we were committed to the idea of recycling a farmhouse – a labor of love that is not just about the house and its setting, but also about the lives lived there,” said Britton. Rachel, in fact, grew up in Fall City. “Ten years ago when our son started kindergarten, he did so in the same classroom where she went to kindergarten! Moving out here was a bit of a discovery for me, but it turns out that the character of the neighborhood, the scale of the houses, the open fields with no sidewalks, was similar to the neighborhood where I grew up in Boulder, Colorado. So, I instantly felt at home here.”

“I have always been curious about the Ronnei-Raum House. Last spring, I noticed there was a [PAF] banner up. One thing led to another and eventually it seemed that there was this opportunity — not just to make an investment, but also to participate in  this really visible restoration project,” Britton said.

In its original form, the 800 square foot house was a modest yet nicely detailed middle-class cottage with turned and jig-sawn millwork. Despite some alterations that occurred in the mid-20th century, its scale, simplicity, and some of its detail still echo the earliest stock of vernacular housing in this mill-oriented river town.

The Ronnei-Raum House in 1940. This image shows turned posts and scrollwork on the front porch, as well as the original front door, back porch, and possibly a hint at the original house color (not white, as it appears now).

“I love that the house is humble. I love the idea of creating a dwelling that is based on life in its simplest forms,” Britton explained. “The Ronnei-Raum house was originally a worker’s cottage. Our restoration work will embrace the same values of simplicity and frugality that prevailed when the house was built. This approach aligns with my personal manifesto as a designer, landscape philosopher, and historian. I think being frugal and having just enough is the sweet spot as far as sustainability and living in a mindful way.”

Britton continued, “At the same time, the house was built with quality materials: Douglas-fir lumber that was probably coming from a mill just up the river – materials that nowadays are coveted. It is like a time capsule where all this beautiful local wood was encased in a way that made it last. One of my jobs is going to be to take it all apart and restore and reuse it. We will take apart the inside, salvage the fir, replumb, redo the electrical, and put in a nice farmhouse kitchen. We will restore the original windows and woodworking. And we’ll choose colors, materials, and finishes in keeping with rural living back then.”

“As far as the landscape goes, there are distinctive elements of the property that are considered part of Fall City’s DNA — a simple house, set in place, with open space around it that was once pasture.  These features are specified in the Fall City Design Guidelines. There are also a couple of sources indicating that the Snoqualmie people kept the area near the river as a meadow, burning it off every couple of years to have better access to food and game harvests. The town of Fall City grew up in and around this meadow. The Ronnei-Raum House would’ve sat right in the middle. As a landscape historian, that’s a part of the story I’m really drawn to. I can imagine restoring the turf, with a simple walkway to the door, and bringing back basic elements like these that are inherent to the site,” Britton described.

The approximate location of the Ronnei-Raum House is indicated in red on this map of Fall City before 1900 from “Fall City in The Valley of The Moon” (1972).

The Ronnei-Raum House has been a single-family residence since it was built in 1904. It was home to the caretaker of Fall City Masonic Lodge #66 for decades and was most recently used by the Masons as a rental.  About Rachel and Britton’s plans for use, Britton said, “The goals that we have for the house don’t include selling it. In a sense this is a professional undertaking, one that will allow me to continue to work locally and further invest in this community.”

The Ronnei-Raum house and neighboring Masonic Lodge #66, 2019.

As part of the terms of the sale, Historic Seattle will hold a preservation easement on the property indefinitely. An easement is a tool used to protect a historic resource requiring that current and future owners maintain their property in a way that reflects its historic significance. “We are willing to make the commitment to the [easement] ‘obligation’ because it fits into family plans of being rooted here. Also, the guidelines align perfectly with my own set of values so that I’m actually coming to the same conclusions about how to approach this project,” said Britton.

About being a preservationist, Britton said, “To me, preservation is about meaning. I’m interested in sustainability — as it relates to energy, food, and materials, but also in how we value resources, where things are guarded and turned over and over again, really cherished. I think it is through cherishing, through our acts of caring for the place we live, that we create meaning. I think we need meaning, communities need meaning, as much as we need electricity. I look forward to taking the Ronnei-Raum House apart from the inside out and honoring it. I like to be involved with handling and appreciating the materials and the story. That’s my sense of being a preservationist.”

For an example of his place-making creativity and sensitivity towards our tangible material history, check out this video about Britton’s intriguing thesis project. As the description reads, “WSECU collaborated with landscape designer and University of Washington student Britton Shepard to build community by bringing a vacant lot to life in Seattle’s University District where the credit union’s future building will be built. Part art, part garden, part archeological dig, see how he transformed the forgettable into something special in the middle of a bustling city.”

 

Building Dialogue

About the program:

BUILDING DIALOGUE is Historic Seattle’s monthly reading and discussion group. Engage in facilitated conversation about books on preservation and the built environment with others who share an interest — and perhaps some expertise — in the subject.

Our first book is The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. We plan to read the book in segments and will hold a virtual (via Zoom) facilitated discussion about each assigned section once a month, for five months. Drop in for one or join us for all – a commitment to participate in every discussion is not required to take part.

Discussion Date Discussion Time Assigned Reading Scope of Assignment
August 19 

Click here to view meeting recording

12-1 PM Introduction & Part One: The Peculiar Nature of Cities Chapters
1-6
September 16

Click here to view meeting recording

12-1 PM Part Two: The Conditions for City Diversity Chapters
7-12
October 21 12-1 PM Part Three: Forces of Decline and Regeneration Chapters
13-16
November 18 12-1 PM Part Four: Different Tactics Chapters
17-22

About the book:

“A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in [the 20th] century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood, and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate themselves. She writes about the salutary role of funeral parlors and tenement windows, the dangers of too much development money and too little diversity. Compassionate, bracingly indignant, and always keenly detailed, Jane Jacobs’s monumental work provides an essential framework for assessing the vitality of all cities.”

