Capitol Hill Historical Society | The mind boggling array of stairs and corridors connecting history at TOPS K-8

1905 Seward building in red, 1895 in b&w on the right (Paul Dorpat photo colorized by 7 year old)

Part 1: Jennie Lombard, Eastlake’s first principal
Part 2: 

TOPS is a K-8 school with an extensive history dating to the Klondike Gold Rush era. I recently met with a group of 1st to 3rd graders to share what I knew about Jennie Lombard, the very first principal of the first school at TOPS, and other details from the school’s history.

After we made collages, I took them on a tour of the many different parts of Eastlake’s K-8 school.

The oldest piece of TOPS opened in 1895 as the Denny-Fuhrman School and is on the state historic register. It was later expanded and moved, then moved again, then went through a few changes in use and is now the cafeteria. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Historical Society | Jennie Lombard, Eastlake’s first principal

I recently had the opportunity to lead a learning activity at TOPS K-8. The school is located at Boylston and Roanoke — some would call that Eastlake, others might say it’s on the side of Capitol Hill. Originally opened as Denny-Fuhrman School, it was renamed to Seward in the early 1900s and is today called The Option Program at Seward and is better known as TOPS K-8.

I named the session “Old School TOPS.” A handful of 1st to 3rd graders joined me to learn about the school’s history, make art projects with old photos, and explore the different sections of the school.

To serve or to marry

At the beginning of the event, I shared information with the students about the first school’s first principal, Jennie Lombard. Continue reading

Capitol Hill homeowners mount last-ditch effort against MHA upzoning… in Eastlake

The view from Harvard Ave E (Image: CHS)

They know they are probably too late. They know that after a multi-year journey of hearings, community meetings, public comment, and legal challenges, the Seattle City Council wants the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation, which connects affordability mandates to upzoning parts of the city’s densest neighborhoods, to reach its destination during a final vote Monday afternoon. Perhaps they even know Monday’s vote is basically pro forma, as council members have worked on it for years and voted unanimously to advance the legislation last month.

And, yet, a group of North Capitol Hill homeowners, along with the Eastlake Community Council, is trying to fight the upzoning of a seven-block-long (and mostly half a block-deep) sliver of I-5-bordering properties in Eastlake. The amendment for zoning increase, from low-rise to mid-rise with a height limit of 80’ on Boylston Ave. E and a short stretch of Franklin Ave. E was recently introduced and approved by the city council as part of a series of amendments that scaled back upzones across neighborhoods and increased some others. Continue reading

Police say no signs of foul play after body found in Colonnade Park

Police say there were no signs of foul play after a body was found in the Colonnade Park beneath I-5 on the slope between Capitol Hill and Eastlake Wednesday morning.

According to the Seattle Police Department, a death investigation was conducted after the body was found next to the park’s off-leash dog area but there was no immediate evidence of a crime.

The King County Medical Examiner’s office will investigate the cause of death and identification of the person found.

The area is well known for campers and drug use and police are often called to the park.

Last week, Seattle’s new homeless Navigation Team begins a clean-up effort with a sweep of I-5 camps below Capitol Hill and around the area of the park.

Mayor Ed Murray announced during his State of the City speech earlier this week a proposal for a new $55 million levy to help the city pay for its homelessness services. The city’s emergency operations center has also been opened to help direct resources needed to remove camps and assist homeless people with finding shelter.

King County officials and task force members, meanwhile, are working with the community to identify potential locations — one in Seattle, and one outside the city — for new safe consumption sites to stem the tide of overdoses that would give drug users a place to use that is supervised and can provide resources like clean needles.

Seattle homeless Navigation Team begins clean-up with sweep of I-5 camps below Capitol Hill

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

There have been clean-ups of the area beneath Interstate 5 between Capitol Hill and Eastlake before. But officials hope this week’s sweeps can be part of a longer term change of what an East Precinct officer once described as a “no man’s land populated by the homeless, mental cases.”

In the first official deployment of the city’s new Navigation Team including outreach workers and police, the areas along and under I-5 popular with campers in the city’s core are being cleared out.

