[Queen Anne] residents cling tenaciously to steep slopes, hunker down on the relatively flat top and boast, with few dissenters, that they command the most outstanding views in a city that prides itself on spectacular vistas.” –“Queen Anne Hill Seattle’s Miniature Mountain,” Seattle Times (Duncan 1979)”
A Queen Anne resident since 1980, architect Carolyn Geise has designed homes and housing in Seattle neighborhoods including Queen Anne. A professional activist since her UW architecture student days, when she staffed the American Institute of Architects (AIA Seattle) booth at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, she has taken an active role in neighborhood planning and community development, in and beyond Seattle’s Belltown community.
Jean Burch Fallsworked with her husband Gregory Falls (1922-1997) in the origination of ACT — A Contemporary Theatre — in 1965. ACT produced notable performances in the historic Redding Building, also known as Queen Anne Hall & more recently Behnke Center and home to On the Boards, at 100 West Roy. Later ACT restored Eagles Auditorium, relocating to downtown Seattle in 1996. ACT introduced to Seattle works by such contemporary playwrights as David Mamet, Sam Shepard, and Tom Stoppard, and cultivated a community of actors and theatre workers.
Born and raised in New York City, Jean Burch graduated from Manhattan’s Brearley School in 1942 after attending boarding schools in Virginia and Lausanne, Switzerland. Despite her family’s objections, she studied drama in college, first at Bryn Mawr and then at Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. In 1943, she started to fly planes, hoping to join the WASPs – Women’s Auxiliary Service Patrol. However, the war in Europe ended before she reached the age when she could serve. After a first marriage and the birth of two sons, she began pre-med studies at the University of Vermont – while also directing and acting in community theatre. There she met and married Greg Falls, Director of the University of Vermont Drama Department, and her dramatic activities intensified.
Jean Falls and Bayne Ellis in ACT’s production of A Lion in Winter, July 1968 (courtesy ACT)
Redding Building c. 2016, the original home of ACT 1965-1996
In 1961, the University of Washington appointed Greg Falls as Executive Director of the School of Drama, and the Falls family – now including two daughters — moved to Seattle. Jean performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Green Lake Aqua Theatre. After a couple of years, Jean and Greg began to look for a space to open a contemporary summer theatre, to complement the two-year-old Seattle Repertory Theatre that staged classic plays during the winter. This led to the 1965 opening of ACT at its original Queen Anne location on West Roy. Jean notes that Jim Whittaker– the first American to summit Mt. Everest and an originator of REI – had used the Redding Building as a staging area.
In 1974, Jean began to write lyrics, often in collaboration with composer Rob Duisberg. Her work has included lyrics for performances at ACT, Empty Space, and Issaquah’s Village Theatre. In 1999, she performed her final stage role in a production of Margaret Edson’s WIT at Seattle Repertory Theatre. She also travelled with the show to theatres in Houston, Phoenix, and Tucson.
In a career spanning public and private development, long-time Queen Anne resident Virginia Anderson has contributed broadly to the creation of distinctive places well loved by Seattle residents and visitors, including Seattle Center where she served as Director from 1988-2006.
Ms. Anderson – known to many as “Ginny” – first came to Seattle in 1972 to pursue graduate studies in public administration at the University of Washington. With her husband Rick she lived first on Dexter Avenue, then in an Anhalt apartment on Queen Anne. She has since lived in several places on the hill, along with daughter Maile.
Beginning in 1974, she took employment in the City of Seattle Budget Office, working closely with Mayor Wes Uhlman. In 1979 she began working with Paul Schell at Cornerstone Development – a Weyerhauser subsidiary — managing development activities throughout the Northwest. She worked briefly in Seattle’s Community Development office, and in 1981 she joined others in the founding of Plymouth Housing Group and Bellwether Housing, developing affordable housing.…Continue reading “Virginia Anderson: Shaping Seattle”→