This Week in Queen Anne History

Howe at Nob Hill North: 10/12/62
Howe at Nob Hill North: 10/12/62

Neighbors inspect a tree that fell over Howe Street at Nob Hill Avenue North during the Columbus Day Storm that hit the Pacific Northwest on October 12, 1962.  The storm originated in the central Pacific Ocean as Typhoon Freda and became an extratropical cyclone as it moved over cooler waters and into the jet stream, producing sustained high winds and gusts of up to 80-180 mph that pummeled the coastline and western interior from Northern California to British Columbia.  The storm caused 46 deaths and injured hundreds more.  Damage was estimated at $250 million across the region, over $2 billion in today’s dollars.  Oregon suffered the most damage, accounting for $200 million of the estimated total.  The storm quickly weakened as it moved north past British Columbia.  Although the region has been threatened by extratropical cyclones in the intervening 58 years, none have surpassed or even come close to matching the violent and destructive force of the 1962 Columbus Day Storm.


Image credit: Seattle Times

Restoring a 1913 Bungalow – 1623 10th Ave. W.

written by Viki A. Sherborne, resident
Reference/images:  “Back to Basics for a Bungalow,” by Brian D. Coleman, Old House Journal December 2017

1623  10th Ave. W.

Development came to West Queen Anne with the expansion of the electric streetcar system still operating on 10th Ave W.  My Craftsman Style Fusion Bungalow was designed and built in the Spring of 1913 by C. H. Bickel at an estimated cost of $2500.  A permit was also issued in 1913 for a 10’x12′ chicken house with a $50 estimated cost.  An addition to the back of the house was added in 1915 for approx. $1500.  A residence across the street at 1610 was also built in 1913 by the same builder/architect.  Of interest, the 1908 house at 1601 10th Ave. W. was designed by noted architect Elmer Green.
Arthur Benjamin Pracna (1878-1948) and his wife, Belle M. Marzolf Pracna (1879-1936) were the first owner/occupants of 1623 10th W. and lived there until their deaths.  Burial is at the Wright Crematory and Columbarium, Queen Anne.  Arthur’s parents immigrated to America from Bohemia, the Czech Republic.  An engineer and architect, Arthur Pracna is credited in historical documents with a number of accomplishments.  He held a 1904 patent for a tilting metallurgical furnace; was a well-known saw and shingle mill designer in 1911 when he moved from Everett to Seattle; is credited with the 1916 plans for a Sutherlin, OR lumber mill; designed the 1917 plans for a hotel and apartment building at Wall and Wetmore Streets in Everett; and was the consulting engineer in 1918 for a 1000 kilowatt steam turbine unit for Pacific Mill Co. in Port Gamble.  His papers, 1902-1921, are held at the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
In the 1950s, my house was divided into 4 units:  the main floor and 3 rooms-to-let upstairs with a shared bathroom.  Kitchenettes were installed in 2 of the upstairs closets, with plumbing coming through the attic and draining along the exterior to a backyard sump.  Wiring from the attic ran across the south-side exterior.  At that time, a 3-door garage was also built at the alley.
My parents, the eighth owners, purchased the house in 1969 as rental income property.  They completed a basement apartment, leaving the sewer connected to that of the Elise Apartment house next door and the bathroom sink draining to the garden.  The rest of the basement was filled over time with the accumulations of decades of tenants.
The house came to me in 2001.  I’ve been determined to restore it to a single-family residence with a proper apartment and a decent alley garage.  The house has approximately 3100 sq. ft. and the lot is 7,200 sq. ft.  With careful planning, I’ve spent about $400,000 on the renovation and improvements including the basement apartment and a new alley garage.