About the author:

“Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. She had no formal training as a planner, and yet her 1961 treatise, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, introduced ground-breaking ideas about how cities function, evolve and fail. The impact of Jane Jacobs’s observation, activism, and writing has led to a ‘planning blueprint’ for generations of architects, planners, politicians and activists to practice.

Jacobs saw cities as integrated systems that had their own logic and dynamism which would change over time according to how they were used. With an eye for detail, she wrote eloquently about sidewalks, parks, retail design and self-organization. She promoted higher density in cities, short blocks, local economies and mixed uses. Jacobs helped derail the car-centered approach to urban planning in both New York and Toronto, invigorating neighborhood activism by helping stop the expansion of expressways and roads. She lived in Greenwich Village for decades, then moved to Toronto in 1968 where she continued her work and writing on urbanism, economies and social issues until her death in April 2006.

A firm believer in the importance of local residents having input on how their neighborhoods develop, Jacobs encouraged people to familiarize themselves with the places where they live, work, and play.” Learn more here.

Discussion guidelines:

Please self-regulate as you would in an in-person discussion. Remember to be courteous and avoid interrupting when someone is speaking.

If it seems that multiple people want to contribute to the conversation, please raise your hand and we will attempt to call on you in order. Depending on the group size and timing, it may not be possible to get to everyone, every time.

Share the floor: if you have already had a chance to speak, please allow others the chance to contribute to the conversation.

Please avoid side conversations or tangents. The chat feature is a good tool for communicating to a specific person in the group directly or for making a comment to the group without interrupting.

Points of view and opinions will differ. Regardless, participants agree to be respectful and keep the discussion civil so that this can be a space for listening, learning, and exploration. As a safe space for all participants, racism, sexism, homophobic comments, discrimination, insults, etc. will not be tolerated.

Cal Anderson Park: The Park Behind CHAZ/CHOP

By Taha Ebrahimi

The following is the final in a series of guest blog posts submitted by members of the Historic Seattle community. The views and opinions expressed in guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Historic Seattle.

These days it seems the whole state of Washington (and sometimes even the president of the United States!) has eyes on historic Cal Anderson Park, an unassuming patch of public green space located in the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill. Only one block wide and three blocks long, these cherished 7 acres have been in service to the public since 1897 when the city purchased the land to construct its first hydraulic water pump. Cal Anderson was designated a City of Seattle landmark in 1999 and is making history again today. On June 8, 2020, protesters calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality occupied the park and declared it part of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or “CHAZ” (later changed to the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest or “CHOP”). The following is a history of Cal Anderson Park told through images comparing the past to the present.

Cal Anderson Park northeast entrance (CHOP tents seen beyond), June 2020. Image courtesy of author.

One of CHOP’s early demands was the return of land to the indigenous Duwamish people. Up until the 1850s the area that Cal Anderson Park sits on today went largely unchanged, used by indigenous peoples for hunting. In 1855, German immigrant John H. Nagle (pronounced “Nail”) settled on Donation Land Claim No. 233 located in today’s Capitol Hill. Nagle had arrived in Seattle just two years prior when the federal census counted a white population of 170 including 111 white men over the age of 21 who were U.S. citizens eligible to vote in King County. Nagle had been living in the U.S. since age 3, but he was not listed in that 1853 King County census and would not have been eligible to vote until he lived in Seattle for at least six months. Nagle was a bachelor who raised cows and cultivated vegetables and fruit trees on Land Claim No. 233. He also helped found the city’s first church (Methodist Episcopal) in 1854 and served as King County Assessor from 1857 to 1861. In 1874, he was deemed “dangerous” and committed to the newly-constructed Washington Hospital for the Insane at Fort Steilacoom. Nagle would spend the remaining 22 years of his life institutionalized before dying at the age of 66 because of “exhaustion due to acute mania.” Meanwhile, the City of Seattle was looking for land to build a reservoir that would prevent another disaster like the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 and, upon Nagle’s death in 1897, the City decided to purchase his remaining acres of land for this sole purpose. The cost was $10,800.

The Seattle P-I wrote in 1898, “In a little hollow which has been a noxious marsh for several years lie four acres of land which are to be a park. They lie on the Nagle tract. Eight or nine feet of surface dirt will be applied, thus extinguishing the marsh. The surface will be adorned with the usual accompaniments of a public pleasure ground.”

Below is one of the earliest known photographs of the land that became Cal Anderson Park, taken in 1899 when construction of the reservoir began. The view looks northward from where the Oddfellows Building is today on the corner of Pine Street and 10th Ave. On the horizon, one can see the twin tudor-style peaks of Pontius School which later became Lowell Elementary School.

In 1901, just at the turn of the century when Capitol Hill got its official name, the city’s water department announced completion of a low-service 21-million-gallon reservoir and the city’s first hydraulic pumping station, the linchpin in the city’s elaborate municipal water system sourced from the 20-mile Cedar River Pipeline in the Cascade mountains. They named it Lincoln Reservoir and the land to its south would be reserved to develop into a public space called Lincoln Park (present-day Cal Anderson Park). In preparation for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific (A-Y-P) Exposition celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush. In 1903, the city council contracted with the famed landscape architecture firm of the Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts (descendents of Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. who was best known for designing New York’s Central Park). The Olmsteds were to plan a Seattle park system and design the A-Y-P fairgrounds, as well as develop many of the city’s parks – one of which was the tract of land reserved to be Lincoln Park. In preparation for the influx of 3.7 million visitors expected for the exposition, the city wanted to put its best face forward. Up until then, the city only had Denny Park (a cemetery converted into a park in 1883).

Initially, the 1904 preliminary plan for Lincoln Park (below) included only walking paths and ornamental plantings but no sports facilities. The Olmsteds received feedback that an informal playfield children had appropriated to the south of the reservoir absolutely needed to be retained. Like Nagle in 1855 (and even the protesters of 2020), the children had simply taken over the dirt plot. The city was successfully influenced by this organic “occupation” and a second revised proposal was drawn up (also below) that included a real fenced baseball field at the southern end and a crescent-shaped span that included a wading pool and shelterhouse area devoted entirely to recreation. The original shelterhouse remained until 1962.

