Seattle Academy’s ‘vertically-oriented middle school’ set to rise above 13th and Union

17202880_1428918773826074_1539814008439652710_nSchools remains a growth industry on Capitol Hill. With a live stream of the building-crunching action of the start of demolition on the school’s Facebook page, Seattle Academy began construction activity Tuesday on its new $48 million Cardinal Union building on E Union just up from 12th Ave.

The Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences, a private school for grades 6-12, will be expanding its presence with what is being touted as the “first vertically-oriented middle school in Seattle.”

The school opened in 1983 and started out in space leased from Temple De Hirsch Sinai. Over the years, they’ve been raising funds to purchase and construct their own buildings. The new five-story building starting this week marks the last big project for the time being, said Doug Ambach, the school’s director of operations.

The school owns most of the block bounded by 12th and 13th avenues and Union and Spring streets, save for a warehouse space along 12th. The construction will largely be taking place along 13th Ave and around the corner onto Union, Ambach said. It will mean pedestrian blockages along those streets. The construction should not impact the school’s 12th Ave face. Plans call for the project to wrap up in time for the start of the 2018 school year. Continue reading

‘LOVE WINS’ — Neighbor’s quick work covers anti-semitic graffiti targeting Temple De Hirsch Sinai — UPDATE: Suspicious package

A Capitol Hill neighbor took things into his own hands after anti-semitic graffiti was found Friday morning near 14th and Union on the property of Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

UPDATE 2:30 PM: SPD’s Arson and Bomb Squad was called to the synagogue around 1 PM after a box was found outside the temple and reported to police. After photographing and investigating the item, police determined it was harmless and reopened the area around the temple’s 16th Ave entrance. The box, it turns out, contained a donation of old history books. Police said they were acting out of an “abundance of caution” following the graffiti found Friday morning and a string of threats against religious and community centers.

“I just met with the leadership of this temple a few days ago,” SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole said at the scene Friday during the investigation of the package. “With all that is happening nationally and with the graffiti issues here, we want all of the people in our communities to feel safe.”

O’Toole said she was attending the mayor’s proclamation of Irish week in Seattle when she heard about the suspicious package investigation. “I was out and about and said, gee, I’m going to head there myself and try to reassure them that we’re here with them and that we take these cases very seriously.”

Robert Merner, assistant chief in charge of investigations, said his department has been visiting with area groups including Temple De Hirsch Sinai over concerns about national threats. He also had some advice for anybody considering dropping off a box of old books – call ahead.

Original report: CHS arrived to find the neighbor covering the spray painted message with a message of his own painted on a bed sheet and taped to cover the wall. The neighbor told CHS he felt compelled to cover the graffiti because he didn’t want the message of one bad person to take on greater significance and reflect poorly on his new neighborhood.

An official at the scene declined to comment until he had an opportunity to talk with others at the temple about any messages the synagogue wanted to share about the incident. Continue reading

One year, 250,000 pints of Optimism

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Hakala and Gilmore, left, along with the Optimism crew (Images: CHS)

Happy birthday to brew, Optimism Brewery.

Optimism Brewery opened its doors at Broadway and Union in December 2015 and is celebrating one year of making beer on Capitol Hill this weekend.

Gay Gilmore, who founded the brewery with her husband Troy Hakala, said they always dreamed of opening the brewery in their home neighborhood on Capitol Hill, and the support they’ve received has been hugely rewarding.

“The response has been so awesome, we just want to say thank you,” Gilmore said.

In the first year, 61,000 people visited Optimism’s taproom, and the brewery has sold 1,000 barrels or 124,000 250,000 pints of beer. In addition to Capitol Hill-brewed beer, Optimism’s-16,000 square-foot brewery has become a popular space for politicians, city officials, nonprofits, and residents to hold parties and events. Continue reading

CHS Video | Seattle’s 2017 MLK Day march was huge

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Official crowd estimates for events like the annual Seattle MLK Day march are hard to come by but organizers said Monday the 2017 gathering might have been the largest in the 35-year history of the event.

You could also measure the crowd by the CHS video above — four and a half minutes to walk from the start of the procession to the SPD contingent bringing up the rear. The marchers passed from Garfield High School to E Union then E Madison and onto the Federal Building downtown.

