Not yet dearly departed, Broadway Bonney Watson to be considered as landmark

What is coming next for Broadway’s Bonney Watson Funeral Home could have been much different if the original plans for the “modern style” structure had been achieved:

An undated but presumably early architectural rendering retained by the Bonney-Watson company gives some indication of preliminary design ideas—the image shows a Modern-style three-story flat- roofed structure with an integral clock tower, all set back from the street to allow for landscaping. The few windows on the main elevation feature projecting wrapped surrounds, which match approximately the profile of the thin parapet coping. The building is clad with stone laid in a random ashlar pattern, but the front elevation is dominated by a two-story-high central gridded façade made of an unknown material—possibly a projecting screen, or a wall cladding of mosaic-like tiles, stones, or even translucent glazing. This proposed design apparently included a wrapping driveway allowing vehicular access to the rear of the building from Broadway, like the 1912 building.

Instead, the 1961 architectural creation of the Bain & Overturf firm more than likely has a date with the wrecking ball in a year or so. CHS reported on the development plan for twin six-story mixed-use apartment buildings to rise on the Bonney Watson properties adjacent Cal Anderson Park. November will bring the project’s first design review. A required assessment of the squat, blocky building’s potential as a historical landmark is now also on the calendar:

Landmarks Preservation Board: nomination of Bonney-Watson Funeral Home for landmark status

As we’ve noted about past seemingly doomed but requisite landmarks reviews, even if it can’t save the building, the documentation can help save the history. The nomination packet, embedded below, for the Bonney Watson mortuary is a worthwhile read:
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CHS History | Value Village’s end, rogue garbage truck, Skillet born

Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:



Here is why there is now a box for free socks at Broadway and Pike

After encampment backlash, mayor rolls out ‘Interim Action Plan’ on Seattle homelessness

100 dumpsters pulled off Capitol Hill’s streets and sidewalks



Capitol Hill Value Village to close after one last Halloween — UPDATE

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Election 2017: The citywide city council races — a Capitol Hill-centric explainer

November ballots are out and voting has started. CHS election coverage has already given you a Capitol Hill thing or three to think about in the Seattle Mayor’s race pitting Jenny Durkan vs. Cary Moon. Now let’s look at the citywide City Council races. CHS has compiled a rundown on the platforms, positions, and campaign rhetoric of the four candidates for Position 8 and Position 9 with issues particularly relevant to Capitol Hill, the Central District, and District 3 in mind.

The position 8 city council seat—which was recently vacated by former veteran council member and now interim mayor, Tim Burgess—is being contested by Teresa Mosqueda, a former state-level labor union lobbyist, and Jon Grant, former director of the Tenants Union. Meanwhile, former civil rights attorney and current incumbent council member representing the Position 9 citywide seat, Lorena Gonzalez, is being challenged by South Seattle business owner and neighborhood activist Pat Murakami.


This race has received the most attention and media coverage out of the two city council seats up for grabs. When Burgess announced last December that he wouldn’t seek re election, candidates began piling on to the race. The August primary pushed Mosqueda and Grant through with 31.59 and 26.87% of the vote respectively (Grant beat out Fremont Brewing owner Sara Nelson for second place by five points). Continue reading

Central Co-op celebrates with birthday pie… charts

Capitol Hill’s Central Co-op celebrated its 39th birthday on Monday with a little party on Broadway. There wasn’t any cake. But there was a lot of pie.

The cooperative was on the street in front of Seattle Central to share birthday pie — edible pie charts, to be exact — to help illustrate its place in the community and the economy:

The edible “pie charts” represent the result of an economic impact report conducted by Civic Economics, a financial analysis agency, showing the cooperative returns more than 52 percent of its revenue back to the local economy. Central Co-op first opened its doors on October 16, 1978. Its guiding principles including concern for community have been an important part of the organization’s decision-making process for the past 39 years.

“We are proud to be leaders in our community when it comes to making an impact on the lives of our workers and shoppers. We feel very fortunate to have been able to be so responsive to our members’ needs over the last 39 years,” Central Co-op CEO Garland McQueen said in an announcement of the pop-up. “We look forward to continuing this work for another 40 years and beyond.”

The public relations push and free pie comes as the co-op moves forward from its decision to drop out of bidding for the anchor tenant spot in the Capitol Hill Station development and wrinkles in its takeover of a cooperative in Tacoma. Meanwhile, the grocery market is busy giving its E Madison home a makeover.


CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Ain’t no stubborn son

The CHS Flickr Pool contains nearly 35,000 photographs — most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line.
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All Jaywalk? All Walks vs. All-way Walks and what happened with the changes on Broadway

CORRECTION: In March, CHS reported that an “all way walk” crosswalk would be installed at Denny in coordination with other safety changes around Broadway in front of Capitol Hill Station. The new Broadway/Denny crosswalks are, indeed, “all walk” crosswalks as the Seattle Department of Transportation recently corrected us. CHS regrets the error.

