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Vanishing Seattle’s New Documentary Film Series

“The ‘vanishing’ part of ‘Vanishing Seattle’ is just one part of the story,” said Cynthia Brothers. “There are also many stories of resistance, resilience, and creation.”

Cynthia Brothers is the founder of Vanishing Seattle, a social media account that is “documenting disappearing/displaced businesses, homes, communities, and cultures of Seattle.”

Clad in one of her signature miniskirt and Vanishing Seattle t-shirt ensembles, Cynthia is stood in the living room of a packed house as she introduced the new Vanishing Seattle documentary film series. The series premiere was at and about Wa Na Wari, a project housed in a 5th-generation Black-owned craftsman in the historically Black Central District neighborhood. According to a sign in the entryway of this legacy home, Wa Na Wari (which means “our home” in the Kalabari language) “creates space for Black ownership, possibility, and belonging through art, historic preservation, and connection.”

Cynthia has teamed up with Martin Tran, a filmmaker and former co-director of the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, for this seven-part film series. The films will expand upon a lot of the same themes and questions that Vanishing Seattle raises with its Instagram chronicles. Cynthia explained, “Vanishing Seattle and this film series involve conversations dealing with change. But not a dichotomy of old: good, new: bad. Instead it asks, ‘What does change mean? What does progress really look like, and what are the ways that change can serve and benefit communities? What’s possible with creative, forward-thinking ideas? What do different solutions to displacement and gentrification look like?’ In the case of places that are vanishing we ask, ‘Why is this happening? What caused this to vanish, and what can be done to prevent this from happening?’”

“The advantage of this project is that film is a lot more dynamic as a medium,” said Cynthia. “Most of the Instagram posts have been of buildings and physical places, and it’s hard to get to the people behind those places with just pictures and captions. The films humanize these places and allow people to share stories in their own words.” While all the films in the series are co-produced by Cynthia and Martin, they engage different filmmakers to tell various stories about different communities. “One of the principles of this film series is that the filmmakers have a personal connection to the community and the place that they want to make a film about,” Cynthia pointed out.

“Some of the things we struggle with in using film pertain to timing,” described Cynthia. “Everything is happening so fast, in some cases, places are gone before we can find a filmmaker to tell its story. It is also hard to be selective. There are countless stories to tell, so many places to talk about. Often, there are multiple stories attached to a single place and the shorter the film is (the films are just 7-10 minutes long), the harder the choices are that you must make. We’re always asking ourselves, ‘Are we doing this justice?’”

“The goal of the series is to raise general awareness of these places and communities, through their stories,” explained Cynthia. “It’s about capturing and sharing places that are built into the structure that make Seattle unique. We all lose out when we lose these places. They should be important to us as a city. With many of these films, there is an active opportunity to support small businesses and places that provide space for art and culture to thrive.”

In the living room of Wa Na Wari, Inye Wakoma, one of the founders of the project and the grandson of the owner of the home where Wa Na Wari is based, warmly emceed the evening’s program. People sat cross-legged on the floor or in chairs, stood in the dining room and hallways, and trailed up the stairs. Food and drinks were generously offered, and the upstairs rooms were activated with exhibits by Black artists. A Shelf-Life Community Stories neighborhood cultural mapping project was on display, and a vintage rotary phone that you can pick up and hear oral histories through sat on a little table beside a wooden chair in the hallway.

An open door labeled "Shelf Life Community Story Project" leads to a room adorned with sketches of storytellers. A computer in the corner has headphones for listening to the stories.

The Shelf Life Community Story Project space in Wa Na Wari

Performances by storyteller-rappers and poets (namely Yirim Seck and Ebo Barton) preceded the screening of the film, which was directed by devon de Leña and CHIMAERA. The film rolled and Wakoma was then on screen talking about the gentrification and displacement currently happening in the Central District: “The biggest thing that folks are trying to pinpoint is ‘How do we actually survive this? And then, how do we come out on the other side of this, in some way that actually feels whole?’ We need imaginative responses, ways of imagining ourselves in the future that have everything to do with us getting there on our own, in ways that make sense to us.” 

Watch the film Central District: Wa Na Wari here, and be sure to follow @vanishingseattle on Instagram to stay informed about future screenings and other opportunities to get active! You can also read more about Wa Na Wari and the Vanishing Seattle film series in these Crosscut articles.

