The top stories of 2012 on Capitol Hill were larger issues that also played out on our streets as marriage equality and marijuana legalization changed our world. 2013’s selection of top stories, below, seems likely to be defined by more local outcomes. There’s an amazing new building standing along E Madison. A man who lives and loves Capitol Hill has been elected the city’s mayor. Another who lives and loves here vaulted to pop superstardom.
Below, we’ve compiled our annual selection of the most important neighborhood stories of the year based on how many of you read, shared and commented on the news and some good old-fashioned editorial judgement. As we’ve said in the past — 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 — it’s an arbitrary process — and the culled selection included in the poll is even more arbitrary. You can tell us all about it in comments.
Also as we’ve said before, thanks. Thank you for being part of CHS and helping the site continue to be part of the neighborhood. We’re lucky to have so many important stories to tell.
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- A recurring theme in 2013 was the final chapter for Capitol Hill institutions — only to find that a sequel is being planned. News that the chain operating Capitol Hill’s Egyptian Theatre was pulling the plug on the E Pine venue shocked many. A top story of 2014 — hopefully — will be a SIFF-powered resurrection of the venue.
- The Comet also “died.” As did The Canterbury. And Bauhaus. All to rise again.
- Powered by the sun, $18.5 million, super green office building The Bullitt Center opened at 15th and E Madison.
- Sounds of the city on Capitol Hill — Where I question if what I’m seeing here is real… It was an enormous year for Capitol Hill-based and now global pop star Macklemore. The man born Ben Haggerty teamed up with Ryan Lewis to go platinum and give Seattle its first rap superstar since Sir Mix-A-Lot. In July, Macklemore created a few thousand thrills on Broadway with a secret video shoot for his White Walls video including a Dick’s Drive-In rooftop performance. The neighborhood superstar capped the year by buying a very expensive Capitol Hill home within walking distance of the drive-in.
- On the morning of July 5th, Bellevue Ave resident Joel Reuter engaged SPD Swat units in an hours-long standoff from inside his 5th floor condo before opening fire with a handgun and being shot dead by police. His family is working to change mental health laws that they say prevented them from getting the 28-year-old the help he needed.
- Police shot and killed an armed man in a November standoff on 22nd Ave E.
- A 19-year-old man died in an apparent accidental shooting on 10th Ave.
- A wave of summer violence centered around Cal Anderson again caused many concern. Meanwhile, the stats showed you were just as likely to get beat up, more likely to get robbed, burgled. The rangers were called in to help.
- Heroin ODs apparently increased.
- Charges were filed in a May alleged hate beating at 10th and Pike. Continued bigotry inspired various anti-hate crime campaigns.
- A son of Capitol Hill was elected Mayor in 2013 as longtime leader of the 43rd District serving the neighborhood and 10th Ave E resident Ed Murray defeated Mike McGinn in November. The champion of gay rights also celebrated his marriage to Michael Shiosaki thanks to one of Capitol Hill’s top stories of 2012 — the landslide R74 victory Murray helped engineer. We’re assuming he’ll have a hand in a top story or two in 2014.
- Despite 2,816 new apartments being under construction at one point in the year, rents continued to soar as CHS reported buying a home on the Hill was out of reach for most who live here.
While other Seattle tunneling faltered, the Sound Transit project to bore twin light rail tunnels running beneath Capitol Hill was completed with only a few small hiccups. The progress puts the U-Link project ahead of schedule and on track for an early 2016 opening.
- An agreement to open Broadway development near Capitol Hill Station to 85 feet in exchange for affordable housing commitments around the site was forged by the Seattle City Council after years of community work.
- No-growth and slow-growth movements congealed as grassroots groups pushed back on recent upzoning around Capitol Hill and targeted densifying projects. Developers fanned the flames by continuing to build much coveted new apartment buildings — often replacing single-family homes in the process. Not every part of the pushback was successful but the groups found a toehold here and there.
- A gay tourism center opened on Broadway.
- Trans Pride joined the Capitol Hill contingent of June celebrations.
- Capitol Hill celebrated Seattle’s first parklet.
- Broadway got a bikeway.
- Pike/Pine got a Gun Free Zone.
- A high-profile Capitol Hill nightclub investment went sour as one-year-old The Social shuttered following a courtroom defeat.
- You may not remember now that’s its gargantuan offerings are part of the neighborhood’s nightlife fabric, but back in February, the intrigue ran so deep around a German beer hall created by the team behind Poquitos that our post showing you the first looks inside 12th Ave’s Von Trapp’s was easily one of the most-clicked on CHS this year.
- The buzz was equally thick for another Hill nightlife project that basically redefined the night part of what a Hill nightlife project could be. Lost Lake — mostly — never closes. The 24-hour diner from Pike/Pine power brokers David Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse debuted in May.
Restaurant from the front, originally uploaded by Lookin4TallGuys.
- We learned global coffee giant Starbucks is building a first-of-it-SBUX-kind roasting facility on Pike.
- Well, maybe not most important — but interesting! Long before Jeff Bezos freaked everybody out with his delivery plan, CHS reported on a peculiar neighborhood run-in with a pushy drone pilot. We also reported on a peculiar neighborhood run-in with a pushy cameraman with a seeming propensity for posting his privacy-ruffling work to YouTube. Also interesting — a street robber’s dumb idea to try to mug a Capitol Hill boxer, this car vs. pedestrian incident on E Denny Way that involved a man fleeing from a robbery and the suspect being carried on the car’s hood, an alleged Car2Go hit and run, a civil lawsuit was filed against a director who allegedly ripped off more than $236,000 from a Capitol Hill daycare program, this couple’s sex inside a Capitol Hill club that sent one to the hospital and the other to jail, the worst counterfeiter ever was busted at Dick’s, a high-five bandit struck the Hill,
- A 23-year-old Irish citizen was found dead in the street after being struck by a Metro bus at 12th and Pine.
- A woman got her arm stuck in a noodle machine on Broadway.
- Kshama Sawant turned her Socialist Alternative energy and the push for worker rights into a successful run for the Seattle City Council.
- RIP in 2-0-1-3: Half Price Books, Broadway Grill. Meanwhile, Fran’s said it was leaving the Hill.
- Brocklind’s hung it up after 106 years.
- Broadway got an Office Max.
- Elliott Bay Book Company turned 40. Dick’s Drive-In turned 60. Pagliacci Broadway turned 30.
- The 22-million gallon Volunteer Park reservoir was temporarily drained as officials assessed its future. The park’s unsustainable koi, meanwhile, were removed.
- The Ferrari dealership at 12th and Union became the only car retailer remaining on Capitol Hill, starting a construction project to overhaul its showroom. The management also purchased an interesting property on E Madison.
- Capitol Hill got a comic book store.
- The neighborhood prepared for I-502’s full implementation with the start of retail pot shops in 2014 by wondering where on Capitol Hill a story might legally operate. Some didn’t wait around to find out.
- The dance tax was killed.
- City Light nixed a plan to build giant electrical towers across the Hill.
- One of the most popular posts of the year didn’t involve a rapper or any news at all. CHS talked with Boe Oddisey, scarf dancer and thousands clicked to find out more about the Seattle character.
MORE CHS YEAR IN REVIEW 2013