In 2020, the same ballfield demanded by the children of early 1900s Seattle is where CHOP protesters gravitated to occupy again. The central crescent-shaped area near the shelterhouse has been populated by a small village of occupier tents, and the area where the original wading pool existed has been converted into several circular guerilla community gardens (image below).

Aerial view of Cal Anderson Park. June 12, 2020. Image courtesy of David Ryder/Polaris; All Rights Reserved.

Cal Anderson actually has a history with tents! While the park was being built, the City of Seattle erected a giant canvas tent over the field so that Broadway High School students (what was Broadway High is now the Broadway Performance Hall on the corner of Pine Street and Broadway) could use it for gymnastics in all seasons, regardless of rain. However, the first use of the canvas structure was by the Christian Endeavor for a 3,000-person convention held in July 1907 (image below).

Christian Endeavor tent in Lincoln Park, Seattle, Washington, circa 1907.
Image courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives, Postcard collection (Record Series 9901-01).

Between 1900 and 1910, Seattle’s population tripled. The public couldn’t wait for the park to be completed so the city installed a cinder running track around the reservoir to tide them over. The following image is from 1906 looking southward from present-day E. Denny Way and Nagle Place. To the left of the 90-foot geyser, one can see Central Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity on the corner of present-day Olive St. and 11th Ave., a frame building opened only three years earlier in 1903 (and which still exists today). The original stone gatehouse that housed the prized hydraulic pump can be seen on the right.

Lincoln Park Reservoir postcard. 1906. Image from author’s personal vintage postcard collection.

In 2005, the reservoir was covered and replaced with grassy lawns and wrought-iron lamp-lined walkways, as well as a water feature. Below is a view in June 2020 with the fountain turned off due to COVID-19 pandemic-related health restrictions.

Cal Anderson Park gatehouse, June 2020. Image courtesy of author.

The park was completed in time for the 1909 A-Y-P Exposition, becoming Seattle’s first supervised playfield, following a trend of public parks opening across America. The following year, it hosted Seattle’s first “Inter-Playground Athletic Meet” for over 100 schoolchildren and 1,500 spectators (the event is pictured below with children waving American flags and spectators holding umbrellas and watching from 11th Ave. Central Lutheran Church is in the background to the left).

The baseball and football fields turned out to be so popular that teams had to schedule a game ten days in advance. The image below from 1911 roughly shows the same view of the park as the first image in this article, Nagle Place is to the left with Pine Street on the lower right. The reservoir gatehouse and geyser can be seen at the far end and Central Lutheran is to the right. The baseball diamond is where protesters in 2020 would set up their encampment 110 years later.

Broadway Playfield, from southwest corner Pine Street and Nagle Place about 1911. Image courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives, Don Sherwood Parks History Collection. Identifier: 38023.

In 2020, Pine Street was the main thoroughfare in which protesters were dispersed by police and National Guardsmen armed with chemical agents, flash-bang devices, and rubber bullets. Following a lengthy standoff, the precinct left the premises and protesters occupied the area, painting “Black Lives Matter” across the width of Pine Street on the southern border of Cal Anderson.

Aerial view of Cal Anderson Park. June 12, 2020. Image courtesy of David Ryder/Polaris; All Rights Reserved.

Back in the early 1900s, the park quickly became a natural gathering place for events. Pictured below in 1912, spectators watch “modern woodmen” drills on the playfield, facing northwesterly with the shelterhouse at the top right and the line of buildings at left on present-day Nagle Place.

Modern woodmen drills, Lincoln Park playground (Now Cal Anderson Park), Seattle, 1912. Image via Pinterest.

The below image is roughly the same view of the playfield in 2020 when CHOP occupied the baseball field (the line of buildings at left are on Nagle Place, and the new shelterhouse can be seen at right).

Bobby Morris Playfield at Cal Anderson Park, June 2020. Image courtesy of author.

Much like the CHAZ-turned-CHOP, the park has also contended with naming issues. In 1922, to avoid confusion with another Lincoln Park in West Seattle, the recreation area was renamed “Broadway Playfield” (the playfield would be re-named again in 1980 to “Bobby Morris Playfield” to honor a local graduate of Broadway High that served as president of the Seattle Chapter of the National Football Foundation). The entire park would be named Cal Anderson Park in 2005 to honor Washington’s first openly gay state legislator, who died of AIDS in 1995. 

By the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) found many opportunities to put men to work improving the public space. In 1932, tennis courts were added, and in 1938 and 1939, the wading pool was replaced and new fencing, football field turf, and outdoor electric lighting were installed. Pictured below in 1938, men can be seen working at the park, facing east. Central Lutheran Church can be seen to the right and, to the left on 11th Ave., one can see the spire of present-day Calvary Chapel which was known in 1906 as First German Congregational Church and offered services for immigrants entirely in German until the two World Wars when German-speaking people were viewed with suspicion and services were curtailed.

Pictured below in 1950 are the neighborhood’s children swimming in the much beloved wading pool south of the reservoir gatehouse. Just two years earlier in 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racially restrictive covenants were unenforceable (since 1924, over 500 racially restrictive covenants and deed restrictions were written in Seattle alone, with Capitol Hill’s restrictions ultimately covering 183 blocks. In 1948, most of the covenants in Capitol Hill were up for renewal but a petition to extend them failed, with one local resident writing he could not “be party to deprive any one of their rights”). Even though the city established its first integrated municipal pool in 1944 (Colman Pool, coincidentally in West Seattle’s Lincoln Park), as one can see from the image below, informal segregation still occurred. It was not until the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968 and the resulting unrest in the Central District that an open housing ordinance was passed in Seattle.

The same wading pool still exists today (pictured below empty in June 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic-related health restrictions).

Cal Anderson Park wading pool, June 2020. Image courtesy of author.