You can learn more about the history of the event and the day of workshops at Garfield High School that accompany it at mlkseattle.org. More images from the crowd, below. Continue reading

Work to strengthen Capitol Hill’s grid continues with E Union underground project

Shoes on the wires. Seattle, WA. August 2016.

east_union_overall_project_map-1024x759Slowly but surely, Seattle City Light is moving Capitol Hill’s electrical wires underground to create a safer, more stable power system for the neighborhood.

A five-month project to install underground electrical vaults and equipment will begin later this month along E Union on the backside of Pike/Pine, the city announced this week. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Get happy at the Central District Ice Cream Company

Yeah, yeah, we got it. 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center is about to be rebuilt by a massive grocery and retail developer. Of more immediate concern is a much smaller project a few blocks away on E Union.

The Central District Ice Cream Company opened to help wrap up the last few weeks of 2016 as slightly less disastrous. If their selection of one-of-a-kind flavors and ice cream sandwich combos can’t make you happy, we have bad news about the next four years for you.

CHS broke the news last month on the new ice cream shop from Nate’s Wings and Waffles and Happy Grillmore food truck creator Darren McGill. “I’ve been making ice cream for years,” McGill said. “A lot of people were coming into Nate’s and asking for dessert.” The shop also features candy by the scoop and sodas.

Go get happy. Have some ice cream.

The Central District Ice Cream Company is located at 2016 E Union and opened Tuesdays through Fridays, 4 PM to 9 PM, and Saturdays and Sundays, 11 AM to 7 PM. You can learn more on their Facebook page.

Capitol Hill food+drink | First look at Frankie and Jo’s

Capitol Hill’s first plant-based ice cream shop is now open and CHS was there the Friday after Thanksgiving for its first hours of business to see what the hubbub was all about.

Let us introduce you to Frankie and Jo’s salty caramel ash so you can get acquainted:

grey ice cream? yep! we mix autumn’s famous dry-burned caramel with our cashew and coconut milk base, sea salt, and then fold in our activated charcoal caramel sauce called *moon goo.*

The new shop debuted Friday in the mixed-use, preservation incentive-boosted Broadstone Infinity development on E Union between 11th and 10th where it joins Soi and Rene Erickson’s battery of projects General Porpoise, Bar Mesuline, and Bateau as well as the new Capitol Hill location for Sweet Iron around the corner. Designed by H2 Design & Build, the new shop intends to bring a “Palm Springs-feeling” to this stretch of Union. Continue reading

Frankie and Jo’s, Capitol Hill’s first plant-based ice cream shop, opens Friday

Ice cream “churned” from plants. What will they think of next! The wonders never cease in Capitol Hill food and drink. Frankie and Jo’s, the plant-based ice cream shop from the Juicebox’s Kari Brunson and Autumn Martin of Hot Cakes, has announced Friday will be its official opening day.

The “most decadent dairy-free ice cream on the market” might be a good call after a Thanksgiving day of indulgence.  Continue reading

CHS Re:Take | In a message home to E Union, Seattle and Japan’s war with Russia

Geisha going out, 1906

To H. S. Gullixson, Esq in Seattle from “R. F.” in Yokohama, Japan. 1906.

It’s just a simple postcard.

708 E Union today is part of the parking lot next to the Knights of Columbus on Union at Boylston. The card was postmarked 1906 in Seattle and Yokohama, Japan.

There are just enough traces to glimpse the world that created it. Let’s follow them back.

Home and Harry
The house is gone. It was a large, seven-room house built in about 1901. It shared its parcel with two other rentals, probably all copies of each other. The house was only newsworthy in later years when its residents were arrested for drunk driving or were killed by cars when crossing the street. Continue reading

Chicken and waffle ice cream? The Central District Ice Cream Company says yes

Of course he’ll serve chicken and waffle ice cream. The food and drink entrepreneur behind Nate’s Wings and Waffles and the Happy Grillmore food truck is putting the finishing touches on his new candy and ice cream shop, The Central District Ice Cream Company on E Union near Hollow Earth Radio and 20/20 Cycle.

Darren McGill’s latest project has created a nice bit of buzz along the stretch also home to Katy’s Corner and Chuck’s. McGill said the buildout of the former pilates studio is nearly complete and he is hoping for an opening around Thanksgiving. Continue reading