Seattle City Light is telling neighbors around the East Pine Substation at 23rd Ave and E Pine about an important planned project to expand and upgrade the critical facility. Architects and historical preservationists will also want to take note.
Here’s what the Society of Architectural Historians has to say about the 1967-era “fanciful” brick fence that surrounds the 8,000 square-foot facility and Fred Bassetti, the ambitious architect who designed it:
This complex and fanciful masonry fence recalled that of an Archaic Egyptian fortress, like the reconstructions of the Complex of Djoser at Saqqara (c. 2800 BCE) or the later Fortress of Senusret III at Buhen, Sudan (c. 1860 BCE). These ancient Egyptian sources had become topical in the mid-1960s. Gamel Adbul Nasser’s widely publicized Aswan High Dam project (1960–1970) was a centerpiece of his domestic program and an important symbol during the Cold War, representing Egypt’s independence from the West. The dam caused enormous environmental changes in the Nile Valley, and submerged the Buhen region when it was completed. Prior to its flooding, British archaeologist Walter Bryan Emery (1903–1971) began excavations of the site in 1957, and prepared detailed records of the remains. He included drawings of the Buhen fortress in his book, Archaic Egypt (1962), published by Oxford University Press’s mass-market Pelican imprint. Bassetti scheme has both corrugated walls and watch towers interspersed at intervals that are comparable to those found in the Senusret Fortress.
City Light says the expansion project is in its early design phase and “would improve electrical reliability to the neighborhood and area hospitals on First Hill and Capitol Hill by modifying/expanding the north and west perimeter walls toward the property line.”
The expansion will make room for future equipment upgrades and build-outs, according to City Light, including gate access and security as well as “seismic integrity” of the substation. Continue reading
On the corner of 23rd and Madison, away from the busy bars of the Hill, there’s a window with jars of crystallized salts for chakra balancing and a large sign offering discounts for palm readings. The Capitol Hill Psychic Boutique has been around for six years and it belongs to neighborhood psychic Ashley Adams.
Adams has felt her psychic abilities since birth and began reading tarot cards before she ever learned how to read a book. The talent spans back through her maternal bloodline. Adams’ great grandmother is well known in Santa Monica where young Adams sat watching and eventually performing the readings on the pier. It is such a calling that Adams didn’t finish high school, leaving to go continue her family business.
“I felt like I was able to help people get to the next step in their life, get past their fears,” Adams said. “I felt more connected to this path than any other path.”
Now, 26-year-old Adams travels back and forth between her business at the nexus of the Central District and Capitol Hill and her other one in Burbank called Lola Psychic Shop, named after her mother. Adam’s great grandma was a healer, a psychic and clairvoyant but Adams herself specializes in chakras, spiritual healing and past presence. Adams is not a clairvoyant.
That doesn’t mean she can’t talk to the dead, though. Continue reading
A new round of changes is coming to 23rd Ave corridor between John and Roanoke streets starting next year. Yes, technically, it’s 24th Ave between Helen and Roanoke. Phase 3 construction of the 23rd Avenue Vision Zero project is likely to start in the spring or summer of 2018, but it won’t be nearly as disruptive as the first phase of the project, between John and Jackson streets, which took 21 months to complete, city officials say.
Phase 3 will continue the Seattle road diet strategy in an effort to reduce accidents and make roads safer for pedestrians. The biggest change in this phase will be between John and Boyer streets. Currently the road is two lanes in each direction. The redesigned road will have one lane going northbound (downhill), a center turn lane, and two lanes going southbound (uphill) the lane closest to the curb, however, will be bus only. SDOT hopes the new design will help address speeding in the corridor.
The bus only lane is designed to help keep bus travel time reliable, in advance of potentially placing a rapid ride bus on the road, though that’s not likely to happen until 2024. The bus only lane will continue to 23rd and Madison, where it will transition into the single lane southbound lane there now.
The stretch between Boyer and Roanoke will continue to be two lanes in each direction, a nod to the traffic volumes in that area around state 520. That area will get some improvements, along with the rest of the corridor. Continue reading
Montlake… home of the new 520 bridge… and, now, Purr
Capitol Hill is down one gay bar. Purr’s July “going away” party included an announcement of its surprising new home neighborhood…
Seattle Gay Scene has the scoop:
After nearly a 12 year run on Capitol Hill’s 11th Avenue between Pike and Pine Streets, Purr Cocktail Lounge will be packing up the video screens and vodka bottles for a new location in…Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood. That was the surprise announcement at Wednesday night’s “Purr Going Away Party” where owner Barbie Roberts thanked her regulars and staff for a great run at the 11th Avenue location but then made the announcement that everyone had been waiting to hear…where was Purr moving to? While most expected that the new location would be either on Capitol Hill, Seattle’s primary LGBTQ neighborhood or at least adjacent to the ‘hood, no one expected to hear “Montlake” as the new location.
