Two years after their expulsion, Russian diplomats still hope to return to Seattle’s historic Samuel Hyde House

The Russian Consular Residence the day diplomats moved out in 2018 (Image: CHS)

The Russian Consular Residence the day diplomats moved out in 2018 (Image: CHS)

By Claudia Yaw, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

Two years after the Trump administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the country, tension lingers over Seattle’s historic Samuel Hyde House — the city landmark in Madison Park where Russian diplomats used to reside. The U.S. State Department owns the land underneath, but the Russians still claims the house as their own — and they want back in.

In a statement to Capitol Hill Seattle, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov lamented the closure of what was the only Russian consulate on the West Coast and the lockout at the E Madison residence.

“We presume that when the situation in our bilateral relations stabilizes, there will be a positive decision on returning this beautiful residence to its rightful owner as well as on reinstatement of Russian consular presence on the West Coast,” Antonov wrote.

CHS has agreed to post the complete letter from the ambassador as a condition for his comment. You can find it at the end of this post.

But the U.S. State Department doesn’t seem to have any immediate plans to do anything with the house. Continue reading

What’s next for Capitol Hill’s Harvard Exit: a new home for the Seattle Consulate of Mexico

What we found Monday inside the Harvard Exit: A crew hard at work building a new consulate

The People’s Republic of Capitol Hill will be host to a new headquarters for Mexico’s diplomats in Seattle. The Seattle Consulate of Mexico is slated to move into the overhauled, restored, and transformed Harvard Exit theater building on E Roy just off Broadway, CHS has learned.

The developer on the project declined to comment and a representative from the consulate said he could not provide additional information on the plans for the new facility at this time. UPDATE 2:30 PM: The consulate has confirmed the planned move but said it will announce more details including timing at a later date.

CHS has confirmed the construction underway in the old theater is part of continued work to strengthen the building’s security as a base for Mexico’s diplomatic efforts in the city. Continue reading