Early History of Queen Anne

Mercer House, 1900
Mercer House, 1900

After an exploration in December, 1852 of Smith’s Cove and on to Salmon Bay, David T. Denny decided on living in what is now lower Queen Anne, generally the area between today’s Denny Way and Mercer St. from Elliott Bay to Lake Union.

Married in January, 1853 in his brother Arthur’s cabin, David and new wife Louisa Boren filed a 320-acre donation claim the next day, where he built a one-room log cabin on the bluff overlooking Elliott Bay, near Denny Way and Western. Built of nearby trees without a single nail, Louisa planted Sweetbrier roses outside the front door. The roses were found still there growing wild in 1931, when they were uprooted for a new commercial building on the site.1 …Continue reading “Early History of Queen Anne”

  1. Queen Anne: Community on the Hill; Queen Anne Historical Society; 1993

14th Ave W Houses

Gilman House
Gilman House

In August 2013, we almost lost the Gilman House to a menacing developer. Just as soon as the Queen Anne Historical Society learned that an offer had been accepted on the Gilman House, the oldest building of the historic Fourteenth Avenue West Group, and that demolition (probably in the middle of the night) was likely, it moved swiftly. Although alarmed by the idea of demolition, the society was even more distressed to learn that the bank foreclosing on the house and the realtor selling it both knew about the building’s landmark designation and had suggested that it could be ‘delisted.’

Notifying the Department of Neighborhood’s Historic Preservation section and Historic Seattle’s Director of Preservation Advocacy, the Queen Anne Historical Society put into motion the legal tools that protect the building and which eventually encouraged the potential buyer to withdraw the purchase offer in the third week of August. It was bad and probably unethical for the bank and the realtor to suggest that the house could be removed from the city’s list of designated buildings or that Historic Seattle would abrogate its easement responsibilities. The city just doesn’t remove historic designation from a building, and Historic Seattle simply opens itself up to lawsuits if it doesn’t enforce its obligations. …Continue reading “14th Ave W Houses”