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

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 36,000 photographs — most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line.

We also keep our eyes on the #capitolhillseattle Instagram tag —- you should, too! Below are this week’s best Capitol Hill shots. Thanks for sharing!
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Hope of revived plan for a First Hill light rail station is buried… again

From Sound Transit’s “Background Information for Section 4.10, Geology and Soils” appendix before First Hill Station was cut from U-Link planning

Any hope of a First Hill light rail station being part of Sound Transit 3 appears to have been left in the dust after deliberation by the transportation agency’s Elected Leadership Group Thursday afternoon.

CHS reported here on hopes from the First Hill Improvement Association and neighborhood and transit advocates that the rapidly growing, incredibly dense neighborhood would be included in planning for the coming third wave of Seattle-are light rail that will span a total of 11.8 miles and add 10 new and four expanded stations. West Seattle Alaska-Junction and Ballard routes will converge downtown by 2035.

But Thursday’s discussion of the planned Midtown Station seemed to lock in the idea that the facility should reside in the shadow of the Seattle Central Library on 5th Ave and basically takes further talk of a potentially expensive, probably engineering-challenged First Hill location off the planning board completely. Continue reading

SPONSORED: Wooded William Bain Home in North Capitol Hill

(Images: Ewing and Clark)

Sponsored post by Ewing & Clark

1700 17th AVE E | $8,800,000 | 4 BEDROOMS | 5 BATH | 7,740 SQFT | BUILT 1938 | MORE ABOUT THIS HOME

Springtime activity in the real estate market accelerates today in the listing of a 3.7 acre parcel with historic home in the heart of Capitol Hill. The home on the north end of 17th Avenue East has undergone an extensive renovation including all systems, windows, floors, bathrooms, interior finishes, infrastructure, landscaping, as well as outbuildings. The verdant surroundings include beautiful, time- honored trees and a picturesque outlook towards Lake Washington, Union Bay and the Cascade Mountains. This romantic parcel situated beside Louisa Boren Park has had only a handful of owners in its eighty year history. In addition to the house, features include a swimming pool with cabana, regulation half-court basketball court, a second 3-car garage, and an expansive meadow. The property is gated and fully fenced and represents the largest residential parcel on Capitol Hill. Listed for $8,800,000. Continue reading

Premiering at SIFF, The Most Dangerous Year documents frontline struggle for trans rights in Washington

Images from The Most Dangerous Year, a documentary that follows a group of Washington State families with transgender kids who joined the fight against the wave of discriminatory anti-transgender legislation

In December of 2015, Vlada Knowlton and her family were adapting to the realities of their five-year-old daughter Annabelle’s transgender identity, and after a difficult period of adjustment things were going great. Then she got a phone call. It was Aidan Key, founder of Gender Diversity, a support group for parents of trans kids that had helped the Knowlton family navigate the often-frightening process of affirming a child’s gender identity. Key had bad news. A new wave of anti-trans legislation was about to hit Washington, and he had a difficult request for Knowlton: Would she be willing to apply her skills as a filmmaker to document the coming struggle?

“I never intended to make a film about transgender people, because for me it was such a personal thing,” Knowlton says, “I’d already gone through that trauma and thought things were gonna get good in our lives again. But it became clear to me after this conversation that I had to use whatever skills I had to start fighting, not only for my own child but for all people like her.”

(Official) Trailer for “The Most Dangerous Year” from Marymoor Productions on Vimeo.

The result is a full-length documentary, The Most Dangerous Year, which chronicles the struggle of people like Knowlton and her family as they fought multiple legislative efforts to deny civil rights to trans people. The film makes its world premiere on Capitol Hill at The Egyptian Theater as part of the Seattle International Film Festival.

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Capitol Hill Community Post | Seattle evaluates options to encourage backyard cottages, in-law apartments

From the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development

The City of Seattle continues to seek public input on the environmental review of options to encourage the development of more in-law apartments and backyard cottages that would allow for more rental housing in the city’s single-family zones.

The review evaluates a proposal advanced by Councilmember Mike O’Brien that aims to remove regulatory barriers and make it easier for property owners to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

Current City ordinances allow two types of ADUs: in-law apartments inside a single-family home and detached backyard cottages. Seattle homeowners have created 1,591 in-law apartments and 579 backyard cottages since first allowed in 1994 and 2010, respectively. Homeowners received permits to build 263 ADUs last year. Continue reading

Here is how Lambert House bought its Capitol Hill house — and the surprising company helping to pay for it

Faced with a buy or move $2 million question on its 15th Ave home, Lambert House has found a surprising supporter to help its mission to support queer youth on Capitol Hill.

In 1993, Lambert house began operating on Capitol Hill, and since then has become the Northwest’s leading organization in aiding queer youth. In 2016, Lambert House was given two months notice to vacate their location as the house’s third generation of family owners wanted to sell the property. Saved by an angel investor with a $2 million, zero percent interest loan, the organization was able to buy the house, and is now fundraising to pay back the loan within five years.

Tito’s Vodka approached Lambert House in March offering Lambert House a partnership with their Love, Tito’s campaign — at various local restaurants, for every drink purchased with Tito’s, Tito’s will donate $1 to Lambert House. Some participating restaurants are matching Tito’s effort, also donating $1 per drink.

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With or without head tax cash, businesses make push for homelessness outreach on Broadway

(Image: Alex Garland/CHS)

Even with the city’s new head tax on the books, a group of Broadway businesses have decided not to wait for new funding streams to start — and their decision on how best to put the money to use shows how the priorities to the issue can differ in the distance between City Hall and Capitol Hill. The Broadway Business Improvement Area will fund its own outreach worker to help people experiencing homelessness and be available to area merchants when issues arise.

In past years, the city had run a program funding outreach workers to visit areas around downtown to assist the homeless population. That program was then expanded to the International District and then to Capitol Hill. That program, at least the Capitol Hill portion of it, lasted for about two years before closing in March.

At the time, the businesses which make up the BBIA began looking to find a way to allow the program to continue, and now that may be taking shape, said Egan Orion, administrator of the BBIA. Continue reading