Our Town — with ‘celebrity guest’ Professor Willards — takes the stage at 12th Ave Arts

1471280_10152667908066270_4908311122070856656_nLast week, CHS took you behind the scenes as the stages at 12th Ave Arts — the affordable housing + office + restaurants + theater + SPD parking development from Capitol Hill Housing — started to go into motion for the first time with Washington Ensemble Theatre’s debut of Sprawl.

This week, a second resident company will take the stage at 12th Ave Arts for the first time as Strawberry Theatre Workshop presents the classic Our Town:

Thornton Wilder—who begins Our Town with the direction, “No curtain. No scenery.”—might have been thrilled to stage his Pulitzer Prize winning play in a space where theatre had never been created before. His play pioneered a form of expressionism that demanded an audience collaborate in the creation of the story without the aid of production elements of any kind.

When Strawberry Theatre Workshop Artistic Director Greg Carter walked into the unfinished performance space at 12th Ave Arts on Capitol Hill, he decided that Wilder was uniquely suitable to welcome the neighborhood into a new venue.  “The idea of this production is that 12th Ave Arts is not a theatre until we make it one.”

Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Performance Dates: Jan 22-Feb 21
Performance Times: Thu-Fri-Sat at 7:30pm, Sun at 2:00pm
No Performance Sun Feb-1 (Super Bowl Sunday) or Sun Feb-22
Venue: 12th Ave Arts
Address: 1620 12th Ave, Seattle 98122
Ticket Prices: $36 General, $27 Seniors, $18 Students
Phone Sales: 1-800-838-3006
Online Sales: www.brownpapertickets.com

Strawshop says it is lining up celebrity guests to walk-on in the role of Professor Willard in Act 1 of each performance: “The walk-on opportunity is a gesture to the community in this celebration of civic life, and to thank the neighborhood for its support of 12th Ave Arts.” You can learn more at facebook.com/strawshop.

‘Fight for Your Rights’ say organizers of 33rd annual MLK Day festival and march

2014's march had a decided focus on economic justice the push for a $15 minimum wage gained steam (Image: CHS)

2014’s march had a decided focus on economic justice the push for a $15 minimum wage gained steam (Image: CHS)

Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day will bring a 33rd annual march and festival to the Central District to mark the great works of the civil rights leader.

This year’s theme? Fight for Your Rights in 2015! A list of the day’s workshops can be found here (PDF).

Information on the day of workshops and rallies and the noontime march from Garfield High School to the Federal Courhouse at 7th and Stewart is below. Last year’s march included thousands of participants. Continue reading

Cheap/free/local/outside your apartment New Year’s 2015 parties on Capitol Hill

Ringing in 2014 in Volunteer Park (Images: CHS)

Time is cruel. You’re way too late if you want to reserve a hot table at the hottest venue to ring in 2015. But if you’re like CHS and are taking a more casual approach to the New Year, here’s a roster parties and events you might just be able to wander into. As is tradition, we list our take on Capitol Hill NYE celebrations in order of price, from $0 up. Many Hill bars will be free as usual — we’re happy to give some special attention to the free and cheap folks planning a bash to say goodbye to 2014. Note: Some of the prices listed are pre-sale so cost at door could vary. Let us know what we missed in comments or send mail to CHS@capitolhillseattle.com. We’ll continue to add listings through the 31st.

Happy 2015!

  • The freest of all! Yes, you can see the Space Needle fireworks from Capitol Hill.
  • $0 — Linda’s: “Party with us this New Year’s Eve with DJ Cuddlingus and DJ Money Ball$ spinnin all the best jams! Plus a free champagne toast at midnight, hangover brunch at 10am the next morning AND NO COVER!”
  • $0 — Lark/Bitter/Raw: “Lark is fully booked for New Year‘s Eve, but swing by Bitter/Raw for a glass of bubbly and a few bites to eat at the beginning or end of your evening out.”
  • $0 — Witness:Okay, Congregation! Now that we have survived Christmas, let’s talk New Year’s Eve. Witness is serving dinner with yummy food specials until 10 pm. Then, at 10pm we are turning up the volume and having a dance party. No reservation needed for dinner! Just come celebrate. Continue reading

CHS Community Post | Capitol Hill Community Council gathers neighborhood feedback, unveils new logo

1794549_10153396491788696_276564671098180380_nBy Capitol Hill Community Council Secretary Elliot Helmbrecht

More than 80 people gathered at the Cal Anderson Shelter House on Thursday, December 18th to celebrate the inaugural Capitol Hill Community Council Winter Open House.