Although I hoped the house had potential, I was overwhelmed by where to start.  Through my participation in the Historic Seattle Bungalow Fair, I was aware of some possible resources.  Architect Larry Johnson advised me on the feasibility of a restoration and the best use of the property.  He recommended that I consult a general contractor with historic residential remodeling expertise.  Rick Sever became that person.  From April 2001 to March 2003 he made a meticulous detailed inspection of the house with a 17-page ‘scope of work.’  He drew plans and took on all the critical initial projects:  furnace, roof, and shingles replaced, chimney issues resolved, floor slope minimized, front stairs and pillars rebuilt, and much more.  I still refer to that ‘scope of work.’
With the structure stabilized, David Swanberg continued the repair/remodeling work from May 2003 through April 2007.  He did most of the remaining carpentry including replacing or repairing rotted shiplap, siding, sashes, and sills; reconfiguring the powder room, breakfast room, upstairs bathroom, closets and eves; framing and finishing the basement apartment, rebuilding the back porch and stairs, matching missing trim work, replacing sill ‘ears’ that had been sawed off when the exterior was covered with asphalt, laying salvaged flooring, insulating the attic, and restoring and stabilizing the original 1-car garage.  Hundreds of details in all.  By 2007 he was understandably thoroughly tired of me and my house.
The final major project was the new large garage on the alley in 2013.  Built in a style sympathetic to the still-existing single-car 1913 garage, it has a shingled face, matching door profile, and sconces.
Throughout the restoration a wonderful group of talented and tolerant craftsmen persevered with some huge challenges.  Generally I’ve been very lucky, although there were a few problems.  I had to fire a cement contractor for horrid work, and one craftsman sliced off the tip of his thumb.  Also, a former neighbor called the police when at 3am I was removing old linoleum from the kitchen floor, pounding in popped nails as I went.
I’ve stripped, patched, and stained acres of painted fir woodwork which had been previously heat-stripped.  Original color was matched and blended using General Finishes Brown Mahogany gel stain and top coat.  Mahogany was considered a prestigious wood for interiors and it was emulated in fir in this house.
The interior paint colors reflect the palette uncovered during the wall preparation work.  Most walls had to be stripped back to the original plaster; washing off calcimine and wallpaper remnants, then repairing and skim-coating.  Major re-plastering had to be done in some rooms.  Wallboard in remodeled areas was skim-coated in a texture similar to the original plaster.  Before painting or staining, 100 years of holes had to be patched.   Woodwork to be repainted and flooring to be stained were sanded using a Festool dustless sanding system, a marvelous machine.  The plasterer, Steve Irish, and the painter, Chris Beckman, have done exceptional work.  Painting and repairing are ongoing.
My decorating has a global sensibility.  The International Arts & Crafts movement was well established before its broad spread in America.  In Scandinavia, for example, the British Arts & Crafts movement was particular influential.  There was a common emphasis on social democracy, the natural environment, and the comfort of home personified by Carl Larsson.
Possessions are from diverse origins and have accumulated over 50 years.  Many are family pieces and others have been found while living in Casper, WY; La Canada, CA; Houston, TX; and Seattle, WA where I was born.  Buying trips for my former business, Arts & Crafts Accents, expanded my collection as did an extended stay in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  Everything, finally, found a perfect home here … and here I intend to stay.