Here is what KOMO saw during the start of the clean-up in a half-mile stretch near the Colonnade Park between lower Capitol Hill and Eastlake:

Police and safety vest clad workers started pulling apart a bunker underneath I-5 early Tuesday. Mixed in with the bottles filled with urine were piles of blankets, rats and a smattering of personal belongings. Continue reading

Two assisted living developments — 24 stories on First Hill, 6 in Eastlake — face design review

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-7-12-47-pmTwo new assisted living projects planned for Capitol Hill’s neighboring neighborhoods will go in front of the design review board Wednesday night.

Both are part of a development trend addressing the market demand for more senior housing in Seattle. CHS previously wrote about how senior citizens, many of whom have lived in the area for a long time, are choosing to stay around Capitol Hill and Central Seattle, either in their homes, or in some of the new and established facilities which cater to older folks. The U.S. Census estimates that 21% of residents in the 98112 ZIP code are 60 or older.

Last spring, CHS wrote about one of the projects — a new neighbor planned for the Frye Art Museum weighing it at 23 stories on Terry Ave and developed by Columbia Pacific Advisors on property owned by the Archdiocese of Seattle. The other is a development just underway in Eastlake from Aegis Living. The company opened a seven-story, 104-unit facility complete with a “Memory Care Deck” designed to help residents feel at home with a “façade of an old-fashioned neighborhood” at 22nd and E Madison in 2014.

Design review: 1920 Eastlake Ave E

Design review: 620 Terry Ave

 

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

Eastlake seeks ideas to make the I-5 Colonnade weirder and more useful

Fremont may have Seattle’s most well known bridge underpass, but Eastlake’s Colonnade Open Space under I-5 is more useful, impressive, and even weirder than hordes of tourists crawling over a troll.

Opened in 2005, the Colonnade is now in need of some work and the Eastlake Community Council wants input on how the park should be improved and expanded. An introductory public meeting on the project will be held Thursday night at 6:30 PM at the Agora Conference Center.

Located under I-5 along Lakeview Blvd. E, the Colonnade includes an off-leash dog park, pedestrian walkways, and an award winning mountain bike park. The Eastlake Community Council, which was responsible for obtaining the initial funds to open the space in 2005, has already kicked around some ideas for improvements to the park:

  • Adding new paths and sidewalks to improve access through the park.
  • Adding a skate bowl and ramps
  • Improved trail surfacing and bike themed art
  • An agility course for dogs with “paw-friendly” surfacing and dog themed art
(Image: City of Seattle)

(Image: City of Seattle)

Improving pedestrian and bike connections from the park to Capitol Hill was also cited as part of a study completed by the community council in 2012.

At its south end, the study suggests that Colonnade park needs a stairway up to Lakeview Blvd., a trail south to the intersection of Eastlake Ave. and E. Aloha Street, and a trail southwest to the intersection of Franklin Ave. E. and E. Galer St. It also suggests that on the WSDOT land between E. Galer and E. Nelson streets that connects Colonnade with Eastlake Avenue, there could be steps and a switchback trail, and in the sunny upper elevation above the trees, possibly P-Patch plots to address the citywide shortage.

To learn more about the project and how to get involved, visit eastlakeseattle.org

Design reviews: Last in 12th Ave affordable trio, Eastlake mixed-use, CD townhouses

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 4.37.29 PM Screen-Shot-2014-04-22-at-5.23.02-PM-273x550A small burst of East District design review activity moves through the board this week but none of the plans call Capitol Hill proper home. Instead, the review board will weigh the quality of plans for the third in a trio of first private developments in the Seattle Housing Authority-powered rebirth of Yesler Terrace as well as an Eastlake mixed-use project and a “streamlined” non-public review of a Central District townhouse project. Details on the Central Seattle development activity, below.

Reverb
CHS explored the tax incentive-steeped plan from Seattle-based Spectrum Development Solutions to build a string of three apartment buildings along the 12th Ave edge of Yesler Terrace just south of Capitol Hill as the developers brought their second project in the bunch — The Decibelbefore the review board in April.

The third and final member of the triumvirate takes its first review bow Wednesday night. The Reverb is the only un-mixed-use building of the bunch as it includes no commercial space in its seven-story plans. It will, however, be shaped in the vision of Seattle’s tax bonus program providing a property tax break to developers for 12 years if they set aside at least 20% of their units for affordable housing. Continue reading