Broadway’s Red Wall art coming down in preparation for opening of Capitol Hill Station

“Tim Marsden hands a section of Stefan Gruber’s artwork “Both Worlds” to an assistant. De-installation of artwork and dismantling of the red wall next to Cal Anderson Park continues over the next several weeks.” – (Images: Jennifer Babuca)

Piece by piece, Broadway’s Red Wall is finally coming down, we wrote last October. The comedown continues — and is picking up pace.

The giant wall surrounding the five-acre Capitol Hill Station site home to a well-regarded collection of public art projects is starting to be prepared for removal as construction on the light rail facility wraps up in preparation for a start of service in early 2016. Here is an update on one section of art recently removed from STart on Broadway’s Jennifer Babuca:

It’s a beautiful spring Thursday on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Tim Marsden of Sound Transit stands in the basket of a scissor lift, efficiently working an electrical screwdriver as artist Stefan Gruber looks on.  Starting on this sunny Thursday, the attached pieces of artwork and signage are being removed from the section of wall that faces Cal Anderson Park.
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CHS Pics | A Hugo House full of small press all-stars on Capitol Hill


(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

RJ Casey and Ann Casey of Yeti Press

RJ Casey and Ann Casey of Yeti Press

55 small press publishers, some producing as few as six works per year, some fewer, filled 11th Ave’s Hugo House Sunday afternoon for the APRIL Book Expo, the grand finale of the 2015 edition annual festival and one of many last bows for Hugo House as we know it before a planned, literary nonprofit-friendly redevelopment of the property.

During the week, CHS also stopped through a seance at the Sorrento Hotel and APRIL’s “offsite” with the Vignettes gallery. If you missed the event but are interested in learning more about the region’s small press publishers, here’s a roster of Sunday’s participants. You can learn more about the APRIL Festival at

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Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day 2015 is… Sunday, August 9th

Speaking of one person’s trash as another person’s come-up, we have a big announcement about this year’s Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day.

Last year’s move into Cal Anderson went swell! After lots of feedback, CHS and the Cal Anderson Park Alliance have decided to move CHGSD 2015 back in the summer to August. And we’re going to hold the annual day of yard sales, alley sales, sidewalk sales, apartment sales, front stoop sales, parking strip sales, and community lot sales on a Sunday to better line up with the weekly Broadway Farmers Market.

Mark your garage sale-ing calendars for Sunday, August 9th, 2015. More details, sign-up information, etc. to come.

Central Seattle egg hunts include 3rd annual Spring Bunny visit to Cal Anderson

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

8603137719_c32bd07d53_b-400x599The Capitol Hill Community Council is asking how you help contribute to the culture of the neighborhood. You can include volunteering to help make plastic egg-crazed children happy on your roster. Seattle Parks has put out a call for volunteers to help put on 2015’s third annual Cal Anderson Spring Egg Hunt on April 4th:

Volunteers are needed for the Cal Anderson Park 2015 Spring Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 4! We’re looking for people to help with face painting, to hide candy, to supervise the park, to monitor children in the hunt area, to clean up after the event and to hand out prizes. Volunteers need to arrive at the park at 9:15 a.m. The program ends at noon. To sign up, contact Faizah Osayande at 206-512-5256 or

For the young egg hunters in our audience, below is a roster of the public hunts we know about in Central Seattle this year. Here’s a look at the fun in 2012 and 2013 and 2014 to give you a sense of what you are in for, helpers of young egg hunters. Our only advice is don’t be late. Even the youngest wave of egg hunters, like a colony of swift hares, clear their field in around 60 seconds. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Water rockets above Cal Anderson, bridges across Seattle Central

Here’s some experimental inspiration. The kids of the Northwest Regional Science Olympiad Tournament took over Seattle Central and Cal Anderson on Saturday with science fair battles classic — the wooden bridge battle! — and newfangled — robot vs. robot! CHS was mostly an also-ran back in its high school science physics competition days though we did place well one year in the tennis ball catapult competition while gaining knowledge we can’t say we ever really put into use again…  yet. Happy science!

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‘I hope something comes of this’ — March on East Precinct protests golf-club arrest

William Wingate joined Saturday's march calling for reform at SPD (Images: CHS)

William Wingate joined Saturday’s march calling for reform at SPD (Images: CHS)



A crowd estimated around 150 carried driving irons and putters through the streets of Capitol Hill Saturday afternoon in a symbolic completion of William Wingate’s travels last summer on the day he was arrested in a controversial incident that has once again put the Seattle Police Department under scrutiny.

“Only thing I can say is this: I didn’t do nothing,” Wingate told the group in brief remarks made before the march from Cal Anderson through Pike/Pine to the East Precinct headquarters at 12th and Pine.

“And I’m still confused,” he added.

Saturday’s march organized by writer and activist Chad Goller-Sojourner was the first public display of protest against Wingate’s July 2014 arrest at 12th and Pike when the then-69-year-old retired veteran was taken into custody after refusing to put down the golf club that he uses as a walking cane. SPD eventually apologized for the arrest — and returned Wingate’s club. But the incident has produced criticism of both the arresting officer and the way SPD superior officers handled her discipline. Chief Kathleen O’Toole has ordered an SPD investigation into Officer Cynthia Whitlatch’s actions during the arrest — and in her online activities — and the way East Precinct handled her eventual discipline. It also seems to have forced soul searching with SPD’s brass over how to handle free speech and social media with its officers.

At Saturday’s peaceful rally and march, there were no arrests but there were many calls for reform and change at SPD. For Wingate, the man at the center of the debate says he is still hoping for justice.

