CHS Pics | Getting medieval in Volunteer Park — Plus, Capitol Hill Memorial Day things to do

CHS found the kids from Capitol Hill’s Bright Water Waldorf School holding their annual Medieval Games Thursday in Volunteer Park. Let their archery, swordplay, and sunshiny jousting be inspiration for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Below, you’ll find a few highlights from the CHS Calendar for things to get out and do and see this weekend starting Thursday night with a celebration of five years of the greenest office building in the world, a Saturday party for Eritrean Independence Day that fills Volunteer Park annually with its colorful celebration, and a Memorial Day Monday filled with remembrance — and free hamburgers. Details, below. Continue reading

94-year-old Highland Apartments lined up for seismic overhaul — But first, is it a landmark?

One of the next Capitol Hill buildings to be considered for City of Seattle landmark protections this summer is going through the process before it can also get another sort of important protection — from earthquakes.

The Highland Apartments, the 1924-built masonry condominium building in the 900 block of 11th Ave E just across from Volunteer Park, is lined up to be reviewed in June “in order to ascertain its historic nature prior to a proposed major alteration to the property,” according to the nomination report prepared on behalf of the building’s owner. Continue reading

Pared back plan for new Volunteer Park Amphitheater still has one crucial rainy Seattle feature: a roof

On a cold and drizzly weekend, let us think of summer days on the Volunteer Park lawn, enjoying music and maybe a cup of wine. That stage where the music is coming from? The plan to create a new amphitheater in Volunteer Park is moving steadily forward from dream to reality.

Volunteer Park Trust is continuing to look for opportunities for support for the Amphitheater Project, including applying for a Major Projects Challenge Fund grant,” the group’s Jeff Crandall tells CHS. “In doing so, we are seeking letters of support from community organizations for the project. We have been working with public officials on obtaining funding support from city and state funding sources. And in order to make the fundraising more manageable, we’ve been working with ORA Architects on a design review to seek cost savings from the original estimate.” Continue reading

Victim warns of North Capitol Hill groper

Police investigated Wednesday night after a woman reported she was assaulted and groped on 15th Ave E in North Capitol Hill.

In addition to reporting the attack to SPD, the victim reached out to CHS to make sure others in the area are aware of the assault.

“I reported this to the police but not much could be done,” she writes. “I’m just hoping to make the community aware as this is a spot I typically feel safe and it was in daylight on a busy street.”

The Capitol Hill resident tells CHS she was walking on 15th Ave E where it slopes down to become E Boston St when she was grabbed. “About midway down the Boston hill a man ran up behind me and grabbed my behind really hard,” the victim writes. “Before I could realize what happened, he was sprinting back up the hill.”

She reported the assault to police but there were no immediate arrests. The suspect is described as an unknown race male around 5’7″ or 5’8″, with a stocky build, and wearing jeans and a black hoodie with the hood pulled up at the time of the Wednesday night assault.

If you have information about the incident or can help identify the suspect, call 911.

With eye toward 2019 reopening, officials break ground on $54M overhaul of Volunteer Park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum

A ceremonial lifting of paving stones where construction will add an accessibility enhancements as part of the $54 million overhaul of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park

Leaders of the Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation project commemorated the official start of construction with a ground breaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Parks and Recreation officials gave remarks and encouraged the community to continue their support of the $54 million renovation.

The prospect of neglecting the museum’s need for upgrades “would have been terrible and it would have been terrible for Capitol Hill,” said capital campaign co-chair Mimi Gardner Gates who greeted the audience. “Great cities are great because citizens step forward and make a difference.”

Seattle Art Museum is just is just $3 million shy of their $33 million commitment to the project and encouraging community support to reach the total.

The audience of about 50 bristled in the windy weather, gathered beneath a canopy to hear speeches from capital campaign co-chairs Gates and Gursharan Sidhu.

Superintendent of construction Jeremy Jones stood in the audience as the lineup symbolically broke ground with crowbars painted gold. It took seven people to lift two courtyard stones with golden levers for the audience in Volunteer Park. Continue reading

Here’s what will happen during ’14 to 15 months’ of Seattle Asian Art Museum construction

On March 13th, a ceremony will mark the start of more than a year of construction to overhaul and expand the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. The construction fences are already up. Neighbors and park lovers with questions about how the construction will impact the public space and surrounding neighborhood met with officials Thursday night.

Ahead of the official groundbreaking ceremony, representatives for the SAAM renovation project invited the community to Miller Community Center Thursday night for a construction presentation. Superintendents from the construction company BN Builders presented their build-out plan alongside the museum’s chief operating officer and a Volunteer Park projects manager.

The Seattle-based company BN Builders’s winning construction bid of $31.9 million includes conservation of park trees, subterranean wiring and new walking paths. Lingering questions about the project took the meeting over schedule by almost an hour. Continue reading

With start of construction on overhaul project, Seattle Asian Art Museum to hold community meeting

As work begins on the $54 million overhaul and expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum, officials will hold a community meeting March 1st to discuss the coming “14–15 months” of construction:

Seattle Asia Art Museum Community Meeting

In January, the Seattle City Council made its final approvals of legislation that put the museum on track for a fall 2019 reopening.

The $54 million SAAM project has been designed to expand the 1933-built museum more than 13,000 square feet by extending the backside of the building 3,600 square feet into the park. The museum will add more display space to represent South Asia and India as well as fix infrastructure issues including a climate control system and seismic upgrades while making the museum ADA accessible. Last February, officials put the museum project back in motion after a brief pause. That month, visitors also said goodbye to SAAM before the planned two-year closure.


With approvals on expansion, schools-friendly lease, Seattle Asian Art Museum set for 2019 reopening after $54M overhaul

Closed for renovation (Image: Alize Asplund)

By Alize Asplund, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved Monday two pieces of legislation that open the way for a $54 million overhaul and a new 55-year lease for the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park after years of community meetings and negotiations.

“A lot of what is driving this project is the need to serve audiences that want to participate and the project will allow us with a new education space to serve broader and bigger audiences,” Seattle Art Museum director Kimerly Rorschach said prior to a council committee vote on the plans last week.

Construction on the $54 million project is set to begin as early as February with the overhauled facility projected to open in October 2019, when it will be open to the public 40 hours per week for 50 weeks out of the year under the new deal. Continue reading

Updated Asian Art Museum lease proposal includes free visits, arts education for Seattle Public School students

Up against an end of year deadline, the Seattle City Council committee overseeing legislation required before the start of construction on the expansion of Volunteer Park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum made a “ratify and confirm” decision on a 55-year lease for the continued operation of the cultural center. The council’s parks committee is now ready to get around to the confirm part of the business.

Friday afternoon, the Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native Communities Committee will hear public comment on the final two pieces of legislation in the SAAM expansion process. One bill, when approved, will alter city code to allow expansion of a “non conforming” museum inside a city park. It’s a custom patch written specifically for the SAAM expansion that will also limit any future expansion. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | Aurea and Raider in Volunteer Park

CHS caught up with Aurea Astro and Raider at the Holiday in the Park event at Volunteer Park. Raider is a pit bull/lab mix who is about seven. Raider is usually never without her ball but lost it on the way to the park that night. Aurea and Raider were united on Christmas Eve two years ago and so far “it has worked out” for the both of them. If you find Raider’s ball, let us know.

We ask photographer Alex Garland to follow marchers in the rain and do crazy things like trying to make yet another picture of yet another huge apartment building look interesting. We thought we’d ask him to do something a little more fun. Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill.