CHS History | Where Capitol Hill’s capitol would have been

(Image: Seattle Municipal Archives)

Did the folks who began the church that is now Prospect Congregational United Church of Christ know that the property they bought was part of the site of the proposed state capitol?

The chapel originally faced E. Prospect on a lot that is now on the southeast corner of E. Prospect and 20th Ave E. The current church building, built in 1924, faces 20th Ave E., although the address remains 1919 E Prospect.

The site of the proposed capitol was a single large block, bounded to the north by E. Prospect, to the south by E. Helen, to the east by 21st Ave E. and to the west by 19th Ave E. Continue reading

With love for raised crosswalk, speed humps, curb ramps, curb bulbs, and protected bike lanes, Melrose next for Capitol Hill street overhauls

Empowered by a few million in funding, enthusiastic biking and pedestrian advocates, years of community meetings, piles of survey data, and a welcoming business community, the city’s Department of Transportation is set to remake Melrose Ave as a microcosm of Seattle street design circa 2020.

That means a raised crosswalk, speed humps, curb ramps, curb bulbs, and protected bike lanes in sections, repairing damaged pavement and sidewalks, and… back-in angle parking. Continue reading

Seattle University begins search for new leader

Sundborg (Image: Seattle University)

Seattle University has announced it has begun a search for a new leader.

The private Jesuit university just south of Capitol Hill announced Thursday that longtime president Stephen Sundborg will step down from his post at end of the school year in June 2021.

“A comprehensive and inclusive national search is underway for the 22nd president of Seattle University,” the school’s announcement reads. “In February, the Board of Trustees approved the Presidential Search Committee to oversee a process that will actively engage, and seek input from, the university community. The next president of SU will guide the institution in its strategic directions and continued emergence as one of the most innovative and progressive Jesuit and Catholic universities in the world.”

The school employs more than 500 full-time and another 200 or so part-time faculty.
Continue reading

Good Weather, part of strong pack of bike cafes around Capitol Hill, set to expand

(Image: Good Weather)

Slowly but surely, the area around Capitol Hill is becoming an easier place to ride a bike. The area’s bicycle-focused hangouts have also grown and, apparently, prospered. One venture in the heart of Pike/Pine has now cycled from a small shop tucked away on an upper floor above 11th Ave to the heart of Chophouse Row, and, now, an expansion in the development’s mix of food, drink, and retail.

Chophouse bike cafe Good Weather is expanding by 100%.

“Good Weather Bicycle & Cafe is doubling in size at the end of February and adding space to both the full-service bike shop and the cafe/bar,” co-owner Brandon Waterman said in an an announcement on the expansion. “We’ll warmly continue serving our delicious breakfast tacos as well as ramp up our beer selection, add seating for events and groups, and showcase a larger curated selection of bicycles and parts.” Continue reading

‘We can move our secure perimeter’ — 12th Ave’s new Children and Family Justice Center designed for hopes of a shrinking youth jail population

With colors, murals, game tables, and art that make the new facility feel like a cross between a new high school and juvenile hall, King County is showing off its new Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center on 12th Ave.

It is also designed, officials say, to slowly transform.

“As we move toward zero youth detention, how we can repurpose space?” one official said during a tour of the new facility’s detention area. “As our population decreases,” she said in the middle of one of the center’s living halls designed to look like dorms but secured for incarceration with electronic locks and state of the art surveillance systems, “we can move our secure perimeter.” Continue reading

A first Second Thursday — Free admission at Seattle Asian Art Museum joins Capitol Hill Art Walk

Samy will probably not be there (Image: Seattle Art Museum)

Second Thursdays are now even more art-y on Capitol Hill. The longtime schedule for the neighborhood’s monthly art walk is now also part of the expanded roster of free admission days for the newly reopened Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.

Both happy events including the first Second Thursday free opening at SAAM and late hours until 9 PM and a special Valentine’s edition of the Capitol Hill Art Walk coincide for the first time Thursday night.

