Happy 80th birthday to Bruce Lee, Capitol Hill’s most legendary eternal resident

(Image: CHS)

Martial arts legend Bruce Lee rests today atop Capitol HIll in Lake View Cemetery. Friday would have been his 80th birthday.

CHS visited the site earlier this week. Resting next to the grave of his son Brandon Lee, Bruce’s headstone was covered as usual with its mix of flowers and coins. The grave sites atop a hill with an eastern view are a popular place to visit to pay respect to the masters.

Hours at Lake View are currently limited due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The non-profit managed facility is also undertaking a small construction project around the graves. We checked in with the management about the project multiple times but Lake View’s office never got back to us. The organization has faced a challenging year with the ongoing pandemic and controversy surrounding the removal of a Confederate monument from the cemetery.

The construction fencing, meanwhile, will serve as an unfortunate background on what will likely be a busy weekend for visitors. Continue reading

Toppled Confederate monument in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery won’t be restored

It’s gone for good (Image: CHS)

In a victory for those who have been calling for its removal for years, the toppled United Confederate Veterans Memorial sitting in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery won’t be restored as the structure is past repair, a cemetery representative tells CHS.

The controversial memorial to Confederate soldiers of the Civil War was vandalized and pulled down over the Fourth of July weekend. With the rubble now removed, all that remains of its nearly century-long existence are a series of orange cones and red tape.

“There’s no process to restore it. It’s gone,” the representative said. “The vandals came in and they just ruined it but we were in the process of getting rid of it anyway.” Continue reading

Speaking of Capitol Hill walls, here’s how this Lake View Cemetery construction project gave new life to a row of Seattle’s ‘exceptional trees’

As far as new Capitol Hill walls go, it will be easier to miss this one. There’s a big change on the backside of the neighborhood’s Lake View Cemetery near 11th and E Howe and it comes with some good news for some old Seattle trees. This cemetery improvement didn’t end up costing the lives of a row of Bigleaf Maples, American Elms, and Copper Beeches that have rooted into the cemetery’s soil for decades.

The construction project “for replacement of an existing and failing retaining wall” for the cemetery on the backside of Lake View started its permitting process about two years ago. According to city records, as the process proceeded last year, it became clear that the planned removal of 14 “exceptional trees” and the possible removal of a dozen more to make way for a new wall faced too many barriers to proceed.

The trees are variously exceptional individually by species and size and/or as a part of a grove,” a city update from May of 2019 reads. Continue reading

Confederate memorial in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery toppled

Thanks reader Jonathan for the picture

Ten tons of granite hewed from the Georgia mountain birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan has come tumbling down from the top of Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

The controversial monument to Confederate soldiers of the Civil War in the middle of Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery was pulled down apparently Friday or overnight. Witnesses described a scene indicating the huge Stone Mountain granite monument was toppled and dragged until it collapsed. Yellow pull straps were left behind at the scene.

The Independence Day episode echoes with efforts to remove and topple monuments to racist figures and the Confederacy around the country during a wave of Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. States bearing the Confederate “stars and bars” are also grappling with pressure to remove the symbol.

Meanwhile, with the controversial monument toppled, 4th of July also brought a crowd of about 100 chanting and marching right wing protesters and Trump supporters to the area where the Capitol Hill protest zone was cleared earlier this week. Around 1 PM Saturday, the march clashed with groups of counter-protesters near 11th and Pine and video showed a right wing demonstrator spraying his opponents with pepper spray. The group, including some apparently heavily armed participants, was reported marching around the neighborhood and into Volunteer Park.

Continue reading

‘The Intimate Values of Inside Space’ — Of course an art show mixed with a townhome open house is happening on Capitol Hill

At first glance, “The Intimate Values of Inside Space” sounds like your quintessential Capitol Hill Art Walk Valentine’s Day show.

