Looking at Queen Anne’s Modern Sites

Modern Tour Poster, 2015

On June 20th the Queen Anne Historical Society provided its second modern tour. The Modern Tour started with a presentation by Jeff Murdock.  Murdock is currently serving his second term on the City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board and Architectural Review Committee.  Murdock presented the Queen Anne Pool, which was designed by Benjamin McAdoo & Co and completed in 1978.  Murdock explained that the “construction of the building was controversial because it required the purchase and removal of ten homes, making it the most expensive Seattle Parks pool at $1.25 million.”  The pool was a project in the second phase of McAdoo’s career, and Murdock believes “his influence as an African American architect and activist for social change was significant in national as well as local contexts.” …Continue reading “Looking at Queen Anne’s Modern Sites”

A Modern Take on Queen Anne

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.

QA Modern Tour
Allan Farkas, Sheri Olson, David Coleman, Lane Williams

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.

One approach to documenting Modern living and design was through our June 14, 2014 Queen Anne Modern tour.  We invited guest architects to speak about their work and their ideas on Modernity.
…Continue reading “A Modern Take on Queen Anne”

Post-War Designs: Canlis & The Swedish Club

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.

Modern Tour BannerThe 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”