Town Hall reopens after $35 million overhaul of First Hill’s historic venue

When, almost precisely 13 years ago, the 22-year old cellist Joshua Roman stepped onto the stage of Town Hall, he made local music history. It was Roman’s first solo recital after leaving the Seattle Symphony where he’d been the youngest principal cellist ever.

Tuesday night, Roman will make history again. This time, he’s the first performer to fill Town Hall’s Great Hall with music after it has been closed for a 20-month renovation.

The First Hill cultural and civic venue, a Seattle landmark built as a Christian Science Church about a century ago, reopens Tuesday after an extensive renovation, which included a refresh of the glazed terra cotta exterior, a new roof, seismic retrofit, and much-needed accessibility upgrades.

The overhauled Town Hall was initially set to open in 2018 but complications pushed the opening date back to March and then May of this year. The venue’s certificate of occupancy was cleared just last week. When CHS visited, painters were putting finishing touches on the freshly white-painted window frames, and workers were still busy installing lights in the Great Hall.

Though Town Hall had been hosting some events in its downstairs space since April, the entire building opens tonight during what the nonprofit calls a “soft launch.” The official month-long opening festival Homecoming, originally scheduled for this spring, is now planned to run in September.

Roman’s cello concert wasn’t intended to be Town Hall 2.0’s first performance. Somehow, the stars aligned. Continue reading

Sawant scores ‘no consensus’ victory in the 37th — UPDATE

A few of the D3 candidates looking calm during a long Monday night meeting (Image: 37th District Democrats)

The evening began with an eager standing-room only crowd. More than three and a half hours later, the meeting ended with candidate pamphlets scattered and no consensus reached on an endorsement of the 37th District Democrats Monday night for the hotly-contested District 3 race.

A concerted effort by the Kshama Sawant campaign helped cement a “no consensus” vote as the 37th met Monday night to decide if the candidates deserved the group’s backing ahead of the August primary. The 37th District Dems only formally endorse members of the Democratic Party. Sawant, the incumbent and a member of the Socialist Alternative political group, high fived an aide after the final results were announced at the Ethiopian Community Center Monday night.

UPDATE: CHS has corrected the headline and story to recognized the formal “no endorsement” vote also failed and, instead, the decision reached was a formal “no consensus. Chase Cross, 1st Vice Chair, 37th Legislative District Democrats, notified us about our error and also takes issue with our positioning of the lack of endorsement in the vote:

I read your story about our recent endorsements meeting and there is a big correction needed: The “No Endorsement” position, which would be interpreted as a victory for Sawant (since she is ineligible for our endorsement), was declared the winner. That is flat incorrect — we reached the “No Consensus” position, which is different. No Consensus means that after balloting three times, no candidate and the No Endorsement position have all failed to achieve the 60% threshold. Characterizing it as a “win” for Sawant is inaccurate because not only did the No Endorsement position not pass on any ballot, but Zach DeWolfe also won a majority on every ballot except the final dual endorsement motion with Pat Murakami (a ballot on which No Endorsement” was not available.

The decision in the 37th can be chalked up as a loss for the most progressive of Sawant’s opponents and one candidate who considers the state congressional district her home turf.

“The Chamber of Commerce and Amazon are fighting to take City Hall back to business as usual corporate politics,” Sawant said earlier in the night as she addressed the 37th. “Their role goal in District 3? Anybody but Kshama Sawant. Why? Because they know that my office for the last five years has unwaveringly stood by and represented working people, people of color, and marginalized communities.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | ‘CAPITAL HILL STATION’

It is best to just give up when it comes to things like Twitter and Facebook and accept that “Capital Hill” happens. But enjoying classic forms of the typo remains a solid shared joke and cultural marker. We’ve been blessed with some good ones lately. Some we hope stay perfectly flawed forever. Others need to be repaired. Continue reading

CHS Pics | With more space to teach ‘how to be an adult,’ DIY community The Works expands on 12th Ave

A 12th Ave space for learning “the basics” of a life on earth — like being able to sew a rad patch on your jacket or make pickles — has expanded.

“If you didn’t grow up in a house where you got to learn this kind of stuff, where else are you going to learn it?” posits Kellie Phelan of The Works.

