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CHS Year in Review 2017 | Capitol Hill’s 50 most important stories

For two years running, CHS readers have voted Capitol Hill Station as the most important story of the year. In 2015, it was the light rail station’s unveiling after years of construction. 2016 brought CHS’s (the other CHS!) start of service. Now, 2017 brought the fruition of more than a decade of community planning as the designs for “transit oriented development” around the station were finalized. But 2017 on Capitol Hill also included stories of great sadness and stories of triumph and change. The “S-path” opened. It snowed on Christmas. The mayor fell from grace. Some of the most important we remembered are below.

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YIR 2017
+ Steps toward affordability in the year in Capitol Hill development
+ Smaller, ambitious-er, gay-er — the year in Capitol Hill food+drink
CHS YIR: 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

These 50 things happened in 2017…

  1. Work halted since the Great Depression began on St. Mark’s.
  2. Capitol Hill got a Pac-Man park.
  3. Seattle elected Jenny Durkan, our first woman mayor since Bertha Knight Landes. She got a rude first greeting on Capitol Hill.
  4. The Seattle Women’s March stretched from the Central District to Seattle Center.
  5. Nikkita Oliver ran for mayor.
  6. Kshama Sawant organized an anti-Trump town hall.
  7. Ed Murray, Capitol Hill’s man in City Hall, was accused of sexual abuse, dropped his reelection bid, and, after a painful summer, resigned.
  8. It snowed on Christmas.
  9. The Seattle homelessness state of emergency continued.
  10. Anti-semitic graffii targeted Temple De Hirsch Sinai.
  11. Hillary Clinton signed books on 10th Ave, not legislation in D.C.
  12. 20% of kids at Capitol Hill’s Lowell Elementary were homeless.
  13. Meany Middle School reopened.
  14. NIMBYs were denied in their effort to block the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s expansion.
  15. Designs for four seven-story, mixed-use buildings with a mix of market-rate and affordable apartments set to rise above Capitol Hill Station were finalized.
  16. The next Capitol Hill marijuana land rush began as three shops made bids for two spots on E Olive Way.
  17. The Lowell Elementary “S-Pathreopened.
  18. The body of 49-year-old Amy Vanderbeck was found in a Volunteer Park lily pond, the victim of what was determined to be an accidental drowning.
  19. Soaring Capitol Hill rents appeared to sloowwwww dowwwwwn.
  20. Seattle created the nation’s first renters commission.
  21. A new Pride organizer took over — and improved — Broadway’s street festival.
  22. A new gay bar opened in Pike/Pine.
  23. Two were shot at Chop Suey.
  24. The First Hill Streetcar lost power and slid two blocks down Broadway.
  25. A $23.35M deal was forged for “inclusive development” at 23rd and Union.
  26. The Liberty Bank building broke ground.
  27. There was a standoff over an eviction in the Central District.
  28. New Seasons announced plans to open at 23rd and Union.
  29. Madison RapidRideG took shape.
  30. Community groups pushed for and won a $80M+ benefits package to accompany downtown convention center expansion.
  31. The Capitol Hill owners considered a $1.6M plan to expand to a Hill-wide “business improvement area.”
  32. Docked bike share died. Dockless bike share took off.
  33. Broadway got an all-walk. Or was it an all-way-walk?
  34. The auto row-era home of Elliott Bay Book Co. was sold for $14 million.
  35. The Kelly Springfield building was (mostly) torn down.
  36. An affordability plan to raise height limits on Broadway to 75 feet was released.
  37. A big chunk of 15th Ave E was sold to a neighborhood buyer.
  38. Kaiser Permanente marked a big change on 15th with its Group Health takeover.
  39. Capitol Hill’s only full service gas station faced an uncertain future.
  40. Paid parking was extended until 10 PM.
  41. This chunk of Broadway got bought.
  42. So did another chunk of Broadway.
  43. Amazon really did start its plans for a new grocery business on E Pike.
  44. Big brands like Warby Parker joined Pike/Pine.
  45. Capitol Hill got a cat cafe.
  46. Dilettante left Capitol Hill.
  47. Clever Dunne’s closed.
  48. 19th and Aloha Tully’s closed.
  49. Charlie’s closed again.
  50. The Redwood really really closed this time.

CHS took a break. And came back. Happy New Year.

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3 years ago

Have you sen PacMan Park? (Number 2 story, above.) It hasn’t been cleaned since opening, except garbage cans emptied. Covered in graffiti. Broken furniture. Leaves everywhere. ALL of the plants are dead from neglect. We shouldn’t spend a nickel on new parks if we can’t care for the ones we already have.

Bob Knudson
Bob Knudson
3 years ago
Reply to  JayH

I’ve noticed that too. Siting a concrete “city park” in the middle of one of the busiest/most congested intersections was a bad idea to begin with. No one uses it. What a colossal waste of taxpayer money!

Weepy Millennial
Weepy Millennial
3 years ago

Nikkita Oliver ran? Big deal – she didn’t even make the final two. Cary Moon ran. So did a bunch of others. Oh, wait, I get it…

3 years ago

I don’t.

3 years ago

Was this list made by most viewed or shared? Or was it made by the opinions of the CHS editors?