30 Years Touring Mount Pleasant Cemetery

Community on the Hill, “Staying on Queen Anne Forever.”

 

It comes as no surprise to the residents of Upper Uptown (a recently coined term designed by me to placate Uptowners who want to strip city maps, newspaper articles and the Queen Anne Historical Society of our historic name) that local historians revel in all the secrets buried at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery (700 W. Raye Street). The first tour’s organizers included Isabel Egglin, Bob Frazier, Isabel Egglin, Del Loder, John Hennes and Kim Turner, all but Isabel Queen Anne High School graduates and members of the Queen Anne Historical Society. In 1997, the cemetery guides focused on “few good gravesites,” but they quickly escalated from visits to the gravesites of early Seattle movers and shakers like the Blaines, Clises, Bells or Clarence Bagley to those of ‘ordinary’ citizens, none of whom, according to this year’s tour leader Kim Turner, “is or was truly ordinary!” …Continue reading “30 Years Touring Mount Pleasant Cemetery”

Betty Bowen, Cultural Activist

Betty Bowen with Seattle Art Museum founder Dr. Richard Fuller

Queen Anne resident Betty Bowen (1918-1977) played a major role in Seattle cultural life — as assistant director of the Seattle Art Museum, as a civic activist on behalf of the arts and historic preservation, and a promoter of Seattle artists.

Born Betty Cornelius in Kent, Washington to a family tracing its roots to Western Washington’s early settlers, she earned an English degree from the University of Washington.  She worked briefly as a reporter for The Seattle Times, then as women’s editor for the Seattle Star. She married John Bowen, captain of ships that laid undersea cables.

During the 1950s, Bowen divided her time between volunteering and public relations work. Dr. Richard Fuller, founder of the Seattle Art Museum, hired her as publicist, then promoted her to assistant director – and she continued in that role until Fuller retired in 1973.  She came to know many of the city’s artists.

Betty Bowen played an active part in civic affairs, helping organize support for the arts and for historic preservation.  An original member of the Seattle Arts Commission (established 1971), a founding member of the Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts Center, and a founding member and chair of the Allied Arts Historic Preservation Committee, she helped organize one of the successful efforts to preserve the Pike Place Market as a designated historic district, and served on the board of Friends of the Market. …Continue reading “Betty Bowen, Cultural Activist”

How to designate a landmark: The Boyd Building

View from the northeast shows historic windows on upper floors and in the three southern bays.

 

Once upon a time in 1920, former Queen Anne resident, Frederick L. Boyd built the Boyd Building at 995 Westlake Ave. N. Just this spring, to the apparent dismay of its owners, the Boyd was designated a Seattle landmark. The story of the designation has fairy-tale qualities with a prince of a building and some strange goings on.  Coincidentally, it provides a good lesson about how historic buildings become designated landmarks.

It helps to know that this relatively simple warehouse/factory building sits close the shore of Lake Union on the eastern edge of Queen Anne in South Lake Union. You’ll find it facing generally north at the spot where 8th Ave. N. splits off from Westlake to heading south. Most of us know it as the American Meter & Appliance building. …Continue reading “How to designate a landmark: The Boyd Building”