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”

Queen Anne Historical Society Awards Ceremony

You’re invited to enjoy fabulous views at the Swedish Club while we honor six people and projects that have preserved our neighborhood heritage and values.

Honorees include preservationist Gary Gaffner (posthumously), Seattle Pacific University Alexander HallVilla FrancaPicture Perfect Queen AnneThe Pratt House(218 W. Kinnear), and Nielsen’s Pastries.

Light hors d’oeuvres, non-alcoholic refreshments, wine & beer

Tickets ($20.00 per person) at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4206569 

Let Us Count Them

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.

West side QA Ave. in 1937 north of Galer. Photo: Puget Sound Regional ArchivesIn 2015, Jan Hadley and Alicia Arter in a series of articles for the Queen Anne Historical Society noted that at some point in the first half of the 20th c. over 50 mom and pop groceries, meat markets, milk and butter shops lined Queen Anne Ave. and knit the neighborhood together. Hadley lamented the loss of those buildings writing, “Eventually, most of the small neighborhood grocery stores disappeared.  Big supermarket chains – the Safeways and Metropolitan Markets – prevailed.  As a result, something of value was lost. The small family-run stores brought neighbors together and built community and friendships. Each was unique, intimate in size, and scale, and staffed by friendly, caring individuals.”  Hadley and Arter didn’t seek to define our cultural heritage, but they may have inadvertently found it hidden in the tradition of small businesses within walking distance of one another serving the shopping and eating needs of the community

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”