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Our Sweet Queen Anne Cottages

“At First Avenue West and West Garfield Street, these Craftsman bungalows are of minor significance individually.  As a group, they provide a rhythm and consistency of scale.” Steinbrueck and Nyberg

No one understood better than Victor Steinbrueck and his colleague Folke Nyberg how much Seattle or Queen Anne’s historic working-class housing defined the city. The six identical working-class Craftsman bungalows they referred to in their 1975 poster still stand on West Garfield Street between the alley and First Ave. W. Four of them face north on Garfield; one sits on First Avenue W. while the sixth one backs up to it from the alley. As Steinbrueck and Nyberg suggest, the historic value of buildings often lies more in the urban patterns they create than in their individual distinctiveness.

The pattern Steinbrueck and Folke captured.

In 1975, Victor Steinbrueck embarked on a project with Folke Nyberg and Historic Seattle to identify and publish a series of ten posters inventorying Seattle’s outstanding historic buildings. Queen Anne was lucky to get one of them. In fact, the Queen Anne Historical Society and its volunteers, some of whom are still active today (6/2018), worked on the project. Completing their survey in the early days of the American historic preservation movement, Steinbrueck and Nyberg were hell bent on recognizing that along with the high style buildings often favored by the movement, the vernacular ones were those that really defined a neighborhood’s historic character. The poster authors understood profoundly how a sense of place can give meaning to a community like ours. As Historic Seattle notes on its website, “Each inventory includes photographs and brief descriptions of common building types, significant buildings, and urban design elements.” …Continue reading “Our Sweet Queen Anne Cottages”

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

Kirtland Kelsey Cutter 1860-1939

This article traces the life and work of architect Kirtland Cutter, whose early career transformed Spokane.  The article is the work of Georgi Krom, a member of the Board of the Queen Anne Historical Society and a Spokane native.  Although Kirtland Cutter did no work in our Queen Anne neighborhood, two of his important clients — C. D. and Harriet Stimson — moved from Queen Anne to the house he designed for them at the intersection of Terry Avenue and Spring Street, today called the Stimson Green Mansion. The Rainier Club, also Cutter’s work, probably influenced many design choices among its wealthy members, many of whom lived in Queen Anne.
The Arts and Crafts movement was a powerful, worldwide force in art and architecture.  Historian Lawrence Kreisman  showcases this era in his  Oct 13, 2020 lecture for the Queen Anne Historical Society.  You can hear his talk by clicking HERE.  His book, The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Pacific Northwest, also describes this fascinating time period.

Beautifully designed furniture, decorative arts, and homes were in high demand from consumers in booming new cities.  Local, natural materials of logs, shingles and stone were plentiful in the west and creative architects were needed.  One of them was Kirtland Kelsey Cutter, who worked in Spokane, Seattle, and California.  His imagination reflected the artistic values of that era — from rustic chapels and distinctive homes to glorious public spaces of great beauty.  He was one of the most important architects in our state.

Cutter was born in Cleveland in 1860, the grandson of a distinguished naturalist.  A love of nature was an essential part of Kirtland’s work and he integrated garden design and natural, local materials into his plans.  He studied painting and sculpture in New York and spent several years traveling and studying in Europe.  This exposure to art and culture abroad influenced his taste and the style of his architecture.  The rural buildings of Europe inspired him throughout his career.

Cutter personal residence, Spokane.

…Continue reading “Kirtland Kelsey Cutter 1860-1939”

Dick’s Drive-In Queen Anne

Dick Spady, founder of Dick’s Drive-In. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)

In January 1954, Dick Spady (1923-2016) and his partners opened the first Dick’s Drive-In in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, with the goal of offering a ‘classic meal’ of a burger, steak, and fries at a drive-through facility.  Next came Dick’s Drive-Ins on Broadway, on Holman Road, and in Lake City.  Dick’s Drive-Ins have become the longest continually operated fast-food restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.  In 2012 the City of Seattle issued a Mayoral Proclamation of Dick’s Drive-In Day.   Dick Spady: A Life of Vision and Values  documents his life and times.


In 1974, Dick’s Queen Anne place opened at 500 Queen Anne Avenue N. — the original site of the Motor-In Market  grocery store (which opened in 1930).   It became the first and only Dick’s Drive-In location to feature indoor seating .


In 2013, Dick’s celebrated its 60th anniversary and published 60 Years of Memories, a book featuring recollections by folks of all ages.  Among Queen Anne stories:

*78-year-old Gretchen Swanson recalls “As a regular customer at Dick’s on Queen Anne, my biggest thrill was seeing Governor Gary Locke and his wife Mona Lee eating hamburgers just like the rest of us.”
*Others remember shared special moments at Dick’s before and after attending events at Seattle Center and the Coliseum/Key (soon Climate Pledge) Arena.
*Defensive superstar Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks visited the Queen Anne Dick’s on Veterans Day 2012.