Central District’s ‘Soul Pole’ to be taken down and, hopefully, restored

(Image: City of Seattle)

Another landmark of public art is set for work officials hope will help to keep it part of its neighborhood. The Soul Pole, a 21-foot wooden sculpture that has stood outside the Central District’s Douglass-Truth Branch of the Seattle Public Library for nearly 50 years, must come down for work to figure out how best to save the creation:

The 21-foot wooden sculpture, gifted to the Library in 1972 by the Seattle Rotary Boys Club, was carved by six young community artists in the late 1960s to honor 400 years of African American history and the struggle for justice in the United States. The Library will work with Artech Fine Art Services, an organization with extensive experience in the restoration and preservation of artwork, to deinstall the piece and transport it to an art storage facility, where an extensive assessment will be performed.

The library is also trying to learn more about the creation of the 23rd at Yesler pole: Continue reading

The Mayor of Capitol Hill: Seattle has seen Bruce Harrell before — but not like this

Harrell has started his 2021 run for the mayor’s office with some old fashioned grocery store campaigning (Image: @kunluv)

Bruce Harrell has campaigned here before. First elected to the Seattle City Council in 2007, Harrell would go on to win two more terms and serve as council president before deciding not to run again in 2019.

But campaigning in his month-old mayoral bid for a few hours recently at the Capitol Hill Safeway on E John felt different. Across the street Williams Place is home to one of the neighborhood’s city park encampments as officials — and neighbors — wrestle with how best to provide shelter and services and clear away the camps.

“People are so hungry for, I think, straight talk, not double talk,” Harrell told CHS Tuesday. “And they are hungry for boldness and they see the level of dysfunction in city government unlike they’ve seen it before.”

Harrell, a 62-year-old raised in the Central District who briefly served as the city’s first Asian-American mayor in 2017 after Ed Murray resigned, says they see him as a “voice of reason.”

As the city has faced economic turmoil from the COVID-19 pandemic and was consumed by racial justice protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the past year has taught him how fragile the city is and brought into stark relief existing issues in the city, whether it be inequality or homelessness. Continue reading

HoneyHole to expand to Central District with second, ‘three times larger’ location

(Image: HoneyHole)

Pike/Pine classic sandwich joint the HoneyHole is expanding with a second, much larger location only a few miles from the original where the Central District meets the edges of 12th Ave and Seattle University.

The new owners of the classic sandwich joint are hoping to bring together a recipe inspired by the E Pike original to transform the new second location on E Jefferson, a restaurant space most recently home to Central Smoke before that venture shuttered pre-pandemic in early 2020.

“We’re super excited about the opportunities this larger location provides,” HoneyHole owner Kristin Rye said in the announcement of the expansion. “We can host parties, pop-ups, community events and even live music, which were all a bit of a challenge at our Cap Hill location.” Continue reading

Police say four shot including child in 23rd and Jackson gunfire — UPDATE

A shooting reportedly involving vehicles and people on foot near 23rd and Jackson has sent four three victims to the hospital Sunday afternoon. UPDATE: SPD says the shooting injured four people.

UPDATE: In an update with media, police say the victims include adults and a child.

Police were called in just before 3:30 PM and found shell casings, at least one damaged vehicle, and a bullet through a window of a building in the area.

UPDATE 8:50 PM: SPD has added new details in a brief on the incident. The injured child is two years old:

Continue reading

Cherry Street Mosque and Wa Na Wari raising funds to preserve neighborhood centers in the Central District

The Cherry Street Mosque has a history of housing Jewish and Muslim communities over the years. With a new fundraising effort, the emerging Cherry Street Village hopes to repair the roof and water damage to the upper floor of the building. (Image courtesy: Samia El-Moslimany)

In its current state, the Cherry Street Mosque at 720 25th Ave between Cherry and Columbia streets is in need of significant repairs, mainly to fix the roof and water damage to some of the upper level classrooms. With a fundraiser, collective members of Cherry Street Village are raising funds to raise the roof, ushering in a new era for the building as a center for the faith-based and secular arts groups that form the collective. The future home of CSV will include Al-taqwa Mosque, Cherry Street Mosque, Dunya Productions, Kadima Jewish Reconstructionist Community, the Salaam Cultural Museum and the Middle East Peace Camp. So far CSV has raised over 42k of their 150k goal needed to repair and restore the building.

The two-story stone and brick building with a terracotta tiled roof was built in 1930, originally as the Seattle Talmud Torah School by Benjamin Marcus Priteca, a noted architect who designed some of Seattle’s earliest sites of grandeur, including the Coliseum Theater (now downtown’s Banana Republic), the Paramount Theater, Temple De Hirsch Sinai on E Pike, and many other movie theaters on the west coast.