The park descended into a decades-long period of disrepair beginning in the 1960s. Kay Rood, a neighborhood local and community park activist pivotal in the rebuilding of the park, recounted her impression of it in 1993: “The park looked like a prison yard from an old black and white movie, with rusted double fencing, a cinder sports field, a small rundown playground, an ugly and dangerous brick restroom building often covered with graffiti, and a semi-permanent population of transients and druggies dotting the landscape.”

Rood along with a neighborhood coalition known as Groundswell Off Broadway began working with the city to advocate for improvements to the park beginning in 1996 when they secured “10 new World’s Fair benches appropriate to an Olmsted park, and 25 new trash containers to replace the beat-up metal cans chained to trees.” They succeeded in getting the park designated as a City of Seattle landmark in 1999. In 2003, a new shelterhouse was dedicated and the park’s new name was unveiled, just as work began on burying the reservoir in an underground vault (the first of Seattle’s reservoirs to be covered). The reservoir replacement and new water feature were completed in 2005. Landscaping was developed to honor the original Olmsted vision, including walking paths lined by historic lighting fixtures and a recreated parapet wall describing the historic reservoir’s perimeter. Once again, the park became a local attraction. 

In 2016, the Capitol Hill station of Link light rail was opened on the northwest corner of the park at Nagle Place. Special attention was paid to preserve the Chinese Scholar tree (sophora japonica) on the corner, which was designated a Seattle Heritage Tree in 2003 and was most likely originally planted by the Olmsted firm. Several very old cherry trees that were also removed from the area to clear way for the station may have been from the original orchard cultivated by John H. Nagle more than 150 years ago.

Cal Anderson Park continues to bear witness to key moments in the city’s history today, acting both as a crossroads and a destination. Once Seattle’s central beating life source for water, this public area remains a canvas reflecting the city’s evolving identity and needs. Every day at the park during the CHOP era seems to be different, and the future is yet unknown, but each generation shares one thing in common: an inexplicable draw to gather and converge here.

Taha Ebrahimi was born and raised in Seattle, and happens to live across the street from Cal Anderson Park.

SOURCES

  1. “Attractive Parks and Pleasure Grounds Where All Seattle Rambles At Will,” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 18, 1898, pg. 28.
  2. Berger, Knute. “Seattle’s Ugly Past: Segregation in Our Neighborhoods,” Seattle Magazine, March 2013.
  3. DeCoster, Dotty. “Nagle, John H. (1830-1897),” History Link.org, January 23, 2010, Essay 9268.
  4. James, Diana E. “Shared Walls: Seattle Apartment Buildings, 1900-1939” McFarland & Co: 2012.
  5. Olmsted Brothers. “Letter from Olmsted Brothers to Mr. Charles W. Saunders.” Seattle Municipal Archives, Don Sherwood Parks History Collection, Item 5801_01_53_04_004 (Record Series 5801-01).
  6. “Racial Restrictive Covenants,” University of Washington Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project.
  7. Rood, Kay. “Creating Cal Anderson Park,” History Link.org, January 7, 2006, Essay 7603.
  8. Williams, David B. “Olmsted Parks in Seattle,” History Link.org, June 10, 1999, Essay 1124.
  9. Williams, Jacqueline B. “The Hill With A Future: Seattle’s Capitol Hill 1900-1946” CPK Ink: 2001.

Local Small Business Spotlight: Risa Blythe, Proprietor of Girlie Press

Numerous articles and studies have been published citing the critical role that small businesses play in the vitality of cities and towns of all sizes. For example, small businesses help foster community, add to the unique character of a place, provide distinctive opportunities for entrepreneurism, and contribute to economic health. Beyond these significant contributions, there is also an important relationship between small businesses and historic neighborhoods and old buildings. In short, preservation relies on small businesses, and small businesses often rely on historic spaces — a relationship you can read more about in this recently published article by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

Girlie Press is a woman-owned small business located in an adaptive reuse space in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Read on to hear what the print shop’s proprietor, Risa Blythe, has to say about owning small business, preservation, and more:

After eight years and only two other jobs as an offset press operator, Girlie Press was originally founded in 1995 in the back of a building in Belltown and then moved into a historic Anne Michelson building on 10th Avenue. “I shared a space as an offset printer with BSK, a screen-printing company that did much of the printing for Sub Pop and the grunge music scene. That was fun and insane, and I worked, and worked, and I put money away,” said Risa.

Inside Girlie Press

In 2000, when Risa acquired the building where Girlie Press is now located, it had been subleased to a stone cutting artist and sculptor who essentially fled in the middle of the night – leaving behind a warehouse full of massive, heavy, stone cutting equipment. “One of the companies I did a lot of work for was the Seattle Men’s Choir. Doug Exworthy was on the choir and owned the rights to the building where the shop is now. He knew I did a lot of work for the queer community, and he contacted me and said, ‘you need your own building.’ He became my mentor, guiding me through the whole process. It was adventurous, but I pulled it off! This was back in the day when you could put on a suit and go into a bank and talk things through…with people,” Risa explained.

All of the items left behind were sold off to put money back into the building and to make way for printing equipment. With her penchant and passion for machinery, Risa was just the woman for the task. Her keenness for mechanics, a trait she recalls recognizing early in life, has continued to prove valuable throughout her career. For example, when it came to acquiring her own 10,000-pound press, she was able to purchase a broken machine for a low price and repair it herself.

“I remember at one point, I applied to be a certified woman-owned business,” explained Risa. “A guy called me to ask for clarification about some parts of my application, and he just couldn’t seem to comprehend that a woman was capable of fixing a machine like this! That he believed that this was beyond my…realm, that’s when I knew why it was important to get the certification. There aren’t a lot of women in print, but I grew up in a feminist, entrepreneurial household and I’m thick-skinned. So, I have been able to shoulder discrimination I’ve encountered in the field. I started my own business because I wanted to work with people who had a sense of humor and didn’t mind working for a woman in a male-dominated field. Nobody — no guy — who’s got a lot of issues can work here and go home at the end of the day and say, ‘yeah, I work at Girlie Press!’”

