Our Sweet Queen Anne Cottages

“At First Avenue West and West Garfield Street, these Craftsman bungalows are of minor significance individually.  As a group, they provide a rhythm and consistency of scale.” Steinbrueck and Nyberg

No one understood better than Victor Steinbrueck and his colleague Folke Nyberg how much Seattle or Queen Anne’s historic working-class housing defined the city. The six identical working-class Craftsman bungalows they referred to in their 1975 poster still stand on West Garfield Street between the alley and First Ave. W. Four of them face north on Garfield; one sits on First Avenue W. while the sixth one backs up to it from the alley. As Steinbrueck and Nyberg suggest, the historic value of buildings often lies more in the urban patterns they create than in their individual distinctiveness.

The pattern Steinbrueck and Folke captured.

In 1975, Victor Steinbrueck embarked on a project with Folke Nyberg and Historic Seattle to identify and publish a series of ten posters inventorying Seattle’s outstanding historic buildings. Queen Anne was lucky to get one of them. In fact, the Queen Anne Historical Society and its volunteers, some of whom are still active today (6/2018), worked on the project. Completing their survey in the early days of the American historic preservation movement, Steinbrueck and Nyberg were hell bent on recognizing that along with the high style buildings often favored by the movement, the vernacular ones were those that really defined a neighborhood’s historic character. The poster authors understood profoundly how a sense of place can give meaning to a community like ours. As Historic Seattle notes on its website, “Each inventory includes photographs and brief descriptions of common building types, significant buildings, and urban design elements.” …Continue reading “Our Sweet Queen Anne Cottages”

Queen Anne Fortnightly Club Celebrates 125 years

 Here is an important bit of local history shared in a press release by Queen Anne Historical Society board member and Fortnightly member Georgi Krom

Nov. 9, 2018

On Thursday, Nov. 8th, the Queen Anne Fortnightly Club celebrated its impressive history during an evening event at the Sunset Club in Seattle. The Queen Anne club was started in 1894, making it one of the oldest women-only organizations still active in Washington state. As Fortnightly enters its 125th year, members reflected together on a successful journey from 1894 to the present day.

Clubs for women were extremely popular throughout the nation beginning in the mid-nineteenth century. Founding Fortnightly member Anna J. Sheafe (1847-1920) started the club as a study group for 10 women living in Queen Anne. Other early members included Anna Herr Clise, Harriet Stimson, and Nettie (Mrs. Charles H.) Black who went on in 1907 to establish Children’s Orthopedic Hospital (now Seattle Children’s).

Today’s club has 27 active members and 11 associate and life members. Several women are daughters of past Fortnightly members. Club meetings are held mostly in private Queen Anne homes from Sept. to June. A yearly topic of study is chosen by committee and individual members give talks on that theme the following year. Recent lectures have focused on technology, non-fiction books of the Pacific Northwest, and historical or living individuals of personal interest. The club has decades of written and photographic archives which are often shared at current meetings.

A love of Queen Anne and deep friendships have served the Queen Anne Fortnightly Club well for 125 years.

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

…Continue reading “170 Prospect St: Brace-Moriarty Residence”

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”