Bringing the Community Together One Event at a Time

In case you haven’t noticed, the Georgetown neighborhood has it going on! Brimming with artistic creativity, rich in history, and packed with cool industrial architecture, Seattle’s oldest neighborhood managed to level up again last fall with the opening of The Palace Theatre & Art Bar, AKA “Georgetown’s first gay bar.” For this month’s VivaCity feature, Historic Seattle chatted with the venue’s proprietor, Sylvia O’Stayformore, to learn how this flourishing community gathering place came to be and how it fulfills its mission to bring the community together one event at a time.

Sylvia’s business partner in the Palace, Carlos Paradinja Jr., originally opened a coffee shop (The Conservatory) in the space about 5 years ago. Sylvia explained, “The Conservatory was not only a café, but also an artists’ salon type of space that offered art classes and workshops. While it was successful in many ways, it was ultimately not earning enough to sustain itself. So last September, Carlos came to me and said, ‘I either need to close up shop, or do something different.’ Meanwhile, I had recently lost my corporate daytime gig and ‘Bacon Strip,’ Seattle’s longest standing drag show which I produce, was looking for a new place to flourish. I said to Carlos, ‘Since coffee wasn’t working, why don’t we try alcohol, and keep it a performance space and let me be the booker of the talent and just program the hell out it and see what that does.” And thus, the Palace Theatre & Art Bar was born.

Sylvia O'Stayformore, a drag queen in a blonde wig and blue and white checkered dress, calls out bingo numbers. In front of her are a collection of colorful bingo balls.

Sylvia O’Stayformore calls bingo at The Palace

About the name, Sylvia said, “The name actually comes from the name of the building. It originally opened in 1903 as The Palace Hotel and Bar, owned by Fred Marino. It was a workman’s hotel, and there was the Palace Bar, which is where the Seattle Tavern pool hall now is, there was a hardware store in our space, and a cardroom where Star Brass is. But nothing was called The Palace anymore. It’s an amazing name so I said, why don’t we call it ‘The Palace,’ and then “Theatre’ since that’s what we want to do, and ‘Art Bar’ so people know that it’s strong in art and creativity. And by the way, it’s also a gay bar.”

The Palace Theatre & Art Bar is a bar with a mission, “to bring the community together one event at a time.” Sylvia said, “We’re really trying to grow with community events and be a gathering place where you find something you won’t at other bars. The things we try to program are like the monthly Seattle Playwrights Salon. There’s a club made up of playwright aficionados that goes out and looks for new plays that have been written by local playwrights and we give them the space to have those plays read out by local actors on stage. We have free local jazz nights including jazz trio Hilltop Jazz Project and others, there’s a piano sing along night where you bring in your own sheet music, and ‘An Unexpected Improv Night’. We didn’t want it to be an all drag kind of place but rather a place where people say, ‘let’s see what kind of creative thing is happening at The Palace and go hang there.’”

A large group of people seated near the stage at The Palace. 5 people are on stage, each with a stand for the scripts they read from.

The Palace during a performance

About Georgetown, Sylvia said “I’ve been in love with Georgetown since I moved to Seattle in the early aughts. I love that it hasn’t been gentrified as much as other places. It’s like those industrial parts of Seattle that are going away so fast, but it’s been stubborn, it’s stayed alive. Even after prohibition ripped its main money source away from it, it was still able to survive.” When Sylvia isn’t in Georgetown at The Palace, she can usually be found calling out bingo. “I call for 12 different senior centers from Camano Island all the way down to Des Moines.”

Head on down to Georgetown to see for yourself what it’s all about. Check out the Palace Theater & Art Bar event calendar for upcoming events like the free Trailer Park Drag Strip, an annual show that takes place on August 10 as part of August’s Art Attack, Georgetown’s monthly art event.

Wake for Nuclear Reactor Building

Nuclear Reactor Building

Celebration of Life (1961 – 2016)

nrb 2_john stamets_blogOn July 19, 2016, the Nuclear Reactor Building (NRB) was unceremoniously and quietly demolished by the University of Washington (UW). The passing of this historically and architecturally significant building ends a years-long battle between preservation advocates and the UW.

The NRB hailed from the Atomic Age of the 1960s, representing nuclear engineering technology and contributing to the University’s science and research programs. The NRB was unique. It was an architectural, engineering, and artistic marvel dreamed up by a stellar team of University professors and alumni. It set itself apart from the rest of campus with its Brutalist architectural features.

