Eight years in, Seattle ready to study ‘engineering and financial feasibility’ of lidding I-5

It’s a Seattle Freeway Revolt of a different sort and now the city has the money to execute an engineering and financial feasibility study of the potential benefits “for covering more of the I-5 freeway trench in central Seattle.”

The $1.5 million in funding from the Washington State Convention Center expansion’s $83 million public benefits package is now available to the City of Seattle and an advisory council has been formed, the Lid I-5 community group announced last week:

The study funding enables OPCD to procure an expert consultant team with qualifications in civil and structural engineering, economic analysis, urban design, and environmental mitigation. The study is expected to last through 2019 and will inform the next steps in lid design, planning, permitting, and capital funding. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) staff will be engaged during the process. Recent and ongoing freeway lid projects – including in Bellevue, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Dallas, and Philadelphia – provide helpful case studies and a pool of experienced specialists that Seattle’s effort can draw from.

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Design review: Bellevue Court Apartments and their Instagram-worthy Gasworks views

When it comes to Capitol Hill design reviews, we don’t usually mention the developer’s Instagram. But Yu Xiahou’s feed is pretty amazing. The design for his proposed Bellevue Court Apartments? We’ll find out what the board thinks soon.

Xiahou’s four-story, 43-unit proposal for the western edge of Capitol Hill just off Belmont Ave E with — one November 2017 post to his Instragram feed promises — Gasworks and Eastlake views is slated to come before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night:

Design Review: 1020 Bellevue Ct E

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Capitol Hill’s Roy Vue ‘garden apartments’ move forward in Seattle landmarks process

A coalition of veteran preservation advocates and a relatively fresh-faced nonprofit dedicated to Capitol Hill history has won its first round in what is hoped might eventually be a series of victories establishing landmarks protections for important neighborhood buildings.

The Seattle Landmarks Board Wednesday night voted unanimously to approve the nomination of Capitol Hill’s 94-year-old Roy Vue “garden apartments” for protections of its historic exterior, interior and landscaping features. The 600 block Bellevue Ave E apartment building will now move forward in the process with the board set to make its final designation on the property in coming weeks.

Eugenia Woo of Historic Seattle praised the building’s “high level of integrity” and said it was crucial the Roy Vue be protected in its complete “garden apartment” vision “because the garden, the courtyard, and the building were integral to the whole design.”

The Roy Vue’s unique flipped “U” design with a garden courtyard sited away from the street is the equivalent of the “Seattle freeze” of the city’s historic buildings, one board member quipped, with a dignified wall facing Bellevue but a hidden jewel of a garden tucked away inside.

Bolstered by public comment from many of the Roy Vue’s current tenants in support of protecting the building they call home, the vote marked the first successful step in a collaboration between the Historic Seattle organization that has long been dedicated to preservation in the city and the Capitol Hill Historical Society as the neighborhood group made its first foray into the official landmarks fray. Continue reading

Also saved — and going legit — on Bellevue Ave E: the Harry’s Fine Foods Chandelierium

(Image: Harry’s Fine Foods)

You can wish Harry’s Fine Foods a very happy second birthday this week and congratulate the Bellevue Ave E eatery on its paperwork — its once threatened Chandelierium is going legit.

Back in January, CHS reported on the fight with the city over the 800 200 or so square feet of covered patio chef and owner Julian Hagood created on the backside of Harry’s. “We rapidly built this beautiful little patio covering to allow our guests to enjoy our patio year round however the city has determined it violates building and energy codes,” Hagood told CHS at the time.

Now, Hagood confirms that he has undertaken a full land use permitting process with architectural firm Hoedemaker Pfeiffer to allow the structure to remain part of the bistro. Continue reading

Why save Capitol Hill’s Roy Vue? ‘A lot more to it than just the number of units’

An effort to extend landmark protections to the Roy Vue building marks the Capitol Hill Historical Society’s first foray into preservation, but it won’t be the last.

“This is a sign of our involvement in the community,” said Rob Ketcherside, vice president of the society and a CHS contributor on Capitol Hill history. He said the nearly two-year-old group is hoping to do more such work, as long as members of the all-volunteer organization can find the time for it.

“It’s not about trying to control every property in the city. It’s about holding on to the heritage properties we have,” Ketcherside said. Continue reading

A memorial to Max Richards, the last* pedestrian killed on a Capitol Hill street

A memorial to Max Richards is a reminder of his wife Marilyn Black’s love for the man who died this week in 2016 after being struck by a driver while crossing Belmont Ave E with his dog.

The flowers are also a marker of a stretch of time that hopefully continues — a pedestrian hasn’t been killed on Capitol Hill streets in two years. Continue reading

‘Saved’ from microhousing plan, Capitol Hill’s Roy Vue Apartments to be considered as Seattle landmark

A coalition led by Historic Seattle and residents of Capitol Hill’s Roy Vue Apartments has put the Bellevue Ave E building up for consideration for Seattle landmarks protections.

A plan for to convert the building to microhousing was stopped by a campaign led by building tenants, neighbors, and preservation advocates earlier this year.

A second report on the 94-year-old “eclectic Tudor Revival” structure was prepared at the request of property owner Alliance Multifamily Investments, according to the document (PDF) posted to the Department of Neighborhoods landmarks site. That report from July is now labeled as a “Historic Resource Report.”

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CHS Pics | Mercer X Summit Block Party still free (unless you plan to attend Capitol Hill Block Party)

DoNormaal

The old Summit Block Party is all growed up. Now branded as the Mercer X Summit Block Party, the 2018 edition that took place Saturday in the streets in the middle of one of the most densely populated centers of Capitol Hill featured bigger acts, deeper pocketed sponsors (thanks KEXP), and, still, no admission. Continue reading

From Sun to Sol: New owner lined up for Capitol Hill’s Sun Liquor Lounge

(Image: Sun Liquor)

Sun Liquor Lounge, the Capitol Hill bar that went on sale for just under $200,000 earlier this year, might have found a new owner in Andre Sayre, a 30-year-old tech worker taking a break to find a new avenue in life.

“I enjoy the community aspect of a little place that everyone knows and loves,” he tells CHS about the planned purchase of the bar. “I wanted to do what I can to keep it around.”

There aren’t a lot of changes planned for the Summit Ave watering hole, the last vestige of Sun Liquor’s presence on Capitol Hill. Not everything from the bar was included in the deal. When the sales goes through, the old space will have a new name — Sol Liquor. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Art Walk features a night for Washington reproductive rights at Generations

A work by Mari Shibuya

Capitol Hill’s monthly art walk brings a dose of political action in May. Tonight from 6 to 9 PM at E Mercer’s Generations gallery, NARAL Pro Choice Washington will host an event with artist Mari Shibuya and State Rep. Nicole Macri.

“I’m doing this event with NARAL to promote access to reproductive health care, and I am very glad to support them,” Macri said. “What they’re aiming to do at this event is to make sure we keep and elect legislators both in the House and the Senate in Olympia who will be strong pro choice voices.” Continue reading