“I can’t understand why. I (have) never done anything to this woman,” Wingate told the crowd.

“I hope something comes of this.”


Cal Anderson’s hatches to open for Lincoln Reservoir cleaning and maintenance

Lincoln Reservoir — now covered by Cal Anderson (Images: City of Seattle)

With happy times and green space above, below Cal Anderson Park lurks two 6.25 million-gallon vaults full of clear, cool, Seattle Public Utilities drinking water. Soon, portions of Capitol Hill’s central park will be fenced off for a month of maintenance in the subterranean Lincoln Reservoir.

According to SPU, the reservoir will be drained, inspected and then washed and its roof, hatches, vents and screens will be inspected. “Repairs to the system will also be made and debris will be removed from the reservoir’s perimeter and grounds as needed,” a notice from SPU to be posted at the work site reads. Continue reading

‘Walking While Black’ rally to bring ‘woods, irons, wedges and putters’ to Cal Anderson

William Wingate and his golf club never completed his walk across Capitol Hill last summer in an incident that has sparked an SPD investigation and relegated an East Precinct officer to desk duty. This week, protesters are being asked to bring golf clubs to Cal Anderson Park next Saturday to complete Wingate’s walk in a rally designed to draw attention to “law enforcement’s racism against black males.”

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 12.58.43 PMThe Walking While Black event is planned to begin at 2 PM next Saturday, February 7th:

“Walking While Black”
Always Dangerous Until Proven Otherwise

On Saturday, February 7th at 2:00p.m., you are invited to bring your Woods, Irons, Wedges and Putters and join us at Cal Anderson Park Shelterhouse, 1635 11th Avenue, for “Walking While Black” Always Dangerous Until Proven Otherwise

WE WALK to finish the interrupted walk of a 69 year old Black Veteran/Civil Servant who on July 9, 2014, grabbed his putter and set out on a brilliant summer day. A day that would forever change both he and this city we call home.

A full statement on the rally is here.

Seattle Police have not announced a timetable for a report from commander Capt. Pierre Davis about Officer Cynthia Whitlach’s actions in arresting Wingate, her social media activity, and the East Precinct brass decisions not to more seriously discipline the officer for her actions. The Stranger reports that the FBI has been asked to assist in a wider SPD investigation around the officer’s actions.

Capitol Hill nonprofit has one question for you: ‘What would you most like to see in the new Hugo House?’

download (4)Last fall, CHS reported that Capitol Hill nonprofit Hugo House had begun work on a plan to build a new center as part of a mixed-use development at the site of its 11th Ave home. The literary arts organization is asking for community feedback on what shape its new venue should take with an online survey and Monday night community forum:

Hugo House is going to have a new home! Come help us dream up an even more dynamic center for writing and reading and listening.

What do you most wish to see in the new Hugo House—whether it’s something you hope we continue to have, a practical addition, or a wild wish for something new? We wouldn’t dream of making decisions about our new facility without you: the teachers, the students, the event attendees—the writers. This forum will give you a chance to tell us what would make the new house a home.

We’d love to see you there—and please invite anyone on your friends list who you think might be invested in the future of the House.

The “community conversation” starts at 6 PM at Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave.

You can also add your voice via this one-question survey:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 11.03.45 AM

Note: You’ll have to enter at least five characters so F-U-N won’t count. We always preferred essay questions over multiple choice, too.

One group is already rallying to ask for Hugo House to include a performance venue in its plans:

Right now, the building is home to an 1800 square foot black box with fixed seating for 87, theatrical lighting grid and built-in sound system – this stage has been a place for local Seattle playwrights to debut the bold new work being produced in our city, and to lose it would be a serious setback in transforming Capitol Hill into the arts district it strives to be.

In the announcement of the new development project last fall, Hugo House and the longtime property owners of the more than 100-year-old building said they were working with a developer to determine “the exact mix of uses as part of the design and permitting process.” The announcement notes the property owners have “generously supported all facility costs, including rent” for Hugo House throughout its history.

Capitol Hill Arts District gets to work with promotion now, development incentives later

Council finance and culture chair Nick Licata at Saturday's ceremony (Images: CHS)

Council finance and culture chair Nick Licata at Saturday’s ceremony (Images: CHS)

The Capitol Hill Arts District was launched Saturday. It has plenty of work to do.

“There’s a chance that half of these artists, myself included, won’t be able to live here in five years,” says Amanda Manitach. She’s standing beside fellow artist Jesse Higman inside Hugo House, amid 11 fresh-baked artistic renditions of a day in the life of Capitol Hill: sketches, video, poems.

Manitach says she knows one artist who’s already considering homelessness in order to remain on the Hill. “It kill[s] me,” she says. “This guy has a job. In my opinion he makes some of the most thoughtfully political and aesthetically poignant art in the region.”

With property values and rents skyrocketing in the country’s fastest-growing big city, Manitach isn’t alone in her fear that development on Capitol Hill will wash away all the interesting poor people who made it desirable in the first place, transforming a countercultural gayborhood into a wasteland of luxury apartments and trite party bars.



But there’s some good news. The City Council is ready to vote Monday afternoon to christen Capitol Hill as Seattle’s first bona fide Arts District. The Office of Arts and Culture describes the district as “an attempt to bring cohesion” to the “constellation of arts organizations” splattered around E Pine and 12th Ave via a combination of community organizing, public advertising, and zoning incentives that will hopefully prompt developers to provision for the creation, and creators, of art. Continue reading