Where to see fireworks from Capitol Hill, USA! 239th birthday + 13th Annual Cal Anderson Park Independence Day Picnic edition

My country, tis of thee, sweet land of Liberty — and many other fine craft cocktail bars.

(Images: Andrew Ahlstrom and Alex Garland for CHS)

(Image: Andrew Ahlstrom for CHS)

In the true spirit of America, this post is assembled annually by an algorithmically controlled robot drone that adjusts for witty references to current weather conditions and is programmed for sly inclusion of timely cultural references. It also features a self-correcting typo replacement system that slowly improves the quality of this post over time. This year, we have also plugged in the dataset describing the annual Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic. You won’t find fireworks there — but you will find all of this almost completely free fun:

10850000_939848332704735_1418089447549648979_n (1)The most fun FREE community party of the summer. Brought to you by theCal Anderson Park Alliance, this totally FREE, inclusive for families of all types event is the epicenter of fun. Plus, it ends early enough for you to get to your fireworks viewing situation. Bring your Dads, Moms, kids, dogs on a leash, friends, lovers, hula hooping neighbor, parrot, cat on a leash, cute new date, babies, co-worker, bike polo playing friends, ping pong enthusiasts, favorite bartender and/or people who like burritos. Continue reading

‘Timeless’ Hugo House and Piecora’s developments sail through first design review


Two high profile Capitol Hill development projects more or less glided through their first meeting before the East Design Review Board last Wednesday evening on their way to final reviews.

Equity Residential and architects at Ankrom Moisan showed off their plans to replace the old Piecora’s building with a 140 unit, six-story development that includes parking for 140 cars. The second project — a 90-unit, six story building across the street from Cal Anderson Park — will be replacing the Hugo House on 11th Ave and E Olive St. The project from developer Meriwether Partners and designed by Weinstein A+U has drawn the ire of at least one resident of a nearby condo.

The view from the street and inside, however, should be a welcome surprise to those who bemoan the prevalence of Hardie board siding and corrugated steel exteriors. Plans call for a full brick facade, and not just the pasted on variety. “A real brick building,”said architect Ed Weinstein, adding that it was the longtime property owners and Hugo House benefactors that insisted the building have a timeless look. Continue reading

CHS Pics | On day of victory for gay marriage, Trans* Pride Seattle marches forward

Someday, Capitol Hill merchants will fly pink, blue, and white along with the rainbows.

The third annual Trans* Pride Seattle took place Friday evening. Organized since 2013 by the Gender Justice League, Trans* Pride aims to celebrate and uplift trans and gender non-conforming people.

The event kicked off at 6:00 PM with a large march starting at Seattle Central College. Hundreds of people took part in the march, many waving the blue-pink-white transgender flag and chanting slogans demanding equality for trans people. The march went down a few blocks of Broadway and Pike and ended at Cal Anderson Park.

The mood was definitely elevated following Friday morning’s Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Many LGBTQ leaders say transgender rights issues should now become a priority. In one small example, legislation was proposed this week in Seattle that will designate single-occupancy bathrooms in the city as “all-gender.”

By 6:30 most of the marchers had arrived at Cal Anderson. There they viewed a number of performances and speeches. Numerous speakers praised Jennicet Gutiérrez, the transwoman who interrupted President Barack Obama to demand the release of trans people detained by ICE.IMG_2079



Continue reading

Six-story Hugo House, Piecora’s projects face first reviews

If in the year 2020 you a writer who can afford a market rate apartment on Capitol Hill, you'd be home by now (Images: Weinstein A+U)

If in the year 2020 you are a writer who can afford a market rate apartment on 11th Ave, you will be home by now (Images: Weinstein A+U)

Two developments with loads of opportunity and a lot of interest take their first turns in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night. For one at 14th and Madison where Piecora’s used to stand, a national developer will mark the start of its first attempt to build a project on Capitol Hill from the ground up. For the other, literary nonprofit Hugo House is looking forward to gaining a new home as part of a planned six-story apartment building across from Cal Anderson Park.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 2.56.40 PM1634 11th Ave
Design Review Early Design Guidance application to allow a six-story structure containing 90 residential units and 12,300 sq.ft. of commercial space located at ground level. Parking for 100 vehicles to be provided below grade. Existing structures to be removed. View Design Proposal      

