Virginia Anderson: Shaping Seattle

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”

Two new landmarks: Bressi Garage and the Coliseum

Castle at Tarascon; among France’s first landmarks; designated in 1840.

Introduction

Visiting the south of France on a lazy day in August, I rode my bike past the Tarascon Castle on my way to the European festival of basket weaving. Occupied for the first time in 1435, the castle is one of the best preserved in Europe. In 1840, it was among the first buildings in France to be designated a landmark. In 177 years of landmark protection, only its use by the German army during WWII ever put it at risk of demolition. In fact, precision bombing of the bridges on the Rhone River by American pilots in June 12, 1944, purposefully dodged French landmarks like this one. Now, thanks to the recent landmark designation of the Bressi Garage and the Seattle Coliseum, they will share a long life with the castle at Tarascon.

Bressi Garage

Known to us as Pottery Northwest, this wonderful survivor of Queen Anne’s early automobile age is now protected. The Landmarks Preservation Board identified both the exterior and the truss system supporting the roof, effectively an interior feature, as protected elements. The nomination prepared by Artifacts, a Tacoma preservation firm, did not dwell on the significance of Pottery Northwest tenancy. It also minimalized the importance of the successful suit filed by community activists at Sacred Heart Church, which lies between Bressi and the Century 21 World’s Fair site, stopped the fair’s ‘taking’ of all the land from Second to First avenues for the 1962 event. …Continue reading “Two new landmarks: Bressi Garage and the Coliseum”

Carolyn Geise, Architect and Community-Builder

Carolyn in a recent photo

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.

Born in Olympia as Carolyn Lee Deuter, by age 27 she had climbed Mount Rainier three times, and had worked as a popular cook at Snoqualmie Lodge and as a ski instructor with climbing legend Jim Whittaker. She married and later divorced Jonn Geise, father of their son Matt Geise. …Continue reading “Carolyn Geise, Architect and Community-Builder”