At SAAM, part of the process to plan the museum’s $56 million overhaul and expansion was a new lease for the city-owned building that included an expanded suite of community benefits including free school visits and a wider schedule of free admission days. Second Thursdays are only part of the fun: Continue reading

Nailed it: Sea-Tac unveils Capitol Hill Food Hall

(Image: Port of Seattle)

“Eat Like You’re on Capitol Hill,” goes the Port of Seattle’s introduction for one of its newest food and drink destinations.

CHS reported on the plans for the Capitol Hill Food Hall in late 2018. After some delays, the new venue has debuted in Concourse A, “a gourmet market powered by local purveyors of exceptional food and drinks, serving up a taste of place with every bite.”

As you would probably expect, the results of such an enterprise are both completely bizarre and apropos. We can’t explain the large circular void at the core of the facade but the faux masonry certainly invokes the charm of many of the preservation incentive-boosted mixed-use projects along Pike and Pine. Continue reading

‘Amazon Tax Legislation’ unveiled — Plan would tax payrolls of Amazon and Seattle’s ‘825 biggest companies’

Swatting away ethics concerns, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant unveiled her proposal Wednesday morning that would raise $300 million for housing and environmental initiatives with a tax on Amazon and Seattle’s largest payrolls.

“On behalf of our movement, I’m excited to put forward this bold, transformative proposal,” Sawant said. “We know that big business, the wealthy, and the political establishment will staunchly oppose this, and that we will need a powerful movement. If we win, this will not only transform the lives of Seattle’s working people, it will set a historical marker for cities around the nation.”

The online giant remains in Sawant’s crosshairs. Sawant’s official Seattle City Council press release on the announcement calls her proposal the “Amazon Tax Legislation.” Continue reading

Design review: First Hill ‘Living Building’ will climb 21 stories and be constructed like LEGO, piece by piece

CollinsWoerman’s designs for 901 Madison

Madison Street’s next contribution to Seattle’s ultra-green Living Building program could be a 21-story apartment tower set to rise in unique fashion on First Hill. The development takes its first bow in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

Plans for the 901 Madison project detail a more than 170-unit building — around 45 of those units will be affordable using two housing programs, MFTE and Mandatory Housing Affordability — with new street level retail, and, yes, even though it will be super green, underground parking for 40 vehicles.

Developers Sustainable Living Innovations and architect CollinsWoerman plan to make use of the city’s Living Building incentive program that will allow two additional floors of height in exchange for meeting ecologically friendly building standards. The two floors, by the way, would boost the total units in the building by about 12%

The building is planned to generate 105% of the power it uses through a mixture of wastewater heat recovery (using the heat from hot water that goes down the drain), efficient heat pumps, and solar panels. They are also exploring the idea of using wastewater heat from nearby buildings. Continue reading

Chopp announces another run to represent the 43rd

Chopp at the 2014 debut of 12th Ave Arts

Frank Chopp has represented the 43rd District in Olympia since 1995. Though he stepped aside last year from his role of Speaker of the House, Chopp isn’t ready to end his run at the capitol. Tuesday, the 66-year-old announced he will seek reelection for another two-year term.

“I initially ran for the legislature to be an advocate for housing, working families, and health care,” Chopp said in the announcement. “I am proud of the thousands of homes that I’ve worked to fund and see built, but there is so much more to do, in a crisis that demands focus and experience. I’m excited to continue working hard for the people of the district and our state. I’ve identified real sites where we can and must invest in safe, affordable housing to help our neighbors in need. I’m energized and organized for the opportunities ahead.”

Chopp’s recent run of election victories could be a model for establishment Democrats facing an onslaught of challenges from the left. In Chopp’s last race, he faced tepid competition from a Republican challenger who could only claim around 10% of the vote. But before that, he has twice fended off Socialist Alternative challengers. In 2014, he demolished the group’s campaign for Jess Spear. And in the 2012 election, he defeated upstart candidate Kshama Sawant in what for Chopp was a squeaker — a 71% to 29% victory. Continue reading