Review Meeting
June 24, 2015 8:00 pm
Seattle University

824 12th Ave
Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance  

Project Number: 3020067  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice

Planner: Katy Haima

On summer days a few years from now, we’re betting this project’s western-facing apartments rising above Cal Anderson with inset decks will be some of the most desirable on Capitol Hill. And, once we have this whole affordability problem taken care of, maybe a writer or two will be able to afford “market rate housing” to live there. But first the 1634 11th Ave project from developer Meriwether Partners and designed by Weinstein A+U will need to get through design review. Continue reading

Hill’s Gender Justice League pushing for more information on Sunday night beating

Capitol Hill’s Gender Justice League is looking to learn more about a beating that took place in Pike/Pine Sunday night.

According to East Precinct and Seattle Fire radio dispatches, officers responded to a disturbance reported Sunday night on 10th Ave near Pike around 9:20 PM in which the victim suffered a bloody nose that required medical treatment.

But the League’s Danni Askini has posted details to Facebook from witnesses to the altercation that describe a much more violent incident involving “a very serious hate crime against a trans woman in Capitol Hill.” Continue reading

Design proposals revealed for Hugo House, Piecora’s developments

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 10.14.06 PMCHS has reviewed the draft design proposals for the Capitol Hill mixed-use developments planned for 11th Ave where Hugo House now stands and at 14th and Madison, the former home of the now-demolished Piecora’s Pizza.

Both buildings are planned to stand six stories and will be home to more than 200 new apartment units. One is “L-shaped” the other looks like a “U.” They’ll also both feature a boatload of parking with 240 underground parking spots planned between the two projects.

The future of 11th Ave

The future of 11th Ave

The developments will be tied at the hip for the public design review process as both — Hugo here and Piecora’s here —  take their first bows in front of the East Design Review Board the night of Wednesday, June 24th.

Hugo House — draft design proposal (PDF)
Meriwether Partners, the developers behind the planned project to transform the corner where Hugo House now stands, are working with architects Weinstein A+U to create a building that will soon rise above Cal Anderson Park and provide a new home for the literary non-profit — and more than a 100 renters: Continue reading

CHS Pics | Cal Anderson ping pong




There are a lot of games you can play at Bobby Morris Playfield and Cal Anderson Park — now add ping pong. Wednesday under a sunny evening sky, the park’s new ping pong table was warmed up for you with a party to celebrate the new feature installed by community group the Cal Anderson Park Alliance.

The ping pong table is hoped to help keep the area near the park’s restrooms and shelterhouse busy with players and activities and discourage camping and drug use around the facilities.

The table is the same style added last year to Westlake Park and is designed to (hopefully) withstand the rigors of urban ping pong play. CAPA plans to supply paddles and balls for the table through the summer but you can also bring your own. Play is first come, first served. Be fair. Share.

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

What’s next for Capitol Hill’s central park? The Cal Anderson Ping Pong Table

As an open, public space in the middle of the densest neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest, Cal Anderson sometimes requires a little boost here and there to keep the park a great place to hang out in the city.

This year, the park is getting a ping pong table. The new feature makes its debut Wednesday night with a special exhibition of paddling skills:

10563183_931933156829586_3921563616929058115_nCal Anderson Ping Pong in the Park Day
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — 5 to 7 PM
Cal Anderson Park Alliance is proud to be hosting a series of exhibition matches as WE WELCOME PING PONG TO CAL ANDERSON PARK. This will be the DEBUT of the latest and greatest addition to the park — a ping pong table! So, make a night of it. Bring the whole family, friends, dogs, kids and a picnic basket. We will also have snacks, drinks, as well as special balloons and games for kids.

After the exhibition starring the Seattle University Table Tennis Club, the table will be open to public players. We encourage the pros to play with the public. FREE FUN FOR EVERYONE!

According to a representative for the Cal Anderson Park Alliance, the community group purchased the same style of outdoor table installed in Westlake Park last year. The table will be located on the cement area next to Cal Anderson’s restrooms and shelterhouse. Paddles and balls will be provided by CAPA if you’d like to play, or you can bring your own. The group is also planning to replenish the gear over the course of the summer.