The event – sponsored in part from a grant awarded by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods – also provided the Capitol Hill Community Council with meaningful neighborhood input and advice that will guide their work in 2015. Posters were placed around the room during the duration of the event with header titles such as: “Affordability”, “Neighborhood Safety”, “Historic Preservation,” “Homelessness,” and many others. Attendees were each given six dot stickers upon their arrival and encouraged to vote for the issues that they viewed as the most important. Towards the end of the evening, the Capitol Hill Community Council members then put out another round of poster boards for the issues that received the most votes and encouraged neighbors to write down their ideas, hopes, and inspiration relating to each topic.

The event was free and open to the public. Guests enjoyed live Brazilian jazz music by local band, Maracujá; food and drinks from local favorites like Caffé Vita, Hot Mama’s, and Cupcake Royale; and, short remarks from elected officials in attendance including: State Senator Jamie Pedersen, Seattle Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim, and City Council Members Sally Clark and Kshama Sawant.

Thanks to the work of community council Vice President Zachary Pullin and a friend from Gay City Health Project, the community council revealed their new look and logo!

The Capitol Hill Community Council plans to use the advice and suggestions from guests at the Open House to guide their neighborhood work in 2015. The opportunity provided for community connection, increased interest in our work and the improvement of the neighborhood, and allowed neighbors and more to get to know the new, re-energized cohort of community council members.

The Capitol Hill Community Council meets every third Thursday of the month. They will be discussing the results of the voting and will begin planning their work for the upcoming year at the next meeting on January 15th at 6:30 PM in the Cal Anderson Shelter House.

You can learn more at capitolhillcommunitycouncil.org.

This week in CHS history: Neighbours arson, Sam’s debuts

8445980778_e5260c67aa_oHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

City Hall committee has 20 questions on affordability for you to answer

In November, CHS introduced you to some of the Capitol Hill connections in the citizen body tasked by Mayor Ed Murray with producing an affordable housing plan for Seattle by spring 2015.

In addition to community meetings and City Hall updates, there is an effort underway to gather feedback from citizens about what affordable living really means. You can participate in this 20-question survey to add your experience to the dataset. Questions #8 and #9 are doozies!Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 4.06.46 PM

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 4.07.42 PM

You can learn more about the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee here.

On Monday, CHS examined the numbers around gentrification on Capitol Hill.

You can also talk with City Council members Sally Clark and Kshama Sawant at Thursday night’s Capitol Hill Community Council open house.

Here’s why your friends in Montlake are extra cranky this week

(Image: WSDOT)

(Image: WSDOT)

The good news? “Nighttime activities are not planned between Dec. 24 and Jan. 4.” In the meantime, Montlake is going to be taking one for the team the next couple weeks as 520 Seattle-side replacement work gets hard and heavy. A bulletin from WSDOT on planned nighttime construction is below. You can learn more here. And, of course, be thankful they’re not trying to tunnel to Medina.

Upcoming construction activities in the Montlake Interchange area
Major construction kicks off this month around SR 520’s Montlake Boulevard interchange as part of the West Approach Bridge North Project (WABN). Crews plan to begin a variety of local street improvements, starting with the widening of the eastbound SR 520 ramps to and from Montlake Boulevard during the week of Dec. 15. Montlake-area improvements are designed to provide additional capacity on 520 ramps and local streets, and safer travel for bicyclists and pedestrians when WABN is complete. As construction plans are finalized and work proceeds in the Montlake area, additional notifications will be sent.

Noisy work expected during the night at SR 520 eastbound ramps

To widen the ramps, crews will perform work between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. on the following weeknights:

Monday, Dec. 15 – Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
Monday, Dec. 22 – Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014
Monday – Thursday nights, Jan. 5 – Jan. 29, 2015
Note: Nighttime activities are not planned between Dec. 24 and Jan. 4.

