This August, the amazing old church that grew up to be First Hill’s Town Hall Seattle isn’t doing much but getting older as it reaches the 100th anniversary of its construction. Next August, the landmark building — and its block at 8th and Seneca — will begin a massive process of overhaul and change that will rebuild the old Town Hall and functionally rotate the structure’s presence to create what the nonprofit hopes is a new presence for the structure as a connector between downtown and a rapidly growing First Hill neighborhood. Along with the new orientation, more than 500 new neighbors are also coming to the block in a set of apartment towers planned to join the 100-year-old building.
Capital campaign director for Kevin Malgesini said that the corner of Town Hall closest to the I-5 lid Freeway Park is a focal point of the renovation project. “We’re looking at the way this corner links the two neighborhoods,” he said. “What it is is really visually connecting Freeway Park and First Hill, rather than First Hill turning its back on the city.”
Malgesini said the nondescript and closed-off nature of the building’s current west facade makes it unapproachable from downtown Seattle. “I think there are many people who see the building and don’t know what it is.” Continue reading →
The world’s first “living” office building is now full to capacity with long-term tenants and working on approval for the final piece of its energy conservation system. Meanwhile, just as the building eliminates the coworking space it initially had, one tenant is opening up its own.
The Bullitt Center at 1501 E Madison was completed in 2013. The building’s claim to the ‘greenest office building’ title comes from its commitment to producing a net zero of energy and water use over the course of every year. The building has 575 solar panels on the roof to collect energy, and a 50,000 square foot cistern to gather rainwater for building use. Each organization in the center gets an energy and water budget based on the square footage it occupies.
The building started out with a coworking space and an assortment of smaller tenants, and has now worked its way up to seven large tenants, most of which are on seven year leases. Bullitt Center spokesperson Brad Kahn said that as a landlord, it is easier to have seven large tenants than 50 small ones. The building has also shut down the coworking space it used to have on the fourth floor, which Kahn said was a stop-gap while the center searched for larger tenants.
One of those tenants is opening up its own coworking space in the building, however. The International Future Living Institute is in the process of moving to a new space in the Bullitt Center, and opened up some of its old digs for coworking as of this month. Continue reading →
Creators of a new play at Capitol Hill’s Annex Theater aim to unravel the classic hero’s journey story framework famously outlined by Joseph Campbell.
“Back in college I was really interested in the hero’s journey structure, but I never really felt like it related that much to women,” said director and cowriter of Girl, Mary Hubert. She came up with the idea for the play in 2015 and said she wanted the work to lay bare the heroic story formula’s “lack of applicability to modern-day women.”
For example, a traditional hero’s journey can be considered a success when the protagonist completes their quest by winning a prize. “In most people’s lives, not just women’s, they don’t get a prize,” said Hubert. Continue reading →
Everybody gets a trophy. Capitol Hill Housing’s Chris Persons unveils the award presented Friday to Office of Housing director Steve Walker (Image: CHS)
As the August 2 deadline for voters to approve the proposed $290 million housing levy approaches, affordable housing nonprofit Capitol Hill Housing is recognizing the city for its accomplishments with the 2009 levy, which will expire at the end of this year.
12th Ave Arts, developed by CHH, was awarded the Urban Land Institute Global Award for Excellence in 2015. CHH was given the option to receive a second award and chose to share it with the Office of Housing for its help in creating the development’s affordable housing. The award was presented at a small ceremony in the 12th Ave Arts lobby on Friday.
“We couldn’t have done this project without their support,” said CHH CEO Christopher Persons.
The residential part of 12th Ave Arts includes 88 units of affordable housing. The development was funded in part through Low Income Housing Tax Credits and New Market Tax Credits, and the 2009 housing levy was the largest source of funding for the building’s affordable housing. Office of Housing director Steve Walker called the project “an excellent example of the Seattle Housing Levy at work.”
Walker said that the upcoming housing levy vote was critical to continuing to create much-needed affordable housing in Seattle. “We are dealing with a tremendous amount of pressure on affordability on housing in our city,” said Walker. “The levy has been this foundational piece for 35 years.”
To make ends meet, Anthony Hickerson freestyles poetry for passersby on a subject of their choosing. Hickerson can usually be found these days in front of the Elliott Bay Book Company reciting poems on a subject (or book title) of his audience’s choice. He first started writing a poetry as a way to process his emotions, and 12 years ago he said he discovered he had a gift for freestyling as well. Hickerson also found that freestyling on the street was more lucrative than selling his written works. He has been doing it off and on ever since.