In 2014, plans for demolition of the NRB were resurrected by the UW. The building made it on the Washington Trust’s Most Endangered Properties list for a second time in 2015 (the first was in 2008) and preservation advocates rallied to Save the Reactor. In the end, the structure met its demise. Read the eulogy for this significant structure to learn more.

Although the NRB is gone, it is not forgotten.

Join Docomomo WEWA, Historic Seattle, and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation for a gathering at the NRB/More Hall Annex site to mourn the loss and celebrate the life of the Nuclear Reactor Building: 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Please wear all black attire. We’ll go to a local pub afterwards. No registration or RSVP is required. In lieu of flowers, please share stories and memories at the wake, on the Save the Reactor Facebook page or by emailing


Photo: Color image – Site after demolition (Washington Trust for Historic Preservation); Nuclear Reactor Building (John Stamets for Docomomo WEWA, 2008)

InterUrban – Belltown Visioning Recap

project_belltown_03 On May 19 Historic Seattle held its InterUrban event, “Project Belltown: Imagining Possibilities,” at Union Stables with nearly 60 people gathering for a visioning exercise around a real-life project site in the neighborhood. The event, hosted by Lease Crutcher Lewis in its beautifully rehabilitated space and co-sponsored by Friends of Historic Belltown, brought people together to think creatively about the possibilities of developing a site that includes a designated landmark and adjacent infill.

Thanks to those who helped make this happen: Marcia Wagoner, our lead moderator; our five lead facilitators, Matt Aalfs, BuildingWork LLC; Adam Alsobrook, Clark Design Group; Rick Sever, residential contractor; Vernon Abelsen, architect; and Hannah Allender, SHKS Architects; and presenters Dave Rauma, Lease Crutcher Lewis; Tiffany Jorgensen, Friends of Historic Belltown; Tom Graff, Ewing & Clark; and Brittany Shulman, Seneca Ventures.

Following the introductions, Historic Seattle’s Eugenia Woo presented the project site: the landmarked Franklin Apartments (NE corner of Fourth and Bell) and the adjacent parcels along Fourth Avenue—these north lots contain two, lower-scale commercial structures that have been altered extensively.

After laying out the three development alternatives, participants moved into smaller facilitated group discussions and considered the pros and cons of each scenario. Key questions included: What are the project goals and strengths of site? What are the potential uses for the Franklin and/or adjacent site? What are the guiding principles (i.e., fitting in, standing out, sustainability, affordability, preservation, density, etc)?

project_belltown_blog_02The group discussions were energetic and engaging. Participants appreciated the opportunity to have open and frank conversations about what’s going on in Belltown. The groups then reconvened for brief presentations by the facilitators which were revealing in their shared commonalities.

Group 1 felt that the alternative that retained the Franklin’s integrity while accommodating context-sensitive development could be “altruistic visually.” At the same time, they agreed that density was an important consideration for addressing affordable housing. This group looked at rehabilitating the Franklin for affordable units and designing new residential towers on the adjacent parcels for market rate housing. Design considerations included building setbacks, delineation between historic and new buildings, and active alley/interior courtyard with retail shops.

The other groups came up with variations of a theme. Group 2 tried to “strike a balance” between infill development that was sensitive to its context and also visually distinctive. They grappled with big questions to help inform their approach, such as how do you fit without matching? If the roof is part of the landmark designation, how can you put something on it?

They came up with a manifesto that said “NO” to the “facadectomy approach” and rejected “that option for this project and all others of its ilk in Seattle.” Visioning concepts included street activation, as well as preserving light and air.

Group 3 distilled the defining characteristics of the site and came up with three primary goals:

  • Encouraging community as a gathering place, event space, artist space, and shared production pace.
  • Supporting residential use including a mix of market-rate and affordable housing, as well accessible ground floor for public gathering combined with small commercial (i.e., retail, restaurant).
  • Maintaining scale to retain lively and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood experience. They proposed setting back from the building perimeter to decrease overall mass, modulating materials to harmonize with existing qualities, and articulating detailing to contribute to human-scaled streetscape.