In Our Time — 1950-1993

Published 1993 by Queen Anne Historical Society, edited by Kay Reinartz, PhD
Chapter Thirteen:  In Our Time — 1950-1993
by John P. Hennes, Editor; Lana Christman, Linda Humphrey McCallum, Marion Barker, Betty Renkor, and Lt. Richard Schneider
by John Hennes
The end of World War II found Queen Anne short of housing, overdue for improvements in its schools and parks, and sharing in the struggling post-war economy.  One theme runs through the years from 1950 to today:  Queen Anne’s residents want a community good for families in which to live and grow.  Forces that appear to threaten this are strongly and vocally resisted.  Many Queen Anne families today have roots that go back several generations; most new residents have chosen Queen Anne because of its physical setting and its community values.  The thread of preserving both the past and the family community runs through every decade.  The highlights of the era from 1950 to 1993 as seen through the contemporary perspective, are given below.
1950   The Big Blizzard, January 13
Queen Anne Field House opened
1951    Dennis the Menace created by Hank Ketcham
1956    Johnny Cherberg elected Washington State Lt. Governor
1958    Luther Field constructed
1960     Interbay dump and landfill in Smith Cove closed and nine-hole golf course developed
                Marshall Viewpoint donated to the city
1961     Large Safeway on top of Queen Anne Hill opened
1962     Century 21, the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair opened.  The fair grounds now form Seattle Center.
1964      McClure Middle School opened
1965      April 29 earthquake, measuring intensity between 6.5 and 7 on the Richter scale
1967      The NBA professional basketball team, the Seattle Supersonics, opened season at the                                       Coliseum
1968       Forward Thrust bond issue passed giving financial support to Queen Anne parks
Small developments at Kerry Park, Coe School, and Soundview Terrace
                   Love Israel, formerly Paul Erdman, established his “Church of the Armageddon” on Queen                           Anne
1970       The “Boeing Bust” of 1970-71.  Boeing Co. employment dropped from over 100,000 to                                    40,000
Port of Seattle Grant Terminal opened
“Bhy” Kraake Park opened
1971         Queen Anne Parks Committee acquired property for Mayfair Park
1974         Hansen Bakery Company building redeveloped into a shopping complex
Queen Anne Community Pool opened
1978          King Tut exhibit showcased in Seattle Center
Seattle School District moved from voluntary to mandatory busing
1981         Queen Anne High School and West and North Queen Anne Elementary Schools closed
Queen Anne High School students assigned to Franklin School in South Seattle
Queen Anne Helpline formed to help the needy
                      Queen Anne Thriftway remodeled
1983          Bagley Wright Theatre opened
1984          Jesse Wineberry elected to State Legislator (Queen Anne High School, class of 1973)
1989           Queen Anne Library reopened after extensive renovation
Blackstock Lumber Co. fire
1990            The S&M Market closed it doors in May.
1992             Demolition of the Hansen Baking Company
Queen Anne a popular film location for Hollywood movie companies
City-wide mandatory water rationing left Queen Anne’s lawns brown.
1993             The inaugural day windstorm on January 20, the biggest since the 1962 Columbus Day                                   storm, blew through the northwest.
The City of Seattle proposed a new “Urban Village” including parts of Queen Anne in                                        response to Washington State’s 1990 Growth Management Act
by John Hennes
On Queen Anne the issue of parks has always brought out the community in its attempts to  balance development with preservation.
A field house had long been sought for Queen Anne.  In 1936 the Queen Anne Community Clubhouse on Queen Anne Avenue was proposed by the Council of Queen Anne Clubs for conversion to a field house suitable for official park activities, but the proposal did not succeed.
The focus for a field house location moved to the West Queen Anne Playfield, commonly known as Howe Field, located between First and Second Avenues W. and W. Blaine and Howe Streets.  The dirt field was used in the Fall for Queen Anne High School football practice.
The West Queen Anne Playfield site gained support, and plans to vacate the area north of W. Howe Street for a field house and community building were pursued.  But a strong reaction from some Queen Anne residents to the incipient loss of houses led, in 1946, to a petition drive opposing extension of the field.  A counter-statement from a wide variety of school and youth groups contained endorsements for the expansion.
Finally, in 1948, following much community input, the plans for a field house were authorized at the West Queen Anne Playfield.  On April 28, 1950 the Queen Anne field house was opened.  A dance for Queen Anne High School students followed that evening, kicking off years of youth activities.
Expansion of West Queen Anne Playfield to include the area between Second and Third Avenues W. was financed by passage of the Forward Thrust bond issue in February 1968.  In 1972 the Queen Anne Recreation Center, as the complex of field and field house was then called, was completed.
Funds for the Queen Anne Swimming Pool were also part of the Forward Thrust bond issue.  A pool to serve the Queen Anne-Magnolia area had been a goal for decades, but all proposed locations met with controversy.  The West Queen Anne/McClure Junior High site was the ultimate choice.  Ten homes were razed along First Avenue W. between W. Howe and W. Crockett Streets.  In 1977, after a cost of $846 thousand plus the land purchases, the Queen Anne Pool was opened.
As far back as the Olmsted Report in 1904 there were proposals for waterfront parks along Elliott Bay.  That report recommended acquiring land at the foot of Denny Way.  It also suggested a Harbor View Park in the area bounded by First Avenue, John and Bay Streets, and the water, including the high bluffs there and the railroad tracks, then on trestles.  In 1968, Myrtle Edwards Park was developed from Bay Street N. to Pier 88, the old rock-filled pier at Smith Cove.
The Forward Thrust vote also included funds for two neighborhood mini-parks, Mayfair Park at Second Avenue N. and Raye Street, fits into the side of a northeast Queen Anne Hill ravine.  It occupies 16,448 square feet and contains a variety of small park environments.
“Bhy” Kracke Park, located at 5th Avenue North and Highland Drive, is named for Werner H. “Bhy” Kracke.  Its unique design features a steep winding trail linking the lower level, containing a playground, to the middle and upper levels, which provide a wonderful view.
Marshall Viewpoint, the park across the street from Parsons Gardens overlooking the Sound, was a gift to the city in 1960 from George and Margaret Marshall.  A section of the park has been named in honor of Admiral Thomas S. Phelps, who in 1855 was aboard the gunboat Decatur during the “Battle of Seattle.”  Several sections of the sidewalk art by Northwest artists are a memorial to Betty Bowen, civic leader and preservationist.
Kerry Park Overlook on W. Highland Drive between Second and Third Avenues W. was enhanced in 1971 by a well-known sculpture, Changing Form, by local artist Doris Totten Chase.

