The Cayton-Revels House: a landmark to Seattle’s Black history on 14th Ave E — UPDATE

(Source: Seattle Landmark Nomination: THE CAYTON-REVELS HOUSE)

Capitol Hill’s historic Cayton-Revels House is up for nomination for landmark designation Wednesday afternoon with the City of Seattle. Built in 1902, the Queen Anne Victorian-style house was once the home of Horace Roscoe Cayton, publisher of Seattle Black-owned newspaper the Seattle Republican, and his wife and associate editor Susie Sumner Revels Cayton. Community members and the home’s current owners say the landmark designation would be a significant and necessary acknowledgement of Seattle’s Black history.

CHS reported here on the efforts of the 14th and Mercer structure’s owners to achieve landmark status and protections for the 1902-built house, honor the Cayton-Revels family, and recognize the legacy of the racial covenants that shaped Capitol Hill. According to the landmarks nomination, “the Caytons were one of only three Black American families living in today’s definition of Capitol Hill​ before racial restrictive covenants barred non-white residents in 1927.”

You can learn more about the meeting and how to provide public comment here.

UPDATE: The board voted unanimously for the house to move on to the designation phase. The big vote will take place in early April.

The Seattle Republican was one of the most widely-read newspapers in the region at that time. In print from 1894 to 1913, the Republican appealed to national and local audiences of all races, but primarily focused on local politics and the Black experience. Horace Cayton, born a slave on a Mississippi cotton plantation and educated at Alcorn University, made his way to the Pacific Northwest in pursuit of greater freedoms in the frontier-era West. As Seattle changed from a frontier town to a growing city with increasingly racist power structures and property covenants, Black families were pushed into the Central District, where the Cayton-Revels eventually relocated.

“The Caytons were one of the most well-known Black American families in Seattle at the turn of the 20th century because of their business and political involvements,” said Taha Ebrahimi, a Capitol Hill resident who researched and wrote the 142-page landmark proposal for the Cayton-Revels house. Continue reading

It will be affordable and environmentally innovative but here’s why a neighbor is fighting plans for the cross-laminated timber Heartwood Apartments

An early concept for the planned mass timber project (Image: Atelier Jones)

The fate of a proposed affordable housing development on Capitol Hill that will also help trailblaze the construction of “mass timber” buildings in Seattle should be known in the next few days after an appeal from a neighbor put would looks like a temporary kink in the plans.

Community Roots Housingformerly known as Capitol Hill Housing – has planned to build an 8-story apartment building on what is now a parking lot on the corner of 14th Ave E and E Union, diagonally across from Skillet Diner. The new Heartwood Apartments would include some ground floor retail, and 126 units. Rents in the new building would be designed to be affordable to people with an income level between 60% and 100% of the area median. The building would include no parking.

The city had approved the construction of the building, but that decision was appealed by Naomi Ruden, a resident of the adjacent Helen V apartments.

Developments in the area — and the city — have faced these kinds of appeals with regularity even as City Hall has looked to rein in the use of tools like landmarking or the State Environmental Policy Act to slow or stop approved projects.

The Heartwood case came before the Hearing Examiner January 26th. Hearing Examiners fill a quasi-judicial role and are meant to provide an impartial decision reviewing city decisions.

In the appeal filed December 1st, Ruden noted that the existing parking lot is used by resident of the Helen V. Ruden is one of several residents of the Helen V who require handicapped parking access provided in the lot, she said. She was concerned that that access would be lost, and there are no plans to replace the spots for those in need. Continue reading

Oola Distillery saying goodbye to 2020 and Capitol Hill with move to Georgetown

Kallas-Lewis on Oola’s five-year anniversary

14th and Union has been home to a lively slice of Capitol Hill with a “Southern” dive bar, a gay bar, and the neighborhood’s sole remaining craft distillery. All of that will be gone when things get back closer to normal after the heights of the COVID-19 crisis — Oola Distillery is joining the rest in exiting the corner.

Nine years after it poured its first tastes of small batch vodka and gin, owners Kirby Kallas-Lewis and KT Niehoff announced the distillery and its 10 Degrees event space are leaving Capitol Hill for Georgetown.

“We are sad to leave the Hill,” Kallas-Lewis said. “KT and I have been a devoted part of the neighborhood for almost 25 years. Covid related challenges created a sooner than expected departure, but we are staying positive and looking forward to joining the Georgetown community.” Continue reading

City beefs up Stay Health Streets signage

The city’s Stay Healthy Streets program to restrict motor vehicle traffic on select streets to create more open space during the pandemic is adding sturdier signs to help better protect people from drivers as they walk, bike, and roll.

The new signs aren’t exactly barriers but officials hope they will be less susceptible to breakage and loss as bad weather and bad drivers have taken a toll on the city’s collection of a-frame style signs deployed early in the pilot project. Continue reading

An investment in the eventual return of Capitol Hill sit-down dining, Artusi ‘facelift’ underway

(Image: @artusibar)

Despite the uncertainty ahead in the economy and in Capitol Hill food and drink, 14th Ave Italian aperitivo bar Artusi is making a big investment in the future of full service dining.

