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”

Comparing Canals : Lake Washington Shipping Canal and the Canal du Midi

It will come as a surprise that Queen Anne Pioneer Thomas Mercer had something in common with the Roman Emperor Nero. It turns out, though, that he actually does. Mercer, who on July 4, 1854 gave Lake Washington and Lake Union their names, dreamed of a connection from Lake Washington through Lake Union to the sea. Nero, who lived in the first century C.E.  dreamed of a connection from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean across the south of France. Mercer’s idea waited over 50 years for its opening day; Nero’s had to wait almost 17 centuries.

Comparing the Lake Washington Ship Canal to the Canal du Midi is a stretch, but as I write this cruising down the Canal du Midi with a group of Seattle friends, I am pleased to consider the similarities.

Both projects seemed like outlandish ideas when they were proposed, both required revolutionary engineering, both were great commercial successes, both were gigantic projects that local government couldn’t undertake, both eventually lost their commercial value and both now serve successful and lucrative tourist purposes. …Continue reading “Comparing Canals : Lake Washington Shipping Canal and the Canal du Midi”

Seattle Now and Then: The Historic Hundred by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard


Jean Sherrard and Nancy Guppy watch Paul Dorpat sign the new book.

Last Sunday (11/18/18), Paul and Jean did a marvelous job introducing a door buster crowd to their new book, Seattle Now and Then: The Historic Hundred, at the Fremont Public Library.  The Fremont and Queen Anne Historical Societies sponsored the gathering with Fremont doing all the heavy lifting. You can order a book here:  https://pauldorpat.com/seattle-now-and-then-the-historic-hundred/how-to-order/.  The entire meeting can be seen on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/QJgj8UUkB8I

Fred J. Rogers: Architect of Old World Charm


1930 Queen Anne Park house by Fred J. Rogers. Photo: Dianne Terry

Many years ago my husband and I were attracted to the curving streets and variety of charming home styles in Queen Anne Park on the north side of the hill. At that time we had no idea how many talented people were involved with this carefully planned development of English Tudors, bungalows, and Spanish and colonial revivals. It took us decades to discover Fred J. Rogers, the architect of many homes in this area and numerous neighborhoods in Seattle.

Rogers was born in Portland, Oregon in 1900. He apprenticed there in 1922-23 with A. E. Doyle, completed graduate studies at the University of Washington and worked with the Bebb & Gould architects in Seattle. After 1926 he worked in private practice as a residential designer, and many of his early homes were of the English Tudor Revival style. …Continue reading “Fred J. Rogers: Architect of Old World Charm”