Owner Barbie Roberts has said the move is an economic one with the more-than-a-decade-old lounge escaping soaring Pike/Pine rents. A former employee of Manray and The Wildrose, Roberts opened Purr in 2006 in the former home of the Bad JuJu lounge. In 2011, CHS talked with her about the features of a successful gay bar and surviving the changes of growth in Pike/Pine.
While Purr’s adventure off the Hill will bring more affordable rent and more than a few interesting rides on the 43, we’re sure, its new home will also come with some economic challenges. The Montlake Pub closed in the space after a rocky year of business — it closed so abruptly, CHS never had the opportunity to run a post on the new restaurant last spring. Before the pub, the Traveler family of neighborhood grills gave 24th Ave E a run after taking over for longtime favorite the Montlake Pub in 2014. 24th Ave and Montlake, meanwhile, are set for major changes with a new 520 lid and bridge work slated to completely overhaul the road network at the key interchange. Meanwhile, the approach from the north to the area is also planned for major changes in future stages of the 23rd Ave corridor “road diet.”
No opening date for Montlake Purr has been announced.
You can keep track of things on Purr’s Facebook page.
(Images: Homestead Seattle)
The folks behind vintage furniture and design brand Homestead Seattle have been growing all sorts of things. Their design shop is about to grow into a larger, much more prominent space. And, Sunday, the new Homestead Seattle Plant Shop will blossom on E Olive St near 23rd Ave.
“We’ve definitely seen more apartment gardening,” Ryan Tansey tells CHS about some of the trends at play behind the new shop at 2202 E Olive St. “People who are moving to the hill are less likely to have a yard to work with,” Tansey said. “And I’ve also heard from some people that because many people are having kids later, having plants around is another way to have something to nurture and grow.” Continue reading
You will have another opportunity Wednesday night to kick the tires in person on the plan to create Bus Rapid Transit on Madison. In the meantime, King County and the City of Seattle have released a RapidRide expansion plan that includes the 2019 startup of Madison’s RapidRide G as part of a growing, cross-city network of optimized bus corridors including a plan for what we presume would be RapidRide M or N or O or P on 23rd Ave by 2024. Continue reading
With a multimillion land deal looming in the background that could make the community group part of what it calls “inclusive development” in the Central District, Africatown says it is taking on “Trump-style real estate discrimination” over the effort to evict work space and business incubator Black Dot from the 23rd and Union shopping center.
The community organization run by K. Wyking Garrett has called for a press conference Monday afternoon at the site of Black Dot’s space inside Midtown Center complex:
Today, at 4 p.m., community leaders in support of Black Dot – a business incubator and economic development center providing technical assistance to African American-owned and operated businesses and microenterprises – will host a press conference and rally protesting the recent illegal attempts made to evict the business advocacy group from its current headquarters.
The dispute follows efforts last week for the Midtown Center Partnership, the Bangasser family company, to clear out Black Dot including changing the locks on the commercial berth being used for the work space following the end of the contract with the leaseholder in the partnership of community groups that helped start the location last year.
Police were called to help sort things out Friday but left the property owners to deal with starting a formal eviction process: Continue reading
The new, post road-diet 23rd Ave is now open.
The Seattle Department of Transportation began construction on the first phase of the three-phase project in June 2015, closing the road to northbound traffic between Jackson and John streets.
The newly designed road has gone from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with a center turn lane. It’s also been widened near bus stops, to allow cars to get past buses as they load and unload passengers. Continue reading
(Image: SDOT via Flickr)
The Central District’s long neighborhood nightmare is almost over. The 20-month project to overhaul a busy section of 23rd Ave is on track to finish in February 2017.
Final paving at 23rd and E Union is scheduled to be completed next weekend, weather permitting — though, it was already pushed back a week due to rain. Crews will also continue to work in the area through February to rebuild sidewalks, install electrical components, and complete finishing touches like landscaping and signage.
During that time northbound 23rd Ave will remained closed from E Union to E John. The full northbound detour, which sends traffic to MLK Way, will stay in effect through early 2017. Starting next week, crews are also scheduled to commence several weeks of road work at E Olive, which will include moving the 48 bus stop about 200 feet south on 23rd Ave.
After that, Central District-proper should be in the clear, but 23rd Ave as a whole still has a way to go before the upheaval is over and the full benefit of the major infrastructure investments are realized. Late next year, work will move to the avenue’s outer reaches for Phases 2 and 3 of the improvement project, which still do not have a definitive timeline. Continue reading
Imagine coming home to your apartment looking like a minivan crashed into it… because a minivan did. Central District resident Stephen Nocentelli arrived at the 23rd Ave building he calls home to find news crews and a scene of vehicular carnage after getting a call from police following last Wednesday night’s crash. The driver and the occupant of the ill-fated Dodge fled the scene. Continue reading