Above:  In September 1977, as part of a “Saturday in the Park” program, an old-time band concert in Kinnear Park was sponsored by the Queen Anne Historical Society.  Courtesy University of Washington Library, Special Collections

Above:  Parsons Gardens, 650 West Highland Drive, was formerly the private garden of Reginald and Maude Parsons, whose home is on the left.  It was given to the city in1956 by their children and has since been used for weddings and small community gatherings, as well as for the solitary pleasures of garden lovers.  Photo by Isabel Egglin
The idea of greenbelts was proposed in 1954 and incorporated into the City Council’s 1957 Comprehensive Plan.  A greenbelt was defined as “an area in public ownership or control left primarily in its natural state.”  The rationale included to to provide buffer zones, to prevent development in areas unsuitable for buildings, to maintain belts of natural landscape for recreation, and to avoid continuous development.
The initial two proposed Queen Anne greenbelts were on the northeast and southwest hillsides.  The two areas have been subject to extensive landslide damage over the years, caused by the collection of springs and underground waterflow that underlies much of Queen Anne.  An updated Greenbelt Ordinance was passed by the City Council on May 1, 1983.  Despite these ordinances, development continues to some extent along the areas.  Current construction technology has permitted limited building on steep sites formerly considered “unbuildable.”

Above:  Counterbalance built in our time.  This February 1973 scene from Queen Anne Avenue and Mercer Street shows the electric trolley bus and wires that have been part of Queen Anne since the 1940s.  Bayview Manor Retirement Center on the left is on the site of the landmark Kinnear Mansion destroyed in 1959, to the dismay of the community who loved the elegant Queen Anne style house with its beautiful gardens and fountains.  Courtesy University of Washington Libraries Special Collections

by Marion Parker
As it did during World War I, library circulation decreased during World War II.  Gasoline rationing, long work hours, and the opening of the Magnolia Branch Library in 1943 all contributed to the decline.  Among the wartime patrons were service personnel stationed at the Coast Artillery Anti-Aircraft Battalion located on Mt. Pleasant Cemetery grounds.
The 1950s found much interest among borrowers in civil defense preparation.  New local television publicity for the public libraries featured Laura Wang, Queen Anne children’s librarian.
Larger book budgets in the 1960d supported new services for the increasing number of community college students.  In the mid-1970s the microfilm catalog, with its microfiche supplement, was installed and eventually supplanted the card catalog.
The library established a Neighborhood Resources Center in 1978, offering information on the community council activities as well as other city government policies.  The north windows of the library were replaced in 1978 with a vivid glass mural of five panels created by Richard Spaulding, who said, “{It captures the flow of the architectural style of the Carnegie-designed 1914 building.”
With a 1984 bond issue the Queen Anne Library was renovated, receiving new plumbing, heating and electrical systems, seismic protection, cabinet work, and a handicapped entrance on the west side of the building.
Computer terminals for the use of staff and the public were installed in 1992.  The library is in step with the future.

by Lt. Richard Schneider
The end of World War II brought abut in 1947 the shortening of the firefighters’ long wartime work hours.  This resulted in a reassignment of personnel and the subsequent closing of fire stations, include numbers 4 and 24 on Queen Anne.
Station No. 24, at 1520 Fifth Avenue W., was closed in 1954.  Fire Station No. 4, 223 Fourth Avenue N., had been used only as a fire alarm communications center from 1924 until it was razed in 1961 to make way for the Space Needle in 1962.  Fire Station No. 20, Fourteenth W. and Gilman, originally the “Interbay” station, was replaced in 1949 by a new station constructed at 3205 Thirteenth Avenue W.
For years the northwest corner of Warren Avenue N. and Lee Street has been city property, housing tennis courts, the tank and tower of of the Water Department, and Fire Station No. 8 at 1417 Warren Avenue N.  By the 1960s the station had become old, and a replacement was built at 110 Lee Street to house Engine No. 8 and Ladder No. 6.  The old station was promptly razed and two new tennis courts replaced it.

by John Hennes
The Seattle Center as it exists in 1993 had its start with the Civic Auditorium, Civic Ice Arena, and Civic Field, which were built in 1927, using a voter-approved bond issue to match a fund bequeathed to the city by businessman John Osborne when he died in 1881.

