There are a lot of stories at the new mixed-use version of Capitol Hill’s Hugo House literary center — six, to be exact — but the tale behind the building’s coming new restaurant is more of a legend of logistics than a romance of food and the written word.
“Contemporary fast casual Korean” concern Oma Bap is expanding to 11th Ave and will take the restaurant suite adjacent the street level, 10,000 square-foot literary center across from Cal Anderson Park. Continue reading →
Chef Sun Hong at a recent pop-up at Bar Ferd’nand (Image: By Tae)
For chef Sun Hong, quality fish, seaweed, and perfectly seasoned rice are, each, a given. What matters is the tae — “the hand,” the style, the detail, and the finishing of each creation he wants to serve.
“Your hand is your signature,” Hong tells CHS. After a run of popular pop-ups around the city, Hong is brining to his By Tae handrolls to Capitol Hill’s Chophouse Row. Continue reading →
Maria Semple, best-selling author and screenwriter, speaking at the opening event last Saturday
There once was a Hugo House here / We loved its old crazy quilt cheer / This house, it would seem, an architects dream / But the spirit of quirkies still near
This poem was recited by Dick Gemperle last weekend at the grand reopening of Richard Hugo House, a beloved community workspace for writers and a home for Seattle’s “literary heartbeat.”
“This is a wonderful time for Hugo House. Everything is coming together in September. On the 4th of September we closed the transaction to purchase this space. We’re almost done with construction, almost done with our capital campaign, tonight is our grand opening, and next week classes start,” said Gemperle, board president of Hugo House. “It’s all coming together.”
The new Hugo House offers more space for readers and writers with more classrooms, along with a dedicated performance space for readings, and a front parlor space with desks and bar that will be open during events. Continue reading →
Boards from the old Hugo House — complete with the graffiti encouraged at a goodbye party before its demolition — live on in the new Hugo House
The new Hugo House will be open to the public for the first time Saturday but the staff moved in Wednesday and the space has already hosted its first event — an opening preview for the more than 300 community donors and public officials responsible for the one-of-a-kind writing center across from Cal Anderson Park.
“We’re in a time right now when words really matter,” State Representative Nicole Macri said at Monday night’s pre-opening reception in the new center.
Construction of the new 9,600-square-foot Hugo House writing center at 11th and E Olive St. is fully imbued with the creative process — right down to the burning spirit that drives any author, poet, or journalist: a deadline.
“Construction always take longer than they think it will and there have been some unavoidable delays,” Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson tells CHS. “They say they’ll be ready.”
Like a publisher awaiting that final draft, Swenson is planning for Saturday, September 22nd — the planned official grand opening of the new Hugo House inside the six-story mixed-use apartment building that stands at the site the old Hugo House previously called home.
“The celebration will be a chance for everybody to explore the whole space in a design that invites creativity,” Swenson said.
Designed by the architects at NBBJ, the new Hugo House is centered around a 150-seat auditorium but Swenson said the first thing any visitor will see from the 11th Ave entrance is the front salon with built-in writing nooks, seating areas, and a small stage. Continue reading →
An effort to highlight Capitol Hill’s creative spaces got started Sunday with the first-ever 11th Avenue Street Fair where painters, clothing designers, and all other types of artists came to display and sell their work.
Sponsored by the Capitol Hill Community Council, and street representative’s Vermillion, Blue Cone Studios, Imminent Mode, and John Criscitello Studios, the festival closed the street to traffic and let the artists mostly do their thing. Continue reading →
Following the Capitol Hill Block Party by a week, it’s easy to draw comparisons with this weekend’s first ever 11th Avenue Street Fair but the focus should be on the diverse artistic community the street fosters, organizers say.
“[Capitol Hill] has its unique parts of being free and open, being able to create whatever type of art you want to create,” said Natalie Curtis, president of the Capitol Hill Community Council, one of the sponsor’s of the event. “We’re just hoping that people living in the area, working in the area, will come on a Sunday and hang out.”
The fair will take place on 11th Ave between Pike and Pine from 1 to 9 PM Sunday, July 29. Curtis said you can expect a “nice, artsy flow of creatives” and “beautiful spaces with beautiful people.” Continue reading →
Since 1999, Leigh Stone has witnessed the transformation of Capitol Hill as owner of Crybaby Studios, a subterranean warren of rehearsal spaces below 11th Ave between Pike and Pine. She has had a front row seat — or, more accurately, a view from the orchestra pit — to the accelerating gentrification of the surrounding neighborhood. Now she is carving out space for working class artists with the Crybaby Musician’s Grant, a program that will award three months’ access to a private studio and recording equipment for musicians who could not otherwise afford it.
“It’s important that spaces like this are centrally located and available to every demographic, not just people who have extra money.” Stone said. “We want to be known for having a music scene, but it’s gotten increasingly more difficult. Seattle is called ‘the City of Music’ — it’s been trademarked — and I’m fighting tooth and nail to keep facilities in the actual city.”
The future gaze from downtown highrises will reveal Pivot, gateway to Capitol Hill
There aren’t many of the elements left that won so much attention for the project when CHS first reported on it in the summer of 2016. The rooftop restaurant? Poof. The garden-like terraces rising above I-5? Gone with the wind. But after a long and circuitous route through the Seattle process, the appropriately named Pivot project set to rise at the base of Capitol Hill at Pine and Melrose has changed enough to make it to Wednesday night’s possible last design review.
The review board will see a much more streamlined design focused for an eight-story, 70-unit apartment and office mixed-use building that is also planned for street-level retail. Neighborhood guidelines prefer those 5,200 square feet of restaurant or shop space to be on the ground floor — not the rooftop. Some 14,000 square feet will be dedicated to office space while 16 spaces are planned in the underground parking garage. Continue reading →
Coming soon: the Hugo House Writers Center on 11th Ave (Image: Weinstein A+U)
While Washington D.C. struggles to keep the government open, our Washington has sorted things out enough to agree on a new $4.2 billion capital budget including nearly $1 billion for schools, and $205 million in funding for projects in our own 43rd District.
“Our top priority when we returned to Olympia last week was passing the state capital budget, which funds the construction and renovation of our schools, public health facilities and community projects,” 43rd District Sen. and Capitol Hill resident Jamie Pedersen wrote to constituents about the agreement. “The legislature adjourned in July with no enacted capital budget for the first time in living memory, because the Senate Republicans refused to bring it to a vote due to an unrelated dispute involving rural water wells.”
With the water squabble solved, Governor Jay Inslee’s new budget includes nearly $2 billion for the construction of new school construction across the state. Pedersen also points out $106 million in the budget earmarked for the Housing Trust Fund, “the second-highest such investment in state history.”
The new budget helps push a handful of Capitol Hill area projects forward. Continue reading →