“Queen Anne is the most clearly defined of all Seattle’s hills, a miniature mountain rising abruptly from Elliott Bay, the ship canal, Lake Union and the Seattle Center. –“Queen Anne Hill Seattle’s Miniature Mountain,” Seattle Times (Duncan 1979)
“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.
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 started out as a conversation about Queen Anne’s commercial districts and how they are peppered with historic one- and two-story buildings hosting locally owned businesses representative of our neighborhood’s cultural heritage. Probing more deeply’ the conversation morphed as the idea of ‘cultural heritage’ loomed problematic.
Following Hadley and Arter’s lead, I began looking for Queen Anne’s cultural heritage today. I considered the commercial zones from Denny to McGraw on Queen Anne Ave., along Galer Street from Queen Anne to 4th West, along Boston east and west of Queen Anne and even on Nickerson from 4th North to 3rd W. To my surprise, both old and new buildings of different sizes host a great variety of small shops and restaurants and that those small businesses mark the life of this community. …Continue reading “Let Us Count Them”→
Thanks to 4Culture, King County’s arts, heritage, preservation and public art agency, for a grant providing Sustained Support for 2019. The Queen Anne Historical Society is proud to receive this acknowledgement of its work for the ninth year in a row. The grant allows our all-volunteer society to achieve its annual goals unfettered by financial constraint.
One of these days, I may get over my unrelenting interest (ok, my obsession) with the Counterbalance. It certainly seems weird treating the system as magical. After all, it was nothing more than a waist-high block of cement that ran through a three or four-foot tunnel on a tiny miniature railroad to boost streetcars up Queen Anne Avenue or to slow them down on the descent. It seems I am not alone in my obsession, for just about everyone living in our neighborhood loves learning about these mysterious streetcars and those men who lived their days in little boxes, one at the hill-top and one at the bottom. …Continue reading “In honor of Gary Gaffner: Men in Little Boxes”→