A ‘Brutal’ landmark? East Pine Substation the Central District’s unlikeliest candidate for preservation

Tuesday is the deadline for you to weigh in on what might seem to be one of the more unlikely candidates to become a neighborhood landmark — Seattle City Light’s Brutalist, brick-walled East Pine Substation.

The E Pine at 23rd Ave facility will go in front of the  Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board Wednesday “to determine the historic status of the property prior to a SCL proposal to increase the substation’s capacity, security and reliability for the surrounding Central Area, First Hill, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods,” according to the department’s nomination document (PDF) on the property.

The nomination document describes the era of City Light’s investment in architecturally significant infrastructure: Continue reading

Rent bidding banned in Seattle — for now

Amid concern about the growing use of the services jacking up student rents in the University District, the Seattle City Council Monday voted unanimously to temporarily ban so-called “rent bidding” in the city.

Monday’s vote will ban the use of services like Rentberry for apartments in the city for one year to give officials time to study the impact the services could have on Seattle affordability. The Office of Housing, Office of Civil Rights, and Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections are now on the hook for a report on the services.

The services work by creating “transparent” rental auctions where potential tenants have “the ability to submit custom offers.”

Last month, CHS reported on the few Capitol Hill properties utilizing the services and the concerns raised about the practice in the Bay Area real estate market. One report on the Rentberry service quoted the company’s founder taking credit for raising rents 5% above listing prices in the already ultra-expensive San Francisco and San Jose markets.

Under the moratorium approved Monday, the Seattle ban can be extended by the City Council if it is determined officials need more time to evaluate the services.

18 things CHS heard at Rep. Jayapal and Seattle March for Our Lives town hall

What would you say to Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old arrested for the murder of 17 students last month in Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School?

“I wish you had the chance to get the help you needed and to understand why this is not okay. I’m really sorry that it had to come to this and I feel sadness and anger and pity for you,” said Lucas Illa, Lakeside High School junior and Seattle March for Our Lives organizer.

March For Our Lives – Seattle

The movement to end gun violence has spread from Parkland Florida to Washington. Ahead of the Seattle March for Our Lives protest march next Saturday, March 24, Illa and six other activists from high schools across Seattle hosted a town hall meeting at Garfield High School to discuss the national student-led demand for gun-access policy reform.

U.S. Representative from Washington’s 7th congressional district Pramila Jayapal joined the activists to address questions from online and a live audience Saturday morning at Garfield High School’s Quincy Jones Auditorium.

“Our prime responsibility is to take care of each other. It’s not to money or greed so let’s make sure we incorporate love and generosity through non-violence,” Jayapal told the young march leaders Saturday.

Here are 18 more things CHS heard at the March for our Lives town hall: Continue reading

Redevelopment lined up to replace Capitol Hill ‘drive thru’ All Seasons Cleaners

It’s no Wash Land laundromat but there will be plenty of people across Capitol Hill sad to see a neighborhood dry cleaner make way for a planned E Olive Way development.

All Seasons Cleaners has held a special place in Capitol Hill culture over the years as home to a regular streetside flea market just off Broadway. It’s also a well regarded dry cleaner. According to new plans, the property is being readied for demolition to make way for a planned seven-story mixed-use project. Continue reading

While Seattle churns on earthquake retrofit plans, Capitol Hill school set for seismic upgrades

E Mercer’s Lowell Elementary is lined up for summer seismic work

Saturday afternoon around 3:35 PM, a magnitude 2.7 earthquake sent a little jolt of reminder rippling out of South Seattle. The city has some seismic work to do.

On Capitol Hill, the next round of work begins this summer as Lowell Elementary School is scheduled for major seismic updates this summer while the city tries to figure out what to do about other brick buildings around town. Continue reading

Street Critic | Report from the Central Hills Triangle Collaborative Collab 1

The Connections team highlighting the extant urban design plans proximate to the CHTC study area

The Central Hills Triangle Collaborative (CHTC) was the recipient of a $48,000 City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods grant in 2017. The CHTC is a joint initiative by Lid I-5 and the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council (PPUNC).

The CHTC is bringing together seven teams of design professionals and community members to reimagine what Interstate 5 would be if it were covered over (a term generally referred to as ‘lidding’) and contained open space, commercial uses, and housing.

Pairs of teams are working on three sites; which, from south to north include:

  • Marion to Pike (open space focus)
  • Pike to Olive (commercial focus)
  • and Olive to Thomas (housing focus)

The seventh team, Connections, is charged with seeing the opportunities to connect the three sites to each other as well as to the surrounding network of transit, bike and pedestrian paths, as well as other urban design initiatives such as the Melrose Promenade and the Pike Pine Renaissance.

A site’s area of focus does not preclude it from having other uses, such as having housing above retail. Lid I-5 has not been advocating for any particular uses on any of the sites; instead, the CHTC’s providing areas of focus within defined limits ensures that a wide range of land uses, topography, and urban typologies are investigated. This range will enable the broader Seattle community to see a variety of options on what is hoped to be the future lid. Continue reading

One to hospital in shooting at 23rd and Union

One person was reported shot in the leg and police were searching for cars seen leaving the area after gunfire broke out Saturday night at 23rd and Union.

Seattle Fire responded to one person with a gunshot wound to the thigh found near the liquor store just after 9 PM at the corner per radio dispatch reports. Police were searching the area for cars seen speeding from the area following the gunfire while officers were also collecting evidence from bullet damage to vehicles in the parking lot at the scene.

There were multiple descriptions on the cars reported leaving the scene, some with damage from the incident. Police were checking vehicles around the area including one found at 23rd and Cherry where two people were reported detained.

Shell casings were found near 24th and Union, according to East Precinct radio updates.

The victim was taken to Harborview. We do not have further information on the patient’s condition.

Police said the victim’s injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

UPDATE 3/18/18 9:38 AM: SPD has posted a report on the shooting confirming our initial details and asking anybody with more information about the incident to call 911:

On March 17 at around 9:06 p.m., East Precinct patrol officers were dispatched to the area of 24th Avenue and East Union Street to multiple 911 calls of shots fired. Upon arriving, officers quickly found a gunshot victim. The man had been shot in the leg. Officers immediately provided first aid and called for Seattle Fire Department medics. Police also canvassed the area for additional victims, suspects, and witnesses. Gang Unit detectives responded to conduct the investigation and process the crime scene for forensic evidence. Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center for further treatment of his injuries. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call 911.

19th Ave fire
If you heard more sirens following the shooting response at 23rd and Union, those were Seattle Fire responding to the View at Madison apartments in the 1600 block of 19th where smoke was reported at the building just after 9:30 PM. Firefighters were dealing with a reported smoldering fire on the exterior of the building but found no flames inside per radio updates.

In 2018, Seattle Parks again not using Cal Anderson for an egg hunt — which means you can, bunny

After a few years of larger scale events in the city’s parks, Seattle is downsizing its Easter egg hunt efforts once again in 2018. Again there won’t be an egg hunt in Cal Anderson — and the Central District’s parks and community centers also won’t see the free egg hunts again this year.

Family with young egg hunters will have to plan a visit to nearby community centers or organize hunts of their own with family, friends, and neighbors. Here are two community center hunts to add to the list: Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains 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 — 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.

We also keep our eyes on the #capitolhillseattle Instagram tag —- you should, too! Below are this week’s best Capitol Hill shots. Thanks for sharing!
Continue reading