Above:  This pre-World’s Fair view of the Civic Auditorium, taken in 1959, is looking east across Third Avenue N. at Mercer Street.  The Seattle Center Opera House was built within the shell of the cavernous 1927 auditorium.  The World War I Doughboy statue is now located on the south side of the Opera House.  Courtesy University of Washington Library Special Collections
The Civic Field, originally carrying the name Auditorium Field, was inaugurated on September 28, 1928 with a football game between Queen Anne and Broadway high schools.  The Seattle Indians, the city’s first professional baseball team, were also a regular occupant of Civic Field.
In 1939, the Washington State Armory was constructed to house the National Guard.  After World War II the Civic Field was sold to the Seattle School District for $1 and rebuilt and enlarged to 12,000 seats.  It opened in the Fall of 1948 as the High School Memorial Stadium.  In 1950 a Memorial Shrine was built on the entry plaza to honor the young men and women who had attended Seattle public schools and died in World War II.
By the 1950s, there was a regular pattern of dances at the armory, concerts, roadshow musical and graduations at the auditorium, and football games at Memorial Stadium.

by John Hennes and Linda Humphrey McCallum
Passage of a 1956 bond issue started the next phase of the Civic Center’s development.  By the following year plans were underway for a 74-acre home for an international exposition.  The Civic Auditorium was transformed into the Opera House.  The massive armory became the equally massive Food Circus.  The graceful United States Science Pavilion and the intriguing Washington State Coliseum with its “bubbleator” moved into the space east of the Food Circus.  The Warren Avenue School playground became the site of the International Fountain.
The development of the World’s Fair site required the removal of many blocks of houses and small apartments, Fire Station No. 4, the Warren Avenue School, and other small commercial buildings.  Streets were closed, people displaced, new apartments speedily built for the Fair; the face and tenor of uptown Queen Anne was forever changed.
The architecture at the Seattle Center is the legacy of the Century 21 Exposition.  The World’s Fair got off to an excellent start when it was assumed a priori that architects would be involved.  A Design Standards Advisory Board was appointed and well-known architect Paul Thiry was named Chief Architect.  Thiry designed the Coliseum as the Washington State “World of Tomorrow” exhibit.
Minoru Yamasaki boldly proposed building the new Opera House within the shell of the existing Civic Auditorium, a move that would give the city a building worth several million dollars more than the bond issue allotment of $3.5 million.
Yamasaki’s design for the United States Science Pavilion, done in association with Seattle architects Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson, was by far his greatest contribution to the Center.  His interest in Gothic forms led to the five open-ribbed vaults which form the focus on what is now called the Pacific Science Center.  Alistair Cooke of the Manchester Guardian and “Masterpiece Theater,” in spite of his outspoken criticism of the Fair in general, was awed by the serene structure and noted, “it is as if Venice had just been built.”

Above:  The Century 21 Exposition, always referred to as the World’s Fair by Seattleites, led to several prominent Seattle landmarks.  The 608-foot Space Needle and the seven-acre Pacific Science Center, picture here under construction in 1961, are known throughout the world.  Courtesy Museum of History and Industry
The most enduring symbol of the Century 21 architecture is the ever-dominant Space Needle.  The revolving saucer atop a dramatic 600-foot pedestal was the brainchild of Eddie Carlson, Century 21’s greatest promoter.  Carlson, who made his name in the hotel business and ultimately became the president of United Airlines, had been in Stuttgart, Germany on vacation when he was struck by the visual dominance and profitability of the television tower there.  He consulted with Ewen Dingwall, Century 21 chairman, and architect John Graham, who proposed the idea of a spinning restaurant.  Victor Steinbrueck, Professor at the University of Washington School of Architecture, was called in and eventually designed the delicate tripod which supports a futuristic saucer and restaurant.  A mid-level banquet facility, part of the original plan, was added in 1982 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Needle.
The International Fountain, a concrete and colored-glass tile musical extravaganza designed by Tokyo architects Hideki Shimizu and Kazuyuki Matsushita, was the winner of a $250,000 international competition.  Its 117 water jets shoot streams 100 feet into the air to the accompaniment of music and light changes.