14th and Pine’s Artusi has broken ground on a renovation project overhauling its former layout. Expected to take about three weeks, the remodel is centered around shrinking the size of the interior bar along with installing new lighting.

“It’s kind of a double-edged sword because it’s like when would we ever have the time to do this,” Artusi general manager Angela Lopez said..

As COVID-19 safety measures continue to restrict dining-in capacity, Lopez says it ended up being a relatively good time to move forward with the renovation plan that has been in the works for a few years now. Continue reading

A demolition on Millionaire’s Row

Face masks helped filter the smell of dust and mildew as a crew set about the unusual task Thursday of tearing down an original house of Seattle’s Millionaire’s Row, the 14th Ave E entryway to Volunteer Park.

Also unusual for a Capitol Hill demolition: The house will be replaced by another single-family home — not apartments, not townhomes. Continue reading

14th Ave church parking lot hosts mobile Swedish ‘Community Response Clinic’ — UPDATE

Thanks to a CHS reader for the picture and question about the clinic site

The large parking lot surrounding Capitol Hill’s FAME Seattle church is busy Friday with an effort to bring crucial COVID-19 testing directly to the city’s most at risk communities.

“We feel it is our responsibility to reach out to those communities,” Sherry Williams, director for community health investment at Swedish, tells CHS.

Williams says Friday’s clinic is a partnership between Swedish, Central Seattle Senior Center, and the church after the community recently lost four community members to the virus.

“We try not to fed into ‘peace of mind’ testing,” Williams said. Friday’s clinic is focused on individuals with identified symptoms and those in the households of the people who have become sick and those who were lost.

Around 60 to 70 people were scheduled to be part of the drive-thru only testing, contacted as after Swedish reached out to the Central District senior center to identify “underserved populations” in need of screening.

Swedish’s mobile “Community Response Clinic” on 14th Ave Friday is part of wider efforts to increase testing that has included medical workers, tents, and a repurposing of the hospital’s mobile mammogram trailer being deployed around the city to serve communities including people in transitional housing and the staff working at those facilities.

The hospital system has also set up some community clinics to provide patients with drive-thru testing options and “to evaluate and test patients who are symptomatic for COVID-19 that are referred to Swedish.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Housing planning mass timber apartment building on E Union

An early concept for the planned mass timber project (Image: Atelier Jones)

For years, prime real estate neighboring the brick Helen V apartment building on Union has hosted a surface parking lot used by a few local residents and Capitol Hill Housing vehicles.

On its face, a new eight-story, affordable project set to rise there doesn’t seem much different than the many sprouting on Capitol Hill but there is one major difference. The new building will have a mass timber structural system, which Atelier Jones principal architect Susan Jones says allows for more density. She said that the shift to timber away from concrete or steel made a 114-unit goal for the affordable project possible. Standard construction would have produced only 88.

Mass timber buildings like these are a trend in the Pacific Northwest, Jones says. Continue reading

Birds of a cask ale feather will flock together as Machine House’s Central District taproom becomes the Capercaillie Pub

Celebrate the 4th of July by drinking English ales

Capercaillie Pub will continue Machine House Brewery’s quest of serving English beer on E Jefferson. The new project is a result of a shift in ownership, and the pub will be taking over the brewery’s bar space, making a few smaller changes in addition to the name change and change in ownership.

“Our vision is the Capercaillie will be a neighborhood pub featuring cask ale, and a place where people can hang out and feel comfortable,” said Alex Brenner, the pub’s owner, “I really like the layout of the space, the staff are great with customers, and the beer we serve is spot on.” Continue reading

One dead in 14th/Yesler apartment fire — UPDATE

(Image: Seattle Fire)

CORRECTION: This post has been updated with the correct building identification. CHS initially reported the location of the first address that appeared in the Seattle Fire incident logs but that location was subsequently updated. We apologize for the error.

One person was found dead in a two-alarm apartment fire overnight in a Catholic Housing Services apartment building at 14th and E Yesler.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene around 12:30 AM Monday and found a second story unit in the 1900-built, 34-unit building fully ablaze.

Firefighters quickly brought the fire under control before flames could spread beyond the unit or to the building to the south.

SFD says the blaze was mostly contained to the unit where the body was found. The Medical Examiner was called to the scene and will handle determination of a cause of death and identification of the victim.

Four units in the building were not able to be reoccupied overnight, Seattle Fire said, and Red Cross was requested to assist the victims.

Catholic Housing Services operates the building as part of its homeless, low-income and special needs housing properties. The building has served as housing for the elderly.

Seattle Fire is conducting an investigation into what caused the blaze.

UPDATE: Investigators have ruled the cause of the fire as undetermined pending autopsy results, Seattle Fire says.

Total estimated loss was estimated at $295,000.