You’ll need to scan your fingerprints to get into Birch Road Cellar, a new ‘BYOB members club’ in historic First Hill landmark

More than a hundred years ago, it housed the horse-drawn carriages of the Stimson family. Until the mid-1970s, it harbored the famous car collection of Seattle businessman Joshua Green. And starting Friday, the historic First Hill Stimson-Green carriage house will be home to the new “BYOB members club” Birch Road Cellar.

Club owners and lifelong friends Sharon Provins and Kim Bosse call it a “new spin on the private members club concept” and “an oasis for friends to spend the night together uninterrupted.”

Members pay $105 or $135 per month for a storage locker for their favorite wines and spirits, which they can drink in a space that’s not exactly home, but not really a bar, either. It’s open until 2 AM, yes, but doesn’t sell any alcohol. And you’ll need to unlock two doors with your fingerprint — or accompany someone who can. Continue reading

Police search for pink purse bandit after First Hill credit union hold-ups — UPDATE

Not the suspect’s purse

With the suspect’s reported get-up, you wouldn’t think they would get far but for the second day in a row, a First Hill bank has been robbed by a bandit with a fantastic outfit.

Seattle Police were called to the bank in the 1100 block of Madison Tuesday afternoon just after 4:15 PM to a report of a robbery involving a suspect described as a person in their 60s wearing a scarf, a cardigan over a striped dress, and carrying a pink purse.

The suspect also reportedly had a teardrop tattoo near their eye. Continue reading

Here’s what 150 or so new apartments surrounding the (newly landmarked) Knights of Columbus building will look like

Still only a massing proposal and a design concept, this is what could rise next to the Knights of the Columbus building

Here is the first look at early design proposals for the two projects that will work together to shepherd the newly landmarks protected Knights of Columbus building into its new adaptive reuse future and add more than 150 new apartments to the block at Union and Harvard.

Design review: 704 E Union St and 722 E Union St

The projects from developers SRM Development and the Runberg Architecture Group will begin the city’s design review process with a joint session Wednesday night. Continue reading

In deference to neighboring church, ‘graceful’ First Hill apartment tower will rise only 8 stories — UPDATE

Wednesday morning, Mayor Jenny Durkan will be at Capitol Hill Housing’s affordable 12th Ave Arts building to sign into law the expansion of Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability program into neighborhoods across the city including Capitol Hill. Wednesday night, a project to create some 350 new market rate apartments on First Hill will go before the design board for its first review.

While the timing of the eight-story project means its developer won’t be required to pay into the MHA pool — projects vested to a Land Use Code in effect before the upzones won’t be subject to the expanded program — the new development planned for 1100 Boylston will replace a surface parking lot with lots of new First Hill housing.

Design review: 1100 Boylston Ave

Continue reading

First Hill Improvement Association to discuss neighborhood homelessness and social services

A First Hill neighborhood clean up last fall

As Capitol Hill’s community council has shifted to focus more on events and causes — believe CHS, you could do a lot worse — First Hill’s central community organization has stuck to a more traditional approach tackling neighborhood issues and discussing opportunities at its monthly meetings.

Tuesday night brings the March meeting of the First Hill Improvement Association. If you are interested, it takes place starting at 6 PM at Terry Ave’s Frye Art Museum. The March agenda centers on homelessness issues in the neighborhood: Continue reading

Destined for overhaul and preservation as part of mixed-use development, Harvard Ave’s Knights of Columbus building considered for landmarks protections — UPDATE

For a century, it was almost exclusively Catholic men called Knights who were allowed to freely roam the lounges, smoking room and bowling alley of the Knights of Columbus headquarters on the south edge of Capitol Hill. They could work out, or attend Glee Club, dinners, and public speaking classes. Women could not be members. They hung out in the Ladies Parlor.

If everything goes according to plan, by 2021 or so, people of all types will be able to roam the three-story steel and brick masonry, Renaissance Revival-style building. The new owner, SRM Development, a Spokane-based developer of multifamily and commercial properties, hopes to refurbish the historic building through adaptive reuse.

Wednesday afternoon, Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider the nomination of the building for historical protections during a public meeting and presentation. Continue reading

Fire up your Instagram, Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon now open on Broadway

Word spreads quickly. Bonchon is now open on Broadway.

Instagram is already all over it. The long awaited first Seattle outlet for Korean fried chicken phenom Bonchon opened quietly on First Hill over the weekend with limited hours and a limited menu.

The hype for such a thing, of course, is unlimited and it has been building since CHS broke the news in January — 2018! — that the global, South Korean-born chain was coming to Broadway. Continue reading

Harborview Hall finally put back to use as homeless shelter set to open

Attendees at last week’s information session on the reopening of Harborview Hall

Two years after the allocation of funding, the Harborview Hall shelter is targeting a December 15th opening, providing 100 beds for people experiencing homelessness to stay overnight.

Representatives from The Salvation Army and King County, which owns the property, met with dozens of community members, many of whom were Harborview Medical Center employees, last week in an open house on the hospital’s campus to discuss the opening of the shelter.

The Salvation Army will be operating the temporary overnight shelter, located at 326 9th Avenue on the first floor of Harborview Hall, which has been vacant since 2011. There will be a minimum of four staff members inside the facility while it’s open, according to The Salvation Army’s offsite shelter programs director Scott Moorhouse. Continue reading

New leader on First Hill sees neighborhood’s opportunities as it readies for population boom

Anne McCullough is the new director at the First Hill Improvement Association

After moving from St. Louis, Anne McCullough’s walks in her new, surprisingly leafy neighborhood are filled with reminders of what First Hill can be.

“There’s a lot of opportunities and I can’t help but think about the work that I do when I walk through the neighborhood,” McCullough tells CHS.

The new executive director of the First Hill Improvement Association is also focused on what First Hill is today.

First Hill has about one-third the residential population of Capitol Hill but its density is off the charts — only Belltown has squeezed more residents into a smaller space in Seattle. Continue reading

First Hill Park hosts ‘Mobile Incubator’ with business advice for artists

A stop in Wisconsin (image: @culturehustlers)

The Mobile Incubator — “a mobile office where artists, designers, performers, writers and other cultural entrepreneurs can come to seek business advice for their creative ventures” — will make a stop on First Hill next week.

Seattle Parks is hosting the traveling 1957 Shasta camper at five parks across the city adding to the tally of 25,000 miles across 42 states already covered by artist and entrepreneur Lucas Spivey.

“My goal is to teach business principles to artists, but I encourage everyone to interact on their terms because I feel that people learn best when they’re comfortable and excited,” Spivey said in the Parks Department announcement of the project.

Spivey and the trailer will be parked Monday through Wednesday at First Hill Park, 1201 University. Office hours are 3 to 7 PM.

 

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