We also kind of regret the All-way walk.

“The compliance issue arises from pedestrian expectations of a walk coming on with a parallel green light, which is not our practice for All Walks or All-way Walks,” a department spokesperson tells CHS about our observation that many if not most people jaywalk against the signals at Broadway and Denny. The relatively short crossing of Denny has long been a temptation for a quick cross as long as no cars are speeding through. Hard to say but it might be that people are even more likely to cross against the lights in the new configuration. Continue reading

Hope for Hilltop: ‘Save Our Station’ community meeting planned

Earlier this month CHS reported on the end of gasoline sales at 15th and Mercer as ownership of Hilltop Service Station ponders its future under a looming property sale and redevelopment. A Capitol Hill neighbor is organizing a community meeting to help “Save Our Station.”

“The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future of our ‘urban village.’ So far we have lost our hardware store, our post-office and now our a full-service gas station, what’s next?,” neighborhood gadfly Ellen Taft says in the announcement of the October 28th meeting at nearby Victrola Coffee.

SOS Save Our Station

Taft, also known for her efforts to advocate for stricter laws regarding dogs and breeds like pitbulls in Seattle, also hopes to help shape any new development lined up for the corner. “If businesses cannot house their workers, they may go out of business, and then we will live like people in the suburbs in the 1950’s, living in residential neighborhoods and having to drive to everything else,” she says. “Development will come to 15th, we the people, just need to plan now for the future.”

Hilltop Service Station has provided the neighborhood with tune-ups, oil changes, and more since 1966-1967 on the corner of 15th Ave E and E Mercer. Owner Mike Burke says he will continue to operate the service garage even as a developer is preparing to purchase the property from the family who has owned it for decades.

Meet the one woman holding down SPD’s Bias Crimes Unit

SPD Detective Beth Wareing (Image: Alex Garland)

While the Seattle Police Department has kept track of biased crime cases for decades — it has to be reported to the feds — a unit dedicated to investigating the reports is only a few years old. It sits underneath the homicide and assault units. The person in charge? Detective Beth Wareing.

She’s technically a coordinator but she reads all the cases, knows where they are and answers questions. The hallmark of bias crime, Wareing said, is random selection — a stranger suddenly choosing to do something hateful to a person with little or no warning. “It’s one of the things that makes them a little difficult to solve,” she said. The department says only 39% of reported bias crimes in 2017 have resulted in charges.

The number of reports, so far, never goes down. “It’s a challenge to say what is completely responsible for increases,” Wareing says. “It is possible it’s in an increase in bias crimes, people are reporting more, officers are doing better at identifying characteristics in a case, or demographic trends have been increasing interactions between people.”

The reality is, however, it’s rarely one factor. And things like politics and media coverage matter.

“One of the things I’m seeing in Seattle is people in Seattle are aware,” Wareing said. “They tend to be pretty active, they read the news. We get a lot of concerned citizens calling in.” Continue reading

Crunch time for effort to expand Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area

Community leaders seeking to expand a Business Improvement Area to advance clean streets, public safety, and business growth across Capitol Hill are looking for a special person to drive creation of the possible $1.6 million program. The candidate needs to be detail oriented and tenacious, able to connect with small business owners and landlords in every nook and cranny of the Hill, and able to track down every single loose end. Sorry, I already have a job.

“People are busy,” says Jeff Peletier, architect at 15th Ave E’s Board and Vellum and spokesperson for the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the efforts to create an expansive Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area. “This economy is insane.”

In these boom times, the job listing for a new campaign manager to wrangle the expansion process is a good sign for those behind the proposed expansion. CHS reported on the February launch of the Hill chamber’s campaign to expand the existing Broadway BIA to encompass Broadway, Pike/Pine, Melrose, as well as 15th and 19th Avenues. The new manager will help drive the day to day to prepare petitions for the City Council as the campaign shifts into an all-out effort to gather signups from 60% of property owners within the proposed boundaries of the expansion. That includes “owners of business property, multi-family residential property, and mixed-use property.” Continue reading

‘Java with Jayapal’ in a Broadway cafe: Trump, GOP banking on resistance fatigue

(Images: Alex Garland)

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) met up with the Capitol Hill community Wednesday morning for some intimate updates and Q&A. The session inside Broadway’s Espresso Vivace showed the representative is busy doing the best she can to block Trump-esque bills with little time to push her own agenda through Congress.

“I mean, in reality, on the floor, our game is unfortunately a lot of opposition,” Jayapal said Wednesday. “We don’t get the opportunity to put bills forward the way they should be, or even craft them. There used to be hearings where you could offer amendments and reasonable people on both sides of the aisle would support a sensible amendment. That really happens hardly at all.”

As a result, Jayapal says she puts her priorities elsewhere. She explained to the group that gathered for the weekday event that her focus remains on constituent services, getting more people involved, changing the makeup of who is involved, and being present in communities.

Jayapal is still able to find a way to move some efforts forward. Continue reading