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Historic Seattle & Indow: Spreading Preservation Awareness through Non-Traditional Means

By Kristina Damschen Spina

Indow is a Portland-based manufacturer of interior storm window inserts. Our inserts are designed to preserve a building’s original windows by improving their performance in areas of noise, drafts, and energy consumption. We are passionate about historic preservation, so we created a zine to engage communities around the issue.

A zine (pronounced zeen) is a small DIY self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, often produced via photocopier. The format of making zines—unencumbered by rules relating to form, function, or purpose—allows makers to share stories about anything. As preservationists work to expand the narrative on saving old places, make preservation inclusive, and reach new audiences, zines are one strategy you should add to your toolkit.

The Indow zine theme for 2021 is community sustainability and how we have managed to maintain a sense of community and place in isolation. When we announced this theme, we asked: “How do we celebrate a place when we cannot stand in it? How do we lift up a community when we cannot gather?” We are grateful for creative people like those at Historic Seattle, who answered our question by asking in return: “Who says you have to stand still in a place to celebrate it?” Historic Seattle’s bike tour of historic sites in the Emerald City, which they’ve been organizing for several years, is an ingenious way to safely gather people and honor the city’s old places.

This year’s Preservation Month Bike Tour offered three routes throughout the city highlighting the remaining Paul Thiry architecture. Thiry introduced Seattle to European Modernism, one of the subgenres of which is Brutalism, used widely in the communist countries of the Eastern Bloc. As a result, many Seattleites had difficulty warming to this new architectural aesthetic popping up in the city. Famously, a Thiry-designed home went on sale for $1 but was demolished after no one purchased it. While Thiry’s contributions may not be widely celebrated, they are part of Seattle’s architectural heritage, and we applaud Historic Seattle for teaching this part of the city’s history.

Did you attend Historic Seattle’s Preservation Month Bike Tour? Consider making your own zine to spread awareness about preservation in your community. Check out Historic Seattle’s submission to the 2021 Indow zine for inspiration. You can find this year’s Indow zine and all of our past editions on the Indow online zine library. Past zine themes include preservation and illuminating our cities with neon. Looking through our past zines will help to demystify the process of making your own. Watch out for our online zine submission page for an update on next year’s zine theme.

If you have a great idea for your zine, but aren’t quite sure how to get it off the ground, we got you covered. Take a look at the Indow Zine Resource Center to learn how to create your first zine. Be sure to watch the zine workshop for wonderful insight provided by the panel with members of the Indow marketing team and guests.


Indow is a generous sponsor of Historic Seattle’s 2021 Community Education & Advocacy Programming. This post is part of a series of guest blogs 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.

VivaCity: Summer 2021 – A Seattle History & Preservation-Related Reading List

Last month, in celebration of summer, we asked you to share what Seattle history or preservation-related books you recommend, or have on your summer reading list. Here is a list of all of the excellent titles that were suggested. Happy reading!

Building Tradition: Pan-Asian Seattle and Life in the Residential Hotels by Marie Rose Wong

The Cayton Legacy – An African American Family by Richard S. Hobbs

Crossing Puget Sound: From Black Ball Steamer to Washington State Ferries by Steven J. Pickens

Distant Corner: Seattle Architects and the Legacy of H. H. Richardson by Jeffrey Karl Ochsner and Dennis Alan Andersen

Emerald Street – A History of Hip Hop in Seattle by Daudi J. Abe

The Forging of A Black Community Seattle’s Central District, From 1870 Through the Civil Rights Era by Quintard Taylor

The Gang of Four: Four Leaders. Four Communities. One Friendship by Bob Santos

Gay Seattle by Gary Atkins

Ghosts of Seattle Past – An Anthology curated by author/editor Jaimee Garbacik

The Good Rain by Timothy Egan

Hill with a Future – by Jacqueline B. Williams

High Voltage Women Breaking Barriers at Seattle City Light by Ellie Belew

I’m Down by Mishna Wolff

Jackson Street After Hours -The Roots of Jazz in Seattle by Paul De Barros

Lost Seattle by Rob Ketcherside

Madison House by Peter Donahue

My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain by Aaron Dixon

My Unforgotten Seattle by Ron Chew

Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place by Coll Thrush

Nisei Daughter by Monica Stone

Olmsted in Seattle: Creating a Park System for a Modern City by Jennifer Ott

Overground Railroad: The Green Book and The Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy Taylor

