By Tim Kukes for CHS
The Rainier Chapter House in the Harvard-Belmont District of Capitol Hill, the meeting hall for the Rainier Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, was built in 1925. This spring, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
That’s not just something that just happens. Someone must care, and someone must do the work.
“We’ve been talking about it for a few years. Our current regent – regent is kind of the top person of the chapter, runs the meetings and whatnot – she just kind of put it into full throttle last July,” said Diana Prigger, 1st Vice Regent of the Rainier Chapter.
The process is time consuming and involves a lot of documentation. At one time the nomination form was 41 pages, according to Cindy Johnson-Sakuma, Regent of the Rainier Chapter. They managed to cut it down to 31 pages.
”When you first look at it you think, ‘oh, well, this is no problem,’ and it kind of like just grows,” Johnson-Sakuma said. Continue reading
Sherlock Holmes says, “The wheel turns; nothing is ever new.” Evidence number one: the First Hill streetcar. Its shiny, new set of wheels will soon turn again on the buried bones of the oldest streetcar on Capitol Hill.
If you’re well schooled on Capitol Hill history, you know these origin stories: David Denny began selling and leasing John Nagle‘s property along Broadway in 1880, and James Moore developed the Capitol Hill area near Volunteer Park after 1900. We’re going to talk about the period in between, a piece of early streetcar history that has not been chronicled.
A Ridge Too Far
You may remember our recent article about the Pine Street regrade. Pine Street was part of a “series of radiating regrades [which] carved down and filled in Seattle’s topography.” We all know that the Jackson and Dearborn regrades cut First Hill away from Beacon Hill, and that the Pike, Pine and Olive regrades made some space between First Hill and Capitol Hill. On the back side, the 12th Avenue regrade smoothed out the connection between First Hill and Second Hill (read the 12th Ave Re:Take). Call it 1901 to 1911.
Before all of that civil engineering madness Seattle was Pioneer Square, surrounded by mudflats to the south, a rise culminating in Denny Hill to the north, and a ridge running from Brooklyn (University Bridge) all the way south to Orilla (I-5/405 interchange). Some smart landowners who had visited San Francisco decided to put a cable car up and over First Hill and Second Hill, and down the back side to Lake Washington — the Lake Washington cable car on Yesler Way. 1887. Continue reading