When asked if she considers herself a preservationist, Risa made a surprising connection between her love of machinery and historic preservation. “The part of me that is a preservationist is that I really like a well-built machine. I really like function. Newer things are more disposable, they are meant to have an end of life, whereas with an older machine  its gearbox can be rebuilt again and again and its function is to last long term. I also like new things that are super fancy and have lots of bells and whistles, but I like them to be built on an older mechanical premise,” said Risa.

This historic assessor’s photo shows a building which formerly stood on the site where Girlie Press is now located.

Risa enjoys the location of her current shop at 1658 21st Avenue. While she is attracted to industrial and gritty places like Georgetown (one of her favorite places in Seattle), she appreciates that the shop is not in a strictly industrial area, but is instead nestled within a neighborhood with a commercial and residential mix. “There’s a German philosopher — someone who I can’t recall — who presented the idea that something went wrong when people started working in places that were far away from where they lived. It allows for more tolerable levels of pollution, longer workdays, and less family interaction. I live less than a mile away in Madrona, in a simple 1902 Victorian. Another favorite place is my backyard because my wife is such a great gardener! And I like that I can work in a trade, but still work in an area where people are living too,” said Risa.

The community is very important to Risa. In addition to the long list of organizations Girlie Press supports, she uses her business to promote causes she cares about: “There aren’t a lot of print shops that care about the same things I care about so I have a unique opportunity to use what I do, and do well, to support those things. I like the idea of using the power of the press to help organizations make money or do good things. We’ve printed over 1,000 posters since the most recent events of the Black Lives Matter movement have been unfolding. A lot of times people will ask us to print something for them and we’ll ask, ‘Do you want us to print a bunch more of these and just give them out?’ It’s cool to be part of this ancient history of activism through art.”

Risa in the shop’s new mezzanine space

Lately, the effects of the pandemic have been felt at Girlie Press. At one point, Risa sheltered at the shop and ran the whole press herself in order to execute print jobs (including Historic Seattle’s emergency appeal) for grocery stores and other essential businesses. Many of her staff have recently returned to the shop after many weeks working remotely. Upon their return, staff were able to spread out further, occupying space in the mezzanine that was fortunately recently built in the warehouse.

In the previously referenced Washington Trust for Historic Preservation article, Breanne Durham wrote, “There has never been a more poignant time to reflect on the value small businesses have in our lives and in our work. The onslaught of COVID-19 has taken our local economies by storm…Small businesses employ about half of the private workforce in the United States. And without them, our historic commercial districts lack the activity and commerce that creates healthy, socially cohesive, and economically viable communities. If the preservation field is looking for its place within the COVID-19 crisis, here it is.”

Looking for other ways to support small businesses? Intentionalist.com allows you to search for Asian-owned, Black-owned, disability-owned, family-owned, Latino-owned, LGBTQ-owned, Native-owned, veteran-owned, and woman-owned businesses and social enterprises in select cities, including Seattle.

Stimson-Green Carriage House Lives On As Birch Road Cellar

By Ryan Donaldson

The following is the sixth in a series of guest blog posts submitted by members of the Historic Seattle community. The views and opinions expressed in guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Historic Seattle.

If you have an idea for a future post, please send a draft to info@historicseattle.org. You can review the guidelines here.

Collectively I’d walked by the Stimson-Green Carriage House hundreds of times, never stepping foot inside.The neighboring namesake mansion’s signature English Tudor Revival-style high-pitched roof, pronounced chimneys, dramatic gables, stained glass windows, and half-timbering overshadowed the smaller matching carriage house tucked behind it. Scaling up and down First Hill for my high school commute to O’Dea, the building blended in with the more substantial landmark next door.

As a teenager in 1990s Seattle, there was little chance of getting a peek inside the imposing mansion or carriage house unless you were invited to a wedding or special event. Located at the corner of Minor Avenue and Seneca Street, the mansion served as home to lumber magnate C.D. (Charles Douglas) Stimson’s family at the turn of the century when First Hill was known as an exclusive enclave for the city’s “first families.” The crest of the hill where the Stimson-Green Mansion stands was in the company of over 40 prominent homes that dominated the steep slope, including the Dearborn House (1907, Historic Seattle’s home today) and the W.D. Hofius House (1902, until recently the home of the Roman Catholic Archbishop).

A hundred years prior, the multitude of mansions lining First Hill were the result of fortunes made from timber resources, real estate, and other emerging industries, which led to the commissioning and creation of fashionable residences in a variety of eclectic architectural styles. As noted on a period postcard, First Hill was known as Seattle’s “[f]ine residence section” offering widescreen views of Elliott Bay and within walking distance from Seattle’s bustling downtown. A public exhibit, “The First Hill Exhibit: Seattle’s Boom Years, 1880-1925,” permanently on display in Swedish Hospital’s lobby at the corner of Boren Avenue and Madison Street (incidentally also the site of the former 1884 Carkeek Mansion), vividly illustrates what the neighborhood was like, replete with cable cars and ornate residential architecture.

Panorama of First Hill, n.d. University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, SEA1910.

Stimson himself had come to Seattle in 1888, drawn by the abundant natural timber resources that had already been depleted in Michigan where his father had first attained the family’s legacy in lumber milling businesses in the mid-nineteenth century. Setting up operations in Ballard to take advantage of the increased demand for lumber after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, Stimson quickly came to city prominence, also serving as director of the Metropolitan Building Company, Metropolitan Bank, General Insurance Company of America, and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. It took two years for Spokane-based architect Kirtland Cutter to complete the building, which the family moved into in 1901. Stimson, his wife Harriet Overton Stimson and their two children Thomas Stimson and Dorothy Stimson Bullitt, began living in the stately residence before any landscaping or tree cover, the land having only recently been cleared of its original growth Douglas fir trees.

Stimson’s mansion included a two-story standalone carriage house just north of the main estate, a common form of outbuilding purpose-built for horses and carriage equipment. In one particular historic photo, we can see Stimson’s young daughter Dorothy with her pony, Doctor, on Minor Avenue.

