Fire scorches barber shop at 23rd and Cherry

A commercial building at 23rd and Cherry burned overnight leaving a barber shop damaged but the neighboring longtime Central District florist mostly untouched.

Seattle Fire crews were called to the intersection’s northwest corner just before 4 AM and arrived to find the building in flames. Crews battled the blaze and were able to knock it down before the fire spread through the building and damaged the florist shop.

Flowers Just 4 U moved to the corner last year after leaving its longtime home at 23rd and Jackson to make way for new development.

Update Barber Shop appeared to have been badly damaged in the fire.

The intersection of 23rd and Cherry was closed to traffic during the response and remained closed into the morning due to electricity being shut off around the fire. SPD was on hand to allow Metro bus traffic to continue through.

Seattle Fire says the fire is under investigation. There were no reported injuries.

Ethnic studies leader Hagopian says losing teaching position at Garfield High

Jesse Hagopian, the Garfield High teacher who has led the way in creating an ethnic studies program across the Seattle Public Schools district, is losing his teaching position for next year’s 2019-2020 school year due to budget cuts based on expected lower enrollment at the Central District school.

“I have been displaced from my second home, Garfield High School—the school I went to as a (student) and have taught at for almost a decade,” Hagopian writes in an update posted over the weekend.” With budget cuts and under enrollment—due largely to families being pushed out of Seattle because they can no longer afford to live here—some 13 teachers are being displaced from my school.” Continue reading

‘Replanting’ — Liberty Bank Building’s opening hoped to be new start in the Central District

More than 100 new affordable homes — and the start of what many hope will be a wave of equitable development across the Central District — are now full of life in the Liberty Bank Building. The development led by nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing and community development group Africatown celebrated with a ribbon cutting, party, and tours Saturday at 24th and Union.

“This neighborhood and this street means so much to me,” building contractor, neighborhood activist, and, now, Liberty Bank Building resident Ted Evans said. “It’s just surreal to be able to live here and raise my son and be part of this redevelopment and being part of this creation that we’re starting, you know, to bring it back home. This is where I started — I was born here.”

“There is power here,” Evans said. Continue reading

‘Emmett’ — Family remembers man found dead in 14th/Yesler apartment fire

The young man who died in early Monday morning’s two-alarm fire inside a 14th at Yesler apartment unit has been identified by family as 23-year-old Emerson “Emmett” Davis.

“To whom have met him, know him and loved him, it’s a devastating loss in the world,” his family wrote about the young man. “Our angel left too soon! His passion for life, friendships and living through experiences was contagious. He’s laugh and smile….well you know what it brought to a room of friends and family.”

The family is raising money to help take care of expenses. You can learn more and give here. Continue reading

Celebrate equitable, affordable development in the Central District at Liberty Bank Building ribbon cutting

The Liberty Bank Building, what many hope will be a model for equitable, affordable development in Seattle, will celebrate its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday in the Central District.

Liberty Bank Building Ribbon Cutting Celebration

Saturday’s party will include live music and performances, and food.

Named to honor the region’s first Black-owned bank that once stood at the corner, the six-story, 115-unit affordable housing development is a collaboration between Capitol Hill HousingAfricatownThe Black Community Impact Alliance, and Byrd Barr Place. Continue reading

One dead in 14th/Yesler apartment fire — UPDATE

(Image: Seattle Fire)

CORRECTION: This post has been updated with the correct building identification. CHS initially reported the location of the first address that appeared in the Seattle Fire incident logs but that location was subsequently updated. We apologize for the error.

One person was found dead in a two-alarm apartment fire overnight in a Catholic Housing Services apartment building at 14th and E Yesler.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene around 12:30 AM Monday and found a second story unit in the 1900-built, 34-unit building fully ablaze.

Firefighters quickly brought the fire under control before flames could spread beyond the unit or to the building to the south.

SFD says the blaze was mostly contained to the unit where the body was found. The Medical Examiner was called to the scene and will handle determination of a cause of death and identification of the victim.

Four units in the building were not able to be reoccupied overnight, Seattle Fire said, and Red Cross was requested to assist the victims.

Catholic Housing Services operates the building as part of its homeless, low-income and special needs housing properties. The building has served as housing for the elderly.

Seattle Fire is conducting an investigation into what caused the blaze.

UPDATE: Investigators have ruled the cause of the fire as undetermined pending autopsy results, Seattle Fire says.

Total estimated loss was estimated at $295,000.

Design for Midtown: Public Square and its ‘art plan’ set and ready for construction at 23rd and Union

The redevelopment of Midtown Center and the most significant thrust in the wave of change transforming 23rd and Union can finally move forward toward a start of construction later this year.

The design review board has given its final blessings to the plans for Midtown: Public Square, a three-piece, seven-story apartment development with more than 400 apartment units, a quasi-public central plaza, and underground parking for around 250 vehicles set to rise above the land home to the old shopping center.

In December, the project was kicked back in the design process over concerns about the large installations of art panels hoped to help the project better reflect the culture and the history of the Central District. Continue reading

CURA shop on search for ‘an intersection of artistry and equity’ in the Central District

(Image: CHS)

Akiko Eisner-Waters was not expecting the notes. When she found the two pieces of white paper taped to the door of her new Central District lifestyle shop CURA last Sunday morning, barely 12 hours had passed since the official opening celebration the evening before. The store had been open for about a week.

“Gentrification,” spell red letters on one of the sheets of paper. “The displacement of Black and Brown urban residents by more affluent whites — is a function of the same forces that emptied the cities of much of their white populations, generations ago: the movement of capital. Capital wants the cities back, and clears spaces for whites,” it reads in black letters below. Continue reading

Roasted corn — and machine learning in a food truck — at 23rd and Union’s El Costeño

Moises and Bernardo

Moises Santos is a 24-year-old programmer, food truck designer, and immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico. His food truck holds down what seems like prime territory — the pot purchasing and stoner friendly parking lot at the Central District’s Uncle Ike’s. The truck is not run like a pipe dream but, instead, puts to use a fat pipe of bandwidth and crunches datasets of Seattle to make business decisions like how much carne asada he might serve up on a Tuesday.

“We’re a pretty innovative culture, we’re hardworking people,” Santos tells CHS as he stands by a corn roaster of his own design.

While the corn roaster is a first run concept, the food truck is a state-of-the-art restaurant on wheels that took two years to design and manufacture.

“It’s an artificial intelligence food truck,” Santos said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Historical Society | 13th and Jefferson Park – Part 2: The father of Seattle Baseball

D. E. Dugdale, 1902 (David Eskenazi collection, used with permission)

Part 1Opening Day 1895

Part 2: The father of Seattle Baseball — The athletic field at 13th and Jefferson was the first home of the Father of Seattle Baseball, D. E. Dugdale. Dugdale is famous for creating a team in 1901 that eventually spawned the Milwaukee Brewers and the Seattle Mariners. But that was later, after YMCA Park.

In March 1898 D. E. “Eddie” Dugdale entered the Seattle baseball scene as a player, coach and owner of a professional team in the new Pacific Northwest League named the Klondikers. They took their name from the gold rush that started late the previous year when a ton of gold arrived on the steamer Portland in Seattle. The first game was in May in front of an audience of 425. Dugdale sold out his interest in July after the team lost too much money. Without him the team went on to win the pennant for that league as well as another for inter-league championship against California League teams. Dugdale represented PNL in a proposed merger with California, which fell through. Continue reading