The table joins a string of investments small and large in recent years to help keep the park busy with activities and make it harder for criminal activity or camping to take place. Continue reading

Five taken into custody after armed hold-up, beating at 11th/Olive — UPDATE

A group of teens and one possible adult suspect were taken into custody after an early morning armed robbery reported on the eastern edge of Cal Anderson Park.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, at least two victims suffered facial injuries and were robbed near 11th Ave and E Olive St around 12:40 AM Wednesday. Witnesses said as many as eight or nine people could be seen fleeing the area southbound on 11th Ave after the holdup in which at least two guns were brandished.

A witness who heard the melee called 911 bringing police quickly to the scene.

UPDATE: SPD has posted a brief on the incident including details of the reported hold-up:

Several witnesses called 911 around 12:30 AM when they saw a group of teens assaulting a man and woman in Cal Anderson Park. One witness told police an armed teen had a gun pointed at him when approached the melee. The group of juveniles then fled the park before police and medics arrived.

The victims told officers they had been sitting in the park when the group of suspects approached them and offered to sell them drugs. When the victims rebuffed their offer, the juveniles punched and kicked them and pointed a gun at the victims before fleeing with the man’s cell phone.

A group of five males was spotted minutes later a few blocks away walking on Pike at Boylston. Police contacted the group and brought witnesses to the scene to identify the assailants.

Police took five males into custody — four juvenile males and an additional male suspect. Police recovered two guns — one was an air gun, the other was found to be a “real gun,” according to police radio. The five taken into custody were transported to East Precinct. Additional police units were called to the scene following a disturbance involving at least one of the males as the suspects were taken into custody.

UPDATE: Police say all five suspects are teenagers:

Officers found the suspects near Pike St and Harvard Ave and took them into custody. Officers found a handgun on one teen, a BB gun on another and the victim’s stolen cell-phone on a third suspect. Two of the suspects are 13-years-old, the others are 14, 16, and 17.

SPD says all five were booked into King County’s Youth Services Center for investigation of robbery. One of the 13-year-olds was also booked for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene to provide aid for the victims.

Pike/Pine businesses and community groups have voiced concerns about the annual warmer-weather spike in crime that typically plagues the areas around Cal Anderson and the neighborhood’s nightlife district but 2015, so far, has been relatively quiet. East Precinct has rolled out “emphasis patrols” and officials have said they plan to apply tactics used to quell street crime downtown.

One man dies, two other victims to hospital in drug overdose at Cal Anderson

One man died and another was in critical condition Sunday night after Seattle Fire and SPD responded to three people suffering heroin overdoses on the sports field at Cal Anderson Park. UPDATE: SFD says the female may have been suffering a medical issue “not related to the overdose.” 

SFD’s Aid 25 unit was called to the Bobby Morris Playfield around 5:20 PM to a report of a female suffering an apparent seizure. The crew arrived to find the female and two other males suffering a drug overdose. Additional SFD units arrived and began CPR on the field in the middle of a busy night in Pike/Pine and as a baseball game continued on the diamond nearby.

Seattle Fire reported that one male died at the scene following 20 minutes of CPR while another male was transported to Harborview in critical condition. The female victim was also transported to the hospital in reported stable condition.

According to Seattle Police, the three victims suffered heroin overdoses. The incident is being investigated. UPDATE:  “Three individuals who know me contacted me and said that from their understanding ‘there was some bad meth going around,'” an officer’s report on the incident reads. The officer writes that SFD responders at the scene said the three victims were “under the influence of heroin” but police found no drug paraphernalia. “It is unknown if subjects had mixed the two drugs,” the officer writes. According to the report, SPD was able to identify the dead man from a medical bracelet he was wearing.

Last week, SPD announced the early results of its “9 1/2 Block” effort to combat an “open air drug market” in downtown Seattle. East Precinct and city officials have said that the area around Cal Anderson has also been identified as another of Seattle’s “drug market” areas and that patrol and investigative efforts would also be brought to bear around the popular Capitol Hill open space.