What is Modern, and why does the Queen Anne Historical Society (QAHS) care?
True, Modern architecture is not a style. Modern architecture is the belief that using the opportunities provided by a site, by a client and by constraints should inform design.
Understanding Modern architecture is not merely understanding contemporary works by architects; rather, it is understanding how a design was informed and conceived and how it is expressed in the authenticity of the design solution.
For QAHS, the essence of Modern design and Modern living is worth documenting. The society believes Queen Anne’s heritage is not only traditional and that we do well to capture the meaning of Modern while we can actually talk to the people who are doing the work.
Kim Turner remembers sitting with his sister on a slope overlooking downtown and witnessing the lights coming back on in skyscrapers after one of the last World War II blackouts. With the lights on, Seattle’s future was unleashed, eventually leading to our current rebuilding frenzy.
The Queen Anne Modern tour held on June 14, 2014 visited contemporary homes and was brackete by two mid-century jewels, Canlis Restaurant (1947) and the Swedish Club (1961). Both buildings reveal the effort to reinvigorate American design following the hiatus from 1929 (the Great Depression) to 1945 (the end of World War II) during which almost nothing got built. Both are pioneering buildings by important local architects. Neither one belongs to the mid-century modern Roman brick class of homes that pepper our hill. Canlis is a marvelous example of Roland Terry’s Northwest School style, while the Swedish Club designed a decade later by Robert Theriault is evidence of the search by post-war architects for a new vocabulary, even it meant borrowing heavily from the work of Seattle-born star Minoru Yamasaki. …Continue reading “Post-War Designs: Canlis & The Swedish Club”→
In 1903, Seattle Fire Station No. 24 opened on Fifth Avenue West at West Galer Street near West Queen Anne Elementary School. Until the mid-1920s, the station housed fire companies using horse-drawn ladder and hose wagons. The building was remodeled in 1925 when the department bought motorized fire trucks. The station was closed in 1949 and subsequently demolished.