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”

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 DayDick Spady: A Life of Vision and Values  documents his life and times.
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In 1974, Dick’s Queen Anne place opened at 500 Queen Anne Avenue N. — 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 & the Coliseum/Key (soon Climate Pledge) Arena.
*Defensive superstar
Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks visited the Queen Anne Dick’s on Veteran’s Day 2012.
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This Week in Queen Anne History

McGraw Street Bridge Dedication -9/16/1936

A young girl holding a bouquet of roses leads an automobile festooned with American flags across the McGraw Street Bridge to kick off the celebration of its opening on September 16, 1936.   Seattle City Engineer Clark Eldridge occupied the car making the inaugural crossing of the WPA-funded, $90,000 span.  Eldridge designed several WPA-funded bridges during his tenure, including the adjacent North Queen Anne Drive Bridge, which also opened in 1936.  The McGraw Street Bridge, which is located on McGraw between Second Avenue North and Nob Hill Avenue, replaced a rickety timber trestle and provided residents of the northeast side of the hill access to the Aurora Avenue Bridge, which opened in 1932.

Image courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives, #10912

Queen Anne Yesterday & Today, August 26, 2020

This 1903 south-facing image was taken from what is now West Bertona Street, which bisects the Seattle Pacific University campus between 3rd and 9th Avenues West on the north side of Queen Anne.  Prior to the 1916 completion of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, this area was called Ross, named for John Ross who settled a claim here in the 1850s.  The creek that was Lake Union’s natural outlet to Salmon Bay, now the location of the ship canal’s Fremont cut, was known as Ross Creek.

In the foreground a cow grazes in the fenced yard of a home that stood on land now occupied by University buildings.  At right-center is the four-story, 1893 Seattle Seminary building.  Seattle Seminary was founded by the Oregon and Washington Free Methodist Church Conference to educate missionaries, teachers and elementary school students.  The seminary building, now called Alexander Hall, was the lone school building until 1905.  The building was designed by architect John Parkinson, who left Seattle for Los Angeles after the panic of 1893 and established himself as a leader of the profession and left a mark on the city-scape that includes such landmark buildings as the Los Angeles City Hall and the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Originally built on a 5-acre parcel, the school and its curriculum steadily expanded; and in 1915 it was renamed Seattle Pacific College.  With the addition of graduate-level courses in 1977, it was renamed Seattle Pacific University, and now occupies 45 acres.

Taking today’s image from the same vantage point would be impossible without scaling the roof of the building that stands where the photographer did 117 years ago.  But the view would be no less obscured by mature vegetation than it is from the vantage point of my iPhone, about 20 yards south of the original.  Of the several homes and outbuildings surrounding the Seminary building in the historic image, only one remains (although it is not visible in today’s image).  To the upper-left, in the midst of a stand of towering evergreen trees, the central gable of the Hazzard/Griggs House peeks out above the roof-line of the long-gone houses in the foreground.  The house, at 67 West Etruria Street, was built in 1894 and is one of very few homes remaining on Queen Anne that were constructed before the turn of the century.   It is a beautifully maintained historic home in nearly-original condition, other than a sympathetic addition on its south side.