People on the Street is a semi-regular feature on the interesting citizens we find out and about on Capitol Hill. This is the final episode — thanks so much, Mariah, for your great work during your CHS summer internship!
With Capitol Hill Block Party 2016 passed, this weekend brings free music to Cal Anderson Park. Attendees will be able to enjoy the “the four elements” — DJing, breakdancing, emceeing, and graffiti art not filtered through the Pike/Pine scene.
Sunday evening, Cal Anderson will play host to local DJs, musicians, and visual artists as part of its turn to host a 206 Zulu Park Jam. The jam is organized by nonprofit volunteer organization 206 Zulu, the Seattle branch of a group started in the 70s to bring live music, particularly hip hop, to parks as a way to create a safe place for young people in the Bronx. Zulu has since extended its mission to providing family-friendly music and arts programming in cities throughout the United States. Continue reading →
Jazz, Alaina, and Eula (Image: Hella Black Hella Seattle)
Three women from the Central District are on a mission to animate the lives of people of color living in Seattle through a by POC, for POC summer-long podcast series.
Friends Eula Scott Bynoe, Jasmine Jackson, and Alaina Caldwell began recording their podcast Hella Black Hella Seattle in May. The show features three segments, each curated by one of the three women: Caldwell reviews restaurants, Jackson previews events that she thinks are worth checking out, and Bynoe interviews notable people of color from the Seattle area. She’s part of a family that has been covering Black Seattle for years with the Central District’s The Facts newspaper.
Bynoe said the friends came up with the idea for the podcast after hearing people vent frustrations that they felt like they never met anyone interesting or heard about any good events in the Seattle area. All three were born and raised in the CD and have known each other for 13 years, and Bynoe said the picture of a boring Seattle did not match the social life the three friends have built for themselves. The podcast was a way to share their store of knowledge about how to find food, art, culture, and fun close to home.
“We know that there are tons of people, especially people of color, who don’t think there’s anything interesting happening here,” said Bynoe. The three came up with the idea for the podcast in early April, aired their first show in May, and have been dropping an episode every two weeks since then. Continue reading →
Artist Hannah Gabr — Sound reactive light and paper sculpture created around a living tree giving it a new identity.
Artist Marcell Marias — The Vortexinator is an interactive LED/Video Projection-mapped sculpture utilizing a modular triangular screen, with RGB and white LEDs.
Artist Robert Falk — The Garden of Echoes is an interactive array of half a dozen illuminated, alien-looking artificial flowers that respond to sound.
Artist Kristin Nelson — Touchable, walkable sculpture which centers around a living tree and presents it’s roots above ground in a whimsical, highly visual experience.
On what is expected to be the darkest night of the year, artists plan to bring light to Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park.
Lusio, a celebration of light art organized by artist Mollie Bryan, will take place Saturday, July 30 in the park from 8 to 10 PM. The festival will feature more than 20 light and sound installation pieces, including collaborative and interactive pieces.
As the sun sets on July 30, Volunteer Park will slowly come to life and “awaken” with light and sound. Local artists will install and project multiple light installations all over the park for you to explore. The live ambient showcase from the Vancouver BC label, Silent Season, will orchestrate the entire event with beautiful, deep, natural sounds to delight the auditory senses. Visuals will be projected onto the amphitheater wall . Local artists brought in from all over to delight you with their craft.
Wise Orchid led a Seattle celebration of World Tai Chi Qigong Day 2016 in May
The army of local yoga studios are getting some competition. Paralegal-turned-Tai Chi teacher Viola Brumbaugh has opened her own Tai Chi studio in the Central District, in the space recently vacated by children’s toy and clothing store Magpie.
Wise Orchid Tai Chi opened for business at 2002 E Union with a series of free classes on the Fourth of July and has been up and running since then. While Central Seattle has no shortage of yoga studios, Wise Orchid is one of just a few Tai Chi centers in the area. Continue reading →
City Council member Lorena Gonzalez is proposing an addition to the Seattle Municipal Code to ban the use of conversion therapy on minors.
“Seattle must send a clear message that we stand with children who are currently subjected to or may be at risk of being subjected to conversion therapy,” said Gonzalez. “Research has repeatedly demonstrated that this practice is ineffective and results in negative health outcomes.”
Conversion therapy proponents believe it can make LGBTQ individuals become heterosexual. The practice is opposed by the American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, and the Human Rights Campaign, among others. Continue reading →