by John Hennes
By the close of the six-month Seattle World’s Fair in October 1962, ten million people from around the globe had visited the Queen Anne area.  In 1963, the city regained control of the grounds and the Seattle Center Advisory Committee was formed.
Professional basketball arrived in Seattle as the NBA Seattle Supersonics opened the 1967-68 season at the Coliseum.  The team, named after the supersonic airplane the Boeing Company was then developing, played for its first 11 years at the Coliseum before moving to the Kingdome for the 1978-79 championship season.  In 1985 the Sonics returned to the Coliseum, where the team remains today.  Plans for a major rebuilding of the Coliseum — lowering the floor, adding seats and boxes, remodeling locker rooms and other major fixes — are scheduled to be finished in 1995.
From 1974 to 1975 Memorial Stadium hosted a professional team, the Seattle Sounders of the North American Soccer League.
In 1978 the King Tut Exhibit, on a world tour, was showcased in the Center’s Flag Pavilion and was a prime ticket for thousands from the Northwest.  In 1982 the Seattle Repertory Theatre, matching a $4.8 million bond issue, completed construction of the Bagley Wright Theater, named for its first president, in the northwest corner of the Center.  The Intiman Theatre company moved into the Repertory’s former site near the Fitzgerald Fountain.
Each year the Center hosts three large festivals:  the Folklife Festival on Memorial Day weekend, the Bite of Seattle in mid-July, and Bumbershoot on Labor Day weekend.  Several hundred thousand people attend each of these events.
Currently, plans for a major renovation of Center facilities are funded by a $25.8 million 1991 levy.  The Seattle Symphony is separately engaged in its development of a state-of-the-art symphony hall on the north side of Mercer Street between Second and Third Avenues N.
The growth of the Seattle Center parallels the changes in Queen Anne as a whole.  Traffic and parking are constant issues in the 1990s.  The “Mercer Street Mess” is a byword for the traffic problems connecting lower Queen Anne with the I-5 freeway.  But the role of the Center as a home for the performing arts has led to growth of the Queen Anne area as a desirable location for theater groups and artists.
Traditions from the old days endure.  High school football games are still played at “Civic Field,” dances are still held at the Armory, children still play at the Warren Avenue playground (the International Fountain area), and Potlatch Meadows continues to be a peaceful gathering place.

by Lane Anderson Christman
In 1968, Love Israel, formerly Paul Erdman, came to Queen Anne Hill to establish his church.  Earlier that year, he and Logic Israel, Brian Allen, had a vision of an alternative society in which members would love one another, work in harmony, and share the common good.  The society family took form as a new religion, the Church of Armageddon, and offered an alternative lifestyle as the Love Israel Family.
The Family’s structure was wholly authoritarian, with Love Israel as its head.  Several elders consulted and counseled Love Israel.  Upon joining the Family, followers’ first names were discarded for a new name chosen by Love Israel fitting the follower’s demeanor, such as Serious, Strength, or Meekness.  Israel “the chosen people of God,” was used at the common surname.
By 1972, the Family had grown to 60 members and owned seven homes on the hill.  At the heart of the commune-like Family’s living space was a beautifully landscaped outdoor sanctuary between 8th and 9th Avenues W. in the vicinity of Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.
As its numbers grew, the Family became more involved in the Queen Anne community.  Toys and musical instruments were sold out of their woodworking shop, and a natural food store was set up.  An empty lot behind those businesses on W. McGraw Street was turned into a small park.
Serious and Logic Israel were elected to the Queen Anne Community Council.  Serious was on the council’s Land Use Review Committee, and was described by a council member as “charming, even charismatic, and always in favor of preserving the livability of Queen Anne Hill.”  They were also hired by the city to manage Parsons Gardens.
By 1982, there were approximately 300 members of the Love Family occupying 12 to 15 homes on the hill.  A large house for Love Israel and his household was developed in the 500 block of W. Halladay Street.
The threshold into the world of the Love Israel Family was the “Open Door Inn” at 617 W. McGraw Street.  A Family guest-house across the street sheltered people for longer stays.  Overcrowded at times, travelers would pitch tents in the small park behind the Open Door Inn.
In late 1983, a dispute with a Family member regarding money irreparably damaged the church and its followers.  About 30 of Love’s remaining followers were forced out of their Queen Anne headquarters by a legal settlement.
Today the small but loyal band of 35 adults and 52 children, including Love Israel, live on a rustic ranch outside the town of Arlington in Snohomish County.

by Betty Rencor
During the December holiday season, a visitor gazing toward Queen Anne might be entranced by the sparking, colorful lights stretching hundreds of feet up into the night air as, for a few weeks, the KING Television broadcast tower became a cheerful beacon in the dark winter sky.  Many Queen Anne residents live in the shadow of the KING tower or the two other huge steel towers, KOMO and KIRO, that dominate the residential neighborhood and which are not complementary to its character.  The towers also raise concerns from some about stability during earthquakes and danger from radiation.
The history of the towers starts with an old grocery store on Galer Street at Third Avenue N.  The store was the site of a 100-foot radar tower used by the military in World War II.  In 1947, radio station KEVR bought the old store tower, hung radio broadcast equipment, and established the first FM radio station in Seattle.  On Thanksgiving of the following year television station KRSC delivered the first television broadcast in the Northwest from the same tower.  It was Seattle’s move into the future.  With less than 1,000 television sets in the area, the inaugural November 25, 1948 broadcast of the cross-state high school football matchup between West Seattle and Wenatchee was seen by fewer people via the airwaves than by the 12,000 people who attended the game at the newly-reopened Memorial Stadium.  In 1949, KING bought KRSC, the first sale of a TV station in the U.S.