The River That Made Seattle A Human and Natural History of the Duwamish by BJ Cummings

Seattleness: A Cultural Atlas by Tera Hatfield, Jenny Kempson, and Natalie Ross

Seattle Prohibition: Bootleggers, Rumrunners and Graft in the Queen City by Brad Holden

Seattle’s Women Teachers of the Interwar Years: Shapers of a Livable City by Doris Hinson Pieroth

Shared Walls: Seattle Apartment Buildings 1900-1939 by Diana James

Skid Road – An Informal Portrait of Seattle  by Murray Morgan

Sons of the Profits by William C. Speidel

Too High and Too Steep by David Williams

Tradition and Change on Seattle’s First Hill: Propriety, Profanity, Pills, and Preservation by Lawrence Kreisman

Women In Pacific Northwest History edited by Karen J. Blair





Leadership Transition

Historic Seattle Announces Leadership Transition

Brooker-KellyHistoric Seattle announces that Kathleen Brooker recently stepped down from her position as the organization’s Executive Director on January 1, 2015. Ms. Brooker has transitioned into a new role as Director of the Historic Seattle Preservation Foundation to manage the completion of the organization’s capital campaign to restore Washington Hall, a historic community gathering place and current large project of Historic Seattle. In addition she will be working closely with the Foundation as it develops new initiatives for 2015.

“It has been a wonderful experience to lead this organization for the past seven years. It has been a pleasure to watch the growing support for Washington Hall, the 1908 Landmark that has been the focus of our preservation efforts during this time,” said Kathleen Brooker. “We have expanded our advocacy, outreach and easements work, and completed our restoration of the Good Shepherd Center. But I feel my biggest accomplishment has been to work effectively with an experienced and professional Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority Council and to build an extremely talented and hardworking staff. It has been a lot of fun, and truly satisfying.”

Ms. Brooker was Historic Seattle’s fourth Executive Director in 40 years. Prior to coming to Historic Seattle in 2008, she served as Executive Director of Historic Denver for 15 years. She took on the leadership role at Historic Seattle during the depths of the recession, steering the organization through challenging times. With her national credentials and breadth of experience in preservation leadership, she promoted collaboration and community partnerships, worked to improve organizational operations, increased membership, and directed attention to advocacy.

At its December 2014 meeting, the Council of the Historic Seattle Preservation Development Authority (HSPDA) adopted a leadership transition plan that named Kji Kelly as the new Executive Director effective January 1, 2015. Mr. Kelly has been with the organization since 2005, serving in different capacities, first as Asset and Property Manager, then Director of Real Estate, and since 2014, as Deputy Director. He brings extensive knowledge of the organization’s operations and expertise in real estate and construction management, specializing in restoring, adaptively re-using, and maintaining historic structures. As Executive Director, Mr. Kelly plans to further integrate HSPDA’s three major program areas of education, advocacy, and real estate. In addition, he plans to develop the Foundation to stimulate and attract economic support to save and adaptively re-use more buildings throughout the region.

“Historic Seattle is delighted to welcome Kji Kelly as its new Executive Director,” said Michael Herschensohn, HSPDA Chair. “During her seven years of outstanding professional service, Historic Seattle’s departing executive director Kathleen Brooker guided the organization’s work including preservation efforts for Washington Hall that will return it to community use. Kji brings to Historic Seattle the skills of a talented negotiator and a practicing preservationist. The Council looks forward to dynamic leadership from Kji and the completion of the Washington Hall capital campaign this spring, which Brooker will continue to lead as part of this seamless transition.”