Capitol Hill’s Holy Names hopes changes to underground parking plan help move project forward

A rendering of the new gym planned to sit atop the controversial underground parking at Holy Names

Some neighbors continue to oppose the project but Holy Names Academy is hoping changes to its plan for a new five-level underground parking garage and a new surface parking lot on its North Capitol Hill campus will help move the project forward with city planners.

In a letter sent to neighbors of the private, all-girls high school, the academy announced it was eliminating plans for an entrance to the underground garage on 21st Ave, a city greenway route, and moving the planned new gym and garage “slightly to the east” to preserve more of the existing lawn and green space. CHS first reported on the proposal here in January.

“One of the issues raised about our proposed Project concerned the compatibility of the Greenway on 21st Avenue with a Garage entrance/exit on that street,” head of school Liz Swift tells CHS about the latest changes. Continue reading

Police take man in reported drug crisis into custody after struggle inside Capitol Hill elementary school gym

It took four officers to subdue a man high on drugs and suffering a crisis who fought with Seattle Police after making his way inside a Capitol Hill elementary school Tuesday morning, according to emergency dispatch reports.

SPD was first contacted about the man behaving erratically outside the 19th Ave E side of the campus around 8 AM as parents dropped off kids for the school day. Just before 9 AM, the arriving officer put out a call for “fast backup” assistance as he struggled to take the man into custody inside the school’s gymnasium, according to East Precinct radio reports. Continue reading

Last vestiges of the City in the Sky coming down at 19th and Mercer

(Image: CHS)

(Image: Pelican Bay Foundation)

A few years back, we said goodbye to 19th Ave E and E Mercer’s City in the Sky, but it never went completely away… until now.

Work is underway on the southern end of the old Pelican Bay Artists’ Building in the 600 block of 19th Ave E to “remove the existing displaced brick veneer and concrete stucco” from the wall “per the structural engineer’s recommendations,” according to permits filed with the city. The apartment and restaurant building — now home to Rocket Taco — is also getting some window work.

In 2014, the “3-D mural” representing a “Hopi Indian myth” was painted over but the old relief of the edges of “Turtle Island” remained as strange, beige mountain ranges and coastlines jutting out from the building’s wall. Engineers had recommended the heavy relief needed to be removed years ago. Time — and permits — finally came to get it done. Continue reading

CHS Pics | At a Capitol Hill church, new green cisterns resurrect the rain


With the story of Christ’s resurrection and all that jazz, Easter, we suppose, is a story of recycling. Capitol Hill’s Prospect Congregational United Church of Christ is now ready for the Seattle rain it captures to rise again.

“The members of Prospect United Church of Christ are excited to have these two cisterns as tangible evidence of our willingness to walk the talk about caring for our environment,” church pastor, Meighan Pritchard said in the announcement of two new cisterns installed under the county and city’s joint RainWise rebate program at the 94-year-old church at the corner of 20th Ave E and E Prospect.
Continue reading

Partnership puts Capitol Hill community center space to work as new Miller Annex Preschool

(Image: Michelle MacKinnon/CHS)

With funds and guidelines for raising early education competency and readiness for Seattle kids in-hand, the Seattle Preschool Program and Department of Education and Early Learning have teamed up with Seattle Parks to renovate a portion of the Miller Community Center and contract a high-quality provider to operate a preschool inside.

City representatives and Launch preschool officials welcomed a small handful of parents with their soon to be preschoolers on Tuesday for a short ribbon-cutting ceremony at Miller Annex Preschool. Launch, a Seattle nonprofit provider of before and after school programs, won the two-year proposal bid for the space in 2017. Continue reading

Police: Man who made threats at Capitol Hill middle school ‘in crisis’

Police say the man tracked down last week after threats at a Capitol Hill middle school made references to a school shooting but appears to be suffering a mental crisis and was not found with any firearms when he was arrested.

Police say he had also been released from custody just hours before the threats after being evaluated by medical staff who cleared the 26-year-old for release despite his “violent thoughts including homicidal and suicidal ideations.”

According to court documents, Leonardo Rivera has been held in King County Jail on $150,000 bail after being booked for investigation of felony harassment last week. He has not yet been charged in the incident. Continue reading

A look at public comment on the Holy Names parking project — UPDATE: Extended

As you can see in the comments on this CHS Community Post in opposition to the project, there is a solid split on the proposal to build a five-level parking garage beneath North Capitol Hill’s Holy Names Academy and a new surface parking lot to the girls private high school’s north. As we reported in January, supporters and families at the school say that street parking in the neighborhood is overwhelmed. Those in opposition — mostly neighbors of the 110-year-old campus — say the massive project is not necessary, decry the loss of the school’s north lawn, and say the permitting should not proceed without further environmental review.

Land Use Application to allow a new 2-story gymnasium with below grade parking for 246 vehicles (Holy Names Academy). An additional 32 parking spaces to be provided in a new surface parking lot, 12 existing spaces to be removed for a total of 307 parking spaces. Review includes partial demolition of existing gymnasium.

With public comment on the key Master Use portion of the process to permit the construction project slated to end today, Wednesday, February 28th, here is a look at some of the comments submitted on both sides of the proposal. UPDATE 2:57 PM: The city tells us the comment period has, indeed, been extended to March 14th.

Of the 67 public comments submitted, supporters who support the project moving out without a costly environmental review outweigh those in opposition by around seven to three. Many in support have students among the 700 young women who attend the academy. Most in opposition live nearby. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Holy Names hopes to rise above neighborhood parking problems with underground garage

Capitol Hill’s Holy Names, reportedly Washington’s oldest continually operating school, has a modern problem: parking. Officials from the all-girl, private Catholic high school will meet with neighbors Tuesday night to discuss its plans to demolish and rebuild the 21st Ave E’s campus’s gymnasium with a new gym built on top of levels of underground parking for around 240 vehicles.

“As you well know, parking has increasingly become more difficult in the neighborhood due to increased housing density, new businesses, and people parking for other reasons,” head of school and principal Liz Swift writes in a letter sent to neighbors earlier this month informing them of the project and community meetings to collect feedback. Continue reading

Behind the Tully’s Capitol Hill closure: the lawsuit, the taxes, the what’s next rumors

No, the property hasn’t (yet) been sold to a developer but, yes, the financial issues surrounding the closure of the Tully’s coffee after 20 years at 19th and Aloha go much deeper than a lost lease.

CHS broke the news on the coming closure for the popular neighborhood hangout in mid-November. We documented more than $300,000 owed in taxes to the state of Washington and decisions including a $102,000 judgment for unpaid rent on the company’s Western Ave offices. It turns out, the company owes much more. By the end of the month, the Tully’s across the street from St. Joe’s and a few blocks from the Holy Names Academy was closed for good. Along the way, Global Baristas, the company that took over the struggling chain, never responded to our requests for more information on the closure and chair Michael Avenatti blocked us on Twitter. Continue reading