With its new Cardinal Union ‘vertically-oriented middle school’ nearly complete, Capitol Hill’s Seattle Academy also eyes 12th Ave expansion

Tuesday night, seniors at Capitol Hill’s Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences celebrated their commencement ceremony as the school year comes to a close. Next fall, the private secondary education institution’s middle schoolers will be the first to attend class in the brand new $48 million Cardinal Union building that now rises with its mix of grey- and cream-colored bricks at the school’s 13th Ave corner.

“One of the things we really wanted to focus on was what makes for a great middle school building, and that’s integration and connection between separate spaces,” Rob Phillips, Seattle Academy’s head of school said about the new building. “We talked a lot about how middle school is like the estuary of a river, meaning the building would have features of an estuary so middle school kids could get in the main current that moves them towards high school, and sometimes they could eddy out and have a physical space they can go to get out of the fray of middle school.” Continue reading

School officials want more review after Seattle U student newspaper drag controversy

After copies of student-run newspaper The Spectator disappeared from the south of Capitol Hill campus in April due to a controversial cover photo from a Seattle University drag event, officials say they are focusing inward on how the school can support LGBTQ students and making sure every member of the communities on campus feels a strong sense of belonging.

A school spokesperson tells CHS the Jesuit university is concerned about the media side of the equation. The spokesperson said the newspaper plans to address the needs of faculty and students with extra review and discussion of Spectator copies and that a task force was being created “to consider how we move forward on specific ideas and recommendations that have come forward.” Continue reading

Union cocktail lounge will bring together Capitol Hill gay bar legends

The Zoe events space will soon go back into motion as gay-friendly lounge Union (Image: King County)

Capitol Hill’s gayborhood will grow back onto a new block as Union, a cocktail lounge serving the gay community, will open in the old Zoe restaurant space at Union and 14th.

The new Union will represent a great coming together of rival legends of the gay bar scene.

Union is backed by gay nightlife veterans Steve Nyman, Nathan Benedict, and Mark Engelmann. According to Nyman, “Union will include elements from the previous bars we have owned and other bars we have all worked. That’s one of the reasons we settled on Union as the name; it’s a union of our ideas and experiences, and we hope it’s also a union of community, bringing people together.” 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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Earl’s Cuts — and, maybe, some legendary eats — set for new home in Liberty Bank Building

(Image: Earl’s Cuts and Styles)

At its annual fundraiser last week, Capitol Hill Housing announced some news about its Liberty Bank Building project at 24th and Union that hits right at the heart of the “inclusive” development.

Ready to be displaced by redevelopment of its longtime Midtown Center home, Earl’s Cuts and Styles will be moving into the Liberty Bank development, leaving its former home of 26 years on the corner of 23rd and Union.

Earl Lancaster, the Earl in Earl’s Cuts and Styles, is ultimately optimistic about the move. “I never thought I would have to move, but change is good,” he said. “The neighborhood is changing quicker than we would know, but I’m happy to be a part of it and continue to have a footprint in the central district, which is where I grew up at.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Art Walk features a night for Washington reproductive rights at Generations

A work by Mari Shibuya

Capitol Hill’s monthly art walk brings a dose of political action in May. Tonight from 6 to 9 PM at E Mercer’s Generations gallery, NARAL Pro Choice Washington will host an event with artist Mari Shibuya and State Rep. Nicole Macri.

“I’m doing this event with NARAL to promote access to reproductive health care, and I am very glad to support them,” Macri said. “What they’re aiming to do at this event is to make sure we keep and elect legislators both in the House and the Senate in Olympia who will be strong pro choice voices.” Continue reading

With new manager, new energy for strengthening Seattle Police’s increasingly important Demographic Advisory Councils

The East Precinct no longer has a Crime Prevention Coordinator to attend community meetings and talk with residents and local businesses about safety issues in their neighborhoods. But Felicia Cross has a new, bigger role to play at the Seattle Police Department.

Cross recently transitioned into a new role as SPD’s Community Outreach Program Manager taking over for Maggie George who held the position for 30 years.

Cross has advocated to bridge the gap between the police and community members as former chair of the African American Advisory Council where she redefined the importance of the group’s meetings. In her new job, Cross aims continue this effort. “I want to energize, revamp, and revive all the demographic councils,” she said. “I want to learn about each council and their needs, and I want to be a resource with each one of the councils.” Continue reading

Banh mi-focused Mr. Saigon replaces University Market on 12th Ave

Mr. Saigon, geared toward providing Capitol Hill with convenient, quality, and affordable Vietnamese cuisine, is slated to replace a longtime quick mart on 12th Ave.

The restaurant, the Mr. Saigon group’s first venture, is planned to debut May 14th in the former home of University Market. Mr. Saigon is a creation of Huy Tat the owner behind Jackson’s scratch banh mi provider Lan Hue. Continue reading

After 37 years, Flowers Just 4 U opens on a new corner of 23rd Ave

Mary Wesley is ready for the next step in 37 years of flowers along 23rd Ave (Images: CHS)

In 1981, Mary Wesley moved her flower shop to a corner space on 23rd and Jackson. She renamed her shop Flowers Just 4 U, hoping a friendly name and two windowed walls would establish a community-centric atmosphere, drawing foot traffic in. 37 years later, Flowers Just 4 U has found a new home on the corner of Cherry and 23rd.

Wesley and her longtime employees Patricia Ross and Emily Steele are looking to continue their shop’s legacy as the store relocates to make way for the construction of a new, six story affordable housing development on its former site. Despite initial difficulties involving the lighting, floor plan, and moving flower fridges into the new space formerly home to 701 Coffee, the crew at Flowers Just 4 U is optimistic about the move considering their close proximity to Garfield High School, Garfield Community Center, residential homes, and other new shops and development opening in the surrounding area. Continue reading