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

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

‘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

Save the Royvue! Residents rally to thwart sale of Capitol Hill building

A view worth the fight? A look across the Royvue courtyard (Image: Haley Blavka Photograph/Save the Royvue)

Seattle’s endorsement of rapidly adding thousands of efficiency sized housing units to the cityscape has some residents in Capitol Hill unconvinced that one size fits all. Tenant-led group Save the Royvue has escalated its effort to keep the 94-year-old building from succumbing to development plans that would significantly reduce apartment size. The growing assembly of advocates says the Royvue Apartments is fine the way it is and now seeks landmark protections to keep it that way.

Eugenia Woo with Historic Seattle is consulting with the group and shares their worry that “the city is losing its identity.”

“This city has always been known for its character and that distinguishes us. It’s ok to have good new designs but unfortunately most of what’s being built is not so great,” she said. Continue reading

Woman robbed at gunpoint, shot fired on Summit Ave E — UPDATE: ‘drug related’

A woman said she was robbed at gunpoint and gunfire was reported in the area just before midnight in an incident near the 600 block of Summit Ave E late Sunday night. UPDATE: Police say the incident appears to have been drug related and not a robbery.

Police rushed to the block home to the Summit Pub and Sun Liquor around 11:55 PM where the victim said she had been robbed about 10 minutes earlier by a man and woman reportedly in a ReachNow-style car-sharing vehicle.

The victim told police a shot was fired during the robbery. There were no reported injuries. Continue reading

Up against rent boom and affordability crunch, residents worry about plan to change 1924-built Royvue into microhousing

Residents of a classic 94-year-old Capitol Hill apartment building hope to organize against a plan to gut the structure and turn its 34 apartments — some as large as four or five room spaces — into more than 100 units of microhousing.

“Everyone in the building is obviously going to be kicked out,” one resident tells CHS of the project. “This place is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen in the neighborhood and I can’t believe there aren’t any checks in place to preserve other ones like it.”

In an affordability crunch and a boom market for rents, Seattle is doing everything it can to create more homes and landlords on Capitol Hill have been particularly creative trading away parking and laundry rooms (and sometimes retail space) for more places to live. Continue reading

Here’s why the original Sun Liquor lounge is now for sale

(Image: Sun Liquor)

Born on Capitol Hill as a lounge powered, in part, by Summit Ave doughnut cash, Sun Liquor appears poised to make a final break with its home neighborhood.

Owner Michael Klebeck has confirmed details of the listing on Craigslist advertising the bar now available at the NEW PRICE of $195,000. “Desirable Capitol Hill neighborhood location on a synergistic block with active co-tenants including Single Shot, Top Pot Donuts and Summit Public House,” the sales pitch reads. Sorry: “Business name not included in sale.” Continue reading