Queen Anne Club - 1530 West Queen Anne Avenue
The Queen Anne Club formed around 1920 with the intent of having more neighborhood influence with the City of Seattle government. Streets, sidewalks, street lights, and parks were all big issues in the 1920’s. One of the first successful items to happen with the backing of the Club, after four years of lobbying, was the city’s purchase of the first portion of West Queen Anne Playfield, bounded by 2nd Ave. West, Blaine, 1st Ave. West, and Howe Sts. Paying $42,500, the block included the former stables of the Queen Anne Riding Club, where businessman and Highland Drive resident H. W. Treat had previously kept his horses. Newspaper articles spoke of coming to Club meetings to listen to the radio about the results of the Presidential election of 1924. The Club also sponsored an annual Community Christmas Tree Celebration, where hundreds of children were provided stockings filled with candy, while groups of carol singers sang throughout the neighborhood. At one celebration, a Mr. P.J. Emt used his ten ton truck to “bring back the largest tree he could find… that [took] up the entire stage of the High School.” In this time of multiple neighborhood social events, the idea was created to have a club facility where people could meet, dance, play bridge, have tea, and hold other social gatherings.
By the end of 1924, land had been procured at Queen Anne Ave. and Garfield (purchased from the city), plans were drawn up and a campaign begun to raise funds. Expected to cost $40,000, the first pledge drive of $15,000 was easily oversubscribed. Subsequent dances, golf tournaments, and fairs were used to raise more funds, and the building began construction on March 21, 1927. Multiple articles intoning residents to “do your bit in making the admirable project a brilliant success”, were present quite often throughout the Queen Anne News editions, portending potential concern about funding. One headline in September 1927 states “Join Queen Anne Community Club Today!!! It is a duty you owe to the Hill.” Read an article from the Queen Anne News, 1927, asking for donations. Twenty-five dollars pledged would get you a Life Membership with no annual dues. H.F. Alexander, President of the Pacific Steamship Company, and owner of the C. H. Black House at the time, donated $1,000 to the cause. By November, 1927, 800 of the 4,000 families of the Hill had joined, and club leaders still hoped to have the building completed without having to procure a mortgage.
A campaign drive began in April, 1928 to raise the final $15,000, and the building opened with great fanfare in a program headed by Governor Roland Hartley on May 11, 1928. The dedication included “sleight-o-hand” as presented by Mr. Raywood Frazier, a local banker, as well as vocal solos by Mrs. Adam Beeler and Miss Margaret Grinstein. Pledges for this last drive came in around $11,000 with $1,800 in actual cash provided by the building inauguration date. More than 2,000 people attended the dedication, which was followed by a ball the following night.
James M. Bailey, an attorney with the City of Seattle, was President during the five years overseeing the clubhouse from idea to building, and in 1929 a new club president was elected. With the upcoming crash and following depression, the Club struggled under the large debt, but held on to the building until the war, when it was sold to the Federal Old Line Insurance Company. By 1956 it became the site of KIRO-TV, which erected the large tower to the south of the building, which is still in use today. By 1985 an exercise fitness establishment had moved in, and today’s Italian restaurant on the upper level arrived by 1994.
Businesses at 1530 Queen Anne Ave. over the years:
|1941-42||Queen Anne Club|
|1943-44||Federal Old Line Insurance Co. (home office)|
|1951||Federal Old Line Insurance Co.|
|1956||KIRO (1526 gone, 1522 vacant)|
|1964||KIRO (no addresses south to the garage at 1506)|
|1975||Community Services for the Blind|
|1985||Prorobics, DeGennard Remodeling|
|1994||Prorobics, Pasta Bella|
Sources: Queen Anne News Clippings file of James M. Bailey; Polk Seattle Directories
Read more about this structure at Seattle.gov Historical Sites.
The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 27, 1983. Read it's nomination for historical designation, which include details about its history and architecture. View photos submitted with the nomination.