Dorothy Stimson Bullitt on her pony cart with Doctor. Courtesy the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

Later, when horses gave way to automobiles, the Stimsons expanded the carriage house to its present 2,000 square foot size for their fleet. “Doctor had one corner [of the carriage house] and a little red Autocar (model 1900) had another,” recalled Dorothy. “Over the ensuing years, the car models changed, but not the pony. We had a cow, too. There’s a little back door in the garage that opens onto the alley and that’s where the cow lived.” 1

C.D. Stimson (on far left) greets an unidentified group in front of his carriage house, ca. 1910. Image courtesy Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

In 1915, a year after the Stimson family moved to a larger home in The Highlands, Joshua and Laura (Turner) Green acquired the property. Joshua Green’s business was in the steamboat and ferry industry, which evolved into the Washington State Ferry System. What is remarkable was how little of the mansion and carriage house was changed or altered during the Greens’ 60 years of ownership. In contrast, the surrounding neighborhood was quickly transforming. Apartment buildings and medical facilities rapidly replaced the mansions as the “first” families moved away. For the Greens’ carriage house, rather than be torn down or radically remodeled as was the fate of other carriage homes, the building remained as an automobile garage, even retaining its original back alley door, though the cow was long gone.

View of the carriage house in 1969 which includes a car facing out from the garage door. Image courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, Identifier: 78250.

In 1975, following Joshua Green’s death at 105 years old, the Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority purchased the property, which included both the mansion and the adjoining carriage house. The site was then acquired by Priscilla (Patsy) Collins (C.D. and Harriet Stimson’s granddaughter), and the mansion was reopened for the public to enjoy.2 No longer a private residence, mansion programming in the following years included behind-the-scenes tours, weddings catered by in-house staff, theatre performances, and other special events. In the late 1970s, the carriage house was converted to offices and housed a series of tenants, including the Bullitt Foundation – the nonprofit conservation organization founded by the adult Dorothy Stimson Bullitt.

Since 2001, the site has been owned and managed by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2016, the Trust oversaw the carriage house’s renovation, which included polishing the concrete floors and exposing the open beam ceiling and brick walls. Soon thereafter, the Chicago-based Birch Road Cellar leased the carriage house with a vision to build community through providing space for members to entertain guests outside of their homes, securely store spirits and wine in a climate-controlled cellar in a self-service environment, as well as utilize co-working space (members pay a monthly fee for the opportunity to work and host guests in the well-appointed space). Opened in May 2019, the major tenant improvements to the carriage house transformed the raw space into the stunning interiors that can be seen today.

View of remodeled self-service bar. Image courtesy Birch Road Cellar.

When I first heard about this new chapter for the carriage house, I happened to be seeking a new co-working space and quickly scheduled a visit. Several decades after those walks past the landmark in my high school days, I finally stepped foot inside. I was not disappointed: Upon walking in the door and being warmly greeted by co-founder Sharon Provins, I immediately knew this was the right place for me. I admired the historical elements and the adaptive reuse of the space, providing inspiration for my working environment. There was no question the building was once a carriage house. In the upstairs bathroom you can still see the hay door next to the toilet (don’t worry, the door is now welded shut).

After becoming a member and enjoying the space as if it were my own, what surprised me was how quickly I felt connected to the Birch Road community. I recall the photo of C.D. Stimson over 100 years ago, cigar in hand, sharing a mirthful moment with visitors outside in front of the carriage house – and it occurred to me that one of my favorite things was welcoming guests for the first time too. I was not expecting to make friends and form bonds with other members, but have since been delighted to meet both newcomers to the area (like the Stimsons once were) to those who had grown up in Seattle like myself. We all had something in common because we were drawn to the same storied space.

Upstairs meeting & dining room with view overlooking First Hill Park, currently under renovation. Reservations for the room can be made by members online. Image courtesy Birch Road Cellar.

As Washington State’s “Stay At Home, Stay Healthy” order remains in place, Birch Road Cellar will begin a pilot reopening program in June. To keep the members engaged, the club has offered virtual events, such as trivia nights, cooking classes and wine tastings, though I can’t wait to visit again in person. The Stimson-Green Mansion and Carriage House share the opportunity to be accessible to new audiences and to be recognized as places that matter, especially to those like myself who ventured by many times in the past and wondered what was inside. First Hill has other examples of creative collaborations that have helped to preserve the quality of our historic spaces, including the Museum of Museums, the Sorrento Hotel, and St. James Cathedral. It is a tradition that I hope will continue, as innovative partnerships between historical preservationists and private capital will become increasingly necessary approaches in the bid to honor and cherish our city’s past.

Ryan Anthony Donaldson is a cultural heritage strategist, digital asset manager, and archives consultant. Ryan currently works as Senior Consultant with The Winthrop Group and Collections Strategy Manager & Archivist with the Washington State Jewish Historical Society

Heart This Place – My Seattle

To celebrate historic preservation from home, we have launched Heart This Place – a new blog series from Historic Seattle staff. Each post will feature a different place that is significant to a member of our staff. For our final installment, Director of Preservation Services Eugenia Woo shows us her favorite views in Seattle:

My first time in Seattle was in 1991 as a visitor; I fell in love with the city and its environs instantly. On this visit, I went full-on tourist. Space Needle! Underground Tour! Pike Place Market! Mount Rainier! I loved it and wanted more. The unbeatable natural setting combined with its urban, yet still small town feel, and quirkiness called out to me. I knew I needed to come back and experience the Pacific Northwest more fully.

So, in September 1993, I drove my 1980 beige Volvo DL (aka “The Tank”), the family car that I learned how to drive in, from my hometown of Los Angeles to Seattle. After spending a hot and humid summer in Washington, DC as an intern, I was ready for Seattle weather. I’m one of those freaks of nature who loves rain. What brought me to the Pacific Northwest was graduate school in urban planning (with a focus on preservation planning) at UW. I remember learning about urban villages (so quaint sounding, right?), density, and growth management. Seattle was an ideal living laboratory for urban planning students to study. So many great neighborhoods and communities, each having its own history, culture, and character. Why would anyone want to destroy that? Little did I know then that I would spend such a large part of my professional life helping to fight save meaningful places that matter in this city.