Group 4 drew inspiration from the Franklin’s light well on the north side, incorporating it into the new design to create an interior courtyard space. The last report out from Group 5 reinforced this design concept with their proposal to take the Franklin’s footprint, rotate it 180 degrees and place it on the two lots, forming a courtyard “between and into each building.” The pedestrian alley between the buildings allowed them to preserve the entirety of the Franklin’s exterior. The new building was setback along Fourth Avenue “so that the fire station and the apartment remain proud.” Their proposed seven-story tower would contain a mix of studio to three-bedroom units, with both buildings providing mixed low-income and market rate housing.

franklin apts_historic_1937_blogHistoric Seattle wrapped things up by looking at the bigger picture and how attendees can be more effective preservation advocates. The most stunning element of our workshop was the “big reveal” of the actual developer’s preferred proposal for this site: a facadism project that retained the two primary facades (Fourth and Bell) and “punched through” new street-level door openings. The rear alley façade was sacrificed to accommodate underground parking, even though parking is not required.

The overwhelming consensus of our audience – including architects, developers, real estate professionals, Belltown residents, and interested/concerned neighbors and citizens – was that more consideration should be made to respect the landmarked apartment building.

Dana Phelan from 4Culture had this takeaway: “It was really engaging, and such a clear demonstration of the huge discrepancy between what people want to see in their neighborhoods and what is getting approved and built.” Steve Hall from Friends of Historic Belltown added, “People really dug into the work. And they had fun. And most importantly, they learned the value of historic preservation – and the value of their own voice.”

View more images of the event on our Facebook page!

Historic Seattle’s InterUrban series seeks to inspire conversations about achieving more livable communities through historic preservation. The series connects historic preservation to urban planning and policy discussions impacting our region such as affordability, equitable development, social justice, sustainability, and neighborhood density.

Photos: View of participants in the penthouse level of Union Stables (Steve Hall); group discussions (Sticks and Stones Photography); historic view of the Franklin Apartments, 1937 (Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Region Branch)

Digging Deeper in 2016

In 2014 Historic Seattle launched a program titled “Digging Deeper – Built Heritage.” The multi-session program was designed to provide attendees with behind-the-scenes insight to primary research materials in archives and libraries in Seattle and King County. The first session was held in February 2014 at the Dearborn House in the Patsy Fleck MacKay Library. Subsequent tours took place, one each month, at the Special Collections Division of the University of Washington, Sophie Frye Bass Library–MOHAI Resource Center, National Archives at Seattle, Seattle Municipal Archives, Seattle Room at the Seattle Public Library, Puget Sound Regional Archives, and concluded at the King County Archives.

In 2015 we again offered archive tours, this time to Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Department of Planning & Development, UW Built Environment Library, Fiske Genealogical Library, Washington State Historical Society History Research Center, Tacoma Public Library Northwest Room, Eastside Heritage Center and Providence Mt. St. Vincent Archives.

The program has been very successful! We received very positive feedback from both tour participants and from the archival staff that hosted visits. The program was even reported on at a joint AKCHO-SeaAA (Seattle Area Archivists) meeting in February 2014, as a “good example of a cultural organization promoting (and to some extent demystifying) the use of archives in research.” 

In 2016 we will again offer the Digging Deeper Series, this time with a new set of archives and two workshops. Each month we’ll visit a selected archive or library and receive expert advice as to what is available and how staff can assist with research projects. The first site visit is scheduled for Saturday, February 6th with a visit to the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive in Burien. It is a volunteer-run archive and an independent, non-profit educational organization formed in 1981 to collect, preserve and disseminate information about the Northern Pacific Railway. This is one tour not to be missed.

In the following months, March through September, we will be visiting these archives / libraries:

UW Special Collections: Sat, March 12

Seattle Theatre Group: Sat, April 9

Ballard Historical Society: Sat, May 7

Visual Resources Collection, College of Built Environments: Thur, June 2

Built Heritage Research Using Land Ownership Records: Sat, July 9

Redmond Historical Society, Sat, August 13

Analyze Your Built Environment, an Observational Approach  Sat, Sept 24 (Note: this is a change in date from what is listed in the printed program)

You can learn more about the entire series and sign up to attend on our website.

Photo: Luci Baker Johnson

2016 Historic Seattle Events

Historic Seattle is pleased to announce its educational programming for 2016! We have developed a diverse lineup including lectures, tours, workshops, and informal advocacy-focused events that provide a broader understanding and appreciation of our built environment and places that matter. Learn more in our 2016 program brochure or on our website.