Working on a pay-as-you-go basis with Olive Construction, CSV was able to start roof repairs in mid-February, installing a composite roof, but is awaiting additional funding to restore the terracotta tiles and repair water-damaged classrooms. Continue reading

‘This QFC is Closing April 24, 2021’ — Shelves already bare at 15th Ave E grocery slated for shutdown over COVID-19 hazard pay

(Image: CHS)

With just over two weeks until its announced closure, many shelves at Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave E QFC have already been emptied of discounted groceries and booze.

Signs went up this week announcing a clearance sale at the market that had some shoppers filling their carts with champagne though few people are celebrating the end of the store’s run on the street. Hours have also been reduced with the store now open 9 AM to 9 PM daily.

Officials at parent company Kroger say the grocery is still slated to be closed Saturday, April 24th though it is unclear what will be left to sell at that point. CHS reported in mid-February on the Ohio-based company’s decision to shut down two Seattle stores over the city’s COVID-19 hazard pay saying its most expensive locations on Capitol Hill and in the Wedgwood neighborhood needed to go given the rising costs of operations. Continue reading

SDOT: E Union will finally get its protected bike lanes this month

(Image: 2020 Cycle)

The Central District’s 2020 Cycle is surely geared up for the occasion. Construction is set to begin for the remarkably speedy installation of new protected bike lanes running by the shop serving E Union between Capitol Hill and MLK.

Here is the latest from the Seattle Department of Transportation on the project:

We’re scheduled to construct the E Union St Protected Bike Lane on the weekend of April 24 – 25*! Our crews will begin site preparation work as soon as April 19. We will be installing a protected bike lane on both sides of E Union St between 14th Ave and 26th Ave and an uphill protected bike lane with downhill sharrow (permanent marking on the road to indicate shared lane between vehicles and bicycles) between 26th Ave and MLK Jr Way.

SDOT has distributed a construction notification, embedded below, in the area around the route. Continue reading

Thanks, Mayor Pete: E Madison bus rapid transit project gets $60M in federal funding — Here’s a block by block look at the planned changes to the street

Mayor Pete has come through. Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $187 million in federal funding for four bus rapid transit projects — San Bernardino, California, Ogden, Utah, Everett, Washington, and right here on E Madison in Seattle:

The City of Seattle Department of Transportation will receive a $59.9 million allocation for the Madison Street BRT project, a 2.3-mile east-west BRT line operating diesel-electric buses along Madison Street spanning from downtown Seattle in the west to the Madison Valley neighborhood in the east, with connections in First Hill, Capitol Hill, and the Central Area. It will connect people to hospitals, schools, businesses, and other destinations as well as to dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal.

The federal money helps put the $134 million Madison bus rapid transit project on path for its planned 2024 start of service of the Metro RapidRide G line, a 2.3-mile, 10-station route connecting the waterfront through First Hill and Capitol Hill to Madison Valley.

The final designs for the BRT route’s major overhaul to the Madison corridor’s streetscape were finalized last year. You can check out a block by block look at the changes below.

Continue reading

Tonight: 37th Legislative District Virtual Town Hall

Neighbors across the Central District can tune in Wednesday night for a session with their leaders in Olympia for an updated on the legislative session:

37th Legislative District Virtual Town Hall
Wednesday, March 31, from 6 to 7 p.m.
State Legislators Sen. Rebecca Saldaña and Reps. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Kirsten Harris-Talley will host a virtual town hall to discuss their legislative priorities and answer questions from 37th Legislative District constituents about the legislative session.

Viewers can watch the live stream on any of the following channels:

Spanish and ASL interpretation will be provided. Please share with people who could benefit. ASL interpretation will be provided on all the livestream feeds listed above. A link to the feed with Spanish audio will be provided at the beginning of the event.

Residents of the district are encouraged to submit questions for lawmakers in the Facebook comments section of the live stream event from any page, on Twitter using the hashtag #WA37TownHall, or they can submit their questions in advance here.

CHS reported on a session with 43rd District legislators earlier this month as the lawmakers discussed holding police accountable, taxing capital gains, and helping renters.


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Police investigating after two to hospital in Judkins Park shooting — UPDATE

Two victims suffering gunshot wounds including one person reportedly shot in the chest were dropped at the Swedish Hospital emergency room on First Hill after a Monday night shooting near Judkins Park.

According to police and East Precinct radio updates, the 8 PM shooting took place in the 2200 block of S Norman in the area of the park and involved gunfire from at least two vehicles. Continue reading