Work includes site preparation, cutting through the roadway surface and installing drainage to prepare for future intersection modifications.


Crews are performing this work at night in order to avoid disrupting weekday traffic. Nearby residents and businesses may hear noise and feel vibrations from the construction activities. All work involving noisy impact equipment, such as jackhammers, will occur before 10 p.m. as required by the city of Seattle temporary noise variance. In accordance with our construction contract and the city of Seattle noise variance, the work will be performed using construction best management practices and sequenced in a way to minimize noise as much as possible.

What’s open on Capitol Hill Thanksgiving 2014 — Plus, Hill thanks thread

If you want to rest this Thanksgiving holiday, we hope you are resting. If you want to work, we hope there is a lot of work. And friendly, holiday tipping.

Below, we’ll collect a selection of notes about what is open for those of you looking to get out and about on the holiday. In the comments, you’re welcome to leave a note or two of Capitol Hill thanks. We’re thankful, for one, for a neighborhood that continues to give us so many great stories to cover.

Things to add, etc.? Message us via Twitter @jseattle or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

Happy Thanksgiving. Continue reading

What’s on Capitol Hill’s Thanksgiving 2014 menus?


Big Mario’s Pilgrim Pie. Sorry. No delivery on Turkey Day.

With Piecora’s shuttered and awaiting demolition, one of the small traditions of Capitol Hill Thanksgiving is gone. Every year, the restaurant opened for a come-all Thanksgiving feast. Don Jensen, executive director at Community Lunch on Capitol Hill, tells CHS that the tradition is still alive with his group and All Pilgrims Church:

I wanted to let you know that Community Lunch on Capitol Hill will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal on the 27th at 5pm at All Pilgrims Church, and it is open to EVERYONE! We will have turkey and all the trimmings, and it should be a great meal. I have attached our turkey flier promoting it. All Pilgrims is at Broadway and Republican, entrance on Republican. We will be serving from 5-6pm.

If you’re interested in learning about this and other “feed the hungry” and volunteer opportunities in the area, here’s a roster of local food banks and organizations that are busy this time of year.

Capitol Hill also offers feasts for budgets of mostly every level. Here are some of the special Thanksgiving plans for Capitol Hill food and drink Thursday of the more “last minute” variety. Please let us know about anything we missed.

  • Hopvine: “We are offering a delicious holiday meal this Saturday. Stop in for a whole roasted pig with all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes! Prix Fixe and a la carte. We will also have Sierra Nevada Celebration on cask!” Continue reading

One year ago this week on Capitol Hill


(Image: Library of Congress)

Here are the top CHS posts from this week in 2013:

  1. Police shoot and kill armed suspect in 23rd/John standoff
  2. E Pike ch-ch-changes: Super Genius move, Boom goes Blue C, Comet overhaul, 12th/Pike demo
  3. National beer chain makes debut on Capitol Hill
  4. A visit to Capitol Hill, November 1851
  5. Dinette decides it’s ready for new home — Revolver next on E Olive Way

Development notes: Design reviews, 12th Ave Arts grand opening

The Reverb

The Reverb

  • Design reviews: No CHS write-ups but Wednesday night brings two more projects in front of the design review board —
    • 1023 E. Alder St: One third of the Spectrum developments along 12th Ave near Yesler Terrace, the Reverb takes the final step in the review process Wednesday night.
    • 215 Boylston Ave E: This infill project will bring 25 units to Boylston just north of E John.
  • The 12th Ave Arts grand opening is Thursday, November 20th

    The 12th Ave Arts grand opening is Thursday, November 20th

    12th Ave Arts: The Capitol Hill Housing development transforming the former East Precinct parking lot into affordable apartments, theater space, restaurants, and office space will celebrate with a grand opening Thursday night. The event’s tours are reportedly already RSVP’s up — but go for it, we say.

  • Sunset Electric kudos: The preservation-friendly Sunset Electric development is now award winning:
    NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association has recognized The Wolff Company’s Sunset Electric building on Capitol Hill in Seattle as its mid- rise multifamily development of the year. The prestigious award comes on the heels of the building’s recent LEED Platinum certification for efficiency and environmental responsibility.
    CHS wrote about the Weber Thompson-designed mixed-use project here following its opening earlier this year.

