170 Prospect St: Brace-Moriarty Residence

Lumberman John Stuart Brace (1861-1918) started his lumber business in Spokane in 1878 and moved to Seattle 10 years later with his family to work with his father in the mill industry. In 1890 he married Katherine Frankland Brace (1861-1924) and they had three girls and two boys.

In 1892 Brace served on the city council and three years later he became Superintendent for Western Mills. By 1899 the Brace & Hergert Mill Company was successfully operating at the intersection of Valley St and Terry Ave in South Lake Union, now a part of Lake Union Park.

In 1904 Brace commissioned a home to be designed by the Kerr and Rogers partnership. The home was built from old growth trees by his lumber company. As President of the Lake Washington Canal Association, Brace met with government officials and committees of business men, and directed the educational campaign in favor of the canal. In 1918 John Stuart Brace died in his home after a 3-month illness.

“A very patriotic, high type of citizen was Mr. Brace. I know of no man with whom I have come in contact within recent years that impressed me as being so broad, unselfish and fair-minded, nor one in whom more confidence could be placed. He was a splendid friend. Not alone for his work… but in many other ways was he a friend of the community. It is doubtful if the full measure of the community’s debt to him will ever be fully known.” Lawrence J. Colman

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Rails to Trails Around the World

I have been amazed by how well people advocating for safe walking and biking streets share good ideas. It is not just Queen Anne Greenways and Ballard folks or even my many friends in Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. The connections are in fact worldwide among pedestrians, bicyclists, urban planners and traffic engineers. Astounding as it may seem, good ideas such as the conversion of obsolete railways to modern safe walking and riding paths is a world-wide phenomenon that I’ve experienced here on Queen Anne and far away in the south of France.

In the U.S., everyone learns about the great transcontinental railroads that connected the cities of the American east with the west. We tend to forget though the profusion of little lines that connected isolated places like Monte Christo, Snohomish or Snoqualmie to the main lines and helped them move the raw materials like copper, wood and coal on which their economic lives depended.We also often overlook the role of these little lines in supplying isolated places with goods manufactured east of the Rockies. For example, the totally out of place mansion in Yakima known as Congleton’s Castle features furniture, a heating system and even a kitchen stove all made in Duluth, Minnesota, the Congleton family’s home town. …Continue reading “Rails to Trails Around the World”

Are Historic Districts or DADUs the Best Way to Preserve Queen Anne?

Torn by the perceived conflict between preserving Queen Anne’s historic character and of increasing urban density, I waver between historic districts and backyard cottages as the best way to preserve historic fabric. Across the country, we find contiguous districts such as the Ballard Avenue Historic District and thematic districts where scattered buildings of the same general type, style or age are protected as if the buildings were contiguous. Both types of districts protect all the buildings within their boundaries.

The relatively absence of individual landmarks and historic districts in Seattle underlies my angst. Ours is no longer a young west coast city, yet we have but eight historic districts and only the Harvard-Belmont District includes residential properties. The rest are commercial neighborhoods (Ballard Avenue, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, International District and Columbia City) or former military bases (Fort Lawton and Sand Point). Seattle has no neighborhood historic districts like Queen Anne, upper or lower and no thematic districts. …Continue reading “Are Historic Districts or DADUs the Best Way to Preserve Queen Anne?”