2016 Programming Highlights:

  • Digging Deeper is a multi-session program introducing participants to primary research materials in Seattle’s many archives
  • Quarterly members meetings held at significant historic sites often closed to the public
  • In-town and out-of-town tours including First Hill and Montlake neighborhoods, University District churches, Good Shepherd Center gardens, Georgetown Steam Plant, and Vashon and Whidbey Islands
  • Lectures and workshops on architecture, fine and decorative arts, and advocacy training
  • 8th Annual Preservation Awards event at our newly-refurbished Washington Hall.

We will be kicking things off with our Annual Members Meeting at the German House on January 26th, which includes a short business meeting followed by a presentation, Gold Dust Thief, by Luci Baker Johnson. Luci will share how George Edward Adams, Seattle Assay Office Clerk, skimmed a Klondike Fortune in gold (dust) during the years 1899-1905.

If you’ve participated in our programs, you should receive our program brochure in the mail by mid-January. If you’d like a copy, you can email or call (206) 622-6952, ext. 221.

Purchase a Preservation Pass and save 35% over individual member ticket prices. With a Preservation Pass, you gain access to all Historic Seattle sponsored events, even SOLD OUT ones, with the exception of our Annual Preservation Awards event and Whidbey Island out-of-town tour. Purchase by January 31st for $250. After that, the price is $300.

Changing Seattle: A Recap

On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Historic Seattle hosted its second InterUrban event at Southside Commons in Columbia City. We had an amazing turnout – especially for a windy, rainy November night – with over 75 people in attendance. One attendee summed it up succinctly, “Wow! Thank you!” and was impressed with the diversity of the presenters and audience participation.

This event would not have been possible without our dedicated volunteers and sponsors, Spinnaker Bay Brewing and Columbia City Bakery. A big thanks goes to our planning committee members: Cara Bertron, Real Estate Lab Coordinator for IDEA Space at SCIDpda, and Michael Powe, Senior Research Manager at the National Trust’s Preservation Green Lab. They worked to develop the presentation topic and format, as well as connect us with the exceptional lineup of speakers.

What really made this event a success was the collection of speakers who provided their particular perspectives to explore the intersection of place, community, and change. They included Roger Fernandes, Native American Artist and Storyteller; Cynthia Updegrave, Botanist; Florangela Davila, Forterra; Tomi Adewale, Ujima Pictures; Grace Kim, Schemata Workshop; Maiko Winkler-Chin, Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda); Karl Hackett, Vision Hillman City and Jacob Willard Home; Ethan Phelps-Goodman, Seattle in Progress; and Michael Sullivan, Artifacts Consulting.

Each of the speakers prepared a “lightning talk” – 20 slides, with each slide shown for 15 seconds – to tackle questions such as: How is our city changing? What are they doing to change it? How does place—whether old and historic or shiny and new—play into the equation?

Highlights included Roger’s Native American storytelling and emphasis on keeping alive traditional knowledge for future generations; Cynthia’s overview of geological history over 20,000 years (in six minutes!); and Tomi’s short documentary, A Conspiracy, produced by Ujima Pictures, exposing the damaging impact of displacement in the Central District.

Some of the presenters contributed their professional perspectives on the types of change taking place – both the challenges and opportunities. Grace discussed zoning incentives intended to preserve historic character for Capitol Hill’s auto row buildings, only to leave behind remnants of the building that do little to preserve the diversity of residents or cultural heritage. Maiko described SCIDpda’s work to preserve, promote and develop the Chinatown International District as a vibrant community and unique ethnic neighborhood. Ethan brought his “data-centered” perspective on neighborhood development, based on his mobile web app Seattle in Progress, to look at what density and demolition look like in Seattle.

Others shared more personal stories. Florangela looked at place and character – through a Japanese sweet shop, some of her favorite places, and lost places. Karl talked about a neighborhood group, Vision Hillman City, formed to address fast-paced changes in a historic community, and described how his vintage and mid-century furniture business, Jacob Willard Home, has become a beloved community hub.

Preservationist and historian Michael Sullivan wrapped up the conversation by saying that Seattle is at a critical juncture, showing an image of a rake and leaf blower to depict the dramatic shift in the pace of development and what it means to our city’s built environment and sense of uniqueness.

The event provided a lot of food for thought indeed; Historic Seattle looks forward to hosting more InterUrban events in the coming year. We hope to see you there to continue the conversation!

InterUrban seeks to inspire conversations about achieving more livable communities through historic preservation. The series connects historic preservation to urban planning and policy discussions impacting our region such as affordability, equitable development, social justice, sustainability, and neighborhood density.

InterUrban: Changing Seattle

Join Historic Seattle on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, at 7 pm for a lively conversation on the topic of Changing Seattle. This event, part of our InterUrban Series, will bring together placemakers and thinkers from around the city to explore the intersection of place, community, and change.

Speakers will tackle questions about how our city is changing, what they are doing to change it, and how place plays into the equation with a 5-minute lightning-style timed slideshow. Come for new perspectives on changing neighborhoods and longstanding challenges; stay for snacks, drinks, and conversation afterwards.

Confirmed speakers include:

+ Tomilola Adewale, Ujima Pictures
+ Florangela Davila, Forterra
+ Zac Davis, Photographer
+ Roger Fernandes, Native American Artist and Storyteller
+ Karl Hackett, Vision Hillman City and Jacob Willard Home
+ Grace Kim, Schemata Workshop
+ Ethan Phelps-Goodman, Seattle in Progress
+ Michael Sullivan, Artifacts Consulting
+ Cynthia Updegrave, Botanist and Historical Ecologist
+ Maiko Winkler-Chin, Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda)

This event will be held at Southside Commons in Columbia City. Southside Commons is owned and operated by the Alliance for a Just Society, and is housed in the former Columbia Baptist Church, built in 1907 and substantially renovated in the 1930s. Event co-sponsors include Spinnaker Bay Brewing and Columbia City Bakery.

Advance registration is appreciated but not required. Admission is $5 in advance or at the door.

Photo credit: Chas Redmond

Celebrating Our Apple Harvest

Apples2At the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, Historic Seattle stewards not only a significant historic building, but also a landscape that includes space for contemplation, recreation, and food production. The grounds, tended by lead gardener Tara Macdonald, include 18 varieties of apple trees, concentrated at the edges of the south parking lot. The tradition of growing apples on this site began with the nuns who operated the Home of the Good Shepherd from 1906 to 1973, and has continued under Historic Seattle’s ownership of the building since 1975.

Recently, these apple trees have benefited from the attention and care of several volunteers, particularly Barb Burrill of City Fruit and Don Ricks of the Seattle Tree Fruit Society. Both volunteers were on hand for a special apple tasting event on September 30, which coincided with the Wednesday Farmers Market in Meridian Park, adjacent to the Good Shepherd Center.

Those who stopped at Historic Seattle’s apple tasting table were treated to slices of nine different types of apples. Some of these were old-fashioned or heritage varieties, and others new. Tara and the volunteers provided information about the apple varieties, such as their origin, recommended use, and cold and disease resistance, as well as about organic pest control techniques.

Apple tasters – including neighbors, tenants, and students at the Good Shepherd Center-based Meridian School – had the opportunity to vote for their favorite variety. The hands-down winner was the Melrose apple with 36 votes, followed by the Liberty apple. With the success of this year’s tasting, we expect to repeat and grow this event with next year’s fall harvest. We would love to see you at our upcoming events; visit our website for more information.

Photos: Tara Macdonald offers slices of apples harvested from trees at the Good Shepherd Center / Credit: Dana Phelan

InterUrban Series Launched

John Bennett

John Bennett at the Friends of Georgetown History Museum / Credit: Eugenia Woo

Last evening at the Friends of Georgetown History Museum, Historic Seattle hosted a happy hour to launch our InterUrban series of events. About 65 attendees explored the museum to find the answers to trivia questions, learned about neighborhood history, and enjoyed libations provided by sponsor (and neighborhood business) Machine House Brewery.

One highlight of the evening was hearing from John Bennett, a past Historic Seattle award recipient, on why he invests and believes in the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. We also received a visit and heard stories from a ghost of Georgetown’s past – a saloon owner, naturally.

Historic Seattle looks forward to hosting more InterUrban events in the coming months. We’ll be offering informal, advocacy-focused, issues-based event opportunities presented in a variety of formats including small group discussions, happy hour gatherings, behind-the-scenes tours, and social media engagement.

The series connects historic preservation to urban planning and policy discussions impacting our region such as affordability, equitable development, social justice, sustainability, and neighborhood density. One outcome is to build collaborative partnerships that broaden our impact and to shape the discussion about the future development of our communities and historic places that matter.