It has now been 27(!) years since I first moved to Seattle (with a two-year stint back in L.A. in the late 1990s when I learned to love the City of Angels—I had to move away to really appreciate it). Over the years, my fondness for Seattle grew to encompass a great appreciation for the entire state, from small towns and rural areas to the mid-sized cities of Tacoma and Spokane. I have had the pleasure of traveling to and through all 39 counties in Washington State (logging A LOT of miles on my MINI Cooper). Whenever travel goes back to pre-COVID ease, I highly recommend exploring this amazing state. All of it. You might even see my husband and me on the backroads! Closer to home, I look forward to resuming my urban sleuthing of Seattle neighborhoods (documenting with photographs along the way), something I have done since my first visit in the early ’90s.

This brings me to my photo essay of some select favorite views in Seattle. No matter how long I’ve lived here or how cynical or jaded I may get lamenting my “lost” Seattle, nothing makes me happier than seeing the Space Needle, the Public Market neon sign, Smith Tower, or Mount Rainier. The Space Needle and Mount Rainier in particular just pop up out of nowhere at times—there’s always a new view of each that is unexpected. Fortunately, these icons are here to stay because they are landmarks or part of a historic district (well, Mother Nature will decide the mountain’s fate, but it won’t disappear entirely).

Enjoy!

All photos courtesy of Eugenia Woo. Click to enlarge:

View of Belltown and downtown from the Space Needle, 2010. (I’ve been taking views of the city from the top of the Space Needle since 1991.)

Same view looking south in 2019. Only the top of one of the Westin Hotel round towers is visible.

View of Pioneer Square in 2014 from the rooftop of the 619 Western Avenue building.

Pike Place Market and the iconic neon sign, Spring 2018.

Seneca Street looking west from First Avenue, a reopened view after the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the Seneca Street offramp, Summer 2019.

Seattle’s maritime heritage is on display on Lake Union in this spectacularly beautiful summer day in 2019.

This view of the Camlin from the Paramount Theatre (December 2019) will no longer be visible once the Washington State Convention Center expansion is completed.

View of Mount Rainier from a plane. I choose my seat for maximum view opportunities of the Cascades when I fly.

One of those unexpected views of the Space Needle that pop up out of nowhere. This one is on Capitol Hill near the Roundcliffe Apartments and the Lookout Bar (aptly named) on the corner of Bellevue Pl E / Bellevue Ave E / Bellevue Ct E.

View of Smith Tower, Elliott Bay, and the Olympic Mountains from Yesler Way.

That’s me at Archie McPhee!

Heart This Place – Columbia City Library

To celebrate historic preservation from home, we have launched Heart This Place – a new blog series from Historic Seattle staff. Each post will feature a different place that is significant to a member of our staff. Here, Asset & Property Manager David McClain touches on the importance of the Columbia City Library:

The Columbia City Library features two of my favorite things: historic buildings and books. To me, there are few better examples of meaningful places fostering lively communities. The library serves as a linchpin of the neighborhood, nestled within the Columbia City Landmark District just south of the Rainier Playfield and Community Center.

The original building was funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and designed by W. Marbury Somervell and Harlan Thomas. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The library was expanded with an addition in 2004, designed by Cardwell Architects to preserve the look and complement the style of the original building.

Serendipity or Perseverance

By Ana Lena Melka

The following is the fifth in a series of guest blog posts submitted by members of the Historic Seattle community. The views and opinions expressed in guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Historic Seattle.

If you have an idea for a future post, please send a draft to info@historicseattle.org. You can review the guidelines here.

In October 2004, after months of negotiations, we finally closed on the 1914 mansion that my husband had fallen in love with earlier that year. After more than a year of house hunting across the Puget Sound region, we happened to walk past what looked like a haunted house in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and my husband said, “Now, if that house was for sale, I’d sell my soul to buy it!” A day or two later he discovered that it was for sale, which is where our journey (obsession?) began!

We made an appointment to see the house and immediately realized it would need a tremendous amount of work, not just on the outside, but also on the inside. At least it had a good roof! There would be electrical work, plumbing, windows, tile, plaster wall repair, new heating, floors to refinish, even stolen fixtures to recover over the next year and a half. One of the few things that we just could not find was tile to replace the broken ones on the front porch. Our master tile craftsman suggested we tear it all up and salvage what we could. He would then install a different tile in the middle, and use the old tile to do a border. But we didn’t even know what kind of tile it was! We consulted experts who insisted it was slate – it delaminated on cleave lines the way slate does. We even had a man stop by who said he could get us slate to match – just a complete stranger who happened see us working – so we hung onto that hope for a couple of years!

So many other things were going on that we just shelved that project, while keeping our eyes and ears open to the possibility of finding the right material. One of the rabbit holes I went down was making the rounds of all the tile stores in the greater Seattle area, taking my little pieces of tile with me in hopes someone would have a matching product, or even just tell me what material they were made of. Historic Seattle hosted a tile lecture at Rejuvenation and of course I signed up with the hope of finding the answers to the tile question.

In 2014, we thought we finally had a match: quarry tile, made in Spokane. Sadly, it was not to be, as the manufacturer did not do custom matches and their samples were not a match for our tiles. At that point we began to think that doing the carpet tile inlay was our only option.

We had subscribed to Old House Journal through the years and at the end of 2015 I reached out to Patricia Poorer about help with identifying our tile. She wrote back to say they were “pretty sure” it was slate, so I contacted Sheldon Slate. No match again!

Another year went by and while reading Old House Journal I came across an article about Willapa Bay Tile in Ocean Park, Washington. I contacted the owner, Reneé O’Connor, to see if she would be able to make us some matching tiles. She wrote back with some exciting information: Tile Heritage in California was the place we had been looking for all these years!