One year ago this week on Capitol Hill

IMG_8580-400x533Here are the top posts from this week in 2013:

  1. The Comet’s dollar bills missing in overnight break-in
  2. Seattle’s incoming mayor comes to aid of fallen Capitol Hill bicyclist
  3. Two more places around Capitol Hill where businesses are choosing to put street parking spaces to better use
  4. What exactly will the 23rd Ave greenway be? It’s up to you
  5. Blotter | I-5 overpass death, convoluted Bellevue Ave robbery
  6. Car vs. pedestrian incident that reportedly began across I-5 ends on Capitol Hill
  7. Puzzle Break masters turning Pike/Pine suite into real-world puzzle


‘Rescue’ patrols planned for chilly Veterans Day — You can help by donating gloves, coats

The National Alliance to End Homelessness says a one-night count on the streets of Seattle in 2013 found 682 veterans living on the city’s streets. With this week’s sudden change to freezing temperatures, consider donating gloves, hats, blankets, and coats at Union Gospel Mission, 318 2nd Ave. Ext. S. UGM “Search and Rescue” vans will be on the move this week to contact homeless people living around Seattle including the “doorways, bridges, and parks” of Capitol Hill:

As the temperatures drop to freezing temperatures tonight, the Mission will load up three Search and Rescue vans with 450 sandwiches, 192 blankets, coats, and hot chocolate and head out into Seattle’s cold streets. The vans loaded with volunteers will check for homeless men, women and families sleeping in doorways, bridges, and parks in the SODO, Capitol Hill and University District area.

To be able to reach the hundreds of homeless on the streets, the Mission needs supplies. Gloves, hats, blankets, and coats are needed. Items can be dropped off at the Men’s Shelter located at 318 2nd Ave. Ext. S. or you can give online at www.UGM.org.

Search & Rescue Schedule:

Seattle Route:

Tues, Nov 11th, 2014 – Sat. Nov 15th

7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Men’s Shelter
318 – 2nd Ave. Ext. South (near Pioneer Square)

Election 2014 update: Initiative for smaller class sizes on pace for approval

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 4.47.51 PM

Statewide totals as of Monday afternoon

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 4.49.55 PM

King County totals

Only one item on Capitol Hill-area ballots has seen a change in fortunes since the first count on Election Night earlier this month. State voters appear to be on their way to approving I-1351, an initiative to reduce class sizes in Washington’s public schools.

While the tallies posted Monday afternoon show the vote nearly evenly split between Yes/No, the trend is a steadily improving result for the Yes camp — and election officials say that most of the ballots remaining to be counted are from counties where the initiative was performing well.

In King County, nearly 55% of voters were for the measure.

Backers of the initiative have declared victory. I-1351 would set maximum class sizes in kindergarten through third grade at 17 students in most classrooms. The limit would be set at 15 children in schools in low-income areas. Higher grades would have fewer than 25 students per class, or 22 in low-income schools. I-1351 is expected to require more than 25,000 new teachers and “non-teaching support staff” to implement — of course, not all of those hires are incremental to plans the state already had for lowering class sizes. The law could add a $4.7 billion burden on the state budget over the next four years, the Seattle Times worries, without calling for new taxes to pay for the plan.

Construction delays push back ambitious Pike/Pine marketplace + office space Chophouse Row to early 2015

We found Dunn, center, in a hard hat this summer (Image: CHS)

We found Dunn, center, in a hard hat this summer (Image: CHS)

Chophouse Row, right, will inject some 27,000 square feet of commercial space into  Pike/Pine

Chophouse Row, right, will inject some 27,000 square feet of commercial space into Pike/Pine

You’ll have to wait a few more months for the ambitious Pike/Pine marketplace, mews, and office space development Chophouse Row.

Developer Liz Dunn tells CHS that construction delays and issues with street work in the area have pushed the project back from its planned fall 2014 opening to a debut in early 2015.

Leasing materials for Chophouse Row now advertise a February 2015 move-in target. Continue reading