The one-night exhibition, opening this Thursday during the monthly art walk at the new construction at 1532 15th Ave E, checks many of the typical boxes. It is curated by two local artists, Gabriel Molinaro and Alexander Keyes. And it groups together a group of great local artists, such as Jennifer Zwick, Philippe Hyojung Kim, Natasha Marin and local bands like Cumulus and Mahal. It also name-checks a French philosopher (Gaston Bachelard) along with a fancy-sounding concept (topoanalysis, in this case).

The Intimate Values of Inside Space

What’s peculiar, however, is its setting: six new construction townhouses. Hosted by Keyes, artist-turned-real-estate-agent, and real estate developers and investor company Build with Style, ‘The Intimate Values of Inside Space’ is also a real estate open house. Continue reading

After more than 140 years of burials, Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery needs a new wall

Lake View still has room (Images: CHS)

Last week, CHS reported on Recompose, the Capitol Hill-birthed startup dedicated to rethinking what happens to our bodies after we die. As if Lake View Cemetery needed something else to worry about, the 147-year-old burial grounds are also in need of some costly repair.

The City of Seattle is reviewing a $1.5 million plan to replace the Capitol Hill cemetery’s dilapidated western retaining wall according to permit documents filed by the nonprofit association that runs the private grounds just north of Volunteer Park. Continue reading

Campaign against Confederate monuments targets memorial in Capitol Hill cemetery

UPDATE: Turns out, the billboard is located on 15th Ave above the 7-11

A nonprofit dedicated to educating the public “through a diverse array of independent media projects and programs” has included a controversial memorial in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery in a project formed to inspire the removal of ten Confederate memorials across the country.

The Make it Right project has targeted the Seattle memorial with a billboard along the Spokane Street Viaduct telling commuters about a Confederate memorial “in your backyard.” UPDATE: The organization behind the billboard mistakenly provided the address of the billboard company as the location of the new sign. It stands above the 7-11 at 15th and Denny. Continue reading

Confederate memorial in Capitol Hill cemetery vandalized once again

A monument to Confederate soldiers of the Civil War in the middle of Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery has again been damaged.

The memorial was defaced on July 5 according to an employee at the cemetery who declined to comment any further. The monument has been defaced before. This time. several parts of the 10-ton piece of granite have been smashed, including a portion of the monument’s inscription, an insignia, and a relief of General Robert E. Lee atop a pair of crossed muskets. Continue reading

Museum calls for removal of Confederate memorial from Capitol Hill cemetery

The NW Museum of Legends and Lore will never completely leave Capitol Hill, it seems. Fresh off rejection by the City of Seattle for its permit for the annual Broadway Pride street festival,  the museum’s directors are leading the charge targeting, of all things, the United Confederate Veterans Memorial in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery.

Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson say they will be there Monday when a group including a former president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will call on the Seattle City Council to have the 92-year-old memorial removed from the 15th Ave E cemetery.

“The NW Museum of Legends and Lore has been requesting the monuments removal for the last two years,” the announcement reads. “We feel this will be a positive step forward for the generations who fought for unity, the current generation and future generations.” Continue reading

Happy Hilloween: Take a spooky hike through Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery

"Cemetery crows" (Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

“Cemetery crows” (Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

After surviving the blood moon, we’re ready for a spooky stroll or two through Lake View Cemetery, Capitol Hill’s densely-packed final resting place full of famous and not so famous dead people. Pedestrian-friendly community org Feet First is leading a series of Haunted History Hike tours through the month of October:

On Thursdays and Saturdays through the month of October, let Feet First Neighborhood Walk Ambassadors take you on a stroll through the spookier side of Seattle. These 75-minute walks in historic Lake View Cemetery highlight the history and legends of Seattle’s pioneers, entrepreneurs and eccentrics.

Thursday’s tour starts at 3 PM. You can purchase $15 tickets for upcoming walks here. “Tours take place rain or shine, so please dress appropriately,” Feet First notes.

Lake View is located at 1554 15th Ave E. If you’re considering your own tour, the cemetery is open “9am to dusk daily” with the gates closing around 6 PM this time of year. Also, boo!