Introductions were made online and we sent them samples. At last, a definitive answer! What we had was indeed manufactured tile, not slate. Best of all, they identified a vendor able to do a custom match: American Restoration Tile in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Bryan Byrd at American Restoration Tile assured me that they could match the size and color of our tile and gave us a proposal. We were so excited to move forward after all this time when another obstacle appeared. Sadly, Mr. Byrd passed away. Fortunately for us, his family had decided to keep the company operating – so we sent larger samples for color matching.

But, of course, it still wasn’t smooth sailing! Our master tiler had retired, and the craftsman we had found to replace him was not available to do the installation when the custom tile arrived. So, I just took the boxes to the basement unopened until he was available. Rookie mistake!

May 15, 2018—the day was finally here for tile to be laid. Opening the boxes revealed a bunch of broken tiles! So much time had gone by, it was too late to file a claim with the shipper. But the wonderful people at Tile Heritage were so gracious, they sent replacements and we were able to get the job done. Well, almost done – we had to wait for the additional tile to be manufactured and shipped. The tiler installed all he could, and when the new batch came he finished the job and grouted the whole area to match. Looking at our porch now, it’s hard to remember how it looked for all those years. But that’s what pictures are for!

Ana Lena Melka, originally from Mexico, has made the greater Seattle area her home since 1973. She considers herself a local non-native species! She and her husband, Mark Mayhle, bought the Shafer Baillie Mansion in 2004 and opened it as a bed and breakfast in 2006 after restoring and updating it. Mark is a Seattle native who was born at Swedish Hospital and would rather live here than any other place!

Understanding and Preserving Black History

The tragic death of George Floyd was not an isolated incident. In order to understand this injustice, we must take the time to educate ourselves about the history of racist violence by White people against African Americans – and the intergenerational trauma it has caused. Furthermore, as preservationists, we must work harder to acknowledge and celebrate Black history.

Historic Seattle is committed to addressing racism within our organization and making tangible progress in resolving our organization’s lack of diversity in our staffing, governance, and storytelling. As such, in July 2020, we announced the creation of the recurring blog feature “Seattle’s Full Story.”

About Seattle’s Full Story

Inspired by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Telling the Full American Story” initiative and aiming to help advance the work of the Black community in the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter movement, we are actively soliciting compensated content from Black contributors for our recurring blog feature “Seattle’s Full Story.” This call will expand to all BIPOC community members later this year.

This feature will be a permanent addition to our blog, promoted through eNewsletters and social media.

Because our organization is a public development authority, we cannot include content that endorses political candidates or specific policy positions. It is our intention to post submissions without editing, with the exception of explicit language if needed in order to be appropriate for a general public audience of all ages.

As with volunteer contributions solicited from the public in spring 2020, the following guidelines apply: No prejudiced or biased content. No explicit images. Submissions should relate to telling Black stories of Seattle’s history and/or preservation. The format is not limited to traditional article format – photo series, poems, art, song, video, etc. are all options.

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis (no deadline). Creators of selected contributions will receive a $100 honorarium for their work. For consideration, contributors may submit either a short concept summary (1-3 sentences) to be developed into full content upon selection or the complete piece if they so choose. Contributors retain all rights and ownership of their submitted intellectual property. We ask contributors to note “Published as part of the Seattle’s Full Story blog initiative of Historic Seattle” in any subsequent posting.

For more information or to submit, contact Naomi West at naomiw@historicseattle.org.

More Resources

Many other groups & organizations are working to tell the full American story, across our region, state, and country. To learn more, visit:

National:

  • The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a National Trust for Historic Preservation campaign “to draw attention to the remarkable stories that evoke centuries of African American activism and achievement, and to tell our nation’s full history.”
  • Preserving African American Historic Places, a 24-page primer published by the National Trust.
  • The Mildred Colodny Diversity Scholarship, a National Trust program that “provides financial assistance and experiential learning opportunities to individuals preparing for careers in historic preservation. The purpose of the Colodny Scholarship is to increase the diversity of people pursuing degrees and careers in historic preservation in the United States.”
  • The Space/Race Reading List, a crowdsourced reading list “on how race and racism are constructed with spatial means, and on how in turn space can be shaped by racism.”

Local:

  • Beyond Integrity, a 4Culture initiative to elevate equity in preservation standards and practices.
  • The Northwest African American Museum, an institution which “envisions a Pacific Northwest region where the important histories, arts, and cultures of people of African descent are embraced as an essential part of our shared heritage and future.”
  • Wa Na Wari, a “space for Black ownership, possibility, and belonging through art, historic preservation, and connection…in Seattle’s historically redlined Central District neighborhood.”
  • The Black Heritage Society of Washington State, whose mission is to “collect, preserve, and interpret the contributions of African Americans in Washington State.”

This page will continue to be updated. If you’d like to suggest a resource, please email info@historicseattle.org.

Pictured: A stained glass window at Mount Zion Baptist Church, manufactured by Mr. Douglas Phillips of Cleveland, OH. At the time of the construction of this church, Mr. Phillips was the only Black owner of a stained glass studio in the United States. The windows represent some of the Black church leaders and heroes who have made significant contributions to American civilization and were designed exclusively for the Mount Zion Baptist Church of Seattle.

Left: Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968). Preacher, prophet, peaceful warrior. Civil rights leader. Right: Nathaniel “Nat” Turner (1800 – 1831). Enslaved Black man who launched one of the most historic and largest revolts to end enslavement in Southampton County, Virginia. It lasted 48 hours before armed, White men suppressed the revolt. (Source: Zinn Education Project)

#BlackLivesMatter #TellTheFullStory

Heart This Place – KEXP

To celebrate Preservation Month from home, we have launched Heart This Place – a new blog series from Historic Seattle staff. Each post will feature a different place that is significant to a member of our staff. Up next, Philanthropy & Communications Manager Bailey Hess tells the story of how she came to love 90.3 KEXP and the work the radio station does to bring people together: