Preservation in Progress

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Mercer Island and Kirkland Modern

Mercer-ModTwo upcoming presentations will highlight the rich legacy of mid-century modern residential design in cities that experienced rapid growth in the 1950s and 60s.

On Monday, September 21 at 1 pm, The Mercer Island Historical Society hosts Chris Moore, Executive Director of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Michael Houser, Architectural Historian with the Washington Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, and Todd Scott, Preservation Architect with the King County Historic Preservation Program. They will show examples of Pacific Northwest Modernism, discuss the tear-down trend, and explore strategies for preserving and honoring Mercer Island’s built environment. The presentation will take place at the Mercer Island Community Center at 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island. For more information about the discussion, contact Chris Moore at

On Monday, September 28 at 7 pm, the City of Kirkland will host a special meeting focused on “Kirkland Modern.” Preservation consultant Mimi Sheridan will discuss her research on mid-century houses designed by Paul Kirk, Harry Cummings, Gene Zema and Gordon Varey. She’ll describe some of Kirkland’s most interesting subdivisions and the variety of house styles that shaped these suburban neighborhoods. The meeting will take place at Heritage Hall at 203 Market Street, Kirkland.

Top left photo courtesy of Mimi Sheridan.

Top right: Architect’s rendering of the Stixrood Residence on Mercer Island, built in 1958 and designed by the architectural firm of Tucker & Shields. Image courtesy of Sandy Condiotty.

Annual Preservation Awards

On Tuesday, May 12, 2015, Historic Seattle hosts its 7th Annual Preservation Awards ceremony at the landmark Good Shepherd Center to acknowledge recent successes in the field. The Awards showcase and recognize exceptional public and private projects, as well as individuals and community groups, that preserve and protect Seattle’s built heritage for future generations.

The event begins at 5:30 pm and ends at 8:00 pm. Enjoy traditional Scandinavian “smorrebrod” appetizers, wine and beer, desserts, coffee and tea, and celebrate the award recipients with friends and colleagues.

Dennis Alan Andersen, a former Historic Seattle Council member and former Chair of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, will offer remarks and present awards. Andersen is co-author, with Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, of Distant Corner: Seattle Architects and the Legacy of H.H. Richardson, and served on the advisory committee and authored essays for Shaping Seattle Architecture.

Tickets are available online or by calling 206-622-6952, ext. 221.

Historic Seattle thanks lead event sponsor KeyBank and 4Culture for their additional support.

Congratulations to the 2015 award winners!

Beth Chave Historic Preservation Award for Exemplary Stewardship
Trinity Parish Church

Best Adaptive Reuse
Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room / Packard Showroom

Preserving Historic Landscapes
Dunn Gardens

Preserving Neighborhood Character ­
Anhalt Apartment Building

Transporting through History
SDOT Interurban Shelters Restoration, Queen Anne and Rainier Valley

Community Advocacy
The Friends of the Conservatory, Volunteer Park

Architectural Heritage Publication
Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects, Second Edition (University of Washington Press)

Living Landmark
Peggy Corley

Photo (upper left): Volunteer Park Conservatory / Credit: Eugenia Woo

Digging Deeper in 2015

Digging Deeper Research Series: a program that helps you explore buildings, architecture, and history

digging deeper_02_2015In 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.

The program was a major success! 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.” Additionally, Jill Morelli, one of the participants, blogged about her participation in the series on February 8March 8June 19, and September 13.

In 2015 we will again offer the Digging Deeper Series, this time with a new set of archives located in both King and Pierce County. 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 7th with a visit to the Seattle Public School Archives in the SODO District. Archives Manager, Aaron Purcell, will provide us with insights as to the records that can be accessed, such as school board meetings/correspondence, building architecture, and student life.

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

Seattle Department of Planning and Development, March 5

University of Washington Built Environments Library, April 4

Fiske Genealogical Library (Madison Park), May 9

Washington State Historical Society History Research Center (Tacoma), June 4 or 6

Tacoma Public Library, Northwest Room (Tacoma), June 6

Eastside Heritage Center (Bellevue), August 8

Providence Mount St. Vincent Archive (West Seattle), September 3

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

Photos from the 2014 Digging Deeper Series by Luci Baker Johnson

2015 Historic Seattle Events

Historic Seattle is offering an outstanding 2015 educational program for lovers of buildings and heritage. Enjoy lectures, private homes, local and out-of-town tours, and special events. Learn more in our 2015 program brochure and register online on our website.

2015 Programming Highlights

  • Digging Deeper—Built Heritage Research is a multi-session program for those wishing to learn about the primary research materials in the many archives in Seattle and King County.
  • Quarterly members meetings are held at historic sites often closed to the public.
  • Explore architectural treasures and important vestiges of our past on in-town and out-of-town tours.
  • Attend the screening of a documentary on terra cotta followed by a panel discussion with the producer and local experts on restoration and replacement of this wonderful, well used façade material.
  • Learn about Canadian architecture, fine and decorative arts from 1890-1918 from the distinguished curator of Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
  • Take part in our 7th Annual Historic Preservation Awards event at the Good Shepherd Center.

SAF Design in Depth Lecture April 8 – Pike & Pine Then + Now


The Seattle Architecture Foundation’s Design in Depth lecture series continues Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 6:30 pm at the Broadway Performance Hall (1625 Broadway) on Capitol Hill. Purchase tickets online through Brownpaper Tickets.

Capitol Hill prides itself on proximity to downtown while boasting a mix of uses almost absent from the neighboring business district. New mixed-use projects compete with the architectural soul of the neighborhood, rooted in structures of the old “auto row” and historic housing stock. Can this welcome density and diversity be integrated into the neighborhood without losing its architectural character?

Guest Speakers:
Michael Oaksmith, Director of Development at Hunters Capital
Chuck Wolfe, Land Use Attorney, Writer, Blogger, Professor
Jeff Reibman, Principal, Weber Thompson
Michael Sullivan, Principal, Artifacts, Inc
Eugenia Woo, Director of Preservation Services at Historic Seattle

Gold Sponsor: Krekow Jennings

Parking: There is $5 Flat Rate parking at 1609 Harvard Ave west of the Broadway Performance Hall.



Washington Hall in the News

Poster design by

Poster design by

It’s not too late to buy tickets and join Historic Seattle for a not-to-be-missed benefit concert featuring performances by four generations of the legendary Holden Family, a dynasty of Seattle jazz and music, and special guests The Teaching featuring Evan Flory Barnes, Josh Rawlings, and Jeremy Jones. Proceeds will go to restoring this 106-year-old historic building to its former glory and re-activating it as a vibrant community gathering place for arts and culture.

The event is this Saturday, March 29, 2014 (7:30 to 10:00 pm) at Washington Hall.

The event and our restoration efforts at Washington Hall have been in the news lately. Check out these articles and great piece on KPLU!

Jerry Large’s March 27th column in the Seattle Times, “Benefit party to help pay for the restoring Washington Hall.” 

KPLU-FM story about Washington Hall and the Holden family, descendents of Seattle jazz patriarch Oscar Holden. Be sure to listen to the great interview! 

City Living Seattle recently highlighted our upcoming benefit concert for Washington Hall in this article, “Behind the Curtain, Benefit Concert.” 

Musical Benefit for Washington Hall – March 29, 2014

Poster design by

Poster design by

Buy tickets today!

Join Historic Seattle for a not-to-be-missed benefit concert featuring performances by four generations of the legendary Holden Family, a dynasty of Seattle jazz and music, and special guests The Teaching featuring Evan Flory Barnes, Josh Rawlings, and Jeremy Jones. Proceeds will go to restoring this 106-year-old historic building to its former glory and re-activating it as a vibrant community gathering place for arts and culture.

With a new roof, seismic stabilization of the south wall, refinished floors, and funds to build an elevator secured, we’ve entered the final phase of the campaign. We need to raise $2.2 million by June 2014 to continue the renovation. In addition to fully restoring the Main Hall and Lodge Room to their original condition, the full rehabilitation of Washington Hall will include renovating the former Danish settlement house in the western third of the building. Once home to immigrants of all backgrounds, these spaces will become offices for Hidmo, 206 Zulu, Voices Rising and other community organizations, classrooms and meeting rooms, a recording studio, and cafe.

Please visit the Washington Hall website or contact Historic Seattle to donate to the campaign and to learn more about the history of Washington Hall. Purchase tickets here!

We need event volunteers! If interested, please contact Van Diep, Washington Hall Rental Manager at

Digging Deeper – Built Heritage Historic Research Series

Seattle Municipal Archives / Photo: Bonnie Jean MacDonald

Seattle Municipal Archives / Photo: Bonnie Jean MacDonald

Historic Seattle is offering a multi-session program designed to provide attendees with behind the scenes insight to primary research materials in the many archives in Seattle and King County. Each month we visit a selected archive and receive expert advice as to what is available and how staff can assist with research projects. This program helps you to explore buildings, architecture, and history. By the time you are through, you will want to attend one or more of the events during National Archives Month in Seattle in October 2014 and attend Historic Seattle’s Advocacy Workshop on November 8.

The first session takes place Saturday, February 8, 2014 (10:30 am to NOON) at Historic Seattle’s headquarters, the Dearborn House on First Hill (1117 Minor Ave). Presenters are Luci J. Baker Johnson and Eugenia Woo of Historic Seattle. Learn about the printed resources available at Historic Seattle’s research library and how to navigate various online databases that contain golden nuggets of historical treasures. To register online for this session and to learn more about the entire series, go to our website. Cost – Series of eight sessions: $65 general public; $50 Historic Seattle members; $20 students. Individual sessions: $10 general public; $8 Historic Seattle members; $5 students.

Historic Seattle Annual Meeting, January 23, 2014

Frye Art Museum, site of Historic Seattle Annual Meeting / Photo: Larry Kreisman

Frye Art Museum, site of Historic Seattle Annual Meeting / Photo: Larry Kreisman

Please join Historic Seattle at our Annual Meeting (open to members and the public) as we welcome in our 40th year of education, advocacy, and preservation of historic  structures in the lovely surroundings of First Hill’s leading cultural institution, the Frye Art Museum.

Charles Frye was the son of German immigrants who moved to Seattle in 1888. He established the leading meatpacking business and invested in real estate, gold mines, and oil wells. With their increasing wealth, he and his wife Emma became avid collectors and patrons of the arts. They had a particular interest in 19th century European realism. The Fryes displayed their paintings in a Classical Revival home at 9th Avenue and Columbia Street, built on the site of Coppin’s well and designed by architects Bebb and Mendel. Eventually, they added a skylit art gallery to the home to display their expanding collections. This became the founding collection of the Frye Art Museum, opened on February 8, 1952 in a building designed by Paul Thiry. With a rear addition in 1984 by Callison Partnership and a major addition and interior remodeling by Olson/Sundberg in 1997, the museum has expanded its collecting range and audience base.

Deputy Director Jill Rullkoetter will discuss the museum’s history and its programs, and lead tours.

WHEN: Thursday, January 23, 2014; 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

WHERE: Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Avenue, Seattle, 98104
Parking lot west of museum and on-street metered parking

Cost: Free/donation. Light refreshments