The “DIY hands-on community” its expansion earlier this month at 12th and Fir just above the busy with construction and redevelopment Yesler Terrace. Continue reading

With live plants, flowers, and rolling hills, Glossier Seattle’s ‘experience’ starts this week on Capitol Hill

(Image: Glossier)

Starting this Wednesday, an empty corner of Broadway will look very different. Despite being across from the entrance to the bustling Capitol Hill Station, the former American Apparel store has been left vacant since early 2017 after the company filed for bankruptcy. This week, the space will be filled with rolling hills of live native plants and flowers plus the sleek, pink-centric products of Glossier, the much-hyped New York-based “millennial makeup” company that recently reached $1 billion “start-up unicorn” status.

Seattle is the latest in a string of cities the company has carefully selected over recent years to launch a lavish temporary shop in. The Glossier Capitol Hill shop opens this Wednesday.

Glossier doesn’t want it labeled a pop-up. Continue reading

15 things CHS heard at the 43rd District Dems D3 forum

You can view video from the debate on the 43rd District Dems Facebook page

The 43rd District Democrats contributed to a rush of candidate forums Saturday afternoon with its event featuring six candidates for the Seattle City Council’s District 3 seat, which includes Capitol Hill and the Central District, discussing issues like homelessness, climate change, and even their favorite mayors in city history. The day also included the most direct political attack by a challenger on the incumbent yet.

While Pat Murakami’s call for a used cruise ship to house the city’s unsheltered population didn’t make a second appearance, Logan Bowers continued his push for a triplex on every block and incumbent Kshama Sawant continued her crusade for rent control and social housing.

The 43rd District Democrats will also be hosting a “Ballots & Bubbly” event Tuesday night at 7 PM at The Riveter, where many of the D3 candidates can talk to voters in smaller settings, and Seattle University will be hosting a marathon of district race town halls on Sunday.

15 things CHS heard at the 43rd District Dems D3 forum

  1. The forum featured one of the clearest rebukes of Sawant’s tenure yet in one of these events from Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce head Egan Orion, who accused the incumbent of being more focused on raising her national profile and money for the Socialist Alternative party: “She’s neglected the people of District 3.” He added moments later: “We need sound policy, not soundbites; we need a council member who will seek out constituents not a camera and a podium.” He said, if elected, he would have office hours in cafes in the district to talk to voters. Continue reading

Reported knife shoplifter arrested after Broadway stabbing

Crime scene tape blocked off the Broadway at E Pike scene from nightlife crowds early Saturday morning as Seattle Police investigated a stabbing incident in which the suspect was reported to have shoplifted his weapon from the nearby QFC just before the attack.

Police were called to the corner of Broadway and Pike just before 1 AM for a report of a man swinging a knife and causing a disturbance. As they headed to the scene, a report of at least one male stabbed came into 911. Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Capitol Hill and the nearby lends itself to great imagery. Social media is filled with images of the places and streets around us. We share some of the best here. To be included and help us find your stuff, use the #capitolhillseattle tag on Instagram or ping @capitolhillseattle or @jseattle via Twitter.

We still also have lots of love for the CHS Flickr Pool and its more than 36,000 photographs — most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill shutterbugs. With changes at Flickr, its days of an amazing, free for most repository of great photography have shifted but we’re still watching.
Continue reading

Police pursuit of hit and run driver makes big scene on Broadway

Police took multiple people into custody including at least one at gunpoint in a hit and run incident that spanned Pike/Pine and Broadway Friday night.

With the first crash reported just before 9 PM, police began tracking the car carrying multiple people as it sped on Denny and then eventually to Broadway where the suspects appeared to make a run for it, fleeing the area on foot. Police detained at least four people on Broadway near the Shell station and at least one more was detained and taken into custody after being held at gunpoint on Nagle just off Broadway.

It’s not clear how many vehicles were struck but there were no reported serious injuries.

Police reported they had the driver in custody as part of the arrests.

The incident played out on on a busy night in the middle of the area’s nightlife district with police taping off the block to keep out crowds during the investigation. Emergency vehicles called for an unrelated medical issue at a nearby Broadway restaurant also added to the chaotic scene.