Above:  The 600-foot-high television broadcast towers on Queen Anne can be seen throughout greater Seattle.  This 1993 photo, taken from Capitol Hill, shows, from left to right, KING, KOMO, and KIRO towers along with the former Queen Anne High School.  Photo by Isabel Egglin
Two broadcast towers in the heart of a vital community were enough for many Queen Anne residents.  Objections to an addition tower became focused in the Queen Anne Community Club’s 1957 protest of KIRO Television’s plans to build a new tower at 1520 Queen Anne Avenue.  In spite of community protest the KIRO tower was built in 1958 at the site of the Queen Anne YMCA building, which was razed.  The day the KIRO tower was completed, Superior Court Judge Henry Clay Agnew ruled the tower had been placed on the location illegally.  Zoning laws had changed since the application was filed in 1951, but the judge allowed the tower to stay.
By the mid-1980s, the three towers ranged from 556 feet to 631 feet above ground level.  The construction of substantially taller buildings downtown, most notably the Columbia Center, caused increasing interference with the signals.  The three stations in 1986 proposed higher towers, to make them 1,349 feet above sea level.  The Queen Anne Community Council denounced the tower expansions, and some Queen Anne residents organized the Citizens Against Tower Expansion (CATE).  “We do not believe 919-foot towers belong in our neighborhood,” Linda Dagg, a member of CATE, said at a June 1992 rally opposing higher towers.
In 1992 the City Council passed an ordinance limiting tower height to 1,100 feet above sea level.  If the new ordinance applies to the existing broadcast towers they could be raised only about 100 feet, but the broadcasting companies believe they have vested rights to building towers to 1,349 feet above sea level.  The issue remains open.

by Linda Humphrey McCallum
The flourishing of traditional architecture on Queen Anne Hill at the turn of the century was followed by a predictable swing to modernism, starting in the 1950s.  The ubiquitous brick rambler, loosely patterned after the “Prairie Houses” of Frank Lloyd Wright but without their gracious ornament, spread across the top of the hill, as gracious older homes and existing vacant lots made way for this efficient icon of 1950s popular culture.
From the 1960s’ “New Frontier” modernism of the Seattle Center to the respectful and meticulous restoration conducted since the 1980s, late twentieth-century Queen Anne architecture has generally reflected the changing styles of modernism throughout the country.  Good examples of most styles of the Modernism Movement were built on the hill.
In 1952 architect Robert Reichert threw the neighborhood of 2500 Third Avenue W. into a frenzy when he constructed what was to be the first contemporary house on Queen Anne Hill.  Built to accommodate himself, his mother, and a large pipe organ the structure reflected the size and shape of the instrument.  But that was not what alarmed the neighborhood.  The stucco-faced structure was covered with black-and-white abstract graphics, complete with a wave pattern washing over the roof.  The black fence surrounding the property was detailed with pivoting rings that spun with the wind current.  Concrete obelisks covered with hieroglyphics stood sentry in the garden.  Today nothing remains of the original graphics or the stuccoed exterior.  While Reichert may have shocked his neighbors, he was remembered in the 1990s for his daring with an exhibition of his work at the Seattle Art Museum.
In the 1960s, a regional movement developed which became known as Northwest style or Northwest Timber style.  One Seattle architect who was influenced by this movement, as well as by the Frank Lloyd Wright School, was Ralph Anderson.  While many homes on Queen Anne Hill were designed by his firm, the earliest and most significant dwellings are the residence at 18 Highland Drive (1965) and Pifer House (1970) at 1317 Willard Avenue W.  Both of these homes are characterized by exaggerated vertical volumes with wide overhangs to fend off Northwest rain.  Large windows admit a maximum of light, and simple, monochromatic colors define the exteriors.
In 1968 Seattle architect Gordon Walker stretched the concept of “conceptual architecture” by designing a concrete-block house at 411 W. Comstock Street.  It took its inspiration from the Bauhaus School, a German design movement of the twenties, which saw structures pared to their essential elements.  The simple, unadorned Bauhaus style led architects of the mid-twentieth century to eschew ornament and rely on the natural material of a structure to give it elegance.  Walker was fascinated with the use of concrete block for construction.  His clients, the Raffs, wanted a house that would accommodate their Oriental rugs and a huge number of books.  The house is very woody inside, with cedar trim and ceiling, oak floors, and wood partition walls.  Over the years the natural landscaping has softened the exterior lines of this very modern version of the traditional brownstone.
Bruce Goff‘s highly decorative approach can be seen at 173 Ward Street in the Taylor house, a project of many years and much love.  The owner, Gene Taylor, had seen Goff’s work  in the Midwest.  Decorated with a mosaic of tiny gold and blue mirrored squares, the house is actually a remodel of a conventional lapped cedar siding structure.  The Taylors converted the house over a 12-year period, doing most of the work themselves.

Above:  The Taylor home, 173 Ward Street, was designed by Bruce Goff.  Photo by Isabel Egglin
The 1980s and 1990s had their share of million-dollar homes testing the buildable limits of Queen Anne lots.  Too many were built without architectural plans and little reverence for the character of the surrounding homes.  Many more Queen Anne residents caught the “restoration fever” that had begun in the 1980s.  At the time of writing, literally hundreds of houses on the hill are being painstakingly remodeled.  With the resurgence of interest in the Arts and Crafts style, many Queen Anne bungalows with original box-beamed ceilings, built-in columns, and turn-of-the-century light fixtures have become highly desirable.  Some renovations, including additions, are so successful that it is hard to distinguish old from new.  One highly accomplished renovation designed by Brandt Hollinger of Geise Associates is the 1914 Craftsman style house at 501 W. Comstock.  The garage and sunroom on the Fifth Avenue W. side of the property are 1989 additions so perfectly replicating the original Oriental railings and brick parapets that most people cannot distinguish the remodel from the original.
The “classic box,” a familiar housing style in the 1910s and 1920s, fell victim to aluminum and asbestos siding in the 1940s and 1950s.  But even these homes have come back to life, some with more daring than others.  The box at 1953 Sixth Avenue W. was converted by architect Lane Williams in the mid-1980s to an intense blue stucco in the “Japonaise” fashion, reflecting both Modernist and post-Modernist influences.
The epitome of restoration is the magnificent gambrel-roofed Georgian colonial at 678 W. Prospect Street.  Purchased by the Belanich family in 1991 and meticulously restored by Dean Polley and Melvin Wolf, this replica of a Brookline, Massachusetts historic home was built in 1905 by F. H. Osgood, the engineer who had been brought from Boston to build the Queen Anne Counterbalance.
While loving recreation of the past can be expensive,, the idea of authentic renovation has spread over the hill as the working class bungalow takes on new life and the classic box once again displays the elegance.  Although modern architecture  has become a valued part of this eclectic neighborhood, the ongoing movement toward restoration is a statement of our appreciation for the history of Queen Anne Hills, its residences, and its architecture.
Lana Anderson Christman attended John Hay and McClure schools.  As volunteer coordinator she was an effective leader in the Queen Anne History book project.  She makes her home with her husband Bryan and daughters Alexandria and Cassandra in West Seattle.
John Hennes grew up on Magnolia, was a founder of the Queen Anne High School Alumni Assoc. and was editor of the associations newsletter, the KUAY, for nine years.  He lives on the north slope of the hill with his wife Margaret Ladhe.

Linda Humphrey McCallum, a graduate of Queen Anne High School and Stanford University, is the Seattle City Editor for Metropolitan Home magazine.  She has written about architecture of the Northwest for several local and national publications and is co-author of the book American Design:  The Northwest.
Lt. Richard Schneider is the historian for the Seattle Fire Department.

Don Miles, Urban Designer

A long-time Queen Anne resident, architect Don Miles (1942-2021) contributed to urban design projects on the hill and beyond.

Don Miles grew up on his family’s farm in Eastern Washington, then moved with his family to Olympia.  He earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Washington in 1966, followed by a Master of Architecture and a Master of City Planning / Urban Design from Harvard University.  He married Pam Wait in 1972, and they moved to New York where he worked in urban design.

In 1976 Don returned to Seattle and opened Don Miles Associates in Pioneer Square.  He worked with Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership (ZGF) beginning in 1989, until his 2010 retirement.  His projects include master plans for developments in Seattle and throughout Washington.  His colleagues honored him as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1992, recognizing his contributions to the development of many successful urban design projects in Seattle and elsewhere throughout the US.

Don and Pam and  their family lived on Queen Anne beginning in 1976.  He served on the Queen Anne Community Council 1978-80, engaged in developing design guidelines for the neighborhood.

As a founding board member of Project for Public Spaces, he established an organization dedicated to making urban spaces attractive and accessible for pedestrians.  He also advanced these goals with Picture Perfect Queen Anne, a neighborhood organization revitalizing the streetscape of Queen Anne Avenue from Galer to McGraw; and he played a role in the founding of Seattle Children’s Museum at the Seattle Center Armory as a Board member 1978-82.